Kenzie Allen is a descendant of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. She is a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan where she was the recipient of Hopwood Awards in poetry and non-fiction, and she has been awarded an Emerging Writer fellowship to Aspen Summer Words, and the Littoral Press Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Drunken Boat, SOFTBLOW, Apogee, Boston Review, and elsewhere, and she is the managing editor of the Anthropoid collective. She lives in Norway, and on her tribe’s reservation in Green Bay.
In addition to her work as a design consultant for Bettering American Poetry Volume 2 and her contributions to the Bettering social media pages, Kenzie Allen served as an editor of Bettering American Poetry 2015.
Eunsong Kim is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, San Diego. Her essays on literature, digital cultures, and art criticism have appeared and are forthcoming in: Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, Scapegoat, Lateral, The New Inquiry, Model View Culture, The Margins, and in the anthologies Poetics of Social Engagement and Reading Modernism with Machines. Her poetry has or will been published in: West Branch, Denver Quarterly, Seattle Review, Feral Feminisms, Minnesota Review, Interim, and Iowa Review. She was the recipient of a 2015 Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for the blog contemptorary.org and her first book of poems will be published by Noemi press in 2017.
Amy King’s latest book, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. King joins the ranks of Ann Patchett, Eleanor Roosevelt & Rachel Carson as the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the WNBA Award (Women’s National Book Association). She serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and is currently co-editing with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology, Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.
Jason Koo, named one of the "100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture" by Brooklyn Magazine, is the author of America's Favorite Poem and Man on Extremely Small Island, winner of the De Novo Poetry Prize and the Asian American Writers' Workshop Members' Choice Award for the best Asian American book of 2009. He is the editor of Poems for Kobe, a private limited edition of poems presented as a retirement gift to Kobe Bryant by the Brooklyn Nets and Brooklyn Poets, and co-editor of the forthcoming Brooklyn Poets Anthology. He has published his poetry and prose in the Yale Review, Missouri Review, and the Village Voice, among other places, and won fellowships for his work from the National Endowment for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and New York State Writers Institute. An assistant teaching professor of English at Quinnipiac University, Koo is the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Poets and creator of the Bridge. He lives in Brooklyn.
Héctor Ramírez is the son of an immigrant father from Tijuana, México and a Mexican mother from Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. He is a Xicano writer and educator from Covina, California, currently living in Colorado. Héctor received his B.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University in 2012 and is an MFA candidate at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he is also the Assistant Director of the CU Boulder Upward Bound program. He serves on the Board of Directors at VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and his work has appeared in or is forthcoming from LIT,Apogee, Muzzle Magazine, The Café Irreal, Buffalo Almanack, American Book Review, The Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog, and elsewhere.
Metta Sáma is author of the year we turned dragon (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs), le animal & other creatures (Miel), After "Sleeping to Dream"/After After (Nous-Zot Press), Nocturne Trio (YesYes Books) & South of Here (New Issues Press), published under her legal name, Lydia Melvin. Her poems, fiction, and creative nonfiction essays have been published in Heir Apparent, Valley Voices, Puerto del Sol’s Black Voices Series, Literary Hub, Kweli, bluestem, Apogee, All About Skin (edited by Jina Ortiz & Rochelle Spencer), Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (edited by Lynn Melnick & Brett Fletcher Lauer), among others. She has served as special guest editor for Reverie, Black Camera, RedLeaf Poetry Journal, and North American Review. Sáma is co-winner of the 2016 Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from Poetry Society of America. She serves on the advisory board of Black Radish Book and the Board of Directors at Cave Canem Foundation, Inc. She is a Fellow at Black Earth Institute and is the director of Center for Women Writers and an Assistant Professor and Director of Creative Writing at Salem College.
Vanessa Angelica Villareal
Vanessa Angelica Villarreal was born in the Rio Grande Valley borderlands to formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in PBS Newshour, Ploughshares Blog, Poor Claudia, Waxwing, The Wanderer, DIAGRAM, The Feminist Wire, The Poetry Foundation Harriet Blog, and elsewhere. She has served as an editor for the Bettering American Poetry project. She is currently a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at USC, and is also a CantoMundo Fellow. Her book, Beast Meridian, is forthcoming from Noemi Press in early 2017. She currently eats tacos with her family in Los Angeles, CA, but her forever hometown is Houston, Texas.
Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work recently has been featured in P-Queue, The Enemy, The Brooklyn Rail, LIT The Journal Petra, Apogee & others. She is the author of the full-length collection Houses (Horseless Press 2015) as well as the graphic chapbook I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel from Bloof Books (2016). Her second full length collection of poetry, Crawlspace, is forthcoming from Bloof Books in 2017. She lives in Wisconsin.
Sarah Clark is a two-spirit Native freelance editor, writer, and consultant, and a current volunteer with VIDA. She is the former managing editor of Drunken Boat, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations, including Sundress Press, contemptorary.org, Open City, The Paris Review, and Blackbird. She curated Drunken Boat’s folios on sound art, and on global indigenous art and literature titled “First Peoples, Plural.”
Sarah Clark is an editor and curator of the Bettering American Poetry project.
Airea D Matthews
Airea D Matthews’s first collection of poems, Simulacra, received the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award (Yale University Press, March 2017). Her work has appeared in Best American Poets 2015, American Poets, Four Way Review, The Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She received the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and was awarded the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from the 2016 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, her M.P.A. from the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy, and her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Ms. Matthews is working on her second poetry collection, under/class, which explores poverty. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan.