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Hala Alyan, Nomi Stone, David Tomas Martinez, Tala Abu Rahmeh & Darrel Alejandro Holnes

Hala Alyan is an award-winning Palestinian American poet and clinical psychologist whose work has appeared in numerous journals including The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner and Colorado Review. She resides in Manhattan.

Nomi Stone's first book of poems, Stranger’s Notebook (TriQuarterly Books, Northwestern University Press, 2008) chronicles her time living in one of the last cohesive Jewish communities in North Africa. She has a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford University, and was Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing in Tunisia. Stone is currently a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at Columbia University. She has received poetry fellowships and grants from the Vermont Studio Center, and the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities.

Photo credit: Andrew Kluger

Photo credit: Andrew Kluger

Darrel Alejandro Holnes teaches playwriting, screenwriting, poetry, and other genres of creative writing. His the co-author of PRIME: Poems and Conversations (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014) and his poems have been published in The Best American Experimental Writing anthology, Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, The Potomac, The Paris American and elsewhere in print and online. His play, The Burning Room, was recognized by the Kennedy Center; it and others have been read and produced in regional and university theaters throughout the US. He was a work-study scholar "waiter" at Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and is a Cave Canem, Canto Mundo, and VCFA fellow. His academic excellence, activism, and work in arts administration has been recognized by the White House, the Veterans of Foreign War, the US Congress, the Global Officials of Dignity and with many residencies, fellowships, and awards. He studied creative writing at the Universities of Houston and Michigan, the latter from which he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree and won a Zell Post Graduate Award, among other awards. And Holnes is a consultant to the United Nations. Check him out at

Tala Abu Rahmeh graduated from the American University in 2009 with an MFA in Poetry. Her work has been published by several magazines and anthologies, the first of which was “25 Under 25″, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye for Harper Collins. She is currently working as an instructor at Bard College’s chapter in Jerusalem.


David Tomas Martinez' work has been published or is forth coming in Poetry Magazine, Plough Shares, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, Forklift; Ohio, Poetry International, LitHub, Gulf Coast, Drunken Boat, Hypoallergic, Lumina Journal, The Journal, Crab Orchard Review, Academy of American Poet's Poem-A-Day, Poetry Foundation's PoetryNow, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Spork Press, Split This Rock, RHINO, Ampersand Review, Caldera Review, Verse Junkies, California Journal of Poetics, Toe Good, and others. DTM has been featured or written about in Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, NPR's All Things Considered, NBC Latino, Buzzfeed, Houstonia Magazine, Houston Art & Culture, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Bull City Press, Border Voices, and many others. Having earned his MFA at San Diego State University, he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Houston's Creative Writing program, with an emphasis in poetry, and he is the former reviews and interviews editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. He has been a Breadloaf and CantoMundo Fellow. His debut collection of poetry, Hustle, was released in 2014 by Sarabande Books, which won the New England Book Festival's prize in poetry, the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award, and honorable mention in the Antonio Cisneros Del Moral prize. He is the 2015 winner of the Verlaine Poetry Prize from Inprint. Martinez's forthcoming selection of poetry will be published also by Sarabande Books. He is a Pushcart recipient, and currently splits time between Brooklyn and Lubbock, where he is Visiting Assistant Professor of creative writing at Texas Tech.