Maurya Simon is the author of ten volumes of poetry, including Speaking in Tongues, a nominee for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, Ghost Orchid, which was nominated in 2004 for a National Book Award in Poetry, Cartographies, (Red Hen Press, 2008), and most recently, a limited-edition letterpress book, Questions My Daughters Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Them (Blackbird Press, 2014). Her novel-in-verse, entitled The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula, was issued by Elixir Press in 2010. In early 2018, Red Hen Press will publish Simon’s tenth volume of poems, The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016.
She received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and has been a Fulbright Fellow in India. She has taught at UC Riverside, Caltech, and at the Claremont Colleges and has published 10 books of poetry. Her poetry often combines the natural world with spirituality and metaphysics and her writing is enriched by the classics and art.
Amber Flora Thomas, was born and raised in northern California. She is the author of Eye of Water: Poems (University of Alaska Press, 2012) which was selected by Harryette Mullen as the winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Her other books include The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems (University of Alaska Press, 2012) and Red Channel in the Rupture: Poems (Red Hen Press, 2018). Her poetry has appeared in The New England Review, Tin House, Callaloo, Orion Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Saranac Review, and Third Coast, as well as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, and numerous other journals and anthologies.
Thomas has taught at the Cave Canem annual retreat and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Sewanee Writers Conference. She earned an MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Her three books of poetry reflect the pathos and brutality of living things.