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New Orleans, LA
Barb Johnson worked as a carpenter in New Orleans for more than twenty years before receiving her MFA from the University of New Orleans in 2008. She has won Glimmer Train’s Best New Voice, and her work has appeared in such magazines as Glimmer Train, Washington Square, The Greensboro Review, Guernica and Oxford American. In 2009, she received a grant from A Room of Her Own Foundation, which will support the writing of her first novel. A collection of her short stories entitled, More of This World or Maybe Another, was released by Harper Perennial in fall 2009. She lives and writes in New Orleans.
Julie Kane is the author of Rhythm & Booze (University of Illinois Press, 2003), which was Maxine Kumin's selection for the National Poetry Series and a finalist for the 2005 Poets' Prize, and Jazz Funeral (Story Line Press, 2009), chosen by judge David Mason for the Donald Justice Poetry Prize. New this year is a collection of humorous poems: Paper Bullets (White Violet Press, 2014). A former George Bennett Fellow in Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy, New Orleans Writer in Residence at Tulane University, and Fulbright Scholar to Vilnius Pedagogical University (Lithuania), she teaches at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. She was the 2011-2013 Louisiana Poet Laureate.
New Orleans, LA
Jessica Kinnison holds a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing from Chatham University in Pittsburgh where she taught creative writing in the Allegheny County Jail, as part of the Words Without Walls program. Her short stories have appeared in Juked, Pif Magazine, Fiction Southeast, and The Southern Humanities Review, among others. Her play “Baby” won the Southwest Theatre and Film Association’s Short Play Contest in 2008. Her story "Bone on Bone" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Jackson Free Press, The Clarion Ledger, and Art Voices Magazine, among others. She serves as Operations Manager and Director of the Wellness University at Project Lazarus, a nonprofit transitional housing facility for people living with HIV/ AIDS, and teaches creative writing in the Wellness University, Orleans Parish Prison, and the Loyola University New Orleans Writing Institute. She lives in, owns and operates The Bakery, a community art space in St. Roch.