Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of THE FACT OF A BODY: A Murder and a Memoir, which received a Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the Grand Prix des Lectrices ELLE, the Prix des libraires du Quebec, and the Prix France Inter-JDD. It has been translated into eleven languages and is in development with HBO. The recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Eccles Centre at the British Library, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, MacDowell, Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and the Maine Arts Commission, as well as a Rona Jaffe Award, Marzano-Lesnevich has written for The New York Times, Harper’s, and many other publications. They are an assistant professor of English at Bowdoin College in Maine. Their next book, BOTH AND NEITHER, is a genre-and-gender-bending work of memoir, history, cultural analysis, trans re-imaginings, and international road trip about life beyond the binary. Excerpted in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2020, it is forthcoming from Doubleday and publishers internationally.
Kia Corthron is a playwright and novelist. Moon and the Mars, her second novel, was released in August 2021. Her debut, The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter, was the winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. For her body of work for the stage, she has garnered the Windham Campbell Prize for Drama, Horton Foote Prize, Flora Roberts Award, United States Artists Jane Addams Fellowship, Simon Great Plains Playwright Award, McKnight National Residency, Otto Award for Political Theatre, Lee Reynolds Award, National Endowment for the Arts, and others. Her plays, including A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick, Breath, Boom, and Force Continuum, have been produced nationally and internationally. In 2018, she co-produced Imagine: Yemen, an evening of short plays addressing the catastrophe in Yemen and U.S. responsibility for it, leading to an animated short of her musical contribution, the film later screened at the United Nations/U.K. We The Peoples Film Festival in London. Her most recent play is Tempestuous Elements will be produced by D.C.’s Arena Stage in 2022. She serves on the Dramatists Guild Council, is a New Dramatists alumnus, and is a member of the Authors Guild.
Becky Albertalli is the author of William C. Morris Award winner and National Book Award longlist title, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (now a major motion picture, Love, Simon); the acclaimed The Upside of Unrequited and Kate In Waiting; and the New York Timesbestsellers Leah on the Offbeat, What If It’s Us (co-written with Adam Silvera), Yes No Maybe So (co-written with Aisha Saeed), and Love, Creekwood. Becky lives with her family in Atlanta, and she’s still not tired of Oreos.
When I was young, my father was full of aphorisms, some of which made sense.
Such as the time I was seven and got kicked out of school for fist-fighting a redneck named Jaxton. My mother quoted Christ’s Sermon …
We don’t know how to move through this house the way we once did. Tía and Mama and Abuela and me, every hour of ours unfolding in a series of fours—four mugs filled up to the lip with café de …
She said, Let there be stories; and there were stories.
As she spoke, her breath crystallized into the shapes of birds and beasts.
But the animals were forgetful,
so she had to teach them to remember the words that …
Some days all I need to be happy is a subway seat
and a Diet Dr Pepper. Other days I’m waiting
for the fog to spell out my name (it never happens).
I want to believe in the bulbous green …
It is April. Climbing roses crown headfirst through the soil,
ripening under my criss crossed legs without my permission.
The aroma of apricots hangs in the air like wet linens, tempting…
the noses of churchgoing boys, but I refuse
I’ve been broken
boy turned to drink
left to rust family-damp
with prayer I wish
he would just stop
We don’t bury the dead.
We remember the sky
likes to fall
down the throat.
We call it…
I wake up sweating. My nostrils are raw and peeling skin. I cough to catch my breath. I have no fever, no flu. I keep losing things. Last night it was my twelve-year-old daughter in a cornfield. We rode in …