Rebecca Bengal was the Spring 2020 Mina Hohenberg Darden Chair in Creative Writing at ODU. She writes short fiction, essays, narrative nonfiction, and journalism. Her work has been published by The Guardian, Oxford American, Topic, The New Yorker, Bookforum, The Paris Review, Vogue, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, WSJ magazine, Guernica, Pitchfork, Southwest Review, The Greensboro Review, and Best American Nonrequired Reading, among others. A former editor at American Short Fiction, Vogue, The Onion, and DoubleTake, she is the recipient of numerous fellowships and serves on the fiction committee of the PEN America Prison Writing Awards. New short stories and essays are forthcoming in artist monographs published by Aperture, Mack Books, and TBW Books. Originally from western North Carolina, she lives in Brooklyn.
Luisa A. Igloria was recently appointed as the Virginia Poet Laureate (2020-2022). She is the 2019 Co-Winner of the Crab Orchard Open Poetry competition for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, fall 2020) and the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world's first major award for ecopoetry. She is the author of 4 chapbooks plus 14 full length works including The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal; 2018), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), and Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press). She teaches in ODU’s MFA Creative Writing Program.
This festival is made possible in part through sponsorship by the City of Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities.