Featured artists 2023
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is the author of the bestselling story collection Friday Black and the novel Chain-Gang All-Stars. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including Guernica, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Printers Row, Gravel, and Breakwater Review, where he was selected by ZZ Packer as the winner of the second annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest.
Adjei-Brenyah is from Spring Valley, New York. He graduated from SUNY Albany and received his MFA from Syracuse University.
Haley Heynderickx’s debut album, I Need to Start a Garden, came out of a search for calm through waves of uncertainty and upheaval. For the empathetic singer-songwriter, the reasons for seeking acceptance and understanding stem from a life of paradoxes.
Heynderickx grew up in a religious household in Oregon, closely identifying with her Filipino roots but also straddling multiple cultural identities. Today her faith is not overt, but her introspection and continued struggle for self-actualization are easily accessible and relatable.
Through soft acoustic guitar picking and deftly accented trombone sighs, Heynderickx’s music immediately recalls ’60s and ’70s folk mixed with a love of jazz radio. But her singing—vocals that range from sultry to operatic—belie a tenacity in her soul.
Photo by Alessandra Leimer
Gilbert King is the writer, producer, and host of Bone Valley (Lava for Good), a narrative podcast about murder and injustice in 1980s central Florida. He is also the author of three books, most recently Beneath a Ruthless Sun. His book Devil in the Grove, a New York Times Best Seller, received the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2013 and was a runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
King has written about race, civil rights, and the death penalty for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Atlantic, and he was a 2019–2020 fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at the New York Public Library. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Garth Stein is the internationally bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, which has sold more than six million copies worldwide, been translated into 36 languages, and spent more than three years on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Seattle, he comes from diverse ancestry: His mother, a native of Alaska, is of Tlingit Indian and Irish descent; his father, a Brooklyn native, is the child of Jewish immigrants from Austria.
Stein is the cofounder of Seattle7Writers, a nonprofit collective dedicated to energizing readers, writers, and their communities by providing funding, programming, and book donations. He lives in Seattle with his wife and three sons.
Kirstin Valdez Quade
Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of The Five Wounds, which has been shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Her story collection, Night at the Fiestas, won the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. It was named a New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015.
Quade’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor at Princeton.
Ibi Zoboi was born in Haiti. When she was four, she immigrated to New York with her mother. Zoboi is the author of numerous titles, including American Street (2017), which was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, a TIME Magazine Best YA Book of All Time, and a Kirkus Best Book of the Year; Pride (2018); and My Life As an Ice Cream Sandwich (2020). She is also the coauthor, with prison reform activist Dr. Yusef Salaam, of Walter Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner Punching the Air (2021).
Zoboi is the editor of Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America (2020), and her debut picture book, The People Remember (2021), received a Coretta Scott King Book Honor Award. Her other recent titles include Okoye to the People: A Black Panther Novel (2022), Star Child (2023), and the novel Nigeria Jones (2023).
She currently lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with her husband and their three children.
Photo by Nicole Mondestin