Sharlene Teo (fiction writer; Singapore) won the Deborah Rogers Writer’s Award for her debut novel Ponti, to be released in 2018 and translated into six languages. She is a PhD student in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she received the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship and the David TK Wong Fellowship. She participates courtesy of the Singapore National Arts Council.
Matjaž Pikalo (poet, screenwriter, musician, multimedia artist; Slovenia) has five books of poetry and many works for children. Luža [Puddle] won the 2002 Večernica Award for Best Book for Young Readers, and was honored by the IBBY Congress in Cape Town; in 2004 the children’s book Think Good and Wise won him Italy’s Arte Senza Confine award. The Second Ivan’s Death, a documentary about Slovenia’s key writer Ivan Cankar, based on his screenplay, is in production. He plays with the band Autodafé, and on an artist soccer team. His participation is made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana and the University of Iowa.
Tameka Cage Conley, PhD is a literary artist who writes fiction, poetry, plays and essays. She received a doctoral degree in English in 2006 from Louisiana State University, where she was a recipient of the Huel Perkins Doctoral Fellowship. Her dissertation, “Painful Discourses,” was awarded the annual Lewis Simpson Distinguished Dissertation Award. She has received writing fellowships from the Cave Canem Poetry Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Squaw Valley Writers Conference and Workshops. In October 2013, she received the Eben Demarest Trust grant, awarded annually to an artist or archaeologist. Past recipients of the Demarest include painter James Pollock (1945) and choreographer Kyle Abraham (2012). She held a Truman Capote fellowship in Fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop from 2016-17 and is currently a Graduate Fellow in the program. A Gathering of Sons, the opera for which she wrote the libretto, commissioned by Pittsburgh Festival Opera, recently had its world premiere and was met with acclaim.