Ubah Cristina Ali Farah (fiction writer, poet, playwright, translator; Italy) is a Somali-Italian novelist, performer, teacher and social activist. Her two novels, Madre piccola [Little Mother, Indiana UP 2011] and Il Comandante del fiume [The Commander of the River] tell stories of the Somali civil war and its refugees in Italy. In 2006, she was awarded the Lingua Madre National Literary Prize, and in 2008, the Vittorini Prize. She has a PhD in African Studies from the University of Naples; currently she lives in Brussels. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Esther Dischereit (poet, novelist, essayist, stage and radio dramatist; Germany) has given lectures and readings around the world. Most recently she published Blumen für Otello. Über die Verbrechen von Jena [Flowers for Othello. On the Crimes of Jena] and edited Havel, Hunde, Katzen, Tulpen, Garz erzählt [Havel, Dogs, Cats, Tulips – Garz Talking]. Her work spans multiple genres and often reflects the post-Holocaust landscape in Germany, e.g. Joëmis Tisch [Joëmis Table] and Übungen jüdisch zu sein [Exercises in Being Jewish]. In 2009 Dischereit received the Erich Fried Prize. In 2017 she was a visiting professor at the University of Virginia; she teaches at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna. Her participation is made possible by the Max Kade Foundation.
Benjamin Krusling is a poet and artist who has lived in Ohio and New York. His recent work has appeared in The New Inquiry, Hyperallergic, and Tagvverk, among others. The winner of Sonora Review's 2017 Poetry Prize, selected by Anselm Berrigan, Benji has received fellowships from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Naropa University.