Ravi Shankar is the founding editor of the international journal of the arts Drunken Boat and poet-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University. He has published a book of poems, Instrumentality (Cherry Grove, 2004), which was named a finalist for the 2005 Connecticut Book Awards. He has appeared as a commentator on National Public Radio and Wesleyan University Radio, has held fellowships at the MacDowell Colony and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, has written poems, reviews and essays for such publications as The Paris Review, Fulcrum, Ambit, Time Out New York, the AWP Writer’s Chronicle, and Poets & Writers, among many others. He reviews poetry for the Contemporary Poetry Review and along with Tina Chang and Nathalie Handal, he is currently editing an anthology of contemporary South Asian, East Asian and Middle Eastern poetry, due out with W.W. Norton & Co. in Fall 2007. You can read an interview with him at Jacket and listen to some of his poems at From the Fishhouse.
Natalie E. Illum is an activist, writer and federal employee. Natalie is a founding board member of mothertongue, a spoken word and creative writing organization in DC for women and girls. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from American University and teaches poetry through a variety of local community venues. She also promotes independent writers, musicians and artists as part of 3Word Productions. Currently, Natalie is touring with her most recent chapbook, Ground lover, and is almost ready to work on a memoir about her disability called Spastic.
She has performed at Ladyfest DC, Ladyfest South, ForWord Girls Conference (SanFrancisco), ARTCAR, the Radar Reading Series, the National Queer Arts Festival, Homo-a-Gogo and have opened for or shared the stage with: Rose Polenzani, Pamela Means, Gina Young, Jolie Rickman, Storm Florez, Alix Olson, Doria Roberts, Bitch, Michelle Tea, Thea Hillman, Stephanie Rearick, the Athens Boys Choir, Grover, Daphne Gottlieb, Sini Anderson, Cooper Lee and Cliterati.
Natalie loves rockstars, Jack Daniels, and her dog, Sasha.
Fred Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure (1986) and Happiness (1998), both published by Story Line Press. His poems and essays have appeared in Hudson Review, Southern Review, Fulcrum, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Die Gazette (Munich), Representations and elsewhere. Most recently, his work has appeared in The Hat, Orbis (UK), Naked Punch (UK; print and Web), and several online journals: Snorkel, Hamilton Stone Review, Diagram, Words-Myth, Can We Have Our Ball Back ? and The New Hampshire Review. He is an adjunct professor of creative writing at George Washington University, Washington, DC.