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  • Contributors

Sophia Bamert is a PhD candidate in English at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on urban racial geographies and narrative form in early twentieth-century American literature. Her work appears in American Literature in Transition, 2000–2010, the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, and the forthcoming collection The City in American Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP, 2021).

Sharday Cage is a poet, author, and teacher. She is the author of two books, Death of a Black Star (Sakura, 2011) and Shadows and Silhouettes (Sakura, 2013). Cage received notable success as a bestseller on Amazon for Death of a Black Star, whose passionate prose and rhyme reveal what it’s like to be Black and living in America while having dreams of Africa. Her words debate what it means to be troubled by life, to be inspired by love, and, most of all, to shine brightly as a Black star even though the world tries to dim it.

Julie L. Moore is a Best of the Net and six-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and the author of four poetry collections, most recently including Full Worm Moon (Cascade), which won a 2018 Woodrow Hall Top Shelf Award and received honorable mention for the Conference on Christianity and Literature’s 2018 Book of the Year Award. Her poetry has appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, New Ohio Review, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Verse Daily. She is the writing center director at Taylor University, where she is also the poetry editor for Relief Journal. Learn more about her work at

Dana Murphy is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she teaches in the department of English Language and Literature. She is writing a book at the intersection of Black diasporic literature and women’s and gender studies. Her essay on Black feminist hoodoo in Ntozake Shange’s work appeared in CLA Journal.

Robin Romeo calls Harlem home. He earned a BA from Vermont College, where he studied literature and creative writing. His poems are forthcoming in the Caribbean Writer and Curlew Quarterly. This past winter, Romeo was selected as a Brooklyn Poets Fellow for study in Jay Deshpande’s workshop on the sonnet.

Courtney Thorsson is an associate professor in the English department at the University of Oregon. Her book Women’s Work: Nationalism and Contemporary African American Women’s Novels (U of Virginia P, 2013) argues that Toni Cade Bambara, Paule Marshall, Gloria Naylor, Ntozake Shange, and Toni Morrison reclaim and revise cultural nationalism in their novels of the 1980s and ’90s. Her writings have appeared in Callaloo, African American Review, MELUS, Gastronomica, Contemporary Literature, and Public Books. Her second book, an interpretive cultural history of The Sisterhood and Black women’s literary organizing in the late 1970s, is forthcoming in 2022.

E. James West is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in History at Northumbria University, UK. His research focuses primarily on the Black press and Black print culture in the twentieth century. West is the author of Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr. (2020); his next book, A House for the Struggle: The Black Press and the Built Environment in Chicago, is forthcoming, and both are from the University of Illinois Press.



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