BLAIRE BRIODY is a freelance journalist who has written for The New York Times, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Fast Company, Glamour, among others. Her first nonfiction book, The New Wild West, about North Dakota’s oil boom will be published in September 2017. The book was the 2016 finalist for the Lukas Work-in-Progress Award from Columbia Journalism School and Harvard University, and she received the Richard J. Margolis Award for social justice journalism in 2014. She graduated from the University of California–Davis with a degree in international relations and now resides in Sonoma County.
HANNAH CRAIG is the author of This History That Just Happened (Parlor Press, 2017) which was the winner of the New Measure Poetry Prize. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in journals including Fence, Mississippi Review, the North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and Smartish Pace. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA.
MELISSA GIBSON is an assistant professor of education at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she writes about justice and education, and tries to bring that to life through her work with teachers. In between her paid job as an academic and her unpaid job as a parent and laundress, she periodically blogs at The Present Tense. Mostly, she tries to find ways not to write like the critical theorists she spent decades studying in her BA in Women’s Studies from Harvard University and PhD in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin.
RICHARD GILBERT, pictured here shortly after the incident in his essay, is the author of Shepherd: A Memoir, about the decade he and his family farmed in Appalachian Ohio. An adventure story of loss, dreams, place, and fatherhood, Shepherd was a 2015 Ohioana Book Award in Nonfiction Finalist. An essay adapted from it, “A Dry Year,” was nominated by Chautauqua for a Pushcart Prize. His recent essay “Why I Hate My Dog” was named a “Best of 2016” by LongreadsProximity published his essay “Don’t Call Me Dick” in 2015. Other work has appeared in Orion and Utne Reader. Gilbert has taught at Ohio University and Otterbein University. Previously, he worked in book publishing for Indiana University Press and Ohio University Press.
E.C. KELLY is a writer, teacher, and performer living in Austin, TX. She has an M.A. in Liberal Arts, which is a fancy way of saying she’s studied teaching, acting, and creative writing a lot. What motivates her writing is the queer kid born to an unaccepting family. She wants to reach that kid.
LAURA MASCHAL lived in Charlotte, NC, with her wife, Lacey, and their children. “Borderline Mother” was Laura’s first published creative work. It originally appeared in Proximity Issue 7: BORDERS in July 2015. One year later, Laura gave birth to her son, Esmond. Laura passed away on Oct. 17, 2017, following a brain aneurysm. She was 39.
GABRIELLE MONTESANTI is currently a nonfiction MFA student at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her BA from Kalamazoo College in mathematics and studio art, and spent terms in New York City working for visual artists and in Rome writing her senior thesis. She is a competitive swimmer turned roller girl and is currently at work on her first book-length manuscript about roller derby.
JOSEPH S. PETE is an award-winning journalist, an Iraq War veteran, an Indiana University graduate, and a frequent guest on Lakeshore Public Radio. He has done live lit on the iO Chicago stage, was a reader at the Underground Lit Fest and was named the poet laureate of Chicago BaconFest 2016–a feat that Geoffrey Chaucer chump never accomplished. His literary or photographic work has appeared or is forthcoming in New Pop Lit, The Grief Diaries, Gravel, Perch Magazine, Lit-Tapes, Synesthesia Literary Journal, Chicago Literati, Dogzplot, shufPoetry, The Roaring Muse, Prairie Winds, Blue Collar Review, Work Literary Magazine, Lumpen, Stoneboat, The Tipton Poetry Journal, Euphemism, Jenny Magazine and elsewhere.