New York-based Magda Bogin is the founder and director of Under the Volcano. Novelist, translator, poet and librettist, she has taught in the writing programs of Columbia, Princeton and City College, CUNY. Bogin is a former Kellogg National Fellow and recipient of fellowships from the NEA, NYFA, NYSCA and most recently, from Chateau Lavigny, in Switzerland. She is the author of the novel Natalya, God’s Messenger (Scribner) and has published numerous translations from both French and Spanish, including Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits. Under the auspices of American Lyric Theater, with composer Jeffrey Dennis Smith, she wrote The Price of Silence, a chamber opera based on the history of the disappeared in Argentina. She is currently at work on a Spanish-language opera based on the Mexican Day of the Dead.
Novelist, poet and journalist Jennifer Clement was president of PEN Mexico from 2009 to 2012. Along with her sister, Barbara Sibley, she founded and directs the San Miguel Poetry Week. Clement is the author of the memoir Widow Basquiat (on the painter Jean Michel Basquiat) and three novels: A True Story Based on Lies, a finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction, The Poison That Fascinates and Prayers for the Stolen. Her work has been translated into 22 languages. Her volumes of poetry are The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin), Newton’s Sailor; Lady of the Broom and Jennifer Clement: New and Selected Poems. She currently lives in Mexico City, where she was raised.
U.S. writer Jonathan Levi is the author of the 1992 novel A Guide for the Perplexed, and many plays and opera libretti that have been performed in Italy, the Netherlands, Georgia, the U.K. and the United States. A founding editor of Granta magazine and fiction reviewer for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, he has written political and cultural journalism for The New York Times, The Nation, Conde Nast Traveler and others. As a theatrical producer he has worked with Elvis Costello, Carly Simon and many great European artists as founding director of the SummerScape Festival at Bard College. He currently lives in Rome and is artistic advisor to the Zaubersee Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, and co-director of the Gabriel García Márquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism in Cartagena, Colombia.
Alison Wearing is a Canadian memoirist/performer. In addition to numerous award-winning articles, short stories and plays, she is the author of the internationally-acclaimed travel memoir Honeymoon in Purdah: an Iranian Journey. Her most recent project, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay Dad, began as a one-woman show. After performing the material for a year, she expanded the story into a memoir with the same title, which was published by Alfred A. Knopf. The book and its creator toured theater and literary festivals across North America in 2013 to rave reviews and many honors. After eight (glorious) years in Mexico, Wearing now lives in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.
Owen Sheers juggles poetry, fiction, stage work and opera while managing to show up on television as a host and on various rostrums to present and collect a never-ending stream of prizes. His published work includes two poetry collections, The Blue Book and Skirrid Hill, The Dust Diaries, a non-fiction narrative set in Zimbabwe, and the novel Resistance. His verse drama Pink Mist, commissioned by BBC Radio 4 and published by Faber, won the 2012 Hay Festival Medal for Poetry. Two new works will appear in 2015: his novel I Saw a Man and the libretto for Mark Bowden’s new Creation oratorio, slated to debut at the BBC Proms. He is also writing an original screenplay, scheduled for production in 2015. Welsh-born, Sheers lives in London with his wife and newborn daughter.
Ben Clark is an award-winning Spanish poet and translator, born on the island of Ibiza in 1984. His books include Los hijos de los hijos de la ira, winner of the prestigious Hiperión Award in 2006, La mezcla confusa, winner of the VII Félix Grande Award 2011 and Basura (2011). His latest collection, La Fiera, received the City of Palma Award in 2014. In addition to translating the Love Poems of Anne Sexton and the Collected Poems of Edward Thomas, he has also translated poet Paul Muldoon and fiction writer George Saunders. Recent residencies include the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat in Scotland and Château de Lavigny in Switzerland. Clark is widely seen one of the poetic stars of the new millennium in Spain.