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, the Russian writers’ colony at Peredelkino 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. She is currently at work on a Spanish-language opera based on the Mexican Day of the Dead.
Valeria Luiselli is a Mexican-born novelist and non-fiction writer. Raised in South Africa and fluent in English, she is the author of Sidewalks, a collection of essays, and the internationally acclaimed novel Faces in the Crowd, which won the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction. Her work has been translated into many languages and has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Granta, and McSweeney’s. Her second novel, The Story of My Teeth, translated by Christina MacSweeney, has just been published by Coffee House Press to rave reviews. She lives in New York, where she teaches creative writing at Hofstra University. She is married to the writer Álvaro Enrigue.
Mexican writer Álvaro Enrigue is the award-winning author of four novels and two books of short stories. Widely recognized as one of the leading Spanish-language writers of his generation, Enrigue has been featured by the Hay Festival and is the recipient of fellowships from both the Bellagio Center and the Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at the New York Public Library. His novel Muerte súbita received the 2013 Herralde fiction prize; his latest novel, Decencia, is currently being translated into English. Álvaro Enrigue lives in New York, where he teaches creative writing and Latin American literature at Princeton, Columbia and NYU. Enrigue is married to the writer Valeria Luiselli.
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 have appeared in 2015: his novel I Saw a Man, acclaimed by reviewers on both sides of the Pond, and the libretto for Mark Bowden’s new Creation oratorio, which debuted 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 small daughter.
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.
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. His new novel, Septimania, will be published by Overlook Press in early 2016.
Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago, the only daughter in a family of seven children. She is the author of two collections of poetry, a collection of stories, a children’s book and two novels, The House on Mango Street and Caramelo, both of which have become required reading in schools and communities across the United States. Cisneros has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and the Lannan Foundation Literary Award. She is also a MacArthur fellow and founder of the MacArturos, which brings together the Latino MacArthurs.
Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Her newest book, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life, takes her on tour across the United States throughout the fall of 2015. After living for many years in San Antonio Texas, she now makes her home in San Miguel Allende, Mexico.