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DJUNA BARNES was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, in 1892. She was an American novelist, poet, playwright, journalist, and visual artist, as well as an important figure in the Modernist movement. Her works include the novels Ryder (1928), Ladies Almanack (1928), and  Nightwood (1937). A Book (1923) was her first published collection of stories. Barnes died in New York City in 1982.

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W. YUSEF DOUCET, born and raised in Los Angeles, has been a life-long Californian. He co-founded and facilitated the Dyamsay Writers’ Workshop with DJ Watson in Santa Monica, CA, the Third Root Writers’ Workshop with Lisa Marie Rollins in Pomona, CA, a poetry reading series at the former Velocity Café with Edgar Montgomery in Santa Monica, CA, and produced seasonal readings and performances at the City Market of Los Angeles Gallery, all projects of the Ubwenge Artists Collective. He is also currently a member of the Joko Collective, a grassroots community education project (check them out on YouTube and Instagram). He has been on the faculty of the English Department at Santa Monica College since 1999.

MARC FICHOU was born in Paris and first came to the United States as a young man. He has been active in the art scenes of New York and Los Angeles since the 1990s. He now lives with his wife and fellow artist Lauren Marsolier in the south of France. His video installation, painting, sculpture and other multimedia work can be viewed at his website:

JEFF FORT was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, studied at Columbia University in New York, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Strasbourg in France, and now teaches literature, film, and philosophy at the University of California, Davis. He has translated numerous books and shorter works, mostly from French as well as German and Italian. He has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than thirty years.

CARLO LEVY has lived in seven different neighborhoods of Seattle, where he was born in 1961. He is the author of a previous book of poems entitled The Radio Factory, like Hearing Things and Understanding Madness with original collages. In 1998 he received the first annual Nelson Bentley Award given by the editors at Fine Madness, for his poem, The Old Music of Heraclitus. He is married to Rebecca Alexander, a painter, poet, librarian, and gardener.

STEFAN MATTESSICH is the author of two previous novels: Point Guard, a coming-of-age story set on the Northern California coast of Mendocino; and East Brother, a satire about gentrification in a fictional California beach town.  He went to Yale College and has a PhD in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he wrote a monograph on the fiction of Thomas Pynchon entitled Lines of Flight, published by Duke University Press. He has also written a variety of literary criticism and cultural theory. He teaches English at Santa Monica College and lives in Los Angeles.

MARIO RENÉ PADILLA was born in Detroit, Michigan. He’s of Mexican and Italian descent, but grew up nevertheless a “mid-western” kid in Columbus, Ohio. Multiculturalism and mixed-cultural identity issues are central themes in his work. His poetry and stories have appeared in a wide variety of venues. His first collection of poetry, Reaching Back for the Neverendings (1993), was published by Red Dancefloor Press in LA. His second collection of poetry, Blue Plums & Weeds (2021), was published by PSPOETS in LA. Padilla won a Fulbright Award for collecting and translating the early poetry and prose of Jorge Luis Borges for his dissertation Borges, Faulkner and Hemingway: Young Poets of Prose. He has a PhD in Comparative Literature from USC. He currently resides in Venice, CA with his wife Christine and blended family of six and teaches Creative Writing, English and Latin American Literature full-time at Santa Monica College.

MARY SHELLEY was born in 1797, the daughter of the early feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft and the novelist and radical philosopher William Godwin. Married to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she was at the center of the British Romantic movement of the early 19th century, author of the classic novel Frankenstein (1818), often considered the first example of the science fiction genre. After her husband's death in 1822, she went on to a long career as a novelist, biographer, and travel writer. Among her many works is The Last Man (1826), an uncannily prescient novel set in the late 21st century amidst a time of plague and climatic catastrophe. She died in 1851.  

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WILLIAM SMOCK is an author/illustrator (The Bauhaus Ideal Then and Now), filmmaker (Isamu Noguchi: Stones and Paper) and translator (Denis Guénoun’s memoir A Semite). He lives in Berkeley, California. Bobby, Lord of Acton Waters is about someone far naughtier than he ever was, but also more adventurous.

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