Senior Editors:

Caleb Beckwith

Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart’s Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston’s Asian American communities. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review‘s editor-in-chief and serve on the board of Woodland Pattern.

Founding Editors:

  Cristiana Baik‘s work has been published in the Boston ReviewAmerican Letters & Commentary, Drunken Boat (upcoming) and other publications. She is also the author of a chapbook, The Victory of a Strange Heart Beating (Blue Hour Press, 2009). Currently she is a content and travel writer for various publications and is completing her first book of poems based on themes taken from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.

Andy Fitch‘s most recent book is Pop Poetics: Reframing Joe BrainardIn 2013, Ugly Duckling will publish his two collections Sixty Morning Walks and Sixty Morning Talks. For Letter Machine Editions, he currently is assembling The Letter Machine Book of Interviews. Fitch teaches in the University of Wyoming’s MFA program.


Christopher SchmidtChristopher Schmidt is the author of a book of poems, The Next in Line (Slope, 2008) and a chapbook, Thermae (Eoagh, 2012). His poems and essays on poetry have been published in Boston Review, Tin House, Village Voice, Court Green, Bookforum, SubStance, Lambda Literary, and many other venues. He is currently completing a critical study about waste in 20th-century aesthetics and is an assistant professor of English at CUNY-LaGuardia.



Elaine Bleakney is the author of For Another Writing Back (Sidebrow Books, 2014) and 20 Paintings by Laura Owens, (Poor Claudia, 2013).



Avi Davis is based in New York City. He has written about homeless reality TV stars for Vice, organic farming for n+1, and his article on vampire tourism was included in The Best American Travel Writing 2010. A piece on surrealism in Mexico will be coming out soon in The Believer.

Thomas Fink was born in New York City in 1954. He is the author of seven books of poetry, including most recently Peace Conference (Marsh Hawk Press, 2011), Clarity and Other Poems (Marsh Hawk Press, 2008), and a book of collaborative poetry with Maya Diablo Mason, Autopsy Turvy (Meritage Press, 2010). A Different Sense of Power: Problems of Community in Late-Twentieth Century Poetry (FDU Press, 2001) is his most recent book of criticism, and in 2007, he co-edited Burning Interiors: David Shapiro’s Poetry and Poetics (FDU Press). His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2007, and his paintings hang in various collections. Fink is a Professor of English at CUNY-LaGuardia, and lives in New York City.

H. L. Hix, author of First Fire, Then Birds: Obsessionals 1985-2010, loves the interview form as a way of thinking together (itself a condition of democracy, justice, philosophy, and other ideals and practices he values), and as one element in a community poetics.  The interviews in this issue of The Volta will become part of his Alter Nation: America in Recent Poetry, Recent Poetry in America, forthcoming (fall 2012) from Ugly Duckling Presse. A collection of his interviews on The Conversant can be read here.

Jen Hofer‘s recent work can be found at AlligatorzineThe Drunken Boat, and Public Access; in late October she was interviewed by Joshua Marie Wilkinson at The Pleistocene.




image of Cynthia KingCynthia King is assistant professor of creative writing at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She began interviewing poets and writers from South Jersey and the tri-state area (New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey) both amateur and professional on her program The Last Word which aired in fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012 on 91.7 WLFR FM Pomona, NJ and will appear as a podcast on iTunes late this summer.

Virginia Konchan’s poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2011, The New Yorker, the Believer, and Boston Review, among other places. A recipient of grants and fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center, Ox-Bow, and Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, she lives in Chicago, where she is a doctoral student in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Philip Metres has written a number of books, most recently the chapbook, abu ghraib arias (Flying Guillotine 2011), winner of the 2012 Arab American Book Award, and To See the Earth (Cleveland State 2008).  His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including in Best American Poetry, andInclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry. He is the recipient of an NEA, a Watson Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Anne Halley Prize, the Arab American Book Award, and the Cleveland Arts Prize.  He teaches literature and creative writing at John Carroll University in Cleveland.  See and for more information.

image of Michael NardoneMichael Nardone is Poetry Editor for Hobo Magazine, Co-Editor of performance/MACHINE, Managing Editor for Amodern, and Assistant Editor for Jacket2. Recent writings appear in The Coming Envelope, Poetry is Dead, The Enpipe Line, and The Incongruous Quarterly. He lives in Montreal. A collection of his dialogues on The Conversant can be read here.

Nature Theater of Oklahoma is an award-winning New York art and performance group under the direction of Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper. Since Poetics: a ballet brut, our first dance piece created as an ensemble, Nature Theater of Oklahoma has been devoted to making the work we don’t know how to make, putting ourselves in impossible situations, and working from out of our own ignorance and unease. We strive to create an unsettling live situation that demands total presence from everyone in the room. We use the readymade material around us, found space, overheard speech, and observed gesture, and through extreme formal manipulation, and superhuman effort, we affect in our work a shift in the perception of everyday reality that extends beyond the site of performance and into the world in which we live.

Scott Pinkmountain (aka Rosenberg) is a musician and a writer living in Pioneertown, CA. He has released over 20 albums and performed and recorded with such musicians as Anthony Braxton, Sam Coomes (Quasi), Phil Minton, and Arrington Di Dionysus. His writing has appeared (or will appear soon) in Pank, The Rumpus, BOMB!, and other publications.

John Pluecker‘s recent work can be found at Evening Will Come, Lex-ICON and Hear Our Houston; a recent interview by Harbeer Sandhu is posted at Free Press Houston.



Metta SMetta Sáma is author of Nocturne Trio (YesYes Bøøks) and South of Here (New Issues Press, published under her legal name Lydia Melvin). Yes, all of her friends are really this smart. She’s lucky that way. She directs Center for Women Writers and teaches at Salem College, where she directs the Creative Writing Program.


image of Leonard Schwartz

Leonard Schwartz’s “Cross-Cultural Poetics” radio program provides a forum for wide-ranging discussions concerning contemporary poetic, translation, critical, curatorial, publishing and performance projects. In honor of Litmus Press’ forthcoming collection of Schwartz’s interviews with female poets, we will offer an ongoing series of transcribed talks from the CCP archives. Schwartz’s most recent books of poetry are At Element (2011) and the forthcoming IF, both from Talisman House. A collection of his interviews on The Conversant can be read here. (Schwartz photo © Star Black.)

Alex Stein is the author of Weird Emptiness: Essays and Aphorisms (Wings Press) and Made-Up Interviews with Imaginary Artists (Ugly Duckling Presse). His new book, The Artist as Mystic: Conversations with Yahia Lababidi will be out in August from Onesuch Press.

Drew Scott Swenhaugen is the co-creator of Poor Claudia and the Bad Blood Reading Series in Portland, Ore. He occasionally designs books for Octopus Books and Rogue Factorial.



photo of Ronaldo WilsonRonaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry in 2010. Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also a Visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry, Fiction and Literature in the Literature Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz. His latest book, Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other, is forthcoming from Counterpath Press in 2012.

Jeffrey J. Williams writes about contemporary fiction, the history of criticism, and the fate of higher education in magazines such as the Review of the Chronicle of Higher Education and Dissent as well as in academic journals. His books include Theory and the Novel: Narrative Reflexivity in the British Tradition (Cambridge, 1998) and the edited collections PC Wars: Politics and Theory in the Academy (Routledge, 1995), The Institution of Literature (SUNY, 2001), Critics at Work: Interviews 1993-2003 (NYU P, 2004), and The Critical Pulse: Thirty-six Credos by Contemporary Critics (co-ed., Columbia UP, 2012). He is also one of the editors of The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (2001; 2nd ed. 2010) and was editor of the literary and critical journal the minnesota review from 1992 to 2010. He is currently Professor of English and of Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University.