Laura Villareal

twitter: @earthandstars

She lives in a tiny town in Texas with more cows than people and teaches English at an all-girls high school in San Antonio. In her free time, she’s usually spiraling down an internet rabbit hole related to travel, astronomy, memes, or her latest obsession. Aside from poetry, she enjoys reading YA and essay collections. Her work often incorporates elements of magical realism. She is a graduate of Rutgers University-Newark’s MFA program and is working on her first poetry collection. This summer she will be attending VONA for the first time.
Selected works: “Three Poems”, “Sardine Spine”

Website: www.lauravillareal.com


 Gabriel Ojeda-Sague

 

 

He is a Latino, gay Leo living in Philadelphia, PA, originally from Miami, FL. He writes on Jazzercise, Cher, self-help, video games, Santería, bilingualism, gay sex manuals, Ricky Ricardo, Richard Simmons, Charo, ASMR, horoscopes, famous homophobes, drag, Ted Cruz, Miami sinking, etc. Born to Cuban exiles and Puerto Ricans, he focuses heavily on approaches to the Caribbean diaspora and exile. Other than his writing, he takes selfies in drag, drowns in video games, lives with his boyfriend, and hosts RuPaul’s Drag Race viewings. His first collection, Oil and Candle (March 2016, Timeless, Infinite Light), is a set of writings on Santería, war, and the precarity of Latino-American lives. He is also the author of 4 chapbooks, most recently Where Everything is in Halves (Be About It, 2015), poems against death through The Legend of Zelda, and Yo’ Quiere Decir Sunburn (2016), poems of anxious bilingualism. His second full-length book Jazzercise is a Language is forthcoming from The Operating System in 2018.

Selected Works: Excerpt“Dream #6: Isaac”Where Everything is in Halves

Website: ojedasague.com

Facebook: gabriel.ojedasague 


 Jay Deshpande

twitter: @jdeshpan

He is the author of Love the Stranger (YesYes Books), named one of the top debuts of 2015 by Poets & Writers. He has received fellowships or support from Kundiman, Civitella Ranieri, Vermont Studio Center, Saltonstall Arts Colony, and the Key West Literary Seminar, where was selected by Billy Collins for the Scotti Merrill Memorial Award. He writes about literature, popular culture, and the arts. He teaches at Columbia University and Rutgers University. Born in Austin, Texas, he now lives in Brooklyn.

Selected Works: “Actually Very Simple”“Kindest”“Distraction”“Amor Fati”

Website: www.jaydeshpande.com