Edgar Arceneaux
Born in 1972, Los Angeles-based artist Edgar Arceneaux received a BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. In addition he’s participated in artist in residencies at Art Pace in San Antonio, TX, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, Project Row Houses in Houston and at the Fachhochschule Aachen in Germany. He’s had solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Kitchen, NY, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York. His work has been included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and California Biannual 2008. Arceneaux’s work resides in public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker Art Center, Hammer Museum and the Carnegie Museum. Since 1999 Arceneaux has been the Director of the Watts House Project, an ongoing collaborative artwork in the shape of a neighborhood redevelopment, centered around the historic Watts Towers. Edgar cares about the relationship between the art and the social space and has committed his professional life to its exploration. For more information, visit and

Caitlin Cowan
Born and raised in Michigan, Caitlin took her bachelor's degree from The University of Michigan, where she won an Avery Hopwood Award for her poetry manuscript, "The Taste of Tomatoes." Her poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in The L Magazine, Crate, The Offbeat, The Claremont Review, Kaleidoscope, and The Michigan Daily. She has also written for Spin magazine and the Metro Times. She is currently finishing her MFA in Poetry at The New School in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn.

Jealousy is a slippery fish, so much unlike the green-eyed monster of which Shakespeare wrote. It does not rage and bellow like a beast: it is a far more insidious creature, burrowing deep into relationships and paradigms and making a nest there. The seeds of jealousy are tiny, deadly parasites. What I came to realize is that jealousy, for me, was and is often a hallmark of a nagging desire to change something, to get more out of life. In that way, I've learned to twist something destructive into something that is instead, creative.

Susan Daitch
Susan Daitch is the author of two novels, L.C. (Lannan Foundation Selection and NEA Heritage Award), The Colorist, and a collection of short stories, Storytown. A third novel, The Dreyfus Book, will be published by City Lights in 2010. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Bomb, Ploughshares, failbetter, Tinhouse,
McSweeney’s, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction. Her work was featured in The Review of Contemporary Fiction along with William Vollman and David Foster Wallace. She can be found at

I asked my son what he thought my faults were, and he asked how much time he had to respond.

In other words, no amount of time would be adequate to answer the question. I suspect my mother would say the same thing.

David Giantasio
Dave Gianatasio's two story collections are MIND GAMES (Word Riot '08) and SWIFT KICKS (So New '06). MLP's chapbook series will release BEHIND THE LINES in the spring.

I have no faults -- and believing that is probably my biggest fault.

Vaughn A. Hart
Vaughn A. Hart is a graduate of Columbia University's School of General Studies, with a B.A. in literature and writing. He is a poet in training who hopes to start a MFA for Poetry program in fall 2010. Presently he is an IT project manager in the NYC area who owns a small IT consulting business.

I think the greatest human weakness is love of self. It's natural to us, our own self-preservation. We love who we are and want to take care of ourselves more. But push this in any one direction, and our self-love becomes tragic. Think of the man who loves his own honor; when pushed he will defend it. When pushed to the "n" limit (whatever n is for him), he will defend it to the death, even that of another. Think of love of status; one need look no further than their neighbor (in jealousy). Think of love of pleasure... do I need to quote a social example. But no matter how much we know the perils of self-loves, we are still bound by that need for it. Who does not want his name in lights, loved and honored for all to see? I too am guilty.

David Huddle
David Huddle is the author of Only the Little Bone, The Story of a Million Years, La Tour Dreams of the Wolf Girl, The Writing Habit, and other books of poetry, fiction, and essays. Recently retired from the University of Vermont, he is currently Visiting Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University.

If you'd asked for my dozen biggest faults, that would be easier. What's my biggest? This morning, I think it might be abandoning pieces of writing too soon. I have hundreds of partially realized stories, poems, and essays, and more than a few novels buried down in the computers I've had over the years, and sometimes I hear them murmuring, moaning, and saying awful things about me. "He just left us here!" they say.

Christopher Kardambikis
Christopher Kardambikis received a BFA in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005. Since graduating, he has acted as the co-director of Pittsburgh-based Encyclopedia Destructica, a self-published and hand-made book operation that presents new and unfinished work from artists and writers. He has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Millay Colony, and the Pittsburgh Center of the Arts. Kardambikis is currently producing drawings, paintings, and artist books while pursuing his MFA at the University of California, San Diego.

Jack Kaulfus
Jack Kaulfus lives and teaches in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared in Barrelhouse, Stickman Review, and I Am This Meat. Her story "Troglodytes" was named among the 100 notable stories of 2006 by StorySouth. Jack has recently received an MFA from Texas State University, and is currently at work on a story cycle.

Once, I had a great job that involved opening the mail at a small, family owned and operated diamond wholesaler. Opening the mail was no small affair, as the mail often contained loose diamonds we had loaned to retailers "on memo." I spent my mornings opening and sorting the contents, and then I spent my afternoons making sure what had come back to us was the same sort of thing we'd sent out. In this manner, I learned to class the cut, color, carat and clarity of just about every kind of diamond. I also learned it's a very big deal to be the one who accidentally throws away what looks to be junk mail.

Shireen Madon
Shireen Madon is from Hunterdon County, NJ, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she is completing an MFA in poetry at Columbia University. She received an award from the Academy of American Poets and has poems forthcoming in Western Humanities Review.

I just don’t seem to be able to grow herbs in New York apartments. I’ve tried thyme, dill, chives, lavender, and mint in North, South, and East facing windows. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t water them enough, that I overwater them, that they don’t get enough direct light, or that they simply need fresh outdoor air. Do I suffocate them with attention? Do I neglect their cries for help? What I once envisioned as my “herb window” is now home to several not-so-culinary species of succulents and cacti. I should learn how to harvest aloe.

Nevin Martell
Nevin Martell is the author of the critically acclaimed small press smash Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip (Continuum, 2009), as well as Standing Small: A Celebration of 30 Years of the LEGO Minifigure (DK, 2009), Dave Matthews Band: Music for the People (Pocket, 2004) and Beck: The Art of Mutation (Pocket, 2001). He is a contributing editor at Filter magazine and his music journalism has appeared in Paste, Giant, Men’s Health, High Times, and Flaunt, as well as online at Currently, he lives with his wife outside Washington, DC, where he develops documentaries and non-fiction television. He loves travel, baking, collecting oddities, film and music.

There are so many instances of me being stupid and paying the consequences. Here's one of them:

My senior year of high school, I thought it would be great fun to have some friends over, raid the liquor cabinet and shoot fireworks off my roof. The first two parts of my plan were executed flawlessly. A few friends came by after all our crappy summer jobs and we proceeded to polish off half a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream that I knew my father would never miss. I diligently moved on to phase three of the plan with the help of few roman candles and bottle rockets. There were explosions, smoke and color flames galore and much cheering erupted from the back yard below. When I came back down -- aglow with the glorious cocktail of youth, cream-based liquors and bravado -- I stopped for a moment in the small stand of trees that separated our yard from the neighbors. Feeling the need to quickly relieve myself before returning in triumph to my guests, I unzipped and was in the middle of urinating, when suddenly a bright light blinded me with a painful suddenness.

"Jesus Christ," I exclaimed, one hand shielding my eyes, the other trying to shield my penis, which reflexively still wanted to pee in my hand.

"It ain't Jesus, son," replied a voice from behind the glare. "It's your local police."

You could hear my jaw go crashing into the underbrush below.

"How 'bout you finish up and zip up."

It was a moment of pure humiliation; I was busted on so many levels. As they marched me back to the party, I looked like I wanted to throw myself in front of a car in embarrassment. The cops sent everyone home, but since the group included by the principal's son and the daughter of a local sheriff, they let us all off with a warning. But they confiscated all my fireworks and cleaned out my father's liquor cabinet, so I couldn't get into it again. This tipped my parents off to my indiscretion, so I was promptly grounded for a month. It was a long month, but the whole episode taught me a valuable lesson that I heed every day of my life: Never forget how fleeting being cool can be. One minute you're a lightening-wielding god of your world, the next you're trying to not pee in your hand.

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz
Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz is the author of five books of poetry, including Everything is Everything (Write Bloody Publishing), which was released in January 2010. She is also the author of the non-fiction book, Words In Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam (Soft Skull Press), which The Washington Post named as one of the top three books for Exploring Poetry in 2009. When not on tour, she can be found loitering at New York City's Bowery Poetry Club, where she helps run the Tuesday night slam series, NYC-Urbana, and dates the surly barkeep, poet Shappy Seasholtz. For more information (including upcoming tour dates), please see her website:

Judgment and apathy, to me, are on opposite ends of the human fault scale. It's easy to write a person off in either direction: a monster who deserves no sympathy, or a seemingly free-will-deprived person who just is who s/he is, so you should just accept it. In my actions and thoughts, I strive to find a middle ground, to hold a person accountable enough that they still remain human -- a person capable of receiving both deserved consequences and hopefully earned forgiveness. Poetry can be good way to expore in which ways your scale may be tipping... and whether or not any correction is needed.

Swetha Regunathan
Swetha Regunathan received her B.A. from Columbia University and is now pursuing graduate study at Brown. The recipient of a 2009 Pushcart Prize nomination, she has had work featured in Guernica, OpenDemocracy, The Jackson Free Press, and Quarto. She currently splits her reading, writing, and living between Providence and New York.

Safiya Sinclair
Safiya Sinclair is a senior concentrating in literature at Bennington College, where she twice received the Rosalie Gittings Drexel ’47 Scholarship for outstanding achievement in poetry. She has previously published work in the Caribbean publications The Jamaica Observer Literary Arts Magazine, Bearing Witness 2003: A Collection of the Year's Best Fiction and Poetry, and the international anthology Kunapipi: A Journal of Post-Colonial Literature. She is currently working on her senior thesis, Sehnsucht, St. James, a collection of poetry and prose.

Lytton Smith
Lytton Smith's first collection of poems, The All-Purpose Magical Tent, was awarded the Nightboat Poetry Prize by Terrance Hayes and was published by Nightboat Books in March, 2009. A chapbook, Monster Theory, was selected by Kevin Young for a New York Chapbook Fellowship and published by the Poetry Society of America (2008). He is currently translating Bragi Olafsson’'s novel Sendiherrann (The Ambassador) from the Icelandic for Open Letter Books (forthcoming Fall 2010) as well as writing a play, SINK! in collaboration with PL115.

Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson is the author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth (Ecco/Harper Perennial, 2009). His fiction has appeared in Lamination Colony, Juked, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Collagist, and elsewhere.

A stupid thing I did was taking money for a book I had not yet written. When the book I was writing died on me, I thought about driving my car off the mountain pretty much every single day. I then wrote a better, weirder book in such a short amount of time that I know it was the terror of someone trying to take that money back, money I'd already spent on Batman statues and figurines, that got me to work so quickly.

Franz Wright
Franz Wright’s collections of poetry include Wheeling Motel (Knopf, 2009); Earlier Poems (Knopf, 2009); Walking to Martha's Vineyard (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003), which won the Pulitzer Prize; The Beforelife (2001), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Ill Lit: New and Selected Poems (1998); Rorschach Test (1995); The Night World and the Word Night (1993); and Midnight Postscript (1993). "The Scar's Birthday Party" is forthcoming as part of a short collection of prose poems entitled 7 PROSE (Marick Press) and “The Color of its Eyes” and “Don’t Ask Me” will appear in a full-length collection by Knopf (2011). Readings from Wheeling Motel, a CD featuring readings from Wright's latest collection and music by Michael Rozon and Daniel Ahearn, is available for download on iTunes and Amazon. Wright has received the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, as well as grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently the Jacob Ziskind Visiting Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University.