Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several intense mammals. Recent books include a creative nonfiction chapbook, Ribald (Bull City Press Inch Series, Nov. 2020) and Dor, which won the Wandering Aengus Press Prize (September, 2021). Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Books Prize (April 2018). Alina's poems, essays, and fiction can be found in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, World Literature Today, Pleiades, Poetry, BOMB, Crab Creek Review, and others. She serves as poetry editor for several journals, reviewer and critic for others, and Co-Director of PEN America's Birmingham Chapter. She is currently working on a novel-like creature. More online at www.alinastefanescuwriter.com.
Adriana Oniță is a Romanian Canadian poet, artist, educator and researcher. She is the editorial director of the Griffin Poetry Prize and the founding editor of The Polyglot, a multilingual magazine of poetry and art. She writes poezii în limba română, English, español, français and italiano and was recently shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize with her bilingual (Romanian/English) poems. Adriana holds a PhD in language education from the University of Alberta and divides her time between Edmonton and Italy.
Cristiana Grigore is a writer, research scholar and the founder of the Roma Peoples Project at Columbia University, an initiative that spotlights Roma peoples and expands Roma studies by examining topics such as identity and stigma, mobility and displacement. Herself a Roma—a member of Europe's largest minority with approximately one million Roma living in the US— she has firsthand experience with internalized stigma and concealing one's ethnicity.
Upon arriving in the United States in 2006, Cristiana found a more conducive environment in which to express her Roma identity. She is writing a book that explores how her immersion in American culture enabled her to grapple more fully with her Roma/Gypsy ethnicity. Her writing was published by the New York Times and she writes periodic op-eds for Newsweek and other media channels. Her work has been featured by Vogue, CNN, Al Jazeera America, PRI, and Voice of America, among other outlets.
A Fulbright Scholar from Romania, Cristiana graduated from Vanderbilt University with an MA in International Education Policy and Management in December 2012. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Bucharest in 2007. Most recently she is part of an advisory group for the National Gallery of Art on a topic related to Roma in the Arts.
Andrew Davidson-Novosivschei (b. 1987) is a teacher, poet, and translator from Arizona, currently based in Bucharest. His Romanian-language poems have appeared in Poesis International, Tribuna, Poetic Stand, and others. His English-language poems have most recently appeared in Apricity Press, and his poem “the taste of freedom” was nominated for the 2021 Pushcart Prize. He has been invited to read his poems at festivals such as Poezia e la Bistrița, 2021, Bucharest International Poetry Festival (FIPB), Iași International Festival of Literature and Translation (FILIT), and reading groups such as Republica and the Blecher Institute. His translations have appeared in Asymptote Journal, Trafika Europe, and others, and have been awarded grants from the Romanian Cultural Institute and FILIT.
Otilia Baraboi, Ph.D.
Before coming to Seattle in 2000 from Romania, Otilia worked as a literary journalist and published short-fiction, translations and articles. She holds university degrees in French and English literatures from Romania, Switzerland, and the US. She has a Ph.D. on the politics of translation from the University of Washington, where she taught French language and literature for 17 years, and where she is currently co-teaching a course on Romanian literature and film. In 2013, she co-founded ARCS and was President of the Board for five years before becoming ARCS’ first Executive Director. For Otilia, ARCS has been a wonderful opportunity to remain connected with the vibrant culture of her birthplace, while contributing to the artistic and cultural vitality of the Pacific Northwest. As part of her work, Otilia has been managing the Romanian Film Festival in Seattle and ARCS community-based school for Romanian heritage students, as well as more than 300 cultural and educational events over the past 9 years. Her priorities are to create sustainable, community-building programs and partnerships, as well as develop ARCS' brand identity in accordance with its mission and values. Most of all, Otilia hopes that her work will have a direct, long-lasting impact on the ways in which future generations will define, celebrate and pass on their heritage. Otilia is also the President of the Ethnic Heritage Council of the Pacific Northwest and a board member of Romanian United Fund.