Van G. Garrett is the winner of the 2017 Best Book of African American Poetry for his book, 49: Wings and Prayers, as announced by the Texas Association of Authors. Garrett is a poet and fiction writer. He is the author of Songs in Blue Negritude (poetry), ZURI: Selected Love Songs (poetry), The Iron Legs in the Trees (fiction), LENNOX IN TWELVE (poetry), and HOG (poetry). Additionally, Van's poetry and art have been featured and exhibited around the world.
Ran Walker is the author of seventeen books. He has written novels, novellas, short stories, flash fiction, microfiction, and poetry. His short stories, flash fiction, microfiction, and poetry have appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals. Prior to becoming a writer and educator, he worked in magazine publishing and practiced law in Mississippi. He is the winner of the 2019 National Indie Author of the Year Award (selected by judges from Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, IngramSpark, St. Martin's Press, and Writer's Digest), the 2019 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Best Fiction Ebook Award, and the 2018 Virginia Indie Author Project Award for Adult Fiction. He is also the recipient of both a 2005 Mississippi Arts Commission/NEA artist grant and a 2006 artist mini-grant. He served as an Artist-in-Residence with the Mississippi Arts Commission in 2006. Additionally, he is a past participant in the Hurston-Wright Writers Week Workshop and is the recipient of a fellowship from the Callaloo Writers Workshop. His novel Mojo's Guitar was translated by renowned French translator Philippe Loubat-Delranc and published in April 2015 by Éditions Autrement as Il était une fois Morris Jones. The novel was recently republished in May of 2019 as a part of Éditions Autrement's "Les Grands Romans" collection. His first collection of poetry, Most of My Heroes Don't Appear On No Stamps: Kwansabas, will be published in August of 2019 by The University of Hell Press, based out of Portland, Oregon. Ran is a graduate of Morehouse College (BA in English), Pace University (MS in Publishing), and George Washington University Law School (JD). He also has a Certificate in Publishing from New York University and has done graduate work in English at Mississippi State University. Ran is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Hampton University and lives in Virginia with his wife and much better half, Lauren, and his amazing little rockstar daughter, Zoë.