LAURA MAYLENE WALTER
Laura Maylene Walter is a writer and editor in Cleveland. Her debut novel, BODY OF STARS, is forthcoming from Dutton (Penguin). Her writing has appeared in Poets & Writers, The Sun, Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She was a Yaddo Fellow, a Tin House Writers’ Workshop Scholar, and the recipient of the Ohioana Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant. Her debut story collection, Living Arrangements (BkMk Press), won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize. Laura teaches workshops for Literary Cleveland, blogs for the Kenyon Review, and works for Cleveland Public Library. She is no stranger to rejection.
Writing Laura admires:
I am equally enamored with the contemplative realism of Tessa Hadley or Alice Munro as I am compelled by the magic of Carmen Maria Machado or Lesley Nneka Arimah. Lucy Corin’s apocalypses, Brenda Peynado’s “Yaiza,” and Wendy Oleson’s “How I Liked the Avocados” are just a few examples of short fiction that catches my eye. For nonfiction, I’m drawn to a gorgeous essay like Jaquira Diaz’s “Beach City,” but I also love work that blends the personal with research, like “On Not Eating the Marshmallow” by Helen Betya Rubinstein or just about anything by Roxane Gay. I welcome writing that takes risks, whether in terms of structure, content, or language.
Ali Black is a writer and youth advocate from Cleveland, Ohio. She directs Sisterhood, a literacy based after-school and summer program for girls at West Side Community House. Ali is a current graduate student for poetry at the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program and she is the poetry editor for Gordon Square Review. She is the recipient of the 2016 Academy of American Poets University & College Poetry Prize for her poem “Kinsman.” Her work has appeared in A Race Anthology: Dispatches and Artifacts From a Segregated City, december, The Rumpus, and jubilat.
Writing Ali admires:
I admire poetry that is clear and meaningful and rich with imagery. My favorite poets use imagery to intensify language and ground the reader in the scene. I’m also attracted to poems that are structurally interesting in terms of how they appear on the page. I respect poets who know the rules, but also break the rules and I believe poems should always have clean lines, unblinking honesty and energy. A few poems I admire include: From “summer, somewhere” by Danez Smith; “Bullet Points” by Jericho Brown; “Spring” by Chloe Honum; and “The Shoots” by Shane McCrae.
Nardine Taleb is an Egyptian-American writer and speech therapist. She has performed her prose and poetry at Philadelphia’s Writers’ Conference, has received multiple writerships, has work forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal, and is a current Brooklyn Poets fellow. Her passion is mentoring others in writing and helping them share their work with the world. She is a Cleveland native and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon: the people and the coffee are too great.
Writing Nardine admires :
I admire prose that is raw and honest, with insightful moments and surprises. My favorite writers include Junot Diaz, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, and Ocean Vuong – writers whose prose has beautiful language and reflects unique human experiences. I also love writers who can play with fiction beyond our wild imagination, often borderline strange (Haruki Murakami, Gabriel García Márquez, and Isabel Allende). On the other hand, writers who are able to take human experiences - like love, loss, and coming-of-age stories – and make it their own also draw me. Work I admire in past GSR issues include “The Apocalypse in Stages or Your First Kiss” by Miranda Williams and “Thirty” by Amy Stuber. Above all, I love writing that is true.