Here's a short blurb from Mike on how he discovered his featured authors:
"Sometimes you sleep in kitchens on purpose. Other times it's just sort of a spiritual thing. Even if Cincinnati chili is kind of gross, I always think it makes sense to eat the thing named after the place. Yesterday I stopped a while at the foot of the Paul Bunyan statue and thought about its scratches. Like if we were that big, we'd all show that kind of weather.
I feel really lucky that I used to live in Western Massachusetts, where so many talented writers, artists, and musicians are very cold for six months. These ranks have included Rachael Katz, whose work I first discovered when she read poems out loud next to a mannequin. Her work finds the canniest busted trumpet in the thrift store and blows all the soul notes through it.
Ella Longpre is also someone I met in Western Mass, whose work first spelled me when she sat and sang quietly on a fire escape. Ever since it's hard not to imagine every trenchant line she writes floating away like some kind of balloon/cigarette ash combo, going upward toward the biggest fire it can find.
When it gets really cold in Western Massachusetts, you stay inside and work on adding CSS3 translucent background images to your online literary journal. This is how I discovered the work of Nalini Edwin, who submitted some amazing I-don't-know-whats to NOÖ way back in 2013, one of which featured literary culture's best alley-oop of Doritos I've ever read.
Finally, sometimes Western Mass gets so ridiculously cold you just have to gallop west. If your road is the right shade of pure blue, you might end up in Omaha, NE, which is where Gene Kwak lives, writing fiction of gut music and Starburst teeth, buffalo nickels and elbows off the top rope.
These four are a bundle of candied spikes, doing their thing via sentence, line break, translation, essayage, all of it. I can't wait to see what they roll."