Aaron Sanchez is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author, and philanthropist. He is the costar of the hit series MasterChef and MasterChef Jr. and has starred and guest-starred on many television series on Food Network and Cooking Channel. As he tells it in his memoir Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef (Abrams Press) before rose to fame on shows like MasterChef and Chopped, Chef Aaron Sanchez was a restless Mexican-American son, raised by her mother, Zarela, a fiercely determined and talented woman who was a successful chef and restaurateur in her own right. In fact, she is credited with bringing Mexican cuisine to the New York City dining scene. Sanchez, who lost his father at a young age, was destined to follow in his mother’s footsteps. He spent nights as a child in his family’s dining room surrounded by some of the most influential chefs and restaurateurs in New York. At 16, needing direction, he was sent by his mother to work for renowned chef Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans. Where I Come From, is a highly personal account of a fatherless Latino kid whose talent and passion took him to the top of his profession. Chef Emeril Lagasse called Where I Come From “more than a memoir, it is a true testament to Aaron’s passion, infectious energy, and humility. […] As Aaron shares his life experiences, he demonstrates a deep commitment to craft, culture, family, and personal growth that is truly inspiring. This captivating book reminds us that food is dynamic, a form of cultural currency only truly appreciated when shared."
Sean Sexton was born in Indian River County and grew up on his family's Treasure Hammock Ranch. He divides his time between taking care of a 700-acre cow-calf operation, painting, and writing. He is married to artist, Sharon Sexton, and they live on the ranch in a house they built on the ranch. Sexton has kept daily journal-sketch and writing books since 1973. He is author of Blood Writing, Poems, (2010); The Empty Tomb (2014), and Descent (2018). He has performed and presented at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, The Miami Book Fair International, O' Miami, and Other Words Arts Literary Conference in Tampa, FL. “This is my second volume of poetry,” Sexton said about May Darkness Restore (Press53), “written in late middle age, drawn upon my life and experience as an artist, writer, and cattleman. … I have been involved in Florida's cattle industry since I was a child […] on land we’ve held for 76 years. The poetry embraces mortality and the cycles of life, connections to family, the elements, vagaries of the muse, balance of manual labor and artistic realization and the ongoing wonder and difficulty of leading a pastoral life in the new millennium.”
Abel Sierra Madero is an award-winning Cuban author and scholar. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Havana (2009) and a PhD in Literature from New York University (NYU). Over the last ten years, he has been known for his work on History of Sexuality. Sierra Madero has been awarded the prize Casa de las Américas for the book “Del otro lado del espejo. La sexualidad en la construcción de la nación cubana” (2006).
Has received various awards and fellowships, includingThe Martin Duberman (CLAGS, CUNY); Research Fellowship, International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS)/Ford Foundation; ERASMUS (European Community); Research Fellowship “Sexualities, Masculinities and Modernities”,Ford Foundation/South-South Exchange Program for Research on the History of Development (SEPHIS); and “Catauro Cubano”, Cuban Book Institute Award for his contribution to the Social Sciences in Cuba.
Emily Skaja grew up in rural Illinois. She is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at Purdue University. Her poems have been published in Best New Poets, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, FIELD, and Gulf Coast. She is the author of Brute (GrayWolf Press). a fiery, hypnotic book that confronts the dark questions and menacing silences around gender, sexuality, and violence. Brute arises, brave and furious, from the dissolution of a relationship, showing how such endings necessitate self-discovery and reinvention. The speaker of these poems is a sorceress, a bride, a warrior, a lover, both object and agent, ricocheting among ways of knowing and being known. Each incarnation squares itself up against ideas of feminine virtue and sin, strength and vulnerability, love and rage as it closes in on a hard-won freedom. Brute is a timely winner of the Walt Whitman Award, and an introduction to an unforgettable voice.
Stephanie Strickland was born in Detroit. She earned a BA at Harvard University, an MFA at Sarah Lawrence College, and an MS at Pratt Institute. She is the author of numerous poetry books, including Dragon Logic (2013), Zone : Zero (2008), True North (1997), and Give the Body Back (1991). She edited What’s Become of Eden: Poems of Family at Century’s End (1994) and coedited, with Anneliese Wagner, River Poems (1992). Strickland’s poetry was included in Best American Poetry 2013, edited by Denise Duhamel. To the question posed, to Job, as obviously unanswerable--have you seen to the edge of the universe?-- Strickland's poems answer, we can, we have. Strickland probes the shape-shifting (reformatted) body and tests our changing (reconfigured) capability of caring for others as she expresses grief for historic, mystic, and mythic women; for women who burn, in space, at the stake, and as they sweep; for her mother and only daughter. Job is asked, Where is the road to light? In these poems collected in How the Universe is Made: New and Selected Poems 1985-2019 (Ahsahta Press) gathered from a lifetime of writing open to history, to code, to mathematics and matter as these translate each other, an abundance of pointers: no road that is not a road to light.