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Christie A. Cruise, Ph.D., is an author, educator, and social justice advocate. In 2019 she released her first book, It Don’t Hurt Now: My Journey of Self-Love & Self-Acceptance. Her poetry, reflections, and self-portrait photography has been published in Gumbo Magazine, Remington Review, Gallery & Studio Arts Journal, Sunspot Literary Journal, the International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG) anthology Heels Into the Soil, and the IWWG Network edition Our Stories, Ourselves: Narratives from Black Women in Africa and America. Dr. Cruise has contributed to blogs for the Black Mental Wellness Corporation and The Healing Collective Global. She has served as a volunteer for St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Raising St. Louis Program and Girls Incorporated of St. Louis, a mentor with the Reach & Rise Program of the Gateway Region YMCA, an advisory board member for Nia Kuumba African and African American Women’s Spirituality Center, and treasurer for the Young Ambassadors of the YWCA of Metro St. Louis. Dr. Cruise is currently a board member for the International Women’s Writing Guild.
Viet Dinh was born in Vietnam and grew up in Colorado. He attended Johns Hopkins University and the University of Houston and currently teaches at the University of Delaware. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Delaware Division of the Arts, as well as two O. Henry Prizes and the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction from Ploughshares. His stories have appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Witness, Fence, Five Points, Chicago Review, Threepenny Review, and Best American Non-Required Reading 2017. His debut novel, After Disasters, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize, was released in 2016.