Central and Eastern European writers occupy a unique position, a kind of duality, in that they are both the inheritors of a brutal legacy of the horrors inflicted on them by two odious and destructive political “isms” of the 20th Century, namely Nazism and Soviet Communism. This is their special baggage. Yes, they are informed by that special historical experience; however, they have since been able to create writing that is at once universal while remaining grounded in their own post-communist realities. They have, thus, been able to forge some truly unique, expressive and nuanced literary voices that deserve to be heard and savored.
Ileana Florian (Voichita Nachescu’s pen name) grew up in a small town in western Romania and came of age during the Romanian Revolution that unseated a dictator and brought an end to socialism in her country. She attended graduate school in the United States as an international student and completed a doctorate in women’s studies at the University at Buffalo. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Entropy Magazine, Atticus Review, PANK, and elsewhere. She has been featured at and hosted Trumpet Fiction, one of the longest-running New York reading series. A Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference participant, she lives and works in New Jersey, where she is Teaching Instructor in the Women's and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers University. She is the essays editor of ducts.org and is currently at work on a full-length collection, Memoirs of a Socialist Childhood.
Maxim Matusevich is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia. He is presently a Professor of History at Seton Hall University where he also directs the Russian and East European Studies Program. Maxim has published extensively in his fields of expertise (African, Cold War, and Soviet history) but only recently began to write fiction. His short story “Arthur or Night on Earth” appeared in the Kenyon Review Online (July-August 2017) and his novella “The Road to Battambang” was published in the Winter 2017-18 issue of New England Review. He is presently at work on a collection of short stories and novellas.
Maia McPherson is a life-long resident of Boston, MA. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado where she studied cultural anthropology and the Bread Loaf School of English, where she earned a Master’s of Art in English. Maia writes, paints, and draws as a daily practice and is beginning to explore ways in which to combine her creative work into larger pieces of art. With her partner, Stevie, Maia co-founded a writing group called the Workshop which published a poetry chapbook in 2017. Maia writes within the themes of dislocation, sensory immersion, the limits and continuation of culture through generations and geographic change, the power of human relationships, and the spaces we make for ourselves. Her poem, “The Woods Eat War and Forget It,” was recently published in the New Mexico Mercury. Currently, Maia teaches kindergarten at an independent school and is deeply committed to fostering the human expression of children (and the adults who care for them).
Marek Kulig was born in Mielec, Poland, raised mostly on the Jersey Shore, and came to in Dartmouth, MA, where he once taught high school English, and now teaches 7th grade Social Studies and English Language Arts. He contributes to a local food magazine called Edible South Shore & South Coast. Marek has an MA in English Literature, and he recently attended the Cuttyhunk Island Writers’ Residency and participated in the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He’s writing poetry, fiction.