Sadagat Aliyeva was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, during the Soviet Era of Stagnation. She was drawn to arts, poetry, and spirituality as a child. Her desire of freedom eventually brought her to Des Moines, Iowa. Her fictional folktale-like stories tell of the magic and beauty in human nature.
Jesus “Chuy” Renteria is an artist, writer, dancer, and storyteller. Raised in West Liberty, both sides of his family are from border towns in Mexico that transplanted to meat packing towns in the Midwest. Chuytells stories celebrating the spaces between cultures, of mangled Spanglish and generational clashes, of the messiness of people finding themselves.
Melissa Palma is the daughter of Filipino immigrants and grew up in a multigenerational household with her grandparents, parents, and little sister, in Waterloo, Iowa. Today she’s a UI medical school
graduate dedicating her life to helping others. Her stories tell tales of a life centered in Ang pamilya, the Tagalog word for family.