Michal (Mitak) Mahgerefteh is an Israeli-American poet and artist living in (Norfolk - Alexandria) Virginia. Michal studied psychology, creative writing, and theater at Tel Aviv University. After Her graduation in 1985, she married and relocated to the U.S. Michal's poetry has been published in many literary magazines; she was a Featured Poet by The Poet Magazine (England), Medical Literary Messenger (Virginia Commonwealth University), Mindful Magazine (England), Soul-Lit: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry, Medicine and Meaning Magazine (University of Arkansas Medical Press), Global Voices Group Newsletter (Israel), The Jewish Writing Project, ARC Magazine (Israel), among others. She is the author of five poetry chapbooks, more recent is The Rising Song (2022). The forthcoming new collection, FishMoon, will be released in May 2023. Michal is an active member of Women Who Write and Submit, The Poetry Society of Virginia, and The Muse Writers Center. In her free time, Michal enjoys bike riding, hiking, visiting botanical gardens, cooking for her family, world travel, and making art with recycled material. Visit her art and poetry: www.Mitak-Art.com
Sofia M. Starnes, Virginia Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014, is the author of six poetry collections, most recently The Consequence of Moonlight (Paraclete Press, 2018). She is the recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, among other commendations, including the Rainer Maria Rilke Poetry Prize, the Aldrich Poetry Prize, the Transcontinental Poetry Book Award (Editor’s Choice), the Marlboro Review Poetry Prize, the Whitebird Poetry Series Prize, five Pushcart Prize nominations, and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Union College, Kentucky. Sofia’s poetry has appeared in such journals as Poetry, First Things, The Bellevue Literary Review, Notre Dame Review, William & Mary Review, Southern Poetry Review, Laurel Review, Gulf Coast, and Modern Age, as well as various anthologies, including the Best of the Decade Edition of the Hawai’i Pacific Review. Her translations of essays on the Philippine-Spanish artist Fernando Zóbel have been issued by Galería Cayón in Madrid, Spain, and the Ayala Foundation, Manila, Philippines. In 2018, she was engaged to translate a book on Spain’s role in the American Revolution, which was subsequently published by Iberdrola. Sofia lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, with her husband, Bill, Gottwald Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at William and Mary and jazz pianist. More information on her work may be found at www.sofiamstarnes.com.