NAZBF Board

Board Members:

ERIK BITSUI, a Navajo from Blue Gap, Arizona, has an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Hostiin Bitsui lives with wife and two daughters in East Flagstaff, where he is DJ for a weekly heavy metal radio show on KSZN 101.5 FM. 

MARGARITA CRUZ is an MFA candidate for Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University. She serves on the Northern Arizona Book Festival board, current editor-in-chief for Thin Air Magazine and columnist for Flagstaff Live! Her work has been featured in The Tunnels, Curios, and Susquehanna Review. She is Marketing Manager at Bright Side Bookshop.

JAMES JAY has worked as a bartender, a wildland firefighter, bookseller, surveyor, and furniture mover. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona where he has taught poetry at the jail, the public schools, and the university. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. He received an MFA from The University of Montana and an MA in Literature from Northern Arizona University. Currently, he is a writer for FlagLive, writing the Bartender Wisdom bi-monthly column; the Executive Director of the Northern Arizona Book Festival. He owns a bar, Uptown Pubhouse, with his wife, the musician Alyson Jay, and they have two sons, Wilson and Henry. They have three dogs of varying mutt types (pit mix, boxer mix, a coyote mix from parts unknown), who all think they’re very fast. Recently, he was awarded the Copper Quill Award. His first books of poems are The Undercards and The Journeymen. His next book, Barman, has just been released (Gorsky Press, Los Angeles). 

LAWRENCE LENHART studied writing at the University of Pittsburgh and holds an MFA from the University of Arizona. He is the author of The Well-Stocked and Gilded Cage (Outpost19), Of No Ground: Small Island/Big Ocean Contingencies (West Virginia University Press), and a book-length essay about the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret to the Colorado Plateau. His prose appears in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Gulf Coast, Passages North, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. He is the Associate Chair of the English Department at Northern Arizona University where he also teaches fiction, nonfiction, and climate science narratives. Lenhart is a founding editor of Carbon Copy and the reviews editor of DIAGRAM. 

SETH MULLER is an author, poet, and playwright based in Flagstaff, Arizona. In the realm of nonfiction, he authored Canyon Crossing: Stories from Grand Canyon Rim to Rim (Grand Canyon Conservancy) and the poetic memoir Heart in the Bony Middle (Vishnu Temple Press). His middle-grade fiction trilogy Keepers of the Windclaw Chronicles (Salina Bookshelf) has won a number of awards and accolades. And Convergence, a play he wrote inspired by the 2009 Sedona Sweat Lodge Deaths,has been produced by multiple theater companies. He is one of a select number of regional writers to win the Flagstaff Public Library Copper Quill Award for his body of work. Seth lives with his wife Jane and two children, Grace and Ezra. He teaches English full time at Northern Arizona University.

JESSE SENSIBAR loves small furry animals and assault rifles with equal abandon and has a soft spot in his heart for innocent strippers and jaded children. He is a product of the mean streets of Midwestern industrial cities. He spent his youth on the shores of the post-industrial Great Lakes in tattoo shops, pizza parlors, corner bars, speed shops, and motorcycle clubhouses. Jesse came west to the high desert in the late 1980s and quickly disappeared down the rabbit hole of Southwestern outlaw drug culture. He emerged from that hole in 2008; close to death and with a solid quarter century of hard drug abuse under his belt. He has worked as a mechanic, heavy equipment operator, strip club bouncer, repossession agent, tattoo shop owner, private investigator, tow truck driver, snow plow operator, wildland firefighter, and college English teacher. He spends his time writing and promoting the art of storytelling. You can usually find him in the dying Ponderosa Pine forests surrounding Flagstaff, Arizona or in the old barrios of Tucson, Arizona. Otherwise, he is probably somewhere out on the highway, documenting the passing of his rapidly disappearing American West and pondering the fleeting nature of memory, sin, spirituality, and forgiveness. 

NICOLE WALKER is the author of the collections The After-Normal: Brief, Alphabetical Essays on a Changing Planet from Rose Metal Press and Sustainability: A Love Story from Mad Creek Books. Her previous books include Where the Tiny Things Are, Egg, Micrograms, Quench Your Thirst with Salt, and This Noisy Egg. She edited for Bloomsbury the essay collections Science of Story with Sean Prentiss and with Margot Singer, Bending Genre: Essays on Creative Nonfiction. She’s nonfiction editor at Diagram and teaches at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.