MEET THE TEAM

JULIÁN ESTEBAN TORRES LÓPEZ
co-Founder, Publisher and Executive Director, Founding Editor, Podcast Host/Producer

Julián Esteban Torres López (he/him/his/él) is a bilingual, Colombia-born culture architect with Afro-Euro-Indigenous roots. For two decades, Julián has worked toward humanizing those Othered by oppressive systems. He is the founder of the social justice storytelling organization The Nasiona, where he also hosts and produces The Nasiona Podcast. He’s a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions nominee, a Trilogy Award in Short Fiction finalist, and the author of Marx’s Humanism and Its Limits and Reporting On Colombia. His work appears in PANK Magazine, Into the Void Magazine, The Acentos Review, among others. Julián holds a bachelor’s in philosophy and in communication and a master’s in justice studies from the University of New Hampshire, and was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, where he focused on political science and Latin American studies.
 
Twitter + Instagram: @JE_Torres_Lopez

AïCHA MARTINE THIAM
co-Founder, Creative Director, Editor-in-Chief, Podcast Producer

Aïcha Martine Thiam is a trilingual writer, musician and artist of color, and might have been a kraken in a past life. She’s an Editor at Reckoning Press, EIC/Producer/Creative Director of The Nasiona, and a two-time Best of the Net nominee. Her collection AT SEA, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize, is forthcoming with CLASH BOOKS. Some words found or forthcoming in: Déraciné, The Rumpus, Moonchild Magazine, Marías at Sampaguitas, Luna Luna, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Pussy Magic, South Broadway Ghost SocietyGone Lawn, Boston Accent Lit, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cosmonauts Avenue, Tenderness Lit.

Twitter: @Maelllstrom

amartine.com

AMANDA LOPEZ
Publishing House Director & Book Editor

Amanda Lopez is a poet and MFA graduate from Antioch University Los Angeles, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the 16th issue of Lunch Ticket. She has served as Management Assistant for Write Bloody Publishing and read on the literary journal The Redlands Review as Poetry Editor during her undergraduate years at the University of Redlands. She is now a book editor and the Publishing House Director of The Nasiona, where her poetry can be found in the magazine.

Instagram: @amandasstanzas

Twitter: @amandasstanzas

JOE SPARKMAN
Podcast Music Producer

Joe Sparkman decided to follow his dreams in music after he got his multiple sclerosis diagnosis. He started working with Ne-Yo and went on to produce several prominent artists, such as Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Joe, Snoop, Christina Milian, Heather Headley, Emeli Sande, Nicole Scherzinger, Missy Elliot, Prince Royce, among others. He won several awards: Grammy, ASCAP Award, multiple Platinum and Gold plaques, and an African Music Award. After his music career, he continued to dream big and co-founded a million-dollar medical and pharmaceutical company (Medsav). He’s currently an advisor to the board at Roche, a district activist leader for the National MS Society, a member of the Government Relations Advisory Committee, and during the 2020 elections the Georgia Democrats delegated Joe as a precinct chairman. As The Nasiona Podcasts music producer, Joe returns to his musical roots.

Twitter: @JoeSparkman7

Instagram: @jojobeats

ANDREA AUTEN
Communications & Outreach Manager

Andrea Auten is adjunct faculty and a writing specialist at Antioch University Los Angeles where she is an alum from their MFA program (Saffron Cohort) and Post MFA Pedagogy Program. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Lady/Liberty/Lit, Lunch Ticket, and Made in LA’s third anthology. She was a recipient of the Eloise Klein Healy Academic Scholarship and the Marylyn Ross Rockefeller and James S. Rockefeller Jr. Writing Scholarship and works for The Nasiona Nonfiction Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. A member of the DWG Writers’ Group, she is currently working on a novel and a collection of short stories. Andrea lives in Los Angeles with her husband, sons. Find her at andreaauten.com.

Twitter: @andreaautenarts
Instagram: @andreaautenarts
Facebook: Andrea Auten

ROBIN GOW
Managing Editor

Robin Gow is a trans and queer poet and Young Adult author from rural Pennsylvania. In addition to their work at The Nasiona, Gow runs the reading series Gender Reveal Party and serves as a managing editor at MAYDAY magazine and Assistant Editor at Large at Doubleback Books. Gow is also the author of Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy (Tolsun Books 2020) and the chapbook Honeysuckle (Finishing Line Press 2019). Their first collection of essays Blue Blood, is forthcoming with Nasiona Publishing House, and their first Young Adult novel, A Million Quiet Revolutions is forthcoming Winter 2022 with FSG Books for Young Readers.

frobingowpoetry.wordpress.com

JAY AJA
Publishing House Assistant & Assistant Editor

Jay Aja (they / them / she / her / hers) holds her B.A. in English from the University of South Florida and they are currently pursuing their Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing in preparation for her MFA. Jay Aja has had poetry previously published in Z Publishing House: An Anthology of Emerging Poets (2019) and has forthcoming work in IO Literary Journal. You can find her stalking poems, poets, and wisdom on

Instagram (@cooliegyal917) and Twitter (@cooliegyal917). 

NICOLE ZELNIKER
Podcast Producer & Managing Editor

Nicole Zelniker (she/her) is a writer, activist, and podcast producer at The Nasiona. Nicole is also the author of Mixed, a non-fiction book about race and mixed-race families, and Last Dance, a collection of short stories. Her third book, Letters I’ll Never Send, is forthcoming winter 2021. Check out the rest of her work at nicolezelniker.com.

Instagram + Twitter: @nicolzelniker

OLGA GONZÁLEZ LATAPI
Translator & Transcriber

Olga González Latapi (she/her/hers) is a queer poet with an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. Although her writing journey started in journalism, she is now pursuing her true passion: exploring the world of poetry with a mighty pen in hand. She got her BS in Journalism at Northwestern University. Her work has been published in Teen Voices Magazine, Sonder Midwest literary arts magazine, BARNHOUSE Literary Journal, Wild Roof Journal, Impossible Task, Genre: Urban Arts, Biscuitroot Driveiaam.com and The Nasiona magazine, among others. Originally from Mexico City, she currently lives in Toronto.

Twitter: @Olga_G_L

NATALIE GASPER
Interviewer

Natalie Gasper is an internationally performed poet whose work has appeared in The Write Launch, The Hickory Stump, Sheila-Na-Gig, Noon by Arachne Press, and ellipsis…literature & art, amongst others. She works as an interviewer for The Nasiona and is a developmental editor for Envie, a Magazine for the Literary Curious.

Twitter: @NatalieGasper

JONI CHAN
Managing Editor

Joni Chan is a Philippine-born, Los Angeles-raised writer living in Queens, New York. She primarily writes about gender and class struggles among immigrants. A librarian by training, she works for a non-profit software company and advocates for ethics, inclusion and diversity in technology. She is an MFA candidate at Bennington College.

Twitter: @heyjonic

Joanna Staniszewski is Art Director of The Nasiona. She is a Canada-born, California-based interior designer and artist who believes great design lives in the sweet spot where inspiration and function intersect. Her aesthetic is fresh, organic, eclectic—a juxtaposition between raw + refined, playful + polished. Formally trained as a painter, Staniszewski’s continued practice as an artist influences her eye for color with both modern and historical art references.

Instragram: @thehumblepalace