MEET THE TEAM
JULIÁN ESTEBAN TORRES LÓPEZ
co-Founder, Publisher and Executive Director, Founding Editor, Podcast Host/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/
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.
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 Podcast‘s music producer, Joe returns to his musical roots.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 Drive, iaam.com and The Nasiona magazine, among others. Originally from Mexico City, she currently lives in Toronto.
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.
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.
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.