MEET
THE TEAM

• JULIÁN ESTEBAN TORRES LÓPEZ
• AïCHA MARTINE THIAM
• NICOLE ZELNIKER
• AMANDA LOPEZ
• 
ROBIN GOW
• JAY AJA
• JOE SPARKMAN
• NATALIE GASPER
• 
JOANNA STANISZEWSKI
• OLGA GONZÁLEZ LATAPI
• 
PATRICE ASSIONGBON SOWANOU

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 co-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.

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.

amartine.com

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.

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 out now. Check out the rest of her work at nicolezelniker.com.

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

Publishing House Assistant & Assistant Editor

Jay Aja (they / them / she / her / hers) is first-generation Guyanese born to West Indian immigrants. Their writing places a focus on exploring her culture’s diaspora-identity within the U.S. She 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 their MFA. Jay Aja has had poetry previously published in Z Publishing House: An Anthology of Emerging Poets (2019) and IO Literary Journal.

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.

Translator, Transcriber, & Head of Writing Prompts

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

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.

Art Director

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.

joannastaniszewski.com

PATRICE ASSIONGBON SOWANOU

Mercy Ships Correspondent

Patrice Assiongbon Sowanou was born in Benin West Africa and is a journalist, reporter, writer and a world humanitarian. He advocates for the underrepresented communities through activism and fights for social and religious freedom. He is currently serving with the world’s biggest hospital ship, Mercy Ships.

Your Name Here

Your Role Here

Interested in joining our team? We’re currently looking for BIPOC folks to mentor. If you have an idea for a project that aligns with our mission and you want us to help you develop and create it, contact us

We’re open to numerous ideas, as long as it fits what we’re about. You have an idea for a podcast episode? A magazine series? A column? A documentary? A community event? We’re seriously open to any idea, whether we’ve done something like it before or have yet entered the space. We’re culture architects, so as long as it involves storytelling, personal stories, social justice, and culture, you’ll have our interest.

Send us your pitches and we may just select you to join the team.

If interested, send us a message with the following:

  • A paragraph about yourself and your background.
  • A description about the project you want to manifest and how we may help you. Please include the value, relevance, purpose, and meaningfulness of the project. At The Nasiona, everything we do is intentional. We look to not only interpret the world, but also change it. What’s the outcome you’d like to produce?
  • Why The Nasiona is a good fit for you.
  • Why you’d be a good fit for The Nasiona.
  • Your availability.
  • Where you would like to be in 5 years and how you think The Nasiona can help you get there.
We look forward to hearing from you.