Masthead (Staff)

Current Founder:
Dena Igusti – (she/they) is an Indonesian Muslim poet, playwright, and journalist based in Queens, New York. She is the co-founder of multidisciplinary arts collective UNCOMMON;YOU and literary press Short Line Review. She is a 2018 NYC Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador and 2017 Urban Word Federal Hall Fellow. She is a 2019 Player’s Theatre Resident Playwright for her co-written Off-Broadway production “Sharum”. She is currently an Ars Nova Emerging Leaders Fellow of Spring 2020. Her work has been featured in BOAAT Press, Peregrine Journal, and several other publications. She has performed at The Brooklyn Museum, The Apollo Theater, the 2018 Teen Vogue Summit, and several universities across the nation. Her forthcoming collection will be published with Game Over Books. You can fine her work at denaigusti.com.

Producer/Artistic Director:
Ray Jordan Achan – (he/him/his) is a Guyanese American, Brooklyn based actor, director, writer and producer. Ray is the Founding Artistic Director of EXILED TONGUES, a theater company that provides financial, artistic and collaborative support to BIPOC artists who center diasporic consciousness. Ray is part of the pilot A4 Virtual Residency hosted by Asian American Arts Alliance. He is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. Ray is the recipient of the Pet Project Grant sponsored by Jeremy O’Harris and the Bushwick Starr for his play, Free Fallin’. He recently was the Artistic Fellow at Ars Nova as part of the Emerging Leaders Group. He has worked at the Park Avenue Armory as a Production Assistant and has helped advance shows such as Antigone and Judgment Day as well as events such as The Black Artists Retreat and Armory Iridescent and Culture in a Changing America: 100 Years/100 Women. He also worked as a Producing Intern at the Public Theater. Ray directed the World Premiere Off-Broadway production of SHARUM written by Mohammad Murtaza and Dena Igusti at the Player’s Theater. Recently, Ray directed CUT WOMAN, written by Dena Igusti which premiered at the Prelude NYC 2020 Festival. Currently, Ray is directing his original play Free Fallin’ which is set to premiere at the Hudson Guild Theater in June 2021. Additionally, Ray is directing La Violecion of My PapiYon, an original play written by Arline Pierre- Louis. Ray is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a BA in Government and Theater with Honors.

Founding Members:
Marwa Adina- Founding co-founder and previous Editor-in-Chief Marwa Adina is a first generation Moroccan/Muslim-American college student studying the health sciences at Rutgers University. Outside of school, Marwa is an active member of her community. She has had the opportunity to travel with the Rutgers Slam Poetry Team twice in her life, once as a team member and then, later, as a co-coach. The oldest of three children, Marwa is a Second Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Marwa was awarded Young Adult of the Year by the Lions Clubs International in 2017 and celebrated by HerCampus’ 22 Inspirational Women Under the Age of 22 in 2016.