Rex Ybañez , or The Literary Alchemist, is a Filipino American freelance copywriter and editor from the Midwest. A former Pushcart Prize nominee and 2020 Moon City Press Poetry Award finalist, he has judged and worked as a master of ceremonies for regional Poetry Outloud competitions in southwest Missouri. He previously hosted literary events locally at book stores, lounges, and bars before the COVID-19 pandemic. His work is published in Half Mystic, Noctua Review, Prism Review, Doubly Mad, Interim, Peculiar Mormyrid, DANSE MACABRE, and others. He helped establish the Artist Empowerment Collective, an official subcommittee under the Springfield Regional Arts Council that aims to amplify artists of color through cultural healing, community engagement, and education. He currently lives with his girlfriend Sariah in Springfield, Missouri.