After having dealt with her own 20+ years of eating and body issues ranging from mild frustrations to serious eating disorders, Alli Spotts-De Lazzer became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#49842) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (#844) specializing in eating and body image issues. Eventually, she became a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist—the only nationally recognized designation indicating a specialty in eating disorders.
Alli has been a featured speaker at public events; presented workshops at national and international conferences, graduate schools, clinical training facilities, and hospitals; published articles in trade magazines, online information hubs, and academic journals; and appeared as an eating disorders expert on local news. She has also co-chaired committees for the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp™) and the Academy for Eating Disorders. In 2017, she received the iaedp Member of the Year award.
As far as public activism and advocacy, in 2014, Alli created #ShakeIt for Self-Acceptance!®: a series of public events sparking conversations about body, soul, and self-acceptance through fun, inspiration, and flash mob dance. This movement has appeared across America. Highlights include appearing on Capitol Hill and at the Los Angeles Staples Center. July 13, 2017 was proclaimed as “#ShakeIt for Self-Acceptance! Day” in the City of Los Angeles by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Throughout the years, Alli has witnessed firsthand that stories of humanness, joy, inspiration, and hope increase people’s receptivity to both considering change and opening up to education. That motivated her to create MeaningFULL.
Ayendy Bonifacio was born in Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University. His areas of scholarship include American literature and culture, including Latino/a/x studies; digital humanities; public humanities; transamerican poetics, specifically the reprint poem as a form of public discourse; and hemispheric studies. His current book project, Poems Go Viral: Reprint Culture in the US Popular Press (1855-1866), draws examples from over 200 English- and Spanish-language popular dailies and weeklies between January 1855 and December 1866. This book studies what Bonifacio calls the virality of nineteenth-century poems. Akin to the way an image, video, and a piece of information go viral on the internet today, certain popular poems and poets circulated rapidly and widely through newspaper reproduction. His research is published and/or forthcoming in American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, and Bibliography; Prose Studies: History, Theory, Criticism; Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature; Postcolonial Interventions: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Postcolonial Studies; The Journal: A Literary Magazine; and The American Review of Books. He is also the author of Dique Dominican (Floricanto Press, 2017) and To The River, We Are Migrants (Unsolicited Press, 2020). In 2018, The Latino Author named Dique Dominican one of the “top ten best non-fiction books of 2017.”
Matthew Duffus is the author of the novel Swapping Purples for Yellows and the poetry chapbook Problems of the Soul and Otherwise. He lives in North Carolina and can be found online at matthewduffus.com and on twitter @DuffusMatthew.
Wendell Mayo (1953-2019) was a native of Corpus Christi, Texas. He authored five collections of short stories, recently, Survival House with SFASU Press in 2018. His other collections are The Cucumber King of Kėdainiai, winner of the Subito Press Award for Innovative Fiction; Centaur of the North (Arte Público Press), winner of the Aztlán Prize; B. Horror and Other Stories (Livingston Press); and a novel-in-stories, In Lithuanian Wood (White Pine Press). Over one-hundred of his short stories have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including Yale Review, Harvard Review, Manoa, Missouri Review, Boulevard, New Letters, Threepenny Review, Indiana Review, and Chicago Review. He received the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Fulbright to Lithuania (Vilnius University), two Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, and a Master Fellowship from the Indiana Arts Commission. He taught fiction writing in the MFA/BFA programs at Bowling Green State University for over twenty years.
William Jablonsky is originally from Rock Falls, Illinois, and earned an MFA in fiction writing from Bowling Green State University. He is the author of two previous books: The Indestructible Man: Stories (Livingston Press, 2005) and The Clockwork Man (Medallion, 2010). His short fiction has appeared frequently national magazines and journals, including Asimov’s, Shimmer, The Florida Review, Phoebe, and many others. He teaches fiction writing and interdisciplinary humanities at Loras College, and lives in eastern Iowa with his wife and son.
Stephen J. O’Shea is a writer, documentarian, and (now) sailor, who tells stories to stay alive. His research for From the Land of Genesis was the catalyst for a sailing expedition around Cape Horn to raise awareness about veteran suicide rates. Having miraculously survived that feat (and transformed that journey into the feature documentary, Hell or High Seas) he's now writing and producing stories through a number of mediums, including literature and film.
Amy Shimshon-Santo is a writer and educator from Dogtown, a place that no longer exists. Her interdisciplinary work connects the arts, education, and urbanism. Her work crosses genres from poetry and creative non-fiction to choreography and social science. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her creative non-fiction (2017), Best of the Net for her poetry (2018), and was recognized on the National Honor Roll for Service Learning.
Her writing has been published by Yes Poetry, Zócalo Public Square, Lady Liberty Lit, Full Blede, Rose Quartz Journal, Awkward Mermaid Press, Inscape, Rag Queen Periodicals, Anti-Heroin Chic, Lady Liberty Lit, Entropy, SAGE Publications, UC Press, SUNY Press, Public!: A Journal of Imagining America, Teaching Artist Journal, Critical Planning Journal, and the Tiferet Journal. Her choreography has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Singapore — from the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington D.C. to grunge clubs in New York, terreiros in Salvador da Bahia, and cafetoriums in Point Barrow, Alaska.
Amy holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in urban planning (University of California, Los Angeles); an M.F.A. in creative writing (Antioch University), and a B.A. in Latin American Studies (University of California, Santa Cruz). She is currently an Associate Professor at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). She taught artists and classroom teachers for seven years while directing the ArtsBridge Program for UCLA Arts. Amy was on the founding committee of Create CA. She co-founded the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center and served as its Executive Director over a 15-year period. She has taught creative writing, dance, capoeira, and media literacy for youth and adults in community centers, schools, and spaces of incarceration. She began her creative career as a dancer and choreographer in California and New York.
Chuck Harp is a writer of various forms who currently resides in Los Angeles. He published Before I Forget with Black Rose Writing, What Must Go On with Unsolicited Press, and Blooming Insanity with Dostoyevsky Wannabe.
Anuja Ghimire was born in Kathmandu, Nepal and came to America to attend college. She began seriously writing and publishing since 2008. A Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee, she has published poetry, creative nonfiction and flash fiction in the U.S., Canada, Nepal, and the U.K. Most recently, her work appeared in Finished Creatures (UK), Glass: A journal of poetry, Medusa’s Laughs Press Microanthology, and EcoTheo Review. She works as a senior publisher in an education-based company near Dallas, Texas. She lives with her husband and two young daughters near Dallas.
Caleb Nichols is a queer poet and musician from California and is in the band, Soft People. Nichols has been a musician for more than a decade and has been actively writing poetry. His work has been featured in Unstammatic: a Microlit Journal, Brain Mill Press and Inklette. His poem, “Ken,” won an Academy of American Poets University Prize. His music has been featured on Out.com, Paste, and many other places.
Novelist and translator and the author of fourteen books, Tsipi Keller is the recipient of several literary awards, including New York Foundation for the Arts Fiction Grants, and National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships. Her latest novel, Nadja on Nadja, was published by Underground Voices.
Wayne-Daniel Berard teaches English and Humanities at Nichols College in Dudley, MA. Wayne-Daniel is a Peace Chaplain, an interfaith clergy person, and a member of B'nai Or of Boston. He has published widely in both poetry and prose, and is the co-founding editor of Soul-Lit, an online journal of spiritual poetry. He lives in Mansfield, MA with his wife, The Lovely Christine.
Scott Poole is best known for his 11 year stint as the "House Poet" of Public Radio International's Live Wire! radio program. He is the author of 3 previous books of poetry and Vacancy, an art chapbook of paintings and poems. In his spare time, he's a painter and software developer. He lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife and family.
Scott Poole is the co-author of The Last Tiger Is Somewhere.
Rob Carney is the author of six previous collections of poems, most recently Facts and Figures (Hoot ’n’ Waddle) and The Book o.f Sharks (Black Lawrence Press), which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and won the 2019 Artists of Utah Magazine (15 BYTES) Book Award for Poetry. Accidental Gardens—a collection of 42 flash essays about the environment, politics, and poetics—is forthcoming from Stormbird Press. He is a Professor of English and Literature at Utah Valley University and lives in Salt Lake City.
Rob Carney is the co-author of The Last Tiger is Somewhere
Tyler James Russell lives in Pennsylvania with Cat, his wife, and their children. He teaches English and Creative Writing, and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of British Columbia. His work has appeared in Riddle Fence, Apiary, and Inwood Indiana, among other publications, and was a nominee for the 2011 Rhysling Award. You can find him at Tylerjamesrussell.com.
Books by Tyler James Russell
At once delicate and visceral, the poems in To Drown a Man chronicle the long gauntlet from a life of secrets to a life of intimacy. “The only difference between imprisonment and hiding,” Russell writes, “is who shuts the door.” Exploring the meaning of redemption and shame as related to the personal, the marital, and the spiritual, these are the poems of a soul at war with itself. They read like chunks of ore being burned of their dross.
Joseph Allen Costa is a freelance writer and adjunct English professor in Tampa. He received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Tampa and his BA from the University of South Florida. His short fiction has appeared in BULL men’s fiction, Rabble Lit, the HCE Review, The Write Launch and in December Magazine as a finalist for the Curt Johnson Prose Awards. Costa is the author of three novels (The Good, The Bad and The Goalie, Discovering Dynamite! and Eye of the Storm), and one linked collection of short fiction (Comets, published by Unsolicited Press).
Having worked in his father’s cabinet shop for more than a dozen years, Costa’s most recent work, Comets, captures a microcosm of blue collar problems with implications that go beyond economic and cultural boundaries, illuminating a greater understanding of the human experiences we all share.
Costa began his career writing advertising for Macy’s on 34th Street in New York City and soon after was recruited by one of the largest advertising agencies in the world — Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt — where he worked for 6 years as a copywriter.
Costa lives in Tampa with his wife Teresa, their two children, and their dogs Bella and Dash.
Christopher G. Bremicker was a Special Forces medic stationed at Ft. Bragg NC from 1968 to 1970. He has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a BA in English Literature, both from the University of Minnesota. He is a downhill skier, grouse hunter, fisherman, and newspaperman. He plays handball and reviews theater. His current job as a sales associate at Walgreens in St. Paul MN is his forty-sixth job since high school. His hometown is Cable WI.
Victoria Lin lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and she facilitates workshops across the US. Her poems have appeared in literary journals such as Poetry Quarterly, Paper Nautilus, and Apeiron Review. She holds an M.A. in English literature from the University of St. Thomas and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Hamline University. Victoria is currently working toward a doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of St. Thomas, with plans to research and practice poetry therapy.
Rebecca A. Spears, author of Brook the Divide (Unsolicited Press) and The Bright Obvious (Finishing Line Press), has her work included in TriQuarterly, Calyx, Crazyhorse, Barrow Street, Verse Daily, Ars Medica, and other journals and anthologies. She has received awards from the Taos Writers Workshop, The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, and Vermont Studio Center. She is also a recent Pushcart nominee.
Terry Tierney is a writer who hails from the Midwest, but has planted roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. After serving in the Seabees, he completed his BA and MA at Binghamton University; Tierney completed a PhD in Victorian Literature at Emory University. For years, he taught college composition and creative writing courses, and survived several Silicon Valley startups as a software engineer. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Michaelyn Burnette, a Librarian from the University of California, their son, and their goofy Golden Retriever. Tierney’s work has appeared in countless publications. Lucky Ride (Unsolicited Press), an irreverent Vietnam-era road novel is set to release in 2022. More can be learned at http://terrytierney.com.
Adam Gibbs’ writing has been honored by the Tipp City Arts Council and the Hayner Cultural Center, as well as appearing in Fourth & Sycamore and The Mark Literary Review. He lives in Grove City, Ohio, with his wife Lindsay and their daughter Clara.
Gibbs is the author of Dumb Luck.
Catherine Moore is the author of three chapbooks and the collection ULLA! ULLA! (Main Street Rag). Her work appears in Tahoma Literary Review, Roanoke Review, Southampton Review, Appalachian Heritage, Mid-American Review and in various anthologies. She’s been awarded Walker Percy and Hambidge fellowships; her honors also include the Southeast Review’s Gearhart Poetry Prize, a Nashville MetroArts grant, inclusion in the juried BEST SMALL FICTIONS, as well as Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations. Catherine holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and she teaches at a community college.
David Michael Slater is the author of 20+ books for children, teens, and adults, several of which have received notice in the NYT, PW, the NYJB, and others. Slater’s on-going seven-part teen series, Forbidden Books, is being developed for film by Producer Kevin Bannerman (Lion King/Curious George/Ice Age). I have a six-part early chapter book series launched, and my first book of nonfiction, We're Doing It Wrong: 25 Ideas in Education That Just Don't Work -- And How to Fix Them, is out now to fabulous reviews. David Michael Slater is the author of DICTIONARIES OUT OF ORDER.
Stay in touch with Slater:
John Sullivan was an American College Theatre Festival Playwriting finalist, received the 'Jack Kerouac Literary Prize,' 'Writers Voice: New Voices of the West' Award, AZ Arts Fellowships (Poetry & Playwriting), Artists Studio Center Fellowship, WESTAF Fellowship, was a featured playwright at Denver's Changing Scene Summer Play, and an Eco-Arts Performance Fellow from Earth Matters On Stage (University of Oregon). He was Artistic / Producing Director of Theater Degree Zero, collaborated with the Bi-National Theatre Project (Instituto Tecnológico de Nogales-Sonora, Mexico / Cochise College, Douglas AZ) and directed the Augusto Boal / Theatre of the Oppressed focused applied theatre wing at Seattle Public Theater.
For the past decade, he has used Theatre of the Oppressed with vulnerable communities to promote dialogue on toxic exposures-cumulative risk / environmental justice issues with NIEHS environmental health scientists. He was a writer for the online journal, Community Arts Network / Art in the Public Interest and has published articles on Community-Based Participatory Research in scientific journals such as New Solutions, Environmental Health Insights and Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice & Sustainability.
His work has been published in a variety of print and online journals including: Hayden’s Ferry Review, Black Bear Review, Argy-Bargy, Prose Kitchen, California Quarterly, The Lucid Stone, Oddball, OVS, Scarlet Leaf Review, Steel Toe Review, Squawk Back, Razor: a Literary Magazine, BeZine, Pudding Magazine, Birds Piled Loosely, Madness Muse Press, Harbinger Asylum, Anti-Heroin Chic, Tumblewords: Writers Reading the West, and the Houston Poetry Festival Anthology.
Raki is a queer, Jewish fiction and poetry writer. She is the author of The Memory House (The Muriel Press 2019) which was a finalist for both the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award and the Minnesota Book Award, and The Other Body (Dancing Girl Press 2017). Her work has appeared in numerous publications and has been nominated for several other awards, including the Pushcart Prize for fiction. She lives in Minneapolis.
You can find her here: https://rakikopernik.wixsite.com/mysite and follow on Instagram @rakikopernik