Margaret DeRitter is the poetry editor and copy editor of Encore, a regional magazine based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was a winner of the 2018 Celery City Chapbook Contest, sponsored by Kalamazoo’s Friends of Poetry, for her chapbook Fly Me to Heaven By Way of New Jersey. Her writing has appeared in the anthologies Surprised By Joy (Wising Up Press) and Queer Around the World (Qommunicate Publishing) and in a number of journals, including The 3288 Review, which nominated her poem “At the top of Sleeping Bear Dunes” for a Pushcart Prize. DeRitter has also written numerous magazine and newspaper articles. She worked for 22 years at the Kalamazoo Gazette and has taught journalism at Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College. She was born and raised in New Jersey and has lived in Michigan since college. When not writing or editing, she often paddles Michigan lakes and rivers.
About DeRitter's Book
Singing Back to the Sirens explores the many ways that desire and love, loss and grief, can shape a woman’s life. The poems in this two-part collection look at the loneliness of a newborn for her sick mother, the first stirrings of sexual desire for a best friend, the treacherous leap from a sheltered world of faith into lesbian life, the frustrations of falling for straight women, the alchemy of falling in love, the aftermath of losing it. In the first section, the poet sings back to the many women she has loved. In the second, she sings back to the one who sang the sweetest and the saddest songs.
Chris Drabick is a former rock music journalist whose fiction has appeared in Cease, Cows, Midwestern Gothic, After the Pause and Great Lakes Review, and non-fiction in BULL and Stoneboat, among others. He is a graduate of the NEOMFA, the northeast Ohio consortial program. He teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Akron in Ohio.
Poet Laureate of Silver City, NM (Land of Enchantment) 2017 - 2019, Beate Sigriddaughter grew up in Nuremberg, Germany, close to the castle and World War II ruins. Her poetry and prose are published in many literary magazines, by several small presses, and have received Pushcart Prize nominations and independent prizes.
Beate Sigriddaughter is the author of Emily
Kayla Jeswald is a writer based in Youngstown, Ohio. She holds an master’s in Creative Writing from Youngstown State University, and currently teaches composition.
The author of numerous published short stories as well as the novella In the Service of the Boyar (Strange Fictions Press, 2016), Jason Graff loves both reading and producing writing that has a strong, clear voice and conveys a deep connection to the characters. In high school, his passion for the written word was well and truly ignited when he took a sucker punch for writing his crush a poem. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Bowling Green State University and later, his MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College. The intense nature of that program allowed him to be mentored by a diverse group of talented writers which included: Sarah Schulman, Richard Panek, Darcey Steinke, and Rachel Pollack.
Jason currently lives in Richardson, Texas with his wife, son, and their cat. He is currently working on a science fiction novel about the beginning of the end of the universe and another about a romancing con-man. You can follow him on Twitter at @JasonGraff1 , on Facebook at Author Jason Graff and/or visit his website: www.jasongraff.wordpress.com.
Erin Cisney is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.
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Books By Erin Cisney
Ellie White has been over-dramatic since 1986. She holds a BA in English from The Ohio State University, and an MFA from Old Dominion University. Ellie writes nonfiction and poetry. She is also the creator of the comic strip “Uterus & Ellie.” Her work has been published in Foundry, Slant, and The Columbia Review, as well as many other journals.
Ellie’s first poetry chapbook, Requiem for a Doll, won the ELJ Publications Poetry Mini-Collection Contest was released in June 2015. Her second chapbook, Drift, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in Fall 2019. This is her first full-length collection. Ellie’s work has won an Academy of American Poets College Poetry Prize, a Best of the Net nomination, and several Pushcart Prize nominations.
Ellie served as a poetry editor at Barely South Review for three years. She also served as a nonfiction and poetry editor for Four Ties Literary Review for two years. Ellie is currently a social media editor and reader at Muzzle Magazine. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia and works full-time in the insurance industry.
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Best American Short Stories nominee Russell Helms has had stories in Whitefish Review, Driftwood Press, Bewildering Stories, Drunken Boat, Sand, antiTHESIS, and other journals. He holds a lectureship in English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with degrees from Auburn, Yale, and Eastern Kentucky University. His novel, Fade, is forthcoming (2019) from Unsolicited Press. His other novels and story collections are with Sij Books.
MARY PAULA HUNTER began her career as a choreographer/dancer creating works that fused movement and text. Eventually the writing won out. A transplant to New England, Hunter grew up in East Lansing, Michigan and holds a BA in English and an MFA in dance from the University of Michigan. She lives in Providence, RI with her husband, historian Richard A. Meckel.
Bill Mesce, Jr. is an author, screenwriter, and playwright living in New Jersey.
Zachary Collins is a freelance writer and high school English teacher from the south suburbs of Chicago whose students acclaim him as “not the worst, I guess”. He is an avid consumer of affordable wine, an aspiring contestant (and preferably winner) of Food Network’s Chopped, and deeply troubled by his inability to ‘pull off’ skinny jeans.
Collins and his wife recently welcomed their second daughter, a much-anticipated sister for their eldest daughter, to whom his first collection is written. He and his family currently reside in the suburbs of Chicago in home they swear they just cleaned not too long ago.
Nicholas Lann is a writer, musician, scuptor, and painter living in Chicago. His poetry collection BEYOND THE GLASS FOREST is a poetic journey through a sinister alternate universe. The protagonist, a modern-day Odysseus, must navigate the dredges of the Glass Forest, in hopes of discovering happiness in the face of tragedy.
Ron Singer, b.1941, has been both a lifelong resident of New York City, and one who has traveled to, lived in, and written about the wider world. For forty-four years, Singer was a teacher and writer. Singer’s life and writing have both featured political activism. For instance, while he was in south Africa working on a book, he was invited to read poetry at a memorial for activist/poet Dennis Brutus. The book is Uhuru Revisited: Interviews with Pro-Democracy Leaders (Africa World Press, Red Sea Press, 2015). It can be found in libraries around the world.
J. Bryan McGeever was born in Southern California and raised on Long Island. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and Newsday, with fiction in Hampton Shorts, Confrontation, and The Southampton Review. He teaches English in New York City Public Schools and lives with his family in Brooklyn.
C.M. Chapman began writing fiction in the mid 80’s as an undergrad at West Virginia University. After a 25-year hiatus during which he did creative work for WCLG Radio in Morgantown, he returned to writing in 2012. He has appeared in numerous journals, including Cheat River Review, Limestone, Still: The Journal, Unlikely Stories, Dark Mountain in the U.K., and the anthology, So It Goes: A Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut. He is the author of the chapbook, Music & Blood, from Latham House Press, and is currently working on several new projects. He is a graduate of the low-residency MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where he has served as The McKinney Teaching Fellow and adjunct professor of English.
Ron Yates has been learning to write for most of his life. He produced good essays in high school, but his adolescent energies were largely devoted to drag racing, drinking beer, and trying to stay out of trouble.
Although encouraged by his English teachers to pursue higher education, Yates, after graduating high school in lackluster fashion, spent time languishing in factory jobs. An aching back, the remembered encouragement of former teachers, and the urgings of caring friends prompted him to explore other options.
His enduring love of reading and nascent knack for writing guided him to a degree in English and a career teaching high school. He went on to earn an MA in English from the University of West Georgia and, years later, an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte.
Yates lives near Mt. Cheaha, on the shore of beautiful Lake Wedowee in Alabama. He has published stories in a variety of journals including Wilderness House Literary Review, Hemingway Shorts, KYSO Flash, Still: the Journal, The Writing Disorder, The Oddville Press, and Prime Number Magazine. He has a son and daughter and is married to his sweetheart, Carol Yates.
Megan Mary Moore is passionate about horror and poetry. She holds an MFA in poetry from Miami University. Her work has appeared in Rattle, Rogue Agent, Haunted are These Houses by Unnerving Press. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where she teaches dance and talks to ghosts. This is her first collection of poetry.
The latest of Jim’s 18 novels, Sarah Jane, was just published by Soho Press, who are also bringing out a new uniform edition of the six earlier, landmark novels of the Lew Griffin cycle. Other books include three of musicology, a biography of writer Chester Himes, a translation of Raymond Queneau’s novel Saint Glinglin, and the source novel for the Cannes-winning film Drive. Jim’s work appears regularly in anthologies, literary quarterlies, mystery and science fiction magazines, and is translated worldwide. He’s won a lifetime achievement award from Bouchercon, the Hammett Award for literary excellence in crime writing, and the Grand Prix de Littérature policière.
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Nancy Christie has a passion for fiction, and has been making up stories since she was a child, engaging in "what if" and "let's pretend" activities that took her far beyond her northeastern Ohio home. Her short stories have appeared in print and online magazines, including Ariel Chart, Two Cities Review, Streetlight Magazine, Talking River and The Chaffin Journal, among others. Several of her stories have earned contest placement or awards.
She writes fiction because “I love the world of make-believe. I love learning about my characters, following them as they live their lives, rejoicing with them when things go well and commiserating with them when life becomes painful and events are almost unendurable. Crazy? Maybe. But you have to be a little crazy to spend your days and nights with people only you can see and hear.”
For more information about Nancy Christie and her work, visit her website at www.nancychristie.com, read her writing blogs (One on One, The Writer’s Place and Focus on Fiction) or follow her on social media: Twitter (@NChristie_OH), Facebook (@NancyChristieAuthor) and Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/NancyChristie).
J. Scott Walker teaches English and Creative Writing in Greensboro, NC. When he’s not doing that, he writes songs, plays, and poetry. A graduate of Appalachian State University and the University of Alaska, his poems have appeared in Town Creek Poetry, Big River Poetry, Cold Mountain Review, and Cirque. The emphasis on place in his work is the natural product of having lived in ten US states including both Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Alaska. He has also traveled extensively outside of the US both in a physical sense and also in his imagination.
Gloria Panzera is a writer and teacher. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Fiction writing from Florida Atlantic University. Her work has appeared in 2 Bridges Review, The Inquisitive Eater, One Forty Fiction, Gravel, and Crack the Spine, among others. With All My Love, I Wait is her first novel. She currently teaches creative writing and English in Charlotte, North Carolina where she lives with her husband and son.
Following a transient childhood, Elosham came of age in the surreal spaces of the American midwest and west coast, but soon left again. Volcano was written and edited during periods residing in the UK, China, Greece, and the USA. Elosham is a Forward Prize (Best Single Poem) nominee and has published poems in a variety of journals around the world.
Hannah Calkin was born in South Portland, Maine and grew up alongside beaches, boats, and animals of varying sizes. She earned a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington. She received the Spring 2018 Creative Writing Award for excellence and dedication from the faculty and a Wilson Scholarship for poetry in Fall 2017. She has been an intern at Alice James Books and a poetry reader for Barren Magazine.
Hannah is a contemporary poet with a deep appreciation for the classics. Her writing is interested in transformations, gardens, mythology, fairy tales, evolution, and femininity. Her work can be found in the Sandy River Review, The River, Barren Magazine, Persephone’s Daughters, Rhythm & Bones, and Riggwelter Press. In August 2019, her first book of poetry, Pomegranate Odyssey, will be published by Unsolicited Press. She currently works as a reading tutor and teaching assistant at Aucocisco School and Learning Center.
Charles D. Brown is a writer and filmmaker from New Orleans. He currently lives in Los Angeles, recently receiving his Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. He has made two feature films: “Angels Die Slowly” and “Never A Dull Moment: 20 Years of the Rebirth Brass Band;” and published two novels: “Looking Back On Sodom” (Black Rose Writing) and as C.D. Brown “Vamp City” (Gryphonwood Press). His fiction has appeared in Conium Review, Oddville Press, Writing Disorder, Jersey Devil Press, The Menacing Hedge, Aethlon, and in the anthologies “Dimensional Abscesses” and “Nocturnal Natures.” He teaches composition, production, and journalism at a variety of colleges.
More information and writing can be found at charliebrownwriter.com.
Richard Luftig is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio and now resides in California. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. Two of his poems recently appeared in Realms of the Mothers: The First Decade of Dos Madres Press. His poems and blogs may be found at richardluftig.com.