Mark Fleckenstein was born in Chicago, and grew up in Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, North Carolina, and New Hampshire. He graduated from University of North Carolina in Charlotte with a B.A. in English, Vermont College of Fine Arts and received an MFA in Writing. He’s became very involved in the poetry community in and around Boston, for over 30 years. He was an assistant editor for (BLuR), the Boston Literary Review, founder/coordinator of two bi-weekly poetry reading series in Boston and a workshop leader, He’s given poetry readings with famous poets (Charles Simic, Linda Gregg, Mark Doty, Mark Cox and Carl Phillips) and not so famous poets. Six states and dozens of moves later, he settled in Massachusetts. He is also a painter. He has two amazing daughters and an large, eccentric, long-haired black cat named Ariadne.
His other publications:
Making Up the World (Editions Dedicaces, 2018)
God Box (Clare Songbird Publishing) Forthcoming in November 2018
Lowercase God (Finishing Line Press) forthcoming December 2018
Failed Stars (Cervena Barva Press) forthcoming in October 2018
I Was I, Drowning Knee Deep (Sticks Press online chapbook , 2007).
The Memory of Stars (Sticks Press chapbook, 1995)
Frances was raised in Queens, New York and Suburban New Jersey, but she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and son. Her work can be found at Mutha Magazine, Hip Mama, Longreads, Vol.1 Brooklyn and forthcoming in The Believer Magazine. I Don’t Blame You is her debut novel. She is currently working on another book.
Learn more at francesbadalamenti.com
David Coyle is a author from Wellington, New Zealand. His grandmother was an avid reader of Shakespeare and English literature and she shared her love of the written word with him from a young age. David’s writing career started when he wrote an award winning short film, Poppy, which played the international film festival circuit in 2009. Whether writing for the screen or for the page, he’s guided by the simple rule that “story comes first”.
Nigel Baldacchino (b. 1989) is an architect by profession, who also actively produces music, writes poetry, designs books and works with photography. As an architect, Baldacchino notably occupied main roles in design teams for two major museum projects, namely MUŻA (The Malta National Community Art Museum) and St. John's Co-Cathedral Museum. Other architectural works include the setup for NISĠA: Storja Kontemporanja (2018, Valletta), a collective exhibition curated to portray a series of narratives tying modernist and contemporary Maltese art.
Bekah Stogner is an assistant editor with Unsolicited Press. She recently graduated from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee with a BA in Writing and a BFA in Acting, where she co-created Poetry Night. Bekah remains active in the Nashville theatre, improv, and poetry communities and hopes to continue to pursue both editing and acting. Better to have lost is her first collection of poetry.
Poet, short story writer, and novelist Shann Ray grew up in Montana and Alaska and spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. His work has been featured in Poetry, Esquire, McSweeney's, Prairie Schooner, Big Sky Journal, Narrative, and Salon. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and winner of the American Book Award and the High Plains Book Award, he is the author of American Masculine, American Copper, Atomic Theory 432, Balefire, Sweetclover, and Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity. A clinical psychologist specializing in the psychology of men, he teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University. Because of his wife and three daughters, he believes in love.
Jeremy Jusek grew up in Garrettsville, Ohio where he learned to nurture nature's sensory stimuli. He graduated Marietta College with a BS in chemistry and BA in theatre. Later he earned his MFA in creative writing from the University of Arcadia. Now Jeremy works as a freelance writer and in his spare time facilitates a poetry workshop through the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
The difference between trees and concrete is quite large and, seven years after moving to Cleveland with his wife and two kids, Jeremy is still struggling to acclimate to his suburban biome. From this conflict sprouts some of his writing. The rest is inspired by the bowls of alphabet soup he chucks at the kitchen wall.
To follow up on his various publications and projects visit www.jeremyjusek.com
Mike Dillon’s Bainbridge Island roots reach back four generations. He lives in Indianola, Washington, a small town on Puget Sound a few miles north of Bainbridge and twelve miles northwest of Seattle.
Four books of his poetry have been published by Bellowing Ark Press, including “That Which We Have Named,” (2008). Red Moon Press has published three books of his haiku, including “The Road Behind” (2003). Several of his haiku were included in “Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years,” W.W. Norton (2013). He is a retired publisher of community newspapers, a field he entered inspired by the example of Walt and Milly Woodward, who defended their Japanese American neighbors in the pages of their newspaper, the Bainbridge Review, during World War II. In 2013 the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association recognized Dillon with its Master Editor/Publisher award.
His poetry collection Departures: Poetry and Prose on the Removal of Bainbridge Island’s Japanese Americans After Pearl Harbor is available wherever books are sold and on our site.
Patricia O’Donnell is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington, where she directs the BFA Program in Creative Writing. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker and elsewhere; her books include a novel, a memoir, and a collection of short fiction which won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award. She lives in Wilton, Maine, with her husband.
Her latest novel The Vigilance of Stars is available wherever books are sold.
David Feela, retired from a 27 year teaching career, works as a poet, freelance columnist, and thrift store book collector. He earned an MFA from Vermont College, with undergraduate degrees from St. Cloud State University. His writing has appeared in hundreds of regional and national publications, including syndication by the High Country News "Writers on the Range," and The Denver Post. Writing has appeared in Mountain Gazette, Small Farmer's Journal, Utne Reader, the Santa Fe Literary Review, to name a few. For eleven years Feela served as a contributing editor for the former Inside/Outside Southwest magazine. He currently writes monthly columns for the Four Corners Free Press and the Durango Telegraph.
Feela has authored one poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments (Maverick Press, 1998), winner of the Southwest Poet Series, a full length poetry edition, The Home Atlas (WordTech, 2009), and a collection of essays, How Delicate These Arches (Raven’s Eye Press, 2012) which was chosen as a creative non-fiction finalist for the Colorado Book Award. A selection of his poetry is forthcoming in volume 2, The Geography of Hope: Poets of Colorado’s Western Slope, through Conundrum Press. He resides in Cortez, Colorado.
If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
I’d love to cook dinner for Russell Edson, mostly because I don’t cook and I just know from reading his work that he wouldn’t care, that he’d make something interesting out of the encounter. Edson surprised me over and over with his ingenious, surreal word inventions. Whatever I cooked, however badly the meal turned out, it would be my chance to surprise him back.
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
I worry most that I’ll lose the sense of timing and poetic suggestion required for putting meaningful ideas down on the page, the ability to notice the metaphor or image as it surfaces and entice it into staying instead of wandering off the page. I’m afraid of becoming pedestrian in my choice of language and not noticing it, settling for the mundane. I fear losing my sense of humor. The only way I know to face these fears is to keep on writing.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
William Stafford’s work evokes a literary passion for me. I read and reread that poet.
What books are on your nightstand?
I always have at least one poetry book, often an author I haven’t read that caught my attention after reading the opening and closing poems. Essays and travel nonfiction interest me, as well as tales of adventure in the natural world.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
When I sit down to write, I usually don’t have a clear idea of where I’m heading,
but I spend time reviewing in my head the smallest details of the day I just lived through. Usually I find a path to follow. If nothing compelling surfaces, I go to my list of strange inspirations collected whenever they occur to me, usually at the most inconvenient moments, which is why I always carry a notepad. I am inspired by small things that grow in significance as I unravel the puzzle of shaping them on the page rather than subjects that are supposed to be poetic or praiseworthy.
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
I like the colon. It reminds me that a possible pun lurks inside many words.
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
I really don’t remember my high school reading assignments anymore, but having taught
high school for 27 years, I know I avoided James Joyce’s Ulysses, as teacher and probably as student.
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
I would like to thank the sun for rising every single day, even if it didn’t want to.
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
Surprises, puzzling, memory, composting, empathy
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
Stop staring at the mirror. Write!
Richard Krause’s collection of fiction, Studies in Insignificance, was published by Livingston Press, and his epigram collection, Optical Biases, was published by EyeCorner Press in Denmark. Propertius Press published his second collection of epigrams, Eye Exams. Aforisticamente (@wordpress.com), an online website of aphorists from around the world, translated 70 of his epigrams into Italian in 2012. Krause grew up in the Bronx and on farms in Pennsylvania. He drove a taxi in NYC for five years and taught English for nine years in Japan. Currently, he teaches at a community college in Kentucky.
Learn more at: richardkrausewriting.com
Gary M. Almeter grew up on a small dairy farm in Western New York, about 300 child-sized steps from his Grandpa’s house, where ice cream - usually Maple Walnut or Butter Pecan - was always available. He is now an attorney whose short stories, essays and humor pieces have appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, 1966, Splitsider, Verdad, and Writer’s Bone. In addition to winning his 8th grade spelling bee, he has been awarded numerous awards for his non-fiction, including the Maryland Writers Association’s Best Essay award in 2015. Gary has a B.A. in English from Le Moyne College; an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Boston College; and a J.D. from the University of Maryland. He currently lives in Baltimore, MD, about 300 adult-sized steps from the best ice cream shop in Baltimore, with his wife, three children, beagle and numerous deferred domestic projects.
Connect with Gary M. Almeter
Goodreads: Gary Almeter
Books By Gary M. Almeter
Joe Benevento received a B.A. degree from NYU in English and Spanish (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), an M.A. in English from Ohio State and a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State. Benevento is Professor of English at Truman State University, where he teaches creative writing, American literature, (including Latino/Latina and Latin American lit. in translation) and Young Adult Literature and Mystery. He is the longtime, co-editor of the Green Hills Literary Lantern.
Benevento’s poems, stories, essays and reviews have appeared in about 300 places, including: Poets & Writers, The Chattahoochee Review, Pearl, Wisconsin Review, Inkwell, South Dakota Review, RE: Arts & Letter, Prairie Schooner and Bilingual Review. His work has three times been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. In 1991 he was featured in a special issue of The MacGuffin, “New Decade, New Writers."
Benevento’s books include four novels, three full length poetry volumes, three poetry chapbooks, a book of short stories and an edited book of the poetry of Jim Thomas. They are, Holding On, Warthog Press, 1996; Willing To Believe, Timberline Press, 2003; Plumbing In Harlem, Independence Books, 2003; The Odd Squad, Behler Publications, 2005 (a finalist for the 2006 John Gardner Fiction Book Award); My Puerto Rican Past, Ginninderra Press, 2006; Some of My Best Friends and Other Fictions, Lewis-Clark Press, 2008; Brief Tracks: Poems by Jim Thomas, Truman State University Press, 2009; Tough Guys Don’t Write, Finishing Line Press, 2011; The Monsignor’s Wife, Moonshine Cove Press, 2013; Saving St. Teresa, Black Opal Books, 2015; Expecting Songbirds, Purple Flag Imprint of the Visual Artists Collective, 2015 and After, Mouthfeel Press, 2017.
L. Ward Abel, poet, composer and performer of music, teacher, retired lawyer, has been published hundreds of times in print and online (The Reader, Pisgah Review, Versal, Ha!Art, Istanbul Review, Snow Jewel), and is the author one full collection and ten chapbooks of poetry, including Jonesing for Byzantium (UKA Press, 2006), American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce Press, 2016), and Digby Roundabout (Kelsay Books, 2017). He presently lives in rural Georgia.
From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin has journeyed from New Jersey to Oregon to discover Douglas firs, months of rain, and dry summers. She claims that poetry is the way her mind interacts with the world – in images, rhythms, sounds, and intensities of language. After years of correcting academic papers and business books, she’s settled into the joyful challenge of translating experience into as few words as possible. Her aesthetic is embodied in Jack Kerouac's comment in Dharma Bums: “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple”; and in Galway Kinnell's statement, “To me, poetry is somebody standing up ... and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.” Her poems attempt to be simple in words as they grapple with the complexity of living on earth today.
Martin’s poems and book reviews have appeared in publications throughout North America and the UK including “Stirring,” “Naugatuck River Review,” “CALYX,” “The Curlew,” and “Antiphon.” Her third collection, Thin Places, was released by Kelsay Books in 2017. She is currently the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly, journal for global transformation. Find out more about Carolyn on her author’s website.
Rana Bitar earned her master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University in January 2017. Her poetry appeared in The Deadly Writers Patrol journal, DoveTales journal, Earthen Lamp Journal, Magnolia Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and El Portal journal.
Professionally, she is a physician. She lives and works in upstate NY. She is currently working on a collection of creative nonfiction stories about her journey as an oncologist. She writes both in Arabic and English.
Lenny DellaRocca is winner of the 2017 Yellow Jacket Poetry Prize for his chapbook, Things I See in the Fire. He is founder and co-publisher of South Florida Poetry Journal- SoFloPoJo and Interview With A Poet both at southfloridapoetryjournal.com.
His poems appear in Poet Lore, Poetrybay, 2River view, Fairy Tale Review, Chiron Review, Seattle Review, POEM, Laurel Review, Apalachee Review, Sun Dog, Gulf Stream Magazine, Wisconsin Review, The Potomac and Nimrod. He has three collections of poetry: Alphabetical Disorder, The Sleep Talker (chapbook), and Blood and Gypsies.
J.E.A. Wallace has been a hotel night porter, an abattoir security guard, and a barman in The House of Lords. Born and raised in England, he is now a happily married poet who lives and writes in New York City.
Lucía Orellana Damacela is the author of Life Lines (The Talbot-Heindl Experience, 2018), winner of The Bitchin' Kitsch Chapbook Competition. Her work has appeared in both English and Spanish in more than twelve countries. Some of the periodicals featuring Lucía’s work are Always Crashing, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Dash, Sharkpack Annual, Slippery Elm, Into the Void, and Frontera. Born in Ecuador, Lucía has lived in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
She blogs at notesfromlucia.wordpress.com and tweets as @lucyda. You can find her on Instagram at @lucyda and on Facebook under Lucia Orellana.
A former newspaper reporter, Patrick Meighan now lives the life of a nomadic adjunct professor, teaching poetry, composition, literature, and journalism courses at several four-year and two-year colleges. His poems, book reviews, and translations have appeared in many online and print journals. He earned his MFA in poetry from the low-residency program at New England College in 2012. He resides in Manchester, N.H.
Jeffrey S. Markovitz is the author of the novel Into the Everything (2011) and the story chapbook --for Olivia (2013). His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in publications such as The Cardiff Review, The Saint Katherine Review, The Swamp Literary Magazine, Evansville Review, ellipsis, Glassworks, Kindred Magazine, Apiary Magazine, Certain Circuits Lit Mag, Transient, Spittoon, Prime Mincer, Scribble, Origivation, Specter, Hidden City Philadelphia, and Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives in Philadelphia, where he teaches English.
Born and raised in Winston-Salem/Clemmons, NC. Lived and studied in Paris for a year before graduating from Wake Forest. It was at Wake I had the honor of studying under and being mentored by Germaine Bree. Amazing woman and scholar. Writing A WALKING SHADOW was a true labor of love. When I was living in Paris, I was able to track down a copy of the first ten treatises of Jabir’s “Book of Sixty-Nine Treatises”. Finally, it seemed, studying French was paying off. No English translation existed of Jabir’s work. I could read antiquity’s greatest alchemist in his own words. When Jonas’ shadow splits off and begins to both comfort and mock him it was, as Carl Jung speaks of in “Psychology and Alchemy,” the conscious and unconscious attempting to find balance. Of course a few random events, a couple of love interests and the ever-present vulture flying overhead, helped out.
Megan Denese Mealor is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, spinning words into wiles since she was four years old. Her work has been published widely in numerous journals, most recently Really System, streetcake, Fowl Feathered Review, The Mystic Blue Review, The Lake, Beakful, The Metaworker, The Wax Paper, and Degenerates: Voices for Peace. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at fifteen, Megan’s main mission as a writer is to inspire others stigmatized for their mental health. She is the author of a debut poetry collection, Bipolar Lexicon, with several more books on the way. Megan lives in her native land of Jacksonville, Florida, a city of neon bridges and bustling heart, with her fiance and five-year-old son in a house a little too small but also just right.
Jim Bohen is a poet and songwriter who was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he currently lives with his wife, Bonnie. His poems have appeared in Conclave, the Minnesota Daily, Red Paint Hill, Third Wednesday and elsewhere. He's been shortlisted for the erbacce prize and a finalist for The Loft Literary Center's Mentor Series. I travel in rusting burned-out sedans is his first book.