Carla Sarett is a poet, essayist and fiction writer based in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in Thimble, Blue Unicorn, San Pedro River Review, Naugatuck River Review, ONE Art, Hobart Pulp, Across the Margins, Prole and elsewhere; her essays have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays. THE LOOKING GLASS, a novella, (Propertius Press) was published in October, 2021. Carla has a Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania. A CLOSET FEMINIST is her debut novel.
Former girl scout Laura LeHew is obsessed with the creepy, creaky underbelly of life and whatever lies beyond. Widely published her collections include: Dear John--(The Poetry Box) is a collection of poems that explore the multi-facets of love by using diverse points of view to reveal romantic love, loving friendships, and love that is complicated, Buyer’s Remorse (Tiger’s Eye Press—Infinities) poems on abuse, Becoming (Another New Calligraphy) a non-linear discourse on alcoholism and dementia, Willingly Would I Burn, (MoonPath Press) themed around math and science, It’s Always Night, It Always Rains, (Winterhawk Press) murder/noir and Beauty (Tiger’s Eye Press) fairy tales.
In her alternate life Laura has been active in the high-tech industry for over thirty-five years. Her company Deer Run Associates, Inc. provides Computer Forensic investigations and Information Security consulting services to select clients across the United States, and throughout the world working with law enforcement and commercial organizations on some of the largest and most high-profile cybercrime cases in recent years.
Laura received her MFA from the California College of the Arts. She is on the steering committee for the Lane Literary Guild and facilitates the 1st and 3rd critique group.
Formerly Laura held various positions for the Oregon Poetry Association including President, Contest Chair and Cascadia editor, she co-hosted a reading series, Poetry for the People which ran for 4 seasons and has received residencies to Hypatia-in-the-Wood, PLAYA, the Montana Artists Refuge and Soapstone. Laura owns and edits Uttered Chaos, a small press which publishes books of poetry by NW writers. She knows nothing of gardens or gardening but is well versed in the cultivation of cats.
Laura is the recipient of the 2021 OPA’s Patricia Ruth Banta Award which honors an individual or group that made a significant contribution to Oregon poetry and to OPA’s mission.
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Stories from Dallas native, Cynthia C. Sample, have appeared in NumeroCinq, Summerset Review, Sleet, Blue Lake Review, Starlight Literary Journal and others. She holds an M.F.A. in Fiction from Vermont College and a Ph.D. in finance from University of Texas at Dallas.
Kendra Preston Leonard is a poet, lyricist, and librettist whose work is inspired by the local, historical, and mythopoeic. She is especially interested in addressing issues of social justice, the environment, and disability through poetry. Her first chapbook, Making Mythology, was published in 2020 by Louisiana Literature Press, and her work appears in numerous publications including vox poetica, lunch, These Fragile Lilacs, and Upstart: Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed. Leonard collaborates regularly with composers on works for voice including new operas and song cycles. Her lyrics and libretti have been set by composers including Jessica Rudman, Rosśa Crean, and Allyssa Jones. The author of numerous scholarly books and articles, Leonard is also a musicologist and music theorist, and her academic work focuses on women and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; music and the early modern; and music and screen history. Follow her on Twitter at @K_Leonard_PhD or visit her site at https://kendraprestonleonard.hcommons.org/.
Mark MacDonald lives in Beaverton, Oregon with his wife of twenty-one years, Tina, their two children, Zoe and Alaska, and seemingly countless pets. His day jobs are engineering technology development and education. He is an unabashed science nerd and an avid supporter of women in STEM fields. An author of numerous academic publications and patents, LOVE & GENETICS is his first popular non-fiction work.
Rachel Elliott is a native Canadian who migrated south (like the geese) to escape the cold. She
lives in North Carolina with her husband, Brent, and dog, Swagger, and is a proud mom to two
grown daughters. She would rather be at the beach than anywhere else and loves to find an
adventure. An avid reader, and recreational writer, LOVE & GENETICS is her first published work.
Dan Gutstein is the author of non/fiction (stories, 2010), Bloodcoal & Honey (poems, 2011), and Buildings Without Murders (novel, 2020). His writing has appeared in more than 100 journals and anthologies, including Ploughshares, American Scholar, Best American Poetry, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, TriQuarterly, The Iowa Review, and Prairie Schooner. He has been the recipient of grants and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Maryland State Arts Council, UnitedStatesArtists, Women in Film & Video, and Emory University. In addition to writing activities, he is vocalist for punk band Joy on Fire, who will be performing a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR, and co-director of a forthcoming documentary film, Li’l Liza Jane: The Story of America Through the History of a Song. At present, he is a nomad, dividing his time between the crashable couches of Trenton, N.J. and other scenic overlooks.
Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations have been published widely in journals and anthologies such as Field, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Gravel, The Malahat Review, The Puritan, Brooklyn Rail/InTranslation, Asymptote, carte blanche, Going Down Swinging, Oxford Poetry, The Lake, Ambit, Banshee Lit, among others. Her poems have been translated into French, Italian, Farsi, and Arabic, and have been featured in The Writer’s Almanac.
Serea’s poem My Father’s Quiets Friends in Prison, 1958-1962 received the New Letters Readers Award in 2013. She also has won the 2014 Award for Poetry Performance, Levure Littéraire (France), several honorable mentions and short lists for individual poems and chapbooks, 9 Pushcart Prize nominations and 5 nominations for Best of the Net.
Serea’s most recent published book is Twoxism (8th House Publishing, Montreal, Canada, 2018), a poetry-photography collaboration with visual artist Maria Haro. In 2021, her poems traslated into Arabic by Akram Alkatreb were published in the collection titled Tonight I'll Become a Lake Into Which You'll Sink, featured at the 2021 International Book Fair in Cairo, Egypt. Serea's 6th poetry collection Writing on the Walls at Night is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in early 2022.
Serea’s other full-length poetry collections include Angels & Beasts (Phoenicia Publishing, Canada, 2012), A Dirt Road Hangs from the Sky (8th House Publishing, Canada, 2013), To Part Is to Die a Little (Cervená Barva Press, 2015) and Nothing Important Happened Today (Broadstone Books, 2016). She also has published the chapbooks The Russian Hat (White Knuckles Press, 2014), The System (Cold Hub Press, New Zealand, 2012), With the Strike of a Match (White Knuckles Press, 2011), and Eternity’s Orthography (Finishing Line Press, 2007).
Together with Paul Doru Mugur and Adam J. Sorkin, Serea co-edited and co-translated The Vanishing Point That Whistles, an Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Poetry (Talisman House Publishing, 2011). She also translated from the Romanian Adina Dabija’s Beautybeast (Northshore Press, Alaska, 2012). In 2012, Serea co-founded and she currently edits National Translation Month.
Serea’s poem In Those years, No One Slept was set to music for choir by composer Richard Campbell and the piece won the top prize at The Uncommon Music Festival Competition in Sitka, AK, in August 2018. Since then, the piece was performed by choirs in several states, most notably at an event at the Pullo Center in York, PA, commemorating 100 years since the end of WWI.
In 2015, Claudia Serea was featured in the documentary Poetry of Witness alongside Carolyn Forché, Bruce Weigl, Duncan Wu, and others. The Economist featured an interview with Claudia Serea on its culture blog Prospero. Serea was short-listed for the 2015 Charter Oak Award for Best Historical poem, The Dictionary, and, in 2014, the poems from the sequence My Father’s Quiet Friends in Prison, 1958-1962 were featured in several short videos presented at international movie festivals.
Claudia Serea belongs to the poetry group The Red Wheelbarrow Poets and is one of the curators of the Williams Poetry Readings at the Williams Center in Rutherford, New Jersey. She works as a copywriter and writes, translates, and edits on her daily commute between New Jersey and New York.
Carrie Close was born and raised in Maine, where she lives with her boyfriend Josh, their two sons, Emerand and Zephyr, and their daughter, Zarya. You can read more of her work at carrieclose.com. Her first collection of poetry and short stories, What Have I Done? is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in March, 2022.
Trevor J. Houser lives with his family in Seattle. He has published stories in Zyzzyva, Story Quarterly and The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, among others. Three of his stories were nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Rosalia Scalia’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Oklahoma Review, North Atlantic Review, Notre Dame Review, The Portland Review, and Quercus Review, among many others. She holds an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University and is a Maryland State Arts Council Independent Artist's Award recipient. She won the Editor's Select award from Willow Review and her short story in Pebble Lake was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Baltimore with her family.
Brook Bhagat’s poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and humor have appeared in Monkeybicycle, Empty Mirror Magazine, Soundings East, Little India, Prometheus Dreaming, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, and other journals and anthologies. She is the 2020 winner of A Story in 100 Words’ nature writing contest and the 2021 winner of Loud Coffee Press’s summer microfiction contest. She and her husband Gaurav created Blue Planet Journal, which she edits and writes for. She holds an MFA from Lindenwood University, is an assistant professor of English at a community college, and is writing a novel. See more at brook-bhagat.com or reach her on Twitter at @BrookBhagat.
Heather Lang-Cassera lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she served as Clark County Poet Laureate (2019-2021) and was named 2017 “Best Local Writer or Poet” by the readers of Nevada Public Radio’s Desert Companion. Heather holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Graduate Certificate in Literary Translation. She serves as an Editor for Tolsun Books and World Literature Editor for The Literary Review. Her chapbook, I was the girl with the moon-shaped face, was published by Zeitgeist Press. At Nevada State College, Heather teaches College Success, Composition, and Creative Writing. www.heatherlang.cassera.net.
Daniel Coshnear lives in Guerneville, California with his wife and two children. He works at a group home for the homeless and mentally ill and teaches writing classes through UC Berkeley Extension. He is the author of Homesick, Redux (Flock 2015), Occupy & Other Love Stories (Kelly's Cove Press 2012) and Jobs & Other Preoccupations (Helicon Nine 2001) winner of the Willa Cather Fiction Award.
Bree A. Rolfe lives in Austin, TX, where she teaches writing and literature to the mostly reluctant, but always lovable, teenagers at James Bowie High School. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, where she worked as a music journalist for 10 years before she decided she wanted to dedicate her life to writing poetry and teaching. Her work has appeared in Saul Williams’s poetry anthology, Chorus: A Literary Mixtape, the Barefoot Muse Anthology, Forgetting Home: Poems About Alzheimer’s, the Redpaint Hill Anthology, Mother is a Verb, and 5AM Magazine. She holds an MFA from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. Her first chapbook, Who's Going to Love the Dying Girl, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in September of 2021. http://breerolfe.com/
Jay Kristensen Jr. was born and raised in Seattle. He has lived around the country and currently resides in Seattle. Light in Rosadero is his debut novel.
Larry D. Thacker’s stories can be found in past issues of The Still Journal, Fried Chicken and Coffee, Dime Show Review, Vandalia Journal, and Grotesque Quarterly. His stories have been twice nominated for the Pushcart and once for a Best of the Net recognition. His poetry can be found in over 170 publications, including Still: The Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, Poetry South, Tower Poetry Society, Spillway, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Town Creek Poetry, and Appalachian Heritage. His books are Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia, the short story collection, Working it Off in Labor County, and the poetry books, Feasts of Evasion, Grave Robber Confessional, Voice Hunting, Memory Train, and Drifting in Awe. His MFA in poetry and fiction is from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He serves as adjunct instructor at Northeast State Community College. Visit: www.larrydthacker.com
Taylor García is the author of the novel Slip Soul, and several short stories and essays. He also writes the weekly column, “Father Time” at the Good Men Project, and holds an MFA from Pacific University Oregon. García is a multi-generational Neomexicano originally from Santa Fé, New Mexico now living in Southern California with his wife and children.
Irshad Abdal-Haqq writes and promotes fiction and nonfiction that highlight the links between past, present, and evolving intercultural relationships—especially those involving marginalized communities. He is the author of Brotherhood of the Gods, one of the first African American Muslim literary novels. His nonfiction has included scholarly articles and award-winning essays. Irshad’s current literary plans include completion of a memoir, an intercultural dystopian novel, and a unique set of short stories about the African American Muslim experience. A former adjunct associate professor at the University of Virginia and George Mason University Law School, Irshad is a graduate of Amherst College (B.A. Black Studies), Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.), and Antioch School of Law (M.A.T. Clinical Legal Education). Though born in Newark and raised in the Greater New York City area, he now proudly calls Washington, DC home.
Connor M. Bjotvedt received his Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Spalding University. He was awarded the Charles E. Bull Creative Writing Scholarship for Poetry by Northern Arizona University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English, Literature, and Creative Writing. Connor was a 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee and his work has appeared in Rain Taxi, the Santa Fe Literary Review, the Haiku Journal, Three Line Poetry, catheXis Northwest Press, and The Wayfarer, among others.
Thomas Calder’s writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, Miracle Monocle, The Collective Quarterly, and elsewhere. He earned his BA in English from the University of Florida and his MFA in creative writing at the University of Houston. He now lives in Asheville, N.C. with his wife, daughter and dog.
His debut novel THE WIND UNDER THE DOOR is available on March 23, 2021.
Andrew Brenza’s recent chapbooks include Geometric Mantra (above/ground press), Poems in C (Viktlösheten Press), and Waterlight (Simulacrum Press). He is also the author of four collections of visual poetry, Automatic Souls (Timglaset), Gossamer Lid (Trembling Pillow Press), Alphabeticon & Other Poems (RedFoxPress), and Spool (Unsolicited Press). His newest book, Smear, was just released from BlazeVOX Books.
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Shelly Milliron Drancik earned her MFA in fiction from Queens University of Charlotte. Her short fiction has appeared in various literary journals and her screenplay, based on THE DISTANCE OF MERCY, has earned a number of awards. She lives with her children in Chicago.
Laura Kiesel is a longtime poet, essayist and journalist. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, the Washington Post, Vice, Vox, Ozy, Narratively, Salon, The Manifest-Station and many others. Her poems have been featured in upstreet, Medulla Review. Fox Chase Review, Blue Lake Review, Stone Highway Review, Noctua Review, Naugatuck River Review, Wilderness House Literary Review. Originally from Brooklyn, New York she now lives in the Boston area where she teaches creative nonfiction, literary journalism and poetry at Grub Street and Arlington Center for the Arts. She is the servant of two adorable but demanding cats and has a habit of staying up way too late at night, usually reading.
S.B. Borgersen is a British/Canadian author, of middle England and Hebridean ancestry, whose favoured genres are flash and micro fiction, and poetry.
Sue was educated at diverse institutions including boarding at a French convent in Nicosia, Cyprus before transferring in 1958 to a boarding school for military brats where she published her first story, My Life Story: told by Laika, the Sputnik Dog in The Crusader, the first magazine of King Richard School, Dhekelia, Cyprus. Sometime after that was the freedom of The North Warwickshire School of Art.
She had a diverse career path, an analyst in a shoe factory, the same thing for a children’s book publisher, teaching art, and filing for the civil service, but mostly she climbed a precarious ladder in the IT industry culminating in strategy and project management, which, by necessity in those days, included writing writing writing mountains of non-fiction — always allowing herself to be slightly creative with proposals, reports, technical and training documentation.
Sue turned her back on industry and commerce in the early nineties, escaping the stressful rat-race and finding the simple life and peaceful place she’d always sought to allow for creativity. That place was Nova Scotia where she returned to her skills from art school and made an uncomplicated living as a visual artist and potter. That is, until she got the creative writing bug.
Since 2000 her writing has won prizes, been mentioned in Hansard and published internationally in literary journals and anthologies (print and online). The list of publications is extensive and can be found at www.sueborgersen.com
She is a loyal member of The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and an enthusiastic member of the international online writers' group for expats, Writers Abroad.
Sue lives in a crumbling old house on the shores of Nova Scotia with her patient husband and a clutch of lovable rowdy dogs. She has two middle-aged children.
S.B. Borgersen writes every day.