Maureen Sherbondy’s poems have appeared in Prelude, Calyx, European Judaism, The Oakland Review, and other journals. She has won the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the North Carolina Poet Laureate prize, and many other awards. Her most recent poetry books are Dancing with Dali, The Art of Departure, and Eulogy for an Imperfect Man. Sherbondy teaches English at Alamance Community College in Graham, North Carolina.
Stephen G. Eoannou holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and an MA from Miami University. His short story collection, Muscle Cars, was published by the Santa Fe Writers Project. He has been awarded an Honor Certificate from The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and won the Best Short Screenplay Award at the 36th Starz Denver Film Festival. He lives and writes in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, the setting and inspiration for much of his work. Rook is his first novel.
Emily Paige Wilson is the author of Jalubí (Unsolicited Press, 2022) and two chapbooks: Hypochondria, Least Powerful of the Greek Gods (Glass Poetry Press, 2020) and I'll Build Us a Home (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Her work has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize.
Learn more at emilypaigewilson.com.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Kadzi Mutizwa now lives in New York City. Living of Natural Causes is her first book.
Kristine Snodgrass is the author most recently of American Apparell from AlienBuddha Press, Rather, from Contagion Press (2020) and the chapbook, These Burning Fields (Hysterical Books 2019). Kristine’s asemic and vispo work has been published in Utsanga (Italy), Slow Forward, Brave New Word, and Talking About Strawberries. Kristine has collaborated with many poets and artists and is always looking for new projects. Most recent collaborations with Collin J. Rae, BEAST, can be found at kristinesnodgrass.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.
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Books By Gary M. Almeter
Growing up on a small dairy farm in upstate New York, Gary lived a few hundred steps from his paternal grandparents. His grandfather (hereafter “Grandpa”) was a perpetually happy man and Gary wondered, in light of the nature of farm work, in light of some of the hardships Grandpa endured, in light of the pace of the town, in light of the way he was chronically frugal, how this could be so. After college, Gary moved to the city and reveled in the cadence and sophistication of the city. And began to see how places came to shape the people who lived in those places. How the way we defy and indulge in a place; how the way we yearn for the notion of somewhere else; how the cadence and influence of a place affects a person.
In The Emperor of Ice-Cream, Gary recounts all the little moments - moments he never thought could or would be important - he had with Grandpa to try to understand who Grandpa was. He - with an astonishing blend of his signature humor and a reverence that only comes from a boy who loves his grandfather - then examines how his understanding of those moments has evolved after moving to the big cities for which he had always yearned. Does changing from denim overalls to a Brooks Brothers suit change a person? Should it? Is cow piss really that different from the piss with which the sidewalks of New York City are often soaked?
Not surprisingly, Gary discovers that where we are and where we are from has a big effect on who we are. But often not for the reasons we expect. The Emperor of Ice-Cream is an incredible and artfully told story of what we do to find happiness, what memorial means, what it means to be family, and what we do to be authentic in places where authenticity can be a challenge. It’s about the complexities of triumphantly leaving home and then spending decades befuddled by a perpetual and indomitable force luring you back.
There is a sad irony about grandparents. When you get to be at the age you want to know about the real people they were, you’re also likely near the age when your grandparents are no longer there. And you are also at the age when you are wondering who you are too. It takes a while – a couple decades really - to realize that your grandparents are people too. When you take your thumbnail, and scratch a little beneath the surface – beneath the myth that surrounds a child’s understanding of his or her grandparents and takes hold of a family – you see that grandparents are people: complex, mercurial, whimsical, authentic people. And that you likely have some of that whimsy and complexity in you.
In this moving, sophisticated, and often humorous novel, Gary M. Almeter artfully crafts a group portrait of several families using the finest of details in seemingly mundane encounters and everyday events.
It’s 1982 and Gloria Winegar, a Brown University librarian, discovers that there aren’t many drawbacks to having an affair with JFK, Jr., a Brown senior. When she learns she’s pregnant with his baby, she tells no one but her best friend who shepherds through childbirth. They leave the baby, a son, on the steps of a convent. The novel chronicles the next few decades of both Gloria and her son, who gets adopted by the most normal family in Massachusetts. How he learns who he is; how he discovers his mother; and what they each should or must do with their new knowledge is masterfully and beautifully written in a story that is a little bit espionage novel; a little bit bildungsroman; and a little bit historical fiction; all culminating in a beautiful literary sketch of a family. The book imagines the pre-public life of JFK Jr. and examines how much we know about him, and people in general, is illusory.
It is the story of identity, pedigree, blue collar versus Ivy League sensibilities, celebrity, authenticity, family, and self-care. It’s about how small things evolve into big things. It is a novel about nature versus nurture. It is a modern telling story of Arthurian legend and the mythic doomed (and triumphant) heroes who populate our world.
Brent Terry is in lockdown in the forests of southern New England, where he recites poems and performs interpretive dances for tiny woodland creatures. His stories, essays, reviews and poems have appeared in dozens of journals, and he is the author of Four collections of poetry. The Body Electric, a novel, was published in 2020 by Unsolicited Press. Terry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, a PEN Faulkner Award for Fiction, and the Connecticut Book Award for Poetry. He was the 2017 winner of the Connecticut Poetry Prize. He is an accomplished spoken word artist and has collaborated on work with visual artists, musicians and dancers. He teaches at Eastern Connecticut State University, but yearns to rescue a border collie and return to his ancestral homeland of the Rocky Mountain West.
Phillip Hurst is the author of a novel, Regent's of Paris, as well as a book of nonfiction, Whiskey Boys: And Other Meditations from the Abyss at the End of Youth, winner of the 2021 Monadnock Essay Collection Prize. His writing has appeared in literary journals such as The Missouri Review, The Gettysburg Review, River Teeth, Cimarron Review, and Post Road Magazine. He currently lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.
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