the literary magazine of Gardner-Webb University

Contributors

James Adams was nominated in 2007 for a Pulitzer Prize for his collection, Noble Savage: Poems. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Rattle; Light: A Journal of Photography & Poetry; The Muse (India), and other publications. He is a co-editor of the anthology Elusions: Refugee Poetry (WaterWood Press, 2019). He was lead judge for the 2019 Carolyn Forché Prize and is a Siegfried Sassoon Fellow. He participated in several Inprint Workshops in Houston, the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference, the Split Rock Mentorship Program (Univ. of MN, with Carolyn Forché), and the UCLA Writers’ Program.

Jeffrey Alfier’s most recent book, The Shadow Field, was published by Louisiana Literature Press. His publication credits include The Carolina Quarterly, Copper Nickel, Emerson Review, Permafrost, and Southern Poetry Review. He is co-editor of Blue Horse Press and San Pedro River Review.

Tobi Alfier is a multiple Best of the Net and multiple Pushcart nominee. Slices of Alice & Other Character Studies was published by Cholla Needles Press. Symmetry: earth and sky was published by Main Street Rag. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review (bluehorsepress.com).

Myla Athitang, a first-generation born Laotian American, published her first novel, Annalise, at the age of 17 during her senior year at Kings Mountain High School. As a imaginative fanatic, her fingers itching at the sight of pencil and paper, she scoured her life experiences to piece together stories that would bring not only readers but also dreamers together in a lasting impression of her life on earth.

When not teaching, Devon Balwit chases chickens in the Pacific Northwest. Her individual poems can be found in The Worcester Review, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Barrow Street, Tar River Poetry, Sugar House Review, Rattle, Bellingham Review, and Grist, among others. Her most recent chapbook is Rubbing Shoulders with the Greats (Seven Kitchens Press, 2020). For more regarding her online poems, her collections, and her reviews, please visit her website.

Roy Bentley, a finalist for the Miller Williams prize for Walking with Eve in the Loved City (University of Arkansas), is the author of eight books, including American Loneliness (Lost Horse, 2019). Poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, The Southern Review, Shenandoah, and Prairie Schooner, among others.

L.R. Berger’s collection of poems, The Unexpected Aviary, received the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry. She’s been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN New England Discovery Award, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and The American Academy in Rome. With Kamal Boullatta, she assisted in the translation from the Arabic of Beginnings by Adonis (Pyramid Atlantic Press). She lives and writes in New Hampshire within earshot of the Contoocook River.

Peter Bergquist earned a BA in English from Princeton University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. His poems have been published in Rougarou, The Queen City Review, The New Verse News, A Handful of Dust, and Broad River Review, among others. His poems “Gristle on the Bone,” “The Easy Winter,” “Pulled Over Outside Santa Fe,” “The Memories Always Win” and “The View to Valhalla, British Columbia” were finalists for the latter journal’s Rash Awards. He has published three novels in his Manifest Trilogy: Where the West Ends, A Wild Surmise, and Destiny’s End.

Jenn Blair’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Appalachian Review, South Carolina Review, Chattahoochee Review, New South, Cold Mountain Review, Copper Nickel, Berkley Poetry Review, Atticus Review, and the Southhampton Review, among others. Her poetry book Malcontent is out from Press Americana and her poetry book Face Cut Out for Locket is forthcoming from Brick Road Poetry Press. She currently teaches at Lander University.

John Blair has published six books, most recently Playful Song Called Beautiful (University of Iowa Press, 2016).

Ace Boggess is author of five books of poetry—Misadventure, I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, Ultra Deep Field, The Prisoners, and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled—and the novels States of Mercy and A Song Without a Melody. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, Mid-American Review, Rattle, River Styx, and many other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia. His sixth collection, Escape Envy, is forthcoming from Brick Road Poetry Press in 2021.

Katie Ellen Bowers was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, but is now sowing seeds with her husband and daughter in the small, rural town of Heath Springs, South Carolina.

John Brantingham is the first poet laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, and his work has been featured in hundreds of magazines and in Writer’s Almanac and The Best Small Fictions 2016. Brantingham has published 11 books of poetry and fiction, including Crossing the High Sierra and California Continuum: Volume One. He teaches at Mt. San Antonio College.

Nik Bristow might still hold the record for the fastest land-crossing of the contiguous United States in a vehicle not powered by petroleum. But that’s a different story. He is a self-taught—and thus, slow-to-emerge—writer and poet, whose stuff is starting not to suck. He currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife, baby, dogs, and wheels. Bristow can be found online at nikbristow.com and on Twitter @nikbristow.

Betsy Brockett lives outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 12 acres with her husband and their two dogs. On the acreage is their young perennial nursery, Foggy Blossom Farm. Betsy holds a BA in Art & Visual Technology with a concentration in Photography from George Mason University. In addition to creative writing, she pursues conceptual photography and sculpture, as well as all content creation for the farm.

Jennifer Brown lives with her partner and a funny-looking dog in North Carolina but is itching for the day when they hit the open road and land in Vermont, Alaska, and many points between. She has taught creative writing and literature in high schools, colleges, summer programs, and festivals and has held residencies at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. In 2018, she won the Linda Flowers Literary Award from the North Carolina Humanities Council. Her essays and poems have appeared in North Carolina Literary Review, Atticus Review, Cagibi, and are forthcoming in L.A. Review, Copper Nickel, Cimarron Review, and Cinncinnati Review. Her first poetry collection, Natural Violence, is forthcoming from Brick Road Poetry Press in 2021.

Nathaniel Cairney lives with his family in Belgium, where he writes, cooks and hosts podcasts. Originally from the United States, his poems have been published in Midwest Review, Sixfold, California Quarterly and others. He holds an MA in English Literature from Kansas State University.

Barbara Caldwell, originally from upstate New York, grew up on a dairy farm and in a public library. She is a graduate from Cornell University, studied English and Creative Writing at San Francisco State University and later received a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Buffalo. She has worked in school and public libraries. She lives with her husband and two children in Toledo, Ohio.

Sarah Carey is a graduate of the Florida State University creative writing program. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Grist, Yemassee, Frontier Poetry, and elsewhere. Her poetry book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in EcoTheo, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and the Los Angeles Review. Sarah’s poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Orison Anthology. Her poetry chapbook, Accommodations (2019), received the Concrete Wolf Chapbook Award. She also is the author of another chapbook, The Heart Contracts (Finishing Line Press, 2016.) Visit her at SarahKCarey.com or on Twitter @SayCarey1.

Patty Cole is poet and essayist who lives in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Her book of poetry, Away I Sing, was published in 2015. Her other works have appeared in several journals and anthologies. Her goal as a poet is to write poems that resonate with readers and leave them high.

Barbara Conrad is author of three poetry collections: The Gravity of Color, Wild Plums, and her most recent, There Is a Field (2018). She is Editor of Waiting for Soup, an anthology from her writing group at a center for folks who count themselves lucky to own a sleeping bag. Her poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, Atlanta Review, Nine Mile, North Carolina Literary Review, Broad River Review, and numerous anthologies. Her subjects range from ironic takes on life to hard truths about social injustice—hopefully with a bit of attitude.

Roger Craik is English by birth and educated at British universities, and daily considers himself tremendously fortunate to live in America. His poems have been published in England, Australia, and America, in translation in Bulgaria, Romania, and Belarus, and he has written four full-length books of poetry, of which the most recent is Down Stranger Roads (2014). A new book, In Other Days, is in press.

Jim Daniels is the author of many books of poems, including, most recently, Rowing Inland and Street Calligraphy. His sixth book of fiction, The Perp Walk, was published by Michigan State University Press in 2019, along with the anthology he edited with M.L. Liebler, RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music. A native of Detroit, he currently lives in Pittsburgh.

John Davis Jr. is the author of Hard Inheritance (Five Oaks Press, 2016), Middle Class American Proverb (Negative Capability Press, 2014), and two other books of poetry. His work has appeared in Nashville Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Tampa Review, and The Common online, among many others. He holds an MFA and teaches college English classes in the Tampa Bay area.

Stephany L.N. Davis lives in Asheville, North Carolina. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Broad River Review, The Great Smokies Review, The Pisgah Review, and elsewhere.

Mary Christine Delea is a former university professor of English and Creative Writing. She is the author of one full-length poetry collection, three chapbooks, and over 200 journal publications. Originally from Long Island, New York, she now lives in Oregon.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett’s work has seen print in Belle Ombre, Inlandia, Cutbank, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Writer, The Author’s Guild Bulletin, Poets & Writers, and the Los Angeles Times. She hosts Writers on Writing, a public radio show on KUCI-FM (broadcasting out of UC-Irvine). Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Igniting the Writer Within (Harcourt), was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Demarco-Barrett’s story, “Crazy for You,” was published in USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series.

Timothy Dodd is from Mink Shoals, West Virginia, and is the author of Fissures, and Other Stories (Bottom Dog Press, 2019). His stories have appeared in Yemassee, The William & Mary Review, Anthology of Appalachian Writers, and other places. He has placed poetry in The Literary Review, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Roanoke Review, and elsewhere. Also a visual artist, Tim’s most recent solo exhibition, “Come Here, Nervousness,” was held at Art Underground in Manila, Philippines. His oil paintings may be sampled on his Instagram page, @timothybdoddartwork, and his writing followed on his “Timothy Dodd, Writer” Facebook page.

Hollie Dugas lives in Louisiana. Her work has been selected to be included in Barrow Street, Reed Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Pembroke, Salamander, Poet Lore, Watershed Review, Whiskey Island, Chiron Review, Louisiana Literature, and CALYX. Hollie has been a finalist twice for the Peseroff Prize at Breakwater Review, Greg Grummer Poetry Prize at Phoebe, Fugue’s Annual Contest, and has received Honorable Mention in Broad River Review’s Rash Award. Additionally, “A Woman’s Confession #5,162” was selected as the winner of Western Humanities Review Mountain West Writers’ Contest (2017). She is currently a member on the editorial board for Off the Coast.

Stephanie Dupal is a Franco-Canadian writer who teaches composition and literature in Virginia. Her work most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Stonecoast Review, Eastern Iowa Review, The Northern Virginia Review, Maryland Literary Review, Broad River Review, and Orca, a Literary Journal. She is the recipient of the 2017 Best Prose Award from TNVR and she was named a finalist for the 2019 Rash Award in Fiction from Broad River Reveiw, for the 2019 Sonora Review Essay Contest, and for the 2019 New Letters Publication Award in Fiction. Two of her short stories were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She earned an MFA in fiction from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she is also an assistant editor for The Literary Review. She hopes to publish her novel and short story collection soon.

Wendy J. Fox is the author of The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories (winner, Press 53 short fiction contest & finalist for the Colorado Book Award), The Pull of It (named a top 2016 book by Displaced Nation) and the novel If the Ice Had Held, named a Buzzfeed top pick for in 2019. Other work has appeared or is forthcoming in COG Magazine, descant, Euphony Journal, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Hawaii Pacific Review, The Madison Review, The Missouri Review online, OxMag, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pisgah Review, PMS poemmemoirstory, The Puritan, The Tampa Review, Tusculum Review, Washington Square Review, and ZYZZYVA, among others.

Patricia L. Hamilton won the Rash Award in Poetry in 2015 and 2017 and has received three Pushcart nominations. The Distance to Nightfall, her debut collection, was published by Main Street Rag Publishing in 2014. She is a professor of English in Jackson, Tennessee.

Luke Hankins is the author of two poetry collections, Radiant Obstacles and Weak Devotions, and a collection of essays, The Work of Creation. A volume of his translations from the French of Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, A Cry in the Snow & Other Poems, was released by Seagull Books in 2019. Hankins is the founder and editor of Orison Books, a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives.

Born Anniston, Alabama, Robert W. Hill was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hill has taught at many college and universities, with the most recent being Marshall University. He has published poems in 32 Poems, Appalachian Journal, Ascent, Birmingham Poetry Review, Broad River Review, Cathexis Northwest Press, Chants, Cold Mountain Review, Davidson Miscellany, EMRYS Journal, Grand Central Review, Main Street Rag, McNeese Review, North Carolina Literary Review, Old Red Kimono, Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Shenandoah, South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, Southern Review, and elsewhere. Hill co-authored James Dickey (Twayne, 1983) with Richard J. Calhoun.

Jo Ann Hoffman’s publications include a children’s book, short fiction and numerous poems in literary journals, including The Merton Quarterly, Pinesong, Kakalak, Prime Number, Flying South, Red Clay Review, Snapdragon and New Verse News, among others. She has received contest awards from the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Carteret Writers and Pamlico Writers. Her non-fiction book, Angels Wear Black, recounts the only technology executive kidnapping to occur in California’s Silicon Valley. A native of Toledo, Ohio, she and her husband now live in Cary and Beaufort, North Carolina.

Peter Kahn lives in Wisconsin, the land of bucks and whitetail does, where the pinewood grows and the cold beer flows. His photos and poem have appeared in various journals and anthologies across the United States and the United Kingdom.

Gary Keenan lives in New York City. His book Rotary Devotion won the 2016 Poets Out Loud Award and is available from Fordham University Press.

Candice Kelsey’s poetry collection Still I Am Pushing just released with Finishing Line Press. Her poetry appears in Poets Reading the News, Poet Lore, and others. She won the 2019 Two Sisters Writing’s Contest, received Honorable Mention for Common Ground Review’s 2019 Poetry Contest, and was nominated for a Pushcart. Currently, she is working with the O, Miami Poetry Festival on an exciting project. Find her at candicemkelseypoet.com.

Victoria Korth is the recipient of the 2020 Montreal International Poetry Prize. Poems have recently appeared in Jelly Bucket, LEON, Ocean State Review, Tar River Poetry, Spoon River Poetry Review, Barrow Street, and widely elsewhere. Her chapbook, Cord Color, was released from Finishing Line Press in 2015. She is an MFA graduate of the Warren Wilson College Program for Writers and holds an MA in Creative Writing from SUNY Brockport. She lives in Western New York State, where she has a psychiatric practice caring for the chronically mentally ill.

Michael Kreger is a Philadelphia native who attended Temple University, graduating with a degree in English Literature and Philosophy. He has been teaching in public schools for the past thirteen years. Most recently, Michael has been working in leadership development and academic for a charter network in Denver, Colorado. Michael is interested in the intersection of the artificial and the natural and how the incongruent nature of those two powerful forces shape our lives on a daily basis. Currently, Michael is residing in Denver, Colorado, and working on his first manuscript.

Stacey Lawrence teaches Poetry at Columbia High School in New Jersey. Her work can be seen in The Comstock Review, Eunoia Review, Street Light Press, and others. Nikki Giovanni says of Stacey’s work, “It’s so seldom a book of poems can contain both love poems and acceptance of grief. Take Stacey’s poems to a couch, curl under your great-grandmother’s quilt, and understand love and loss are one.”

Yvonne Higgins Leach spent decades balancing a career in communications and public relations, raising a family, and pursuing her love of writing poetry. Her first collection of poems is called Another Autumn. Her latest passion is working with shelter dogs. She splits her time living in Vashon and Spokane, Washington. For more information, visit yvonnehigginsleach.com.

Betsy Littrell is a whimsical soccer mom to four boys as well as a writing instructor at San Diego State University, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing. When she’s not writing (or when she is), she enjoys a good cup of tea, a glass of rosé and peaceful moments by the beach with a book in hand. Her work has appeared in several journals, and her first full-length collection, This Woman is Haunted, comes out in December.

Robert McCall lives in Tryon, North Carolina, and manages the public library in Saluda, North Carolina. He was the 2015 winner of the Sidney Lanier Poetry Prize and gave a poetry reading at the Tryon Fine Arts Center with other past winners. He has been a finalist for the N.C. State Poetry Prize, and the Longleaf Press chapbook prize. He was also a past finalist for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize.

Kevin J. McDaniel is the author of three chapbooks and a book of poetry, Rubbernecking (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2019). His poems have appeared in California Quarterly, Cloudbank, Free State Review, Ocean State Review, The Aurorean, Valley Voices: A Literary Review, and others. He is the founder of Speckled Trout Review.

David Alexander McFarland is an internationally published writer of short fiction, essays and poetry. His poetry has appeared in Coe Review, Marathon Literary Review, Sheila-Na-Gig Online, and Cathexis Northwest Press. He lives in northwestern Illinois where the Mississippi River runs east to west.

Joshua McKinney’s most recent book of poetry, Small Sillion (Parlor Press, 2019), was short-listed for the 2019 Golden Poppy Award. His work has appeared in such journals as Boulevard, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review, New American Writing, and many others. He is the recipient of The Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize, The Dickinson Prize, The Pavement Saw Chapbook Prize, and a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Writing. A member of Senkakukan Dojo of Sacramento, California, he has studied Japanese sword arts for over thirty years.

Originally from rural Western Pennsylvania, Nathan Miller is a non-traditional undergraduate English and Creative Writing student at the University of Iowa, and studies in the Undergraduate Writers’ Workshop.

K.G. Newman is a sportswriter who covers the Broncos and Rockies for The Denver Post. His first two collections of poems, While Dreaming of Diamonds in Wintertime and Selfish Never Get Their Own, are available on Amazon. His third collection is forthcoming from Nasiona Press in November. The Arizona State University alum is on Twitter @KyleNewmanDP and more info and writing can be found at kgnewman.com. He lives in Castle Rock, Colorado, with his wife and two kids.

Douglas Nordfors is a native of Seattle, and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since 1987, he’s been publishing poems in journals such as The Iowa Review, Quarterly West, Poetry Northwest, and Poet Lore, and recent work has appeared in Burnside Review, The Louisville Review, The Red Wheelbarrow, The Write Launch, California Quarterly, 2River, and others. His three books of poetry are Auras (2008), The Fate Motif (2013), and Half-Dreaming (2020).

Originally from Maplewood, New Jersey, Ilari Pass holds a BA in English from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and an MA in English with a concentration in literature from Gardner-Webb University. Her accolades include a two-time Editors’ Prize in Poetry recipient and a finalist for the 2019 Ron Rash Award in Poetry from the Broad River Review, an Honorable Mention in the 2020 Spring Issue of JuxtaProse Magazine, an Honorable Mention in the 2020 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, the 2020 Cream City Review Summer Poetry Contest finalist, and a Runner-up for the 2020 Doug Draime Poetry Award from The Raw Art Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Brown Sugar Literary, Kissing Dynamite, Red Fez, Unlikely Stories, Triggerfish Critical Review, Rigorous Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, Drunk Monkeys, The Drunk Daily, Free State Review, American Writers Review, Common Ground Review, and others.

Barry Peters and his wife, the writer Maureen Sherbondy, live in Durham, North Carolina. He teaches in Raleigh. Publications include The American Journal of Poetry, Best New Poets, New Ohio Review, Poetry East, Rattle, and The Southampton Review.

Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita, has seven full-length books of poetry, most recently One Small Sun, from Salmon Poetry in Ireland. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, The New Republic, Prairie Schooner, Willow Springs, Calyx, and Poetry Daily online. A Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she received the 2006 Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts. In 2013 she was Willamette Writers’ Distinguished Northwest Writer. The Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds chose a poem from her book The Voluptuary as the lyric for a choral composition that’s now part of the repertoire of the Choir at Trinity College Cambridge.

Eugene Platt, an octogenarian, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, a city that tends to engender in writers a strong sense of place and which continues to inform much of his work. After serving in the Army (paratrooper), he earned a BA in political science at the University of South Carolina, an MA in English at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and a Diploma in Anglo-Irish Literature at Trinity College Dublin. His published collections include An Original Sin (Briarpatch Press, Chapel Hill) and Summer Days with Daughter. Poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, Poet Lore, Crazyhorse, St. Andrew’s Review, Poem, South Carolina Review, Southwestern Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Boyne Berries, Icarus, Into the Void, Old Hickory Review, Negative Capability Press, and some have been choreographed. He has given over 100 public readings of his work at colleges and universities across the nation. He lives in Charleston with his main muses: Montreal-born wife Judith, corgi Henry, and cat Keats.

James Ramsey is an emerging poet and writer living in Greensboro, North Carolina. This past summer, based on submitted work, he was invited to participate in the online Poet in Residence mentoring program of Arc Poetry Magazine. His poetry’s inclusion in Broad River Review marks his first publication.

Choya Randolph is an adjunct professor at Adelphi University with a BA in Mass Communications and an MFA in Creative Writing. Her work has been published in Rigorous Magazine, midnight & indigo, Her Campus, The Crow’s Nest, Haunted Waters Press, and elsewhere. She is a proud Floridian who lives happily on Long Island in New York.

Greg Rappleye’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, and other literary journals. His second book of poems, A Path Between Houses (University of Wisconsin Press, 2000) won the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. His third book, Figured Dark (University of Arkansas Press, 2007) was co-winner of the Arkansas Prize and was published in the Miller Wiliams Poetry Series. His fourth book, Tropical Landscape with Ten Hummingbirds, was published in the fall of 2018 by Dos Madres Press. He teaches in the English Department at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

Devin Reese is a turtle biologist turned science writer who frequents the hidden wilds of northern Virginia. Her writing can be found online.

Linda Neal Reising, a native of Oklahoma and member of the Western Cherokee Nation, has been published in numerous journals, including The Southern Indiana Review, The Comstock Review, and Nimrod. Reising’s work has also appeared in a number of anthologies, including Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperCollins), And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (Indiana Historical Society Press), and Lost on Route 66: Tales from the Mother Road (Gondwana Press). She was named the winner of the 2012 Writer’s Digest Poetry Competition. Her chapbook, Re-Writing Family History (Finishing Line Press), was a finalist for the 2015 Oklahoma Book Award, as well as winner of the 2015 Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Poetry Book Prize. In 2018, her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the editors of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. Her first full-length collection, The Keeping, was recently published by Finishing Line Press. Reising’s second full-length book is scheduled for release by Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books) in April of 2021.

Brett Riley is the author of The Subtle Dance of Impulse and Light (Ink Brush Press), Comanche (Imbrifex Books), Lord of Order (2021), and Freaks (2022). His short fiction has appeared in journals such as The Baltimore Review, f(r)iction, Solstice, Folio, The Evansville Review, and many others. His nonfiction has appeared in Role Reboot, Rougarou, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Literary Orphans, Under the Gum Tree, Wild Violet, and Foliate Oak Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brettwrites. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/BrettRileyAuthor.

Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Enizagam, and Healing Muse, among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

Victoria Shannon has worked as a journalist in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Paris, France, and now writes and edits from the Hudson River Valley of New York State.

Randall Shelley’s work has appeared in American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Sequestrum, Fiction Southeast, Barely South Review, Oakland Review, and Kestrel. In 2018, his story collection El Camino was a finalist for the C. Michael Curtis Book Prize with Hub City Press. He holds an MFA from Hollins University and lives in Florence, South Carolina, where he is at work on a novel.

Maureen Sherbondy’s latest book is Dancing with Dali. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, Barry Peters. She can be found online at maureensherbondy.com.

Mark Simpson is the author of Fat Chance (Finishing Line Press). Recent work has appeared in Columbia Journal (online), Third Wednesday, and Apeiron Review. He lives on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Duncan Smith is a librarian living and writing in Chapel Hill. His essays, fiction and poetry have appeared in Booklist, Crucible, and Broad River Review.

Bill Smoot grew up in Maysville, Kentucky, and received philosophy degrees at Purdue and Northwestern. He has published fiction and nonfiction in such periodicals as Orchid, Crab Orchard Review, Barely South Review, Narrative, The Nation, Georgia Review, and Literary Review. He has published a nonfiction book, Conversations with Great Teachers, and one novel, Love: A Story. He lives in Berkeley, California, and teaches college courses with the Prison University Project at San Quentin Prison.

Rachel Sobylya received her BA in English and history from East Tennessee State University in 2012, and she graduated from Dartmouth College’s MA in Liberal Studies program in 2015. She is currently pursuing her PhD in English at the University of Kentucky. Her work has appeared in West Texas Literary Review, Gravel, and among other publications. Her debut chapbook, Dear River, was published earlier this year by Finishing Line Press.

Matthew J. Spireng’s 2019 Sinclair Prize-winning book Good Work was published in 2020 by Evening Street Press. A 10-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he is the author of two other full-length poetry books, What Focus Is and Out of Body, winner of the 2004 Bluestem Poetry Award, and five chapbooks.

Author of Poems for the American Brother (Slipstream Press, 2020) and Mycopoetry (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming in 2021), Max Stephan’s poetry and prose have appeared in the North Dakota Quarterly, Appalachia, Whitefish Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Cold Mountain Review, Slipstream, Potomac Review, Blueline, Cimarron Review, and Louisiana Review, among others. Recently Stephan won the 2020 Slipstream Press Chapbook Contest and was awarded Fellowship at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. In addition, he was noted as a finalist in the Rash Award in Poetry Competition (2018, 2019), the Jessie Bryce Niles Chapbook Contest (2018, 2019), the Homebound Poetry Prize (2019), and invited to write the featured story for the latest issue of Appalachia honoring the work of Mary Oliver (Winter, 2020). Stephan teaches at Niagara University, specializing in Contemporary American Poetry. He runs a poetry series on campus entitled “Western New York Poets” and hosts “Second Stage Writers” – a monthly reading in the city of Buffalo, which brings together both young and established voices. Learn more about Max Stephan at maxstephan.net.

Alex Thomas lives in Washington, DC, where he writes about politics for Playboy. He has published poetry in Hawaii Pacific Review, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere.

John Thomson lives in Northern California and is a retired land and wildlife conservationist. His stories have appeared in several literary journals, most recently in The Hopper, Broad River Review, Terrain, and Collateral. In 2018 he won Terrain’s Fiction Award for his story “Out of Good Ground.” His novel A Small Boat at the Bottom of the Sea was published by Milkweed Editions.

Emily Townsend’s works have appeared in cream city review, Superstition Review, The Account, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Santa Clara Review, Slippery Elm, and others. A nominee for a Pushcart Prize, Best American Essays, and Best of the Net, she is currently tinkering with essays and poems in Eugene, Oregon.

As a college professor, Lazarus Trubman taught the Theory of Literature and Roman languages for twenty-three years. In 2017, he retired from teaching and settled in North Carolina to devote his time to writing. His work has appeared in print and online publications across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK, including The Threepenny Review, Exposition Review, Prism Review, New Letters, and New Reader.

Allen Tullos, professor of history and digital humanities at Emory University, is co-founder of the online journal Southern Spaces and co-director of the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications including the British anthology Entanglements, Common Ground Review, Southern Quarterly, Appalachian Journal, and The Fish Poetry Anthology 2020 (selected by Billy Collins). Tullos is the author of two books of American Studies: Habits of Industry (winner of the Sydnor Award) and Alabama Getaway: The Political Imaginary and the Heart of Dixie.

C.D. Watson is the author of more than two dozen novels and short story collections published under multiple pen names. Her stories have been selected as finalists in the Maggie Award for Excellence and the Rash Award in Fiction.

Tyler Whitney is the lead writer at Seismic Squirrel, a video game development company based near Seattle working on adventure and steampunk games. His piece, “My Dad,” was written to honor and thank his dad who has been his mentor, best friend, guide, priest, squadron mate, comrade, and COG brother.

Bob Wickless received a BA in English from the University of Maryland and his MA from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, where he was a Teaching Fellow. His poetry has appeared in many magazines and journals, inlcuding American Scholar, Antioch Review, Poetry, Shenandoah, and Southern Poetry Review, among them. He won the Malovrh-Fenlon Poetry Prize for 2020 from Orchard Street Press and his chapbook, Almost Happy, appeared from Orchard Street earlier this year. Having survived dozens of jobs, both good and bad, he is now retired and lives in Reidsville, North Carolina.

Jan Wiezorek writes from Barron Lake in Michigan. His poems have been published by The London Magazine, Poetry Center San Jose, Flint Hills Review, Sweet Tree Review, and Yes Poetry, among others. He is author of Awesome Art Projects That Spark Super Writing (Scholastic, 2011) and has taught at St. Augustine College, Chicago. He writes features and city news for The Paper in Buchanan, Michigan.

A graduate of Middlebury College, Elaine Wilburt, who received a Creatrix Haiku Award in 2019, lives in Maryland with her husband, five children, mother and one spoiled dog. Her haiku, senryu, haibun and photo haiku and haiga (artwork by Sarah Wilburt) have appeared in many genre-specific print and online journals as well as podcasts. Elaine’s fiction and Western-tradition poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Uppagus, Heart of Flesh, The Cresset, Little Patuxent Review, and Ekphrastic Review, among others.

D.C. Wiltshire is a queer poet, chaplain, and counselor living in rural-ish North Carolina. He has poems in New Plains Review, Common Ground Review, and The Cincinnati Review, among others.

Joe Woodward is the author of Alive Inside the Wreck: A Biography of Nathanael West (O/R Books, New York). A two-time winner of a Los Angeles Press Club Award, his poetry and fiction has appeared in Carve, The Chariton Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Zone 3, Passages North, Notre Dame Review, Southern Indiana Review, and elsewhere. He received an MFA in English from Brooklyn College, CUNY, and currently lives in Claremont, California.

Cynthia Yancey was an English major before she became a mother and then a medical doctor. Now, after working 30 years in the trenches of public health, from the Himalayas to the Andes to her downtown clinic in Asheville, North Carolina, she is writing the stories of her life. She has received the Suzanne S. Turner Unsung Heroine Award in 2011, an award for public service. She has written a children’s picture book entitled Zak and Niki: A First Look at Rising above Racism, published by Grateful Steps in 2015.

Matt Yeager writes sometimes. Most of the time he does other things, but sometimes he writes things down on paper. Usually other people are not involved. He teaches at Epic Charter School and also English and Humanities at Oklahoma City Community College, which he enjoys with all of his heart beats, not just the spaces between the influx and the outflux. He shares a house with a family, Shino and Ellis and Jude (and Pepper and Mugi and Stella), all of whom do not write. But regardless, Matt Yeager loves you and desires to see you succeed in whatever avenue you have chosen for your living time, before the time where you are no longer living.

Jianqing Zheng is author of Enforced Rustication in the Chinese Cultural Revolution (Texas Review Press) and editor of Conversations with Dana Gioia, forthcoming from the University Press of Mississippi in January 2021. His manuscript A Way of Looking is winner of the 2019 Gerald Cable Poetry Competition.

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