Heterochromia Iridum by S. A. Leavesley

Background photo: S.A. Leavesley  Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: S.A. Leavesley
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

S.A. Leavesley is a poet, fiction writer, journalist, reviewer and photographer. Her poems have featured on buses, poetry trails, phone apps, screen savers, poetryfilms, a café mural, at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and in the Blackpool Illuminations. Collections include: ‘Lampshade & Glass Rivers’ (Loughborough University, 2016), Overton Poetry Prize winner 2015; ‘plenty-fish’ (Nine Arches Press, 2015), shortlisted in International Rubery Book Award 2016. Her Forward Prize highly commended collection ‘The Magnetic Diaries’ is a touring poetry play and she has her first novella ‘Kaleidoscope’ out in 2017. She also runs V. Press poetry and flash fiction imprint. Website: www.sarah-james.co.uk.

The serious stuff out of the way, Sarah also loves things involving movement: swimming, cycling, boxercise, dance, climbing, walking… But films, philosophy and reading feature high on her time-priority list too, as do learning and the buzz of a new challenge. She also loves water and wine, shadows and light, music and silence.

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Later That Year by Shannon Connor Winward

Background photo: Katie Thebeau/Flickr, CC BY 2.0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Katie Thebeau/Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Shannon Connor Winward is the author of the Elgin-award winning chapbook, Undoing Winter.  Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, Analog, Persistent Visions, Pseudopod, Star*Line, Thank You for Swallowing and Flash Fiction Online, among others. In between writing, parenting, and other madness, Shannon is a foodie, a Celt, an armchair anthropologist, a dragon mother/advocate, and a nerd (by marriage).  She is also an officer for the Science Fiction Poetry Association, a poetry editor for Devilfish Review, and founding editor of the forthcoming Riddled With Arrows, a literary journal dedicated to meta-fiction, meta-poetry, and writing about writing (open to submissions in early 2017). Visit Shannon on the web at www.shannonconnorwinward.com.

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He Wore Hats by Susan Suntree

Background photo: Picasa/Wikimedia Commons, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Picasa/Wikimedia Commons, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Susan Suntree writes poetry and essays, pesters the crowds at malls and parks with her mask and puppet street theatre, and works to save wetlands and indigenous sacred places. Sacred Sites: The Secret History of Southern California, received an Independent Booksellers Association Award for Nonfiction, PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Poetic Narrative, a Mellon Foundation Award. Other books: Eye of the Womb/El Ojo de la Matriz (poetry in English and bilingual editions), Tulips (translations of poetry by Spanish poet Ana Rossetti), also Rita Moreno, Wisdom of the East. Poems in, among others, Prairie Schooner, ZinkZine 6, Ensemble Jourine, Piedra del Molino, REAL, Fightin’ WordsPEN Anthology. Reviews in Poetry Flash and Theater Journal.

Website: http://www.susansuntree.com/

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Fire by Heather Hutcheson

Background photo: Url Duke /Pixabay, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Url Duke /Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

A professor of English at Cosumnes River College, in Sacramento, Heather Hutcheson is the founding editor of the Cosumnes River Journal (crc-ljsubmit@crc.losrios.edu). She organizes an annual senior and student memoir conference, “Our Life Stories.” During the semester, she promotes a language exchange between day laborers and community college students in a Home Depot parking lot, and she spends summers teaching English with a microfinance program in Oaxaca, Mexico. She lives with her husband and their two cats: Mr. Right and Stripes.  A former editor of Poetry Now, she has worked as a journalist for The Desert Sentinel and The Atascadero News. She has been published in numerous publications, including the American Journal of Public Health. She blogs at shewhodaresnothing.wordpress.com.

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May We Burn Her? by Erinn Batykefer

Background photo: Julian Bravo/Flickr, CC BY NC-2.0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Julian Bravo/Flickr, CC BY NC-2.0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Erinn Batykefer collects bones in jars. These are lined up on her mantel and are sorted according to size, species, and collection site. She is always looking for interesting jars to sort them into. Erinn earned her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (where she collected carp and coyote bones) and is the author of Allegheny, Monongahela (Red Hen Press) and The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide (Coffee House Press). She is co-founder and editor of The Library as Incubator Project and works as a librarian in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (raccoon bones, unidentified teeth). Visit her online at erinn-batykefer-squarespace.com and at eb-writes.tumblr.com.  If you would like to mail her bones you find on your travels, send her a DM on Twitter.

Writing space.

Writing space.

Ice crystals.

Ice crystals.

Peony.

Peony.

Blood trail.

Blood trail.

From Here–An Ambrotype by Gary Thomas

Background photo: Frank Thomas Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Frank Thomas
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Gary Thomas grew up on a peach farm outside Empire, California, and still remembers how to drive a Caterpillar tractor.  Prior to retirement, he taught eighth grade language arts for thirty-one years, and junior college English for seven—sharing, reading aloud, and discussing at least one poem every day with his students.  Over the years he’s presented poetry workshops for a number of statewide organizations, festivals, and conferences. He has had poems published in California English, In the Grove, Time of Singing, The Comstock Review, and in the anthology More Than Soil, More Than Sky:  The Modesto Poets.  He will have his poems included in the anthology The Biggest Valley: Poems from California’s Heartland, forthcoming in Winter 2016.  He is the vice president of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center, an actor in community theater, a fair-to-middlin’ gardener, and a firm believer in what Mary Oliver has said:  “This is the first, wildest, and wisest thing I know:  that the soul exists, and that it is built entirely out of attentiveness.”

Gary and Mr. Herrera.

Gary and Mr. Herrera.

Gary at Pecos Kiva.

Gary at Pecos Kiva.

ABQ Sky.

ABQ Sky.

Halloween Gary, 1986.

Halloween Gary, 1986.

Secrets by Pauletta Hansel

Background photo: Timothy Brown/Flickr, CC BY 2.0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Timothy Brown/Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Pauletta Hansel’s poems and prose have been featured in journals including Kudzu, Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Heritage and Still: The Journal, and on The Writer’s Almanac and American Life in Poetry. She is author of five poetry collections, most recently Tangle (Dos Madres Press, 2015.)  Pauletta is co-editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. She has been involved with the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative since its earliest years, and was a member of the Soupbean Poets Collective out of Antioch/Appalachia in the 1970s. Recently named Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate, Pauletta leads writing workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond. Read more at https://paulettahansel.wordpress.com/.

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The Bad-Mannered Clock by Lois Marie Harrod

 Background photo: H is for Home/Flickr, CC BY NC-2.0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark


Background photo: H is for Home/Flickr, CC BY NC-2.0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Lois Marie Harrod’s sixteenth poetry collection, Nightmares of the Minor Poet, was published by Five Oaks Press, 2016. Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis appeared in 2013. A Geraldine R. Dodge poet, she teaches at The College of New Jersey and the Princeton Senior Resource Center For online bio and links, see www.loismarieharrod.org. When Lois is not writing, she is often walking while listening to her husband talk on about James Joyce or Marcel Proust or the latest mystery he is reading. She often gives readings in seemly and seamy places with The Cool Women Poets, a splendid group of minor poets, and she loves to hike, swing from trees and take pictures of black birches on stilts.  The bad-mannered clock, a Seth Thomas, was the gift of her taciturn mother whose name is Helen.  Pictured below with the clock is Lois’s granddaughter Sophia Helen, who gave up her dancing career at six and began to train for the Olympic swim team.

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Baby in Light by Kara Oakleaf

Background photo: Milicanogueira/Pixabay, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Milicanogueira/Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Kara Oakleaf’s work has appeared or is forthcoming from Smokelong QuarterlyMonkeybicycle, the Tahoma Literary Review, and Nimrod, among others. She received her MFA from George Mason University, and currently teaches and manages the Fall for the Book festival at George Mason. Kara lives near Washington, D.C., which lately is a daily reminder that everything – mothers, babies, humanity itself, and whatever forces hold the world together – is terribly fragile. But she has noticed that good stories seem to retain their strength under all circumstances, for which she is grateful.

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Rushing Into the Music by Heather Hutcheson

 Background photo: Thibault Trillet/Pexels, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark


Background photo: Thibault Trillet/Pexels, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

A professor of English at Cosumnes River College, in Sacramento, Heather Hutcheson is the founding editor of the Cosumnes River Journal (crc-ljsubmit@crc.losrios.edu). She organizes an annual senior and student memoir conference, “Our Life Stories.” During the semester, she promotes a language exchange between day laborers and community college students in a Home Depot parking lot, and she spends summers teaching English with a microfinance program in Oaxaca, Mexico. She lives with her husband and their two cats: Mr. Right and Stripes.  A former editor of Poetry Now, she has worked as a journalist for The Desert Sentinel and The Atascadero News. She has been published in numerous publications, including theAmerican Journal of Public Health. She blogs at shewhodaresnothing.wordpress.com.

One-man band.

One-man band.

The author's Oaxacan students on break.

The author’s Oaxacan students on break.

Traditional Oaxacan dancers.

Traditional Oaxacan dancers.

Tlacoahuaya, the town in which the author teaches.

Tlacoahuaya, the town in which the author teaches.

 

Cold Moon by Kim Roberts

Background photo: Panasonic DMC/MaxPixel, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Panasonic DMC/MaxPixel, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Kim Roberts is the author of five books of poems, most recently The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017). She co-edits the journals Beltway Poetry Quarterly and Delaware Poetry Review and lives in Washington, DC. Her website: http://www.kimroberts.org.

Photo credit - Mig Dooley

Photo credit – Mig Dooley

Photo credit - Mig Dooley

Photo credit – Mig Dooley

Why Evangelism Needs a New Metaphor by Emily Rose Proctor

Background photo: Tawnyowl/Pixabay, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Tawnyowl/Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Emily Rose Proctor is a pastor and poet who grew up in South Alabama, escaping to the frozen North to attend Williams College, where she was awarded the Bullock Prize for Poetry by the Academy of American Poets in 2003. Her poetry has since been accepted for publication by The Christian Century, Slippery Elm Literary Journal, Poetry Breakfast, Rogue HomiliesColumbia Theological Seminary’s Journal for Preachers, and Presbyterians Today Magazine, among others.  She is a winner of the West Florida Literary Federation’s 2016 Foo Foo Festival poetry contest, and one of her poems was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She currently works as a children’s librarian and Community Chaplain in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, where she lives with her drummer-priest husband and infant son, and enjoys co-hosting Just Sayin’, a monthly open mic night and live broadcast, and introducing people of all ages to poetry.

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Here, It’s Easy to Think About Loss by Rachel Hoge

Background photo: Matthew Hester/Flickr, CC BY 2.0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Matthew Hester/Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Rachel Hoge is a Tennessee native who loves sweet tea and her family garden. She’s an MFA candidate at the University of Central Arkansas, a previous intern at the Oxford American and BookPage, a ghostwriter upon occasion, and a strong believer in the pseudonym. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pembroke Magazine, Architrave Press, Feminine Collective, and others. Lately, she’s been hard at work on her first book. You can follow her on Twitter @hoge_rachel

The author.

The author.

Visiting the home of William Faulkner.

Visiting the home of William Faulkner.

The author's writing space.

The author’s writing space.

 

Insomniac Train by Michael Brockley

 Background photo: Clyde Works/Wikipedia, Public Domain. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark


Background photo: Clyde Works/Wikipedia, Public Domain.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Michael Brockley played air guitar for Warren Zevon on “Excitable Boy” and “Werewolves of London” and fantasy sax with the E Street Band on “Badlands” and “Born to Run.” He also was the first cowbell alternate for “Honky Tonk Women.” Many bootlegs of “Honky Tonk Women” include outtakes of Brockley dropping a cowbell. He turned to poetry when the recording sessions for his kazoo covers CD ended due to cost overruns. Brockley currently lives in Muncie, Indiana, with a dog named “Jokerman” and the ghosts of five German shepherds.

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Runaway Bus by Robert Okaji

Background photo: Vinie007/Wikimedia Commons, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Vinie007/Wikimedia Commons, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Robert Okaji lives in Texas with his wife, two dogs and some books. He has never been awarded a literary prize, but at age seven won a rolling trashcan cart which is still in use. He is the author of the chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press), a micro-chapbook, You Break What Falls (Origami Poems Project), and “The Circumference of Other,” a chapbook-length work appearing in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks (Silver Birch Press). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Steel Toe Review, Hermeneutic Chaos, Otoliths, Panoply, Eclectica, Clade Song, High Window, Posit and elsewhere.

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At the Edge by John Reinhart

Background photo: Shun V. Mall/Shunvmall.com, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Shun V. Mall/Shunvmall.com, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

An arsonist by trade, John Reinhart lives on a farmlette in Colorado with his wife and children. He is a Frequent Contributor at the Songs of Eretz, member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and was awarded the 2016 Horror Writers Association Dark Poetry Scholarship. His chapbook, “encircled,” is available from Prolific Press. More of his work is available at http://www.patreon.com/johnreinhart and https://www.facebook.com/JohnReinhartPoet.

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Traffic Jam on a Toasted Street by Akeith Walters

 Background photo: Peter Griffin/PDP, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark


Background photo: Peter Griffin/PDP, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

For Akeith Walters, words are the art of his heart. Some his literary credits include publication in a dozen anthologies and numerous literary journals. Most recently, his poetry has appeared in Di-verse-city, the 2012 , 2013, and 2014 anthologies of the Austin International Poetry Festival as well as in Gyroscope Review and The Linnet’s Wings (2015). Also, a poem of his won first place in the San Antonio Poetry Fair and was published in their anthology, Voices Along The River. It won him some money, too. He continues to maintain membership with the Sun Poets Society of San Antonio, Tx.

At the end of the day, he likes to sit and remember how ice melts in a mug of bourbon while he contemplates the difference between poetry and prose. The latter is more difficult to pen down, but sometimes when the room quiet and still, the stories will hang around like cigarette smoke exhaled in frustration.

The author.

The author.

Out on the town.

Out on the town.

Out to lunch with out-of-town relatives.

Out to lunch with out-of-town relatives.

On Noticing Footsteps on the Moon by Tyler Raso

 Background photo: Bill Anders/NASA, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark


Background photo: Bill Anders/NASA, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Tyler Raso studies English and Religious Studies at Kenyon College. His poetry has recently been featured in or is forthcoming from London Magazine, ELKE, Yellow Chair Review, and elsewhere.

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To The Interviewer by Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Background photo: Colin Woodcock/PDP, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Colin Woodcock/PDP, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives with her husband, three dogs and two cats in a hillside home they built in the Ozarks. She loves everything about her homestate except Arkansas politics. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the author of Reading Berryman to the Dog and Discount Fireworks (both Jacaranda Books.) and three chapbooks with a fourth from Platypus Press, UK, this month. Her work is widely available online in Forage Poetry Journal, Dime Show Review, Kentucky Review and Rat’s Ass Review with work forthcoming in Cider Press Review, Lost River Review and others. For more information and links check her website at www.wendytaylorcarlisle.com.

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Bunny in the Snow

What Feet Know by Robert Okaji

Background photo: Lirinya/Pixabay, CC0. Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Lirinya/Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Robert Okaji lives in Texas with his wife, two dogs and some books. He has never been awarded a literary prize, but at age seven won a rolling trashcan cart which is still in use. He is the author of the chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press), a micro-chapbook, You Break What Falls (Origami Poems Project), and “The Circumference of Other,” a chapbook-length work appearing in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks (Silver Birch Press). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Steel Toe Review, Hermeneutic Chaos, Otoliths, Panoply, Eclectica, Clade Song, High Window, Posit and elsewhere.

The poet feeling blue.

The poet feeling blue.

George and Buddha hanging out.

George and Buddha hanging out.

The Write Space, AKA The Poetry Shack.

The Write Space, AKA The Poetry Shack.

Even the weeds are big in Texas.

Even the weeds are big in Texas.