Author Biographies

Erica Dawson is the author of two collections of poetry:  The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014) and Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser Press, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blackbird, Literary Imagination, Unsplendid, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals. Her poems have been featured in several anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2008 and 2012, American Society: What Poets See, Living in Storms: Contemporary Poetry and the Moods of Manic-Depression, The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets. Her reviews have been featured in Florida Review, and she currently writes a freelance column, “Dark and Sinful,” for Creative Loafing Tampa. Poetry Editor for the Tampa Review, she is also one of the editors of Mead: The Magazine of Literature and Libations, and serves on the advisory board for 32 Poems. An assistant professor at The University of Tampa, she teaches for the undergraduate English and Writing program and the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing. She lives in Tampa with her Shih-Tzu, Stella, whom she named after Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, not  Tennessee Williams’ Stella or Stella Artois, though Erica really likes Tennessee Williams and Stella Artois.

Graphic artist and painter Allen Forrest was born in Canada and bred in the U.S. He has created cover art and illustrations for literary publications and books. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University’s Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection. Forrest’s expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.

Adam Giles lives in Mississauga, Ontario with his wife and two daughters. His short fiction has been published in various literary journals and shortlisted in several contests. His story “Corduroy” won the 2013 University of Toronto Magazine Short Story Contest. Follow him on Twitter @gilesadam.

William Nesbitt is an Associate Professor of English and Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies at Beacon College where he also teaches numerous literature and English classes including Beat Literature, The Graphic Novel as Literature, and Mythology & Magic.  He earned his Ph.D. in American Literature After 1876 from Florida State University and has been published in journals such as Route 7 Review, The Southeast Review, and The Journal of Evolutionary Psychology.  

Daniel Hudon, originally from Canada, is an adjunct lecturer of astronomy, physics, math, and writing in Boston. He is the author of a nonfiction book, The Bluffer’s Guide to the Cosmos (Oval Books, UK), and a chapbook of prose and poetry, Evidence for Rainfall (Pen and Anvil). He has recent work appearing in Written River, The Chattahoochee Review, the anthology {Ex}tinguished and {Ex}tinct: An Anthology of Things that No Longer {Ex}ist, Clarion, Riprap, Paragraphiti, Toad, Canary, Prime Numbers, and Atlas and Alice. A new manuscript of stories about recently extinct species will be appearing in the fall of 2015. Some of his writing links can be found at He lives in Boston, MA.

Diane Payne has been published in hundreds of literary journals, which include the most recent publications with:  Storm Cellar Quarterly,  Watershed Review, Lascaux Review, Drunk Monkeys, Whiskey Island, Split Rock, and Tishman Review. Diane is the author of Burning Tulips (Red Hen Press).  She is the MFA Director at University of Arkansas-Monticello.

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of over twenty books and chapbooks and is the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press). Her most recent books are Drink (BlazeVOX Books), Wake (Aldrich Press), Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink), and the collaborative book The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters (Les Femmes Folles) with artist Lauren Rinaldi. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Margie, Mid-American Review, The Iowa Review, Calyx, Ploughshares, and Feminist Studies. Currently, she teaches English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Visit her website at

Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad was born and raised in New York. She holds a BA in journalism and sociology from New York University and a JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Her poetry has appeared in The Commonline Journal and is forthcoming in The Chiron Review. Mehrnoosh currently lives in New York and practices matrimonial law.

Christopher Todd Anderson is Associate Professor of English at Pittsburg State University in southeast Kansas, where he teaches American literature and creative writing.  His most recent academic articles include “Sacred Waste: Ecology, Spirit, and the American Garbage Poem” (ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment) and “Post-Apocalyptic Nostalgia: WALL-E, Garbage, and American Ambivalence toward Manufactured Goods” (LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory). His poetry has appeared in journals such as Tar River Poetry, River Styx, Ellipsis, and Chicago Quarterly Review.  During 2013-14, Anderson served as guest poetry editor for The Midwest Quarterly.

Aaron Reeder is an MFA student of poetry at The University of New Mexico. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Bitter Oleander, Black Tongue Review, The Great American Literary Magazine, Grey Sparrow, Four Quarters Magazine, Wayfarer, Wilderness House Literary Review, Pacific Review, Black Wire, and others. He is the author of the forthcoming chapbook, Dawn (Orange Monkey Publishing, 2015). His chapbook, Small Flicks of Light, was a finalist for and given honorable mention in the 2015 ELJ Mini-Collection Contest, and his work in The Great American Literary Magazine was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is the poetry editor for Blue Mesa Review and the active Secretary of the Inland Empire Literary Organization, PoetrIE.

Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, Natural Bridge, and others. She has been thrice-nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has published two chapbooks, most recently Happy Darkness. She has also published short fiction, essays, and stories and poems for children. She lives in Seattle.

Brianna Noll recently completed her Ph.D. in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and she is Poetry Editor of The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Hotel Amerika, The Georgia Review, Passages North, Conduit, and 32 Poems.

Peter Huggins is the author of five books of poems: South, which was shortlisted for the International Rubery Award; Necessary Acts; Blue Angels; Hard Facts; and the forthcoming Audubon’s Engraver. Over 300 of his poems appear in more than 100 journals, magazines, and anthologies, including Alabama Literary Review, Apalachee Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Colorado Review, Louisiana Literature, Mississippi Review, Natural Bridge, Solo, Southern Humanities Review, The Texas Review, and others. Huggins has also published a picture book, Trosclair and the Alligator, and a middle grade novel, In the Company of Owls. Trosclair and the Alligator has appeared on the PBS show Between the Lions, received a Mom’s Choice Award, and was selected as a best book by CCBC Choices at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and by Bank Street College of Education. A new picture book, Thibodeaux and the Fish, is forthcoming. Among his other awards and honors, Huggins has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and has received a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. He teaches in the English Department at Auburn University.

Jeff Fearnside’s poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals, including Permafrost, Qarrtsiluni, Blue Earth Review, The Los Angeles Review, and—most recently—The Fourth River, About Place Journal, Soul-Lit: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry, and Clackamas Literary Review. His chapbook Lake, and Other Poems of Love in a Foreign Land, winner of the Standing Rock Cultural Arts 2010 Open Poetry Chapbook Competition, was published in 2011 and additionally won the Peace Corps Writers 2012 Poetry Award. He lives with his wife and their two cats in Corvallis, where he teaches at Oregon State University. For more info:

Deborah Fass was born and raised in Southern California, moved to Japan for a time with a postgraduate Japanese Department of Education Research Fellowship (haiku), and now lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. Deborah holds an MFA from Chatham University. Her work has won an Academy of American Poets Prize; has appeared in journals including New Directions, The Clearing, and The Low Valley Review; and has been featured on KUAF, an NPR affiliate.

Steven Petersheim is Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University East, where he teaches American literature and writes poetry between pilgrimages to Walden Pond and his childhood home in Western Maryland. His poetry has appeared in The Wayfarer: A Journal of Contemplative Literature and elsewhere.  Much of his poetry explores the conjunction of nature, memory, and human activity.

Sean Prentiss is the author of the memoir, Finding Abbey: a Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave. Prentiss is also the co-editor of The Far Edges of the Fourth Genre: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, a creative nonfiction craft anthology. He is the co-author of the forthcoming environmental writing textbook, Environmental and Nature Writing: A Craft Guide and Anthology. He lives on a small lake in northern Vermont and serves as an assistant professor at Norwich University. You can learn more at

Sally Bliumis-Dunn teaches Modern Poetry at Manhattanville College. And the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. Her poems have appeared in New Ohio Review, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, PLUME, Poetry London, The Bellevue Literary Review, the NYT, PBS NewsHour, Terrain.Org, The Writer’s Almanac, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day, and Ted Kooser’s newspaper column, among others. In 2002, she was a finalist for the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize.

Bruce Alford frequently implants his poetry with the native and invasive species of Southeast Louisiana where he grew up. In his current work, he integrates human emotion and the natural environment using the form of a devotional. Alford’s first collection, Terminal Switching, was published in 2007 (Elk River Review Press). He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama and was an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of South Alabama from 2007-2011. Before working in academia, he was an inner-city missionary and journalist.

Leonore Hildebrandt is the author of a letterpress chapbook, The Work at Hand, and a full-length collection, The Next Unknown. She has published poems and translations in the Cafe Review, Cerise Press, the Cimarron Review, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Hotel Amerika, The Fiddlehead, Poetry Daily, and Poetry Salzburg Review, among other journals. Winner of the 2013 Gemini Poetry Contest, she received fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission. She was nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. A native of Germany, Hildebrandt lives “off the grid” in Harrington, Maine. She teaches writing at the University of Maine and serves on the editorial board of the Beloit Poetry Journal.

Robert Fillman is a Ph.D. candidate at Lehigh University, where he teaches English and edits the university’s creative writing journal, Amaranth. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Allegro Poetry, Apeiron Review, the Aurorean, The Chaffin Journal, The Chiron Review, Straight Forward Poetry, Straylight, Third Wednesday, and others. He lives in eastern Pennsylvania with his wife, Melissa, and two children, Emma and Robbie.

Robert Gibb’s books include The Origins of Evening (1997), which was a National Poetry Series winner. Among his other awards are two NEA Fellowships and a Pushcart Prize. His most recent books, Sheet Music (Autumn House) and The Empty Loom (Arkansas), were both published in 2012.

Mike Petrik lives 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island on Block Island with his wife, Bethany, and daughter, Willa. He spends his time there foraging and fishing, especially for the island’s more invasive species. He is a PhD candidate in Fiction at the University of Missouri, and he received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Memphis. His work has appeared in publications such as 1966: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction, Animal, The Journal, Pinball, Owen Wister Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and the Sierra Nevada Review.

John Messick is a graduate of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks MFA Program. His work has appeared in Mud Season Review, Tampa Review, Superstition Review, and a number of other publications. He teaches English at Kenai Peninsula College in Soldotna, Alaska.

Michael Raudzis Dinkel studied art and creative writing at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, where he lives. His work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Orion Magazine, Driftwood, and The Lower Stump Lake Review and other publications. His recent work includes The Shortened History of Alaska, a mailart discussion on mining near salmon streams.

James Gallant, who lives in Atlanta, has fiction, recent or forthcoming, in Chattahoochee Review, Nomadic Journal, and Cahoodaloodaling.  His essay “Materializations” (on spiritualist phenomena) is to be found online at Fortnightly Review (London); and a novel, Whatever Happened to Debbie and Phil?, will be published by Vagabondage Press. Grace Paley’s Glad Day Books published his first novel, The Big Bust at Tyrone’s Rooming House, a Novel of Atlanta. “Conjuring Sociality in American Space” is one of a set of pieces addressing themes in American life and culture Gallant has gathered in a book, Going through the Motions, that hasn’t yet a publisher. He completed recently a set of stories involving historical guitarists—some real, some fictional.

Naomi Crummey earned her PhD in Non-Fiction Writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Program for Writers. She teaches writing and literature at Blackburn College. Her work has appeared in Prairie Fire Magazine and MacFarland recently published my co-edited volume The Wire in the College Classroom.