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Contributors of Short Fiction , Poetry, and Creative Non-Fiction


Short Fiction:

Mary Akers

Mary Akers' work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, The Fiddlehead, Literary Mama, Brevity and other journals. Her short story collection Women Up On Blocks won the 2010 IPPY gold medal award for short fiction.

Jen Bergmark

Jen Bergmark’s fiction has appeared in Indiana Review, Cream City Review, and Harpur Palate, where it won the John Gardner Memorial Prize in Fiction and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Last year, she received a residency from Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.


Cynthia Black

Cynthia Black is the former WSC Press Managing Editor out of Wayne State College. She currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon where she edits, writes and teaches. She lives with her husband, Cave Canem fellow Timothy Black and her two boys.

Todd Brier


Faith Colburn

Faith Colburn is a sixth-generation Nebraskan. She has canoed the Dismal, ridden with dog trainers in the Sandhills, rolled down the hills in warm-season pastures, camped in the Pine Ridge and floated the Missouri’s Sunshine Bottoms region. She is finishing a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she received UNK’s 2009 Outstanding Work in Fiction Award. Her fiction has appeared in Kinesis magazine and her poetry has been published in The Reynolds Review. Her photos have appeared in The Rio Grande Review, The Reynolds Review and Plains Song Review.

Neil Harrison

Neil Harrison’s poems have been collected in Story (Logan House, 1995/96), In a River of Wind (Bridge Burner’s, 2000), and Into the River Canyon at Dusk (Lone Willow, 2005). His fourth collection, Back in the Animal Kingdom, is presently seeking publication. He teaches English and Creative Writing at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska, where he runs the Visiting Writers Series.


Hope Kitts

Hope was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She moved to New York City at eighteen to attend Eugene Lang College at The New School where she studied Philosophy.  After college she traveled to India, where she studied yoga for two months.  Returning to New York City, she enrolled at Brooklyn College for a Master’s degree in Education for Students with Disabilities.  After three years of teaching, the inner-city noise, pollution and lack of anything wild made moving back home irresistible.  Hope now teaches at a ACE Leadership High School, a charter school dedicated to teaching in the context of Architecture, Construction and Engineering.    


Greg Kosmicki

Greg Kosmicki, thebackwaterspress@gmail.com
Greg is the founding editor and publisher of The Backwaters Press. He had his first near-poetry experience as a young man when a bright light filled the room and he found he was hovering above himself watching himself write. A voice spoke to him and told him to go get more of the latte he was drinking, but he later discovered that it was just that his undershorts were too tight.




Candace Nadon

Candace Nadon received an MFA from Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing, and she is now a PhD candidate in English with a Creative Writing Concentration at Georgia State University in Atlanta.  Her work has appeared in "Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose" and Agnes Scott College's Writers' Festival Magazine.  She is a Colorado native


Princella Parker

Princella Parker is a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. She graduated in 2008 from Creighton University with a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Theatre. Parker was Associate Producer for the NET Televisions documentary Standing Bear’s Footsteps, due to broadcast nationwide on PBS in October of 2012. She assisted in production of a documentary on the Omaha, Santee and Winnebago Reservations with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Native Daughters course.  She interned at two newspapers as a multimedia journalist at the In Forum in Fargo, North Dakota and The News Leader in Springfield, Missouri.

Heather Riccio

Heather Riccio is the Career Editor at Urbanette Magazine and Director of Partnerships at Project Migration, an accessories company with a charitable initiative. She holds a BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in English and Creative Writing and a BS in Anthropology from University of California, Riverside. She completed her MFA in Fiction writing from the UCR Palm Desert MFA program in December 2009. For more information on Project Migration, check out www.projectmigration.org.  More about Heather and her writing can be found at www.heathermriccio.com.

Ned Randolph

Ned Randolph is working on a master’s degree in creative writing at Eastern Michigan University, where he teaches freshman composition and coordinates publicity for the BathHouse Reading Series for visiting writers. A former speechwriter for the mayor of New Orleans, Ned spent more than a decade reporting for newspapers, wire services and trade magazines before turning to fiction. Ned holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Tulane University and a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. Ned lives in Ann Arbor, MI. with his wife Jessica and daughter Annie Beatrice.


Karin Rosman

Karin Rosman lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and son. Her stories have appeared in Stone’s Throw Magazine and Revolution House.


Terry Sanville

Terry Sanville lives in San Luis Obispo, California with his artist-poet wife (his in-house editor) and one skinny cat (his in-house critic). He writes full time, producing short stories, essays, poems, an occasional play, and novels. Since 2005, his poetry and short stories have been accepted by more than 140 literary and commercial journals, magazines, and anthologies including the Houston Literary Review, Birmingham Arts Journal and Boston Literary Magazine. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his short story “The Sweeper.” Terry is a retired urban planner and an accomplished jazz and blues guitarist – who once played with a symphony orchestra backing up jazz legend George Shearing.


Karen Shoemaker

Karen Gettert Shoemaker’s short story collection Night Sounds and Other Stories was published by Dufour Editions in 2002. It was re-issued in the United Kingdom by Parthian Books in 2006. Her short story “Playing Horses” was short-listed in Best American Short Stories 2002, and has been anthologized in A Different Plain, published by Nebraska Press, and Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace, published by Backwaters Press. Her list of publications for both fiction and poetry include: the London Times, Prairie Schooner, South Dakota Review, Foliage, Kalliope, Fugue, Heartlands Today, and The Nebraska Review. She holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and is a faculty mentor with the University of Nebraska’s MFA in Writing Program. She lives in Lincoln, NE where she and her husband own and operate Shoemaker’s Travel Center. 



Natalie Trevino

Born in Mexico and an Associate Professor at Northwest Vista College, Natalia is a member of Macondo. She received an MA at the University of Texas and an MFA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Awards include the Alfredo Moral de Cisneros Award and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. A board member of Wising Up Press, she is overjoyed that her first book of poems, Eight Marry Wives, is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press. Her works appear in the Sugar House Review,  Bordersenses,  Borderlands, other anthologies, and most recently Shifting Balance Sheets: Women's Stories of Naturalized Citizenship.


Robert Wexelblatt

Robert Wexelblatt is professor of humanities at Boston University’s College of General Studies.  He has published essays, stories, and poems in a wide variety of journals, two story collections, Life in the Temperate Zone and The Decline of Our Neighborhood, a book of essays, Professors at Play; his recent novel, Zublinka Among Women, won the Indie Book Awards First Prize for Fiction.



Kirby Wright

Kirby Wright was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He is a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and the University of California at San Diego.  He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.  Wright has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and is a past recipient of the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Browning Society Award for Dramatic Monologue, and Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowships in Poetry and The Novel.  BEFORE THE CITY, his first book of poetry, took First Place at the 2003 San Diego Book Awards.  Wright is also the author of the companion novels PUNAHOU BLUES and MOLOKA’I NUI AHINA, both set in Hawaii.  He was a Visiting Writer at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii.  He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency in Edgartown, Mass.






Malaika King Albrecht

Malaika King Albrecht’s chapbook Lessons in Forgetting was a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received honorable mention in the Brockman Campbell Award. Her poems have been published in many literary magazines and anthologies and have recently won awards at the North Carolina Poetry Council, Salem College and Press 53. She’s the founding editor of Redheaded Stepchild, an online magazine that only accepts poems that have been rejected elsewhere. She lives in Pinehurst, N.C. with her family and is a therapeutic riding instructor.

Joseph Bathanti  


Joseph Bathanti is author of six books of poetry: Communion Partners, Anson County, The Feast of All Saints, This Metal (nominated for the National Book Award), Land of Amnesia, and Restoring Sacred Art (winner of the 2010 Roanoke Chowan Prize). His novel, East Liberty, won the 2001 Carolina Novel Award. His latest novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. His book of stories, The High Heart, won the 2006 Spokane Prize. He is the recipient of Literature Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Samuel Talmadge Ragan Award, Linda Flowers Prize; Sherwood Anderson Award; Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize; the Donald Murray Prize; and others. He teaches at Appalachian State University.


Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty’s new book, Red Sugar, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press and was named a finalist for the 2009 Paterson Poetry Prize. Other books include Boneshaker (U. of Pgh. Press, 2002), finalist for the Milton Kessler Award, Mad River, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize (U. of Pgh. Press, 1995), and a limited edition chapbook, Ravenous, winner of  the 1995 State Street Prize. Other awards include the $15,000 Creative Achievement Award in Literature from the Heinz Foundation and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and two fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Individual poems have appeared in journals such as Quarterly West, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, and Court Green. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies published by the Oxford University Press, University of Illinois Press, Kent State University Press, and the University of Iowa Press. Her work has earned writing fellowships at the MacDowell Colony; Ucross, Wyoming; Hedgebrook, Washington; Leighton Studios at Banff, Alberta, Canada; Ragdale; Jentel, Wyoming; and the Santa Fe Arts Institute. Beatty directs the creative writing program at Carlow University, where she runs the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops and teaches in the low-residency MFA program


Robert Bensen

Robert Bensen’s poems have been published in the US, UK, Caribbean, and in African-American and Native American journals.  Recent publications include poems and prose in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature (India), and an essay in River, Blood, and Corn.  He will be Featured Poet in a 2012 issue of The Thomas Hardy Review. Awards for his poetry include an NEA poetry fellowship and the Robert Penn Warren Award.  He edited Children of the Dragonfly:  Native American Voices on Child Custody and Education.  His poetry has been exhibited in five galleries including in the National Museum of Dance, Saratoga Springs, NY. 


Timothy Black

Timothy Black’s first poetic novella, Connecticut Shade, is in its second printing through WSC Press. He teaches poetry at Wayne State College, and is a Cave Canem Fellow. He lives in Wakefield, Nebraska with his wife and two sons. Timothy’s work has appeared in the anthologies The Logan House Anthology of 21st Century American Poetry, The Great American Roadshow, and Words Like Rain. His poem, How to Finally Cry, won the Maravillosa Contest from Caper Literary Journal. He has been published in The Platte Valley Review and at bringtheink.com, has poems forthcoming in Breadcrumb Scabs, Black Magnolias and Decanto Poetry Magazine, and has won an Academy of American Poets prize for his poem Heavy Freight.

Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac is a traditional storyteller and poet whose work often reflects his Abenaki Indian ancestry and his lifelong interest in American Indian history and culture. His honors include an NEA Poetry fellowship and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. For the last three years, through the Conservation Poets program from Poets House, he’s been poet in residence for the Little Rock Arkansas Zoo. His most recent book Nisnos Siboal/Two Rivers is a bilingual collection of poems in English and Abenaki co-authored with his son Jesse, who teaches the Abenaki language throughout New England.


Seamus Cashman

A poet, editor, former teacher and publisher, Seamus Cashman taught in Tanzania
and in Ireland before joining Irish University Press as editor. In 1974, he founded
and developed Wolfhound Press into a leading literary and cultural publishing house,
remaining its publisher until 2001. Cashman’s most recent collection That Morning
will Come: new and selected poems (2007) includes ‘Secrets’, poem responses to
issues of justice in Palestine. Previous poetry books include Carnival (1988); Clowns
& Acrobats (2000), and the well-known children’s anthologies, Irish Poems for Young
People, and the award winning Something Beginning with P: new poems from Irish
poets. Forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2012 is a book-length poem.

IN addition to his poetry readings in Ireland, he has read in Brussels, at London’s
Southbank International Poetry Festival, at Bangor’s POETica in Wales and in the
US at venues across Iowa, Nebraska & Wisconsin, and recently at Irish & French
Embassy events in Saudi Arabia. Cashman also works as an independent editorial
advisor and creative writing facilitator. He was appointed their first International
Fellow by The Black Earth Institute, the US based writers and scholars think-tank,
and is a former chairman of Children’s Books Ireland. He lives in Portmarnock,
County Dublin.

Kwame Dawes

Born in Ghana in 1962, Kwame Dawes spent most of his childhood in Jamaica. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of that lush place, citing in a recent interview his “spiritual, intellectual, and emotional engagement with reggae music.” His book Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius remains the most authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley.  Dawes has edited numerous anthologies, and published two novels a collection of short stories, a memoir, plays and scholarly books.  He has published sixteen collections of poetry, most recently Back of Mount Peace (2010) and Wheels (2011). In 2013 Copper Canyon will publish Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems.  A winner of an Emmy for his poetry and reporting on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, Dawes is also the winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Forward Poetry Prize and the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize.  He is the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and a Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  He is the programming director of the Calabash International Literary Festival, which takes place in Jamaica each year.


Jim Ellis

I believe poetry flows from sensory experience and raw emotion (grief, anger, desire, and awe), and that genuine poetry transcends schools, cultures, eras, and fads.  Poetry is humanity’s voice and is as diverse and uncategorizable as humanity itself.  My poetic guardians include Issa, Transtromer, Akhmatova, Cassian, McGrath, Szymborska, Stafford, Brecht, Whitman, Hoagland, and Montale. 


Becky Faber

My poems have appeared in Midwest Quarterly: Three Generations of Nebraska Poets, Small Brushes, So to Speak, The Blue Collar Review, The Plains Song Review, Plainsongs, the Nebraska English Counselor as well as three anthologies: Nebraska Presence, Nebraska Voices, and Lyrical Iowa. Since 1994 I have served as a poetry manuscript reader/associate editor for Plainsongs, published by Hastings College. I am an Assistant Director in the office of Career Services at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and have previously taught English both at UNL and at the high school level. 


Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions). Her latest book is What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980-2009 (Guernica Editions, 2010).   She is the Founder /Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. She is also Director of the Creative Writing Program and Professor of Poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY.  She has published twelve books of poetry, including The Weather of Old Seasons (Cross-Cultural Communications), and  Where I Come From, Things My Mother Told Me, and Italian Women in Black Dresses (Guernica Editions). With her daughter Jennifer, she is co-editor of four anthologies: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing Up Ethnic in America (Penguin/Putnam) and Italian-American Writers on New Jersey (Rutgers). 


Howie Good

Howie Good is the author of the full-length poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011).


Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe spent his early years - field to field to ranch to mountains - with his two farmworking parents, in a hand-made trailer built on top of a found car. Sources: border stories, harmonicas, guitars and fuzzy radios, the birth of Rock & small towns & big city San Diego & San Francisco. Anything having to do with art, he loves. Over forty years on the poetry-for-the-people road. Recent winner of PEN USA, National Book Critics Circle Award & the Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry. Teaches at UC-Riverside. Loves dogs, clouds, rain and green chile. 




Kathleen Johnson

Kathleen Johnson, founding editor and publisher of the New Mexico Poetry Review, was born and raised in Oklahoma. She received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Kansas.  As a freelance book critic specializing in poetry, she has published numerous book reviews in the Kansas City Star, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications.  Her first collection of poems, Burn (Woodley Press, 2008), was selected as a Kansas Notable Book.  She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Robert Lietz

Over 700 of Robert Lietz’s poems have appeared in more than one hundred journals in the U.S. and Canada, in Sweden and U.K, including Agni Review, Antioch Review, Carolina Quarterly, Epoch, The Georgia Review, Mid-American Review, The Missouri Review, The North American Review, The Ontario Review, Poetry, and Shenandoah.  Seven collections of poems have been published, including Running in Place (L’Epervier Press,). At Park and East Division ( L’Epervier Press,) The Lindbergh Half-century (L’Epervier Press,) The Inheritance (Sandhills Press,) and Storm Service (Basfal Books).  Basfal also published After Business in the West: New and Selected Poems . He has completed several print and hypertext (hypermedia) collections of poems for publication, including Character in the Works: Twentieth-Century Lives, West of Luna Pier, Spooking in the Ruins, Keeping Touch,  and Eating Asiago & Drinking Beer.

Al Maginnes


My most recent full length collection Ghost Alphabet won the 2007 White Pine Poetry Prize and was published by White Pine Press in 2008. In 2010 I published two chapbooks, Between States (Main Street Rag Press) and Greatest Hits 1987-2010 (Pudding House Publications). I have new or forthcoming poems in Salamander, Brilliant Corners, Hampden Sydney Poetry Review, Steel Toe Review, Packinghouse Review, Poem, Birmingham Poetry Review and a number of others. I live in Raleigh and teach at Wake Technical Community College.



John Martinez



Adrian Matejka

Adrian Matejka is the author of The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), Mixology (Penguin, 2009), and The Big Smoke (Penguin), forthcoming in 2013. He teaches at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


Beverly Matherne

Beverly Matherne arrived in the UP twenty years ago and so fell in love with it that she plans to finish out her career as poet and professor of English at the NMU campus. A former director of its Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing in English, she is now poetry editor of its PASSAGES NORTH literary magazine and director of its Visiting Writers Program. A bilingual poet, her book of linked prose poetry, LAMOTHE-CADILLAC: SA JEUNESSE EN FRANCE / LAMOTHE-CADILLAC: HIS EARLY LIFE IN FRANCE, is from Les Éditions Tintamarre, whose editorial board includes scholars from Brown University and the University of Virginia. BAYOU DES ACADIENS / BLIND RIVER, a collection of prose poetry and short short fiction, is forthcoming from Les Éditions Perce-Neige, in Canada. These works are preceded by two full-length books and two chapbooks. Beverly has read free verse and prose poetry or performed original blues poetry in over 240 venues across the United States, Canada, Wales, France, Belgium, and Germany, from Cody’s Books of Berkeley to Shakespeare & Company in Paris, from Tulane University to Cornell University, on National Public Radio, on Radio Canada International, and at the United Nations. The winner of eight first-place poetry awards, including the Hackney Literary Award for Poetry and a SOJOURN translation award, her work has received four Pushcart nominations and appears in many anthologies from publishing houses such as Beacon Press, Louisiana State University Press, and New Rivers Press as well as in many literary publications such as Interdisciplinary Humanities, Kansas Quarterly, Metamorphoses, and the Paterson Literary Review. Because of extensive research underlying her creative works, especially the Cadillac book set in France, Beverly won NMU’s 2009-10 Excellence in Scholarship Award. Finally, she received the 2010 Outstanding Writer Award from the Marquette Arts and Culture Association.

Producing or filming Beverly’s play “The French Market” is open to the public, but the author would appreciate being informed about it at bmathern@nmu.edu.


Nancy Morejón

Nancy Morejón, one of the foremost Cuban writers and intellectuals, has published more than twelve collections of poetry, three monographs, a dramatic work, and four critical studies of Cuban history and literature. Her lyrical verse, shaped by an Afro-Cuban sensibility and a feminist consciousness, evokes the intimacy of family, the ephemerality of love, and the significance of Cuban history. Her poems have appeared in several bilingual editions in the United States, including Where the Island Sleeps Like a Wing (The Black Scholar Press) and Looking Within-Mirar adentro (Wayne State University Press). She has translated numerous acclaimed French authors including Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Éluard, and Aimé Césaire, and her books of criticism of the work of Nicolas Guillén are considered classics.

Marilyn Nelson

Among Marilyn Nelson’s books are CARVER: A LIFE IN POEMS; FORTUNE'S BONES; MISS CRANDALL’S SCHOOL FOR YOUNG LADIES AND LITTLE MISSES OF COLOR (with Elizabeth Alexander); THE FREEDOM BUSINESS; and A WREATH FOR EMMETT TILL. Her honors include two creative writing fellowships from the N.E.A., a Guggenheim fellowship, three National Book Award Finalist medals, the Poets' Prize, the Boston Globe/Hornbook Award, a Newbery Honor medal, two Coretta Scott King Honor medals, the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, the Lion and Unicorn Award for Excellence in Poetry for Young Adults, the American Scandinavian Foundation Translation Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. Nelson is an emeritus professor at the University of Connecticut, the former Poet Laureate of  Connecticut, and founder/director of Soul Mountain Retreat    



Kristine Ong Muslim

Kristine Ong Muslim’s publication credits include more than four hundred publications including Boston Review, Contrary Magazine, Mary Journal, Narrative Magazine, Potomac Review, Southword, and The Pedestal Magazine. She also authored the full-length poetry collection, A Roomful of Machines (Searle Publishing) and several chapbooks published by small presses. She has been nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Web 2011.


Craig Santos Perez

Craig Santos Perez, a Chamoru from Guahan (Guam), is the co-founder of Ala Press, co-editor of Chamoru Childhood: an anthology of Chamoru literature (2010), and author of two poetry books: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (Tinfish Press, 2008) and from unincorporated territory [saina] (Omnidawn Publishing, 2010), winner of the Pen Center USA 2011 Poetry Award. He is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Hawai'i, at Manoa.


José Rodríguez

José Antonio Rodríguez’s poetry collection The Shallow End of Sleep is just out from Tia Chucha Press.  A former editor of Harpur Palate, his work has received the 2009 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and two nominations for a Pushcart Prize.  Recent work is forthcoming in The New York Quarterly, Green Mountains Review, Upstreet, and Water-Stone Review. 


Lee Ann Roripaugh


Don Russ

Don Russ is the author of Dream Driving (Kennesaw State University Press, 2007) and the chapbook Adam’s Nap (Billy Goat Press, 2005).  He continues to publish regularly and widely in literary magazines.


Marjorie Saiser

Marjorie Saiser was named Distinguished Artist in Poetry by the Nebraska Arts Council in 2009. This award included publication of a new book of poetry, Beside You At The Stoplight, (The Backwaters Press, 2010).  Saiser received her MA in creative writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, winning the Vreelands Award and the Academy of American Poets competition.  Her work is found at poetmarge.com and in Prairie Schooner, Cimarron Review, Dos Passos Review, Crab Orchard Review, Smartish Pace, and Cream City Review.   


Maree Scarlett

Maree Scarlett was born in Auckland, New Zealand and has written performed and recited poetry and the spoken word all over the world. Her work  featured in The International Literary Quartely. Maree has written live music reviews in Ireland and has been a book reviewer, has done voice over’s for radio. Maree performed at the home of famous French artist Bernard Locca whose clients included Lucille Ball and Henry Kissenger. Some of Maree’s earlier works are contained at Stanford University in Russian poet's Andrei Voznesensky archives. Maree has a B.A in philosophy and is completing a Graduate Diploma in psychotherapy. 





Richard Stolorow

I have been mostly an English teacher and a writer, but worked too as a gardener, tile setter's helper, book clerk, concierge, and driver.  I have lived in the midwest, southwest, and now in Rhode Island, and seen many of my poems and stories in literary magazines.


Quincy Troupe


Quincy Troupe, born in St. Louis, Missouri, is the author of 18 books and ten volumes of poetry. His latest book of poems, The Architecture of Language, (Coffee House Press, 2006), was recipient of the 2007 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement. He received the 2003 Milt Kessler Poetry Award for Transcircularities: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2002), selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the ten best books of poetry published in 2002. His new book of poems, Errançities (Coffee House Press), will be published in February 2012. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego and was the first official Poet Laureate of the State of California. He has been awarded three American Book Awards: for Snake-Back Solos, poems, 1980: for Miles: The Autobiography, Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe, 1990: and a 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for Sustained Literary Excellence. He is also the author of Miles and me (The University of California Press, 2000); the co-author of The Pursuit of Happyness, with Chris Gardner (Harper Collins, 2006); and the editor of James Baldwin: The Legacy (Simon & Shuster, 1989). Troupe received a 1991 Peabody Award for co-producing and writing the Miles Davis Radio Project that aired on NPR. A movie on Miles Davis based on his memoir Miles and me, for which he wrote the screenplay, is scheduled for release in fall 2012. Currently he is the Editor of Black Renaissance Noire, published at The Institute of African-American Affairs at New York University and lives with his wife, Margaret, in Harlem, New York.



Diane Hueter Warner


Originally from Seattle, Diane Hueter (married name is Warner) has lived in Lubbock, Texas, for over 15 years.  She works in the special collections library, where she oversees a collection of manuscript materials from contemporary writers on nature and place.  She has two grown daughters and one grandson.  Her poems have appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Blueline, The Fourth River, PMS, and Comstock Review, among others.



Creative Non-Fiction:

Faye Rapoport Despres

Faye Rapoport Despres is a graduate of the Solstice MFA Creative Writing program at Pine Manor College.  Her personal essays have been published or are upcoming in Ascent, Hamilton Stone Review, Prime Number Magazine, Eleven Eleven, damselfly press, and International Gymnast Magazine.  A short essay titled “The Diversion” won an Honorable Mention in the Writer Advice Fourth Annual Flash Prose Contest.  In addition, the Oct./Nov. 2010 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle includes an interview she did with Michael Steinberg, author of the memoir Still Pitching and founding editor of the literary journal Fourth Genre.  Previous publications also include a short story titled “B.B.” and several poems, including “Ode to My Car,” which was published in the former online journal Void Magazine.

Cristina Eisenberg

Cristina Eisenberg is an author and scientist who holds a BFA in painting, and an MA in Environmental Writing, and is completing her PhD in Forestry and Wildlife at Oregon State University. An editor and wolf biologist, her first book, The Wolf’s Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades, and Biodiversity, was published by Island Press in April 2010. She is currently at work on her second book, The Carnivore Trail, about carnivore conservation. She is Latina and has worked as a translator in the California governor’s office. Her essays have appeared in Flyway, Platte Valley Review, and Whitefish Review


Gro Flatebo

Gro Flatebo lived in Australia for nearly two years.  She has an MFA from the Stonecoast Program in Maine but worked in the environmental field for over twenty years.  She has published in the New Madrid Journal, the South Dakota Review, the Boston Literary Magazine, The Collagist, and the anthology Flash Fiction 2012.  An assistant editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal, Gro also reviews books for Kirkus Reviews.  The coast of Maine is her home now.


Jim Garret

James J. Garrett is an enrolled  member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Tribe in South Dakota and currently works in extension outreach and research in the Land Grant program at Ft. Berthold Community College in New Town, ND. He holds a doctorate degree from Colorado State University in Rangeland Ecosystem Science.


David Hoag

David Hoag left Montana forty-five years ago, pulled tours of duty during the Cold War in North America and Europe with the USAF, and worked for a time in the high-tech industry. Now resettled in the Madison Valley, Montana, he enters a new world of creative writing with his first published essay, “Wild River.” He’s a graduate of Montana State University and USC.


Julian Hoffman

Julian Hoffman was born in England and grew up in Canada. In 2000, he and his partner moved to the Prespa Lakes in northern Greece where they began an organic small-holding. His writing has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in Terrain.org, Southern Humanities Review, Kyoto Journal, Flyway, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Wild Apples, and The Redwood Coast Review, among others. His essay, 'Faith in a Forgotten Place,' is the winner of the 2011 Terrain.org Nonfiction Prize. 'The Wood for the Trees' is from the book manuscript, The Small Heart of Things. You can catch up with Julian at www.julian-hoffman.com


Suzanne Kehm

Suzanne Kehm is a proud member of the Board of Directors for "The Backwaters Press."  She received an Individual Artist Fellowship from The (amazing!) Nebraska Arts Council and her work has appeared in the following spectacular little journals with remarkable, hard working editors: "The Montreal Review," "The Battered Suitcase," and "Thumbnail."  The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts provided a fine writing residency that got her pistons firing, and forever, she lives in the hope that John Neihardt and Black Elk weren’t making it up when they proclaimed, “Hold fast….there is more!  There is more!” 


Richard Murray

I have enjoyed writing since I was a boy, raised in HArlem NYC by both my parents. My parents are worldly people ,and proud Black people. After graduating college as a computer engineer, I find myself back in the arts, moreover. I try to challenge myself to write in any genre but I only hope that my work is enjoyed, more than praised.


David A. Rintoul

David A. Rintoul is the Associate Director of the Biology Division at Kansas State University. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University in 1977, and has published more than 60 articles in scientific journals, on topics ranging from membrane lipid-protein biophysical interactions to fat metabolism in marmots and in birds. “Grus” is his first published work of creative nonfiction. He is an avid nature photographer and birdwatcher, and has been observing or researching sandhill cranes for the last couple of decades. He lives in Manhattan, Kansas with his partner, Elizabeth Dodd.


Lew Kaye-Skinner

The Rev. Dr. Lew Kaye-Skinner is a native Nebraskan.  The U.S. Federal Census for 1900 lists all four sets of his great-grandparents in Nebraska.  After living in the four corners of the state, he has Nebraska dirt in his veins and soul. He has pastored several small churches, and for nearly twenty years, he has taught writing in colleges and at UNL. The son in this essay is planning his wedding for the spring 2012; we’re hoping for no blizzards.


Karla Stover

  Karla Stover graduated from the University of Washington with honors in history. She has been writing for more than twenty years.  Locally, her credits include the Tacoma News Tribune, the Tacoma Weekly, the Tacoma Reporter, and the Puget Sound Business Journal. Nationally, she has published in Ruralite, and Birds and Blooms.  Internationally, she was a regular contributor to the European Crown and the Imperial Russian Journal.  In addition, she writes two monthly magazine columns. In 2008, she won the Chistell Prize for a short story entitled “One Day at Appomattox.”  Weekly she talks about local history on KLAY AM 1180, and she is the advertising voice for three local businesses.  Her book, Let’s Go Walk About in Tacoma came out in August 2009. 


Pamela Tamborino



Valerie Lee Vierk

Valerie Lee Vierk was born in Kearney, Nebraska, and has lived in Ravenna most of her life.  She started writing as a young child.  She has published three non-fiction books, and a novel soon to be published by Treble Heart Books.  Valerie has worked at University of Nebraska at Kearney since 1984 as an office associate.  She earned her B.A. in English with a minor in history from UNK in 1996.  She is a 23-year member of the Nebraska Writers Guild. “In the Grasp of a Cyclone” documents her maternal grandfather’s experience of being picked up by a cyclone in May 1906.


Wang Ping

Wang Ping was born in China and came to USA in 1986. She is the founder and director of the Kinship of Rivers project, a five-year project that builds a sense of kinship among the people who live along the Mississippi and Yangtze rivers through exchanging gifts of art, poetry, stories, music, dance and food. With other artists and poets, she has been teaching poetry and art workshops to children and seniors along the river communities, making thousands of flags as gifts to bring to the Mississippi during 2011-12 and to the Yangtze in 2013.

Her publications include American Visa (short stories, 1994), Foreign Devil (novel, 1996), Of Flesh and Spirit (poetry, 1998), The Magic Whip (poetry, 2003), The Last Communist Virgin (stories, 2007), All Roads to Joy: Memories along the Yangtze (forthcoming 2012), all from Coffee House. New Generation: Poetry from China Today (1999), an anthology she edited and co-translated, is published by Hanging Loose. Flash Cards: Poems by Yu Jian, co-translation with Ron Padgett, 2010 from Zephyr. Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China (2000, University of Minnesota Press) won the Eugene Kayden Award for the Best Book in Humanities, and in 2002, Random House published its paperback. The Last Communist Virgin won 2008 Minnesota Book Award and Asian American Studies Award. She had two photography and multi-media exhibitions--“Behind the Gate: After the Flooding of the Three Gorges” at Janet Fine Art Gallery, Macalester College, 2007, and “All Roads to Lhasa” at Banfill-Lock Cultural Center, 2008. She collaborated with the British filmmaker Isaac Julien on Ten Thousand Waves, a film installation about the illegal Chinese immigration in London. She is the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council of the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Artist Fellowship, Lannan Foundation Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and the McKnight Artist Fellowship.






Xu Xi

Xu Xi (www.xuxiwriter.com) is the author of nine books of fiction and essays. Her most recent novel Habit of a Foreign Sky (Haven Books, 2010) was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and a new story collection Access: Thirteen Tales will be published in 2011 by Signal 8 Press. Other titles include an essay collection Evanescent Isles: from my City- Village (Hong Kong University Press) and Overleaf Hong Kong: Stories & Essays from the Chinese, Overseas (Chameleon Press). She is currently Writer-in-Residence at City University of Hong Kong where she directs the first low-residency MFA in Asia, and the only one anywhere that specializes in Asian writing in English.