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New works of poetry and prose from emerging and established writers around the world, plus artwork from George Colin and interviews with Jennie Battles and Jeannie Zeck

6.1 Table of Contents

Journal - Volume 6.1 - Spring/Summer 2013 Contributors

Dawn Abeitawrites fiction in Atlanta, Georgia. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals, including American Short Fiction, Fiction Weekly, and Potomac Review. She has received grants from the MacDowell Colony and the Vermont Studio Center, and earned her MFA from Warren Wilson College.

"Deal" Listen

Haider Al-Kabi was born in Basra, Iraq. An exile from the 1991 Gulf War, he has taught Spanish and Arabic and earned a PhD in English from the University of Memphis. His published work includes Qasf (translated Bombardment), a collection of poems published by Al-Mada Publishing House (1998), and Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq (Michigan State University Press, 2008).

Jacob M. Appel has published over two hundred short stories in literary journals, most recently in New Orleans Review, Subtropics and The Gettysburg Review. His collection of stories, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize and will be published by Black Lawrence Press next year. Jacob teaches creative writing at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop and practices medicine in New York City.

Andrea Bates is the author of Origami Heart (Toadlily Press, 2010). Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Originally from Connecticut, she has lived in Wilmington, North Carolina, since 2001.

"For Those Who Have Given Up On Fire" Listen

"Vigil for a Ripening Seed" Listen


Jennie Battles has been Site Administrator of the historic Vachel Lindsay Home in Springfield, Illinois, since its restoration in 2001. The site is part of the Old State Capitol Complex where, over her twenty-six years with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Jennie served as Site Interpreter, Volunteer Coordinator, and Assistant Site Manager, before moving to the restored Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site. Jennie holds degrees from William Woods University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

"Interview" Listen

Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s recent stories have won the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize, the Sherwood Anderson Prize for Fiction, a California Arts Council Fellowship, and two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers fellowships. Her most recent novel is The Big Bang Symphony (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010).

"Thaw" Listen


Mary M. Brown teaches literature and creative writing at Indiana Wesleyan University. She publishes poetry and essays and is an editor of the Steinbeck Review. She subscribes to Li-Young Li’s notion that “poetry is the closest thing we have to the consciousness of God.”

Matthew Burns holds a PhD in creative writing from Binghamton University where he was editor of Harpur Palate. His poem “Rhubarb” won the 2010 Hearst Prize from North American Review; his poems and essays have appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Cold Mountain Review, Memoir, Crab Orchard Review, and others.

"Shovel and Rasp" Listen

Patricia Caspers is an award-winning poet whose work has appeared recently in Spillway, Anderbo, and Ploughshares, and is forthcoming from Futurecycle, Valparaiso, and Main Street Rag. Her chapbook, Dead Letters, was letterpress printed by Meridian Press. She lives in Massachusetts and edits poetry for Prick of the Spindle.

"Letter to a Young Widow with Geese" Listen

"Losing Your Daughter in a Bookstore" Listen

"Ode to E.B." Listen


George Colin is a folk artist whose work has been displayed at the Smithsonian and the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. His style has been compared to Chagall and Picasso, but Colin’s work is not deliberately derivative, incorporating his own sensibility and his earnest, obsessive need to create. Colin deems his style “post naive.” Having never been professionally trained, Colin is an outsider artist, and when asked for the titles of his works, he maintains that his pieces are untitled for a reason. His wife, Winnie, puts it this way: “When someone buys a piece, it is because they saw something in it that reminds them of something, or they see an image that is important to them…[and so they] give the artwork the title they want it to have.” Colin and his wife live in Salisbury, Illinois.

Richard Dokey’s fiction appears regularly in the reviews. His short stories have won awards, have been cited in Best American Short Stories and The Best of the West, and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Pale Morning Dun, his latest collection, published by University of the Missouri Press (2004), was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

"Mandala" Listen

Donelle Dreese is the author of A Wild Turn (Finishing Line Press, 2008) and Looking for a Sunday Afternoon (Pudding House, 2010). Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Journal of Kentucky Studies, Appalachian Heritage, Runes, Gulf Stream Magazine, Gadfly Online, and ISLE. She is an associate professor of English at Northern Kentucky University.

"Circadian Rhythms" Listen

"Irregular Heartbeats" Listen

C.W. Emerson is a licensed clinical psychologist in California. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Assisi, Forge, GW Review, Poetry East, and The MacGuffin.

Twice-nominated for the Pushcart Prize,Jonathan Greenhause was a runner-up for the 2012 Georgetown Review Prize. He is the author of a chapbook, Sebastian’s Relativity (Anobium Books). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Believer, The Bitter Oleander, and Other Poetry (UK).

Justin Hamm is the author of two chapbooks: Illinois, My Apologies (Rocksaw Press, 2011) and The Everyday Parade/Elegy for Sounds Forgotten (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2012). His work has appeared in Nimrod, Cream City Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Sugar House Review, and Big Muddy. He also edits The Museum of Americana, an online journal.

Adam Houle currently studies at Texas Tech. His poetry has appeared in AGNI online, Blackbird, Best New Poets anthology, and elsewhere. He received an honorable mention in The Atlantic Student Writing Contest and was a finalist for Arts & Letters /Rumi Prize in Poetry. He lives in Lubbock, Texas.

"Feel Better" Listen

Nadia Ibrashi work has won several prizes in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies 2012 contest, and appears in Reverie, Tidal Basin Review, The Southeast Review, Narrative, The MacGuffin, Rosebud, and others. She is a fellow at CUNY Writers’ Institute and has practiced medicine in Egypt and in the United States.

Leslie LaChance's work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Juked, The Greensboro Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, JMWW, and Apple Valley Review. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has received a Best of the Net award from Sundress.net. Leslie lives in Nashville where she works as an educator and edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration.

Moira Linehan's collection, If No Moon, winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry open competition, is available from Southern Illinois University Press (2007). She has new work appearing recently or forthcoming in America, Christianity and Literature, Crab Orchard Review, Journal of Medical Humanities, The South Carolina Review, and Tar River Poetry.

"Ferry" Listen

"Naming It" Listen

Angie Macri was born and raised in southern Illinois. Her recent work appears in Natural Bridge and Crazyhorse, among other journals. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she teaches in Little Rock.

"In Our Eyes, The Roads Are Endless" Listen

"Stripping Shovel" Listen


Kelly Martineau earned her MFA from Spalding University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Licking River Review, Barely South Review, and Utter. The essay “Bounty and Burden” was displayed in the 2012 exhibition “A Celebration of Washington Artists” at the the Washington State Convention Center. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two daughters.

David Moolten’s most recent book, Primitive Mood (Truman State University Press, 2009), won the T.S. Eliot Prize. He is physician speacializing in transfucion medicine and lives, writes, and practices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"Circe" Listen

Jenny Morse is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois Chicago and an instructor at Colorado State University. Her poetry has been published in Notre Dame Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Stoneboat. Her critical work has appeared in Seismopolite and The Montréal Review.

John A. Nieves has poems forthcoming or recently published in journals such as Crazyhorse, The Southern Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The New York Quarterly, Ninth Letter, and The Cincinnati Review. He won the 2011 Indiana Review Poetry Prize. He received his PhD from the University of Missouri in 2012.

Andrew Oerke was a Peace Corps director in Africa and the Caribbean, and for many years was president of a private and voluntary organization. His work has appeared frequently in publications in the United States and other countries. In 2003, the UN Society of Writers and Artists awarded him their prize for literature.

Fred Ostrander was born and has lived much of his life in Berkeley, California. He currently resides in Walnut Creek, California. He graduated from UC Berkeley. His poetry has been published in various books and journals and he is an editor of Blue Unicorn, a poetry magazine.

"The Sand Journey" Listen

"The Surf Slides In" Listen

Matthew Porubsky lives in Topeka, Kansas, and works as a freight conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad. He has two collections of poetry, Voyeur Poems (Coal City Press, 2006) and Fire Mobile (the pregnancy sonnets) (Woodley Press, 2011). His poetry has been featured in RHINO, The Journal (UK), HOOT, and elimae.

"The Kansas Voice, an excerpt" Listen

Helen Ruggieri has a new book from Kitsune Press: Butterflies Under a Japanese Moon (2011). Additional work has appeared recently in The Mom Egg, The Paterson Literary Review, Ars Medica. and Impact: An Anthology of Short Memoirs (Telling Our Stories Press, 2012).

darlene anita scott's poetry has recently appeared in journals including ITCH, Baltimore Review, Tidal Basin Review, and Specter, and has earned her grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Delaware Division of the Arts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Now Culture, Sententia, The American Poetry Review, Cerise, The Same, Kestrel, and others. Four of her poems and an essay on hearing impairment appear in Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011).

"Hearing is Writing" Listen

"Child's Pose: Balasana" Listen

"Child's Pose: Stout" Listen

Trellan Smith lives and works in New York City, where she studies at The Writers Studio. She spends summers in the country building a house with her husband—just the two of them, by hand. It is a project that has taught her the patience of brick-by-brick and word-by-word. “A Leg to Stand On” is her first published work.

"A Leg To Stand On" Listen

Valerie Stauffer’s “Going Back” is a memoir of a reunion at Princeton University. She has also attended her own reunions at Wellesley College and Manhattanville College. Valerie’s work has appeared in The Alembic, The MacGuffin, Inkwell, and California Review.

"Going Back" Listen

Mila Tangier was born in Chicago and currently resides in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Eugene Lang College (part of The New School) in New York and is presently a graduate candidate in the MFA program at McNeese State University.

"Daphne" Listen

"Metamorphoses" Listen

Jonathan Veach was born in Quincy, Illinois, in 1989. He received his bachelor’s in English from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and in 2011 was awarded a Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award from the Illinois Center for the Book. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in OVS and Naugatuck River Review.

"Songsmithing" Listen

"Tibet" Listen

Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer’s fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in the Notre Dame Review, Stand, Kaleidoscope, and Literary Mama. She won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2004. She works as a psychology professor at Felician College in New Jersey.

"A Different Place" Listen


August Wilson is the only American playwright ever to complete a cycle of ten plays chronicling American life in each decade of the 20th century. Known as “The American Century Cycle,” nine of the plays take place in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Wilson grew up. The only non-Pittsburgh play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, is set in Chicago in the 1920s. Wilson cited his four major influences as “the four Bs”: Amiri Baraka, poet; Romare Bearden, visual artist; the Argentinean fiction writer Jorge Luis Borges; and the blues.

In his plays, Wilson presents the robust nature of Black American culture through conversation, humor, music, and a focus on the importance of both ancestors and community. Using this focus, his plays insightfully depict a quintessentially American experience while highlighting universal themes, including the dreams of prosperity, legacy, community, the sustaining duality of romantic relationships, the wonder and heartbreak of familial relations, and the deep wounds inflicted by a society based on racism. August Wilson received numerous awards for his plays and poetry, including Tony Awards, New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, and many Tony Award nominations. In 2005, shortly after his death, the Virginia Theatre in New York City’s Broadway district was renamed the August Wilson Theatre.

Jeannie Zeck holds a PhD in American literature and is an associate professor of English and theatre at MacMurray College, where she specializes in African-American literature, cultural studies, women’s literature, and theatre. She has conducted extensive research on August Wilson’s Decalogue, and as a result, MacMurray became the first college in the nation to offer a course on Wilson’s ten-play cycle.

"Interview" Listen

Rewa Zeinati was raised in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. She presently lives in Dubai. Poems, essays, and translations (from the Arabic) have been published in journals, anthologies, and online forums, including Natural Bridge Journal, Mizna, Al Jadid Journal, Common Boundary: Stories of Immigration (Editions Bibliotekos, 2010), Nowhere Near a Damn Rainbow: Unsanctioned Writings from the Middle East (Poeticians Collective, 2012), and The English PEN Online World Atlas.

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