Contributors’ Bios


Serge Lecomte “No Two Frogs Taste Alike”


Henri Bensussen’s poetry chapbook Earning Colors was published by Finishing Line Press, 2015. Stories have been published in Behind the Yellow Wallpaper: New Tales of Madness and in Lisa Locasio’s Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California. She’s preparing a memoir, Exiled and Desperate: The Journey of Gina X, for publication. She has a B.A. in Biology; the natural world is the source of many poems, and she is a follower of Thoreau.

Madelon Y. Bolling‘s work has been published in Duckabush Journal, Chambered Nautilus, Bellowing Ark, Seattle Review, and Floating Bridge Review. She holds doctorates in musicology and clinical psychology and has edited and contributed to academic and professional books and journals in various fields. After having taught and performed classical music for most of her life, she became a psychologist and began studying poetry with Nelson Bentley, took workshops with Dara Weir and Emily Warn. A long-time student of Zen, she currently works as a psychologist in Seattle.

Michael H. Brownstein’s latest volume of poetry, A Slipknot Into Somewhere Else was recently published by Cholla Needles Press (2018).

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of five chapbooks and three books. For more information, check her website at

Yuan Changming grew up in rural China, started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age 19 and published monographs on translation before leaving his native country. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), Best New Poems Online and publications in 1519 other literary outlets across 42 countries.

Melanie Chartoff is an actor who began her career in New Haven, thrived in New York, and now resides in Los Angeles. She recently became a fortunate first time wife and stepmother to two prefab, full grown kids.  Although classically trained in theater, dance and singing, she is perhaps best known for playing Didi Pickles on the Rugrats cartoon series and films, due to reboot in 2020.  

Mary Cisper lives in northern New Mexico where she was once an analytical chemist (not to mention a mass spectrometrist).  Her poems and reviews have appeared in Lana Turner, Newfound, Denver Quarterly, OmniVerse, PoetryNow, Water-Stone Review, and elsewhere.  Her poetry collection, Dark Tussock Moth, won the 2016 Trio Award (Trio House Press, 2017).  For links to her online work and her occasional practice in visual art, visit

Douglas Collura lives in Manhattan and is the author of a spoken-word CD, The Dare of the Quick World, and a book, Things I Can Fit My Whole Head Into, which was a finalist for the 2007 Paterson Poetry Prize. He was the 2008 First Prize Winner of the Missouri Review Audio/Video Competition in Poetry and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016 and 2018. His work has been published in A Public Space, After the Pause, Alembic, Anomaly Literary Journal, Avatar Review, The Broome Review, Caveat Lector, Coe Review, Dislocate, DMQ Review, The Dos Passos Review, Eclipse, The Evansville Review, Evening Street Press, Forge, Paterson Literary Review, Lips Magazine, The Monarch Review, Salamander, Salt Hill Journal, Scoundrel Time, The Schuylkill Valley Journal, Sierra Nevada College Review, The Tower Journal, Third Wednesday, and other periodicals and webzines.

Brittany Crosby is a spoken word artist and page poet, who splits her time between Austin and London. She is a former Glasgow Poetry Slam Champion and has been published in The Second Tide, an anthology by the Federation of Writers (Scotland). She represented Madison, WI at the National Poetry Slam from 2013—2016. Brittany graduated with a degree in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College, where her work was published in The Dartmouth Independent. She spends most weekdays on the road as a healthcare IT consultant and most weekends caring for adoptable dogs from the Austin Animal Center.

Elizabeth York Dickinson received her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry and photography have appeared in Gravel, Foliate Oak, Kissing Dynamite, Royal Rose, Ghost City Press, Riggwelter and Ink in Thirds, among others. She currently resides in Evanston, Illinois. Follow her on Twitter @aworldwanderer

As a psychotherapist for over thirty years, Leisha Douglas enjoys her work especially since it affords her the time to pursue her addiction to writing. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in many journals including The Alembic, Corium Magazine, The Cortland Review, HitchLit and Forge.

After teaching college English for 40 years, Dr. Karen Elias is now an artist/activist, using photography to record the fragility of the natural world and raise awareness about climate change.  Her work is in private collections, has been exhibited in several galleries, and has won numerous awards.  She is a board member of the Clinton County Arts Council where she serves as membership chair and curator of the annual juried photography exhibit.

Katherine Fallon received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Meridian, Passages North, Permafrost, Colorado Review, and Foundry, among others. Her chapbook, The Toothmakers’ Daughters, is available through Finishing Line Press. She teaches in the Department of Writing & Linguistics at Georgia Southern University, and shares domestic square footage with two cats and her favorite human, who helps her zip her dresses. She and her favorite bread recipe can be found at, and she is reachable on Instagram @ghostelephants.

Born with the eye of a writer and the heart of a story-teller, Karen Fayeth’s work is colored by the Mexican, Native American, and Western influences of her roots in rural New Mexico and complemented by an evolving urban aesthetic. Karen has been published in New Mexico Magazine, Drunk Monkeys, Hawai’i Pacific Review and more. Now living in the San Francisco Bay area, she can be found online at

Lesley Finn studied medieval literature and worked as a bookbinder before earning her MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Publications featuring her writing include Phoebe, Litro UK, Jellyfish Review, and PRISM International. In 2018 she was an Edwin Way Teale Artist-in-Residence at Trail Wood, a nature preserve maintained by the Connecticut Audubon Society. She currently serves as the Benjamin Franklin Residential Writing Tutor at Yale University, where she advises students on essays ranging in subject from classical antiquity to evolutionary biology, and everything in between.

Jessica Goodfellow’s most recent book Whiteout (University of Alaska Press), completed while she was a writer-in-residence at Denali National Park and Preserve, contains a poem reprinted in Best American Poetry 2018. Other work appears in The Threepenny ReviewThe Southern ReviewBeloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Jessica can some days be found stripping the finish off her dining room chairs and wondering what colors go with sea foam green. She still regrets not becoming her childhood ambition, a weather forecaster. 

Jade Hancer lives and resists in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with her many potted plants. She earned her BSN from Washington State University. When she’s not working as a Registered Nurse, she makes art and wanders the nearby forests. Her work also appears in Arcturus and Leaping Clear.

Katrina Keegan is an undergraduate student at University of Chicago, who has spent nearly half of her adult life living in Russia, countries bordering Russia, and countries bordering countries bordering Russia. So far she has not ventured further than that, but Russia does have a long border. In between searching Eurasia for tofu (somewhat successfully) and brown sugar (unsuccessfully), and then trying to convince locals in a variety of languages that brown sugar does in fact exist, she is a regular writer for Russian Life and Verge magazines.

Inspired by the vast skies of Saskatchewan, Rachel Laverdiere anticipates that calm will erupt into thunderstorms, flocking geese will disappear into the sunset, and northern lights will traipse across the blackened stage. When pastures bloom into bouquets of crocus and sage, she forgets the chaos of a world that spins too quickly and remembers the pleasure of breathing. Published in journals such as The New Quarterly, filling Station, Bending Genres and Entropy, Rachel’s writing often incorporates birds. 

Serge Lecomte was born in Belgium. He came to the States in 1959 where he spent his teens in South Philly and then Brooklyn. He worked for New York Life Insurance Company before joining the Medical Corps in the Air Force, later serving as a crewmember on helicopter rescue. He worked as a Green Beret language instructor at Fort Bragg, and has also been employed as a house builder, pipefitter, hospital orderly, gardener, landscaper, driller for an assaying company, and bartender in one of Fairbanks’ worst bars. His writing has appeared in numerous literary journals including Oklahoma Review, Mairena, Chiron Review, Phoebe, African-Hispanic Review, and Permafrost. His books of poetry are: Crimson Rice (1990); Alaska: The Last Frontier (1991); Lauren at Two (1991); What Shall I Tell You, Nikos? (1993); Where do the Children Go? (1994); Mother Speaks (1997). Serge was a poetry editor for Paper Radio for several years. He resided on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska for 15 years and recently moved to Bellingham, WA.

Edward Lee sleeps very little, so, as well as permanent grumpiness and bags under eyes, he has had poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography published in magazines in Ireland, England and America. He is currently working on two photography collections: Lying Down With The Dead and There Is A Beauty In Broken Things,  a novel, and a poetry collection. And, as though a glutton for punishment, he also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.His blog/website can be found at

Helena Lipstadt was born in Berlin and lives in Los Angeles and Blue Hill, Maine. She studied with poets Melanie Kaye Kantrowitz,  Irena Klepfisz, Terry Wolverton, Laurel Ann Bogen and her poems have been featured in Rattling Wall, Sinister Wisdom, Trivia, basalt, Porter House Review (forthcoming), The Cape Rock (forthcoming), and elsewhere. Helena is the author of two chapbooks, Leave Me Signs and If My Heart Were A Desert. She has been awarded writing residencies at WUJS Arts Project, Arad, Israel and Borderland Foundation, Sejny, Poland, and volunteers as a writing mentor at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Lothrigel is an artist and poet residing in the San Francisco Bay area.  She is a fan of women surrealist artists from the past as well as of psychological art-making and most things mystical.  Her work has been published in Art Reveal Magazine, F-Stop Magazine, Murze Magazine, Arcturus, Deracine, Rag Queen Periodical, and elsewhere. Find her on instagram @PartingMists  

Jennifer MacBain-Stephens is the author of four full length poetry collections: Your Best Asset is a White Lace Dress (Yellow Chair Press, 2016), The Messenger is Already Dead (Stalking Horse Press, 2017), We’re Going to Need a Higher Fence, which tied for first place in the 2017 Lit Fest Book Competition, and The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows, recently out from Apocalypse Party. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. She is also the author of ten chapbooks. Recent work can be seen at or is forthcoming from The PinchPrelude, Cleaver, Yalobusha Review, Zone 3, decomp, and Black Lawrence Press. Jennifer lives in Iowa City, which has received the brunt of the polar vortex this winter. She has a love/hate relationship with horror films. Visit:

Winner of America Magazine’s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist); Local News from Someplace Else; Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); children’s books; Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor); Presence (assistant editor); and 550+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies.

Jessica Mehta is the author of several books and currently a fellow at Halcyon Arts Lab in Washington DC where she is curating an anthology of poetry written by incarcerated indigenous women. She is also working on a poetic VR pop-up experience. Find out more at

Leslie Ann Minot’s work has appeared in New Letters, Tupelo Quarterly, Kettle Blue Review, qarrtsiluni, and Zone 3, among other print and online publications. She works for social justice and sometimes succeeds in growing heirloom tomatoes in the desert Southwest.

Keith Moul is a poet of place, a photographer of the distinction light adds to place. Both his poems and photos are published widely. His photos are digital, striving for high contrast and saturation, which makes his vision colorful (or weak, requiring enhancement).

Lydie Raschka came to writing circuitously after a career as a Montessori teacher. While her experience as a teacher has led her to write about education and New York City’s public schools, she has also written about a pop art nun (UPPERCASE), the problem with poetry books for kids (Education Week) and what it’s like to get hate mail (Salon). She lives in New York City with her husband, Chris Raschka, an illustrator and authors of children’s books whose work she explores on

Stephanie JT Russell’s poetry is a meditation on the pathos of ephemeral existence in this fragile world, in a process she calls “ekphrasis of experience.” A seasoned interdisciplinary artist, author, editor, essayist, and cultural worker, the most recent of her nine books is One Flash of Lightning, a poetic treatment of the samurai code (Andrews McMeel, 2006). Russell has been anthologized in Words Upon the Water and Oakland Out Loud (both Jukebox Press, 2004), and in journals such as MR/Metropolitan Review, Rabbit & Rose, Xavier Review, Peacock, and The Winter Anthology. Russell’s poem, “Drinking With the Rinpoche”, received Honorable Mention in the 46th New Millennium Awards (2018), and will appear in Sequestrum this December. Her visual art, poetry, and performance work have been featured at venues such as Hallwalls, Artspace, NAME Gallery, The Albright Knox, Max Fish, Bowery Poetry Club, and numerous other spaces in the US, Canada, and overseas. She was a nominee for 2019 Dutchess County Poet Laureate. Her happiest teaching years occurred in Liberia, West Africa during and after its 1990s civil conflict, where she facilitated collective playwriting and stagecraft. She is growing a chapbook, Putting It Right, and a poetic mystery story with photographer David Kulik. A native New Yorker and diehard urbanite, she now resides in the Mid-Hudson Valley, where her downtown city porch faces the foothills and magnificent sunset murders of crow.

Jeanne Shannon recently celebrated her 83rd birthday. Her first venture into creative writing was at age six, when she composed biographies of the animals on the farm in southwestern Virginia where she grew up. In the 1970’s she published a poetry magazine, Blackberry. Later, after retiring from a career as a technical writer, she published books of poetry, memoir, and fiction by various authors under her Wildflower Press imprint. Her work, including fiction and memoir as well as poetry, has appeared in numerous small-press and university publications and in chapbooks and full-length collections. Her 2016 book, Summoning, won the New Mexico Book Award for poetry, and her novella, The Sourwood Tree, won a 2018 New Mexico Book Award for fiction.

Dorsía Smith Silva is a Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Her poetry has been published in several journals and magazines in the United States and the Caribbean, including Portland ReviewSaw Palm, Aji MagazineGravelAdannaMom Egg Review, and POUI: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing. She is also the editor of Latina/Chicana Mothering and the co-editor of six books. When she is not writing poetry, she is listening to Prince and trying to master the “u” in French.

Jonah Smith-Bartlett is an ordained American Baptist minister and received his master of arts and theology at Union Presbyterian Seminary. He also received his master of divinity from Yale Divinity School.  Jonah loves to write about small-city America, examining the ways in which deceptively simple moments in the nation’s history can shatter lives, embolden relationships, and transform the face of a community forever. In his spare time, Jonah plays the tin whistle and sings in an Irish band. His work was recently published in The Delmarva Review, Entropy Magazine, Euphony Journal, Forge, Free State Review, Gemini Magazine, Longshot Island, pamplemousse, Sliver of Stone, Verdad, The Westchester Review, Whistling Shade, and 10,000 Tons of Black Ink.

Sarah K. Stephens is a developmental psychologist at Penn State University. Although Fall and Spring find her in the classroom, she remains a writer year-round. Her writing has appeared in LitHubThe Writer’s ChronicleHazlittThe Millions, and The Indianola Review. Her debut novel, the psychological thriller A Flash of Red, was released in 2016, and Bloodhound Books will publish her next novel, the thriller It Was Always You, in November 2019. Sarah loves using her psychological training to craft darkly human stories with killer twists. When she’s not plotting death and betrayal, she can be found enjoying the pleasures of country life with her husband and children in Central Pennsylvania. She spent a great deal of her childhood in church watching her father do priestly things, and wins the egg-cracking competition each year at Pascha. Her children remain envious of this fact, more than any other. Follow Sarah on Twitter (@skstephenswrite) or Facebook (@sarahkstephensauthor) and read more of her writing on her blog (

Patricia Valdata is a poet and fiction writer with an MFA in writing from Goddard College. Her poetry book about women aviation pioneers, Where No Man Can Touch, won the 2015 Donald Justice Prize. Pat teaches creative writing for the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and Salisbury University’s Center for Extended and Lifelong Learning. A native of New Jersey, she now lives in Crisfield, Maryland, with her husband Bob Schreiber and their miniature poodle rescue, Junior.

John Vurro’s story, “Turnkey,” was chosen for Carve‘s “One to Watch” feature in their 2015 summer issue. Another story, “Carmine’s War,” won Harpur Palate‘s 2012 John Gardner Award. Other fictions have been published or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Eclipse, Ars Medica and elsewhere. He lives in New Jersey with his family, where he hides behind his couch and either reads Melville or taps away on his novel, Video Planet.

Micaela Walley is pursuing her MFA in Poetry at the University of Baltimore. Her work can be found in Occulum, Gravel, ENTROPY, and Huffpost. She currently lives in Hanover, Maryland with her best friend—Chunky, the cat. 

Bill Wolak has just published his fifteenth book of poetry entitled The Nakedness Defense with Ekstasis Editions. His collages have appeared recently in Naked in New Hope 2018, The 2017 Seattle Erotic Art Festival, Poetic Illusion, The Riverside Gallery (Hackensack, NJ), the 2018 Dirty Show in Detroit, 2018, The Rochester Erotic Arts Festival, and The 2018 Montreal Erotic Art Festival. [may send update]

Karen Zey is a Canadian writer from la belle ville de Pointe-Claire Quebec. Her work has appeared in Brevity‘s Nonfiction Blog, Crack the Spine, Hippocampus, Memoir Magazine, Prick of the Spindle and other places. Karen’s stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. When Karen is not wrestling with words, you can find her people watching and sipping London Fog tea at her local cafe. You can follow her micro-musings on Twitter @zippyzey.