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Bio Notes: Issue 4, Fall 2011

Jennifer Arin

Photo of Jennifer Arin
Jennifer Arin holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, California (2000). Her poetry and essays have been published in both the U.S. and Europe, including in The AWP Writer’s Chronicle, The San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Book Review, Gastronomica, Puerto del Sol, Poet Lore, ZYZZYVA, Chain, Paris/Atlantic Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.
She is also a founding member of Thicket Press, whose letter-pressed books (including two that feature her poetry) remain part of the permanent collection at Poets House (New York).
Recent awards include a Solas Culture and Ideas award, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a PEN Writer’s Fund grant, a Poets & Writers Writers-On-Site Residency, and funding from the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
Ms. Arin hosts poetry segments on KRON 4-TV, San Francisco, and teaches in the English Department at San Francisco State University.


Carole Bolsey

Carole Bolsey’s work has appeared in important art shows in the US (in and around Boston, New York, and Washington, DC) and in Japan. The American Institute of Architecture presented an extensive exhibition called “The Shape With No Name” at their national headquarters gallery in Washington, DC. Included in the Washington Project for the Arts’ “Curator’s Choice” Auctions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, her works appear in important collections.
Grayson Press (Washington, DC) has published a book, The Shape with No Name: The Art of Carole Bolsey, with accompanying essay by Donald Kuspit.
Ms. Bolsey studied at Bennington College and taught for many years at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and Carpenter Center for Visual and Environmental Studies; and at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Decordova Museum School. Her work is represented by Clark Gallery in Massachusetts and Cross MacKenzie Gallery in Washington, DC.
The three paintings in this issue are from her series, “Beasts.”


Duff Brenna

Duff Brenna is editor-in-chief of Serving House Journal and the author of six novels. He is the recipient of an AWP Award for Best Novel (The Book of Mamie), a National Endowment for the Arts Award, a South Florida Sun-Sentinel Award for Favorite Book of the year (The Altar of the Body), a Milwaukee Magazine Best Short Story of the Year Award, and a Pushcart Honorable Mention.
His stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Cream City Review, SQ, Agni, The Nebraska Review, The Literary Review, The Madison Review, New Letters, and numerous other literary venues. His work has been translated into six languages.


Sara Byrd

Sara Byrd was born and raised in rural South Carolina and is currently a junior at Converse College in Spartanburg. She is majoring in Professional and Creative Writing, and plans to continue her education after receiving her undergraduate degree in May 2012.


T. Nicole Cirone

T. Nicole Cirone is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her publication credits include poetry in Red River Review, Philadelphia Stories, Philadelphia Stories Best of Anthology, and Perigee; and essays in Serving House Journal.
She is a teacher and tribal bellydancer, and she lives in Mickleton, NJ with her husband, daughter, and cat.


Jan Clausen

Photo of Jan Clausen
Detail from photograph by
Joanna Eldredge Morrissey
Jan Clausen’s poems and fiction have appeared in many publications, most recently H.O.W. Journal; the Library of America volume, Poems from the Women’s Movement; and Hotel Amerika (forthcoming). Most recent collections appeared in 2007: If You Like Difficulty (Harbor Mountain Press) and From a Glass House (IKON).




Walter Cummins

Photo of Walter Cummins, by Minna Proctor
Photograph by
Minna Proctor
Walter Cummins is co-publisher of Serving House Books and a faculty member in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program.
His most recent short story collection, The End of the Circle, was published in 2010.




Kimbra Cutlip

Photo of Kimbra Cutlip, by Mike Broglie
Photograph by
Mike Broglie
Kimbra Cutlip is a freelance feature writer and children’s book author. She was a science writer at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and an editor for Weatherwise magazine, where she is currently a contributing writer.
Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Smithsonian, Environment magazine, Diver magazine, and many others. She lives near the Chesapeake Bay where she finds a wealth of inspiration for her short fiction.


Lauren B. Davis

Lauren B. Davis is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed novels, The Radiant City, a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize; and The Stubborn Season, chosen for the Robert Adams Lecture Series; as well as two collections of short stories, An Unrehearsed Desire and Rat Medicine & Other Unlikely Curatives.
Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards, and she is the recipient of two Mid-Career Writer Sustaining grants from the Canadian Council for the Arts.
Lauren reviews books for The Globe & Mail and The Literary Review of Canada, and leads monthly Sharpening the Quill writing workshops in Princeton, New Jersey.


Colleen Dawson

Colleen Dawson lives in San Diego. She has been published in the journal Reflection, received the 2010 Gurian Award for Poetry, and loves to eat goat cheese.


J.C. Elkin

Jane C. Elkin is founder of the Broadneck Writers’ Workshop in Annapolis, Maryland. She is an award-winning author of fiction, poetry, and essays. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Way of the Buffalo, Earth’s Daughters, Kestrel, and Snowy Egret.


Okla Elliott

Photo of Okla Elliott, by Robert MacCready
Photograph by
Robert MacCready
(Click pic to enlarge)
Okla Elliott is currently the Illinois Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois, where he works in the fields of comparative literature and trauma studies. He also holds an MFA from Ohio State University. For the academic year 2008-09, he was a visiting assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University.
His drama, nonfiction, poetry, short fiction, and translations have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, Natural Bridge, New Letters, A Public Space, and The Southeast Review, among others.
He is the author of a full-length collection of short stories, From the Crooked Timber, three poetry chapbooks—The Mutable Wheel; Lucid Bodies and Other Poems; and A Vulgar Geography—and he co-edited (with Kyle Minor) The Other Chekhov.


Ori Fienberg

Ori Fienberg works as a Writing Specialist for Foundation Year, a Northeastern University program for inner-city Boston high school and GED program graduates. He’s had writing published several places including Artifice, Diagram, and Monkeybicycle.
To fall asleep each night he closes his eyes and counts Iowans. Occasional musings and links to writing can be found at


Gary Fincke

Gary Fincke’s latest collection, The History of Permanence, won the Stephen F. Austin University Press Poetry Prize and will be published in September. A collection of stories, Sorry I Worried You, won the Flannery O’Connor Prize.
New work appears recently in Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, and The Gettysburg Review. He is the Charles Degenstein Professor of Creative Writing at Susquehanna University.


Clyde Fixmer

Clyde Fixmer is a San Diego writer. His poems have appeared recently in Mobius, Centaur, Perigee, and Today’s Alternative News. His next book of poems, The Year Lived Over & Over, is due out this winter from Dragonfly Press.


Amanda Fuller

Amanda Fuller was born and raised in San Diego, where she currently lives, a resident of the Ocean Beach community. She spent seventeen years in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduating from UC Berkeley. An alumnus of Semester at Sea, she has circumnavigated the earth by ship, a journey that continues to inspire her obsession with the character of landscapes and cultures.
When Amanda is not working with young people, or developing database systems for education programs, you will find her roaming the peninsula of Baja California, Mexico, and the rest of the planet, camping, fishing, listening for the voices of place, and transforming the oddities in her mind into poems.


Nels Hanson

Photo of Nels Hanson
Nels Hanson has worked as a farmer, teacher, and contract writer/editor. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz and the University of Montana, and his fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award.
His stories have appeared in Antioch Review, Texas Review, Black Warrior Review, Southeast Review, Long Story, Short Story, Starry Night Review, and other journals. “Now the River’s in You,” a 2010 story which appeared in Ruminate Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


Steve Heller

Steve Heller is chair of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Antioch University in Los Angeles. He is, perhaps, best known for his novel The Automotive History of Lucky Kellerman, which was a selection of both the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Quality Paperback Book Club and also received the Friends of American Writers Award for the best published book of fiction related to the Midwest.
His second novel, Father’s Mechanical Universe, was published in 2001 by BkMk Press. Heller’s stories and essays have appeared in Manoa, New Letters, Colorado Review, and numerous other magazines. He is the winner of many awards for his short fiction and nonfiction, including two prestigious O. Henry Awards and a National Endowment for the Arts Award.


DeWitt Henry

A Professor of Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College, DeWitt Henry is also Founding Editor of Ploughshares. He guest-edited the magazine’s Fall 2011, 40th-Anniversary issue.
His earlier works are Safe Suicide: Narratives, Essays, and Mediations (Red Hen Press, 2008) and The Marriage of Anna Maye Potts (University of Tennessee Press, 2001), which received the first Peter Taylor Prize for Best Novel.


Terry Hertzler

Photo of Terry Hertzler Photograph by
Patrick Heffernan
Terry Hertzler, who has published two books of poetry—The Way of the Snake and Second Skin—works as a writer, editor, and teacher. His poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology and In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop, as well as in numerous literary magazines and journals, including The Writer, North American Review, Margie, Literal Latté, and Nimrod.
His work has also been produced on stage and for radio and television. He has been nominated twice for The Pushcart Prize.


Jackleen Holton

Jackleen Holton is a poet-teacher with California Poets in the Schools. Her poetry has been published in several journals including Evansville Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Red River Review, City Works Literary Journal, and The Mountain Astrologer, as well as the anthology The Giant Book of Poetry. Her chapbook Devil Music was published by Caernarvon Press.
She lives in San Diego and works as an astrologer and intuitive life coach.


Thomas E. Kennedy

Photo of Thomas E. Kennedy, by Mark Hillringhouse
Photograph by
Mark Hillringhouse
Thomas E. Kennedy’s novel Falling Sideways appeared this year from Bloomsbury USA and will appear in Europe in November 2011, following In the Company of Angels (2010) — the first two books of his Copenhagen Quartet, four independent novels about the seasons and souls of the Danish capital. Both novels received wide acclaim.
Kennedy’s 28 books include novels, story and essay collections, literary criticism, translation, and anthologies. In 2010 New American Press published his Last Night My Bed a Boat of Whiskey Going Down (a novel) and in 2012 will publish his Getting Lucky: New & Selected Stories, 1982-2012.
His work appears regularly in American periodicals such as New Letters, Glimmer Train, Ecotone, Epoch, The Literary Review, Serving House Journal, and many others; and has won O. Henry and Pushcart prizes and a National Magazine Award (an “Ellie”) in the essay genre.
He teaches in the Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA Program; holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen; and is co-publisher, with Walter Cummins, of Serving House Books.


Steve Kowit

Steve Kowit is the author of In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop, one of America’s most popular books about writing poetry. His most recent full collection of poetry is The First Noble Truth, published by University of Tampa Press.
He is the recipient of a National Endowment Fellowship in Poetry, two Pushcart Prizes, and many other awards. His poetry has been widely anthologized.
Kowit teaches at Southwestern College in San Diego and lives in the back-country hills near the Mexican border with his wife and several companion animals.


Jen Lagedrost

Jen Lagedrost grew up on an organic farm in rural Ohio. She moved to San Diego in search of coastlines, where she graduated from the University of San Diego. Jen spends her summers working for a horse ranch in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming and is interested in impulses toward and away from transient lifestyles and a-utopian Neverlands. She discovers much about the world without and within while running.


Perie Longo

Perie Longo is forever inspired by her experiences teaching young students with California-Poets-in-Schools since 1985. Several of her poems are published in their annual anthologies as well as in Connecticut Review, Nimrod, Paterson Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Quercus Review, and South Carolina Review, among others.
She has published three volumes of poetry, the latest being With Nothing Behind But Sky: A Journey Through Grief. She is poetry chair of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.


Chauncey Mabe

Chauncey Mabe fell in love with reading in the small library of the elementary school in his hometown of Wytheville, Virginia. That, combined with a love of newspapers, courtesy of his father, suggests he may have been fated to a career in journalism.
After 23 years as the books editor and senior cultural columnist for the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, he began working with the Florida Center for the Literary Arts. He has interviewed everyone from John Ciardi to Eric Carle, Dave Barry to Margaret Atwood, Charles Willeford to Marilyn French, Tom McGuane to Edmund White, A. Manette Ansay to Joyce Carol Oates.
Before joining the Sun Sentinel, Mabe worked as a reporter and magazine editor. He continues to review books of all genres for a variety of publications and to write on his blog Open Page; and he is a Contributing Editor for Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts.


Jack Marshall

Photo of Jack Marshall
Jack Marshall, an important American poet, is a Guggenheim Fellow and the author of numerous collections. Two of his more recent, From Baghdad to Brooklyn: Growing Up in a Jewish-Arab Family in Midcentury America, and Gorgeous Chaos: New and Selected Poems 1965-2001, are available from Coffee House Press.



Tiffany Brooke Martin

Tiffany Brooke Martin is completing her Ph.D. in English and a graduate certificate in TESOL at Idaho State University, and has a master’s degree in Irish Studies. She works as a writing and language tutor and serves as editorial assistant for the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. Several of her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in online and print publications.


Kathleen McGookey

Kathleen McGookey’s work has appeared in over forty journals and ten anthologies. Her book, Whatever Shines, is available from White Pine Press. Her translations of Georges Godeau’s prose poems, We’ll See (Parlor Press), and her chapbook, October Again (Burnside Review Press), will be published in 2012.


Ali Murphy

Ali Murphy is originally from Texas and is currently teaching 7th-grade English in Rancho Santa Fe, California. She is a research fellow and teacher consultant with the San Diego Area Writing Project. A graduate of the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, her work has appeared most recently in the Acorn Review.


Deborah Nedelman

Deborah Nedelman graduated from Bryn Mawr College and earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Washington. She worked as a psychologist for 30+ years before giving herself the gift of writing full time.
Currently an MFA student at the Whidbey Writers Workshop of the Northwest Institute for Literary Arts, Ms. Nedelman writes fiction and poetry. She is also a certified Amherst Writers and Artists group leader and facilitates groups at
She is co-author, with Leah Kliger, of two books: Guide for Beginning Psychotherapists, published by Cambridge Press; and Still Sexy After All These Years? The 9 Unspoken Truths About Women’s Sexual Desire Beyond 50, published by Perigee/Penguin.
Ms. Nedelman lives in Mukilteo, Washington with her husband and her standard poodles. She is grateful for her two children who are changing the world for the good.


Jennifer Nissley

Jennifer Nissley graduated from Russell Sage College in May 2010 with a B.A. in English Literature and Women’s Studies. She lives in Troy, New York with her girlfriend and their two house rabbits. Her work will appear in the upcoming edition of The Chaffey Review.


Jake Oliver

Jake Oliver is a righteous dude who also happens to have a morbid fascination with Nicolas Cage and believes Deadfall may be the pinnacle of cinematic achievement.


Sean T. Randolph

Sean T. Randolph, a.k.a. Trandolph, hails from Tucson, Arizona. At night he hums his beard to sleep to keep the beard ghosts away. He currently lives by a palm tree factory in Encinitas, California.


Richard Reiss

Richard Reiss began his professional writing career at the Piscataway-Dunellen Review, a Forbes newspaper, for which he wrote and was recognized by the New Jersey Press Association for his humor column, Reiss’s Pieces.
Over the next twenty-five years he developed his skills as a professional fundraiser working primarily for colleges and universities. During that period he also wrote extensively about creating a family through adoption, and the joys and challenges of being adoptive parents. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, ADDitude Magazine, Perigee Literary Journal, and in the anthology, Upstart Crows II: True Stories, published by Wide Array Press.
In 2008 Reiss collaborated with director and lyricist, Martin Charnin, to create the musical revue Love is Love. He is a lifetime resident of New Jersey where he lives with his wife and three children.


Ron Salisbury

Ron Salisbury is a writer who has integrated his poetry with his business life for decades. Now, three wives deep, four children long, and assorted careers past, he continues to study, publish, and write in San Diego.


Shelley Savren

Shelley Savren’s poetry book, The Common Fire, was published by Red Hen Press in 2004. The Wild Shine of Oranges is forthcoming with Tebot Bach in 2012.
A professor of English at Oxnard College, her awards include nine California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence grants, two National Endowment for the Arts regional grants, five artist fellowships from the City of Ventura, and first place in the 1994 John David Johnson Memorial Poetry Award.


Tom Sheehan

Photo of Tom Sheehan, by Jamie Sheehan
Photograph by
Jamie Sheehan
Tom Sheehan’s books are Epic Cures and Brief Cases, Short Spans (Press 53, North Carolina); and A Collection of Friends and From the Quickening (Pocol Press, Virginia). His latest is Korean Echoes, an eBook from Milspeak Publishers (September, 2011).
His work appears in Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform and Milspeak Anthology: Warriors, Veterans, Family and Friends Writing the Military Experience. He has 15 Pushcart nominations; a Georges Simenon Fiction Award; and was included in Dzanc Best of the Web Anthology for 2009 and nominated for Best of the Web 2010 and 2011.
Rope and Wire Magazine has published 231 of Sheehan’s short stories. Print issues include Rosebud (4) and Ocean Magazine (7), among others, and hundreds of his stories and poems appear in internet publications.
His publications also include three novels, An Accountable Death, Vigilantes East, and Death for the Phantom Receiver (a football mystery); as well as poetry collections This Rare Earth and Other Flights; Ah, Devon Unbowed; The Saugus Book; and Reflections from Vinegar Hill.
He has three novel manuscripts and three collections that he is pushing for interest.
Sheehan served with the 31st Infantry Regiment in Korea in 1951.


Carol Smallwood

Carol Smallwood has 23 books in publication, including Writing and Publishing: The Librarian’s Handbook, American Library Association, 2010; and her first novel, Lily’s Odyssey, All Things That Matter Press, 2010. The novel’s first chapter appears in Best New Writing 2010 and was short listed for the Eric Hoffer Prose Award.
She is under contract with new projects for Scarecrow Press, McFarland, and the American Library Association. Various poems are forthcoming as well, and recent ones have appeared in such journals as Mobius: The Journal of Social Change and The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine.


Scott Stewart

Raised in Oregon, Scott Stewart spent most of his life surrounded by the wilderness. He now lives in San Diego, California, where the trees grow out of the sidewalk. Avidly in love with orange kittens, Scott is the Walter Mitty of this generation: daydreamer among the rattle of life.


Gladys Swan

Gladys Swan is a visual artist and author of two novels—one of which, Ghost Dance: A Play of Voices, was nominated by LSU Press for the Pen/Faulkner Award—and six collections of short fiction. In 200l, she received the Tate Prize for Poetry from the Sewanee Review.


Greg W. Taylor

Greg W. Taylor earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree with Political Science from Carelton University to begin a 14-year career as a journalist. He has produced and written more than 100 current-affairs documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); was a senior writer with Maclean’s Magazine; and has written for The Globe and Mail, Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated magazines.
Photo of Greg Taylor, Self-Portrait in Scuba Mask
Great Barrier Reef
(Click pic to enlarge)
Photo of Greg Taylor, by Matt Smith
Photograph by
Matt Smith
He won a National Magazine Award for Investigative Journalism for his dramatic recreation of the Ocean Ranger, a semi-submersible oil rig that sank off the coast of Newfoundland taking all 84 hands with it. The article was published by Reader’s Digest as a Special Feature.


Tony Van Witsen

Photo of Tony VanWitsen Photograph by
Marilyn Gardner
Tony Van Witsen began writing fiction approximately eight years ago, after many years as a television documentary producer. He received his MFA from Vermont College (now Vermont College of Fine Arts) in January 2004. His story “The Public’s Right To Know” appeared in Square One magazine in 2007.
He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where he teaches writing at the University of Wisconsin and is a graduate student in the Department of Life Sciences Communication.


Leslie What

Leslie What is a Nebula Award-winning writer and the author of the novel Olympic Games. Her story collection, Crazy Love, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.
She is the fiction editor of Phantom Drift: New Fabulism; and her writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Fugue, The Los Angeles Review, Best New Horror, Mammoth Book of Tales From the Road, Bending the Landscape, Asimov’s, Flurb, Calyx, and other places.


Terence Winch

Photo of Terence Winch
Terence Winch is a notable American poet. His latest collection, Falling Out of Bed in a Room With No Floor, contains more of his charming, oddball, wonderfully readable poetry. Published by Hanging Loose Press, it’s a must read!


“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury