Ellery Akers is a writer, artist, and naturalist living on the Northern California coast. Her previous collection, Knocking on the Earth, was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News. She is also the author of a children’s novel, Sarah’s Waterfall. Akers has won eleven national awards, including the Poetry International Prize, the John Masefield Award, the Paumanok Poetry Award, and Sierra magazine’s Nature Writing Award. Her poetry has been featured on National Public Radio and on American Life in Poetry, and has appeared in such journals as The American Poetry Review, Poetry, and The Sun. Among her honors are fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, and Headlands Center for the Arts. She has taught writing at Cabrillo College and at conferences and currently teaches private poetry workshops. An award-winning artist as well, Akers exhibits her artwork in museums and galleries nationally.
Katherine Ayres lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she writes and teaches writing to graduate students in Chatham University’s MFA Program. She also lives in Stockbridge, Massachusetts where she writes, gardens, hikes, kayaks, and watches for bears. She is the author of ten books for children and teens, as well as three chapbooks of poetry. She has been honored as a Champion of Literacy, as Outstanding Writer for Children by the Pennsylvania School Library Association. Her picture book, Up, Down, and Around was chosen as the Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child, and as the Kansas Reads to Preschool selection. Bear Season is her first collection of essays.
Jacqueline Berger’s The Gift that Arrives Broken is the winner of the 2009 Autumn House Poetry Prize, selected by Alicia Ostriker. Berger is also the author of two previous books of poetry, Things That Burn, winner of the Agha Shahid Ali Prize, University of Utah Press, and The Mythologies of Danger, winner of the Bluestem Award and the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals including The Iowa Review, River Styx, and New Millennium Writings. She teaches creative writing and directs the graduate program in English at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. She was born and raised in Los Angeles and now lives in San Francisco with her husband.
George Bilgere’s recent books include Haywire (winner of the May Swenson Poetry Award in 2006) and The Good Kiss, selected by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins as the winner of the 2001 University of Akron Poetry Prize. “In the house of American poetry,” said Collins, “The Good Kiss is a breath of fresh American air.” Bilgere has received grants, fellowships, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, the Society of Midland Authors, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Witter Bynner Foundation. In 2009, he won a Pushcart Prize. Bilgere teaches at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Peter Blair’s most recent book is Farang, published by Autumn House Press. His first full-length book, Last Heat, won the Washington Prize in 1999 and was published by Word Works Press. Born in Pittsburgh, he has worked in a psychiatric ward, a steel mill, and served three years in the Peace Corps in Thailand. Currently, he teaches at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and lives there with his wife and son.
Chana Bloch, the author of award-winning books of poetry, translation, and scholarship, is Professor Emerita of English at Mills College, where she taught for over thirty years and directed the Creative Writing Program. Bloch is co-translator of The Song of Songs, and of poets, Yehuda Amichai and Dahlia Ravikovitch. http://www.chanabloch.com/
Mark Brazaitis is the author of six books of fiction, including The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and The Incurables: Stories, winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize and the 2013 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose, and a book of poems, The Other Language, which won the 2008 ABZ Poetry Prize. His writing has been featured on The Diane Rehm Show as well as on public radio in Cleveland, Iowa City, New York City, and Pittsburgh. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and technical trainer, Brazaitis is a professor of English and directs the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop at West Virginia University.
Brian Brodeur’s Natural Causes is the winner of the 2012 Autumn House Poetry Prize. He is also the author of Other Latitudes (2008), winner of the University of Akron Press’s 2007 Akron Poetry Prize, and the chapbook So the Night Cannot Go on Without Us (White Eagle Coffee Store Press, 2007). Brian maintains the blog “How a Poem Happens,” an online anthology of over one hundred and fifty interviews with poets. He lives with his wife in Cincinnati where he is the Elliston Fellow in Poetry in the PhD in English and Comparative Literature program at University of Cincinnati.
Fleda Brown’s six collections of poems have won a Pushcart Prize, the Felix Pollak Prize, the Philip Levine Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges New Writer’s Award, and have twice been a finalist for the National Poetry Series. A new collection of poems, No Need of Sympathy, will be out from BOA Editions, Ltd, in October 2013. She is professor emerita at the University of Delaware, and past poet laureate of Delaware. She now lives in Traverse City, Michigan, and is on the faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop, a low-residency MFA program in Tacoma, Washington.
Rick Campbell is the author of The Traveler’s Companion, Setting The World In Order which won the Walt McDonald Prize, and Dixmont published by Autumn House Press. Campbell has won an NEA Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and two fellowships from the Florida Arts Council. He is the director of Anhinga Press and the Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and he teaches English at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. He lives with his wife and daughter in Gadsden County, Florida.
A seventh generation Pittsburgher, Jay Carson teaches creative writing, literature, and rhetoric at Robert Morris University, where he is a University Professor and a faculty advisor to the student literary journal Rune. Jay regularly presents, reads, and publishes in local and national venues. More than 60 of his poems have appeared in national literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. He also co-edited with Judith Robinson The Snow Falls Up, a collection of Margaret Menamin’s poetry. The Cinnamon of Desire, a full-length collection, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag in the fall of 2012. Jay considers his poetry Appalachian, Irish, accessible, and the derived spiritual survival of a raging, misspent youth and just what you might need.
Sean and Karen Conley
Sean and Karen Conley have been teaching power vinyasa yoga for more than 10 years. The Amazing Yoga style allows people to find true health by creating a deep spiritual connection. Sean and Karen lead teacher training programs in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Pittsburgh, where they are the yoga teachers for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before discovering yoga, Sean spent four years in the NFL and Karen had an extensive career in dance. Sean and Karen live in Pittsburgh with their four children.
Ashley Cowger’s Peter Never Came won the 2011 Autumn House Fiction Prize. Ashley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a BA in English from Northern Arizona University. Her short fiction has appeared in several literary journals and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches college English and is the editor and cofounder of the online journal, MFA/MFYou (www.mfamfyou.com). She has divided her life fairly evenly between Alaska, Arizona, and California, and has driven the historic Al-Can Highway twice. She currently lives in southeast Ohio with her husband, cat, and collection of overweight stuffed animals.
Sharon Dilworth, the fiction editor of Autumn House Press, is the author of two short story collections, Women Drinking Benedictine and The Long White (Iowa Award for Short Fiction, 1988). Her new novel, On the Street Where We Live, will be released in the Fall of 2010. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University, and for ten years she served as fiction editor for CMU Press.
Patricia Dobler was born in Middletown, Ohio, in 1939. She is the author of UXB (Mill Hunk Books, 1991) and Talking to Strangers (University of Wisconsin Press, 1986) which won the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. She also completed a third full-length collection, titled Now. Dobler’s poetry has been widely anthologized including in Garrison Keillor’s nationally syndicated radio show Writer’s Almanac. She lived in Pittsburgh, PA, where she taught at Carlow College and directed the Women’s Creative Writing Center. She died on July 24, 2004.
Marilyn Donnelly has always lived, spoken, and written, with a stunning, indelible, original voice. Her poems, while often brief, plumb great depths of wisdom and wit. Her style of humor sweeps cobwebs and confusion far far away. She reminds me of those haiku masters of the 13th century whom any of us would have been grateful to meet on a trail. Her voice would have saved us then, as she inspires and saves us now. Do not miss her beauty!
–Naomi Shihab Nye
Harrison Candelaria Fletcher
Harrison Candelaria Fletcher is an assistant professor in the MFA in Writing Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. His first book, Descanso For My Father: Fragments Of A Life (Bison Books, 2012), won the Colorado Book Award for Creative Nonfiction and International Book Award for Best New Nonfiction, and has been taught in classrooms throughout the country. His essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies including New Letters, Fourth Genre, The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction and Brief Encounters (Norton, 2015). His honors include a New Letters Literary Award, a Sonora Review Nonfiction Award, a High Desert Journal Obsidian Prize, a Pushcart Prize Special Mention, and fellowships from the Arizona Poetry Center and Vermont Studio Center. A native New Mexican, he lives with his wife and two children in Richmond, Virginia.
Frank X. Gaspar
Frank X. Gaspar was born and raised in the old Portuguese West End of Provincetown, Massachusetts. He is the author of five collections of poetry and two novels. Among his many awards are the Morse, Anhinga, and Brittingham Prizes for poetry, multiple inclusions in Best American Poetry, four Pushcart Prizes, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature, and a California Arts Council Fellowship in poetry. He most recently held the Helio and Amelia Pedrosa/Luso-American Foundation Endowed Chair at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
Sarah Gerkensmeyer was named a finalist for the 2011 Italo Calvino Prize for Fabulist Fiction, judged by Aimee Bender. She has received scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Ragdale, and the Grub Street Launch Lab. Short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in several journals, including: Guernica, The New Guard, The Massachusetts Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cream City Review, The Nebraska Review, and North Dakota Quarterly. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Sarah is the current 2012-13 Pen Parentis Fellow. She received her MFA in fiction from Cornell University and now teaches creative writing at SUNY Fredonia, where she co-directs the Mary Louise White Visiting Writers Series.
Robert Gibb was born and still lives in Homestead, Pennsylvania. He is the author of seven books of poetry. Among his awards are the National Poetry Series, two Poetry Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, seven Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants, The Wildwood Poetry Prize, and the Devil’s Millhopper Chapbook Prize.
A native of Philadelphia, Leonard Gontarek has been a cabdriver, movie projectionist, teacher, and bookseller. He coordinates Peace/Works: Poets and Writers for Peace. His poetry has been widely published including in American Poetry Review and The Best American Poetry: 2005 edited by David Lehman and Paul Muldoon. Deja Vu Diner is his second full-length book.
Diane Goodman is a writer and caterer/personal chef in Miami Beach. She is author of two collections of short stories, The Genius of Hunger and The Plated Heart, both published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. She has published articles and stories in national magazines. Her work often incorporates the waiters, chefs, cooks, and restaurant aficionados of her catering world.
Derek Green has spent more than a decade as a professional journalist, as well as a contract consultant for several multinational corporations. His work has taken him to twenty-two countries on six continents. Green was educated at the University of Michigan, where he was a three-time winner of the prestigious Avery and Jule Hopwood Award in creative writing. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in national magazines and literary journals, and he has taught creative writing and journalism at the university level. The son of an Irish father and Puerto Rican mother, Green is a fluent speaker of Spanish. He lives in Michigan with his wife and son and is currently at work on a novel. New World Order is his first book.
Corrinne Clegg Hales
Corrinne Clegg Hales was born in Tooele, Utah, and grew up in Salt Lake City. To Make it Right won the 2011 Autumn House Poetry Prize selected by Claudia Emerson. Her previous full-length books include Separate Escapes (Ashland Poetry Press, winner of the Richard Snyder Prize), Underground (Ahsahta Press), as well as two chapbooks. Awards include two NEA Fellowship Grants and the River Styx International Poetry Prize. She lives in Fresno, California where she coordinates the MFA Program in Creative Writing at California State University, Fresno.
Raza Ali Hasan
Raza Ali Hasan is the author of one previous collection of poems Grieving Shias (Sheep Meadow Press, 2006). He was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh and grew up in Indonesia and Islamabad, Pakistan. He received an MFA from Syracuse University. His poems have appeared in AGNI, Blackbird, and Shenandoah. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The author of books of poetry, fiction, essays and plays, Samuel Hazo is the Director of the International Poetry Forum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he also is McAnulty Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at Duquesne University.
Mary Crockett Hill
Mary Crockett Hill has worked as a factory slug, staggeringly bad waitress, incompetent secretary, the person who irons name tags in industrial uniforms, toilet-seat hand model, fundraising spy, freelance writer, history museum director, and college English teacher. Her first book, If You Return Home With Food, was a nominee for the Virginia Book of the Year in Poetry and the winner of the Bluestem Award. Mary Crockett Hill’s poems have appeared in numerous magazines, as well as on Poetry Daily and in American Poetry: The Next Generation. She is a co-author of the history A Town by the Name of Salem and is currently working on a novel for young adults. A Theory of Everything was selected by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the 2008 Autumn House Poetry Prize. Mary lives along the old Great Road in Virginia with her husband and children.
John Hoerr grew up in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the setting for Monongahela Dusk. He worked for several news organizations, including Business Week and WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, and New York. Hoerr specialized in national labor reporting in the 1960s when the steel, auto, coal mining and other unions were large and strong enough to conduct nationwide strikes in support of wage demands. Out of this experience, he wrote three nonfiction books including And the Wolf Finally Came: The Decline of the American Steel Industry. He and his wife live in Massachusetts.
Andrea Hollander (formerly Andrea Hollander Budy) is the author of three chapbooks and four full-length poetry collections. Her honors include the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, the D. H. Lawrence Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize for prose memoir, two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and two from the Arkansas Arts Council. For twenty-two years Hollander was the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College, where she received the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Now a resident of Portland, Oregon, she is the recipient of a 2013 Oregon Literary Fellowship and a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award.
Robert Isenberg is an award-winning journalist, playwright, and stage-performer. He is the creator of the Pittsburgh Monologue Project and co-founder of the Hodgepodge Society comedy lecture series. Isenberg serves as the first ever Whitford Fellow at Chatham University and teaches at Duquesne University. Originally from Vermont, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Richard Jackson is the author of seven books of poems, including Heartwall which won the 2000 Juniper Prize. A professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, he has won Guggenheim, Fulbright, NEA, Witter-Bynner and NEH Fellowships, as well as the Slovene Order of Freedom Medal for his literary and humanitarian work in the Balkans.
Jill Kandel grew up in North Dakota, riding her Appaloosa bareback across the prairie. She has lived and worked in Zambia, Indonesia, England, and in the Netherlands. She now lives with her husband and children in Minnesota where she teaches creative writing and essay. Every Friday she goes to a county jail where she teaches journal writing to female inmates. Kandel’s work has been anthologized in Best Spiritual Writing 2012 and in Becoming: What Makes a Woman. Her essays have been published in The Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, River Teeth, Pinch, Image, and Brevity.
Victoria Kelly received her B.A. Summa Cum Laude from Harvard University, her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her M.Phil. in Creative Writing from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, where she was a U.S. Mitchell Scholar. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in dozens of anthologies and journals including The Best American Poetry series, The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, Alaska Quarterly Review, Southwest Review, Prairie Schooner, and North American Review, among others. Her chapbook, Prayers of an American Wife, was the co-winner of the 2012 Coal Hill Prize and was published by Autumn House Press in 2013.
Maxwell King is the former Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and President of The Heinz Endowments. He and his wife, Peggy, live on a farm in Westmoreland County, PA, with their two dogs, Finn and Cora, and spend time in New England with their two sons and three grandsons. He has written articles for numerous magazines and newspapers, and has published poetry in about a dozen literary periodicals.
Elizabeth Kirschner has published three previous books of poetry, Twenty Colors, Postal Routes and Slow Risen Among the Smoke Trees all by Carnegie Mellon University Press. In addition, she has a CD released by Albany Records wherein her own poetry, not a translation, has been set to Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe. Now titled The Dichterliebe in Four Seasons, it premiered in Vienna in the fall of 2005, followed by an American debut in Boston featuring soprano Jean Danton accompanied by pianist Thomas Stumpf. She collaborates with many composers and has taught at Boston College since 1990. She lives in Kittery, Maine. http://elizabethkirschner.com/
Danusha Laméris was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to a Dutch father and a mother from the island of Barbados. Her family lived, briefly, in Beirut, Lebanon during the outbreak of the 1975 Civil War. Otherwise, she was raised in Mill Valley and Berkeley, California. After studying painting and graduating from U.C.S.C. with a B.A. in Fine Arts, she began to dedicate herself to writing poems. She now lives in Santa Cruz, California with her husband, Armando, and teaches ongoing, private poetry workshops.
Sydney Lea is Poet Laureate of Vermont. His eleventh collection of poems, I Was Thinking of Beauty, is available from Four Way Books. His third collection of personal essays, A North Country Life: Tales of Woodsmen, Waters, and Wildlife, appeared from Skyhorse Publishing earlier this year. Founder and for thirteen years editor of New England Review, he lives in northern Vermont.
Miriam Levine is the author of three previous poetry collections. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and The Pushcart Prize anthology. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and grants from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. The Dark Opens was selected by Mark Doty as the winner of the 2007 Autumn House Poetry Prize. Levine lives in Massachusetts and Florida.
Samuel Ligon is the author of Safe in Heaven Dead, a novel (HarperCollins, 2003), as well as the winner of the 2008 Autumn House Fiction Prize for his collection of stories Drift and Swerve. His stories have appeared in The Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, StoryQuarterly, Post Road, New Orleans Review, Keyhole, Sleepingfish, Gulf Coast, Other Voices, and elsewhere. He teaches at Eastern Washington University’s Inland Northwest Center for Writers, and is the editor of Willow Springs. He lives in Spokane with his wife and two children.
Ada Limón is originally from Sonoma, California. She received her MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from New York University. A two-time Pushcart Nominee and a fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, she received a grant for Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Lucky Wreck, selected by Jean Valentine as the winner of the 2005 Autumn House Prize, is Ada’s first book.
Anne Marie Macari
Anne Marie Macari is the author of two previous books, Gloryland (Alice James, 2005), and Ivory Cradle, which won the APR/Honickman first book prize in 2000, chosen by Robert Creeley. Macari was the recipient of the James Dickey prize for poetry from Five Points Magazine and her poems have appeared in numerous journals such as: The Iowa Review, The American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Field, and others. Macari is the director of the Drew University Low-Residency MFA Program. She lives in Lambertville, New Jersey.
Gary Margolis is director of counseling and associate professor of English at Middlebury College in Vermont. He has been a Robert Frost Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and recipient of a Vermont Council on the Arts award and a Millay Colony residency. His previous books, The Day We Still Stand Here and Falling Awake, were published by the University of Georgia Press. He lives with his wife in Cornwall, Vermont, where he is a volunteer firefighter.
Gigi Marks was born and grew up in New York City. Her first book of poems, What We Need, was published in 1998. Since then, her poems have been published in Best American Poetry, 100 American Poets Against the War, and literary magazines such as Green Mountains Review, Lilith, Northwest Review, and Poetry. Currently, Gigi Marks teaches writing at Ithaca College. She lives with her husband and four children in Ithaca, New York.
Paul Martin’s poems have appeared in America, Atlanta Review, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 AM, Nimrod,Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, etc. His book, Closing Distances, twice a finalist in the National Poetry Series, was published in 2009 by The Backwaters Press. Martin is the author of three chapbooks, and has been awarded two poetry fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He lives in Ironton, PA with his wife, Rita.
Jo McDougall, who grew up on a rice farm in the Arkansas Delta, is the author of five books of poetry. Formerly co-director of the creative writing program at Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas, she has received a John Ciardi Fellowship (University of Missouri/Kansas City), fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Arkansas Arts Council, awards from the DeWitt Wallace/Reader’s Digest Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and Arkansas’ Porter Prize. Her poems have been widely anthologized, including in Ted Kooser’s nationally syndicated column American Life in Poetry and in Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Hard Times and Writer’s Almanac. She lives in Kansas City.
Holly Messitt is an Associate Professor of English at the City University of New York/Borough of Manhattan Community, where she is co-coordinator of the Writing Across the Curriculum program and chair of the Writing and Literature program. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Drew University.
Adam Patric Miller
Adam Patric Miller’s A Greater Monster was selected by Phillip Lopate as the winner of the 2013 Autumn House Press Nonfiction Prize. Miller has also won a Pushcart Prize and received a Notable Essay Selection in The Best American Essays Series. His essays have been published in Agni Magazine, The Florida Review, and Blue Earth Review. During his years of teaching in an inner-city high school in Connecticut, Miller was twice voted Teacher of the Year. For his outstanding contributions to classroom teaching and for improving the quality of secondary education in Ohio, Miller was named a Jennings Scholar. As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Miller took a two-year leave to play the violin professionally. A highlight of those years was the chance to perform in Carnegie Hall. Miller lives with his wife and their blended family in St. Louis, Missouri.
Scott Minar is the author of The Body’s Fire (Clarellen 2002) and The Palace of Reasons (Mammoth Books 2006) and the co-author, with Edward Dougherty, of Exercises for Poets: Double Bloom (Prentice Hall 2007). He is a professor of literature and writing at Ohio University Lancaster.
Jack Myers was Director of the Creative Writing Program at Southern Methodist University, as well as a faculty member of Vermont College’s Low Residency MFA program. His book As Long As You’re Happy won the National Poetry Series open competition for 1985. He lived in Dallas, Texas with his wife Thea Temple. Jack died in 2009.
Through his writing, editing, and teaching, Ed Ochester has been a major influence on contemporary letters for more than three decades. He edits the Pitt Poetry Series and is general editor of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for short fiction, both published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. From 1978 to 1998 he was director of the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, and was twice elected president of Associated Writing Programs. He co-edits the poetry magazine 5 AM, and lives in a rural county northeast of Pittsburgh.
Tom Noyes’ newest book, Come by Here: A Novella and Stories, won the 2013 Autumn House Prize in Fiction. He is the author of two other story collections, Spooky Action at a Distance and Other Stories and Behold Faith and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for Stanford Libraries William Saroyan Award. Tom has earned degrees in writing from Ohio University, Wichita State University and Houghton College, and his stories have appeared in such journals as American Literary Review, Ascent, Colorado Review, Image, Mid-American Review, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, Sycamore Review, Terrain.org and Third Coast. He has been awarded grants from The Sustainability Arts Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Currently, he teaches in the BFA program at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, where he also serves as a consulting editor for the literary magazine Lake Effect.
Nancy Pagh was born and raised on Fidalgo Island in Anacortes, Washington. She burst onto the literary scene at age twelve with the publication of her poem “Is a Clam Clammy, or Is It Just Wet?” in a local boating magazine. Before earning Master’s degrees in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of New Hampshire, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia, she worked in the scientific publications unit of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration in Seattle. She teaches English and Canadian Studies at Western Washington University and lives in Bellingham. Nancy’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry Northwest, Crab Creek Review, Rattle, Grain, Pontoon, The Bellingham Review, Room of One’s Own, B.C. Studies, Stories with Grace, and Rock Salt Plum. At Home Afloat, her study of women’s travel language at sea, was co-published in 2001 by the University of Idaho Press and the University of Calgary Press. No Sweeter Fat, selected by Tim Seibles as the winner of the 2006 Autumn House Prize, is her first collection of poems.
Gailmarie Pahmeier, originally from rural Missouri, has been a Nevadan for 25 years. She currently teaches creative writing and contemporary literature at the University of Nevada, where she has been honored with the Alan Bible Teaching Excellence Award and the University Distinguished Teacher Award. Her work has been widely published and anthologized (most recently in Passenger and The Pedestal Magazine and in the anthology Literary Nevada, University of Nevada Press, 2008). She is the author of the poetry collection The House on Breakaheart Road(University of Nevada Press, 1998) and two chapbooks from Black Rock Press. After a decade of publishing individual poems, working on prose manuscripts, and assisting her husband in his design/build business, a new book of her poetry, West of Snowball, Arkansas, and Home, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Pahmeier is considered a ‘domestic’ poet; her work focuses primarily on family and home.
A native of St. Louis, Matthew Pitt is a graduate of Hampshire College and NYU, where he was a New York Times fellow. His first book of fiction, the short story collection Attention Please Now, won the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize, and was published in March 2010. Matt’s fiction has appeared, or soon will, in Oxford American, The Southern Review, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, New Letters, Best New American Voices, and elsewhere. Stories of his were cited in the Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and have earned awards from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Santa Fe Writers Project, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Salem College Center for Women Writers. He has received fellowships and scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and has taught at NYU, Penn State–Altoona, and the Bronx Writers’ Center. You can visit his website at www.matthew-pitt.com.
Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost’s home in Franconia, New Hampshire. She works extensively as a visiting writer in the schools and as a freelance editor for literary and academic presses. Dawn is the author of two collections of poetry–Boy Land & Other Poems (Deerbrook Editions, 2004) and How the Crimes Happened (CavanKerry Press, 2010)–with a third, Same Old Story, due out from CavanKerry in 2014. She has also published a memoir, Tracing Paradise: Two Years in Harmony with John Milton (University of Massachusetts Press, 2009), which won the 2010 Maine Literary Award in Nonfiction. In addition to writing, Dawn sings and plays fiddle with a local acoustic band. She lives in Harmony, Maine, with photographer Thomas Birtwistle and their two sons.
Chelsea Rathburn is the author of one previous collection, The Shifting Line, which won the 2005 Richard Wilbur Award. Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, New England Review, Five Points, and many other journals, and her honors include a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. Originally from Miami, she attended Florida State University and earned an MFA from the University of Arkansas. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband, the poet James Davis May, and their daughter, Adelyn.
Martha Rhodes is the author of At the Gate, Perfect Disappearance (Green Rose Prize), and Mother Quiet. Her poems have been published in such journals as Agni, Columbia, Fence, New England Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, and TriQuarterly and anthologized in Agni 30 Years, Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, Poem in Your Pocket (a publication of the Academy of American Poets), and It’s Not You, It’s Me. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Martha Rhodes is the director of Four Way Books in New York City.
Peter Schireson lives in Palo Alto, California. Originally from Los Angeles, he went to school at Cal Berkeley, University of Victoria, and Harvard University. He has studied Zen Buddhism in the U.S and Japan and is a priest and Dharma lineage holder in the Suzuki Roshi Soto Zen lineage. Retired from a long and varied work life, Peter devotes himself to family, to writing, and to Zen practice and teaching. His writing has been published or is forthcoming inGrey Sparrow Journal, Post Road, New Delta Review, The Lyric, Quiddity, RHINO, and other journals.
Ruth L. Schwartz
Ruth L. Schwartz’s newest collection of poems Miraculum was published by Autumn House in 2012. Her previous books include Dear Good Naked Morning, the winner of the 2004 Autumn House Poetry Prize; Edgewater (HarperCollins, 2002), selected by Jane Hirshfield as a 2001 National Poetry Series winner; Singular Bodies (Anhinga 2001), winner of the 2000 Anhinga Prize for Poetry; and Accordion Breathing and Dancing (University of Pittsburgh Press 1996), chosen by William Matthews for the 1994 Associated Writing Program Competition. Schwartz’s memoir, Death in Reverse: A Love Story was published by Michigan State University Press in 2004. Schwartz’s poems have reached a large audience through Ted Kooser’s nationally syndicated newspaper column American Life in Poetry and through Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. She currently lives in Oakland, California where she has a private practice in Depth Hypnosis and Shamanic Counseling.
Steven Schwartz grew up outside Chester, Pennsylvania, and has lived in Colorado for the past thirty years. He is the author of two story collections, To Leningrad in Winter and Lives of the Fathers, and two novels, Therapy and A Good Doctors Son. His writing has received the Nelson Algren Award, the Cohen Award, the Colorado Book Award for the Novel, two O. Henry Prize Story Awards, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Cleanth Brooks Prize in Nonfiction from The Southern Review. Married with two grown children, he teaches creative writing at Colorado State University and in the low-residency Warren Wilson MFA Program.
Sharma Shields’ collection of stories Favorite Monster was chosen by Stewart O’Nan as the winner of the 2012 Autumn House Fiction Prize. Sharma’s short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Fugue, and The Sonora Review. Her numerous awards include the Tim McGinnis Award for Humor, a grant from Artist Trust and the A.B. Guthrie Award for Outstanding Prose. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana and now lives in Spokane with her husband and young son. As an Information Specialist for the Spokane County Library District, Sharma founded T.W.I.N.E. — Teen Writers of the Inland Empire — a writing club for area youth.
Michael Simms is the founder of Autumn House Press. He lives in the historic Mount Washington neighborhood of Pittsburgh with his wife Eva Simms and their two children, Nicholas and Lea.
The White Calf Kicks, Deborah Slicer’s first book, was selected by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the 2003 Autumn House Poetry Prize. Garrison Keillor has included selections from The White Calf Kicks in his nationally syndicated radio show Writer’s Almanac. Slicer teaches philosophy at the University of Montana and lives outside Missoula.
Gerald Stern, the son of Polish and Ukrainian immigrants, grew up in Pittsburgh. He is the author of twelve books of poetry and a collection of personal essays. He is the recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, three NEA Fellowships, the Ruth Lilly Prize, and the National Book Award, which he won in 1998 for This Time, New and Selected Poems. Stern lives in Lambertville, New Jersey, a small community on the Delaware River, and in New York City.
Sheryl St. Germain
A native of New Orleans, Sheryl St. Germain is of Cajun and Creole descent. Her awards include two NEA Fellowships, an NEH Fellowship, the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, and the William Faulkner award for the personal essay. Her poetry books include Going Home, The Mask of Medusa, Making Bread at Midnight, How Heavy the Breath of God, and The Journals of Scheherazade. She has also published a book of translations of the Cajun poet Jean Arceneaux, Je Suis Cadien. Swamp Songs: The Making Of an Unruly Woman, a collection of essays about growing up in New Orleans, was published in 2003. She currently directs the MFA Creative Writing Program at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, where she teaches poetry and creative nonfiction. She has one son, Gray Gideon, who lives in Texas.
Robert Strong lives north of the Adirondack wilderness with his wife and infant son. He received a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Denver and an MFA from Naropa University; his undergraduate work was done in the Faith, Peace, & Justice Program at Boston College. He was a Mellon Fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society for his research in the conversion narrative. He is the author of Puritan Spectacle (Elixir Press) and an assistant professor at SUNY Canton. He is currently writing a book on the social history of Sunday in America.
Julie Suk’s The Dark Takes Aim won The North Carolina Poetry Society’s Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Her previous poetry collections include The Angel of Obsession (1992), winner of the Arkansas Poetry Award and the Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Award; Heartwood (1991); and The Medicine Woman (1980). She also coedited Bear Crossings: An Anthology of North American Poets (1978) with Anne Newman and Nancy Cooke Stone. Julie Suk’s poems have appeared in such periodicals as Georgia Review; Poetry, which awarded her the Bess Hokin Award; and Shenandoah, as well as appearing in Poetry Daily. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Brian Swann has published many books: poetry in translation, children’s books, fiction, poetry, as well as editing volumes on Native American literature, the latest of which is Sky Loom: Native American Myth, Story, Song (University of Nebraska Press, 2014). His most recent of eleven poetry collections is In Late Light (John Hopkins University Press, 2013). He teaches at The Cooper Union in New York City.
Matt’s work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Colorado Review, among others. He studied creative writing at California State University, Northridge, Washington University in St. Louis, and Pacific University. In addition, his work has been nominated for an AWP Intro Journals Award. He lives in Los Angeles.
Philip Terman is the author of four books of poetry and four limited edition chapbooks. His poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Poetry Magazine, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Forward, Tikkun, The Sun Magazine, 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. He has received the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award for Poetry on the Jewish Experience, the Kenneth Patchen Award, and the Sow’s Ear Prize. He’s a professor of English at Clarion University, where he directs the Spoken Art Reading Series. Terman also co-directs the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, and is the coordinator of The Bridge Literary Arts Center in Franklin, PA.
Clifford Thompson received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction in 2013 for Love for Sale and Other Essays. He is the author of a novel, Signifying Nothing, and his essays on books, film, jazz, and American identity have appeared in publications including The Threepenny Review, The Iowa Review, Commonweal, Film Quarterly, Cineaste, Oxford American, and Black Issues Book Review. For over a dozen years he served as editor in chief of Current Biography, and he has held adjunct professorships at Columbia University and New York University. Thompson is married with two daughters and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Sue Ellen Thompson
Sue Ellen Thompson is the author of This Body of Silk, which won the 1986 Samuel French Morse Prize, The Wedding Boat (Owl Creek Press), as well as The Leaving: New and Selected Poems and The Golden Hour, both published by Autumn House; she is also the editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. She has been a Robert Frost Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Visiting Writer at Central Connecticut State University, and Poet-in-Residence at SUNY Binghamton and at the Frost place in Franconia, New Hampshire. Her poems have reached a large national audience through Garrison Keillor’s radio show Writer’s Almanac and Ted Kooser’s newspaper column American Life in Poetry.
Matthew Thorburn is the author of three books of poems, This Time Tomorrow, Every Possible Blue and Subject to Change, and an earlier chapbook, the long poem Disappears in the Rain. He lives with his wife and son in New York City, where he works as the communications manager for an international law firm.
James Tolan is author of the poetry collection Mass of the Forgotten (Autumn House)and the chapbooks Red Walls (Dos Madres Press) and Fresh Fruit and Gravity (Far Gone Books). His poems appear in such journals as American Literary Review, Atlanta Review, Fairy Tale Review, Fulcrum, Gargoyle, Indiana Review, Linebreak, and Ploughshares as well as a number of anthologies, including the Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. He is co-editor of New America: Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society (Autumn House Press) and an Associate Professor at the City University of New York/BMCC. For more information visit: http://www.jamestolan.com/
Half Mexican and half Caucasian, James Tyner grew up in some rough neighborhoods in Los Angeles and in Fresno, California. Gangs and violence were an everyday thing. In his late teens, he decided to become a pacifist. Most of his work deals with these issues, beauty in the ghetto and that striving for a different way of life. His awards include the Larry Levis poetry prize and the Andres Montoya Scholarship. He was a finalist for the 2008 War Poetry Contest and the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize, and was recently in the poetry anthology The Working Poet. His poem At a Barbeque for R.C. was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his thesis was voted most outstanding thesis of 2009 from Fresno State University. In 2013, Tyner was named the Poet Laureate of Fresno by the Fresno Arts Council.
Judith Vollmer’s previous collections have received the Brittingham, the Center for Book Arts, and the Cleveland State publication prizes. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her essays and reviews are included in The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire and elsewhere. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and in the Drew University MFA Program in Poetry and Poetry in Translation, and is a founding editor of the literary journal 5 AM.
Patricia Jabbeh Wesley
Patricia Jabbeh Wesley is a survivor of the Liberian Civil War that ravaged the country from 1989-2003. Besides her most recent book, Where the Road Turns, she is the author of three previous books of poetry, The River is Rising (published by Autumn House Press), Becoming Ebony and Before the Palm Could Bloom: Poems of Africa. Currently at work on her memoir of the Liberian Civil War, Patricia teaches English, Creative Writing, and African Literature at Penn State University, Altoona. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family.
Margaret L. Whitford
Margaret L. Whitford has a background in community development finance and organizational development. After earning an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, she spent nearly twenty years in the not-for-profit field before returning to graduate school for an MFA in Creative Writing. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the anthology Good Dogs Doing Good, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, MARY Magazine, and Brevity. She is the winner of the 2011 Best Writing award from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania.
Born in Carrollton, Kentucky, Lori Wilson was raised in Western Pennsylvania and has lived in Morgantown, West Virginia for nearly twenty years. She studied economics at Brigham Young and Harvard Universities and currently works as a computer systems analyst. In 2001, she was awarded first place in the West Virginia Emerging Writers Poetry Competition. Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals and publications, including the new anthology, Along These Rivers, Poetry and Photography from Pittsburgh (Quadrant Publishing, 2008). Lori has four grown children. House Where a Woman is her first published book.