Contributors, Authors, & Artists for Fall 2016
The desire to read what I know to be true. Hearing the sounds of my family, being caught still by a sight on a busy street, experiencing injustice or want or love- who else to write these things but me? Also, I find writing cathartic, self-indulgent and somehow attached to my love of music. Maybe as close as I will ever get to singing on beat and in tune.
Mahogany L. Browne
As a woman writer, teaching artist and performer, I am wracked with the constant churn associated with women performers and stereotypes. I have witnessed women writers instructed to “dance” while hosting a poetry showcase. I have witnessed women performers instructed to dress scantily for the pleasure of the audience. Even in the eye of such a storm, a hurricane full of fear, judgment and disappointment – I have watched these women succumb to the requests because it was easier to compromise their integrity than fight the stereotypical machine. The story of black women serving others with little regard to their own needs is a recurring one, indeed. My story exists because ofAlice Walker’s Color Purple and Jayne Cortez’ Coagulations. My story is rooted in movement, truth and permission. It is because of these black and women poets that I have found the world of writing, beckoning me forward, pressuring me to insert my own voice.
Jim Daniels’ next books of poems, Rowing Inland, Wayne State University Press, and Street Calligraphy, Steel Toe Books, will both be published in 2017. His fifth book of short fiction, Eight Mile High, published by Michigan State University Press in 2014, was selected as a Michigan Notable Book and as a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize. “The End of Blessings,” the fourth short film he has written and produced, appeared in sixteen film festivals around the world. His poems have been featured on “Prairie Home Companion,” Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac," in Billy Collins' Poetry 180 anthologies, and Ted Kooser's "American Life in Poetry" series. A native of Detroit, Daniels is a graduate of Alma College and Bowling Green State University. He is the Thomas Stockham University Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University.
"What motivates me to write? It’s been a given in my life for so long that it’s hard to articulate exactly why. I started writing a long time ago as an alternative to speaking when I had a speech defect that made me self-conscious. Part of the motivation came from realizing that the people I knew and loved weren’t showing up in much of the literature I was reading—the world of factory work and working-class life that I grew up with in Detroit was nearly invisible, particularly in poetry. I’ve been teaching for a long time now, and am part of numerous other worlds, but that initial world is still at the core of much of what I write. And, I write for the same reason a lot of people write, which is to try to figure out my own life and the world around me, and to connect to that larger world from the isolation of writing however and wherever I can."
Charlene is an organic gardener, a southern Californian, a Syracuse University Graduate Writing Fellow whose most recent publications include a series of poems in Poetry East, poems in Earth's Daughters, The MacGuffin, Sugar Mule, and an essay in Evening Street Review.
"What motivates me to write? I write because I always have. Writing all the time is how poetry gets written, with time and patience, and for me, as Adrienne Rich teaches, it is a dream of a common language we are all writing. I am ardent environmentalist and this also is part of all my work."
With more than 100 stories in print and online literary journals, Robert Earle is one of the more widely published contemporary writers of short fiction. His collection of stories, Imagining Women, will be published by Vine Leaves Press in 2017. He also is the author of two novels and two books of nonfiction. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
"I write to experience and illuminate life more intensely, to explore otherwise inaccessible dimensions of my own mind, to overcome the day-to-day limits of me simply being me. Literature is the parallel planet where what’s really going on steps out of the shadows into full view."
James Croal Jackson
James Croal Jackson's poems have appeared in magazines including The Bitter Oleander, Rust+Moth, and Columbia College Literary Review. He is the winner of the 2016 William Redding Memorial Poetry Prize via The Poetry Forum in his current city of Columbus, Ohio. Visit him at jimjakk.com
"What motivates me to write?
I've had a creative energy that has caused me to write and create since early childhood, so I don't need to dig too much for motivation. One thing now, I suppose, is wanting to have a large collection of creative works to look back upon when I become old, and to pass on these works to my loved ones."
Daniel David is a writer, artist and professor living along the southern shore of Lake Erie in North America. His poems have appeared widely in a number of venues across the United States, in Canada, and the United Kingdom. His publications also include articles in the Journal of Creative Behavior; chapbooks Close to Home and Two Buddha; and his novel, Flying Over Erie.
"I acknowledge a kind of readiness for poems more so than the existence of a muse or the idea of inspiration. This readiness requires listening intently to my surroundings; a humility of purpose and acceptance; and a quiet, though often exasperating, patience. I do not seek a poem out but rather encourage the images to arrive at my threshold. I allow the words to form, to emerge naturally and organically, in a place somewhere between a vibrant reality and the recesses of my unconscious. I relish the elusive aspect of this emergence. Often the greatest challenge and the greatest reward is to find aesthetic significance in seemingly mundane, day-to-day occurrences. Each poem evolves in its own unique manner. There is no delineated, predictable order or destination; there are few preconceptions. The initial inception is expanded, combined with newly discovered associations, and gradually finds a voice of intent."
Kate Kaplan lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in The Santa Monica Review, The Roanoke Review, Ascent, and elsewhere. She's studied at Sarah Lawrence College, UCLA, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers' conferences, and is currently a student in Warren Wilson's MFA program.
"I come to writing as a reader. Reading (and life) inspires me to write."
Katherine L. Holmes
Katherine L. Holmes' poetry, short stories, and one-act plays have appeared in more than seventy journals, most recently Review Americana, Agave Magazine, Thin Air Magazine, Cider Press Review, Mused Literary Review, Red Booth Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Blood Lotus, and The Adirondack Review. In 2012, her short story collection, Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories, was published by Hollywood Books International. More information is at her website: https://sites.google.com/site/katherinelholmesauthorprofile/
"Out-of-the-ordinary experiences, especially those that have more than a few dimensions, motivate me to write. Often such experiences replay visually in my head. The more puzzling or poignant, the more I want to use words as conveyance to understanding."
Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
"I cannot precisely articulate why I write. The writers I love most—Beckett, Bernhard, Kafka (and all of the poets)—have always been there for me. And I might say, at certain moments, that I feel somewhat like a detective when I write, but I never find what I set out to look for, or the writing never “consoles,” “enlightens,” or “satisfies.” But, despite this thought, I still believe in it immensely: the process, the gathering, the moments when one is in the act of writing."
Craig Fishbane is the author of the short fiction collection On the Proper Role of Desire (Big Table Publishing). His work has also appeared in the New York Quarterly, Bartleby Snopes, Gravel, Drunken Boat and The Nervous Breakdown, as well as the Flash Fiction Funny anthology. You can learn more about him at his website: https://craigfishbane.wordpress.com/
"My motivation for writing is simple: it feels great. When things are going well, when the words are flowing and the characters are coming to life sentence by sentence, I feel like I’m doing what I was born to do."
William C. Blome
William C. Blome writes short fiction and poetry. He lives wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he once grabbed a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars while the getting was good. His work has previously appeared in such fine little mags as Amarillo Bay, PRISM International, Fiction Southeast, Roanoke Review, Poetry London, and The California Quarterly.
"I am motivated to write that which I want to read but cannot seem to find already extant."