Amie Whittemore is the author of the poetry collection Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press). Her poems have won multiple awards, including a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, and her poems and prose have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Nashville Review, Smartish Pace, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She is the Reviews Editor for Southern Indiana Review and teaches English at Middle Tennessee State University.
Stacey Balkun is the author of Eppur Si Muove, Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak, & Lost City Museum. Winner of the 2017 Women's National Book Association Poetry Prize, her critical & creative work has appeared in Best New Poets 2018, Crab Orchard Review, The Rumpus, and many other anthologies & journals. Chapbook Series Editor for Sundress Publications, Stacey holds an MFA from Fresno State and teaches poetry online at The Poetry Barn & The Loft. Visit her online at www.staceybalkun.com.
David Gonzalez is a professional storyteller, poet, playwright, musician and public speaker. He is a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department, and is the proud recipient of the International Performing Arts for Youth “Lifetime Achievement Award for Sustained Excellence“. Mr. Gonzalez was named a Fellow of the Joseph Campbell Foundation and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for “Unique Theatrical Experience” for The Frog Bride. David has created numerous productions, including the critically acclaimed ¡Sofrito!with The Latin Legends Band, and MytholoJazz, both of which enjoyed sold-out runs at New Victory Theater. Sleeping Beauty was co-commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Brooklyn College, and The McCallum Theater. David was a featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival, and appeared for three seasons at the Royal National Theatre in London. The Man of the House was commissioned by, and premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2013.
Joshua holds an MFA from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine, an MFA from the University of Mississippi, and an M.A. from Pittsburg State University. A former John and Renee Grisham fellow, he teaches poetry, fiction, and multi-genre workshops. Recent poems have appeared in The Poetry Distillery, The Museum of Americana, Muse/A, and The Midwest Quarterly. He is a doctoral candidate in Literature at Ohio University, and now lives in Tampa, Florida.
Jennifer Suzanne Givhan, a National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices fellow, is a Mexican-American writer and activist from the Southwestern desert. She is the author of four full-length collections: Landscape with Headless Mama (2015 Pleiades Editors’ Prize), Protection Spell (2016 Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series edited by Billy Collins), Girl with Death Mask (2017 Blue Light Books Prize chosen by Ross Gay), and Rosa’s Einstein (Camino Del Sol Poetry Series, 2019), and two chapbooks: Lifeline (Glass Poetry Press) and The Daughter’s Curse (Yellow Flag Press). Her novels, Trinity Sight and Jubilee, are forthcoming from Blackstone Press. Her honors include the Frost Place Latinx Scholarship, a National Latinx Writers’ Conference Scholarship, the Lascaux Review Poetry Prize, Phoebe Journal’s Greg Grummer Poetry Prize chosen by Monica Youn, the Pinch Poetry Prize chosen by Ada Limón, the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize 2nd place chosen by Patricia Spears Jones, and fifteen Pushcart nominations. Givhan holds a Master’s degree in English from California State University Fullerton and an MFA from Warren Wilson College. She teaches composition at the University of New Mexico, writing workshops online at The Poetry Barn, and she lives in Albuquerque with her partner and two children.
Kim was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where she loved apple trees in the spring, Hungarian nut roll at Christmas, the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge at dawn, and the West Side Market at 5:00 AM–when the Eastern European nagymamák shopped for the day’s meals, babushkas tied neatly beneath their chins. She moved to Southern California in her late 20’s (more or less on a dare) where she’s learned to love the subtle seasons, making salmon tamales at Christmas, and taking long beach walks in February.
She is the author of the book, Name Me, published by Fortunate Daughter Press, the title poem of which was a finalist for the Joy Harjo Prize in Poetry. Her poem, “Heaven, 1963″ was featured by former Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, in his nationally syndicated column, American Life in Poetry. She was a finalist for the 2016 Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Prize and the winner of the San Miguel Literary Sala’s 2017 Flash Nonfiction Prize.
Kim teaches writing to all ages in recovery homes and public libraries–most recently in conjunction with the Kids! San Diego Poetry Annual, Garden Oak Press, 2017.
She lives in San Diego with her husband, Ernie, and their daughter, Leiha, where she heads San Diego Public Library’s family literacy program. She was a finalist in 2017 for the Toyota National Family Teacher of the Year Award.
Link to Kim’s video: https://vimeo.com/265402865
High wire artist Philippe Petit writes, draws, performs close-up magic, practices lock-picking and eighteenth century timber framing, plays chess, studies French wine, gives lectures on creativity, directs theater plays and tightrope master classes, is an accomplished pickpocket, and was once sighted bullfighting in Peru.
Petit, author of eleven books, including “Creativity: The Perfect Crime,” "To Reach the Clouds" and “Why Knot?" has been artist-in-residence of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for more than 30 years and has performed on the high wire more than 80 times around the world. He has been a featured speaker at TED and other national venues and he also walks on the wire and does street performances whenever (and wherever) he likes.
Judith Roney’s diverse work has appeared in numerous publications. Most recently, her chapbook, Waiting for Rain, received an honorable mention from Two Sylvias Press, and Field Guide for a Human was a finalist in the Gambling the Aisle chapbook contest. Her poetry collection, According to the Gospel of Haunted Women, received the Pioneer Prize. She confesses to an obsession with the archaic and misunderstood, dead relatives, and collects vintage religious artifacts and creepy dolls. She teaches creative writing at the University of Central Florida, is a poetry reader for The Florida Review, and a teaching artist for The Poetry Barn in West Hurley, New York.
Tina Barry conceived, wrote and curated “The Virginia Project,” a traveling exhibition of collaborations between Tina and 14 women artists, based on the lives of Virginia Haggard and Jean McNeil, the artist Marc Chagall’s lover and her daughter. Later this year, Tina’s Beautiful Raft: The Mostly Made-up Lives of Marc Chagall’s Lover and her Daughter will be published. Tina’s poems and short fiction have appeared in numerous literary publications such as The Best Short Fictions 2016, Drunken Boat, Connotation Press, The American Poetry Journal, Nasty Women Poets: An Anthology of Subversive Verse, Feckless Cunt, and the upcoming A Constellation of Kisses. Tina is the author of Mall Flower: Poems and Short Fiction (Big Table Publishing). She holds an MFA in creative writing from Long Island University, Brooklyn. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and has several Best of the Net nods. Tina is a teaching artist at The Poetry Barn and Gemini Ink.
Christopher Locke’s poems, stories, & essays have appeared in such magazines as The North American Review,Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Parents, Poetry East, Verse Daily, Southwest Review, Slice, The Literary Review,Barrelhouse, The Sun, West Branch, SmokeLong Quarterly, Gargoyle, Mudlark, Saranac Review, and NPR's Morning Edition and Ireland’s Radio One. Locke has seven collections of poetry published: How to Burn (Adastra Press—1995), Slipping Under Diamond Light (Clamp Down Press—2002), Possessed (Main Street Rag—2005), End of American Magic (Salmon Poetry—2010), Waiting for Grace & Other Poems (2013—Turning Point), Trespassers (2016—Finishing Line Press), and Ordinary Gods, (Salmon Poetry—2017). His first post-punk/spoken word album, Late Lights, was recently released by Burst & Bloom Records, and 25 Trumbulls Road, a collection of speculative fiction, won the 2018 Black River Chapbook Competition (Black Lawrence Press) and will be released in early 2020. Locke has received over a dozen grants, fellowships, and awards for his poetry including the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Award, state grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and Poetry Fellowships from Fundacion Valparaiso, (Spain) and PARMA (Mexico). He teaches creative writing at North Country Community College in the Adirondacks.
Holly Lyn Walrath’s poetry and short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, and Flash Fiction Online. She is the author of Glimmerglass Girl (Finishing Line Press, 2018). She holds a B.A. in English from The University of Texas and a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She is a freelance editor and host of The Weird Circular, an e-newsletter for writers containing submission calls and writing prompts.
Maureen Alsop, Ph.D. is the author of Apparition Wren (Main Street Rag, 2007), Later, Knives & Trees (Negative Capability Press, 2014), Mantic (Augury Books, 2013), Mirror Inside Coffin (WordTech Editions, 2015) and several chapbooks including Luminal Equation in the collection Narwhal (Cannibal Press), the dream and the dream you spoke, and 12 Greatest Hits, Nightingale Habit and Origin of Stone. She is the winner of Harpur Palate's Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry and The Bitter Oleander’s Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including AGNI, Baltimore Review, Barrow Street, Berkeley Poetry Review, Bitter Oleander, Blackbird, Diode, Drunken Boat, Kenyon Review Online, Pank, Spinning Jenny, Baltimore Review, Pinch, Versaland Verse Daily, among others.
Brenda Mann Hammack is an Associate Professor of English at Fayetteville State University where she teaches seminars in: creative writing; contemporary poetry; children's literature; women's studies; British literature and culture. Her first book, Humbug: A Neo-Victorian Fantasy in Verse was released by Misty Publications in 2013. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Rhino, The Medulla Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Caveat Lector, Toad Suck Review, A capella Zoo, Mudlark, Arsenic Lobster, The North Carolina Literary Review, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Pedestal, and Steampunk Magazine.Brenda has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize on three occasions. Her scholarly articles can be found in SEL, Mosaic, Interfictions Online: A Journal of Interstitial Arts, and Victorian Hybridities: Cultural Anxiety and Formal Innovation, edited by U.C. Knoepflmacher and Logan D. Browning.
Ryan Clinesmith is the editor of The Poetry Distillery, the Poetry Barn’s online literary journal. Recently the Poetry Distillery published its first E-Chapbook which can be found here. The Poetry Distillery also takes general submissions for its online journal here. As Poet and Writer in residence at the Birch Wathen Lenox School (BWL) in New York City, Ryan is responsible for the Global Poetry Consortium, BWL’s annual Poetry Festival and BWL’s Poetry Galleries. Ryan graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Writing Literature and Publishing and received a B.F.A. in poetry. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Glint Literary Journal, First Literary Review-East, Gravel, The Merrimack Review, and Blueline Literary Magazine, among others. Ryan believes in poetry as art, and he believes art is the connecting tissue between difference and as such he strives to share his work in uniques places such as the Poetry Leaves exhibit in Waterford Township Michigan where his poem “After Discussing Eco Poetics” was displayed on a leaf for two weeks.