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The Writers of Unmasked



Marcia Meier is an award-winning writer, editor, and publisher of Weeping Willow Books. Her work has appeared in The Louisville Review,, Prime Number Magazine online, the anthology Knocking at the Door, Approaching the Other, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and many other publications. Her books include Ireland, Place Out of Time (2017); Heart on a Fence (2016); Navigating the Rough Waters of Today's Publishing World, Critical Advice for Writers from Industry Insiders (2010); and Santa Barbara, Paradise on the Pacific (1996). She is at work on a memoir, Face.


Kathleen Barry, Ph.D., has been a licensed psychotherapist in California since 1995 and specializes in working with individuals as they face the crossroads of major life transitions. She has published a variety of writings about women, empowerment, grief, and sexuality on her website: Dr. Barry is an adjunct professor at Antioch University, Santa Barbara, where she teaches a variety of courses in the bachelor of arts program.





Rira Abbasi is an Iranian poet, fiction writer and peace activist. Acclaimed as Iran’s Lady Poet Laureate and the winner of the Parvin Etesami Poetry Award in 2005, Rira is also a member of Iran’s Writers Association and the founder and director of the biennial International Peace Poetry Festival since 2007. Black Fairy of Wednesday (2000), No More Guns for This Lor Woman (2001) and a bold collection of love poems, Who Loves You More Discreetly? (2002) are among her works. Rira has edited and introduced the first collection of Iranian Peace Poetry (an anthology) in 2002. A brainchild of Rira Abbasi and supported solely by individual donations and sponsorship of non-governmental organizations, the charter of the Peace Poetry Festival states that “Poetry for peace is affiliated to humanity, regardless of race, religion, sex and geography.”

Maryam Ala Amjadi is an Iranian poet, essayist, and translator who spent the impressionable years of her childhood in India and writes poetry in English. She is the author of two poetry collections and translator of a collection of Raymond Carver’s poems into Farsi. She received the Young Generation Poet Award in the first International Poetry Festival in Yinchuan, China (Sept 2011) and was awarded Honorary Fellowship in Creative Writing by the International Writers Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa in fall 2008. She is a Ph.D. research fellow in Text and Event in Early Modern Europe (TEEME) at the universities of Kent (UK) and Porto (Portugal). She is also an editor for Hysteria, a periodical of critical feminisms. Her poems have been translated into Arabic, Albanian, Chinese, Hindi, Italian and Romanian.


Bambi Barker is a pen name for an established poet. Bambi has published poetry in A Kiss is Still a Kiss from Outrider Press, Shoes Magazine, Poetry Greece, Cokefishing, The Diddler, Love’s Chance, Poems Niederngasse (Switzerland), Mannequin Envy, Lummox, Nefarious Ballerina, Zen Baby, Zygote in My Coffee, The Centrifugal Eye, Sein und Werden (England), and The Scribbler. She has read her poetry on the LUVER radio station, has worked as a model for a foot fetish website, and is way over fifty years old.

Catharine Bramkamp publishes both prose and poetry. Her poetry has been included in a dozen anthologies, including And The Beats Go On (which she edited) and the chapbook Ammonia Sunrise (Finishing Line Press). She is co-producer of the Newbie Writers Podcast and teaches at two universities. She has written fourteen novels and three books on writing. She is the chief storytelling officer for three companies, because social media can be a lot like poetry.  


Debbie Brosten relocated to Bellingham, WA, after retiring from a career in education. She delights in the serendipity of her travel-filled life and the people who populate it. Her work has been published in the Whatcom Writes Anthology; Memory into Memoir: A Red Wheelbarrow Writers Collection; and Give Yourself Permission Anthology.


Rita Bullinger, a blue belle in a red zone, is a writer and feminist living in the southern United States. She has written for small publications in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the southeast, and writes a blog called “Out of the Blue” about literature, politics, and the natural world, including sex.

Carolyn Butcher, Ph.D., teaches critical thinking through literature at Santa Barbara City College in California. Her memoir work has appeared in several online and print journals, most recently in Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture, and for many years she presented academic papers at James Joyce conferences internationally. In addition, she has read her personal essays at several performances of Speaking of Stories at Center Stage Theater in Santa Barbara. She is grateful to her husband, Michael Dean Perry, her two children, two grandchildren, and two stepchildren for all their love and support.


Cathleen Calbert’s poetry and prose have appeared in many publications, including Ms. Magazine, The New Republic, The New York Times, and The Paris Review. She is the author of four books of poetry: Lessons in Space, Bad Judgment, Sleeping with a Famous Poet, and The Afflicted Girls. Her awards include The Nation Discovery Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Sheila Motton Book Prize, the Vernice Quebodeaux Poetry Prize for Women, and the Mary Tucker Thorp Award from Rhode Island College.

Susan Cochran grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She earned a B.A. in English from San Diego State University and an English Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. While working in administration at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Susan expressed her creativity through quilt art and painting. After the death of her husband, she turned to journaling and poetry. She received the first place prize for the 2013 Robert J. Emmons Poetry Competition and completed the Creative Writing Certificate Program at Santa Barbara City College. Her short memoir story, Aztec Street, was published in Thoreau’s Rooster, Assumption College. Her poetry has been used at Hospice of Santa Barbara to help the healing of loss. Her recently published book, In the Sea of Grief and Love, shares her experiences with grief.


Pam Davenport settled in the Sonoran Desert after traveling the world throughout her childhood. She has an MFA from Pacific University and her poems have recently appeared in The Avalon Literary Review, Snapdragon, Rougarou, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Spilled Milk Magazine, and Bared: An Anthology on Bras and Breasts.

Lisa Mae DeMasi’s work has been featured in the literary journals Vine Leaves (May 2017), Gravel, Slippery Elm, Foliate Oak, East Bay Review, Shark Reef, and several media outlets including HuffPost. When she’s not writing, she practices Reiki, specializing in unblocking creatives in all mediums and moving them (with humor and love) to the highest vision of themselves as artists.


Liz Rose Dolan’s poetry manuscript, A Secret of Long Life, nominated for the Robert McGovern Prize, has been published by Cave Moon Press. Her first collection, They Abide, was published by March Street. A nine-time Pushcart nominee and winner of  Best of the Web, she was a finalist for Best of the Net 2014.

Alexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and Other Heart Stab Poems, and State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies. Her erotic poems have been featured in more than sixty journals and lit magazines, including Little Raven, Cactus Heart, Red Light Lit, Slipstream, Cliterature, Cleaver, Menacing Hedge, Rattle, Hobart, Broadzine, and Gutter Eloquence. Since 2013 Alexis has been nominated for seven Pushcart Prizes and four Best of The Net awards. She’s infamous for her Lit Crawl LA performances at Romantix, a NoHo sex shop. In her other life, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly, where she also publishes a monthly photo essay, The Poet’s Eye. 

Haiden Fairly is a senior administrator for a non-profit organization in Santa Barbara. She loves being out in nature, biking, hiking or watching birds. Her creative passions in life are writing and acting. She has been married to the same man for thirty-seven years, they have two adult children, and they still have sex together.


Roberta Feins received her MFA in poetry in 2007 from New England College. Her poems have been published in Five AM, Antioch Review, The Cortland Review, and The Gettysburg Review, among others. Her chapbook Something Like a River was published by Moon Path Press in 2013. Roberta edits the e-zine Switched On Gutenberg.


Irene Fick’s first collection of poetry, The Stories We Tell, was published in 2014 by The Broadkill Press. The book received first place awards (book of verse) from the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) and the Delaware Press Association (DPA). Irene’s poetry has been published in such journals as Poet Lore; Gargoyle; The Broadkill Review; Philadelphia Stories; Adanna Literary Journal; Mojave River Review; and Delaware Beach Life. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2016, Irene’s poem, “Asunder,” received the first place award from DPA, and second place from NFPW. She lives in Lewes, DE, with her husband.


Lola Fontay lives on the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. She is a writer and lover of cats and men of all ages. 


Angela M. Franklin is a poet, essayist, and visual artist. She is a 2016 Fellow for the Community Literature Initiative, a 2015 Fellow for the Nora Zeale Hurston/Richard Wright Summer Writers Workshop, and a 2015 Fellow for the Voices of Our Nation Art (VONA) of Southern California. Franklin’s first book of poetry, Poems Beneath My Keloids, is forthcoming from World Stage Press in 2018. Her poetry will debut in Leimert Park Redux, an anthology, and in Cultural Weekly. As a fervent supporter of impoverished women and children, she uses her energies to support efforts and causes to lift them out of poverty through clean water and education projects. She is a regular participant of the Poetry of Social Justice Workshop in Los Angeles, where she joins diverse poets to offer reflections and responses in verse on social issues and challenges.


Sally Franz is a published author with multiple awards from The Santa Barbara Writers Conference. Her published work includes: Monster Lies a co-authored non-fiction work by Beagle Bay Books. Also, The Baby Boomers Mini-Field Guides, a three-book series consisting of guides to: Menopause, Raising Teenagers, and Co-dependency as well as I Love You When. All humor books published by Nightingale Press, UK. Anthology contributions include the New York Times Best Selling: Chicken Soup for the Grandparent’s Soul. She is a contributing blogger to The Third Age e-magazine. She has been a national speaker appearing on “The Today Show” three times, “The Maury Povitch Show” and “Lifetime” cable. She lives with her innkeeper husband, Dwight, in the Pacific Northwest, on the Olympic Peninsula next to Olympic National Park.


Maya Shaw Gale, M.A., is a poet, playwright and performance artist with a passion for combining movement and the spoken word. She has performed in Santa Barbara for Poetry Month, Santa Barbara ADAPT Festival and Nectar, in Santa Barbara Bolero with Larry Kegwin and Co, a staged reading of her own play, They Say She Is Veiled, and Five Foot Feat, a dance and disability theater piece which toured California and New York City. Her first book of poetry, The Last Wild Place was published in 2011, and over 20 of her poems have appeared in two books of collected works, The Pepper Lane Review, I and II. Maya is also a transformational life coach, integrating mindfulness, wisdom from Nature and a body-centered approach to guide clients through transition to a more authentic and soul-nourishing lifestyle.  She also leads dream workshops and women’s writing retreats called Write From the Heart.

Renata Golden holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston. She runs a technical writing company and has been an instructor at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. In addition to having published several textbooks by HPE Press, Renata has been published in as well as newspapers across the country. Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Renata lives in Santa Fe and is working on an essay collection about the Chiricahua Mountains.


Ana Garza G’z has an MFA from California State University, Fresno. Over sixty of her poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies, most recently in Breath and Shadow. She works as a lecturer, community interpreter, and translator.


Eva Haller is a much-honored nonprofit leader and philanthropist. For the past three decades, she and her husband, Dr. Yoel Haller, have been devoted to social, educational and environmental activism. Earlier in her life, she was co-founder of the Campaign Communications Institute of America, a highly successful consulting firm that revolutionized the use of telephone marketing by Fortune 100 companies and political campaigns. For more than seventeen years, she served as board chair of Free the Children USA (now part of WE Charity)—which partners with communities to work from within to break the cycle of poverty. She is a trustee of the Rubin Museum of Art and the University of California Santa Barbara Foundation and serves on the boards of the Creative Visions Foundation, Sing for Hope, Video Volunteers, Asia Initiatives, and A Blade of Grass. In 2015, she was appointed to the Advisory of the Prince’s Charities, the Canadian charitable office of HRH the Prince of Wales.


Lois Marie Harrod’s sixteenth and most recent collection, Nightmares of the Minor Poet, appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks. Her chapbook And She Took the Heart appeared in January 2016, and Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. The Only Is won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays), and Brief Term, a collection of poems about teachers and teaching was published by Black Buzzard Press, 2011. Cosmogony won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook (Iowa State). She is widely published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey.


Tanya (Hyonhye) Ko Hong, poet, translator and cultural curator has been published in Rattle, Beloit Poetry Journal, Two Hawks Quarterly, Portside, Cultural Weekly, Korea Times, Korea Central Daily News and elsewhere. She has an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles, and is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Mother to Myself, A collection of poems in Korean (Prunsasang Press, 2015). Her poem, “Comfort Woman” won honorable mention in the 2015 Women’s National Book Association awards. She created the reading, “Bittersweet: The Immigrant Stories,” which was a Poets & Writers-sponsored reading and workshop. Tanya is an advocate of bilingual poetry, promoting the work of immigrant poets. She lives in Palos Verdes, CA, where she makes a killer oxtail soup and dances every Monday at six o’clock.


Maria Keane is an award-winning artist and published poet. She served as an adjunct professor of fine arts at Wilmington University from 1984-2008. Maria is an Arts and Letters member of the National League of American Pen Women. Her prints, paintings and poetry have received awards of excellence in national and local exhibitions. Maria is a juried member of the National Association of Women Artists (NYC), a signature member of the Philadelphia Water Color Society, and a member of the Howard Pyle Studio Group in Wilmington, DE. She has contributed to poetry collections celebrating art at the Biggs Museum of American Art from 2005-2011. In 1997, Maria received a Professional Fellowship in Works on Paper, jointly endowed by the NEA and the Delaware Division of the Arts.


Diane Kimball has read and composed poems since the age of ten. She has been an educator for nearly fifty years, and retired from teaching languages and history in the public schools to write. Diane has published essays and poems in The Bear River Review, The Crazy Wisdom Community Journal and other current events periodicals. She teaches yoga and creative writing to her fellow seniors in Hilo, Hawai’i. She is at work on a family memoir titled Across the Ponds. Diane returns to her home state of Michigan in the summer to explore what place really means in one’s life.   =


Jennifer Lagier, 67, has published twelve books and in literary magazines, taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, and helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Newest books: Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press) and Harbingers (Blue Light Press). Forthcoming chapbook: Camille Abroad (FutureCycle).


Susan Landgraf is the author of the poetry collection, What We Bury Changes the Ground, published by Tebot Bach. She’s published poems, essays, and articles in more than 150 journals, magazines, and newspapers, including Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Margie, Nimrod, The Laurel Review, and Ploughshares, and given more than 150 writing workshops, including the San Miguel Writers’ Conference, Centrum, and the Marine and Science Technology Center. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook Other Voices; Prentice Hall published Student Reflection Journal for Student Success. A former journalist, she taught writing, media, and diversity/globalism classes at Highline College for twenty-seven years and at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2002, 2008, 2010, and 2012 through an exchange between Highline and Jiao Tong. A book of writing exercises is forthcoming from Two Sylvias Press in 2018. Last week, a dragonfly landed and stayed on her right arm for several minutes—a sign of good luck.


Angela Locke is a writer and teacher who spends winters in Upstate New York and looks forward to the June gloom of early summer in Santa Barbara.  In either place, she is accompanied by her go-to girl, Emma, a heeler-pit bull mix.  


Perie Longo, Poet Laureate Emerita (2007-2009) of Santa Barbara, has published four books of poetry: Milking the Earth, The Privacy of Wind, With Nothing Behind but Sky: A Journey Through Grief, and most recently, Baggage Claim (2014). Nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Askew, Atlanta Review, Connecticut Review, International Poetry Review, Levure litteraire, Live Encounters, Miramar, Nimrod, Paterson Literary Review, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Quercus Review, Rattle, Solo, and South Carolina Review. She has been on the staff of the annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference since 1984, and every summer leads a two-day poetry workshop. She taught with California-Poets-in-the-Schools from 1985-2014, teaches poetry privately, and is Poetry Chair for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. As a psychotherapist, she integrates poetry for healing. In 2005 she was invited to speak at the University of Kuwait on Poetry as a way to Peace.


Eileen Malone’s poetry has been published in more than 500 literary journals and anthologies, a significant amount of which have earned awards, including three Pushcart nominations. Her award-winning collection, Letters with Taloned Claws, was published by Poets Corner Press (Sacramento) and her book, I Should Have Given Them Water, was published by Ragged Sky Press (Princeton).


Leslie Anne Mcilroy won the 1997 Slipstream Poetry Chapbook Prize for Gravel, the 2001 Word Press Poetry Prize for her full-length collection Rare Space, and the 1997 Chicago Literary Awards. Her second book, Liquid Like This, was published by Word Press in 2008, and Slag, published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company in December 2014, was runner-up in their 2014 Poetry Book Prize. Leslie’s poems appear or are forthcoming in Bacopa Literary Review (“Big Bang” won second place for the 2016 Bacopa Literary Review Prize), Grist, Jubilat, The Mississippi Review, PANK, Pearl, Poetry Magazine, the New Ohio Review, The Chiron Review, and more. She is managing editor of HEArt—Human Equity through Art. Leslie works as a copywriter in Pittsburgh, where she lives with her daughter, Silas. 


Missy Michaels lived almost her entire life in Melbourne, Australia, with the exception of two action-packed years in New York City, where she worked as a location scout and studied filmmaking. She wrote and directed several documentary films, and has worked as a freelance writer for the past fifteen years. She attended writing workshops in the United States and Greece with author Cheryl Strayed, who encouraged her to write this essay.


Bernadette Murphy is the author of Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life (Counterpoint Press, May 2016). She has published three previous books of narrative nonfiction, including the bestselling Zen and the Art of Knitting, is an associate professor in the Creative Writing Department of Antioch University Los Angeles, and a former weekly book critic for the Los Angeles Times.


Marianne Peel is a poet and a flute-playing vocalist, learning to play ukulele, who is raising four daughters. She shares her life with her partner Scott, whom she met in Istanbul while studying in Turkey. Marianne taught middle and high school English for thirty-two years, and participated in Marge Piercy’s Juried Intensive Poetry Workshop in June 2016. She recently won first prize for poetry in the spring 2016 edition of Gadfly Literary Magazine, and also won the Pete Edmonds Poetry Prize. Marianne has been published in Muddy River Review; Silver Birch Press; Persephone’s Daughters; Encodings: A Feminist Literary Journal; Write to Heal; Writing for Our Lives: Our Bodies—Hurts, Hungers, Healing; Mother Voices; Metropolitan Woman Magazine; Ophelia's Mom; Jellyfish Whispers; Remembered Arts Journal, and Gravel, among others.


Tania Pryputniewicz, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, is a co-founding blogger for Tarot for Two and the author of November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press, 2014). Tania’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in A Year in Ink, The Chiron Review, Everyday Haiku Anthology, Nimrod International Journal, and Whale Road Review. She teaches a monthly poetry workshop for San Diego Writers, Ink and lives in Coronado, CA, with her husband, three children, a blue-eyed Husky, and a portly housecat named Luna.


Diana Raab, MFA, Ph.D., is a memoirist, poet, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of nine books. Her work has been published and anthologized in over 500 publications. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology with a research focus on the healing and transformative powers of writing. She blogs for Psychology Today, PsychAlive, Elephant Journal, and The Huffington Post. She’s editor of two anthologies: Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge; two memoirs: Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey, and four poetry collections, including Lust. Much of her inspiration comes from diarist and writer, Anaïs Nin. Her latest book is Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life (September 2017).


Diane Raptosh’s fourth book of poetry, American Amnesiac (Etruscan Press), was long-listed for the 2013 National Book Award and was a finalist for the Housatonic Book Award. The recipient of three fellowships in literature from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, she served as the Boise Poet Laureate (2013) as well as the Idaho Writer-in-Residence (2013-2016), the highest literary honor in the state. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies in the United States and Canada. A highly active ambassador for poetry, she has given poetry workshops everywhere from riverbanks to maximum-security prisons. She teaches creative writing and runs the program in Criminal Justice/Prison Studies at The College of Idaho. Her most recent collection of poems, Human Directional, was released by Etruscan Press in fall 2016. 

Lisa Rizzo is the author of Always a Blue House (Saddle Road Press, 2016) and In the Poem an Ocean, a chapbook (Big Table Publishing, 2011). Her work also has appeared in such journals and anthologies as 13th Moon, Calyx Journal, Naugatuck River Review, and Everyday Haiku (Wandering Muse Press). Two of her poems received first and second place prizes in the 2011 Maggi H. Meyer Poetry Prize competition. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lisa works as an instructional coach helping teachers improve their reading and writing instruction. This is her first nonfiction publication.  

Barbara Rockman teaches poetry at Santa Fe Community College, leads private writing workshops in New Mexico, and brings poetry to victims of domestic violence as Workshop Coordinator for Wingspan Poetry Project. She frequently collaborates with artists in word and image installations. Her poems appear widely in journals and anthologies and have been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and awarded the Southwest Writers Prize and Baskerville Publishers Award. Her collection, Sting and Nest, received the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award and the National Press Women Book Prize. She earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Lisa del Rosso originally trained as a classical singer and completed a post-graduate program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, living and performing in London before moving to New York City. Her plays Clare’s Room, and Samaritan, have been performed off-Broadway and had public readings, while St. John, her third play, was a semi-finalist for the 2011 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Barking Sycamores Neurodivergent Literature, Razor’s Edge Literary Magazine, The Literary Traveler, Serving House Journal, VietnamWarPoetry, Young Minds Magazine (London/UK), Time Out New York, The Huffington Post, The Neue Rundschau (Germany), Jetlag Café (Germany), and One Magazine (London/UK), for whom she writes theater reviews. She teaches writing at NYU.

Mindela Ruby is the author of the novel Mosh It Up (2014). Her short works have appeared in or are forthcoming in Rivet, WomanArts Quarterly, East Bay Review, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. In 2016 her poems were nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Sundress Best of the Net Anthology. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California.


Born and raised in New England, Becky Dennison Sakellariou has lived most of her adult life in Greece. She now divides her time between New Hampshire and the island of Euboia, north of Athens. A teacher, writer/editor and counselor, Becky has published poetry in many journals, most recently in White Pelican Review, Comstock Review, Persimmon Tree, and Common Ground Review. A winner in several poetry contests and nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Anthology twice, she won first prize in the 2005 Blue Light Press Chapbook Contest for The Importance of Bone. In 2010, her first full-length book, Earth Listening, was chosen by Hobblebush Books in Brookline, NH, as the second in its Granite State Poetry Series. In 2014, Becky put out a second chapbook, What Shall I Cry?, with Finishing Line Press, and another in 2015, Gathering the Soft, with Passager Press. Her latest, No Foothold in this Geography, with Blue Light Press, is available on Amazon.


Cathie Sandstrom’s work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Lyric, Comstock Review, Cider Press Review, and Ekphrasis, among others. Her work can be read in the anthology Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, and Master Class: The Poetry Mystique. She was a finalist in the Poets & Writers’ California Writers Exchange, and her chapbook A Non-Believer’s Book of Hours won honorable mention at The Comstock Review. Her poem, “You, Again” is in the artists’ book collection at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and at the University of Southern California.


Marianne Taylor received the Allen Ginsberg Award, the Helen A. Quade Award, and an Iowa Woman Poetry Prize. Her manuscript, Salt Water, Iowa, has been a finalist in a half-dozen contests. Her poetry appears widely in anthologies and national journals such as Nimrod International, North American Review, Alaska Quarterly and Alehouse. She also writes and directs plays, teaches literature and creative writing at Kirkwood Community College, and recently served on the Mount Vernon, IA, City Council.


Ruth Thompson’s “fierce, gorgeous, sensual” poems of earth-as-body and body-as-earth have been collected in three books of poetry: Crazing; Woman With Crows; and Here Along Cazenovia Creek. Her work has won New Millennium Writings, Chautauqua, and Tupelo Quarterly awards. It has appeared in Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Chautauqua, Potomac Review, Naugatuck River Review, Poetry Daily, and has been choreographed by Shizuno Nasu and Jennifer Eng. Ruth received a BA from Stanford and a doctorate in English from Indiana University. She teaches poetry, meditation, and writing from the body workshops (“Body Speaking”), and is editor of a small literary press in Hilo, Hawai’i.


Carine Topal, a transplanted New Yorker, lives in the Southern California desert. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies such as The Best of the Prose Poem, Scrivener Creative Review, Caliban, Greensboro Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, and many others.  She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2004, and was awarded residency at Hedgebrook, and a fellowship to study in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2005. She won the 2007 Robert G. Cohn Prose Poetry Award from California Arts and Letters, from which a special edition chapbook, “Bed of Want,” was published. Her 3rd collection of poetry, “In the Heaven of Never Before,” was published in December, 2008, by Moon Tide Press.  In the same year she was honored with the Excellence in Arts Award from the City of Torrance, California. In 2015 Carine won the Briar Cliff Review Poetry Contest, was nominated, once again, for a Pushcart Prize, and her new poetry collection, Tattooed, won the Palettes and Quills 4th Biennial Chapbook Contest. She teaches poetry and memoir in the Palm Springs and Los Angeles areas. 


Davi Walders’ poetry and prose have appeared in more than 200 anthologies and journals. Her collection on women’s resistance during WWII, Women Against Tyranny: Poems of Resistance During the Holocaust, was published by Clemson University Press. Other collections include Using Poetry in Therapeutic Settings, published by The Vital Signs Poetry Project at NIH and its Children’s Inn. She developed the Vital Signs Project at NIH in Bethesda, MD, which was funded by The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry and for which she received Hadassah of Greater Washington’s Myrtle Wreath Award. Other awards include a Maryland Artist Grant in Poetry, an Alden B. Dow Creativity Fellowship, and fellowships at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale, Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, and elsewhere. Her work has been read by Garrison Keillor on Writer’s Almanac, nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and choreographed and performed in NYC, Michigan, Cleveland, and elsewhere.


Phyllis Wax writes in Milwaukee on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.  Her poetry has appeared in Ars Medica, Naugatuck River Review, Verse Wisconsin, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Out of Line and The New Verse News, as well as many other journals and anthologies, both print and online. Three of her poems are included in The Widows’ Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival (Kent State University Press.)  She participated in Threaded Metaphors: Text and Textiles, collaborations between six poets and six fiber artists.  Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


Sarah Brown Weitzman has been published in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including Rosebud, The New Ohio Review, Poet & Critic, The North American Review, Rattle, Mid-American Review, Poet Lore, Spillway, and many others. Sarah received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A departure from poetry, her fourth book, Herman and the Ice Witch, is a children’s novel published by Main Street Rag. 


Julie Wenglinski was born in St. Louis and spent many years growing up in central Florida, where her father worked for the space program. After receiving a biology degree in 1975 in Boca Raton, Julie moved to Richmond, VA, and worked for thirty years in IT. After retirement, she married for the first time at the age of fifty-seven and began taking writing classes through the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She has published both poems and flash fiction.


Lori White’s recent essays have appeared in Hobart, The Nervous Breakdown, Mud Season Review, and The Boiler. Her short story, “Gambling One Ridge Away,” won first place in the 2013 Press 53 Open Award for Flash Fiction. She teaches English composition at Los Angeles Pierce College.


Brenda Yates grew up on military bases. After living in Tennessee, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, Massachusetts, Japan and Hawaii, she settled first in Boston, then Los Angeles. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Mississippi Review, City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry (University of Iowa Press) and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI: Tennessee (Texas Review Press). She is a Pushcart nominee and recipient of the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Poetry Prize, a Patricia Bibby Prize, and was a finalist in the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Poetry Contest. Her collection, Bodily Knowledge, was published by Tebot Bach in 2015.

Marcia Meier

Kathleen A. Barry

Tanya (Hyonhye) Ko Hong

Jennifer Lagier

Bernadette Murphy

Tania Pryputniewicz

Diana Raab

Diane Raptosh

Lisa Rizzo

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