Art

Holly Day was born in Hereford, Texas, "The Town Without a Toothache." She and her family currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches writing classes at the Loft Literary Center. Her published books include the nonfiction books Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, and Piano All-in-One for Dummies, and the poetry books Late-Night Reading for Hardworking Construction Men (The Moon Publishing) and The Smell of Snow (ELJ Publications). Her needlepoints and beadwork have recently appeared on the covers of The Grey Sparrow Journal, QWERTY Magazine, and Kiki Magazine.

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Nancy Holmes creates scenes of anxiety and drama with abstract imagery taken from the world around her. The anxiety has several centers of tension. Nancy is interested in a confusion between danger and humor, a contradiction of useless and excessive activity, and a visual tension in the recognizable but surreal renderings of the imagery. Nancy uses imagery such as noodles, pencils, canvases, bowls, lamps, exaggerated limbs and joints to create a sense of drama. That drama is pushed further with the repetition of the imagery and speed of their actions as they become characters in a narrative. Almost every object or "character" is portrayed mid-action. The actions performed by these objects, whether it is cracking, falling, eating, piercing, flexing, swinging etc., are more important to the tone of the painting than the actual object. For example, the noodles could be substituted for string and the chopsticks for needles. The tense situations created by the overlap of these actions convey a senseless restlessness. There is a stressful need to keep moving, making, and performing even when there is no clear reason.

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Ashaunni Straw: A BFA Candidate of Studio Arts, with an Emphasis in Photography, Ashaunni is an Athens-based photographer. Having worked with different media outlets, one of which being Spotted-Online Athens, she does not fit into one "style" mold of photography. Working heavily with seemingly outdated techniques, like that of the pinhole and the large format view camera, Ashaunni has found a unique way of depicting portraits. The image submitted, made with a handmade jewelry box pinhole camera, alludes to faded moments overlapping in time. . .if only we could see them all simultaneously.

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Dr. Ernest Williamson III has published poetry and visual art in over 500 national and international online and print journals. Professor Williamson has published poetry in journals such as The Oklahoma Review, Review Americana: A Creative Writing Journal, and The Copperfield Review. Some of his visual artwork has appeared in journals such as The Columbia Review, The GW Review, and Fiction Fix. Many of his works have been published in journals representing over 50 colleges and universities around the world. Dr. Williamson is an Assistant Professor of English at Allen University, self-taught pianist, editor, poet, singer, composer, social scientist, private tutor, and a self-taught painter. His poetry has been nominated three times for the Best of the Net Anthology. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English/Creative Writing/Literature from the University of Memphis and a PhD in Higher Education Leadership from Seton Hall University.

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Sterling Wilson is a former U.S. Navy Sailor and now a graphic design major in his senior year at SCAD Atlanta.

Creative Nonfiction

Emmett Haq is an MFA candidate and teaching assistant at Stony Brook Southampton in Southampton, NY. He's studied under Ted Pelton and Susan Scarf Merrell and is an editor at Starcherone Books. His work has also appeared in Portland Review, Gandy Dancer, SLAB Literary Magazine, and Many Mountains Moving. He is currently an editor and freelance writer for local magazine Dan's Papers, where he writes about a wide array of topics, but mostly beer.

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Tom Leskiw and his wife Sue and their dog Zevon split their time between Eureka, California and Palominas, Arizona. He retired in 2009 following a 31-year career as a hydrologic/biologic technician for Six Rivers National Forest. His more than three dozen works of essays, book and movie reviews have appeared in literary journals that include Birding, Kindred, Kudzu Review, Snowy Egret, The Motherhood Muse (1st-place contest winner), Terrain.org, Under the Sun, and two anthologies published by Whispering Angel Press. His monthly column (established 1993) appears at www.RRAS.org and his website resides at www.tomleskiw.com.

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R. K. Simpson lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife Patty. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a veteran of the Marine Corps and the war in Vietnam. He served as a diplomat in several of our embassies in Europe, Africa, and Latin America for over twenty years and as a pediatric nurse for over fifteen years. He has three adult children.

Fiction

Kofi Adisa: I live in Bowie, Maryland with my wife and two children. I earned his Ph.D. in literature from the University of Connecticut. I am currently writing a novel. "Hidden Wells" is my first publication and is part of a collection of interconnected stories.

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Patricia Brooks: I was the Managing and Fiction Editor of the Northwest Review while in the 3-year MFA program at the University of Oregon, have published two novels, and stories and poems in a variety of print and on-line journals. Now, a book and a half into this project, I am seeking an agent/publisher for the series.

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L. R. Collier started writing as soon as she learned how to hold a pencil, crafting shameless knock-offs of Anne of Green Gables and other classic works. She lived in Moscow studying literature from 2005-2006, and received an MA in Russian from Middlebury College in 2007. Nowadays, Ms. Collier strives to avoid the fan-fiction mishaps of her youth and writes strictly original works of literary fiction and poetry.

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Aditya Desai received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining Writopia, he taught English and creative writing at DC area universities. The Kartika Review, The Aerogram, Quartz, and other publications, as well as the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American Center has featured his stories and essays. He is currently shopping for his first novel.

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Marcus Haynes is a perfect example of the scholar/writer hybrid. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Alcorn State University in 2012 and his Master of Arts in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2014. Many of his creative works are featured in Alcorn State University yearbooks and in literary journals such as Canyon Voices and T/OUR magazine. He describes his fiction as experimental realism dealing with the lives of the underrepresented, which coincides with his scholarly interests in marginalized groups. He takes pride in exploring different ways of presenting his stories through varying viewpoints.

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Tehmina Kazi is the Director of the registered charity British Muslims for Secular Democracy, and was listed as one of the BBC's 100 Women in October 2013 and 2014.

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Trevor Lisa is an undergraduate at the University of Georgia studying English and Communication Studies. His poetry/spoken word/fiction deal primarily with the human interaction, and his work has appeared in Stillpoint, where he is currently the submissions editor.

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Xenia Taiga lives in southern China. Her website is http://xeniataiga.com/.

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Xavier Vega is the child of migrant workers and grew up on a strawberry farm in Plant City, Florida. He attended the University of South Florida and was published in the University's magazine, Thread Literary Inquiry. Since then, he’s been published in The Bangalore Review, Yellow Medicine Review, and Apeiron Review, where he became a slush reader.

Poetry

István Lee Bodor was born and raised in Southern California. He is currently in the last year of studies with the Los Angeles County School of Nursing. He is an American/ Hungarian dual citizen, and proud father of three beautiful children.

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Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. Her works have appeared in numerous publications and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, was published in 2014.

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Caroline Cottom, PhD, is the former director of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and the U.S. Coalition that brought an end to nuclear test explosions in Nevada. Her memoir, Love Changes Things: Even in the World of Politics, chronicles this experience. Caroline's poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Crack the Spine, Motif, Morning Glory, The Broad River Review, and Glassworks, among others. She won first place in the Transitions Abroad personal essay contest. Caroline teaches meditation and leads spiritual retreats with her husband Thom Cronkhite in Oaxaca, Mexico, where they hang out with hummingbirds, coatimundis, and snowy egrets.

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Malcolm Friend is a poet originally from the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University, where he was the 2014 recipient of the Merrill Moore Prize for Poetry, and is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a 2014 recipient of a Talbot International Award for Writing. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as La Respuesta Magazine, the Fjords Review’s Black American Edition, Alicante’s Información, ields magazine, Pretty Owl Poetry, and elsewhere.

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Sofia Hafeji lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she eats toast, drinks tea and writes. Her work has recently appeared in Ink, Sweat and Tears and London Grip. She was also a guest poet at Beattie & Scratchmann’s 2014 Edinburgh Fringe show 'Get Put Down' and Arren Sagar's 'Hamjambo.'

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Redscar McOdindo K'Oyuga (@RedscarMcOdindo) is a poet and writer and many other things. He studied medicine & surgery at campus. He writes in both Swahili and English. His work has been published in Lawino Magazin, Jalada, and Breaking Silence, an anthology of poems. His Swahili poems (mashairi) are weekly published in Taifa Leo and/or Taifa Jumapili, Kenya’s nationwide Swahili Newspaper. He is a winner of the Fern Poetry Prize. His work has also appeared, or is forthcoming, in Kwani?, assorted newspapers, and other poetry anthologies.

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Spree MacDonald lives in New Orleans and is the Chair of the Humanities Department at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. His poetry has been previously published in South Africa, the USA, and the UK, and was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. His essays on Africana literary and cultural studies have also been published in journals and edited books throughout the world.

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Brandon Marlon is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and novelist from Ottawa, Canada and received his B.A. (Hon.) in Drama and English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His script The Bleeding Season won the 2007 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition. His poetry has been published in Canada, the U.S., England, Israel, and India, in various publications including The Canadian Jewish News, Streeteaters, Poetica, Yalla Journal, YallaJournal.com, Jewish Tribune, The Bulletin, The Victoriad, and others, as well as being recorded for Israel National News radio. He has released two poetry volumes, Inspirations of Israel: Poetry for a Land and People (2008), followed by Judean Dreams (2009). www.brandonmarlon.com.

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Jose Trejo Maya is originally from the small rural pueblo of Tarimoro in the lowlands of Mexico (born in Celaya, Guanajuato), in that his parents and grandparents had minimal to no formal education. After migrating to the United States in 1988, he completed his studies with an AA in Social and Behavioral Science from Citrus College, a BA in Sociology & Social Work from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles, with an emphasis in enthopoetic language poetry of particular interest in the ancient poet Netzahualcoyotl. He's had poems published in the Nimrod International Journal and Belleville Park Pages with several pending works in MS.

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Meredith Nnoka is a recent Smith College graduate with a degree in Afro-American Studies and English. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she works at a high school, writes poems, and takes French classes. Her fiction can be found in The Cadaverine.

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Simon Perchik’s poetry has also appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

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Henry Reneau Jr. writes words in fire to wake the world ablaze: free verse illuminated by courage that empathizes with all the awful moments, launching a freight train leviathan of warning that blazes from the heart, like a chambered bullet exploding inadvertently. His poetry collection, Freedomland Blues (Transcendent Zero Press, 2014), was released in September of 2014. He also has an upcoming e-chapbook, physiography of the fittest (Kind of a Hurricane Press), to be released in 2014. Now, runantellyomamaboutdat!!

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Victorio Reyes is an activist and artist living in Albany, NY. Reyes was featured in the anthology of emerging writers: Chorus, published by MTV Books and edited by Saul Williams. He holds an MFA degree from The Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches poetry classes at Siena College. His poems are forthcoming or have been published in the Acentos Review, Mobius, Word Riot, The Pine Hills Review, The Homework Project and the anthology It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip Hop. In 2014, Reyes served on a panel entitled "Uncovering Hip Hop Poetry" at the AWP Conference. Reyes also explores the role of activism in art evidenced in his essay "A Personal Journey for Justice," published by the feminist blog She Breathes. Blending his writing and activism, Reyes has also been the executive director of The Social Justice Center of Albany (SJC) for the past 10 years.

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Rushda Rafeek is an artist living in Sri Lanka.

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Jon Thompson: In addition to writing poetry and essays, Jon Thompson edits FREE VERSE: A JOURNAL OF POETRY & POETICS, an online venture that publishes poetry, poetry in translation, interviews and reviews. He also edits the single-author perfect-bound, paperback poetry series, Free Verse Editions, which since 2005, has published thirty collections of original poetry and translations by leading poets in the Anglophone poetry world and outside it: Brenda Hillman, Cole Swensen, Adam Clay, Peter Riley, Attilio Bertolucci, Molly Bendall and others. For more on my work, go to www.jon-thompson.net.