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ISSUE THIRTEEN-
FOURTEEN
CONTENTS

APRIL / MAY 2016
first anniversary double issue!


Tanaka Mhishi
Howie Good
AM Ringwalt
Erin Elkins Radcliffe
Emily Mohn-Slate
Taylor Steele
LIv Mammone
MANDEM
Kate Gaskin
Annie Woodford
Ellie White
Saddiq Dzukogi
John Manuel Arias
Kristy Bowen
Nettie Farris
Ansley Jones
Mary Carroll-Hackett
Angele Ellis
Kristin Peterson
Albert Thomas
Travis Chi Wing Lau

CONTRIBUTORS


Tanaka Mhishi

THE BIRDS



From the dozen grandchildren at your heel
I am brought forwards
squat and pale with my flat English tongue
cuckooboy bleating in an egrets’ nest

my mouth miscarries every syllable
that slips from your cheek
ndi, ndize, dzimba, dze

the cup-handed clap which means
            thank you
            good bye
            with    love
            we      are one
is made with a hand which looks just like mine.

Then you lift me,
tap my back to the beat of a bird hopping on hot iron
tap my back to the beat of shared blood making music
tap my back to the beat of my cousins’ swaying
all singing

Shiri yakanaka.
Beautiful bird.
Shiri yakanaka


Howie Good

A DANGER TO SELF OR OTHERS
 

 

The girl with crow black hair played with such passion that the violin would erupt in a
spectacular display of tears as she executed certain passages. In another corner of the
room, bad things were happening to seal pups. I had to choose between the advice I
needed and the advice I wanted. The thunderous footsteps of the Grand Army on
parade rattled the windows, making it even harder for me to think. There seemed no
way for anyone with a phone or an unusual last name to avoid becoming a subject of
surveillance. By then, all the babies had awakened. They reached up with avid hands
like little wrinkled question marks.


AM Ringwalt

RAFT
“Build a raft. Set a fire on it. Float with it
for as long as it takes the fire to burn
through the raft to the water.”
                      - Milan Knizak, 1979


 

Tonight, I build a raft out of braided palm,
fingers sliced on flora’s sharp edges. These blood-
laced greens will carry my body down the Blackfoot
River. Make me a ghost. You, already in the water,
will never know me. Lady. Watch me. You, with your
gas station matches and cigarettes just rolled, toss
a light my way. Watch me turn to ash. Watch me sink,
still a body. Either burned or bellowing through water,
you cannot row to me fast enough, cheap beer cans
in your metal canoe, your gut swollen. I don’t want
to be saved, named. Instead, in ritual, I rise, cling
to my spirit and take new shape. Watch: blonde
aflame, my halo. My thighs’ translucent hairs, charred.
Whether I burn or sink first, or begin to burn and find
relief in the Blackfoot, makes no difference to you.
You, among many men, cradle toothpicks between dry
lips and dream of fishing me out from the current.
Tonight, cheap burgers fry in dive bar kitchens,
your name already on them, your wife at home
ignored and breastfeeding your baby fireside.


Erin Elkins Radcliffe

NATAL TREE

 

I give birth to her
closer to the railyards
than the river

where the snakes and whiptails
are below ground

and the ditches are shut-off
and dry.  She comes

before the midwife,
silent, ferocious,
and marked with blue.

I’m already tired of milk,
but I try not to treat her
like some churn-dash calf.

When you take her swimming,
I tell you both
no further than the ditch:

the next I see of her,
she’s headed down
the muddy Rio Grande—

her wet bare back
rising and falling
as she levels me a final answerless look.


Emily Mohn-Slate

THE FALLS
 


White noise like galloping
horses, water twisting over

rock edge, a green-grey pour.
Long-fingered voices

lure me down. Heavy creatures,
we were not made to rise.

The mist packs a shape
like a hand reaching.

I want to be inside it.

A woman on her honeymoon
climbed down to the falls alone.

She picked her way over
slippery rocks, and disappeared.        

Barely alive in her hospital bed,
she told reporters, I wanted

to touch beauty. It was like
a tornado pulled me in. 


Taylor Steele

GODLESS

 

There is no god/that I pray to./I cast the circle,/It spits me out./I am a greedy leech,/but
I still like being/burned from the skin./Can't tell me bout no hallelujah.

I am so black,/I am the second coming./My mama’s so black,/She watered my cross
with her tears,/And the soil just birthed more crosses.

My body is an altar./So, I am a bed of lies./Don't you believe me?/Ain't I about as charming as
a vat of tar?/Ain’t I about as loveable as a million smiling guns?/Demon
woman and I kissed so hard/the earth stopped turning./Don't you believe me?/Of
course, that you believe.

I never got baptized./What could possibly be so holy about water?/Ain’t we all made
up of water?/See my point?

A god once told me I deserve to live./See my point?// 


Liv Mammone

THIS CHRISTMAS, I GIVE MY GRANDMOTHER A PROZAC PRESCRIPTION

 

Gram,    

            I just came from laying a purple, plastic flower at the grave of my friend. Cancer bloomed like a black asphodel in her cells. She was sweat-wreathed bronze. She was turning into a planet. Her name was Sonia—it's Sonia still. She made me read her my poems. They made her laugh. Maybe I'll never but for half an hour she didn't touch the pain pump. I want you to read them. I want you to want to read them.
            Sonia saw Jesus. Screamed that she could see him; said:
            “Mommy, I don't want to leave you. I'm stuck between two worlds.”
            She was twenty five and apologized for dying, headed to some marvelous town where her mom is forbidden to follow. I hope Jesus looked like her, his hair a nest of black curls—hers were just growing back. I hope his robe was threaded with the spices of her mother's cooking. Maybe Mary has the lazy eye of her favorite aunt, the one who held me as I wept while she morphine-drip-slept that last day. Where is she now? Is it all groves and gardens, green as where they buried the body? Or is it some cloud city; great gates and onyx pavements where all the marble stays untarnished?
            You hate gardens. What would you do in a place that kept its own cleanliness?
            Maybe it's where sea meets sky, the galleon Christ brought her over on made fast in the dusk as a million welcoming lights shine on joyous faces in the harbor; ancestral faces she's never seen, or only in photographs.
            Maybe there's a bridge the gone can stand on and see the alive left behind in the water; the old “looking down on cliché.”
            Maybe if they leap that'd be reincarnation.
            Or maybe life is what plays in Heaven's theaters and multiplexes—I hope mine is a musical.
            The thing is, I don't know if I want a new life or no life. When you told Mom you didn't want to live, what did you want instead?
            When you said you wanted to die because a cane made you “not sexy anymore” do you know how you killed me?
            Sonia had cancer of the leg. I was the only other person she knew who could speak fluent statue. I watched her learn slowly that secret I've always known: the spine is the ruler the world measures humanity by. The further you are from a standing position, the less person you are.
            The week before she left, she said: “I'm going to die in this bed.” “No, honey, come on.” Fuck, I told so many lies. But that was the big one. Those afternoons bringing her cannoli Italian ice when she couldn't keep real pastries down anymore. Swaying my way out when the nurses came to bathe her, I heard the sickroom walls call my crutches divining rods. Some nerve you've got, mourning beauty; fuck you. We are poisonous, forked orchids, Sonia and me. You can join the hothouse bouquet or die
            Look. Look at these. These are the pills I take to want to live: turquoise capsules of Cymbalta; hailstones of Baclofen to relax my muscles' grimace; Xanax to slow me so I can see the world as worth it.
            I spend weeks thinking of all the ways I could fuck off from waking. This disability makes me feel older than fable. A few pills, a good knife, and I could be on my way to ever new, to painless decay. Aren't we both so lucky to be comforting ourselves with thoughts of suicide? As if it were the bright spire above the night in our minds? But the girl I sat graveside with this morning didn't get the choice. Living is work. I have too many questions in my blood that urge on on honor honor her. I carry another crooked-backed girl spirit. Sometimes I stumble. But all days are days and I claim every bent attempt. So try.


MANDEM

 

HYPERMOBILITY  #1

Mandem1.jpg
 

HYPERMOBILITY #2

Mandem2.jpg
 

HYPERMOBILITY #3

Mandem3.jpg
 

Artist statement:

MANDEM is a working team of two artists, one of whom lives with the genetic disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) that causes failure of connective tissue. The Hypermobility series re-centers that disability as a form of beauty via MANDEM's signature approach to the classical realist tradition of figure painting. Using EDS-diagnosed studio models, the series captures moments where joints hyperextend or dislocate and the body moves into broken-seeming, impossible configurations. MANDEM's technique-oriented mixed media/oil paintings explode the line between medical documentation and art, questioning the way that society positions disabled bodies within the realm of images. 

Hypermobility is being completed during MANDEM's artist residency at the Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino in Florence, Italy. Their home studio is located in Cleveland, OH.

These selections from the Hypermobility series are documentation photos of work in progress; these paintings are not finished. To follow the progression of this series, visit MANDEMart.com/hypermobility.


Kate Gaskin

BULLY

 

You were a rusted
          chain-link fence hop
from the field, scarlet

with Indian paintbrush,
          your brown eyes dilated
          as a deer’s, your mouth

a sudden rain against my skin.
          It could clear
          any kind of air,

but especially that yellow
          summer, the swamp
we swallowed, your chest

feline, panting beneath
          my hand.
Outside, the lightening was quick

          as a snake’s tongue.
Thunder came like an answer
to a question we didn’t ask.

They called us animals,
          and maybe we were.
You hopped down neatly

onto the other side, your lips
a ripe plum against the ruin
          of your face.


Annie Woodford

EPISTAXIS
 


The child’s nosebleed begins without warning.
A red drop falls to the kitchen floor,
more like the idea of blood than blood itself,
truly a ruby facet, but liquid and alive:
a perfect stain, a perfect splash.
Her eyes are puzzled above wadded tissue,
but she tilts her head forward as told.
She has no cold, no sinus ache.
just this: the sudden salt on lip,
the red surprise of fingertip,
                                     blood
rubbed loose from veins fragile
as dust on a moth’s wing. 


Ellie White

WISHES
August, 2003

 

The medicine cabinet was filled with my grandmother’s linen tablecloths and crocheted doilies. The light blue pills were cocooned moths. When I swallowed them, they emerged from their chrysalises and flew away into the warm cave of my chest. Dim-sighted, they couldn’t tell my bones and organs from the shadows. My mother did not scream as she grabbed the phone from my hand, and so the ambulance never arrived. The paramedics were not worried when I refused the ride. The economy had recently collapsed and our currency was worthless, so my mother never asked me where we were going to get six thousand dollars. Our dog didn’t exist, and wasn’t let out. Also, the refrigerator was broken, so there were no groceries to put away. We left for the hospital, which turned out to be a large canvas tent in the Brazilian rainforest, immediately. It was 95 degrees in there. When the saline hit my stomach, it wasn’t cold. The doctor’s brother hadn’t coaxed his Corvette off a cliff six months ago, so I didn’t have to listen to the story as he rinsed my insides out.

All this time, the moths were sound asleep. I couldn’t bear to wake them, so I never threw up the empty cocoons. There was no activated charcoal. My stomach didn’t balloon like an angry blister. My skin didn’t ache from stretching, and I never spent two days vomiting chalky tar. In 1998, talk therapy was formally abandoned as an acceptable practice. I didn’t have to make a counseling appointment before I left the tent. Also, my mother didn’t let me skip it two weeks later. Eventually, the moths grew so large I had to unzip my side and let them go.


Saddiq Dzukogi

MEMORY

 

sorrow is when
the bar knows you
have come to
drown your liver
in many many glass cups
of nightmare
the bar knows
you are a city
drinking your own memory
until shadows grow fat & can no longer
carry themselves
around you


John Manuel Arias

XVIII: IT IS THE TIME YOU HAVE WASTED ON YOUR ROSE THAT

 

you were a subtle warning of cracked door chimes at two in the morning   because beauty
can’t be culminated into a single moment right?  it has to fester ferment torture explode
     all over us     smolder the rigid edges of our skin     wrinkling a red fabric we slept on
     not necessarily     sitting on a bed asking if it was the last time we’d     ever see each
other     I’d dreamt it but you didn’t believe me     because     your eyes show you what is
     not your heart     the essential invisible things     like a fox standing on a precipice of
sand      at the curled ends of your mouth     after you’d crawled out of the Caribbean sea
     like the first organism to ever touch land with its fingers     somewhat evolved
somewhat young and curious     to see how far imperfection gets     two scientists on
either side of us fighting to witness phoenixes flare and burn up in the sun and light my
cigarette so that two thick horns of smoke      adorn my nostrils     the night that slick tar
of night     clogging up our throats and snapping them against each other like rotten sticks
     what is essential is invisible     like the rose on the inviting jumping-ledge of the
universe     four thorns     three petals
     us two     one fox     and a sad panting grin on    the limestone of our faces


Kristy Bowen

MATINEE



On the screen, the monsters are always female
full of egg sacs and suckling tiny reptilian things.
Sliding their hands beneath
their skirts, bodies fertile and providing.
On the operating table, everything gleams,
everything sharp and slick with mucus,
with sticky wings harbored beneath sweater sets.
On the screen, all the monsters are spilling
over the dining room table. Down the laundry chute.
Jamming the dishwasher with broken crockery
and shiny scales. It's distracting how they wander from
department store to drive-in without batting an eyelash.
Shedding angora and talc, bedding lawyers and insurance men
while inside them, the body's strange machine mutates
and glistens, beats with a tiny reptilian heart.


Nettie Farris

GRACE
 

 

I sup-
pose
I should
have
kept, 
at least, 
the
vena
cava
for
myself—
a few
bones—
hammer
and
anvil,
for
ex-
ample—
but
the
letters
of your
name
were
far
more
artic-
ulate—
the
image
of
your face
more
pho-
to-
genic—
so I
ex-
changed
your
name
for
my own.


Ansley Jones

PHASES OF RECOVERY

 
 

Artist statement:

This is a very personal piece about rape. I am a five-time rape survivor and I dedicate this work to all rape victims and survivors. I believe visually showing how rape affects the victim and their thought processes will help the viewer understand the trauma of rape. I wish for my piece to give some insight to society on the daily life of a rape victim. I hope the movement encourages them to take steps towards supporting the healing of survivors in their community.


Mary Carroll-Hackett

WHERE THE WIDOWS EAT FROM DIRTY BOWLS

 

where her body is scraped raw and red and hairless as a newborn, where she is forced
to bathe in public, sprayed with the water used to wash her lover's corpse, her body's
blood, her weeping womb, all on display. There, those places, the manless woman is
forced to the hard floor, then left, as if the death might spread, might be contagious,
as if her loss will turn their lives to dust.

Lament, they order, beating her with the sticks of the living. Wail and howl and keen.

Say: He died and left me. Say: I am here alone.

Say: He has left me burning at the border, where I am neither wife nor woman,
where I am damned to life between, neither star nor stone.


Angele Ellis

WONDER BREAD



Denied toy guns by Mother, my brothers sculpted
barrels & triggers from Wonder Bread, clown-spotted
loaves of soft white slices promising to build strong

bodies twelve ways. Outdoing the Commandments,
which in those years of gray censorship wavering across
a convex screen, we watched broken every day.

I don't just mean cops & robbers or cowboys & Indians
or Russkies & secret agents or Nazis & war heroes.
I mean we saw Oswald shot in real time, pained

surprise on his face as he clutched his sweatered guts.
Chris was five. He said, "Two wrongs don't make a right,
do they, Mommy?" Still no solution to that equation.

Vietnam crept up to the dinner table in those shadows—
& then the assassination year, King & another Kennedy,
cities crackling with fire & flame—London during the Blitz,

a hundred million charcoal briquettes doused with gasoline.
My brothers ambushing & wrestling, although I think
they shot each other less by then. We didn't get a color set

until Super Bowl III. Now comes the year of Super Bowl L
& still endless war. Despite technology, notions of nobility
remain graven in Roman numerals on temple walls.

Wind helps me sweep my steps of snow, whiter than
a militiaman's fantasy, while pines stand like sentinels.
Even in this city, stillness like the volume turned down.

I bring a handful of crystals to my mouth: cold and
chemical as Wonder Bread, or my own wracked body.


Kristin Peterson

WE WHISPER IN THE MEN'S LATRINE
 

 

we whisper in the men’s latrine where nobody must laugh akimbo
we pedal deeply inside each others’
guts            gray-scaled baroque, so we darkened enamel
renderings of your hunger,
my hunger churning
maternity leave

who will be the first one to
forget our inside chyme?
who will mew the good-bye
phrase?

once,          we called you a Sally – musically inclined
now,      you lay hands on my neck
      a frontiersman lapping up new
menarches                          shoring
     ¾ sleeved mommy-and-me’s,
hopscotches up my             arms
casinos, a regimen of the dating scene, insider smack-toothed gardening,
a cubicle, a rave pantry, tribal paint
in my trigeminal nerve   (the chewing,
biting, swallowing nerve) now, crazy
straw doubling my belly

my ghost towns teeming with news – so tangled in robes -
            networks renegotiating “no,
please, no” subdivisions      task light with solemn egg baskets
reaching a brand new nest, opulent
with semen-so-silly             he does wear
his ring in a marrying club in the morning – if in hopscotch vocabulary,
we pluck chin hairs at no-turn-on-red’s

who will buy my bifocal no-doze when
my stats are beaten so low?    my resumé
littered with a green screen of nothing and my jesus fact checker:
a magnetic plate of days looping on days

my Übermensch, a man palatable for Mecca
and me: pancake errors, microwave s’mores,
                     all with passive verb tenses
with belated c’mere’s in never-ending prepositional phrases


Albert Thomas

THIS IS HOW YOU LEFT US
 

 

Fathomable. Made in no image. Delivered. Small enough to make safeways of sock
bottoms. Deniable. Ambushed by light. Big enough to bend bibles. Campbell’s soup
ladled. Uncradled. Back ridden and bottom-feeding. Church-found. Palm-pressed and
pew-poised. Knee-bruised. Suffused. Faded and fading. Finding no light. Blaming you
and them. Falling through fault lines. Hounded. Chasing music like dogs. Hearing
Buddy and B.B. and Bessie and Blind Lemon. Muddy Watered. Thrusting hands against
thinning air. Reaching for Blues. Knocked on our feet. Before and against the world.
Bridled. Reduced to a list so bulleted it shoots back. Ruthful but rooted. Wilting before
we bloomed. Stemmed still. Growing no thorns. Flowering like cotton. Making no
bouquets. Sprawling like suburbs. Metastasized and crawling. Ceiling seeking. Felled
and falling. Piled like chicken bones (dry and picked at by pigeons, too hungry. too
hungry. too hungry to be self-aware). Formerly fielded. Street casted. Unsung.
Diaphragm-filling. Exhaled in one lone bellow. Hurling words into the shade. Waiting
for an echo. 


Travis Chi Wing Lau

BREATHING RITES

I think the struggle for a bearable life is the struggle for queers to have space to breathe.
Having space to breathe, or being able to breathe freely … is an aspiration. 
                                             Sara Ahmed, 
The Promise of Happiness



Crescent lunge:
a prayer on bended
knee, for seconds do
become trials, as form
restricts function. Then,
a twisting open of what
is otherwise closed, of
shallow breaths shrinking
into shame. So he begs
my ability, to be victorious
(mighty capacity,
he demands): I am
fullest here even
as I extend my side
vulnerably into
bare space.

Eupnea even in this hour
of disorientation,
even when there seems to
be no space to breathe.


Issue Thirteen-Fourteen Contributors

 

John Manuel Arias is a gay, Costa Rican / Uruguayan poet and crepe-maker raised in a DC ghetto when it was the murder capital. His poems have appeared in the James Franco ReviewRust + MothRed Paint Hill, the After Happy Hour Review and other places. His debut collection of poetry, ¡I'D RATHER SINK--! is forthcoming from Red Paint Hill Publishing. He currently lives in San José, Costa Rica with his grandmother and four ghosts.

A writer and visual artist, Kristy Bowen is the author of several book, chapbook and zine projects, including major characters in minor films (Sundress Publications, 2015), the shared properties of water and stars (Noctuary Press, 2013), and girl show (Black Lawrence Press, 2014). Her work has appeared most recently in Split Lip ReviewHound, and Whiskey Island. She lives in Chicago, where she runs dancing girl press & studio and spends much of her time writing, making papery things, and curating a chapbook series devoted to women authors. Her next full-length collection, salvage, is due out from Black Lawrence Press in 2016.

Mary Carroll-Hackett is the author of The Real Politics of Lipstick (Slipstream 2010), Animal Soul (Kattywompus Press 2013), If We Could Know Our Bones (A-Minor Press 2014), The Night I Heard Everything (FutureCycle Press 2015)and Trailer Park Oracle (Kelsey Books 2015). Another collection, A Little Blood, A Little Rain, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press in 2016She teaches at Longwood University, and with the MFA faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan. Mary is at work on a memoir.

Saddiq Dzukogi studied at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. He has had poems featured or forthcoming in literary publications such as: The VoltaCleaver MagazineChiron Review, Vinyl PoetryHeliconOff the CoastThe Poetry MailAbout Place Journal, among numerous others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Saddiq is a mentor at Hilltopart Centre and also the poetry Editor at Expound Magazine

As a child, Angele Ellis wanted to be an astronomer, a lounge singer, an archaeologist, and a saint. Her poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in over fifty journals and ten anthologies. Author of Arab on Radar (Six Gallery Press) and Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors' Choice Chapbook), she is working on a hybrid collection of poems and flash fiction set in Pittsburgh. 

Nettie Farris is the author of Communion (Accents Publishing, 2013), Fat Crayons (Finishing Line Press, 2015), and the micro-chapbook Story (Origami Poems Project, 2016). Her chapbook The Wendy Bird Poems is forthcoming from dancing girl press.

Kate Gaskin's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in GuernicaBellevue Literary ReviewRadar PoetryRaleigh ReviewSugar HouseReview, and The Fourth River among others. She grew up in Alabama and now lives in the panhandle of Florida with her husband and son. 

Howie Good is the recipient of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry for his latest collection, Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements.

Ansley Jones is a dance historian, movement professor, writer, jewelry and crochet artist, emcee, hip hop feminist and women’s rights activist. She earned her BFA in Visual and Performing Arts at Savannah State University in 2008 and her MA in American Dance Studies in 2011 at Florida State University 2011.  Recently, Jones traveled to India (May 2014) with the Next Level Program; an initiative of the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill and the U.S. Department of State to teach peace and conflict resolution through hip hop culture. Recently Jones was awarded a second cultural ambassador position with the U.S. State Department and Cultural Vistas in a program entitled “Celebrate the Connections,” an urban arts tour of six U.S. Artists on a four city tour in India. Here she worked extensively on connecting with other artists/feminists.

Travis Chi Wing Lau is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania English Department.. His research interests include long eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, the history of medicine, disability studies, body studies, and gender and sexuality studies. His academic work has been published in the Journal of Homosexuality  and Romantic Circles. His creative writing has appeared in WestwindThistleFeminine InquiryWordgatheringSynaesthesiaQDA: A Queer Disability Anthology (Handtype Press, 2015), and Assaracus. [travisclau.com]

Liv Mammone is an editor and poet from Long Island, New York; where she lives with her parents, brother, family of feral cats, and geriatric dachshund. Her poetry has appeared in Wordgathering, Wicked Banshee, The Medical Journal of Australia, and QDA: a Queer, Disabled Anthology. As part of Union Square Slam, she is the third visibly disabled poet ever to place as a finalist for a national slam.

MANDEM is one artist with two bodies. Drawing on an academic background in mythology, critical theory, and gender/queer studies, MANDEM works across media and materials, intentionally destabilizing genre while exploring the visceral body, art history, and the medicalization of desire. In 2016, MANDEM is teaching art at a university in Florence, Italy, where they also have a concurrent artist residency at the Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino and many art exhibitions and publications in the works. (www.MANDEMart.com)

Tanaka Mhishi is a poet, performer and playwright from London. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in such publications as WordsDance and Delinquent, and on stage at the Vault, UNHEARD, and Clear Lines Festivals. He is interested in trauma, bodies, pleasure and the finer applications of choux pastry. He can be found online at tmhishi.tumblr.com or at tanakamhishi.co.uk

Emily Mohn-Slate's recent poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Tupelo QuarterlyConnotation PressThe Adroit JournalCimarronReviewIndiana Review, and elsewhere. She was runner-up for the 2014 Indiana Review Poetry Prize. She teaches writing at Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. You can find her atemilymohnslate.com.

Kristin Peterson is a poet and filmmaker based in Milwaukee, WI.  She has had her poetry published in the Great Lakes ReviewBurdock'12drupe fruits, and by pity milk press.  She continues to write film scripts, poetry chapbooks and children's stories.  Her delight in science, humor and media informs her poetry.

Erin Elkins Radcliffe is the author of Station of Rain (Dancing Girl Press, 2013), and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tupelo QuarterlySmartish PaceNashville Review, and Coal Hill Review. Erin is a mentee in AWP’s Writer-to-Writer Spring 2016 program and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her family. Links to Erin’s work can be found atwww.erinradcliffe.com.

AM Ringwalt is a writer and musician (Anne Malin) currently living in Boston, Massachusetts. Her words appear or are forthcoming in Vinyl, Talking RiverThe Adroit Journal and DUM DUM Zine: Punks and ScholarsLike Cleopatra, her debut poetry chapbook, was published in 2014 by dancing girl press.

Taylor Steele is a Brooklyn-based spoken word artist, playwright, and essayist. She received her BA from The New School, has been published by several online publications (Apogee JournalHEArt JournalWicked Banshee PressBlackberry Magazine, and many forthcoming), and is a content writer for The Body is Not an Apology. Taylor placed 5th in the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She believes in the power of art to change, shape, and heal.

Albert Thomas is a poet living San Francisco, CA. He is an alum of Yale University, where he studied Political Science and African-American literature. Albert’s poems have appeared in Podium, and Radius Lit. He recently received a nomination for the 2016 Pushcart Prize.

Ellie White holds a BA in English from The Ohio State University. Her poems have been published in Antiphon Poetry MagazineHarpurPalate, and several other journals. Her chapbook, Requiem for a Doll, was released by ELJ Publications in June 2015. She currently lives among sailors and mermaids in Norfolk, Virginia.

Annie Woodford lives Roanoke, Virginia, where she is a teacher at Virginia Western Community College. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Appalachian HeritageThe Comstock ReviewCold Mountain ReviewThe Chattahoochee ReviewWaccamawThe NormalSchoolTar River PoetryBluestem, and Town Creek Poetry, among others.