Contributor Bios

Ron Austin holds a MFA from the University of Missouri St. Louis. His stories have been placed in Black Warrior Review, Natural Bridge, Drafthorse, and other journals. He teaches Creative Writing at the Pierre Laclede Honors College while completing his first collection of short stories: Avery Colt Is A Snake, A Thief, A Liar. He currently resides in his hometown of St. Louis with his wife, Jennie, and their dog, Carmen. He may be contacted at

Jia Oak Baker is a MFA candidate at the Bennington Writing Seminars where she is recipient of a Liam Rector Scholarship. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poet Lore, Mojave River Review, likewise folio, Inscape, Thin Air Magazine, and elsewhere. Jia is the recipient of the 2013 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award in poetry and a scholarship to the New York State Writers’ Institute. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she helps edit Four Chambers Press.

Jan Becker was born in Carbondale, PA, home of one of the longest continually burning coalmine fires in North America. She grew up on military bases all over the United States. Her writing has appeared in Sliver of Stone Magazine, Brevity Poetry ReviewThe Circus Book, The Florida Book Review, WLRN/Miami Herald, and is forthcoming in Emerge. She is a regular contributor to the online journal Selfies in Ink. Jan was Gulf Stream’s Creative Non-fiction Editor for online issues 3-9.

BJ Best is the author of three books of poetry: But Our Princess Is in Another Castle (Rose Metal Press, 2013), Birds of Wisconsin (New Rivers Press, 2010), and State Sonnets (sunnyoutside, 2009). I got off the train at Ash Lake, a verse novella, is forthcoming from sunnyoutside in 2014. He lives in Wisconsin, but you can visit him online at

Richard Blanco was born in Madrid in 1968, immigrating as an infant with his Cuban-exile family to the United States. He was raised and educated in Miami, earning a B.S. in civil engineering and a M.F.A. in creative writing from Florida International University. Blanco has been a practicing engineer, writer and poet since 1991. He has traveled extensively in his adult life, living and working throughout Europe and South America. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, Writer’s Center and Central Connecticut State University. Blanco currently resides in the tranquil mountains of Bethel, Maine. His books, in order of publication, are: City of a Hundred Fires (1998), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), One Today (2013), Boston Strong (2013), and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey (2013). In 2013, Blanco was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States.

Louis Bourgeois is the Executive Director of VOX PRESS, a 501 © 3 arts organization based in Oxford, Mississippi. Currently, he is assembling his Collected Works due out in the fall of 2015 by Xenos Press.

Erica Breish: A common theme throughout my work is light. Each piece is created with specific lighting conditions in mind and would be lost without such illumination. Although I work in several mediums, all of the work shares this commonality. Recently, I’ve been interested in the combination of materials that create a strong contrast against one another within the same work of art. Regardless of their combination or independence, I find these mediums completely different in their approach but complementary in their aesthetic. They act as separators in that they allow me to switch from the rigid process of grinding metal to a more experimental and playful technique of painting.

The colorful paintings, I call poured paintings, are created through a reactionary process of acrylics and enamels set in a liquid polymer base. Half controlled and half exposed to the laws of nature, it’s a careful dance between beauty and disaster. Overworking happens quickly and only patience will reward the work in the end. The result is an explosion of beautiful patterns bleeding across the face of the substrate. The process is organic and at times futile in its attempt to control the outcome. It forces me to be patient and evokes calmness as natural reactions collide with the unconscious placements of patterns and shapes.

Marci Calabretta is a Knight Fellow and poetry MFA candidate at Florida International University. Her work has appeared in The Albion Review, American Letters & Commentary, and Chautauqua, The MacGuffin. She is also a contributing editor for The Florida Book Review. Her chapbook, Last Train to the Midnight Market, was released from Finishing Line Press in 2013.

Junot Diaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and is the author of Drown, This is how You  Loose Her and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), in Pushcart Prize XXII and in The O’Henry Prize Stories 2009. He is the fiction editor at the Boston Review and the Rudge (1948) and Nancy Allen professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Daniel Donaghy is the author of two poetry collections: Start with the Trouble (University of Arkansas Press, 2009), which won the 2010 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence and was Runner-Up for the James Laughlin Award and a Finalist for the Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and the Connecticut Book Award, and Streetfighting (BkMk Press, 2005), which was a Finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize.

Marian Drew, born in 1960, Bundaberg, is one of Australia’s most significant contemporary photographic artists.  Drew has held over 20 solo shows across Australia, United States, France and Germany and is currently represented by galleries in United States and Australia. Her work is held is many major public and private collections across Australia including Australian National Gallery, Queensland Art Gallery, South Australian Art Gallery and in the J. Paul Getty Museum in the USA.Presently, Drew is an Associate Professor at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.

Jaime Ferreyros, born in Lima, Peru, is an Emmy Award winning TV producer, and avid iphoneographer. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the US and Europe, including the very first iPhoneography exhibits in the world at the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley, California.Various newspapers have profiled his work, including the most influential iphoneography websites, magazines and book covers.Jaime has helped promote iphoneography in Miami, curating shows for the Artspace and The Lunch Box Gallery. His solo shows and exhibits during Art Basel Miami, have awaken the city’s interest for this new art form.

Cristina García is the author of six novels, including: Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, and The Lady Matador’s Hotel. García has edited two anthologies, Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature. Two works for young readers, The Dog Who Loved the Moon, and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox were published in 2008. A collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death, was published in 2010. Her recent young adult novel, Dreams of Significant Girls, is set in a Swiss boarding school in the 1970s. Her most recent book, King of Cuba, was released in 2013.

Lois Marie Harrod‘s 13th  and 14th poetry collections were published in 2013: Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis by Cherry Grove and Marlene Mae  by Dancing Girl Press. The Only Is won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays). She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey as an adjunct professor.

Julie Hensley grew up on a sheep farm in the Shenandoah Valley, but now she makes her home in Kentucky with her husband (the writer R. Dean Johnson) and their two children.  She is a core faculty member of the Bluegrass Writers Studio, the low-residency MFA program at Eastern Kentucky University.  Her poems and stories have been published in dozens of journals and have received multiple Pushcart nominations.   Her most recent work appears in Saranac Review, The Pinch, Blackbird, Louisville Review, and Ruminate.  A chapbook of her poems, The Language of Horses, is available from Finishing Line Press.

Lockie Hunter is from a town in Appalachia where oral storytelling is vital to the community. She holds an MFA in fiction from Emerson College in Boston and teaches creative writing at Warren Wilson College. Her words have appeared in publications including New Plains Review, Brevity, The Baltimore Review, Main Street Rag, Arts & Opinion, The Christian Science Monitor, McSweeneys Internet Tendency, and others, and her poetry and flash fiction have been anthologized.

Ashley Inguanta is a writer/photographer who recently moved to Brooklyn from Central Florida. Her first collection, The Way Home, is out with Dancing Girl Press, and she has translated the collection into a live performance, too, with dancing and music. She created and hosted several Poetry Cover Nights in Orlando last year and will now co-host the event at the Bowery Poetry Club. Ashley is also the Art Director of SmokeLong Quarterly. One of her favorite things to do is to stand in the rain. Stand with her, and she’ll love you forever.

Erica Kenick is a recent graduate of the University Of Florida (GO GATORS!) where she received a BA in English and a minor in Education. At UF, she wrote for The Fine Print, an independent newspaper with a focus on local cultural events, politics and environmental awareness. Erica is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at Florida International University. When she’s not diligently reading or writing, she enjoys spending time outdoors swimming and kayaking.

Jennifer Maritza McCauley is an MFA candidate and Knight Fellow in fiction at Florida International University. Her work can be found in First Inkling Magazine, Blue Lyra Review and The Boiler, amongst other journals.

Alex Myers was born and raised in western Maine. He earned degrees in Near Eastern Studies and Religion from Harvard and Brown before going on to earn an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His first novel, Revolutionary, will be released by Simon Schuster in January 2014; it tells the story of his ancestor, Deborah Sampson, who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Revolutionary War. Alex currently lives in DC with his wife and two cats. Full details can be found at

Miguel A. Pichardo is a first-year MFA candidate at Florida International University, where he is a Knight Fellow in Fiction. He was born in and later attended college in Queens, New York (St. John’s University) but was raised in Miami. He is glad to have made his way back down to Miami where he is surrounded by friends, family, and a great community of writers.

Enrique Quintero: in the works

Keith Rosson’s fiction has appeared in PANK, The Nervous Breakdown, Camera Obscura Journal, and more. He is the author of the long-running art and creative nonfiction journal Avow, as well as the omnibus The Best of Intentions: The Avow Anthology. He is also an illustrator and graphic designer, having completed work for Against Me, Lucero, Interpol, and others. A ferocious advocate for the cassette tape, he can be reached at

Joshua Safran is an attorney, writer, speaker, and  occasional rabbi. He was featured in the award-winning documentary, “Crime After Crime,” which  premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and had its television debut as part of the Oprah Winfrey Network’s (OWN)’s Documentary Film Club. He is a nationally recognized champion for women’s rights and a zealous advocate for survivors of domestic violence and the wrongfully imprisoned. For his work, he has received national media coverage and numerous awards. He lives in Oakland, California. The trailer for the documentary can be seen here.

Ryan Shoemaker’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Booth, Santa Monica Review, Silk Road Review, and Kugelmass: A Journal of Literary Humor.  A practicing Mormon, Ryan is currently a student at the University of Southern California.  Find him at

Steve Trumpeter’s short story “Sky Boys” won the Chicago Reader‘s 2012 Pure Fiction contest. His short stories have also been published or are forthcoming in Jabberwock Review and Chicago Quarterly Review, and he has been selected as a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open contest and Third Coast’s Jaimy Gordon Fiction Prize. He earned a degree in fiction writing from Northwestern University and is currently toiling away at his first novel, Glow.

Sunni Brown Wilkinson holds an MFA from Eastern Washington University.  Her previous work has been published in Red Rock Review, Tar River Poetry, Southern Indiana Review, Weber and other journals and anthologies.  She lives in Ogden, Utah and currently teaches composition and nature writing at Weber State University.  She lives with her husband, Sean, and two young sons who are experts on dinosaurs.

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