Authors Bios & Q/A
In addition to providing a biography, our contributors answered the following:
1. What’s the best thing you can buy for a dollar?
2. Your favorite childhood TV show was . . . ?
3. If you were a professional wrestler what would your name be?
4. What is your favorite opening line in literature?
5. If you were going to kill someone softly with a song, what would the song be?
6. Who is the most evil celebrity?
7. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
We hope that you enjoy their answers as much as we did.
Jeffrey Alfier lives in Tucson, Arizona. His publication credits include Broken Bridge Review, Blue Earth Review, Forge Journal, Red Wheelbarrow, and Santa Clara Review. He is author of a chapbook, Strangers within the Gate (2005), and is the editor of San Pedro River Review.
1. A favorite and elusive song from iTunes.
2. Rawhide. Does that make me an old bastard?
3. Effort Boy. They derisively called me that in the sixth grade, but at fifty-four years old, it’s just something charming now.
4. “See the child. He is pale and thin, he wears a thin and ragged linen shirt”—Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.
5. The ever-nauseating, “Hey Jude,” one of those Beatles songs Bob Dylan said were nice but didn’t say a damned thing.
6. Whichever male one my girlfriend secretly loves.
7. Lima beans with corn oil . . . you’d have to ask my mother.
Kim Allen-Niesen is a recently retired lawyer. She practiced estate planning for eighteen years before deciding to start a new career in writing. She is co-founder of Bookstore People, a blog that reviews independent bookstores, books and literary topics.
1. Jolly Rancher Watermelon candy with a Coke is still one of my favorite treats. I used to be able to get both for fifty cents, but can no longer.
2. The Waltons. I wallowed in how much they loved each other and how kind they were.
3. Book Broad.
4. Just like everyone else who ever read, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I know, common. Actually, I think it’s the only one most of us remember after hearing it over and over again in high school English.
5. Anything by Barry Manilow. Wouldn’t you rather die than have to listen to it?
6. Evil is an interesting choice of words, stupid would be easy, but evil takes more creative thought than is usually required by a celebrity (I would know I live in west LA). Maybe Sumner Redstone because his disregard of anything but himself seems to top even the worst of the bunch.
7. Sea cucumber. My husband was practicing his Chinese and ordered our food and that’s what we ended with. Now he only orders in English.
Brian Biese’s work has appeared in Monkeybicycle, Poor Mojo and Space Squid among others, and he is the author of the chapbook I Imagine the Stars Wish That Too from Dogzplot Books. He is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he lives with his wife and a kitten.
1. One dark-chocolate Jack Daniels truffle.
2. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
3. Captain Tryhard.
4. “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it”—C. S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
5. A whistling rendition of the sadder parts of the original Star Wars soundtrack.
6. Ben Affleck.
7. Chinese candied crabs.
Brian Brown is a historian and photographer of endangered folkways and architecture in the Georgia Wiregrass region. Recent poetry appears or is forthcoming in Vain, Santa Clara Review, Velvet Mafia, Roanoke Review, Falling Star, and Town Creek Poetry. Please visit him online at <vanishingsouthgeorgia.wordpress.com>.
1. Draft beer in a really seedy bar.
2. Little House on the Prairie. There, I said it.
3. Dirt Road Cowboy.
4. “I am always drawn back to the places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods.”
5. “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker.
6. George Bush.
7. Grits at a Denny’s in Rochester NY. It’s a Southern thing, best left to Southerners.
Marqus Bobesich received his BFA from York University majoring in visual arts. His poems have appeared in Farmhouse Magazine, 3 AM, Word Riot, and The Cherry Blossom Review. He now works in Toronto as an actor and musician <myspace.
1. All of the clothes I’m presently wearing.
2. Gilligan’s Island. You don’t hear the word “lagoon” enough anymore.
3. Miles Long. Oh wait, that’s my porn name.
4. “And with that one kiss Gustav surmised that she had done very little traveling, despite her battleships for feet and lips like airport bruschetta.”
5. Something about an anvil. Dropped by a coyote.
6. See question # 5.
7. My pride. Oh, and cow tongue.
Rob Burnside is a retired fire service officer currently working as a custodian. He has a BA in Art Ed from Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre, PA), and has been writing—primarily poetry—for fifteen years. He has two grown children: Alison, a graphic designer living in Vermont, and Keith, a Philadelphia architect. He began writing poetry to his wife when their marriage began to fall apart and he had no other suitable means of communication.
1. A Kit-Kat.
2. My Three Sons.
3. Ravishing Robbie the Runt.
4. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born”—J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.
5. “Danny Boy.”
6. Dr. Phil.
7. White pizza.
Robin Caine’s work has been published in Quick Fiction, Yemassee, and Opium,
with a story forthcoming in the Bryant Literary Review. “Funny, Cry, Happy,”
included in this issue of SLAB, was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction
competition. Currently, she is in her last year of graduate school at the University of
South Carolina, pursuing her MFA in fiction writing.
2. Today’s Special.
3. Little Lightning.
4. “A screaming comes across the Gravity’s Rainbow”—Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow.
5. “Everybody Hurts,” by R.E.M.
6. Jonathan Safran Foer talking about his novel, Extremely Loud and
7. Twinkie Surprise.
Alex Cigale’s poems have recently appeared in Cafe, Chiron, Colorado, McSweeney’s and elsewhere. He was born in Chernovtsy, Ukraine and has lived in New York City since 1975, apart from six years in Ann Arbor, MI, where he earned an MFA at the University of Michigan and won a Hopwood Award. His translations of contemporary Russian poetry have been published in the anthology Crossing Centuries: The New Generation in Russian Poetry, and elsewhere.
1. The first thing that comes to mind is one hundred wheat pennies. That’s all they are worth and each one’s got ten thousand stories, which makes a total of one million by my calculation.
2. Russian television came on for a few hours in the sixties: one channel, exercise mornings, cartoons afternoon, nightly news, maybe a movie and a sport event, evenings. My favorite was Nu Pagodi! (I’ll Get You!) blending Road Runner and Bugs Bunny.
3. Vlad, “The Impaler”?
4. That would have to be Tolstoy’s line about all unhappy families being
unhappy in their own way (Anna Karenina; though I far prefer anything
5. “Eleanor Rigby” (or any other song from that album Sgt. Pepper is lonely! Sgt. Pepper is lonely! Sgt. Pepper is lonely!).
6. I specifically avoid demonizing human pathology, wary of Nietzsche’s admonition about fighting monsters (also Tolstoy’s: Do no violence to resist evil), defined as the greatest harm to the greatest number, Mao. As Arendt’s banality, the criminal Bush.
7. I’m afraid this is not terribly adventurous; from a Russian-Jewish childhood I acquired a taste for shkvarki, goose skin fried in its own fat with onions, beef tongue, and cock’s comb, though I haven’t in dulged lately. Other than that, just frog legs and escargot, as far as I can tell.
Dorothy DiRienzi has published in Friends Journal, Poetry Midwest, The Mid-America Poetry Review, Passager, and MO: Writing from the River. She is the recipient of a residency at Norcroft; first-place runner-up at the Tucson Poetry Festival, 2005; semifinalist, 2008 St. Lawrence Book Award. She has been an editor and indexer for 38 years and currently works in that capacity at Arizona State University. She obtained an MFA in Creative Writing from ASU in 2008.
1. A hamburger.
2. Howdy Doody.
4. “It was a dark and stormy night.”
5. “Is that All There Is?”
6. Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ.
7. Raw oysters.
Ronna Edelstein is a part-time faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh’s English Department. She works as a consultant to its Writing Center and teaches a section of Freshman Programs. In addition to SLAB, her work (fiction, nonfiction) has appeared in First Line Anthology, The Road to Elsewhere, Ghoti Online Literary Magazine, and Quality Women’s Fiction. Since May 2007, many of her personal narratives, essays, and poems have appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
1. A Powerball Lottery ticket; seeing the “not a winner” message keeps me grounded.
2. The Lone Ranger. I liked that the “good guys” always won.
3. “The Edelgizer” because my students always called me Edel.
4. “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow”— Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. I love this line because it connects the Boo Radley and Bob Ewell strands of the novel; the first line also gives Lee a way to share her two basic themes—stand in another’s skin to understand, not judge, that person, and it is a sin to hurt the innocent (to kill a mockingbird).
5. “Holding to the Ground” from William Finn’s Falsettoland. Trina, the character singing the song, reminds us that life constantly changes and often leaves us floundering without rules or a foundation, but we can still “hold to the ground” if we just stop whining!
6. I do not like to label anyone as “evil,” but I do believe that the celebrities who live selfish lives without doing anything for other people are not nice. I label those celebrities as the Paris Hiltons of the entertainment world.
7. The strangest thing I have ever eaten is a fish whose head had not been cut off. The dead eyes seemed to look at me with anger, fear, and resentment. I took a few bites, felt guilty, and went right to dessert!
Lindsay Ehrisman is a history major at San Francisco State University. After she graduates, she plans on getting her teaching credentials, and of course continue writing where ever life takes her. She lives in San Francisco, Ca. This is her first time being published.
1. A cup of coffee. I’m addicted!
2. Full House.
4. “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.”
5. “Who Let The Dog’s Out”—The Bloodhound Gang.
6. Miley Cyrus. She looks possessed. The power and influence she has over young kids freaks me out!
7. Cow testicles.
Joseph Goosey writes poetry. Unfortunately, some of his work can be read in Exquisite Corpse and his first chapbook is available via Poptritus Press. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida for reasons untold.
1. Either a Wolfgang Puck Signature Coffee or a Wendy’s Doublestack.
2. TMNT, of course.
3. Boss Hogg.
4. “It began as a mistake.”
5. Anything by R.Kelly.
6. Carlos Mencia.
7. Some kind of disgustingly delicious foie gras sorbet item.
Jonathan Greenhause pays his debts by working as a Spanish interpreter/translator, and he incurs them while writing poetry. For those seeking him out, he’s unlikely to be found at shopping malls, and he’s not yet fodder for boot-soles:
check out dilapidated fishing shacks alongside unpronounceable rivers. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications throughout the
country and internationally, including The Bitter Oleander, Bryant Literary Review, Interim, ManyMountains Moving, and Rattle.
1. Half of whatever it was I used to be able to buy.
2. The Twilight Zone.
3. What you mean “if” you were a professional wrestler?
4. “Call me Ishmael.”
5. Something with a catchy refrain.
6. Is Adolf Hitler a celebrity yet? Does he have his own Reality Show?
7. A very large bag of fresh, stir-fried crickets. (Yes: They were
Ian Haight has been awarded translation grants from the Daesan Foundation, Korea Literary Translation Institute, and Baroboin Buddhist Foundation. He is the cotranslator
of Borderland Roads: Selected Poems of Kyun Ho (White Pine, 2009). His poems were awarded the John Woods Scholarship, and were selected as finalists for the Pavel Strut and SLS fellowships. Poems, essays, and translations appear in
Quarterly West, Writer’s Chronicle, and New Orleans Review.
Dustin Harbin is the fourth product of a carpenter/seamstress union, with all which that implies. Which is to say, a ton. He publishes the weekly strip DHARBIN! at <www.dharbin.com>.
1. So many possibilities. Until they changed the formula of Juicy Fruit gum six years ago, I would have said a pack of Juicy Fruit. These days it just falls all to pieces after just a half-hour. I used to be able to put a stick of Juicy Fruit in on the way to work and spit it out before bed. Failing great long-lasting chewing gums, let’s say Duke Ellington’s “Creole Love Call” from iTunes. Preferably the version on the “I Like Jazz: Duke Ellington” collection, which was one of my very first jazz tapes in high school.
2. All of them! A-Team, Knight Rider, Good Times, and I Love Lucy. TV was golden in the 80s.
3. La Profesora.
4. “You must expect to be in several lost causes before you die”—Carl
Sandburg’s poem, “Breathing Tokens.”
5. “In A Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.
6. All of them!
7. Another person’s loogie for five dollars in the smoking area in high school. Still turns my stomach to remember.
Lisa Harris is a wildlife biologist who lives in Tucson, Arizona with two daughters, seven cats, two dogs, one aquarium, and eight desert tortoises. She writes to maintain her sanity. Sometimes it works. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe, Motherwords, Desert Dog, Tail Winds, The University of Chicago Alumni Magazine, and numerous scientific journals no one reads. Her website is <www.Lisaharris.org>.
1. Three tamarind ice-cream cones from a street vendor in Nicaragua.
2. Lost in Space.
4. “Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw”—T.S. Eliot.
5. “Everything” by Marie Osmond.
6. George W. Bush.
7. Raw quail eggs over caviar—you had to be there.
Paul Hostovsky’s poems have won a Pushcart Prize, the Muriel Craft Bailey Award from The Comstock Review, and chapbook contests from Grayson Books,
Riverstone Press, and the Frank Cat Press. He has been featured on Poetry Daily,
Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. His first full-length collection, Bending the
Notes, is available from Main Street Rag.
1. An hour.
2. F Troop.
4. “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.”
5. Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
6. Wile E. Coyote.
7. A poem.
Allison Joseph lives, writes and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she’s part of the faculty in creative writing at Southern Illinois University. She serves as editor of Crab Orchard Review, director of the SIUC MFA Program in Creative Writing, and director of the Young Writers Workshop, an annual conference for high school-aged writers. The author of five collections of poetry, she has received awards and fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council.
1. A bag of Smartfood popcorn is probably my best recent purchase for 99 cents. I’ve loved that stuff since college.
2. Wonderarma, which was a local NYC-area television program. It had a great theme song, “Kids Are People Too.”
3. My wrestler name would be “Lady Sonneteer,” and I’d defeat all my opponents in 14 seconds.
4. “Sundays too my father got up early”—the opening line of Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays.” A beautiful poem about faith, silence, and commitment.
5. I’d spare the world my singing, out of mercy for the ears of others.
6. Paris Hilton. Way to make Barbie look relevant.
7. Chicken feet. I love ‘em—if you are in St. Louis, ask for them at Lu-Lu Dim Sum on Olive. Tasty!
Anthony King will have a BS degree in creative writing from Slippery Rock University if he is able to survive literary criticism. With his Siamese cats, his guitar, and a wood furnace, he lives in the strange sort of twilight zone that exists between Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania. He spends most of his time adventuring and volunteering in strange places, hoping to garner some unique material for future work.
1. The Back to the Future theme from iTunes.
2. Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
3. The Discombobulator.
4. “Well, when I had been dead for about thirty years, I began to get a little
anxious”—Mark Twain’s Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven.
5. “Sussudio” by Phil Collins.
6. Paul Reubens.
7. Raw blood pudding from a Welsh butcher.
Marsha Koretzky received her MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in July 2008. Her work has recently been nominated for Best New American Voices and published by the Dos Passos Review.
1. Um, right now, about 27 cents?
2. Kung Fu, of course, although my brilliant but annoying sister swears it was Lassie (Hi, Rhona!).
3. Haven’t you learned anything from Kwai Chang Caine? Well, come to think of it, he did whale on someone in every episode. Okay then, how about “The Pillsbury Doughgirl?”
4. “They say it’s just a small thing, but you know different.” Yeah, but seriously “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves/did gyre and gimble in the wabe”—Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.
5. “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” Pogues version.
6. Donald Trump. You-know-who (think Shaolin priest) would never have hosted The Apprentice.
7. My ex-boyfriend. With some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
Robert Kramer currently teaches art history at Manhattan College in New York City. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and a Swiss Government Scholar. He has also a widely published poet, playwright, literary critic, and translator of European literature. He was formerly an officer in the United States Army Chemical Corps.
1. Three kiwis.
2. The family had no television when I was a child.
4. “Warum gabst du uns die tiefen Blicke.”
5. Any one of Richard Strauss’s “Four Last Songs.”
6. George Bush.
7. Alligator burger (quite good!).
Catherine Lazure studied illustration at Parsons School of Design, Fine Arts at various colleges before that, and grew up in Montreal. She has vivid nursery school memories of making pasta collages. She is a frustrated poet and loves printmaking
1. A bag of marbles at the 99 cent store. They look great in an old peanut butter jar.
2. Get smart. I idolized Agent 99—Smart, sleek, sexy, cool, sharp, breezy and sizzling.
3. Snow White, a nod to the soda pop I drank as a kid in Montreal—our version of cream soda. People would go to lunch counters and order, “Une Snow White et une Mae West.” The Mae West was our version of your Ring Ding.
4. “Alcools, A la fin tu es las de ce monde ancient”—Apolinaire.
5. “Someone left the cake out in the rain, I don’t know if I can take it, ‘cause it took so long to bake it and I’ll never have that recipe again, oh no!” A baked Alaska would add to the bathos.
6. The Jolly Green Giant, king of canned vegetables. Although I’m not sure anybody knows who he is anymore. Possibly a has-been.
7. One of my own creations at age ten. After watching The Galloping Gourmet (aka Graham Kerr) I was wildly inspired to concoct something. I randomly picked ingredients off the kitchen shelves, stirred and baked, and, voila, there it was. But what it was, was unknowable. My mother asked what I had made and I proudly declared, “Brownies!”
Jane Rosenberg LaForge lives in New York City. Her poetry has been published most recently or is forthcoming in Noun Vs. Verb, The Ottawa Arts Review, Tipton Poetry Journal and Makeout Creek. She has also published fiction and literary scholarship online and in print.
1. I once saw a guy shoplifting and getting away with it at a 99 cent store. Does that qualify?
2. The Prisoner.
3. Catwoman of Doom.
4. “In watermelon sugar the deeds were done and done again as my life is
done in watermelon sugar”— Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar.
5. That depends on the definition of “killing someone softly with a song.’’ I could use “Summertime’’ from Porgy and Bess, or “The Lemon Song”
by Led Zeppelin.
6. Ben Stein.
David Luomareceived his MFA from the University of San Francisco. He lives in California with his wife and son, and works as a psychiatric nurse in a hospital for mentally ill criminals. This is his first story to be published.
1. Today, a half gallon of gas.
2. The Twilight Zone.
3. I’m thinking Thin Blade because anything more threatening is far
4. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to
know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and
how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that
David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you
want to know the truth”—J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Stunning
how it characterizes the narrator.
5. Cream’s “Strange Brew.”
6. Gene Simmons, not for any moral reason, but for his bass playing.
7. I tend to shy away from the more adventurous foods, so all I can come up with is a cactus burrito—but I did swallow.
Roberta Marggraff holds a Master’s in Arts and Literature from Wesleyan University and currently facilitates an academic seminar in Writing through Literature at the University of Connecticut at Waterbury. Favorite places where her work has
appeared are Poetry, Poem, Caduceus, the Small Pond magazine of literature, and The Lullwater Review. She is a member of the Connecticut Poetry Society.
1. Something worth more than $1.
2. The Mickey Mouse Club.
4. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God”—The Gospel of John 1:1.
5. Any song that’s not from my heart when I’m singing it to someone.
6. Bart Simpson.
7. I’m told I’m “strange” for eating cold cereal with fruit juice on it rather
Karla Linn Merrifield has authored three poetry books, including Godwit: Poems of Canada(FootHills Publishing) and is poetry editor of Sea Stories <www.seastories.org> and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye <www.centrifugaleye.
com>. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and 2009 Everglades National Park Artist-in-Residence.
1. A chocolate bar—preferably dark chocolate.
2. Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, which I consider the source of my wanderlust.
3. Killer K.
4. “There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, / The earth, and every common sight, / To me did seem / Apparell’d in celestial light, / The glory and the freshness of a dream”—Wordsworth’s “Ode-Intimations
of Immortality Recollected from Early Childhood.”
5. Bob Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain.”
6. Rush Limbaugh.
7. Sea urchin (icky spongy texture!).
Caroline Misner was born in a country that at the time was known as Czechoslovakia. She immigrated to Canada in the summer of 1969. Her work has appeared
in numerous consumer and literary journals in Canada, the USA and the UK, most notably The Windsor Review, Prairie Journal and Dreamcatcher. An excerpt from her latest unpublished novel has recently been nominated for the Writers’ Trust/McClelland-Steward Journey Anthology Prize. She currently lives in Georgetown Ontario where she continues to read, write and follow her muse, wherever it may take her.
1. The best thing I can buy for a dollar is an ice cold Dr. Pepper on a hot
day. Very refreshing!
2. My favorite childhood TV show (and possibly the best show ever) was,
and still is, Gilligan’s Island.
3. Killer Carrie, The Stomping Queen
4. “You do not do, you do not do,/Any more, black shoe/In which I have
lived like a foot/For thiry years, poor and white,/Barely daring to breathe
or Achoo”—Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy.” Ooooooo! I can just feel those
5. “City of New Orleans” by Arlo Guthrie. I’ve written an entire novel with
that song in mind.
6. Heather Mills—famous for being famous and ruining Paul McCartney’s
7. Sushi, sashimi, anything Japanese. Japanese cuisine is an exercise in
taking the most disgusting part of a sea creature, wrapping it in seaweed
and eating it raw.
Bob Mustin has been a North Carolina Writers Network writer-in-residence at Peace College. A former editor of The Rural Sophisticate, a literary journal based in Georgia, he has seen his work published in numerous print and electronic venues.
“Grandpa Tom’s Cane” won the 2007 North Carolina Writers Network Rose Post Award for Creative Nonfiction.
1. A large pack of M&M’s
3. The Mountain Mauler.
4. “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its
own way” Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.
5. Sinatra’s “Summer Wind.”
6. Evel Knievel—he made us think we too might be able to do those crazy
7. Fried rattlesnake.
Justin Nicholes got an MFA from Wichita State, is Fiction Editor at Our Stories, and has appeared in American Poets Abroad, Dark Sky Magazine, and Karamu. His debut novel, Ash Dogs, was recently published (Another Sky Press, 2008). He
currently teaches writing in Xinzheng City, in the Henan Province of China, and has almost finished his next novel.
2. The Muppet Show.
3. Kanye West.
4. “All humans by nature desire to know”—Aristotle’s Metaphysics.
5. The Muppet Show theme song.
6. Kanye West.
7. Dog & duck blood.
Suzanne Ondrus’s poems can be seen in the online journal Frigg’s January 2009 edition. Her work has also appeared in Colere, Ohio Writer, Revue Review and Gently Read Literature. Currently she is at the University of Connecticut pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, focusing on West African women writers and poets. She got her M.A. from Binghamton University and her M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University. She’s fluent in Italian, German and French and
has worked in Benin, Russia, Burkina Faso, former East Germany and Italy.
1. Two Lindt milk chocolate truffles.
2. Little House on the Prairie and The Munsters.
4. “Caro amico ti scrivo.”
5. Something by Puccini.
7. Orchids, pansies, and nasturtiums.
David Prodell lives with his family in Burlington, Vermont. He has had poems published in The Connecticut River Review, Oberon and The Anthology of New England Writers. Many of his poems take their inspiration from the people and places of Long Island, New York, where he lived and worked before moving to Vermont.
1. Any amount of coffee that a dollar can buy, which, in most cases, is
2. Warner Brothers’ cartoons with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.
3. The “Red Tarantula.” Though balding, I still have some red hair, and I’m
tall and lanky with long arms and legs.
4. Can’t say I have a favorite opening line, but, the primary inspiration
for me to write poetry has been the poems of Ted Kooser, and for the past several years, his weekly email column, “American Life in Poetry.”
5. “Feelings” by Gemini. Not that I listen to this song, but I typically want to kill myself when I hear it.
6. I’m not a follower of the tabloids, but all celebrities who court and play up their celebrity status are evil. However, I applaud those celebrities who punch out the paparazzi.
7. The supposed “custard-like” inside of a Thai or young coconut. It has the texture of a tadpole and, I can only imagine, tastes like one too.
Greta Pullen lived most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to New Mexico in 2002. Her book Lost and Found Café was published by Neuma Books in 2005. She has contributed to several anthologies including: Looking Back to Place, The Harwood Anthology, and Metamorfosis. She is the Senior Librarian at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1. Baking soda.
2. The Ed Sullivan Show.
3. La Chula.
4. “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano
Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice”—Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.
5. Something by Neil Diamond.
6. Rush Limbaugh.
7. Huitlacoche (corn fungus).
John Repp’s most recent collections of poetry are Fever (Mayapple Press, 2007) and No Away (Pudding House, 2007). Individual poems have appeared in recent issues of Poetry, Court Green, The Journal, and Rhino. Rachel Rosolina is in her final year at West Virginia University obtaining an MFA
in Creative Nonfiction. She currently works at the West Virginia University Press as
a production and editing assistant, where she helps publish books about everything from Appalachian History to Medieval Studies.
1. A box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers from Dollar General.
2. Punky Brewster.
3. Probably Rachel “Mighty Midget” Rosolina, since I’m 4’11.”
4. “I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany”—John Irving’s A Prayer For Owen Meany.
5. “Dear Old Friend” by Patty Griffin.
6. Carrot Top is pretty scary.
7. I ate “Chirping Chex Mix” once. Mmm . . . dried crickets and Chex.
Lauren Schmidt is a high school English/Art History teacher in Eugene, Oregon.
You can find her work in editions of Audemus and Ruminate, where she was a finalist for the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Contest.
1. The best thing I can buy for a dollar is a highlighter.
2. I don’t remember watching much television as a child but I loved the movie Annie and watched that way more than anything else I can recall.
3. The Hulklet.
4. “Groping back to bed after a piss”—Philip Larkin’s poem “Sad Steps.”
5. I would just put on whatever song that tops the current 40—that ought to do it.
6. Don’t most people find most celebrities pretty contemptible? Paris
Hilton comes to mind.
7. Cow tongue. I still have nightmares.
Ariel Smart met and married Gordon Smart who gave her a room of her own to write after many years of financial struggle. She and her husband have two red standard dachshunds, Rudy and Dolly. She has a lovely daughter, Dena, son-in-law Grue, and a granddaughter, Zoe.
1. Certainly not The Wall Street Journal.
2. Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.
3. Gorgeous Georgia.
4. “All happy families are happy in the same way. All unhappy families are
unhappy in a different way” (loose translation).
5. “Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.”
6. Killer Penn.
7. Sour grass.
Gia Sola has been passionate about writing since the 4th grade when she sold her book reports to fellow students. She went on to study business at NYU and psychology at The New School, and then pursued a successful career in the
corporate sector, writing riveting reports and crafting crafty speeches. She now lives
on California’s central coast where she gives her time and talent to the non-profit community, while turning her creative focus to fiction.
1. The best thing you can buy for a dollar is a small blind at the
2. You can’t trip me up and guess my age with this one, because I Love Lucy has been playing in syndication for decades—ever since I watched it live as a kid in the Fifties.
3. If I were a professional wrestler, I’d be Fiona: The Furious Filly (“nobody can rope her”).
4. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way”—Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. A line which also captures the times we’re living in these days.
5. Guess I’d “kill” with the song by Annie Lennox, I’ve Tried Everything (“ooh, you’re a loser now...”) It’s soft, sort of.
6. The most evil celebrity would be O. J.
7. I’m not as adventurous as my friend, Frizou, who ate raw—and still warm—monkey brains during a ceremony in Peking in the 80’s. The strangest delicacies I’ve ever digested were insects—deep fried and chocolate covered.
Suejin Suh is orginally from Long Island, New York. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at New York University. Her works have been previously published in The Flask Review, The Fifteen Project, the Ottawa Arts Review, Spot Literary Magazine and The Smoking Poet. She is currently teaching English at
Chungbuk National University in South Korea.
1. Cartoon Socks.
2. Family Ties.
3. War Orphan.
4. “The day my wife left she gave me a list of who I was”—Chang-rae
Lee’s Native Speaker.
5. “What A Little Moonlight Can Do.”
6. Bender (Futurama).
7. Deep fried starfish.
Henry Tonn is a semi-retired psychologist whose work has appeared in such publications as the Gettysburg Review, Foliate Oak, Quay, and Fifth Wednesday Journal. He lives on the coast of North Carolina with his chow dog Fred, and is presently writing a memoir about his forty years in the mental health field.
1. A toy gun, then you can hold up a pizza parlor and eat all the pizza you want.
2. The Show of Shows starring Sid Caesar and other future luminaries. The young people won’t know anything about this.
3. Prissy Boy.
4. “It was the best of times, the worst of times.” Charles Dickens was
5. Anything by Snoop Dog or Ricky Nelson.
6. A tie between George Bush and the ghost of Richard Nixon.
Jeanne Wagner is the winner of several national awards, including The Francis Locke Award, The Macguffin Poet Hunt, The Ann Stanford Prize, and the 2009 Briar Cliff Review Poetry Award. Her poems currently appear in Spoon River, Smart206ish Pace, the South Carolina Review and New Millennium. She is the author of four poetry collections, including The Zen Piano-Mover, which won the 2004 Stevens Manuscript Prize.
1. You can still buy something for a dollar?
2. Topper. This really dates me. Also shows an early obsession with ghosts.
3. The Mite.
4. “Isn’t the nature of a happy family as mysterious and intriguing as a new species?”—War and Peace.
5. “Killing Me Softly.”
7. Bonnie dog food. I did a Taste Test on it when I was about seven. (No.
Mark Wisniewski is the author of Confessions of a Polish Used Car Salesman and All Weekend With The Lights On. More than 200 of his poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry and New York Quarterly. He’s won a Pushcart Prize, and work of his has appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2008.
1. An apple.
2. The Munsters.
3. The Wire.
4. “The first thing I remember is being under something.”
5. “The Little Drummer Boy.”
6. Rush Limbaugh.
7. A wheat penny.
Shellie Zacharia teaches in Florida. Her stories have appeared in Hobart, Opium, Keyhole, The Pinch, Washington Square, Potomac Review, Zone 3, and elsewhere. Her story collection, Now Playing, is forthcoming from Keyhole Press.
1. A cup of coffee.
2. Little House on the Prairie.
3. The Firefly.
4. “The beet is the most intense of vegetables”—Tom Robbins’ Jitterbug
5. “Buckets of Rain.”
6. Hmmm . . . evil? This one stumps me.
7. Tempeh pizza – but I like it. Or maybe wasabi peas – I like them too. Marjorie Zettler holds a BSc(Hons) in Genetics and a PhD in Cardiovascular
Physiology from the University of Manitoba, and a MPH from the University of Manchester. She works as a clinical research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. She currently resides in Indianapolis.
1. A roll of SweeTARTS.
2. “The Bugs Bunny Show.”
3. I asked my best friend to help me with this one, and she said, “No
way, Jose.” That seems as good a name as any for a professional
wrestler . . . “No Way Jose.”
4. “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when
caught by her charm”— Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.
5. “What a Good Boy”, by the Barenaked Ladies.
6. It changes all the time, but thankfully Michael K keeps me in the know.
7. Hmm . . . I tried caribou one time; is that strange? Probably not for a
Jim Zimmerman is currently a clinical psychologist in private practice. In a previous life he was a songwriter and performer. He is the author of numerous articles, papers, and songs, and author and editor of a volume on adolescent suicide.
1. A favorite book of poetry at a yard sale.
2. Rocky and Bullwinkle.
3. Doctor Doom.
4. “Do not go gentle into that good night.”
5. “I Know You by Heart” (sung by Eva Cassidy).
6. Mel Gibson.
7. Chocolate-covered ants.