fws Contributor Biographies

Skin Issue No.2, Vol. 1, Fall 2019

Leah Baker resides in Portland, OR and teaches writing at a public high school. Her writing has been featured or is forthcoming in Pointed Circle, For Women Who Roar, and Voice Catcher. She is a feminist, gardener, yogi, sound healer, and world traveler. You can find her at www.OpalMoonAttunement.com.

Helena Barbagelata (b 1991) is a fashion model and multidisciplinary visual artist who develops work in painting, illustration and photography. Her artworks combine mixed media, acrylics, ink and watercolor techniques and have been displayed in the United States, South America and Europe. Helena is also a researcher, author and curator in several literary publications.
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/barbagelatahelena, DISPLATE:  https://displate.com/helenabarbagelata , Saatchi:  https://www.saatchiart.com/helenabarbagelatasimoes  

Artist’s Statement: In ancient Greek mythology, ‘Dryads’, were woodland nymphs whose skin and bodies were fused with trees. Ancient cultures held a fundamentally different view of their relationship to the natural world, perceiving their existence as being within nature rather than our modern industrialized separation between humanity and other sentient beings. My work is an examination of the personal forms this mythological view takes. I use expressionist portraiture to communicate the sensitive experience of femininity, captured in the spontaneous dance and movement of watercolors.

Jane Beal, PhD is a poet. She has created many collections of poetry, including Sanctuary (Finishing Line Press, 2008), Rising (Wipf and Stock, 2015) and Song of the Selkie (Aubade Publishing, forthcoming) as well as three audio recording projects: “Songs from the Secret Life,” “Love-Song,” and “The Jazz Bird.” She also writes magical realist fiction, creative non-fiction, literary criticism, and music. She teaches at the University of La Verne in southern California. See http://janebeal.wordpress.com.

William Blackburn, currently based in OH (USA), still struggles to find his car keys. His work appears in SCRAWL, Emerald Press, Route 7 Review, Edify Fiction, and Abstract Contemporary Expressions. His work will soon appear in The Blue Mountain Review and Castabout Anthology. He is a contributor to Adirondack Center for Writing’s PoemVillage 2019/2020.

Sasha Blakeley is a poet from Vancouver, Canada. Her work focuses on the apocalyptic interplay between light and dark, and the urgent necessity of hope in times of crisis. She is currently teaching English in Taiwan, and in future she hopes to be a part of sustainable agriculture movements. sashablakeley@gmail.com

Hannah Cajandig-Taylor resides in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she is an MFA Candidate at Northern Michigan University and an Associate Editor for Passages North. Her prose and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Snapdragon, Tulane Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, Drunk Monkeys, Sidereal Magazine, and Rising Phoenix Press, among others. Additionally, she will be reading at River Styx’s Hungry Young Poets Series in mid-July.

Austin Carroll

Austin Carroll is an American artist, poet, and musician currently living in La Pine, Oregon. To see more from Austin you can find him on instagram at instagram.com/floretpuce and his current music project can be found on soundcloud at soundcloud.com/floretpuce.

Brigid Cooley is a native of San Antonio and avid poet. Her love for the art of poetry began as a child and continues to grow. She frequently attends local poetry readings, sharing her passion for the written and spoken word with anyone willing to listen. When not writing poetry, Brigid can be found reporting for The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s newspaper, and directing/acting in theater productions.

Sean M. Corrado is a candidate for admission to the New York Bar who has supplemented his legal studies with a passion for poetry and prose. In 2019, Sean received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, where he was the Senior Writing & Research Editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property Media & Entertainment Law Journal. Sean received his B.A. in English Writing & Communications Rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014, where he received a Heinz Fellowship Grant to further the practice of creative writing in professional settings.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/sean-corrado-011807138

RC deWinter’s poetry is anthologized in Uno: A Poetry Anthology (Verian Thomas, 2002), New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon (Brick Street Poetry, April 2019), Havik (Las Positas College, May 2019), Castabout Literature (Dantoin/Hilgart, June 2019) The Flickering Light (Scars Publications, June 2019), Nature In The Now (Tiny Seed Press, August 2019),in print in 2River View, Down in the Dirt, Genre Urban Arts, Meat For Tea: The Valley Review, Pilcrow & Dagger, Pink Panther Magazine,, Scarlet Leaf Review, The New York Times and in numerous online literary journals.

N.Y. HAYNES holds a Masters in Physiology, with a concentration in cardiovascular disease. She is an emerging writer, a poet and playwright, as well as an avid athlete currently residing in New York.  Please direct all questions and comments to:  1greatfulgoddess@gmail.com

Erin Jamieson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in After the Pause, Into the Void, Flash Frontier, and Foliate Oak Literary, among others, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  She currently teaches English Composition at the University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College and works as a freelance writer.

SaraSwoti Lamichhane comes from Alberta, Canada and is a nature photographer, a poet and a mom to two beautiful daughters. Her poems have been published in a few journals in the U.S., Nepal, and Canada and her recent poem Fort McMurray has appeared in Tint Journal. During the day, she works as a clinic manager with Alberta Head & Neck Surgery Clinic. She is actively working as a board member with Parkland Poets.

Kendra Preston Leonard, PhD is a poet, lyricist, and librettist whose work is inspired by the local, historical, and mythopoeic. She is especially interested in addressing issues of social justice, the environment, and disability through poetry. Her work appears in numerous publications including vox poetica, lunch, These Fragile Lilacs, and Upstart: Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed, among other venues. Leonard collaborates regularly with composers on works for voice including new operas and song cycles. Her chapbook Making Mythology is forthcoming from Louisiana Literature Press.   she/her: kendraleonard@pm.me, https://kendraprestonleonard.hcommons.org Executive Director, The Silent Film Sound & Music Archive director@sfsma.org, www.sfsma.org

Mario Loprete is an internationally acclaimed artist with myriad shows to his credit.  He has been interviewed by and written about in art and literary journals and magazines worldwide.  www.marioloprete.com, https://it-it.facebook.com/mario.loprete.5, www.linkedin.com/in/mario-loprete-7aa22529, www.instagram.com/marioloprete/,

Artist’s Statement:  “I live in a world that i shape at my liking, throughout a virtual pictorial and sculptural movement, transferring my experiences,  photographing reality throughout my filters, refined  from years research and experimentation.

Painting for my is the first love. An important, pure love. Creating a painting, starting from the spasmodic research of a concept with which I want to send a message to transmit my message, it’s the base of my painting. The sculpture is my lover, my artistic betrayal to the painting. That voluptuous and sensual lover that gives me different emotions, that touches prohibited cords…

The new series of works on concrete it’s the one that is giving me more personal and professional satisfactions. How was it born? It was the result of an important investigation of my work, the research of that “quid” that i felt was missing. Looking at my work in the past ten years I understood that there was the semantics and semiotics in my visual speech, but the right support to valorize the message was not there.

The reinforced cement, the concrete, was created by two thousand years ago by the Romans. It has a story that pervades millennia, made of amphitheaters, bridges and roads that have conquered the ancient and modern world. Now it’s a synonym of modernity. Everywhere you go and you find a concrete wall, there’s the modern man in there. From Sidney to Vancouver, from Oslo to Pretoria, the reinforced cement it’s present and consequently the support where the “writers” can express themselves it’s present.

The successive passage was obvious for me. If man brought art on the streets in order to make it accessible to everyone, why not bring the urban in galleries and museums? It was the winning step  to the continuous evolutionary process of my work in that “quid” that i was talking about before and that is what is making  me expose in prestigious places and is making me be requested from important collectors. When the painting has completely dried off, I brush it with a particular that not only manages to unite every color and shade, but it also gives to the art work the shininess and lucidity that the poster ,that each and every one of us had hanging on the wall, has.

For my Concrete Sculptures I use my personal clothing. Throughout some artistic process, in which I use plaster, resin and cement, I transform them in artworks to hang. My memory, my DNA, my memories remain concreted inside, transforming the person that looks at the artworks a type of post-modern archeologist that studies my work as they were urban artifacts.

Cara Lorello is a writer and poet who began her career as a journalist in Spokane, Washington. Her work appears in past issues of Noble-Gas Quarterly, Vending Machine Press, SlushPile, The Sun, SnapDragon Journal, and the Spokane-based poetry anthology Railtown Almanac (Sage Hill Press). She currently resides in Spokane, Washington.

Don Mathis’ life revolves around the many poetry circles in San Antonio. His poems have been published in a hundred anthologies and periodicals and broadcasted on local TV and national radio. In addition to poetry, he has also written policy and procedures for industry, case histories for psychological firms, and news and reviews for various media. A sampling of his work can be found at the Rivard Report and the Good Men Project. He can be reached at dondon213@hotmail.com, https://therivardreport.com/author/don-mathis/, https://goodmenproject.com/author/don-mathis/

Brittany Micka-Foos is a writer and editor residing in La Conner, Washington. A former victim’s rights lawyer in Washington, DC, Brittany turned to writing after the birth of her first child.  She has published a smattering of poems and short stories in various publications, including CC&D and Blanket Stories (Ragged Sky Press). She earned her BA in English at the Evergreen State College. Her blog is https://boringanddangerous.wordpress.com.

Donna Miller first immigrated to New Zealand from Chesterfield, England, aged eight. The family habitually moved, cementing Donna’s lust for travel early on. After traveling internationally and living throughout NZ, she now lives in Rangiora with her partner and children. Her wanderlust materializing as a house-truck and her passion for writing re-awakened. Donna’s unconventional life expressed as delicate seasoning upon her writing. Donna occasionally posts to her poetry specific Instagram account @lady_lilith_poet, undeterred by the mixed feelings over Instagram poetry, viewing the platform as a means of stretching her writing muscle and connecting with other poetry lovers.

Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Tacoma, Washington. She has published books with numerous small presses. Her most recent volumes, Misguided Behavior, Tales of Poor Life Choices (Czykmate Press) and Death and Heartbreak (Weasel Press) were released in October 2019. Leah’s work also appears in Blunderbuss, The Spectacle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and other publications. She won honorable mention in the 2012 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry contest. Her new chapbook, Cocktails at Denny’s (TV Party Press) will debut in November 2019.  www.facebook.com/leahmuellerwriter, www.twitter.com/leahsnapdragon

James B. Nicola’s poetry and prose have appeared in the Antioch, Southwest, Green Mountains, and Atlanta Reviews; Rattle; Barrow Street; Tar River; and Poetry East, garnering two Willow Review awards, a Dana Literary award, and six Pushcart nominations. His full-length collections are Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page (2016), Wind in the Cave (2017), Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018) and Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond (2019). His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. A Yale grad, he is facilitator for the Hell’s Kitchen International Writers’ Roundtable at Manhattan’s Columbus Library: walk-ins welcome.

Wonyoung Park lives in New York.  As an emerging artist, he has received awards in art competitions such as the Scholastic Art and Writing competition and Bow Tie Gallery competition. His work Ignorant Monsters has been selected for publication and will appear in the literary magazine Daphne in late 2019.

Artist Statement: Geometry of the Self is an exploration of the more analytical side of my personality. I have an interest in the math field, and the chaos of lines and shapes helps to represent the interaction between geometry and art. The brightly colored background represents a burning question that has yet to be resolved. In the end, this piece is an exploration of my identity, trying to find the connection between art and math.

Holly Pelesky is a lover of spreadsheets, giant sandwiches, and handwritten letters. Her essays have recently appeared in Jellyfish Review, Roanoke Review, and The Nasiona. Her poems are bound in Quiver: a Sexploration. She holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska. She cobbles together gigs to get by, refusing to give up this writing life. She lives in Omaha with her two sons. https://hollypelesky.com, https://twitter.com/hollypelesky

Rod Carlos Rodriguez (formerly Stryker) has been writing for over 37 years. His first book, Exploits of a Sun Poet (Pecan Grove Press, February 2003), was awarded the San Antonio Barnes and Noble/Bookstop Author-of-the-Month (Feb. 2003) and the San Antonio Current Best Book (2005). His other two books include Lucid Affairs (Sun Arts Press – 2012) and Native Instincts (Human Error Publishing – 2016).Rod founded the Sun Poet’s Society in 1995, which is South Texas’ longest running weekly open-mic poetry reading. Rod was nominated for the San Antonio Poet Laureate in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English/Creative Writing from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Deborah Rosch Eifert is a poet and clinical psychologist. Her poetry has been published in Whiskey Island Quarterly (under a different name), The Gateway Review, the ‘Poets of Maine 2018’ anthology, and the anthology “Exhuming Alexandria,” among others. She is a past recipient of the Cleveland State University English Department Undergraduate Creative Writing Award, a semifinalist in the 2018 Split Rock Review Chapbook Competition, and First Runner-up in the 2018 Esthetic Apostle Chapbook Contest. Dr. Rosch Eifert focuses on transformation and empowerment, trauma and recovery, feminist themes, and the intersection of nature and consciousness. She lives and writes in Maine.

Sunita Sahoo works as a Senior Software Engineer. She hails from Odisha, India and loves writing poems of all genres. Her works have been published in Indian Periodical, Eleventh Transmission, Poesis and Poets Choice Zine. Most of her poems are based on her real life experiences, profound reflections of human mind, dreams and burning social issues. She loves writing inspirational and motivational poems and tries to spread the optimism to the larger mass never to give up! https://www.facebook.com/sahusunita167

E. Samples is one part West Virginia Mountain Blue ink, two parts Kentucky Bluegrass Black ink, and a medicinal dash of Tennessee Red-inked Whiskey. Currently living in Southern Indiana, her spectrum is shifting to include accents of cardinal, sunflower, and sweet corn. She is happily shacked up with her better-mate-soul-half and forever partner LP. They share space with three cats named Gypsy, Dot, & Black-and-White, and one very small dog called Yoshi. This is her first publication.  She is on twitter @emilysamples and instagram @eesamples

Jeanie Sanders is a poet and artist.  Her poems have been published in multiple anthologies,The Texas Observer, Voices de la Luna, and The San Antonio Express News. She is a member of the Sun Poets of San Antonio. Her new book, The Book of the Dead is available at the Twig Bookstore in San Antonio, Texas.

Gerard Sarnat, MD has been meditating for a quarter century, is a longtime retreatant and founding board member of the Insight Meditation Center. Gerry has won prizes and been nominated for Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards, authored four collections, is widely published including recently by Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Virginia Commonwealth, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and in Gargoyle, Margie, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Brooklyn Review, MiPOesias ,Voices Israel, Tishman Review, Suisun Valley Review, Burningwood Review, Fiction Southeast, Junto, and Tiferet. Harvard/Stanford educated, Gerry’s worked in jails, built/staffed clinics for the marginalized, been a CEO of healthcare organizations and Stanford Medical School professor. Married since 1969, he has three children, four grand-kids.

Kirsten Ismene Schilling was born in Eastern Pennsylvania. She moved to California in her early twenties and has never left.  An artist and a writer for over twenty-five years, she has a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and a master’s certificate from Antioch University, Los Angeles in Publishing.  Her first collection of short stories, My 23rd Birthday and Other Stories is forthcoming (Autumn, 2019).  Visit more of Kirsten’s work www.kirstenismeneschilling.com

Sarah Joy Thompson was raised in the Philippines, where her parents dedicated their lives to missionary work. As a teenager, Sarah’s love for poetry blossomed while she was working at the Rise Above Foundation, Cebu. When she was 19, Sarah moved to Texas to pursue her studies and earned a BA in English from UTSA. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Sagebrush Review Volume XI, the Enigmatist, 100 Thousand Poets for Change San Antonio: Women SPEAK!, Voices de la Luna, Visions International, For Women Who Roar, and Through Layered Limestone: A Texas Hill Country anthology of place.  Visit Sarah on Instagram @sarah.in.motion or her website ohsnapsarah.com.

Greg Turlock is a published poet, author and photographer. His credits include  “Rivers of Life”, award-winning poem from the 2019 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards,  “Heartstrings” published in the Parkland Poets II anthology,  cover photo for the anthology,  “A Work of Heart – Woven in the Willows”, self-published anthology of his poems, short stories and photos and “From the Deep End”, a column that ran in the Edmonton Journal’s Country Asides from 2002 until 2010.  A graduate of NAIT, Greg resides near Stony Plain, Alberta www.gregturlockcreative.com, https://www.facebook.com/gregturlockwriterphotographer/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Yael Veitz is a New York-based poet and professional empath. Her works, which have appeared in Tilde, The Ogilvie, The Showbear Family Circus, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Castabout, reflect her geographically-diverse background, her work in mental health, and, occasionally, her love for her cats. Her work can be found on her nascent website,yaelveitz.com and at www.facebook.com/yaelveitz

Nellie Vinograd is a poet currently based in Denver, CO. Her writing often explores routine and tradition in order to see what we desire from our repetitions. Her work has been published by the Stirling Spoon and is forthcoming in THAT Literary Review. She was a featured poet in the Woman Made Gallery’s reading series, “Consumerism and the Stuff of Consumption.” She is proudly serving as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Denver for the 2019-2020 school year. You can follow her on Instagram @nellievinograd to keep up with her latest projects and interests. 

Rowan Waller graduated from Regis University in Denver after studying psychology and English. She grew up in Oklahoma, but was drawn to the mountains of Colorado from an early age. She now spends her time writing, guiding backpacking trips, and climbing through all seasons in Durango, CO.

Yvonne  was the first poetry editor of two pioneer feminist magazines, Aphra and Ms. She has received awards for poetry (NEA 1974, 1984) and fiction (Leeway 2003). Recent print publications include: Home: An Anthology (Flexible), Bryant Literary Review, Pinyon, Nassau Review 2019, Bosque Press #8, Foreign Literary Journal #1, Quiet Diamonds 2019 & 2018 (Orchard Street), 161 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus). Verse memoir excerpts are online at American Journal of Poetry, Stonecrop Review, Not Very Quiet, AMP, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Poets Reading the News, Headway Quarterly, Rigorous, Collateral, WAIF Project, Brain Mill Press’s Voices, Cahoodaloodaling, Edify Fiction.

Bänoo Zan is a poet, librettist, translator, teacher, editor and poetry curator, with 180+ published poems and three books: Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath (2008); Songs of Exile (2016), shortlisted for Gerald Lampert Memorial Award by League of Canadian Poets; and Letters to My Father (2017). She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse monthly poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012). It is a brave space that bridges the gap between communities of poets from different ethnicities, nationalities, religions, ages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, and styles. https://www.linkedin.com/in/banoozan/, https://www.facebook.com/banoo.zan , https://twitter.com/BanooZan, https://www.instagram.com/banoo.zan/