Contributor Biographies

Tara Ballard has been living in the Middle East and West Africa with her husband for six years. She holds an MFA from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and her poems have been published or recently accepted by TSR: The Southampton Review, Salamander, Chiron Review, HEArt Online, Wasafiri, and other literary magazines.


Max Bayer was born in New York City to immigrant parents who fled war-torn Europe in 1942. He came to writing late in life when he discovered that his parents—Holocaust escapees—left a daughter in Germany when they fled to New York. He attended the City College of New York and completed a tour in the Peace Corps in the south of India where he met his wife Mildred of 48 years. He received his PhD in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and has worked as a strategic planning consultant for the Urban Health Institute.


Peter Breyer has a BA from City College of New York and a PhD from Rutgers University, and he currently works as a health care consultant. He is a frequent traveler to France, Belgium, and Germany. Peter has also worked in the Peace Corps.


Polly Buckingham is the author of The Expense of a View (winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction from University of North Texas Press), and A Year of Silence (winner of the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award for Fiction from Florida Review Press). Polly was the recipient of a Washington State Artists Trust fellowship and of Hubbub’s Kenneth O. Hanson Award for poetry. Her work appears in The Gettysburg Review, The Threepenny Review, The Poetry Review, Hanging Loose, Witness, North American Review, The Moth, New Orleans Review, Poetry Daily and elsewhere. Polly is founding editor of StringTown Press. She teaches creative writing at Eastern Washington University and is Associate Director of Willow Springs Books.


Kristin Buehner studies Creative Writing and English Literature at Pacific University and will graduate May of 2017. She assists the English Department and their Visiting Writers Series, and teaches violin in the university’s String Project. She aspires to teach literature and writing at the high school or collegiate level. This is her first publication credit.


J.R. Dawson holds a BFA in Playwriting from DePaul and an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast. Her work has been seen in Mothership Zeta, Eclectica, and The Omnibus of Dr. Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter. Her plays have been performed in Chicago and Los Angeles, and she currently resides in Omaha as a teaching artist. Dawson had the honor of working as a writer in residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in 2016, where she wrote “The Woman on the Rock.” You can follow her adventures in robots, wizardry, and pizza eating at


Vedran Husić was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and raised in Germany and the United States. A recipient of a 2016 Prose Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, he has fiction published in Ecotone, Mississippi Review, The Gettysburg Review, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, and elsewhere. His poetry can be found in Salamander.


Raven Leilani’s writing has appeared in the New Haven Review, Granta, Psychopomp Magazine, and the Columbia Literary Journal. She is a Washington, DC resident who works for a multidisciplinary scientific journal.


Dong Li was born and raised in P.R. China. His honors include fellowships from Akademie Schloss Solitude, German Chancellery-Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, PEN/Heim Translation Fund, Yaddo and elsewhere. He has poems in Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, manuskripte (Austria), as well as translations in World Literature Today, PEN America, and others. His book-length translation of the Chinese poet Zhu Zhu The Wild Great Wall will be published by Phoneme Media in late 2017. His trilingual anthology of American, Chinese and German poets in response to a poem by the late C.D. Wright will be forthcoming from Matthes&Seitz Berlin in late 2017.


Zoë Lintzeris is an artist and writer, residing in Brooklyn. Her paintings have been exhibited at fairs and in galleries throughout the borough since 2014.


Mohamed Malih (from Under the Sky of Lampedusa (Sotto il cielo di Lampedusa), Rayuela Edizioni, Milan 2014) was born in Casablanca (Morocco) and lives in Senegal. He is a Blogger (non-EU), cultural mediator on demand, long timemigrant, impromptu columnist, occasional poet, billiards player, immigrant writer and consultant on immigration. Noted in various literary competitions, his writings are included in various anthologies. His most recent publication [as of 2014], in 2013 is the book Il divano non è un luogo commune (“The Sofa is not a Cliché”) published by Onyx press, which consists of a selection of his blog posts.


Jayne Marek’s poetry and art photos have appeared in publications such as New Mexico Review, Blast Furnace, Gravel, Lantern Journal, Siren, Spillway, Driftwood Bay, Tipton Poetry Journal, Isthmus, The Occasional Reader, Wisconsin Academy Review, and Windless Orchard and in several anthologies. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and also has a chapbook and a co-authored book of poems, as well as articles and short fiction.


Keya Mitra is currently an associate professor of creative writing and literature at Pacific University and graduated in 2010 with a doctorate from the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where she also earned her MFA. Keya worked as an assistant professor of creative writing at Gonzaga University for three years. In 2008, Keya spent a year in India on a Fulbright grant in creative writing. Keya’s fiction is forthcoming in the Bennington Review and has appeared in The Kenyon Review (in 2011 and 2015), Arts and Letters, The Bellevue Literary Review, The Southwest Review, Slush Pile, Best New American Voices, Ontario Review, Orchid, Event, Fourteen Hills, Torpedo, Confrontation, Aster(ix) and the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. Her nonfiction has been published in Gulf Coast and the American Literary Review. Her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Keya has completed two novels (under representation) as well as a short-story collection and memoir.


Derek Otsuji teaches English at Honolulu Community College. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Hawaii Review, The MacGuffin, The Midwest Quarterly, Monarch Review, Poet Lore, Quiddity, Sanskrit, and Word Riot.


Rajesh Reddy is an MFA graduate from Indiana University and a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. His fiction has appeared in Mandala Magazine, Interlochen Review, and the Yellow Book, among others. Mikelyn Rochford is a senior Literature Major at Pacific University with a minor in Creative Writing. Mikelyn is from Bozeman, Montana and hopes to pursue a career in writing and illustration.


Erin Russell is a recent graduate with a degree in Creative Writing from Siena Heights University. She was editor-in-chief of her university journal for three years and has had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creating Writing for two consecutive years. Currently, Erin is working toward paying off school debt and working toward publishing a few of her stories.


Noel Sloboda is the author of the poetry collections Our Rarer Monsters (sunnyoutside, 2013) and Shell Games (sunnyoutside, 2008) as well as several chapbooks. His work has appeared in Fourteen Hills, PANK, Rattle, Salamander, and Weave. Sloboda has also published a book about Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein. He teaches at Penn State York.


Donald Stang has studied Italian and read Italian literature for many years. Pina Piccolo, raised in Calabria and Berkeley, now living in Italy, has a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. A poet, teacher, translator, she edits and publishes La macchina sognante, an online journal,


Helen Wickes has published four books of poetry, is a member of Sixteen Rivers Press, and has studied Italian.


Mary Wysong-Haeri received her MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Perceptions, The Exposition Review, and The Manifest-
Station. It is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review. She lives in Portland, Oregon.


Sunil Yapa’s first novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is the lead title for Lee Boudreaux’s eponymous new imprint at Little Brown & Company. Published in January 2016, the novel is a Time Magazine and an Amazon BestBooks of the year, so far, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, and an Indies Introduce and Indies Next Pick. The New Yorker writes, “Fast-paced and unflinching…Yapa vividly evokes rage and compassion.” Yapa holds an MFA from CUNY- Hunter College where he was a Hertog Fellow, and a BA from Penn State where he studied Economic Geography.


Zhu Zhu was born in Yangzhou, P.R. China. He is a poet, critic and curator of art exhibitions and has published numerous volumes of poetry and prose, such as Drive to Another Planet, Salt on Wilted Grass, Blue Smoke, The Trunk, Stories, Vertigo, and Grey Carnival—Chinese Contemporary Art since 2000. Zhu’s honors include Liu Li’an and Anne Kao national poetry prizes, the French International Poetry Val-de-Marne Fellowship, Chinese Contemporary Art Award for Critics and Henry Luce Foundation Chinese Poetry Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center.