Contributors' Notes



Abbas A. Abidi is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama.


Karen Alkalay-Gut received her PhD from the University of Rochester. She has been teaching at Tel Aviv University since 1977 and chairs the Israel Association of Writers in English. Recent books include So Far So Good (Sivan), Danza del Ventre a Tel Aviv (Kolibris), the Hebrew selection Keepers of my Youth (Keshev), and the forthcoming Miracles and More (Keshev).


Amanda Auchter is the founding editor of Pebble Lake Review and author of The Glass Crib—winner of the Zone 3 Press First Book Award—and Light Under Skin. A former Theodore Morrison Poetry Scholar for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, she has received awards from Bellevue Literary Review, BOMB Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, Mid-American Review, Southern Indiana Review, and has been included in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, and on Poetry Daily. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and teaches at Lone Star College.


Kaveh Bassiri is the co-founder of Triptych Readings, which presents established and emerging poets, and the Literary Arts Director for the Persian Arts Festival in New York City. He is the recipient of the 2010 Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute. His writing won the Bellingham Review’s 49th Parallel Award and was recently published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Drunken Boat, Mississippi Review, and Harpur Palate.


Venita Blackburn is a graduate of the University of Southern California. Her stories appear or are forthcoming in Feathertale Review, Arroyo Literary Review, and on and She was a finalist for the 2010 Indiana Review fiction prize. In 2008 she earned her MFA from Arizona State University and continues to live in Arizona.


Beverley Bie Brahic lives in Paris and Stanford, California. A poet and translator, her poems have appeared in Poetry, the Times Literary Supplement, Notre Dame Review, the Southern Review, and in Against Gravity. Her most recent translations are Unfinished Ode to Mud (Francis Ponge), a finalist for the Popescu Prize for Poetry in Translation, and This Incredible Need to Believe (Julia Kristeva), a finalist for the French American Foundation Translation Prize.


Ronda Broatch is the author of Shedding Our Skins and Some Other Eden (both from Finishing Line Press). Her manuscript Rib of New Fruit was a finalist for the May Swenson Poetry Award and the Cleveland State University Press Prize. Nominated several times for the Pushcart, Ronda is the recipient of a 2007 Artist Trust GAP Grant, and is currently assistant editor for Crab Creek Review.  


J. S. Brown lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, practically within walking distance of her HMO’d doctor. Her writing has appeared in Sojourn, Natural Bridges, Under the Sun, and the Southeast Review. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Washington and is currently at work on her first novel.


Janet Buttenwieser is an MFA candidate at the Whidbey Writers’ Workshop in Washington State.  Her nonfiction work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review and 5X5, and won honorable mention in The Atlantic 2010 Student Writing contest and the 2011 Artsmith Literary Award. She lives with her husband and two young children in Seattle.


Rafael Campo teaches and practices primary care medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. His most recent book The Enemy (Duke University Press, 2007) won the Sheila Motton Book Prize, given biennially for the best collection of poetry by the New England Poetry Club, among the nation’s oldest poetry organizations. Poetry from his next collection has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Massachusetts Review, The Progressive,, Southwest Review, Threepenny Review, Yale Review and elsewhere.  (


Melissa Chandler studied creative writing at Emerson College before completing an MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a projects coordinator at a nonprofit heart-health foundation in San Francisco. She is currently writing a novel.


Shavonne Wei-Ming Clarke grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, hearing stories about her father’s family in Singapore. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction at Purdue University. She is also at work on a novel based on her story “Third Wife,”which appears in this issue of the BLR.


Cortney Davis, a nurse practitioner, is the author of five poetry collections including Leopold’s Maneuvers, winner of the Prairie Schooner Poetry Prize. Her most recent non-fiction publication is The Heart’s Truth: Essays on the Art of Nursing, winner of an Independent Publisher’s silver medal and of the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award. She is the poetry editor of the journal Alimentum: The Literature of Food. (


Jaydn DeWald, an MFA candidate at Pacific University, currently lives with his wife in San Francisco, where he writes and plays bass for the DeWald/Taylor Jazz Quintet. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bayou, Columbia Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, Witness, and Yemassee


Cornelius Eady is the author of seven books of poetry, the most recent being Hardheaded Weather, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. With poet Toi Derricote, Eady is co-founder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Traveling Scholarship to Tougaloo College in Mississippi, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy, and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award. Eady is Professor of English and the Miller Family Endowed Chair in Literature and Writing at the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Judith Edelman is a writer, songwriter and composer living in Nashville, Tennessee. She graduated from the Bennington College Writing Seminars and her work will appear in upcoming issues of Alimentum online and the Pinch Journal, whose 2011 Fiction Prize she won. She has recorded four albums on the Compass Records and Thirty Tigers labels.


Anne Elliott is a veteran of the NYC spoken word circuit, with stage credits including The Whitney Museum, PS122, and St. Mark’s Poetry Project. Her stories have appeared in Hobart, Pindeldyboz, Opium, Ars Medica, and r.kv.r.y. She works by day as a securities analyst, and lives in Brooklyn.


Elisa Fernández-Arias has been published in Broadkill ReviewConcho River ReviewFoliate Oak, and Berkeley Fiction Review, where she was the third-place winner of their sudden fiction contest. She was a finalist for the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards, the SLS Unified Contest, and the Dzanc Books International Literature Award. Currently, she is pursuing an MFA in fiction and translation at Columbia University. (

Jacob L. Freedman is a resident in psychiatry at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Boston. He is a graduate of The College of William and Mary and The University of Massachusetts Medical School. He has written and lectured about psychiatry, professional ethics, and Jewish history. His clinical interests include first-episode psychosis, community psychiatry, integrated therapies, and medical education. His non-academic interests include basketball and Middle Eastern cuisine. He would like to thank the following individuals for their help and support with this piece: Dr. David Kroll, Dr. Danielle Ofri, Dr. Duane MacMillan, and Mrs. Muriel Kahn.


Brandi George’s work, which has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Mayday, Harpur Palate, CutBank, DIAGRAM, Salamander, and Best New Poets 2010. She was born in rural Michigan and currently resides in Tallahassee, where she is a PhD candidate at Florida State University.


Andrew C. Gottlieb lives in Irvine, California, and is the Reviews Editor for the journal His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in journals including the American Literary Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Ecotone, DIAGRAM, ISLE, Provincetown Arts, Poets & Writers, and Tampa Review. His chapbook of poems, Halflives, was published in 2005 by New Michigan Press.


Rachel Hadas is Board of Governors Professor of English at the Newark campus of Rutgers University. The most recent among her many books is a volume of poetry, The Ache of Appetite (Copper Beech Press) and a memoir, Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry (Paul Dry Books).


Paul Harding’s novel, Tinkers, published by the Bellevue Literary Press, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. He has taught writing at Harvard University, The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Grinnell College. His second novel, Enon, is forthcoming.


Edward Hirsch’s most recent book is The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (Knopf), which brings together thirty-five years of work.


Allegra Hyde is a recent graduate of Williams College, where she received the Benjamin B. Wainwright Prize for short fiction and the Henry Rutgers Conger Literary Prize. Her fiction has been appeared in Spork. She lives on a small island off the coast of New Hampshire.


Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia, an MA in literature at the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston. Her first book, Shadow Mountain, received the 2006 Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry, selected by Kimiko Hahn. Her second book, Bear, Diamonds and Crane, was just published by Four Way Books. She currently lives in Houston and teaches at Houston Community College.


Marie Kane was the 2006 Bucks County Poet Laureate. She is a second and third place winner in the 2010 Inglis House Contest, and a second runner-up in the 2011 Robert Fraser contest. In 2010, her poem “Radio Interview” was nominated for a Pushcart prize. She was diagnosed with MS in 1991. She lives in Yardley, Pennsylvania with her husband, Stephen Millner, a photographer and mixed media artist.


John Kay’s first full-length book of poetry, Phantom of the Apple, was published in 2011 by Beginner’s Mind Press and was nominated for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He has been published in the Bellevue Literary Review as well as the New York Quarterly, Pearl, and 5AM. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, and he works as an education counselor for the Army.

Jean LeBlanc teaches at Sussex County Community College in Newton, New Jersey. She has published several collections of poetry, including At Any Moment (Backwaters Press). 


Kyle McCord is the author of two books of poetry. Galley of the Beloved in Torment was the winner of the 2008 Orphic Prize. His second book, co-written with poet Jeannie Hoag, is a book of epistolary poems entitled Informal Invitations to a Traveler. His work has been featured in Boston Review, Columbia Poetry Journal, Gulf Coast, and Volt. He co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry.


Ted McLoof is from New Jersey, and teaches fiction at the University of Arizona. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in the Minnesota Review, Short Story America, Melusine, and Gertrude Press, and he was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Short Fiction Contest. He’d like to thank Ben Rybeck, who made a bet at a bar one afternoon that produced this story.


Naomi Shihab Nye lives in old downtown San Antonio and has written or edited 30 books. Her most recent works are There Is No Long Distance Now (very short stories) and Transfer (poems).


David Oshinsky holds the Jack S. Blanton Chair in History at the University of Texas and is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University. His books include Polio: An American Story, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2006. His essays and reviews appear regularly in the New York Times and other publications.


Robyn Parnell’s stories have appeared in over eighty anthologies, magazines, and journals (several of which have not filed for Chapter 11 protection). Her fiction collection, This Here and Now, was published by Scrivenery Press. She seeks publishers for her novel (Looking Up), a short fiction collection (Shanti’s Jinn), and juvenile novel (The Mighty Quinn). Parnell lives in Hillsboro, Oregon.


Ronald Pies is a professor of psychiatry and teaches at Tufts and SUNY Upstate Medical School. He is the author of several psychiatric textbooks, as well as books on religion (Ethics of the Sages), philosophy (Everything Has Two Handles) and ethics (Becoming a Mensch). He has also published a book of poetry (Creeping Thyme) and a collection of short stories (Zimmerman’s Tefillin).  


Alberto Ríos’s ten collections of poetry include The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, a finalist for the National Book Award, and The Theater of Night, which received the PEN/Beyond Margins Award. His most recent collection is The Dangerous Shirt. Published in Poetry, the New Yorker, Paris Review, and Ploughshares, he has also written three short story collections and a memoir, Capirotada, about growing up on the Mexican border. Ríos is Regent’s Professor and the Katharine C. Turner Chair in English at Arizona State University.


Kristin Robertson is a PhD candidate in creative writing at Georgia State University. Her poetry has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, the Spoon River Poetry Review, Passages North, Cimarron Review, and Asheville Poetry Review.


Louise Blecher Rose has published a novel, The Launching of Barbara Fabrikant, and a number of stories in Redbook Magazine. She taught in the Columbia Undergraduate Writing program for twenty-five years, received an NEA grant for a second novel, and is currently teaching literature and creative writing in Brooklyn and Patchogue at St. Joseph’s College.


Hayden Saunier most recently won the 2011 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry given by Nimrod International Journal. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including 5 A.M., Beloit Poetry Journal, Drunken Boat, Rattle, and U.S. 1 Worksheets. Her first collection of poetry, Tips for Domestic Travel, was published in 2009 by Black Lawrence Press.


Natalie Scenters-Zapico is a fronteriza from the El Paso-Juárez borderland and an MFA candidate at the University of New Mexico in poetry. She is also the Graduate Reading Series Coordinator at the University of New Mexico, and Poetry co-editor for the Blue Mesa Review. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in Caper Literary Journal, the Minnesota Review, and the Acentos Review.   


Hal Sirowitz is the author of four collections of poetry, with the latest forthcoming from Backwaters Press in Nebraska. He also has poems in an anthology Beauty is a Verb, which is about disabilities.


Floyd Skloot’s seventh collection of poems, Close Reading, will be published by Tupelo Press in 2012. His memoirs A World of Light and The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer’s Life will both be reprinted in paperback later this year by the University of Nebraska Press, joining his prize-winning memoir In the Shadow of Memory in UNP’s Bison Books series.


David Wagoner has published eighteen books of poems. Copper Canyon Press will publish After the Point of No Return in 2012. He has also published ten novels, one of which, The Escape Artist, was made into a movie by Francis Ford Coppola. He has won the Lilly Prize, six prizes from Poetry, and the Arthur Rense Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was a chancellor at the Academy of American Poets, and editor of Poetry Northwest. He is professor emeritus at the University of Washington and currently teaches at the low-residency MFA program of the Whidbey Island Writers Workshop.


Monica Wendel received her MFA in poetry writing from NYU in 2010, where she was awarded both Goldwater and Starworks teaching fellowships. She is currently a visiting instructor of composition at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Staccato Fiction, Spoon River Poetry Review, Drunken Boat, H_NGM_N, and Forklift, Ohio.