Authors Bios & Q/A
In addition to providing a biography, our contributors answered the following:
1. If you were a shoe, what kind would you be?
2. What’s your favorite place in nature?
3. What’s the best thing you can buy for a dollar?
4. Favorite invention?
5. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
6. What would be the first thing you did if you stepped on the moon?
7. If you were dying, what would you pick as your last meal?
We hope that you enjoy their answers as much as we did.
Jeffrey Alfier has work appearing or forthcoming in Connecticut Review, Dos Passos Review, and South Carolina Review. His latest chapbook is The City Without Her (Kindred Spirit Press, 2012), and his first full-length book of poems, The Wolf Yearling, is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press.
1. The kind that never wander into minefields.
2. The Rheinland-Pfalz.
3. That coffee people keep telling me I can buy with only a quarter.
6. Go find and kill all those spiders I saw on Apollo 18.
7. Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Little Debbies—all that shit that’s supposed to kill you.
Adam Berlin has published two novels—Belmondo Style (St. Martin’s) and Headlock (Algonquin Books)—as well as numerous stories and poems. He teaches writing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City where he co-edits J Journal: New Writing on Justice. Visit his website at www.adamberlin.com.
1. Nike Air Luna.
2. The Hana Coast, Maui.
3. Four bananas on 145th Street.
4. Sealing sticks at asiabyfrida.com.
5. Crayola Aquamarine.
6. Break the long jump record.
7. My Mom’s veal parmigiana, linguine with pesto, an ice-cold Sapporo, and a slice of Atkins apple pie with chocolate ice cream for dessert.
Zan Bockes (pronounced “Bacchus”) earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. Her fiction, nonfiction and poetry have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, and she has had four nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Her poetry collection, Caught in Passing, is forthcoming from WordTech Communications.
1. I would definitely be a soft shoe, or a knee-high slipper filled with goose down.
2. My favorite place is Corrick’s Bend on the Blackfoot River in western Montana.
3. My best buy is reading glasses from the Dollar Store.
4. My favorite invention is Sticky Notes—they’re good for random thoughts and have just the right
amount of stickiness.
5. I would be a Periwinkle crayon, but you can only find it in the 64 color box.
6. My first step on the moon would be a giant leap, but not for mankind—I’d just want to see how
high I could jump.
7. My last meal would be my favorite—a huge bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats with soy milk and half and-half.
Joseph Bodie was born like most, unceremoniously and without his consent. That’s not to imply that he regrets the occurrence. An awful lot has happened since then, but presently he is happy and working on a few short film projects.
1. Hemingway’s never used baby shoes.
2. The top of a mountain. Any mountain.
3. Your favorite iTunes track.
4. Does Spotify count?
7. Shepherd’s pie and a pint of Guinness.
Anthony Isaac Bradley‘s stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Penduline Press, Main Street Rag, Moon City Review, Cave Region Review, Elder Mountain, and The MacGuffin. He was a finalist in the Moon City Review 2011 Short Story Contest, judged by Kevin Brockmeier. Anthony studies creative writing at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, where he lives with his cat and the ghost of another.
1. I would be one used by Tom Waits to store old cigarette packs in.
2. My favorite place in nature is the one where I do not have to listen to people talk about television.
And where I do not have to wear clothes.
3. Old country music records at a flea market.
4. My favorite invention would have to be poetry teachers. Otherwise I would not be here.
5. If I were a crayon I would be red, so that baby editors could begin practicing at an early age.
6. Draw my ray gun, of course.
7. I would choose vegetarian lasagna with a side of cheese ravioli. And I would request it be prepared by Tony Hoagland.
Joseph Bruchac’s poems have appeared in over 500 magazines and anthologies over the past five decades. His work often reflects his Native American (Abenaki) ancestry. His most recent volume of poetry is a bilingual collaboration in English and Abenaki with his son Jesse entitled Nisnol Siboal/Two Rivers (Bowman Books, 2012).
1. I could say a moccasin, seeing as how it’s our old traditional style of footwear (mokasin just means “foot covering” in Abenaki).
2. My favorite place is by a quiet Adirondack mountain sitting on ancient boulder and hearing the whistling of the wings of the loons as they circle over.
3. An hour’s worth of parking in front of my favorite Thai restaurant.
4. Has to be the personal computer. I couldn’t have succeeded as a poet or fiction writer as much as I have without it. Considering how often I revise everything.
5. Brown—the basic color of the Earth and her peoples.
6. Gasp for breath and then die? Folks, I have no interest in going to the moon.
7. How about something that would take me fifty years to eat, washed down with water from the Fountain of Youth? But, more seriously, probably strawberries—the fruit that we say is waiting for us in the Sky Land where those sweet berries are always ripe.
Mary Carpenter leads writing workshops in the Washington, D.C. area. She has written books for young adults about Temple Grandin and about dolphins lost in Hurricane Katrina. Her essays have been published in The Washington Post and literary journals, and she has reported on medicine for TIME and other publications.
1. A black suede ballet flat.
2. A secluded mid-Atlantic beach.
3. Paper and pen.
4. Electric teakettle.
6. Touch the ground to see how it felt.
7. Grits, raisin bread, coffee ice cream, chocolate chip cookie.
James Cho is a James A. Michener Fellow, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and won the Bethesda Magazine Short Story Contest. His stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Solstice Literary Magazine and Conte: a Journal of Narrative Writing. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Miami, andnow works and lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
1. A flip-flop.
2. A beach. Specifically, the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, where I spent part of my
honeymoon and several subsequent vacations.
3. A chocolate eclair or strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. Very few things remind me of my
childhood like those two things, when I would buy them for a quarter.
4. As a writer, I should say the printing press, but damn it I do love my iPhone.
5. Blue Green. I have problems making decisions sometimes.
6. Bounce like a kid in a moon bounce tent.
7. This one is easy. Korean BBQ.
Tobi Cogswell is a two-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Credits include or are forthcoming in various journals in the US, UK, Sweden and Australia. Her fifth and latest chapbook is Lit Up (Kindred Spirit Press). She is the co-editor of SanPedroRiver Review.
1. Ballet slipper.
2. Whidbey Island.
3. Payday candy bar.
5. Burnt Sienna.
6. Long jump.
7. Lunch at the French Laundry with Jeffrey Alfier, Ken Meisel, Larry D. Thomas, Ricki Mandeville, Darla McBryde, and my son.
Arleen Ruth Cohen is a professional artist and poet who has travelled extensively. Arleen had had one article and over 250 poems published in newspapers, anthologies, and poetry manuscripts, the most recent of which include The Quintessential Cat, Whispers and Shouts, Bard Annual 2012, Paumanok, and Paumanok II.
1. A leather sneaker.
3. A chocolate bar with almonds.
6. Look around.
7. A steak, a salad, artichokes, broccoli with garlic oil. For dessert, a fudge brownie with pistachio ice cream.
Alyssa Cooper was born in Belleville, Ontario. An author and poet, her work has been featured in numerous literary journals, and her first novel was released in October 2012. She is currently attending college in Oshawa, where she lives with her typewriter and her personal library.
1. A flat soled Mary Jane, preferably with flowers embroidered on the toes; they’re
comfortable,cute and youthful, but can still pass for professional if they try hard enough.
2. Deep in a forest that’s dark, damp and quiet. I like to live in the mulch and watch the mushrooms grow.
3. Plastic bubble rings from coin turn machines. I need one for every finger.
4. I’ve always been a huge fan of manual typewriters, especially the original three-bank models. I’ve got my own Underwood Standard Portable, and I’m currently in the market for winged Oliver.
5. Has anyone else seen those confetti crayons, that are every colour of the rainbow? I’d be one of those.
6. I’ve always wanted to see how high I can jump in low gravity.
7. My last meal would have to be a last buffet; I couldn’t possibly pick just one thing! The buffet would have to include spaghetti, cabbage rolls, chicken wings and funnel cake.
Paul Cunningham earned his B.A. in English from Slippery Rock University. He currently manages Radioactive Moat Press and his writing has appeared in publications including Witness, A capella Zoo, Diagram, H_NGM_N, and others.
1. A filthy one.
2. Someplace shrouded.
3. Goodwill LPs.
4. David Byrne.
6. That flagpole does nothing for those pores . . .
7. The last pages of The Passion According to G.H.
Genevieve Fitzgerald was born in Queens, New York, read English for a year at Oxford University, is the mother of three children and currently lives in Raleigh, NC. She facilitates a community writers’ group and a writing workshop for children. Her poetry and prose appear in several journals.
1. A red suede short boot with fringe.
2. Mermaid Rock on Brant Lake.
3. Peppers at the farmers’ market.
6. Probably call out a litany of saints like my grandmother used to do.
7. Lobster ravioli.
David Galef is a professor of English and the creative writing program director at Montclair State University. He has published over a dozen books, the latest of which are the short story collection My Date with Neanderthal Woman (Dzanc Books) and the translation Japanese Proverbs: Wit and Wisdom (Tuttle).
1. An old white Keds sneaker, size 9, the kind that I wore before I grew up and adopted new footwear.
2. I like to lie under a tree with enough shade so that I can read.
3. Most dollar stores sell keychain flashlights that can show me the way home.
4. Tough one, but maybe word processing software, since I write all the time.
5. A tasteful gray.
6. Leap to test the one-sixth gravity.
7. What else but fried chicken?
Bull Garlington is a syndicated humor columnist, author, and Alabama expatriate. His collection of short stories, King of the Road, is available for next to nothing on Amazon. Seriously, it’s a steal.
1. A single, worn-out boot, left and forgotten on a back porch, my mate having been carried off by stray dogs.
2. Being mauled by bears.
3. Seriously? Where do you shop?
7. An all you can eat fried catfish buffet.
Corey Ginsberg’s work has most recently appeared in such publications as PANK, Subtropics, Gargoyle, the cream city review, The Los Angeles Review, Puerto del Sol, and ThirdCoast. When she’s not writing, she mostly spends her time feeling guilty that she’s not writing.
1. The most stable, least smelly running shoe at the gym.
2. The ocean at dusk.
3. 20 limes at the ghetto-fabulous grocery store near my house in Miami.
4. It’s a tie between KenTacoHut and baby leashes.
5. Olive green.
6. I’d like to say it would be the Moonwalk, but I’m sure I’d be so excited and scared I’d pee a little in my spacesuit instead. I don’t imagine NASA would be thrilled about that.
7. Mashed potatoes, spaghetti with Ragu, dirty vodka, and Coldstone cake batter ice cream.
Emmett Haq is a graduate of Medaille College in Buffalo, New York. He has studied with Dr. Ted Pelton and is an editor and proofreader at Starcherone Books. Emmett has another publication forthcoming in Many Mountains Moving, and currently lives and works in Houston, Texas, as he prepares to begin his graduate education.
1. Probably loafers, the kind with the tassels on top.
2. The fields and forests near my current home in the Houston area. This neighborhood is still
in the process of development, and there’s a lot of natural beauty and places to explore that
haven’t been destroyed (yet).
3. A cold beer, if you can find the right gas station in Buffalo.
4. The Internet is both my favorite and least favorite invention. It’s made it so much easier to connect
with other people and all the wonderful and horrible things they have to offer.
5. Indian Red [discontinued in 1999].
6. I’d think of a memorable catchphrase that people could misquote for decades afterward.
7. Chicken korma, a strong IPA, and something fattening for dessert which I’d never have to worry about. Probably baklava.
Teresa Hommel lives in New York City, writes short fiction, and works on her memoir. One of her stories will appear in Rosebud Magazine #54. She grew up in Missouri where the chickweed and violets grew foot-deep across the back yard, and minnows and crayfish swam in the creek.
1. I would be a flip-flop with arch support.
2. Sitting on a branch halfway up a tree.
3. A moment of pleasure if I give the dollar to a homeless old woman.
4. The wheel, as used in roller skates, bicycles, trains, and airplane tires.
7. Morphine injection.
Stephen Kaplan has published poetry in a number of journals, including ONTHEBUS, Midstream, Tribeca Poetry Review and two New York City themed anthologies, Tokens and Bridges.
2. Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
3. A couple of stamps.
4. Motion picture camera.
5. Ultramarine Blue.
7. Nothing, not hungry.
Nate Liederbach is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Utah, author of the prose collection Doing a Bit of Bleeding (Ghost Road), co-editor of the anthology Of a Monstrous Child: Creative Writing Mentorships (Lost Horse), and Managing Editor of Western Humanities Review.
2. Good sense.
3. Sentimentalizing early driving moments.
6. Barry Hannah & Fiver (Watership Down).
7. Twenty nickels.
Toshiya Kamei holds an M.F.A. in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations include Liliana Blum’s The Curse of Eve and Other Stories (2008), Naoko Awa’s The Fox’s Window and Other Stories (2010), and Selfa Chew’s Silent Herons (2012).
Emma Koch, is a first year student at the University of Chicago where she studies religion and occasionally slams poetry. Her work has appeared in the online publication em:me magazine and her black out poetry can be found at the blog www.biblicalsubtraction.tumblr.com.
1. Gray wing-tips with black velvet laces. I like pretending I’m classy.
2. Anyplace with a sufficiently climbable willow or magnolia tree.
3. Depending on your familiarity with Baltimore, an excellent, perfectly spiced, deliciously crispy samosa.
4. Aspergillums, a tool used by priests to sprinkle holy water on things. I mean, they have a
wonderfully silly name and getting sprinkled with holy water can be a pretty introspective experience.
5. Wine red or dark maroon. Both are very elegant and, as stated in the answer to question one, I like pretending I’m classy.
6. Marvel at how amazingly infinite, lonely and beautiful the universe is. Then I’d probably have a panic attack and have to leave.
7. The best coffee ice cream you could imagine and a cup of perfectly brewed tea.
Robert Krut is the author of This is the Ocean (Bona Fide Books, 2012) and The Spider Sermons (BlazeVox, 2009). His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The Cimarron Review, Smartish Pace, Inter/rupture, Blackbird, Poetry Vinyl, The Mid-American Review, and more.
1. Converse All Star.
2. Canyon de Chelly, Arizona.
3. Three songs on the jukebox.
4. The wheel.
5. Outer Space.
6. Take gravity-less steps.
7. Fried chicken from Willie Mae’s Scotch House, New Orleans.
Mark Lewandowski is an Associate Professor of English at Indiana State University. He is the author of the story
collection, Halibut Rodeo. His stories and essays have also appeared in many journals and anthologies.
1. Merrell Moc.
2. Serengeti Plain.
3. A cup of Starbucks at the cafe in my university’s library.
5. Blood red.
6. Sing The Grateful Dead’s “Standing on the Moon.”
7. My wife’s smothered pork chops and pot de crème.
Marc Mason is a professor at Arizona State University. He teaches courses in critical reading and thinking, and in how to be academically successful. His previous publications include The Joker’s Advocate and The Aisle Seat, as well as the graphic novel Red Sonja: Raven.
1. I’d be a black, high-top athletic shoe. They provide comprehensive support, which is what I try
and do for my students. Plus, they just look cool.
2. The top of Mt. Floyen in Bergen, Norway. I was there this past summer and I found true peace
and tranquility there for the first time in my life.
3. A fountain-poured root beer. That would also be the best thing you could buy for two dollars.
4. Nothing beats the bicycle for best invention ever. I have no idea what my life would be like without one.
5. I’d be a black crayon. It’s my favorite color, and no matter what you use it to draw, it’ll look slimming.
6. While I’d like to believe I’d come up with something classy to say after landing on the moon, the temptation to gloat might be overwhelming. I think I’d spike a football and yell “Suck it, haters!”
7. A deep-dish pepperoni pizza. If I’m lucky, the pizza itself might kill me before whatever disease I was fighting can do the job.
Gary L. McDowell is the author of two collections of poetry: Weeping at a Stranger’s Funeral (Dream Horse, forthcoming) and American Amen (Dream Horse, 2010), winner of the 2009 Orphic Prize. He’s also the coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry (Rose Metal, 2010). He is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
1. Air Jordan 11. The 1995 edition of Jordans are the pinnacle. Size 11. White/Black-Dark Concord.
2. Lake Big Arbor Vitae in Arbor Vitae, WI.
3. A 50 oz fountain drink from the gas station across from campus is $0.69. I’d pocket the change.
4. I’m rather partial to the Internet.
6. Hit a golf ball. I’ve always wanted to drive it 400 yards.
7. Homemade tacos.
Donnelle McGee is the author of Shine (Sibling Rivalry, 2012). He earned his M.F.A. from Goddard College. He is a faculty member at Mission College in Santa Clara, California. His work has appeared in Controlled Burn, Colere, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Home Planet News, Iodine Poetry Journal, Permafrost, River Oak Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Willard & Maple, among others. His work has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Donnelle lives in both Sacramento and Turlock, California and is the proud father of two beautiful kids.
1. I would be a blue suede puma.
2. The coastline in Mendocino, CA.
3. A small bag of sunflower seeds.
6. I would think of my kids and shout—“Hey kids, I got the moon for you!”
7. Lots of chips and spicy salsa.
Kathleen McGookey’s work has appeared in over forty journals and ten anthologies. She has published a book, Whatever Shines (White Pine), a chapbook, October Again (Burnside Review), and a book of translations of French poet Georges Godeau’s prose poems, We’ll See (Parlor). She lives with her family in Middleville,
1. A fleece-lined slipper.
2. Lake Michigan.
3. Two used books at the Caledonia library’s used book sale.
4. The waterski.
5. Jazzberry Jam.
7. Noodles and cheese and cherry pie. Also a spinach salad.
Kelly Miesko is a recent Slippery Rock graduate who currently splits her time between Washington, D.C. and Western PA, working part time jobs in both places while looking for a more permanent life. She spends much of her time thinking of leaving and living, but never doing so. No guts, this girl.
1. A light-up jelly shoe.
2. Any large body of water, preferably one surrounded by woods.
3. A cup of coffee—probably weak coffee for a dollar, but coffee nonetheless.
5. White, because it rarely gets used, and I don’t like to be used.
6. Probably fall off the edge and free fall back to Earth.
7. A giant cheeseburger covered with bacon, soft pretzels from Hills, a cold, fizzy Dr. Pepper, and an entire pumpkin pie.
Patrick Moran is the author of three collections of poetry, Tell a Pitiful Story, Doppelgangster, and The Book of Lost Things. He is currently an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
1. Black Chuck Taylor.
2. My cottage in Northern Wisconsin.
3. A Salted Nut Roll.
4. The direct drive turntable & speakers.
5. Venetian Red.
6. Play Frisbee Golf.
7. A bowl of Captain Crunch w/crunch berries.
Dave Morrison is like a carpenter missing fingers—do you worry about his ability or applaud his devotion? Morrison’s poems have been featured in literary magazines and anthologies, and read on Writer’s Almanac. Morrison’s eighth poetry collection, fail, was published in 2012.
1. Engineer boots.
2. Where the ocean touches land, particularly the Maine coast.
3. Two first-class stamps.
4. Van de Graaff generator.
5. Plaid (I’m not sure they make this anymore).
6. Make a dust angel.
7. Something that takes a very long time to eat.
Brian Michael Murphy’s poems have appeared in the Birmingham Poetry Review, the anthology Cap City Poets, and are forthcoming in Kweli Journal. He is an instructor at the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop, and a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Studies at Ohio State. He blogs at raisedbymovies.blogspot.com.
1. Very comfortable brown leather dress shoes. The soles have been replaced once or twice.
2. The Mediterranean Sea.
3. Half an order of fresh hand-cut fries at Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace.
4. The transatlantic telegraph cable.
6. Take a step back.
7. Spaghetti cacio e pepe, made by my Nadia.
Maggie Lynn Negrete is a native of SW PA and a Vassar College alumnus. She is dedicated to nurturing the creativity of children and adults as well as furthering her family heritage of printers, illustrators and civic custodians. Currently, Maggie is working on a serial fairytale comic, Adventuring Princesses.
1. My red cowboy boots.
2. There is a stand of virgin hemlocks at the Laurel Hill State Park.
3. I wish I could cross reference to verify cost/benefits, but probably a can of beets.
4. The printing press!
5. Spring Green.
6. I’d look to the sky.
7. A rare steak with a side of spaghetti.
Christin O’Keefe Aptowicz’s most recent awards include the ArtsEdge Writer-In-Residency at the University of Pennsylvania (2010-2011), an NEA Fellowship in Poetry (2011), and the Amy Clampitt Residency (2013). Her sixth book of poetry, The Year of No Mistakes, will be released by Write Bloody Publishing next year. For more information, please visit www.aptowicz.com.
1. A sturdy, broken-in boot with a thick sole.
2. On a lake at dusk.
3. Cheap ice tea in a can.
4. The Internet.
6. Kiss the ground.
7. Pumpkin cognac cheesecake and a great cup of coffee.
Amélie Olaiz was born in León and lives in Mexico City. She is the author of Piedras de Luna (2005) and Aquí está tu cielo (2007). Her work has appeared in Prohibido fumar (2008), Antología mínima del orgasmo (2009), and Three Messages and a Warning (2012), among others. English translations of her fiction have appeared in Ephemera and Phantom Drift.
1. Without a doubt, I would be a mutant shoe: a lambskin slipper for winter, an espadrille for summer, a leather moccasin for autumn, and a tennis shoe for walking in the woods and playing tennis.
2. The woods and the sea are both my favorites, depending on the season.
3. An iPhone photo application.
4. If I put on my scientist face, it’d be the telescope. If I’m in my intellectual mood, the printing
press and the fountain pen, but if I tell the truth, Mac and iPhone.
5. I would definitely be a blue crayon.
6. To look for the rabbit.
7. Vitamins for astronauts of the universe.
Kristen Orser is out to pasture in the West, but is upstate New York through and through. She is the author of Winter, Another Wall (blossombones); Folded Into Your Midwestern Thunderstorm (Greying Ghost); Wilted Things (Scantily Clad); Squint (Dancing Girl Press); and E AT I (Wyrd Tree).
1. I’d like to be the kind of shoe worn while picking the radishes, sweeping the front step, and shopping for pork loin. A loafer, sans penny and tassel, might be a boat shoe. And who doesn’t need to grip a wet deck?
2. For longer than I wanted to, but less than I should have, I lived in Ithaca, NY. It’s full of folded places, like the pools above Buttermilk Falls which take you to Bear, Larch, and Finger Lake trails. During the winter months, the rims are impassable, but you can find a way to see the frozen things and feel completely still while the falls push through and secretly exhale into cracked ice.
3. On Margarita Island, Tito bought me a bag of papayas for one dollar. We ate them in the street
and talked about Armandro Reverón’s dolls. It was his dollar and I still owe him something more.
4. At four, I asked my father how to tie a knot. He taught me to tie my shoe, gave me The Ashley
Book of Knots, and said I had a lot of practice ahead. There is a knot for everything, and a discovery each time a piece of string comes together in a new and purposeful way. It’s beautiful to see intention and accident make the smallest bit of string do something entirely unexpected.
5. Orange. Absolutely.
6. On the moon, it would only make sense to wish you were on the next thing your eyes could see. I imagine I’d immediately want something else—like being on a star.
7. A beef on weck from Eckl’s in Buffalo, NY.
Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities”and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.
2. Wooded trail.
3. A bagel (without butter).
6. Look around.
7. Potato dumplings that come out grey. Nobody knows how to make them that way which assures me of a long life.
Randy Phillis has had work appear in a wide range of journals, including Iowa Review, Denver Quarterly, Florida Review and South Carolina Review. He also published two books with small presses, and teachers writing and American Literature at Colorado Mesa University, where he also edits Pinyon.
1. A flip-flop.
2. A mountain lake.
3. A McDouble.
6. Kick rocks.
7. T-bone steak and fries.
Eve Powers holds a degree in vocal performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, a first prize and honorable mention from National Pen Women’s literary competition, has been anthologized three times and published in many journals. She is listed in Poets & Writers Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers and resides in Hawaii.
1. I would wear flip-flops (or as we call them here, slippahs) and kick them off to go barefoot in the sand.
2. Maha’ulepu cliffs and beach on Kaua’i.
3. A big bag of Asian long-beans at the Koloa farmer’s market.
4. The solar-powered automobile.
5. The glowing red and yellow of a mango.
6. Dance hula in the low gravity!
7. Kalua pork and rice.
Laura Ramos is a former magazine editor who lives north of Chicago. Her work has appeared in B O D Y, Southern Indiana Review, elimae, The Prose-Poem Project, and elsewhere. She teaches writing at StoryStudioNorth Shore.
1. A black boot with gum stuck to the bottom.
2. Anywhere my corgi can run without a leash.
3. A stamp or two.
4. The pill.
6. Forget to say what I’d practiced to say a thousand times.
7. Anything with cheese because I can’t eat it in real life.
C. R. Resetarits’ latest work appears in New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, Helix, dirtcakes, and Aries. Her essay on “Emerson in Paris,” will appear in Paris in American Literature: On Distance as a Literary Resource ed. Jeffrey Herlihy and Vamsi K. Koneru (Rowman & Littlefield,2012)
2. The back garden of a good English country pub.
3. The silence of small children.
4. Mr. Coffee.
5. Yellow-green or Green-yellow.
7. BLT on wheat, pale ale, chips.
Ron Riekki’s last book was How to Kill Yourself with a Gun and a Bottle of Pills (Original Works Publishing). His next book is The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Wayne State UP, 2013.) After that, he’ll be published by Michigan State University Press in 2014.
1. Tom Araya’s top hat. Or more precisely Tomás Enrique Araya Díaz of Slayer’s Abraham Lincolnstyle top hat that he wears every time they perform “War Ensemble.”
2. Two old college friends of mine, Josh Cox and Brian Sefferlein, both do amazing Axl Rose impressions. I think the only thing better would be if Axl Rose walked up to me and did a flawless Johnny Cash. You don’t see a lot of those. And you should. The world needs a hell of a lot more Johnny Cash impressions.
3. I think the least funny person on the face of the earth is David Sedaris.
4. I have to quote my older sister, “I keep reading about people getting shot at gun shows.” There’s something beautiful about a person getting shot at a gun show.
6. I don’t know, but maybe one of the worst things in the world is when you have a boss who doesn’t understand how messed up the office is.
Helen Rugierri lives in upstate New York and has a book of poems from Kitsune Books, Butterflies Under a Japanese Moon. A new book—The Kingdom Where Everbody Sings Off Key—will be out in May from KelsayBooks. She is working on a book of creative nonfiction pieces about women in extreme situations like the woman in “The Waiting Room.”
1. I’d be a pair of snake skin stilettos with four-inch heels.
2. My favorite place is the shore. sucker all the way out.
3. I love to go into the Dollar Store because I can afford everything!
4. Sanitary napkins.
5. Big Apple Red.
6. I’d check to see if I had enough fuel to get home.
7. I’d have Zuppa Inglese—an Italian dessert with an awesome calorie count.
Rikki Santer is an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in numerous publications including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, Margie, Asphodel, Alabama Literary Review, Potomac Review, The Adirondack Review, Grimm and The Main Street Rag. Clothesline Logic was published by Pudding House as a finalist in their national chapbook competition, and her latest collection, Fishing for Rabbits, was recently published by Kattywompus Press. She lives in Columbus where she teaches literature, writing and film studies at a local high school.
1. Ruby red slippers—
2. toes point coquettish under a waterfall’s canopy.
3. Inside back pocket, a pack of pop art pens from the dollar store—
4. with the erasable promise of pencil for an eternity of start-overs.
5. How many flavors of flesh can a crayon box hold?
6. Nibble the cheddar rim of every lunar crater
7. then savor Alice’s drink-me potion to aid the swallowing of Morpheus’ blue pill—last notes for a lifetime.
Marian Kaplun Shapiro is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988), a poetry book,Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View, 2007) and two chapbooks: Your Third Wish, (Finishing Line, 2007); and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007). A Quaker and a psychologist, her poetry often embeds the topics of peace and violence by addressing one within the context of the other. A resident of Lexington, she was named Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts in 2006, in 2008, in 2010, and 2011. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012.
1. The kind I can never wear–glamorous, elegant–AND comfortable, instead of just comfortable!
2. Now this is truly impossible–so many to choose from–we return to a lakeside cabin in Rangeley,
Maine each summer because it is so lovely and peaceful, but there are other, dramatic and magnificent places we have visited, as well as the beautiful woods in back of our house.
3. One piece of wonderful chocolate in Paris. But the ‘dollar’ is in Euro currency.
4. The computer. Without a doubt. I couldn’t do my writing without it, because of neck/back problems that are exacerbated by old-fashioned typewriting.
6. Sing. Then write a poem.
7. Hot fudge sundae! Now does that qualify as a ‘meal’? Guess not. So add spaghetti with mushrooms and meatballs.
John Brown Spiers lives in Athens, Georgia, in a house with many animals. His writing has appeared in A Bad Penny Review, Phantom Drift, and Hyphenate.
1. Probably a pair of moccasins. The kind with a dependable sole, so you can pad around the house all day but go and play with the dog in the yard without having to change.
2. Anywhere there are a lot of trees. Forests are good for this. Also, old neighborhoods. I think it’s good to feel a little small and a little young. And a little hidden, so other people have a hard time seeing what you’re up to.
3. The first two things I thought of were “a bottle of water” and “a deck of cards.” But I’m not sure you can get either of those things for a dollar. I’ll hold out hope that I’m wrong, and you can get
both. In which case, the answer depends on whether you’re in need of purity, or sin.
4. Earplugs, followed by headphones.
5. Cornflower blue. I don’t know why. But I hope it’s a big box of crayons, or I won’t exist.
6. Marvel at humanity’s achievement, my own insignificance, and my ability to have either done
enough math and physics to have become an astronaut, or earned enough money to buy my
way onto a spaceship, all at the same time.
7. I haven’t had a terrible, wonderful box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in a long time. I don’t know if it’s defeatist, to return to a bad habit just before death, but I think I would like to eat that.
Ronald Steiner’s poems have been published at 4and20poetry, Short, Fast, and Deadly and most recently at Workzine. He has been writing poetry, short stories, and songs for over fifteen years.
1. Los zapatos de las estrellas.
2. Dan’s Descent along the Appalachian Trail just west of Port Clinton, Pennsylvania. If you time it
right, you will get a vertical wind from the valley below.
3. A thank you card.
4. The word processor, and the Internet.
5. Burnt Sienna.
6. Urinate, I’m only human! Then I would write a poem.
7. Swedish Fish.
Catherine Sustana’s work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Arts & Letters, Crazyhorse, Quarterly West, and many other journals. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is working on a novel.
1. Something that never wears out, I hope.
2. Not telling. There’s no one there, and I want it to stay that way.
3. A contribution to anything in #4, below.
4. Any device—like the LifeSaver bottle, the LifeStraw, the Solarball, or UV Waterworks—that helps improve access to clean drinking water for the millions of people around the world who don’t have it right now.
5. The color doesn’t matter. What matters is hanging out with the other crayons.
6. Wave and hope someone was watching.
7. I think food would be the last thing on my mind.
Russell Thornburn is the author of three books of poems, and currently an artist-in-residence for the Mojave National Preserve. His poetry documents two weeks spent in the Mojave Desert with his son, whose photography will accompany his poems in an exhibit at the Desert Light Gallery, Kelso Depot Visitor Center. Thorburn’s debut fiction, Ninety-Five Flies in the Shade (Marick), is forthcoming in 2013.
1. The lost shoe of a private detective found in the Sonora Desert.
2. The prehistoric lake at Soda Springs, outside Baker, California, in the Mojave Desert.
3. A dollar buys a dark chocolate Hershey bar.
4. A mouse trap that doesn’t kill (tube leading into a jar with cheese).
6. Pee into space.
7. A burrito from Hugo’s, in North Hollywood.
Chrys Tobey has her M.F.A. from Antioch University. Her poetry has been published in many literary journals, and her chapbook, Wash Away: Marie Antoinette Visits my Mind (Finishing Line), was published in 2008. She has work forthcoming in Rio Grande Review, Cloudbank, and the Minnesota Review.
1. Converse, before they were owned by Nike (I shake my fists!).
2. Any body of water without sharks.
3. Mmmm . . . maybe a song.
4. The Sticky Note.
6. I would write a poem. We need a poet to write a poem on the moon!
7. Alaskan King Crab Legs.
Jasmine Dreame Wagner is the author of two chapbooks: Rewilding, winner of the 2012 Ahsahta Press Chapbook Contest, selected by Cathy Park Hong (Ahsahta, 2013); and Listening for Earthquakes, first runner-up for the 2011 Caketrain Chapbook Contest, selected by Rosmarie Waldrop (Caketrain, 2012.) Her poems and short stories have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Blackbird, Colorado Review, Indiana Review and elsewhere.
1. Black leather ankle boot.
2. A bog.
3. A slice of pizza.
4. The wheel.
6. Take off my helmet.
7. Mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and figs.
Dale Walkonen is a poet and playwright. She taught at Concordia College, Sacred Heart University, the College of New Rochelle, and Highland School. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College (B.A.) and Boston University (M.A.). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Eclipse, The Chaffin Journal, Primavera, and The Westchester Review. Her full length play, Mayday! Mayday! received critical acclaim.
1. Cerulean blue sneaker.
2. A redwood forest.
3. Cup of tea.
4. Hot water.
6. Dream on—to the planets and beyond.
7. Fresh air near a waterfall with blueberries and papaya.
Michael Watson was born in Whitehall, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and currently a student in Rutgers University’s Creative Writing M.F.A. program. He lives in Philadelphia.
1. If I were a shoe, I’d be a boot.
2. My favorite natural place is the Delaware and Lehigh River Trail in Bethlehem, PA.
3. The best thing I can buy for a dollar is cheap coffee.
4. My favorite invention is the electric guitar.
5. If I were a crayon, I’d be indigo.
6. The first thing I would do after I stepped on the moon would be to take another step.
7. My last meal would be fish tacos and chocolate milk.
Lilo Way’s poems appear in Poet Lore, Avocet, Common Ground Review, the Bear Deluxe, Third Wednesday, Soundings, Northern New England Review and Australia’s Cordite Review. She has received grants from theNEA, NY State Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for her choreographic work involving
poetry. She can be heard as a reader on NPR’s Selected Shorts.
1. Sss . . . No shoe.
2. The list would fill a chapbook.
3. A mechanical pencil.
4. Contact lenses.
5. Creamy butter yellow.
6. Excuse myself.
7. I’d skip it.
Paula Weld-Cary writes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in many journals including Portland Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Atlanta Review. She is a human rights activist who lives in Rochester, New York.
1. I would be the shoes worn by Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.
2. Beneath a waterfall, especially those in the high peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.
3. A chocolate bar with almonds.
4. The acoustic guitar.
5. Midnight blue.
6. I would take another small step for mankind/womankind.
7. An apple, so I could plant its seeds.
Monica Wendel is the author of No Apocalypse (forthcoming, Georgetown Review) and the chapbook Call it a Window (Midwest Writing Center, 2012). She is currently the writer in residence at the Jack Kerouac Project ofOrlando, Florida.
1. I hate shoes. This is why I have frostbite in a toe.
2. The abandoned airport runway near Jamaica Bay.
3. A Metrocard. No, wait, actually you can’t buy that for a dollar. A slice of pizza, I guess.
4. The printing press (duh).
5. I hate crayons. See question one.
6. Take off my moon-shoes and feel some moon-dust between my toes.
7. Roasted squash, kale or collard greens, chickpea curry. Basically anything West Indian.
Steve Westbrook (according to Google) leads Taekwondo classes, sings “I’ve Got Jesus,” arrests Texans, sells real estate, wears a T-shirt that reads “Buddha is my Om boy,” teaches English, practices Jazzercise, suffers numerous pathologies, and publishes poems in journals like Clementine, Literal Latte, The Los Angeles Review, and Rattle.
1. Chuck Taylors, most likely the discounted factory rejects.
2. The parts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua where the jungle meets the coast, or anywhere you might look up and see monkeys and sloths cavorting in the canopy.
3. A kiss from a toothless woman at a kissing booth.
4. Clean drinking water (or the technology that enables it).
5. Cornflower blue.
6. Step on the moon.
7. Burmese tea leaf salad, vada with coconut chutney and sambar, vegetarian cao lau, cardamom ice cream, absurdly dark chocolate, cafe sua da, Trappist ale. Yeah, I’m a bit of a foodie.
Kirby Wright was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented
the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic. He is the author of the companion novels Punahou Blues and Moloka’I Nui Ahina, both set in the islands.
3. Stamped postcard.
7. Double sausage and onion pizza.
Justin Zipprich is a writer of stories, screenplays and comedy sketches living in Los Angeles. Justin has had stories published in short story anthologies: Luscious and Dark Light 3, as well as a Best Screenplay nomination at the Action on Film for my script One Moment.
1. I would be a sandal. Of all the shoe types, it would be the most freeing and comfortable for
me and the foot inside it as well. Imagine being an unrestrained foot seeing the world, free of restraints, that is the true life for a shoe-foot partnership.
2. The beach is my favorite place in nature. So many advantages of being there: the sand beneath your toes, the vast ocean out in front of you. Plus I got married on the beach so the beach will always be a special place to me.
3. . Easy, buy a lottery ticket. There’s such a thrill in scratching a lottery ticket, that thirty seconds of imagining what you will do with the money you win is truly a great time. And even if you lose, there’s always a dollar sitting around to try again!
4. An oldie but a goodie: paper. Especially with a bad memory like mine, without paper I would be completely lost. Good for notes, airplanes and writing first drafts of anything, paper is truly the greatest invention, second only to the pen.
5. Atomic Tangerine. Who wouldn’t like that color? It’s either a bizarre superhero or the best fruit I’ve never tasted; either way, it’s the coolest color to be.
6. Go immediately to the dark side. Someone has to find out what goes on over there and I’m just the guy to find out.
7. Anything made by the best cook I know, my wife. Let’s go with the steak quesadillas.