Contributors to Issue XII
Kelli Russell Agodon
Kelli Russell Agodon’s most recent book, Hourglass Museum, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards and shortlisted for the Julie Suk Prize in Poetry. Her other books include The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice (coauthored with Martha Silano); Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry (co-edited with Annette Spaulding-Convy); and Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Prize for poetry and a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards. Kelli is the cofounder of Two Sylvias Press, where she works as an editor and book cover designer, as well as the Co-Director of the Poets on the Coast: A Weekend Writing Retreat for Women. She lives in a sleepy seaside town in the Pacific Northwest, where she is an avid paddleboarder and hiker.
Marcia Aldrich is the author of the free memoir Girl Rearing, published by W.W. Norton. She has been the editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. Companion to an Untold Story won the AWP Award in Creative Nonfiction. She is the editor of Waveform: Twenty-First-Century Essays by Women published by The University of Georgia Press.
Brandon Amico lives in North Carolina. He is the recipient of the Southern Humanities Review Hoepfner Literary Award for Poetry, and his poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, The Awl, Booth, The Cincinnati Review, New Ohio Review, and Verse Daily, among others. You can follow him on Twitter @amicob or visit him at brandonamico.com.
Tyler Barton is a cofounder of FEAR NO LIT, the literary organization behind the 2017 Submerging Writer Fellowship. He works as an educator in a children's museum, a volunteer workshop leader for elderly writers in an assisted living facility, and a podcast/radio host for Weekly Reader. He has work forthcoming in Passages North and recently published stories in Little Fiction, Midwestern Gothic, and No Tokens. Learn more at tsbarton.com or @goftyler.
Michael Bazzett is the recipient of a 2017 NEA Fellowship. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Sun, American Poetry Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Iowa Review, among others. His debut collection, You Must Remember This (Milkweed, 2014), received the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry. He has two new poetry collections arriving in 2017: Our Lands Are Not So Different (Horsethief), and The Interrogation (Milkweed); and his verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, The Popol Vuh, is forthcoming from Milkweed in 2018. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two children.
Jeff Berglund grew up in Fargo five blocks from the Red River. Today, he is the Director of Liberal Studies and a Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, where he has worked since 1999. He is the author of articles on Native film, poetry, global Indigenous terminologies, and the pedagogy of American Indian literature. His books include Cannibal Fictions: American Explorations of Colonialism, Race, Gender, and Sexuality (2006), Sherman Alexie: a Collection of Critical Essays (co-editor, 2010) as well as Indigenous Pop: Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop (co-editor, 2016). In addition to serving as the treasurer of the Association of Studies in American Indian Literature, Dr. Berglund is a member of the Australian-based Forum for Indigenous Research Excellence (FIRE) and The Working Group on Global Indigeneity.
Sarah Carson’s work has appeared in The Christian Century, DIAGRAM, Guernica, The Minnesota Review, and New Orleans Review, among others. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Poems in which You Die (BatCat Press) and Buick City (Mayapple Press), and several chapbooks. Born and raised in Michigan, she now lives in Chicago with her two dogs.
Born in 1930 in Montevideo, award-winning writer Selva Casal is the author of fifteen collections of poetry and one book-length essay on her father, Julio Casal, who was also a poet. A former penal lawyer, Casal writes from a deep concern for justice, denunciation of violence, and compassion for society’s most vulnerable. Her publication of No vivimos en vano in 1974, read as a denunciation of Uruguay’s then-dictatorial government, led to the loss of her position as Professor of Sociology at the University of the Republic. She resides with her husband in Montevideo, and she continues to write and paint each day. “Everything in life nourishes poetry,” she says. “Everything.”
Jon Davis is the author of eleven collections of poetry, including, most recently, Improbable Creatures (Grid Books 2017), Preliminary Report (Copper Canyon Press, 2010); a limited-edition art and poetry collaboration with the artist Jamison Chas Banks, Heteronymy: An Anthology (La Nana Creek Press, 2015); and a letterpress chapbook, Loving Horses (The Press at The Palace of the Governors, 2014). Dayplaces, which Davis translated from the Arabic with the author, Iraqi poet Naseer Hassan, (and a portion of which appears in Waxwing Issue III) was published by Tebot Bach Press’s World Translation Series in 2017. He has been honored with a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, the Peter I.B. Lavan Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Davis directs the MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts, where he has taught for twenty-seven years.
Emari DiGiorgio’s debut collection, The Things a Body Might Become, is forthcoming from Five Oaks Press in October 2017. She is the recipient of the 2016 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize honoring Jake Adam York and has received residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Sundress Academy for the Arts, and Rivendell Writers’ Colony. She teaches at Stockton University and is a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poet. She is an active member of the South Jersey Poets Collective, where she hosts World Above, a monthly reading series in Atlantic City, NJ; A Tour of Poetry, a monthly poetry workshop for older adults in Northfield, NJ; and a series of community writing workshops for underserved populations in the South Jersey area.
Eric Dovigi lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. His work can be found in Hobart, Grist, Westwind Journal, Universidad de Madrid’s JACLR, and elsewhere.
Sara Edinger became interested in German literature during her undergraduate days at Stanford. She subsequently obtained an M.A. (and ABD) in literature, but for practical reasons she spent most of her working life in information technology. In retirement she returned to the study of German and began making translations, mostly of poetry. She has published English versions of three poems by the German poet Elke Erb in Asymptote (April 2014) and another in Passager (this poem was also published on Poetry Daily). Her translations of two poems by Gisela Hemau appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Field, and translations of three poems by Hemau will appear in the July 2017 issue of Asymptote.
Laura Cesarco Eglin
Laura Cesarco Eglin is a poet and translator from Uruguay. She has translated work from Portuguese, Portuñol, Galician, and Spanish into English by authors from Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, and Mexico. Cesarco Eglin is the author of three collections of poetry: Llamar al agua por su nombre (Mouthfeel Press, 2010), Sastrería (Yaugurú, 2011), and Los brazos del saguaro (Yaugurú, 2015). A bilingual edition of her first book translated by Scott Spanbauer was published as Calling Water by Its Name (Mouthfeel Press, 2016). A selection of poems from Sastrería was translated collaboratively into English with Teresa Williams, and subsequently published as the chapbook Tailor Shop: Threads (Finishing Line Press, 2013). She has also published the chapbook Occasions to Call Miracles Appropriate (Lunamopolis, The Lune series, 2015). Cesarco Eglin’s poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in a variety of journals, including Modern Poetry in Translation, MiPOesias, Eleven Eleven, Puerto del Sol, Copper Nickel, Blood Orange Review, The Acentos Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Spillway, Timber, Pilgrimage, Periódico de Poesía, Metrópolis, and more. Her work as poet and translator has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Cesarco Eglin is the co-founding editor and publisher of Veliz Books.
Born in Lushnje, Albania, in 1957, Gëzim Hajdari was persecuted by the communist regime and fled to Italy in 1992 where he has since resided. He is a prominent member of the “Scrittori Migranti” movement in Italy, a group of writers who intentionally eschew their first language, choosing instead to write in Italian. Hajdari has earned acclaim both in Italy and abroad for his poems, winning the prestigious Montale Prize among others. His work speaks to his experience as an exile, his deep-seated love and equally profound frustration with his native Albania, and the shifting, uncomfortable identity he inhabits.
Kathleen Hellen is the author of the collection Umberto’s Night, winner of the Jean Feldman Poetry Prize, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Her poems have appeared in two anthologies: Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands from Shabda Press, and Never Enough Flowers: The Poetry of Peace II from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, as well as in The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, Poetry Daily, Poetry East, the Sewanee Review, Witness, and elsewhere. Recipient of the Thomas Merton poetry prize, the H.O.W. Journal poetry prize, the Washington Square Review Poetry Prize, and twice nominated for the Pushcart, she teaches in Baltimore.
Gisela Hemau was born in 1938 and lives in Bonn. She studied German and English literature in Mainz, Würzburg, and Munich, and worked for a time as a reader of radio plays for West German Radio. Blinder Übergang (Blind Passage) is her sixth volume of poetry. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian. A small group of English translations by Esther Elstun appeared in 2008, but Hemau is not well known to English readers. Elstun calls Hemau’s poetry “remarkable for its musicality and the boldness of its imagery.”
The Brazilian poet, playwright, and fiction writer Hilda Hilst was born in 1930 and died in 2004. She is the author of forty books. Literary critics consider her to be one of the most important and controversial 20th-century writers in the Portuguese language. She has been awarded many literary prizes. In her thirties Hilst decided to leave the city of São Paulo in order to remove herself from social life and concentrate on literature. She went to Campinas, and lived in her house Casa do Sol until her death. Because of her strong personality, beauty, intelligence, and her eccentricities, and because Hilst consistently questioned and went against norms and traditions, the myth surrounding Hilst’s image has often overshadowed the importance of her work and the critical analysis of it. With the republication of her work by Editora Globo in the early 2000s, her work gained more readers in Brazil.
Lesley Jenike’s most recent poetry collections are Holy Island (Gold Wake, 2014 and 2017) and Punctum :, winner of Kent State’s 2016 Wick Poetry Chapbook Competition. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Smartish Pace, Verse, Rhino, Rattle, Waxwing, Blackbird, and many other journals. She's been the recipient of awards from the Ohio Arts Council, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. She teaches literature and creative writing courses at the Columbus College of Art and Design and lives in Columbus with her husband and two small children.
Leonard Kress has published The Orpheus Complex, Braids & Other Sestinas, and Walk Like Bo Diddley and poetry and fiction in Massachusetts Review, Iowa Review, APR, and Harvard Review. He has completed a verse translation of the 19th century Polish Romantic epic, Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz, as well as work by Jan Kochanowski, Szymon Zimorowic, and Cyprian Norwid. Kress teaches religion and philosophy, at Owens College in Ohio.
Joseph O. Legaspi
Joseph O. Legaspi is the author of the poetry collections Threshold (Fall 2017) and Imago, both from CavanKerry Press; and two chapbooks, Aviary, Bestiary (Organic Weapon Arts), and Subways (Thrush Press). His works have appeared in POETRY, New England Review, Best of the Net, Orion, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day. He co-founded Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving Asian American writers.
Eugenia Leigh is a Korean American poet and the author of Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows (Four Way Books), the winner of the 2015 Debut-litzer Prize in Poetry. The recipient of fellowships and awards from Poets & Writers Magazine, Kundiman, The Frost Place, Rattle, and the Asian American Literary Review, Eugenia received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and serves as the Poetry Editor of Hyphen.
Anat Levin was born in Israel to a mother of Russian descent from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and a father from Kornitz, Belarus. Her debut book of poems, Slowly Revolving Anna (Achuzat Bayit, 2008), won the Ministry of Culture Award for Poetry. Her second collection of poetry, Mouth to Mouth (Keshev, 2013), won the 2012 ACUM prize from the Israeli Society for Authors and Musicians, The Rabinovich Tel Aviv Fund for Translation, and has been translated into English and German. Levin's first novel, The Archivist (Afik Books, 2015), was awarded the Ministry of Culture Award for Fiction in 2014 and an ACUM Aharon Ashman Award for Anonymously Submitted Fiction. She has received support from the Vermont Studio Center and has also been awarded the 2006 Poetry in the Streets Prize from the city of Tel Aviv. Her poems have been translated into Arabic, Spanish, Russian, and Romanian. A graduate of the film and television department at Hunter College in New York, Levin worked for many years as a commercial writer for a law firm in Israel. She resides in Giv'atayim, Israel, with her husband, the poet Adi Assis.
Ana Martins Marques
Ana Martins Marques was born in 1977, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where she continues to live. She received her doctorate in comparative literature from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). She is the author of A vida submarina (Scriptum, 2009). Her second book of poetry, Da arte das armadilhas (Companhia das Letras, 2011), won Brazil’s prestigious Prêmio Biblioteca Nacional (National Library Award) in 2012. These poems are selected from her newest book of poetry, titled O livro das semelhanças (Companhia das Letras, 2015).
Sebastian Matthews is the author of a memoir and three books of poetry, most recently Beginner's Guide to a head-on Collision, due out from Red Hen Press this November. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Atlantic Monthly, Georgia Review, The Sun, Tin House, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. He is currently working on a collection of personal essays and a book of prose poems. Matthews serves on the Vermont Studio Center trustee board and on the advisory board of Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters. His box-set “collage” novel, The Life & Times of American Crow, is available at americancrowgraphicnovel.com.
Lucian Mattison is an Argentinean American poet and author of Peregrine Nation (The Broadkill River Press, 2014) and Reaper's Milonga, forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2017. He is the winner of the 2016 Puerto Del Sol Poetry Prize and his poems appear or are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, The Boiler, Hinchas de Poesía, Hobart, Muzzle, Nashville Review, Pinwheel, and elsewhere online and in print. His fiction appears in Fiddleblack, Nano Fiction, and Per Contra. His poetry translations are forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review and Newfound. He works at The George Washington University and is an associate editor for Big Lucks. To read more visit Lucianmattison.com
Yael Massen is an MFA Candidate in Poetry and Associate Instructor of Composition and Creative Writing at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her work can be found within the pages and URLs of Colorado Review, DIAGRAM, Third Coast, and The Journal. A recipient of the 2016 Vera Meyer Strube Academy of American Poets Award, she has also received support from The Yiddish Book Center, The National Society of Arts and Letters (Bloomington), Middlebury Summer Language School, and The Borns Jewish Studies Program. Yael has served as Nonfiction Editor and Associate Poetry Editor of Indiana Review. She volunteers as an On-Scene Advocate and a Legal Advocate at Middle Way House, providing support services to people who experience domestic and sexual violence in South-Central Indiana.
A Haitian-American who sings in French, Haitian Creole and English, Leyla McCalla plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. Deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, her music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful and witty — it vibrates with three centuries of history, yet also feels strikingly fresh, distinctive and contemporary.
Larisa Miller was born in 1988 in Grodno, Belarus. She is a painter and poet. Her poems have been published in the journal Maayan. She is working on her first book and lives in Tel Aviv.
Patty Paine is the author of Grief & Other Animals (Accents Publishing); The Sounding Machine (Accents Publishing); and three chapbooks, including The City of Small Fires, forthcoming from Hermeneutics Chaos Pres. Her poems, reviews, and interviews have appeared in Blackbird, Gulf Stream, The Journal, The South Dakota Review, and other publications. She is the founding editor of Diode Poetry Journal and Diode Editions, and is Director of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar.
Diego Alfaro Palma
Diego Alfaro Palma (Limache, Chile, 1984) is a poet and editor. He is the author of two poetry books: Paseantes (2009, Ediciones del Temple) and Tordo, winner of the Santiago Literary Prize 2015 (Ediciones del Dock, Argentina, 2016 | Editorial Cuneta, Chile, 2014). He edited Homage to Ezra Pound (Universitaria, 2010) and the Collected Poems of Cecilia Casanova (Universidad de Valparaíso, 2013). His forthcoming work, Litoral Central, recently won publication in 2017 by the National Book Fund in his native Chile. He is the founder of publisher Limache250 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he currently resides.
Jeannine M. Pitas
Jeannine M. Pitas is a writer, teacher, and Spanish-English translator. Her translation of four books by Uruguayan poet Marosa di Giorgio (1932-2004) will be published in August 2017 by Ugly Duckling Presse under the title I Remember Nightfall. Her own first book of poetry, Things Seen and Unseen, is forthcoming from Toronto-based Quattro Books. She currently lives in Iowa and teaches at the University of Dubuque.
Shelley Puhak is the author of two books of poetry, the more recent of which, Guinevere in Baltimore (Waywiser, 2013), was awarded the Anthony Hecht Prize. Her poems have recently appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Missouri Review, North American Review, and Verse Daily; her essays have recently appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Iowa Review, and Salon. Puhak lives and works in Baltimore.
Marcie Rendon is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation. Rendon’s debut novel, Murder on the Red River (Cinco Puntos Press), was published in 2017 and joins her two nonfiction children’s books, Pow Wow Summer (MN Historical Press) and Farmer’s Market: Families Working Together (CarolRhoda). With four published plays she is the creative mind behind Raving Native Theater, which produced Rendon’s play Bring the Children Home … at four venues in 2015-16. She is a recipient of the Loft’s 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship with poet Diego Vazquez. Additionally, her poem Wiigwaasabak was awarded a place in the St. Paul Almanac’s Impressions Project, Summer 2017.
sam sax is the author of Madness (Penguin, 2017), winner of The National Poetry Series, selected by Terrance Hayes; and Bury It (Wesleyan, 2018). He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, and the MacDowell Colony. He’s the two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion, author of four chapbooks, and winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, BuzzFeed, Poetry, Tin House, other journals. He’s the poetry editor at BOAAT Press.
Maureen Seaton has authored seventeen poetry collections, both solo and collaborative — most recently, Caprice: Collected, Uncollected, and New Collaborations (with Denise Duhamel, Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). Her awards include the Iowa Poetry Prize, Lambda Literary Award, Audre Lorde Award, and an NEA Fellowship. Her work has been honored in both the Pushcart Anthology and Best American Poetry. She teaches poetry at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
Jesse Sensibar is unafraid to die but terrified of dying alone. He loves big bore handguns with short barrels; the clean, uncluttered lines of old outlaw choppers, old pawn jewelry, and small fuzzy critters with equal abandon. He has a soft spot in his heart for The Virgin of Guadalupe, tide pools, house cats, quiet bars, innocent strippers, and jaded children. He is a warrior, a poet, and a storyteller who is not afraid to dance in public when the mood strikes him. He is a product of the mean streets of the greatest Midwestern industrial cities of a time now long gone; a place where the high court of street justice was between the curbs. He spent his youth on the shores of the post-industrial Great Lakes in tattoo shops, pizza parlors, dark corner corner bars, speed shops, and outlaw motorcycle clubhouses.
He came west to the high desert in the late 1980s and quickly disappeared down the rabbit hole of Southwestern outlaw drug culture. He emerged from that hole in 2008; close to death and with a solid quarter century of hard drug abuse under his belt. He has, needless to say, a great many regrets. Along the way he’s also worked legally as a mechanic, heavy equipment operator, strip club bouncer, repossession agent, tattoo shop owner, private investigator, tow truck driver, snow plow operator, wildland firefighter, and college English teacher.
These days he’s retired from a great many things but remains in love with language, family, citrus trees, the open road and the shrines, artifacts, and monuments to loss that litter it. He sees these things as reflections of his own damaged soul and scattered memory. He spends his time writing and promoting the art of both the written word and storytelling. He also still does a bit of driving, pool hall bouncing, and firefighting when the mood strikes him. You can usually find him in the dying Ponderosa Pine forests surrounding Flagstaff, Arizona, or the old barrios of Tucson, Arizona. Otherwise he is probably somewhere out on the highway documenting on Facebook the passing of his beloved but rapidly disappearing American West and pondering the fleeting nature of memory, sin, spirituality, and forgiveness.
Sarah Stickney is a former Fulbright Grantee for the translation of Italian poetry. Her co-translations of Elisa Biagini's selected poems, The Guest in the Wood, won the Best Translated Book Award for poetry in 2014. Her own poems have appeared in journals such as Rhino, The Portland Review, Mudlark, Bateau, and others. Her chapbook Portico was selected by Thomas Lux as winner of Emrys Press's annual chapbook competition in 2016.
Caroline Tracey is a writer and geographer. Originally from Colorado, she is currently a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley. She has also held a Fulbright research fellowship to Kyrgyzstan and worked as a cattle ranch hand. Her writing appears in 3:AM, The Guardian, Drunken Boat, and elsewhere, and her literary translation has appeared in The Offing. Find her at cetracey.wordpress.com and @seaisrisn.
Melissa Wiley is the author of Antlers in Space and Other Common Phenomena (Split Lip Press). Her creative nonfiction has appeared in places like The Rumpus, DIAGRAM, The Offing, Phoebe, Juked, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Drunken Boat, PANK, and Queen Mob’s Tea House. She lives in Chicago.
Heath Wing, a West Texas native, received a PhD in Spanish with a Portuguese Minor from Texas Tech University in 2015. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Spanish at North Dakota State University. He teaches courses in Latin American civilization and culture, Latin American literature, Spanish American women writers, and Chicano literature. Aside from his research, he also translates poetry and prose for contemporary Latin American writers. He has published poetry translations for the Spanish poet Sara Gallardo in Shadowgraph and Fishousepoems, as well as poetry translations for the Argentine writer Federico Falco, which appear in Hinchas de Poesía. He is currently translating for three Brazilian writers: Ana Martins Marques, Ramon Mello, and Marcílio França Castro. Since arriving to Fargo in 2015, he has become an avid curler and stone thrower.
Karin Yun, a poet and visual artist, is diligently working on an MFA at George Mason University. She is the author of On Loving a Saudi Girl, which won the Charlotte Mew Chapbook Prize (2015). Her poems are forthcoming at Ninth Letter.