All Contributors

Mehmet Sander started dancing with Geyvan Mcmillen in Istanbul in 1984. He continued his dance education at the London Contemporary Dance School, California State University (Long Beach), Harvard University and American Dance Festival. He founded the Mehmet Sander Dance Company in 1990, performing throughout the United States and participating in numerous events and festivals such as the Holland Dance Festival, New Moves (Scotland), ICA’s National Look at Live Arts (UK), Klapstuk Festival (Belgium) and Munich Dance Festival (Germany). Sander′s recent UK work includes the commission and presentation of original works Uncomfort Zone at Queen Mary, University of London (2011) and Impact at Fierce Festival (2012). He premiered his new work Trust Fall at Bristol’s In Between Time Festival (2013) and performed his new solo BANG at the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern (2013).Tate Modern presented Mehmet Sander's  sold out workshop in 2014. The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago commissioned and performed Mehmet Sander's work Inner Space at the Kennedy Center and other prestigious venues.

Clifton Snider is the internationally acclaimed author of eleven books of poetry, including Moonman: New and Selected Poems and The Beatle Bump, and four novels, the most recent of which is his historical novel, The Plymouth Papers.  He pioneered LGBTQ literary studies at California State University, Long Beach. A Jungian/Queer literary critic, he has published hundreds of poems, short stories, reviews, and articles internationally, as well as the scholarly book, The Stuff That Dreams Are Made On: A Jungian Interpretation of Literature.  He holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of New Mexico and retired from teaching at California State University, Long Beach, in 2009. He is the recipient of the Lorde-Whitman Award from OUT LOUD: A Cultural Evolution, 2018. His work has been translated into Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish.

Sarah Sophia Yanni's writing has appeared in DREGINALD, Maudlin House, Feelings, Full Stop, and others. A finalist for BOMB Magazine’s 2020 Poetry Contest, she lives and works in Los Angeles. sarahsophiayanni.com 

Melinda R. Smith Melinda R. Smith came late to painting through the medium of poetry. It was while designing the cover for her collection of poems Tiny Island that she became entranced with visual imagery. Soon, she was working exclusively in a visual medium. In her work, Melinda explores the liminal regions between reality and fantasy, using tropes strongly reminiscent of childhood play. With her background in poetry and theater, she conceives of her pictures as staged theatrical scenes that tell archetypal stories whose roots reach for the dark core of memory and truth. Melinda was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has lived in Los Angeles, California, for over 25 years. She can be found at melindarsmith.com.

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Charlie Becker is a retired speech pathologist who now studies and writes poetry with the Community Literature Initiative in Los Angeles. He also has helped bring poetry to under-served high school students through the Living Writers Series and L.A. Unified School District. Charlie's first book of poetry and drawings, Friends My Poems Gave Me, was published by World Stage Press in 2016. He has also had poems published by Passager Journal, Comstock Review, The Dandelion Review, and Silver Pinion. Charlie lives with his partner, Aubry, in Laguna Woods, California.

Aaron Hoge  is a visual artist and a writer. With over 40 years of art-making and multiple performances and exhibitions, Aaron is a seasoned professional artist. Using the mediums of drawing, painting, performance, video, writing, and photography Aaron’s work explores intersections between loneliness, becoming, homosocial relationships, and futurity. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources such as cave paintings, graffiti, Expressionism, Imagism, Vorticism, English Literature, Western Esotericism, and Philosophy, his studio practice represents and abiding interest in language, text, choreography, semantics, poetry, and the creation of striking visual images. Aaron becomes what he is through his visual art and writing. His lifework is the integration of all aspects of the human personality.

Christie Frields Arts are the best way to gather individuals and build communities. I’ve taught art to children and adults around the globe. My creative background includes proposal, grant writing and coordinator for public art projects in cities throughout the United States. I’ve held positions as project manager, exhibitions designer, art advisor and business manager in museums and galleries, non-profit arts institutions and private organizations. As an exhibiting artist, my work has been included in exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, Canada and Europe. I have experience in film and video production as director, editor and costume designer.As a visual artist, I maintain an independent art practice and have produced works of art for national and international exhibitions in museums and galleries. Selected solo exhibitions include CRG Gallery in New York; Marc Foxx and David Patton Galleries in Los Angeles; group exhibitions at Hammer Art Museum Los Angeles,18th Street Art Projects, Santa Monica, CA, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada. In 2001 I was awarded a prestigious art grant by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and received numerous published reviews in support of my art. During this time I was also a Visiting Artist Lecturer at UCLA, CalArts, ArtCenter, Otis College of Art and Design, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.

Gordon Blitz's novella Shipped Out was published as part of Running Wild Press Novella Anthology Volume 4 Book 1. on January 1st. He has published work in Two Hawks Quarterly (2020), The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, Issue #22 of Really Systems, Abstract Elephant Magazine (2020), Gay Wicked Ways (2020) and Emeritus Chronicles (2020), (2020) Free verse Revolution and Fall 2019 Vitamin ZZZ. He’s a standup comic who has performed at the GLBT Village in Hollywood, Canters, and The Ruby. His stories recorded at AKBAR in Hollywood are available on the Queer Slam podcast called “Just Gordon.” He continues to perform his stories monthly on zoom as part of the queer slam podcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/…/episode-21-just-…/id1446511726…

Check out his blog URL  https://culturecritique.blog/

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Ali Telmesani is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Swansea University in South Wales. Author of House of Abbas: The Legacy of Harun al-Rashid (Claritas Books), his research interests focus on Eastern and Islamic mysticism.

Janet Meskin is a native Californian; a once-upon-a-time freeway flyer teaching modern dance and improvisation in the Los Angeles, Santa Monica  and Orange county community colleges. After receiving her MFA in Dance at CWRU in Cleveland, Ohio she left her legacy as Founder/Director of SCANDALS with Janet Meskin and Friends. It is still alive and well today (with a new name) - 37 years strong!  Janet studied with many of the modern dance icons including Erick Hawkins and Lucia Dlugoszewski. After 32 years teaching and training dancers, 17 of those with LAUSD she has retired gracefully into a plethora of art forms, mindfulness meditations and qigong healing.  Janet would like to meet a new soul mate -

Tammi Titsworth grew up in an Arkansas junkyard catching snakes and salamanders, riding horses and dog sleds, and scaling tires and trees with equal ease. Today, she is a founding partner of Shores Editorial Services, where she was selected as an Emerging Leader by the U.S. Small Business Administration. She also is a recipient of the Allen Tate Creative Writing Award. As a dedicated and published writer and editor, she has worked with the World Bank, Wiley Publishing, Adobe, IEEE, and the American Chemical Society. As part of her passion for the arts, she served as Editor in Chief of The Southwestern Review and Co-Fiction Editor for Oxford Magazine. Tammi’s creative writing background (through undergraduate work at Rhodes College and graduate work at Miami University) informs her daily life and work, as she embraces the power of art to eviscerate obstacles and invent paths forward.

Zee Bernardo is the founder and creative director of Tantum Los Angeles and Seulement Los Angeles. He started Tantum in 2005, specializing in bucket hats and selling to stores all over the world. In 2013, responding to changes in the industry, Zee started Seulement, with the idea of giving second lives to vintage clothing and accessories. Zee moved to Los Angeles from Manila in 1990, and can found on Instagram @seulement.losangeles. He can also be reached at seulement.losangeles@yahoo.com.

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H. Raven Rose bleeds stardust-tinted ink. Captivated by stories as a girl, portals to distant worlds, she began writing as a teen. Her stage play The Park at Night was staged as readings in Los Angeles by First Stage LA, one of which starred Jessica Biel in the lead role as Leila. The play was based on Rose's novella Dark Eros. Rose has won awards for game and animation storytelling and writing and is a postgraduate in Creative Writing at Swansea University. Rose's undergraduate screenwriting thesis research analysed the superiority of alternative versus traditional story development techniques for screenwriters in the context of hemispheres of the brain and used tools and techniques drawn from brain research, expressive arts, and mind-body practices. Her PhD practice-led creativity research explores voice development and writing flow, and writer's block. Her research focuses on childhood development and advancement of the individual female psyche and personality in the context of critical issues of attachment and identity (and how those pertain to emerging adult creativity and the literary individuation process). Rose has taught advanced screenwriting and writing the world over from Los Angeles to Wales. Find her online at hravenrose.com.

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Chelsie Blair Nunn is a LGBTQIA+ artist and educator working and living in Knoxville, TN. She has served as a public visual art educator and mentor for the past ten years. She is a founding member of the artist collaborative formerly known as The Vacuum Shop Studios, where she has practiced painting for the past seven years. Her artwork and writing primarily investigate the sublime and delicate nature of the mental landscape, which includes but isn't limited to identity, emotionality, and relationship narratives. Her writing has previously been featured in The Quaranzine: Poetry in the Time of Covid-19 (Fearsome Critters 2020) and Decomp Journal (Issue 1 2021). Explore more of her artwork and writing at www.chelsienunn.com

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Reza Abdoh: "The extraordinary life of Iranian-born American theatrical maverick Reza Abdoh (1963-1995) resembles in many ways that of the seminal Romantic composer Franz Schubert. Both of these prodigiously talented artists reflected in their work the tumultuous times they had been born into; both died prematurely, in their early 30s, of a slow-killing disease which had been demonized by the societies of their era. Both left behind a substantial body of work that is constantly referenced, quoted, analyzed and taught to eager followers. What makes Abdoh very different form Schubert, however, is that in order to emerge in all its glory, Abdoh’s oeuvre required the participation of countless people who followed his daring visions.Described as a provocateur whose actors “mooned audiences, became slaves under torture, and hung nude upside down in fish tanks,” Abdoh was best known for his large-scale experimental works, often staged outside the traditional theater environment. Created with his company, Dar a Luz, his pieces were performed in lofts, hotels and on the streets of New York City’s then-gritty Meatpacking District throughout the early 90s in New York, Los Angeles and Europe. Abdoh’s expressive imagery was inspired by everything from classical literature, to his own harrowing experience as a gay man diagnosed with AIDS in the context of the American political landscape of the 1990s, to TV talk shows and BDSM iconography, with subject matter ranging from personal memories to racial issues, violence in America, sexual repression, cruelty, and death." Adam Soch (See our Prize in Reza's Honor)

Adam Soch fled the communist Eastern Europe in 1980 to seek creative freedom in the United States. He is an award-winning filmmaker and producer, lauded by the media for the “stunning, remarkable and compelling” images that are a hallmark of his films and theatrical productions, as well as his editing style. He has worked on projects involving such luminaries as opera superstars Placido Domingo and Angela Gheorghiu, actors Jessica Lange, Dustin Hoffman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Vanessa Redgrave, and Nobel Peace Prize winners Desmond Tutu and Michail Gorbatchev. Throughout 1990s, he collaborated closely with Reza Abdoh on many of his most acclaimed productions, including Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Bogeyman, Tight Right White, and Quotations from a Ruined City. Mr. Soch is one of four founders of an international television channel Classic Arts Showcase. Viewed daily by millions of people throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, The ARTS Channel focuses on highlighting the disciplines, pleasures and wonders of classic arts such as ballet, opera, theater, dance and film/video, through the power of television. 

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Jonathan “Minty” Minton is all about breeze blocks, those iconic concrete building bricks seen throughout Palm Springs, California where he lives. Soon after moving to this mid-century mecca with his husband in 2015, Minty was captivated by the bold geometric simplicity, dimensionality and patterns they created. With a background in model making, design and manufacturing, Minty applies breeze block themes to jewelry, beverage coasters, magnets, keychains, table lamps and an endless pipeline of projects in silicone, fabric, wood, plaster, concrete, urethane, candy and ice.  Each new project brings with it the opportunity to learn new techniques, solve design/production challenges, all of which feed the hunger to create and express the "breeze block idea".  Popular with the mid-century fans who flocks to Palm Springs twice a year for Modernism Week as well as the year round fans that live there, Minty’s breeze block creations are locally made and locally inspired. Customers include not only local retailers and galleries, but also online customers across the US, UK and Australia. 

Minty's Design

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Jessica (Tyner) Mehta, born and raised in Oregon and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is a multi-award-winning interdisciplinary artist, author, and storyteller. She has received several writer-in-residency posts around the world, including the Hosking Houses Trust with an appointment at The Shakespeare Birthplace (Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK), Paris Lit Up (Paris, France), the Women’s International Study Center (WISC) Acequia Madre House post (Santa Fe, NM), the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts (Nebraska City, NE), and a Writer in the Schools (WITS) residency at Literary Arts (Portland, OR). Jessica has three books releasing in 2021 from New Rivers Press, Meadowlark Books, and Not a Pipe Publishing. She is currently the post-graduate research representative at the Centre for Victorian Studies at the University of Exeter, England. She is the first Native American to serve in this role at the largest institutional Victorian research centre in Great Britain. Learn more about Jessica at her website, www.thischerokeerose.com, where you will find links to her books, upcoming projects, and the Emmy award winning documentary on her life and work from Osiyo Television.

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Twitter @CherokeeRoseUp
Instagram @thisCherokeeRose

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Gerard Sarnat won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in The North Meridian Review, Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Blue Minaret, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Newark Public Library, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, New York Times, London Reader and Review Berlin as well as by Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Chicago and Columbia presses. He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry is a physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to protect democracy plus deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons, and is looking forward to future granddaughters.

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Jones Irwin teaches Philosophy and Education in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. He has published original monographs on philosophy and aesthetics. He has published poetry most recently in Poetry London, Showbear Family Circus, Passengers Journal, Festival Review, Plainsongs, The Dewdrop and fiction/creative nonfiction have recently been published in Kairos Magazine, The Decadent Review and Critical Read.  His vision is of a postmodern existentialist, with a dash of noir mixed in with a progressivist ethic. His new book is on how Paulo Freire's educational philosophy has influenced social and political thought in contemporary Italy.

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William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. His most recent book of poetry is Mist in Their Eyes (2021). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors.  His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals.

Calum Robertson (they/them) is a queer fae teadrinking riverbank wanderer, who lives in Calgary, Canada. They hope to be reincarnated as a dove, next time around.

Colette Chien is a senior at Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in poetry and wildlife ecology. Her previous published work includes the chapbook, “the poison in our houses” in Silent Actions Magazine, the poem, “i was born into this place a bit of fire & a cancer” into Love and Squalor magazine and The Rising Phoenix Review, the poem, “visceral fears & ampersands have nothing to do with this” in The Sarah Lawrence College Literary Review, the poem “swamp angel, not even a little brackish” in The Rising Phoenix Review, and the poem “on top of the earth resting in uncertainty” in The Rising Phoenix Review. “i was born into this place a bit of fire & a cancer” has been nominated for the upcoming 2022 Pushcart Prize.

Brian Yapko is a lawyer whose poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prometheus Dreaming, Canary Lit. Review, Gyroscope, Marathon Lit. Review, Cagibi, Grand Little Things, Society of Classical Poets, Poetica,  Chained Muse, Garfield Lake Review, Tempered Runes Press, Auroras and Blossoms, Showbear Family Circus, Sparks of Calliope, Iris Lit. Journal, Rainbow Poems, Parliament Lit. Journal, Light Poems, Apricity and Abstract Elephant. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his husband, Jerry, and their canine child, Bianca.

Andre F. Peltier is a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where he has taught African American Literature, Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, Poetry, and Freshman Composition since 1998. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI with his wife, children, turtles, dog, and cat. His poetry is forthcoming in The Great Lakes Review, La Piccioletta Barca, Big Whoopie Deal, Prospectus, Tofu Ink Press, and an anthology from Quillkeepers Press. In his free time, he obsesses about soccer and comic books.

Jon-Alexander Genson is half Mexican and was raised in Antioch, Illinois, just outside of Chicago and Milwaukee by his Mexican-immigrant mother. He grew up with a fascination for literature, film, and television. He spent six years in the United States Army as Military Police while attending Illinois State University where he majored in Creative Writing. His passion for the entertainment industry was realized during his deployment to Guantanamo Bay where he worked detainee operations. He started working with Park Artists Group, Aperture Entertainment, and Lionsgate before moving on to Sheree Guitar Entertainment as an Executive Assistant for literary management & development in January 2020. 

Online Portfolio: https://damaged77.wixsite.com/jongenson

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/citizen_punx/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jon.genson

Email: citizenpunx2013@outlook.com / jon-alexander@shereeguitarent.com

Asantewaa Boykin R.N, M.I.C.N is a San Diego, CA native,  Emergency RN, daughter of Valerie Boykin and granddaughter of Bertha Brandy. Her poetry combines her love of words, storytelling, and resistance. Exploring topics like; space-travel, black-femme militancy,& motherhood. Which describes her first full length poetry collection, “Love, Lyric and Liberation.” Asantewaa is co-founder of APTP (Anti Police - Terror Project) an organization committed to the eradication of police terror in all of its forms. Along with being a dedicated nurse she is also a founding member of the Capital City Black Nurses Association. Asantewaa along with a brave group of organizers and medical professionals developed Mental Health First or MH FIRST a mobile mental health crisis response team aimed at minimizing police contact with those who are in the midst of a mental health crisis. While her greatest honor is being the mother of her son Ajani and bonus daughter Aryana and granddaughter Lilith.

 

“Being about the business of our ancestors on behalf of our children is the highest calling one can have.”

Carl Boon is the author of the full-length collection Places & Names: Poems (The Nasiona Press, 2019). His writing has appeared in many journals and magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Posit, and The Maine Review. He received his Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Literature from Ohio University in 2007, and currently lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at Dokuz Eylül University.

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Saptarshi Bhowmick is a thinker in his twenties, currently living in India, West Bengal; City - Berhampore. While he is studying, he also takes great interest in writing poems, and on a spur of different topics, he enlightens the subject matters with a little touch of sublime rhyme. If you took a little time in reviewing his poems, you will understand the jovial touch which I speak of! He is renowned locally for his bilingual poems and internationally he has been published before. (“A Last Night” on Rainbow Poems, UK Remembrance Edition)

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Alex Wells Shapiro is a poet and artist from the Hudson Valley, living in Chicago. He reads submissions for Another Chicago Magazine and Frontier Poetry, and is a co-founder of Exhibit B: A Reading Series presented by The Guild Literary Complex. He has work recently published or forthcoming in Jelly Bucket, Mason Street, Sobotka, and Warm Milk Publishing. His debut poetry collection is forthcoming in Spring 2022 with Unbound Edition Press. More of his work may be found at www.alexwellsshapiro.com.

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Lisa Joffrey is an actress and producer, known for Dave (2020), On the Ropes (2019) and How to Get Away with Murder (2014). IMDb.com/LisaJoffrey

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Jack Giaour (he/him/his) is a queer writer who makes his living as a freelance ghost. Many of his poems have been published - many more have not. He currently lives in Massachusetts.

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Glen Armstrong edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three current books of poems: Invisible Histories, The New Vaudeville, and Midsummer. His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit, and Cream City Review.

Hirotoshi Ito's family has been involved in stonework since 1879. From my birth, I grew up surrounded by various kinds of stone and work such as stone lanterns and gravestones. Although I was determined to eventually take over my family business, I entered the Metal Work Department of Tokyo University of the Arts. The stimulating encounters with other metal artists in the school, and their work, became the foundation of my way of thinking and of my creativity. My work can be divided into two groups. One is a solid sculpture carved from marble or granite where I alter the natural surface of the stone into sculptural forms that do not appear to be stone but some other material. The other group is made from river stones where I use the natural forms of the stones and make alterations and additions that give the natural stones different character. All of my work in both categories relates to the ordinary images, objects, and experiences in daily life. A prominent characteristic of both types of my work is my attempt to create the illusion that the stone is something MORE than stone or is a different material altogether. Matsumoto City, where I live, is surrounded by splendid mountains and is richly endowed with natural beauty. The stones delivered from these mountains have been washed by fresh streams of water over very long periods of time, and each stone has a unique form that has been created naturally. As I gather stones on the riverbank, I imagine stories and works of art I can create with them. However, I try to emphasize the natural shapes, colors, and beauty of these stones and generally try not to change their original shapes. Respecting and utilizing the natural characteristics of original material is a very old and important aspect of Japanese culture. We have a concept of creativity known as MITATE, which involves creating new values by taking something that holds certain significance in one context and placing it in a different context. A typical example is raked gravel in a temple garden that resembles flowing water. Although I am a contemporary artist I feel that such ancient Japanese concepts are deeply embedded in my DNA.

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Shanley Rhodes cut her teeth as a poet at Naropa University some 25 years ago. In the intervening decades, she has spent most of her time as an LA educator and (to her utter bemusement) a soccer mom. 

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Tamzin Whelan lives in a green valley in Bristol, UK. She has a research masters in transnational writing and is PhD candidate in creative writing at Swansea University. She recently won funding to investigate gender bias in children’s literature, and since then spends most evenings scanning picture books. She’s taught English and yoga in South Korea and Spain, and spent six months interviewing grandmothers in Colombia for an ethno-novella. You can find some of her work at Sheriff Nottingham and Singing Lampposts. When not writing Tamzin likes to feed the crows, make things out of clay and hang out with her two outrageous cats.

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John Fleck is an Actor and Performance Art Provocateur aka one of the NEA 4 performance artists defunded by the National Endowment of the Arts in 1990 because of their sexually themed self-scripted pieces. Fleck's latest piece titled its alive, ITS ALIVE debuts post-covid summer. Past critically acclaimed and award winning self-scripted work includes Blacktop Highway, MAD WOMEN , Side EFFlecks May Include, Nothin’ Beats Pussy, Dirt, me, A Snowball’s Chance in Hell, Blessed are all the Little Fishes, Psycho Opera and I got the He-Be-She-Be’s. A sampling of past performance venues includes; the ICA (London); ICA (Boston); The Warhol Museum (Pittsburg); The New Museum, The Public Theater, The Guggenheim Museum, PS-122, Second Stage, La Mama, Dixon Place & Joe’s Pub (NYC); The Broad Stage, REDCAT, The Getty Museum, Cal Plaza, MOCA, Taper 2, Evidence Room and Bootleg (LA). Recent theater credits include: Sapo (Culture Clash @ Getty Villa), Go Back to where you are (Odyssey Theater), PEACE (Culture Clash @ the Getty Villa), Tobacco Road (La Jolla Playhouse), Atlanta (Geffen Theater), Applause (Reprise, UCLA), A Perfect Wedding (Kirk Douglas Theater), Noises Off (Cape Playhouse-Dennis, Mass.), She Stoops to Comedy, Small Craft Warnings, Cringe & Berlin Circle (Evidence Room), On the Jump (South Coast Rep), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Tiffany Theater), The Granny (Old Globe), The Illusion (LATC) TV/Film (a sampling): Orville, Criminal Minds, Anger Management, Bones, The Middle, True Blood, Weeds, The Closer, Nip Tuck, Carnivale, Seinfeld, Murder One & Tales of the City. He is one of only 3 actors who have performed as many roles in all the Startrek TV series (The next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager and Enterprise). Film credits include: Velvet Buzzsaw, Alaska is a Drag, Falling Down, Waterworld, etc. that enable him financial fluidity to create his, not necessarily for profit, performance art.

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David Talaski-Brown an artist from Portland,OR mostly known for my nerdy pinups.  I graduated from the Art Institute of Portland in 2011, majoring in media arts and animation. During the day I work at Liquid Development as a art lead, doing character design and concept art for video games.  By night I draw cheeky pinups of male super heroes inspired by my love for mid-century illustration and comic books. My pinup work has lead to me getting to do official cover art for comics from Image, Aftershock and most recently DC.  https://www.instagram.com/davidtalaskidraws/?hl=en

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Tim Miller is an internationally acclaimed performance artist. Miller's creative work as a performer and writer explores the artistic, spiritual and political topography of his identity as a gay man. Hailed for his humor and passion, Miller has tackled this challenge in such pieces as POSTWAR (1982), COST OF LIVING (1983), DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA (1984), BUDDY SYSTEMS (1985), SOME GOLDEN STATES (1987), STRETCH MARKS (1989), SEX/LOVE/STORIES (1991), MY QUEER BODY (1992), NAKED BREATH (1994), FRUIT COCKTAIL (1996), SHIRTS & SKIN (1997), GLORY BOX (1999), US (2003),  1001 BEDS (2006), LAY OF THE LAND (2009), and ROOTED (2016). Miller's performances have been presented all over North America, Australia, and Europe in such prestigious venues as Yale Repertory Theatre, the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is the author of the books SHIRTS & SKIN, BODY BLOWS and 1001 BEDS, which won the 2007 Lambda Literary Award for best book in Drama-Theatre. His solo theater works have been published in the play collections O Solo Homo and Sharing the Delirium. Miller’s book 1001 BEDS, an anthology of his performances, essays and journals, was published by University of Wisconsin Press in 2006. Miller has taught performance at UCLA, NYU, the School of Theology at Claremont, Cal State LA,  and at universities all over the US. He is a co-founder of two of the most influential performance spaces in the United States: Performance Space 122 on Manhattan's Lower East Side and Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, CA. Miller has received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1990, Miller was awarded a NEA Solo Performer Fellowship, which was overturned under political pressure from the Bush White House because of the gay themes of Miller's work. Miller and three other artists, the so-called "NEA 4", successfully sued the federal government with the help of the ACLU for violation of their First Amendment rights and won a settlement where the government paid them the amount of the defunded grants and all court costs. Though the Supreme Court of the United States decided in 1998 to overturn part of Miller's case and determined that "standards of decency" are constitutional criterion for federal funding of the arts, Miller vows "to continue fighting for freedom of expression for fierce diverse voices." Since 1999, Miller has focused his creative and political work on marriage equality and addressing the injustices facing lesbian and gay couples in America. Says Miller, "I want the pieces to conjure for the audience a site for the placing of memories, hopes, and dreams of gay people's extraordinary potential for love." In 2017 he received the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's Ellen Stewart Award for Career Achievement in Professional Theatre. Miller lives in Venice Beach with his husband Alistair McCartney. His fifth book A Body in the O was published by University of Wisconsin Press in 2019. http://www.timmillerperformer.com/about.html

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Ben Macnair was born in 1976 in Nottingham, and now resides in Staffordshire, UK. He has been writing creatively on and off for the last 18 years. His poetry has appeared in Purple Patch, Raw Edge, and various small print publications, and websites. His Short Stories have appeared in Twisted Tongue, and in two Forward Press Anthologies, whilst Journalism and reviews have appeared in Blues in Britain Magazine, Blues Matters Magazine, Verbal Magazine, and various local newspapers and The Independent. Four of his short plays have been performed in London and America, whilst another three have been adapted into a short film. Follow him on Twitter - @benmacnair

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William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco.  He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a volume of fiction. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including Rattle, The New York Quarterly, and The Chiron Review. He is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. Pretty Things to Say, (Six Ft. Swells Press, 2020) is his latest collection of poetry.

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Michael Favala Goldman (b.1966) is a poet, jazz clarinetist and translator of Danish literature. Among his sixteen translated books are The Water Farm Trilogy by Cecil Bødker and Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen (a Penguin Classic).His first book of original poetry, Who has time for this? was published in 2020. HIs second book of poetry, Small Sovereign, is forthcoming this October. He lives in Northampton, MA, where he has been running bi-monthly poetry critique groups since 2018. https://michaelfavalagoldman.com/

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Matt Hollrah is a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma. His poetry has appeared most recently in Parabola and is forthcoming in Artful Dodge. He lives in Edmond, OK, with his wife Julie and their kids, Sadie and Simon.

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Antonio Rael is a visual artist who creates cover art, art for TV and film.  He has worked on the Community of Angeles Public Art Project, Hollywood Forever Day of the Dead Cover Art, Olvera Street Public Art Project, Kids Eyez Peace Mural and the Wall-Las Memoria Project Cover Event Art.

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Octavio Quintanilla is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing(Slough Press, 2014).  His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared, or are forthcoming, in journals such as Poetry Northwest, Salamander, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pilgrimage, and Green Mountains Review. His visual work has been exhibited in various galleries and art spaces such as Southwest School of Art, Presa House Gallery, and Equinox Gallery. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas and teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the M.A./M.F.A. program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. octavioquintanilla.com

Instagram @writeroctavioquintanilla , Twitter @OctQuintanilla

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Aazam Irilian was born in Iran and has resided in Southern California since 1977. Her extensive experience in a broad range of mediums is led by her passion for painting and sculpture. She is also an art educator with a Masters degree in Art Education as well as being certified as a practitioner in, NLP, Therapeutic Imagery and in Social Emotional Arts (SEA)*.Aazam has shown in galleries throughout California as well as Oregon, and Florida and her works are in various private collections around the world. She is a member of SCWCA, Los Angeles Artist Association (LAAA) and Women Painters West (WPW). Aazam has been sharing her passion for the expressive arts with students of all ages and diverse populations for over thirty years. She believes in the therapeutic aspect of the arts, and uses the creative process as a tool for healing for those dealing with life challenges and overcoming adversity. Visit aazamirilian.com to view more examples of her art. aazam@aazamirilian.com

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Jojo L. has more than ten years of experiences in branding, marketing and retail communications. He lives in both Singapore and Malaysia. In 2019, he started his own branding and marketing boutique agencies, JLTY Atelier (Singapore) and JLTY Marketing (Malaysia). Specialized in digital/ visual communications, he is mobile-tech savvy, skilled in typography, pre-press, printing and product photography. From 2010 to 2013, he was a part-time volunteer of Project X, a human rights organization based in Singapore that provides social, emotional, and health services to people in the sex industry. A linguistic graduate and polyglot, he speaks English, Mandarin, Malay and French. He has passion for the arts and travel, and occasionally, writes poetry.

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Brian L. Jacobs  is a poet and editor of Tofu Ink Arts Press.  Brian grew up in Southern California and has been teaching GATE English and Humanities for twenty-nine years in both K-12 and college settings. He is 51, lives in Pasadena and has been married for 16 years to Thye, a Professor of Nursing and a Nurse Practitioner. Both Thye and Brian are currently working on their PhD's. Brian was the assistant to the Poet's Allen Ginsberg and Julie Patton, during his time at Naropa in the mid 90’s.  During that time he walked half way around the world while on a peace pilgrimage with Buddhist monks commemorating WWII visiting Europe, the Middle East and India. Brian is also a three time Fulbright Scholar, which has allowed him to study in Brazil, where he studied its water issues; China, where he studied its vast 10,000 year history; and Japan, spending time to participate in a case study in one of its small towns near the Japanese Alps. He had also earned a National Endowment of Humanities grant to China, studying its philosophies and histories while living in Xi’an. He subsequently participated in a grant from Fund For Teachers visiting South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho, plus earning other various grants that have taken him to places all over in the United States. He also taught teachers at a university in Fuzhou, China for five summers under grants from SABEH. Subsequently he has earned an Earthwatch grant to the rainforest of Ecuador, to study climate change and caterpillars and he recently earned another Earthwatch Senior Fellow Grant to teach teachers in Acadia, Maine studying climate change and crabs. Brian has been to 110 countries and had visited all 50 states, practices Yoga and is a proud vegan. Brian's poetry has been published in several publications including, Shiela-Na-Gig, the Crank, The South Florida Florida Poetry Journal, Progenitor Art and Literary Journal, GRIFFEL, Foxtail, Rip Rap, The Bangalore Review, Sunspot Lit, Anthropod, Pa'Lante, Dark Moon Lilith Press, Black Tape Press, Genre, Inky Blue/Celery, Red Dancefloor Press, Entelechy, 1844 Pine Street, Pasta Poetics, Trouble and Praxis.  Brian marinates in inspiration from Gilles Deleuze, Richard Rorty, Audre Lorde, Edouard Glissant, Reza Abdoh, Marlon Riggs, Tim Miller, John Fleck, Karen Finley, Essex Hemphill, Patricia Smith, James Baldwin, Walt Whitman, Pedro Almodovar, Keith Haring, NEA Four, Justin Phillip Reed, The Beats, Paul Celan, Artist Nick Cave, Sam Rami, Jean Rhys, Erasure, House Music, Robert Duncan, The Smiths, Lee Edelman, John Waters, Lana Del Rey, Patti Smith, Michel Foucault, American Visionary Arts Museum, Kurt Vonnegut, ACT UP, Daniel Day Lewis, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Lady Gaga, Zhang Huan, Arthur Danto, Derek Jarman , Kiki Smith, Marc Almond, Nina Hagen, Grace Jones, This Mortal Coil, Boy George, Bjork , Divine, Tracey Thorn, and Florence Welch.

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Charlie Becker is a retired speech pathologist who now studies and writes poetry with the Community Literature Initiative in Los Angeles. He also has helped bring poetry to under-served high school students through the Living Writers Series and L.A. Unified School District. Charlie's first book of poetry and drawings, Friends My Poems Gave Me, was published by World Stage Press in 2016. He has also had poems published by Tofu Ink, Passager Journal, Comstock Review, The Dandelion Review, and Silver Pinion. Charlie lives with his partner, Aubry, in Laguna Woods, California.

 

Nicky Bosman is a psychologist and writer from the Netherlands, where she is a therapist by day and poet by night. She has just finished her debut novel.

 

Asantewaa Boykin is a proud native of San Diego, CA. She is the daughter of Valerie Boykin and the granddaughter of Bertha Brandy. Both women taught Asantewaa that family and community are not only important, but truly the backbone of our survival. Asantewaa has always harnessed the spirit of rebellion. As a poet, she’s written daring pieces that challenge her audiences’ thought processes. As an artist, she has applied her love for both artistic expression and resistance. 

 

Colette Chien is a senior at Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in poetry and wildlife ecology. Her previous published work includes the chapbook, “the poison in our houses” in Silent Actions Magazine, the poem, “i was born into this place a bit of fire & a cancer” into Love and Squalor magazine and The Rising Phoenix Review, the poem, “visceral fears & ampersands have nothing to do with this” in The Sarah Lawrence College Literary Review, the poem “swamp angel, not even a little brackish” in The Rising Phoenix Review, and the poem “on top of the earth resting in uncertainty” in The Rising Phoenix Review. “i was born into this place a bit of fire & a cancer” has been nominated for the upcoming 2022 Pushcart Prize.

 

Adele Evershed  is an early years educator and writer. In the late 80s armed with a psychology degree and a post-graduate qualification to teacher middle-school science The Inner London Education Authority (ILEA)  thought her qualified to teach a class of thirty unruly six year olds. It was a baptism by fire but having the opportunity to learn how to teach a child to read gave her a life long appreciation for the transformative power of words. She was born in Wales and has lived in Hong Kong and Singapore before settling in Connecticut where she writes poetry and prose in a room overlooking a wood. Her work has been published in a number of print and online journals such as Every Day Fiction, Ab Terra Flash Fiction Magazine, Grey Sparrow Journal, bee house journal, rainbow Poems, Free Flash Fiction, and Shot Glass Journal. She has upcoming pieces in Gingerbread House and green Ink Poetry.

 

Hugh Findlay’s writing and photography has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, in print and online. He is in the third trimester of his life. Instagram & Twitter: @hughmanfindlay

 

Frank William Finney is a New England based poet who taught literature at Thammasat University in Thailand for 25 years.  His work appears in many small press magazines, university journals, and anthologies including: Constellations, Hedge Apple, Light, Poor Yorick, The Showbear Family Circus, Marathon Literary Review, and Terror House Magazine.   His chapbook  The Folding of the Wings is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

 

D. Dina Friedman has published fiction and poetry in many literary journals and received two Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry and fiction. She is the author of two YA novels, Escaping Into the Night (Simon and Schuster) and Playing Dad’s Song (Farrar Straus Giroux) and one chapbook of poetry, Wolf in the Suitcase (Finishing Line Press). http://www.ddinafriedman.com.

 

Olga Gonzalez Latapi’s work has been published in Sonder Midwest literary arts magazine, BARNHOUSE Literary Journal, Wild Roof Journal and The Nasiona magazine, among others. Originally from Mexico City, she currently lives in Toronto.

 

Bryn Gribben is a poet, essayist, and senior lecturer of English at Seattle University, but her students call her their candy goth fairy godmother. She was the co-editor of fiction for The Laurel Review and is the creative non-fiction managing editor for Big Fiction Magazine. Bryn's work can be found in such places as the Passengers Journal, Superstition Review, The Rappahannock Review, and in the anthology Suitcase of Chrysanthemums, among others. Tilde nominated her essay "Cabin" for a 2019 Pushcart Prize.  Her poem "I Am Starving" is part of a larger chapbook-in-progress on the painter Simeon Solomon. 

 

Jennifer L. Gauthier is a professor of media and culture at Randolph College in Southwestern Virginia. She has poems published or forthcoming in Tiny Seed Literary Journal, South 85, Gyroscope Review, Nightingale & Swallow, River River, The Bookends Review, little somethings press and HerWords Magazine. Her media commentary has appeared on the Pop Matters website, in Mayday Magazine and The Critical Flame: A Journal of Literature and Culture. Her poetry collection, “naked: poetry inspired by remarkable women,” was recently chosen as third runner-up in the New Women’s Voices poetry competition sponsored by Finishing Line Press.Instagram: @jengauthierthinks

 

Gabby Gilliam lives in the DC metro area. Her poetry has appeared in the Fredericksburg Literary Arts Review and The Chesapeake Reader. Her short fiction is forthcoming from Black Hare Press.

 

Glenn Hartman and The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars are entering their 27th year as an active performing ensemble. In these times when folk music has meant rigidly sticking to a cliched format or collecting hackneyed stylistic features, the klezmer all stars have attempted to challenge and stretch boundaries...but without sacrificing the most exciting features of social music; driving rhythms, passion, and clear melodies that are sublime but remain memorable. Using the inspiration of the city where they began, the band has formed a unique approach to traditional melodies and, even more unusual, a way of writing in the style that leads to a sort of Yiddish Impressionism– keeping audiences dancing but cutting to the depths of their cultural imaginations, even where they didn't realize they had one.The Klezmer Allstars have grown into their name and are frequently seen with many of New Orleans' greatest musicians, including: Mean Willie Green, Stanton Moore, Benjamin Ellman, Jonathan Freilich, Joe Cabral, Doug Garrison, Dan Oestreicher, and Aurora Nealand.

Helen Hawley is a visual artist and writer. Her poetry is forthcoming in the Oakland Review. Her artwork has been shown in Chicago, Beijing, and New York. She’s been supported by residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Wassaic, NY, and Waaw in Senegal.

 

Jaclyn Hogan is a librarian assistant at The Birmingham Public Library in Birmingham, AL. In her free time, she reads, plays with her niblings, and considers the destruction of the patriarchy.

Matt Hollrah is a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma. His poetry has appeared most recently in Tofu Ink Spring 2021, Parabola and is forthcoming in Artful Dodge. He lives in Edmond, OK, with his wife Julie and their kids, Sadie and Simon.

Jones Irwin teaches Philosophy and Education in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. He has published original monographs on philosophy and aesthetics. He has published poetry most recently in Tofu Ink Arts Press: Spring 2021, Poetry London, Showbear Family Circus, Passengers Journal, Festival Review, Plainsongs, The Dewdrop and fiction/creative nonfiction have recently been published in Kairos Magazine, The Decadent Review, and Critical Read.  His vision is of a postmodern existentialist, with a dash of noir mixed in with a progressivist ethic. His new book is on how Paulo Freire's educational philosophy has influenced social and political thought in contemporary Italy.

 

Brian L. Jacobs is a poet and editor of Tofu Ink Arts Press.  Brian grew up in Southern California and has been teaching GATE English and Humanities for twenty-nine years in both K-12 and college settings. He is 51, lives in Pasadena and has been married for 16 years to Thye, a Professor of Nursing and a Nurse Practitioner. Both Thye and Brian are currently working on their PhD's. Brian was the assistant to the Poet's Allen Ginsberg and Julie Patton, during his time at Naropa in the mid 90’s.  During that time he walked half way around the world while on a peace pilgrimage with Buddhist monks commemorating WWII visiting Europe, the Middle East and India. Brian is also a three time Fulbright Scholar, which has allowed him to study in Brazil, where he studied its water issues; China, where he studied its vast 10,000 year history; and Japan, spending time to participate in a case study in one of its small towns near the Japanese Alps. He had also earned a National Endowment of Humanities grant to China, studying its philosophies and histories while living in Xi’an. He subsequently participated in a grant from Fund For Teachers visiting South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho, plus earning other various grants that have taken him to places all over in the United States. He also taught teachers at a university in Fuzhou, China for five summers under grants from SABEH. Subsequently he has earned an Earthwatch grant to the rainforest of Ecuador, to study climate change and caterpillars and he recently earned another Earthwatch Senior Fellow Grant to teach teachers in Acadia, Maine studying climate change and crabs. Brian has been to 110 countries and had visited all 50 states, practices Yoga and is a proud vegan. Brian's poetry has been published in several publications including, Shiela-Na-Gig, the Crank, The South Florida Florida Poetry Journal, Progenitor Art and Literary Journal, GRIFFEL, Foxtail, Rip Rap, The Bangalore Review, Sunspot Lit, Anthropod, Pa'Lante, Dark Moon Lilith Press, Black Tape Press, Genre, Inky Blue/Celery, Red Dancefloor Press, Entelechy, 1844 Pine Street, Pasta Poetics, Trouble and Praxis.  Brian marinates in inspiration from Gilles Deleuze, Richard Rorty, Audre Lorde, Edouard Glissant, Reza Abdoh, Marlon Riggs, Tim Miller, John Fleck, Karen Finley, Essex Hemphill, Patricia Smith, James Baldwin, Walt Whitman, Pedro Almodovar, Keith Haring, NEA Four, Justin Phillip Reed, The Beats, Paul Celan, Artist Nick Cave, Sam Rami, Jean Rhys, Erasure, House Music, Robert Duncan, The Smiths, Lee Edelman, John Waters, Lana Del Rey, Patti Smith, Michel Foucault, American Visionary Arts Museum, Kurt Vonnegut, ACT UP, Daniel Day Lewis, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Lady Gaga, Zhang Huan, Arthur Danto, Derek Jarman , Kiki Smith, Marc Almond, Nina Hagen, Grace Jones, This Mortal Coil, Boy George, Bjork , Divine, Tracey Thorn, and Florence Welch.

 

Danielle Klebes has exhibited at notable galleries and museums across the United States and in Canada. Danielle received her MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University College of Art and Design in Cambridge, MA, in 2017.

Jojo L. has more than ten years of experiences in branding, marketing and retail communications. He lives in both Singapore and Malaysia. In 2019, he started his own branding and marketing boutique agencies, JLTY Atelier (Singapore) and JLTY Marketing (Malaysia). Specialized in digital/ visual communications, he is mobile-tech savvy, skilled in typography, pre-press, printing and product photography. From 2010 to 2013, he was a part-time volunteer of Project X, a human rights organization based in Singapore that provides social, emotional, and health services to people in the sex industry. A linguistic graduate and polyglot, he speaks English, Mandarin, Malay and French. He has passion for the arts and travel, and occasionally, writes poetry.

 

Diamante Lavendar lives in the Midwest US. She enjoys using art as a medium to explore the issues of life with a strong emphasis on spirituality. Diamante's work is comprised of photography, fractals, drawing, painting, and digital art. https://www.diamantelavendar.com

 

Brendan Lorber is a writer and visual artist. Letterpress prints of his maps are available at www.brendanlorber.com He is the author of If this is paradise why are we still driving? (subpress, 2018) and several chapbooks, most recently Unfixed Elegy and Other Poems. He’s had work in The American Poetry Review, Brooklyn Rail, Fence, McSweeney’s, The Recluse, and elsewhere. Since 1995 he has edited Lungfull! Magazine, currently in hibernation, an annual anthology of contemporary literature that prints the rough draft of contributors’ work in addition to the final version in order to reveal the creative process. He’s also edited The Poetry Project Newsletter, and curated both the Zinc Bar Reading Series and the Segue Foundation Reading Series. His visual art is in The Museum of Modern Art, The Free Black Women’s Library, Opus 40 Gallery, Artists Space, The Free Library of Philadelphia, The Woodland Pattern Center, The Scottish Poetry Library, and in private collections. He lives atop the tallest hill in Brooklyn, in a little castle across the street from a five-hundred-acre necropolis where he is working on a ghost story. 

Jeff Mann lives in Fort Erie. Ontario just across from Buffalo. My studio is a shipping container. I use cars and car infrastructure as the basis of most of my work because I believe there are far too many cars in the world.

 

Kevin Foster McCarthy is an actor and writer. He is also a painter... of houses. His work has previously appeared in Soundings East and Molecule, among other journals.

 

Teong Beng Ngo was born in 1950, and been an artist for almost his entire life and has joined many group exhibitions over the years.

 

Thye Aun Ngo was born in 1974 and was a  full time artist since 1994 till 2000.  He went to Kuala Lumpur to learn video editing and animation, and now lives in Penang, Malaysia. He was working as a wedding videographer and is involved in a bike business.

 

Ashley Parker Owens is an Appalachian writer, poet, and artist. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Kentucky University and an MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University.

 

Andre F. Peltier is a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where he has taught African American Literature, Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, Poetry, and Freshman Composition since 1998. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI with his wife, children, turtles, dog, and cat. His poetry is forthcoming in The Great Lakes Review, La Piccioletta Barca, Big Whoopie Deal, Prospectus, Tofu Ink Press, and an anthology from Quillkeepers Press. In his free time, he obsesses about soccer and comic books.

 

Octavio Quintanilla is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014) and served as the 2018-2020 Poet Laureate of San Antonio, TX.  His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared, or are forthcoming, in journals such as Salamander, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pilgrimage, Green Mountains Review, Southwestern American Literature, The Texas Observer, Existere: A Journal of Art & Literature, and elsewhere. His Frontextos (visual poems) have been published in Poetry Northwest, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Midway Journal, Gold Wake Live, Newfound, Chachalaca Review, Chair Poetry Evenings, Red Wedge, The Museum of Americana, About Place Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, The Windward Review, Tapestry, Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal, & The Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas. Octavio’s visual work has been exhibited at the Southwest School of Art, Presa House Gallery, Equinox Gallery, The University of Texas—Rio Grande Valley (Brownsville Campus), the Weslaco Museum, Aanna Reyes Gallery, Our Lady of the Lake University, AllState Almaguer art space in Mission, TX, El Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, The Walker’s Gallery in San Marcos, TX, and in the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center / Black Box Theater in Austin, TX.  A new series of work titled, “Abstract Borderland,” will be exhibited in the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art in July, 2021. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas and is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review and poetry editor for The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism & for Voices de la Luna: A Quarterly Literature & Arts Magazine.  Octavio teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the M.A./M.F.A. program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.  Website: octavioquintanilla.com Instagram @writeroctavioquintanilla Twitter @OctQuintanilla 

 

Linda Ravenswood is a poet and performance artists from Los Angeles. She is the founder of The Los Angeles Press.  A new collection, rock waves / sloe drags, is forthcoming from Eyewear London in 2021.  Find her at www.thelosangelespress.com  

Jennifer Rawlings grew up in Salina, Kansas before moving to Los Angeles. Jennifer is the proud mother of five children. Jennifer is the winner of both the SCBWI Karen Cushman Award and the SCBWI-LA Sue Alexander Grant winner for her YA novel “Empty”. You may have seen Jennifer on Comedy Central, CMT, PBS, VH-1, A&E, CNN, HLN, CURRENT, Joy Behar, the film “I AM BATTLE COMIC” or streaming one of her three TEDx talks.She is a favorite at festivals including the prestigious “Humor for Peace Festival” and Carnegie Hall's "Voices of Hope". Jennifer is a beloved keynote speaker at events across around the globe and is known for her wit and inspiration. Using her humor as a way to tackle serious subject matter, she was named as one of the “21 Change makers of the 21st Century” by Women’s E News. For decades Jennifer has left her family to entertain the troops. She has performed in over 350 military shows in dozens of countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Bosnia. It was during these trips to war zones that Jennifer added the title documentary filmmaker to her list of jobs. Jennifer’s powerful directorial debut: “Forgotten Voices: Women in Bosnia” received critical acclaim and screened at film festivals worldwide. Several universities including Harvard and UCLA have included “Forgotten Voices: Women in Bosnia” as part of their curriculum. Traveling to war zones and directing “Forgotten Voices” prompted her award winning solo show “I ONLY SMOKE IN WAR ZONES”. Rawlings has written numerous essays and magazine articles for national publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, and Hybrid Mom. She has written tv, film, and after dinner speeches for world leaders. Jennifer contributed to best-selling anthology "I Killed : Road Stories from Americas Top Comedians" and "Fast Funny Women" (Woodhall Press) In addition to cooking, cleaning, playing her accordion, and touring the globe, she is currently finishing two new books. Jennifer also serves on the boards of several non-profits.

K.G. Ricci has spent most of his seventy years in New York City where he currently lives and works.  It has only been the last five years that he has devoted himself to the creation of his collage panels.  Though not formally trained, Ken worked in the art department at the Strand Bookstore during his student years  and it was there that he familiarized himself with the works of his favorite artists, including Bearden, di Chirico and Tooker.  After a career in the music business and a decade of teaching in NYC schools, Ken began creating his own original artwork in earnest. Ken’s collage panels are strictly cut/paste paper on a hardboard base.  As his work has evolved, he has added a hinged caption or title as an essential component of each panel.  In a relatively short period of time, Ken's approach became more focused on the latent  narrative possibilities of the medium and with that potential connection in mind, the size of the panels changed from the early 24" x 48" to the current 8"x 24".  The smaller panels seem to perfectly suit the artist's degree of narration and it is only recently that Ken has brought the lessons learned on  the small panels back to the larger surface with somewhat surprising results. Most recently, Ken has focused on creating collages on 6x9 black paper using a minimum of images to evoke or suggest a deeper narrative without title or caption. Ken has been fortunate to have a number of his panels from the series Hotel Kafka and Femma Dilemma appear at a number of themed exhibitions in both New York and California galleries. "I work in a sort of literary/philosophical framework so within that context my reference points are the parables of Kafka and the aphorisms of Kierkegaard. Because elements determine content, the process of creation is both constrained and liberated by the available elements at any given time and it is the improvised procedure of choice, assembly and judgment that settles the argument."

 

H. Raven Rose bleeds stardust-tinted ink. Captivated by stories as a girl, portals to distant worlds, she began writing as a teen. Her stage play The Park at Night was staged as readings in Los Angeles by First Stage LA, one of which starred Jessica Biel in the lead role as Leila. The play was based on Rose's novella Dark Eros. Rose has won awards for game and animation storytelling and writing and is a postgraduate in Creative Writing at Swansea University. Rose's undergraduate screenwriting thesis research analysed the superiority of alternative versus traditional story development techniques for screenwriters in the context of hemispheres of the brain and used tools and techniques drawn from brain research, expressive arts, and mind-body practices. Her PhD practice-led creativity research explores voice development and writing flow, and writer's block. Her research focuses on childhood development and advancement of the individual female psyche and personality in the context of critical issues of attachment and identity (and how those pertain to emerging adult creativity and the literary individuation process). Rose has taught advanced screenwriting and writing the world over from Los Angeles to Wales. Find her online at hravenrose.com.

 

Calum Robertson is a queer fae tea-drinking riverbank wanderer from Calgary, Canada. Their work has previously been featured online by Tofu Ink Arts Press. They hope to be reincarnated as a self-aware tea cosy, for whimsy's sake.

 

Ken Edward Rutkowski lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. His work has most recently appeared in The Fiction Pool, Synchronized Chaos and forthcoming in Fiction International (Summer 2021).

 

Amaris Sanden has been doing art since age 5, and is currently 21 years old. He is very excited to work with Tofu Ink to spread his message that creativity is something that everyone possesses.

 

Diego Share-Vargas is a LA based multimedia artist with an undergraduate degree from UCLA who makes their art in their free time when not working as an EMT or Covid Compliance Officer. Their roots come from Oaxaca Mexico and their art explores the complexity and plurality of identity, survival, sex, anticapitalim, and honoring lived experiences. Pre-Pandemic they performed regularly as part of the cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Nuart Theatre in Santa Monica. Diego links are to zines they have written with art, poetry, and intergenerational knowledge. The Beauty of Belonging: Biracial Chicanx Narratives: https://www.flipsnack.com/quijoteanonimo/the-beauty-of-belonging.html

Sepulveda Basin: Metal y Tierra https://www.flipsnack.com/quijoteanonimo/sepulveda-basin-metal-y-tierra.html. Documenting Funds of Knowledge: Medicine and Midwife Family Narrative

https://www.flipsnack.com/quijoteanonimo/documenting-funds-of-knowledge-medicine-and-midwife.html

 

Howard Skrill is a Brooklyn artist living in Brooklyn with his wife creating widely published and exhibited works on paper on the fate of figurative public monuments, spectacular tableaus vivant of the splashing of monuments in our current moment.

 

Melinda R. Smith came late to painting through the medium of poetry. It was while designing the cover for her collection of poems Tiny Island that she became entranced with visual imagery. Soon, she was working exclusively in a visual medium. In her work, Melinda explores the liminal regions between reality and fantasy, using tropes strongly reminiscent of childhood play. With her background in poetry and theater, she conceives of her pictures as staged theatrical scenes that tell archetypal stories whose roots reach for the dark core of memory and truth. Melinda was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has lived in Los Angeles, California, for over 25 years. She can be found at melindarsmith.com. These paintings were a reaction to urban life in an industrial loft. I took the window/stage/theater motif of the giant glass wall of my studio/home near downtown Los Angeles and turned it into a fantasy of having returned to the humid, green Michigan summers of my childhood. Once again, the window became a space onto which I was able to project what stirred within my soul, and, through the paintings, I lived vicariously, while coming to terms with my industrial surroundings.

 

George L. Stein is a photographer from the greater NYC area focused on street, art, urban decay, surreal and alt/portrait photography. He has been published in a number of literary magazines.

Jordon Tate lives in Trophy Club, TX with his wife and four kids. Connect with him at jordangabrieltate@gmail.com

 

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco.  He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a volume of fiction. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including Tofu Ink, Rattle, The New York Quarterly, and The Chiron Review. He is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. Pretty Things to Say, (Six Ft. Swells Press, 2020) is his latest collection of poetry.

 

Ali Telmesani is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Swansea University in South Wales. Author of House of Abbas: The Legacy of Harun al-Rashid (Claritas Books), his research interests focus on Eastern and Islamic mysticism.

 

Olivia Rose Umstead is a writer based in San Mateo, California. She is the 2020 Academy of American Poets Jean Burden Poetry Prize winner, and has been published in magazines such as Beyond Words, Drunk Monkeys, and Prometheus Dreaming.

 

R.L. Edmondson Vance is a visual artist who uses a variety of media to explore feminist themes and the self. Vance’s work is inspired by the art of pre-history and antiquity, pop culture, nature and the cosmos, the found object, and feminist art.

Rachel Wright is a native of Long Beach, California and raised in Corona Del Mar. Formerly a vocalist for Bleu (aka Ruben Hernandez), and a magician’s assistant for Simon Winthrop she was an art curator for magazines and also the owner of Siren an eclectic magical gift shop and gallery. She studied voice, piano, acting, belly dancing, art and photography at Long Beach City College. Photography quickly became her main focal point and it blossomed into something totally unexpected. Her work has been featured in galleries such as The Phantom Gallery (Los Angeles, Ca.), The Loft Gallery (Pomona Ca.), Salon Pop (Long Beach, Ca.), Luz (Long Beach, Ca.), and the Historic Pico House Gallery (Los Angeles, Ca.) where she received a certificate of appreciation from the City of Los Angeles. Publications include: LA Raw, Spark Plug, City magazine and more. Awards include: 1st Place for her fashion narrative series called HOLLYWOODLAND where she recreates the lives and deaths of old Hollywood starlets. Her recreation of the Life and Death of Jayne Mansfield features the car that Mansfield died in which was used as a prop for the shoot. The car was kindly provided by Jeff Perrin. The award was provided by Kara Saun and also judged by Neil France. Rachel has a love for high fashion, fine art, cinematography, astrology and tarot. https://rachelwrightphotography.blogspot.com

IG: ray_of_luz

Sarah Sophia Yanni writing has appeared in DREGINALD, Maudlin House, Feelings, Full Stop, Tofu Ink Arts Press Spring 2021 and others. A finalist for BOMB Magazine’s 2020 Poetry Contest, she lives and works in Los Angeles. sarahsophiayanni.com

 

Brian Yapko is a lawyer whose poems have appeared in Prometheus Dreaming, Tofu Ink, Sparks of Calliope, Gyroscope, Cagibi, Society of Classical Poets, Chained Muse, Abstract Elephant, Poetica and other publications. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 

Cynthia Yatchman is a Seattle based artist and art instructor. With an M.A. in child development and a B.A. in education, she has a strong interest in art education and teaches art to adults, children and families in Seattle. A former ceramicist, she studied with J.T. Abernathy in Ann Arbor, MI. though after receiving her B.F.A. in painting from the University of Washington she switched from 3D art to 2D and has stayed there since, working primarily on paintings, prints and collages. Her art is housed in numerous public and private collections and has been shown nationally in California, Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon and Wyoming. She has exhibited extensively in the Northwest, including shows at Seattle University, Seattle PaciOic University, Shoreline Community College, the Tacoma and Seattle Convention Centers and the PaciOic Science Center. She is an afOiliate member of Gallery 110 and is a member of the Seattle Print Art Association and COCA (Center of Contemporary Art) and an affiliate member of Gallery 110 in Seattle. 

 

Darren Yu: I could be boring and say I’ve always loved art ever since I drew on the walls of my house with crayon and was forcefully shuffled into art class.  But that's kind of generic.  Enraptured with a middle school project exploring our personal heroes and influences, I started thinking of words and art in a new way as I came to terms with being gay.  Working on that project pushed me to be honest with myself and those around in me a way that would probably make me cringe so very hard.  I know this to be true because I simultaneously respect and will never reread that project, but I attribute all my personal growth to it  Since then, art has been my place to process.  Maybe I’m a narcissist or maybe I just love the idea of a visual diary, but I really do hope that each of my work really captures a thought, a feeling in as much depth and detail as I can.Also, I’m currently an economic consultant full time and I think it’s important to stress that I like being this soft art boi but I also enjoy research and analysis.  Maybe one day I’ll bridge the two.  My instagram is @yuheffa.