COMING IN JUNE 2022
TOFU INK ARTS PRESS Volume 4 SPRING/SUMMER 2022 CONTRIBUTORS
Liza Achilles is a writer/editor in the Washington, DC, area. She is published in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, the Washington Independent Review of Books, and the Silent Book Club blog. The focus of her blog (lizaachilles.com) is seeking wisdom through books and elsewhere.
Ignatius Valentine Aloysius earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where he won the distinguished thesis award for fiction. He teaches as an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and in the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Ignatius is the author of the literary novel Fishhead. Republic of Want (Tortoise Books, Chicago), and his writing has appeared in Third Coast Review, TriQuarterly, The Rumpus, Newcity, The Extraordinary Project, among others. He was a 2020-21 Creative Writing Fellow for the Ludington Writers Board and the Ludington Area Center for the Arts in Michigan. Ignatius is co-curator of the popular reading series, Sunday Salon Chicago. He also sits on the curatorial and diversity boards at Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois. @ignatius2u / www.ignatiusaloysius.com
Abol Bahadori has actively shown his work in the UK, Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. His first major solo show was in PEPCO Edison Place Gallery in DC with more than 85 paintings on display (2011), later in Aron Gallery, DC (2012) and DESI Gallery Arlington, VA (2013). His works are regularly selected and awarded by the Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA, with a solo show in 2021. He also routinely been juried in for Washington DC’s most anticipated art event; The Washington Project for Arts (WPA) Auction Gala. He has worked in various creative fields throughout his career. As a fabric designer, graphic designer, art director, and currently creative consultant, he’s solely relied on fine arts and his continuous painting process as a source of inspiration. As well as a foundation for his professional life, painting is also his livelihood. He considers himself more of a colorist. For Abol color is everything. Color comes before shape and form. It creates space, dimension, and—most importantly—feelings.
Lissa Batista is a Brazilian-born poet raised in Miami, Florida where she is an MFA candidate at Florida International University. Between teaching middle schoolers and mothering her preschooler son, her favorite time of day is snack time.
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.
Gordon Blitz as a child was called a sissy, girlie, fag, queer, and homo. Getting towel whipped, stomach punched and spit on were part of his world. His father, who died after Gordon’s Bar Mitzvah, berated him with shouts of “Walk straight.” Gordon never found his writer’s voice until he retired in 2017 from forty years of accounting and became a passionate writing machine. During 2020, Gordon had published work in Whoa Nelly Press, Wingless Dreamer, Two Hawks Quarterly, the Santa Monica College Journals Chronicles and On Going Moments, and Gay Wicked Ways. In 2021 his best-selling novel “Shipped Off” was published and is also available as an audiobook. On February 2022, his second novel “Fathers and Other Strangers” was published. Ten of his autobiographical stories are available on the Queer Slam Episode 21, podcast called “Just Gordon.” Gordon has been a member of the oldest LGBTQ synagogue in the world Beth Chayim Chadishim since 1990.
Lindsey Bottino recently received her MAT and teaching certificate from Sacred Heart University. She is now a middle school ELA teacher. She has previously been published in the book Paradise Poetry, the literary magazine, “In Parentheses” and literary blog, “sadgirlsclub.” When she is not reading or writing, you will find her painting.
Melissa Cannon lives and writes in Nashville. She is an old (nearly 76), cranky(!), queer (in all senses of the word) poet who has had careers in academia and in fast-food. She writes in a variety of forms--from experimental to formal--and on a wide range of topics--from queerness to the occult. Her work has appeared in many small-press journals and anthologies over the years, including ABLE MUSE, BITTER OLEANDER, IMPOSSIBLE ARCHETYPE, INDEFINITE SPACE, KENYON REVIEW, PLOUGHSHARES, SINISTER WISDOM and SLANT. She was the winner of the inaugural Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry.
Kari Cassellius lives in Hollywood, CA where she works as a costume tailor. She often reverts to a feral mode of being where she just wants to make stuff and the rest of the world is but an annoying imposition.
Zachary Dankert is a recent graduate of Hope College, where he studied Biology and English. His poetry can be found in South Florida Poetry Review and Wingless Dreamer, and is forthcoming in Breakbread Magazine, Peculiar, and The Fourth River.
Andrew Demcak is an award-winning American poet and novelist, the author of six poetry collections and eight Young Adult novels. His books have been featured by The American Library Association, The Lambda Literary Foundation, The Best American Poetry, Verse Daily, and Kirkus Reviews.
Gabby Gilliam lives in the DC metro area. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Tofu Ink, The Ekphrastic Review, Cauldron Anthology, Instant Noodles, MacQueen’s Quinterly, and three anthologies from Mythos Poets Society. You can find her online at gabbygilliam.squarespace.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GabbyGilliamAuthor.
Karin Falcone Krieger lives and writes on Long Island, New York. Her poetics, essays, opinion, and journalism appear in BlazeVOX, Contingent Magazine, The Laurel Review, The Literary Review, Able Newspaper, Newsday and other publications. She holds an MFA from The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She taught freshman composition from 1999-2019 as an adjunct instructor at several area colleges. Her gardening and other projects can be seen at karinfalconekrieger.com
Edward Thomas-Herrera is a Salvadoran-American native of Houston, Texas, currently
residing in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Rice University with a bachelor’s degree in
musicology before studying directing at the Theatre School, DePaul University.
Since leaving drama school, he has become a fixture of Chicago’s solo performance scene. He
was a long-time artistic associate with Live Bait Theatrical Company from 1991 to 2008 and a
regular contributor to THE ENCYCLOPEDIA SHOW from 2010 to 2012. He is also one of the
co-founders of BoyGirlBoyGirl, an ensemble of solo theatre performers which mounted over a
dozen shows from 2004 to 2016. Edward is the author of five plays (OF DIAMONDS AND DIPLOMATS, MONDO EDWARDO, THE PARAGRAPH, THE BRITISH EXIT, and DRESSING FOR BATTLE), two solo shows (COCKTAIL CONFIDENTIAL and FUN WHILE IT LASTED: A FAREWELL TOUR), and one as-of-yet-to-be-produced musical (HELL IS FOR THE VERY HOT). Currently, he is hard at work on a new script entitled OPPORTUNISTIC CHORUS GIRLS OF
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 an 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.
Jones Irwin teaches Philosophy and Education in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. His vision is of a postmodern existentialist, with a dash of noir mixed in with a progressivist ethic. He has been featured before in Tofu Ink.
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 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 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, a Fund For Teachers grant 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.
Phoenix Kai (they/she) is a queer poet, writer, and multi-media artist based in Seattle, Washington. Their work is forthcoming or published in Beyond Words, Sweet: A Literary Confection, and elsewhere.
Holly M. Matthews is a poet and mental health social worker with bad knees and a zumba habit. She lives with her family and pup in Portland, Oregon. She credits her pandemic survival to zoom poetry workshops facilitated by Christopher Luna.
Dualtagh McDonnell lives in Dublin where he studies English and Drama Studies at Trinity College Dublin. He has recent works published in Jelly Bucket Magazine and High Shelf Press. You can find him @dualtagh_.
Vinicius Miranda is a Brazilian born French-Canadian, currently writing out of South-Florida. His written work has been, and/or is to be, featured in issues of Coastlines Literary Magazine, The Dillydoun Review, and a Crack the Spine anthology. @doarc.vinicius
Njord Njordson was born 1972 in Arlington Virginia. Now lives in Reston Virginia.
Paul Lobo Portugés teaches creative writing at UCSB, taught at UC Berkeley, USC. Books include Falling Short (2020),Sorrow and Hope, Breaking Bread, Hands Across the Earth, The Flower Vendor, Paper Song, Aztec Birth, The Body Electric.
Leticia Priebe Rocha received her bachelor’s from Tufts University, where she was awarded the Academy of American Poets University & College Poetry Prize. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, she immigrated to Miami at the age of 9 and currently resides in the Greater Boston area. Her passion for writing emerged as poetry became the only way she could untangle her experiences with mental illness alongside her intersectional, politicized, and stigmatized identities. Her poems are a reflection of the never-linear path of struggle, healing, and the search for home. Her work has been published in the Tufts Observer, the Awakenings Review, Rattle, and elsewhere.
Ellen White Rook is a poet and teacher of contemplative arts residing in upstate New York and southern Maine. She offers workshops on ikebana, Japanese flower arranging, and leads Sit, Walk, Write retreats that merge meditation, movement, and writing. Ellen is a recent graduate from the Master of Fine Arts program at Lindenwood University. Her work has been published in Montana Mouthful, New Verse News, Red Rock Review, and Trolley Literary Journal. In 2021, two of her poems were nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Mark Rosalbo was raised in Leeds, Maine. He spent much of his early childhood exploring along the banks of the Androscoggin and Dead Rivers, the latter one of only a handful of rivers in the world that can flow in either direction. Early life socio-economic hardships shaped much of Mark's artistic choices as a composer, actor and painter. Many in his circle, including his brother, succumbed to various cancers like Leukemia as a result of living along Maine’s rivers once polluted by paper mills. After graduating from high school, Mark moved to Los Angeles to study at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After graduating from AADA, he moved to NYC. He also became a successful trader on Wall St. and remained in the city until shortly after 9/11 when he moved his family to Vermont to enjoy the banks of (this time much cleaner) rivers.
Shelly Rose is a musician, Far Side comic reciter, and sweetheart of the pines. She enjoys knitting, gardening, and sitting very still. She lives and dies by the grace of the desert, and she doesn't know how she wrote anything, it just happened by accident. She has two cats, one of which is named Tomb Raider. She is currently working on her second album for her project Yucky Bangs.
Uri Rosenshine lives in New Haven, Connecticut, where he works at a wine store. His poetry has appeared in the Missouri Review, Right Hand Pointing, and “Minutiae: Three Poems,” a chapbook published in collaboration with Directangle Press.
Ken Edward Rutkowski lives in southern Vietnam. His work has appeared in Tofu Ink Arts Press, The Fiction Pool, Synchronized Chaos, Fiction International (Fall 2021), The Journal of Experimental Fiction, Paragraph Line and Borders: An Anthology of Whatcom County Writers. While in Asia, he has traveled around Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Borneo, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Marcella Peralta Simon is a retired Latinx grandmother, splitting her time between Cambridge, UK and Kissimmee, Florida. She has been a diplomat, university professor, and instructional designer. She writes poetry and short fiction. Her artwork has been published in Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Persimmon Tree, and The Acentos Review. Marcella explores her Latin American roots and background in political activism to create passionate commentary on the tribulation and joy of the human condition.
Chico Starr (Amaris Sanden) is a musician and has been doing art since age 5, and is currently 22 years old. He is very excited to work with Tofu Ink for his second time to spread his message that creativity is something that everyone possesses.
George L. Stein is a photographer living in the Garden State and endlessly working on his portfolio. He works in the art, street, urban and rural decay, alt/portrait, fetish, and surreal genres. http://georgelstein.com
Lord Sterling has been writing poetry based from multiple prophecies he received at church 17 years ago. His dream is to make a living from writing...As he worked in the hospital throughout the pandemic I was inspired even more to take advantage of the time that I have left on the earth
Kenneth Zenz is a Chicago based artist who illustrates from the perspective of an ill trans masculine body. He explores how gender, body modification, disability, technology, mental health and identity embody themselves.