Our Guests

Stories and nonfiction by Cara Blue Adams (Episode 27, interview) have appeared in Epoch, Narrative, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Mississippi Review, and The Sun, and she was recently named one of Narrative’s “15 Below 30.” She has been awarded scholarships and grants from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the VCCA, together with The Kenyon Review Short Fiction Prize and The Missouri Review Peden Prize. Work she selected and edited has been recognized by Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She lives in Conway, South Carolina, where she is an assistant professor of creative writing at Coastal Carolina University. She edits Waccamaw: A Journal of Contemporary Literature. Her website is here.

J.J. Anselmi (Episode 13, essay) is the author of Heavy: a Memoir of Wyoming, BMX, Drugs, and Heavy Fucking Music, forthcoming from Rare Bird Books in Winter 2015. He holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from CSU Fresno, where he also worked as the Associate Nonfiction Editor of the Normal School. His essays have appeared in Cleaver, Weber: The Contemporary West, Copper Nickel, Word Riot, Trop, and elsewhere. You can check out more of his writing here: jjanselmi.com.

Jacob M. Appel (Episode 22, interview) is a physician, attorney and bioethicist in New York City. He is the author of more than two hundred stories that have been
published in major American literary journals including Missouri Review, Southwest Review and Virginia Quarterly Review.  His novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the 2012 Dundee International Book Award.  His collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize and is forthcoming in 2013. More at www.jacobmappel.com.

Alison Barker (Episode 20, essay) has appeared in SwitchbackMonkeybicycle, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, dislocate, Anemone Sidecarfwriction: reviewPhiladelphia InquirerChicago Reader, Bitch, Rain Taxi, and others. In 2011 she was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Sundress Publications’ Best of the Web award.  She co-curates a blog on the artistic process called Nola Studiola, at www.nolastudiola.wordpress.com.  She currently lives in Denver, Colorado.

Madison Bernath (Episode 46, essay, Episode 47, story) is a freelance writer and a graduate student at the University of Central Florida. She writes both nonfiction and fiction. Her work can be found on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

As of this writing Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (Episode 30, “You Can’t Outdrink The Moon, O Sestina, Sestina Who Has Been Drinking,” Episode 43, interview) lives and snowboards in Utah, where she also occasionally reads and talks poetry with seniors in senior living communities. She is one sixth of Line Assembly, a collective of poetry-minded people and educators going on tour in the summer of 2013 to do literary arts workshops in underserved communities. Her first book, But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise, was chosen by Claudia Rankine as winner of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award and published by Red Hen Press in 2012. The recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, the Montana Artist’s Refuge, Cave Canem, and the Vermont Studio Center, her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Anti-, Abjective, Alligator Juniper, Black Warrior Review, Barn Owl Review, Callaloo, Cream City Review, Copper Nickel, Cutthroat, DIAGRAM, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Southern Indiana Review, Mid American Review, jubilat, Narrative Magazine, Sou’wester, Subtropics, and others.

James Best (Episode 39, essay, Episode 43, essay) moved to New York to study poetry and playwriting and ended up in tv and film.  He has written for VH1Funny or Die, and 30 Rock.  His poetry has appeared in Cold Mountain ReviewRATTLESlipstreamPaterson Literary Review, and The South Carolina Review.  His play Indivisible just closed in New York.  He currently lives in New England because he wants to recreate the tv show Newhart.

Sarah Blakeley (Episode 23, essay) grew up, and currently resides, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  After graduating from Miami University, Sarah taught English in an inner-city high school.  Sarah now enjoys spending her days at home with her new baby.

The fiction, essays, and poetry of Vanessa Blakeslee (Episode 2, essay [“The Fetish“]; Episode 36, poetry) have appeared or are forthcoming in The Southern Review, The Paris Review Daily, The Globe and Mail, The Cortland Review, and the Los Angeles Review, among many others. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Banff Centre, and has been selected as a Fellow in Literature by the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs for 2013.

Mikita Brottman (Episode 13, interview) is an author, critic, psychoanalyst, and true crime aficionado. She teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where she lives with boyfriend and bulldog in the old Belvedere Hotel.  Find her online at http://mikitabrottman.wordpress.com/.

Randy Burling (Episode 8, “The Fall of the House of Corman”) is currently a Production Editing Manager at Taylor & Francis, U.S. Books Division, and has been in some sort of publishing and editing since 1995. He wrote his Master’s Thesis on the use of the abyss as metaphor of the imagination and its workings in Edgar Allan Poe’s writing. He has been an adjunct professor of composition at Florida Atlantic University and Nova Southeastern University, and writes fiction in his spare time.

Olivia Kate Cerrone (Episode 1, essay; Episode 5, essay; Episode 29, story) was recently awarded writing residencies by the Vermont Studio Center and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in a wide variety of literary magazines, including The Portland Review, The Dos Passos Review, Gigantic Sequins, Word Riot, and Italian Americana, where she won first place in the journal’s 2012 “Festivals” short fiction contest. She is currently at work on The Hunger Saint, a novel involving the carusi, the child-aged sulfur miners of Sicily. Chapter excerpts have appeared in Hot Metal Bridge and were translated in the Italian literary journals El-Ghibli and ScrittInediti. Visit her at: http://www.oliviacerrone.com/.

Chelsey Clammer (Episode 49 and The Lists #5) has been published in The Rumpus, Essay Daily, and The Nervous Breakdown among many others. She is the Managing Editor and Nonfiction Editor for The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, as well as a columnist and workshop instructor for the journal. Clammer is also the Nonfiction Editor for Pithead Chapel and Associate Essays Editor for The Nervous Breakdown. Her first collection of essays, There Is Nothing Else to See Here, is forthcoming from The Lit Pub, Winter 2014. Her second collection of essays, BodyHome, is forthcoming from Hopewell Publishing in Spring 2015. You can read more of her writing here.

Kevin Crawford (Episode 4, interview) is a Professor of English and Theatre at Reinhardt University. He is also an Associate Artistic Director/Actor and Founding Company Member of the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival, where he has directed and performed since its incorporation in 1990. There, he has played Macbeth, Prospero, Hamlet, Pericles, Brutus, Falstaff, Othello, Mercutio, Petruchio, Benedick, Leontes, and many other Shakespearean roles.   He holds a BA and MA in English and Renaissance Drama from Florida Atlantic University, and completed his PhD studies in 2005 at the Hudson Strode Program for Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama, directed by the controversial Shakespearean editor and scholar Gary Taylor.  Crawford is a playwright as well: Crawford’s adaptation of Medea premiered at Northstage in 1998, and was produced again, with new additions, at Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2007.

Java, a.k.a. Jason Croft (Episode 21, interview) can often be found in a smoking jacket and fez surrounded by beautiful and mostly half-naked women. He is the host of The Bachelor Pad Radio Show and publisher of Bachelor Pad Magazine, “The Digest of the Atomic Age.”  The only time he’s unhappy is when his martini glass is empty or when the bartender says last call.

Terry Cronin (Episode 32, interview) is best known as the creator and writer of the critically-acclaimed horror adventure series Students of the Unusual, where he collaborated with many talented artists. He has also directed and produced several independent film projects including “Under the Bridge”, “Adventure Chefs”, and “Ghosthunters of the Space Coast”. His production company is called 3 Boys Productions, and they sponsor the annual Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival and the Megacon Indie Film Expo in Orlando. His Skinvestigator novels make up The Sunshine State Trilogy and have been compared favorably to the great John D. MacDonald. They are available on Amazon.com and other fine book stores. Cronin is currently working on a spin-off novel from the pages of the Skinvestigator entitled The Tattooed Lady: Voodoo.

Sayantani Dasgupta (Episode 157, essay) is the author of two upcoming essay collections, The House of Nails: Notes on a New Delhi Childhood, and Oscillation: Essays on India, America and the In-Between. She serves as the nonfiction editor of Crab Creek Review and as a program coordinator for Kahini, the global literary arts organization. Honors include a Centrum Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and Dukool Magazine’s 2016 Prize for Creative Nonfiction. She teaches at the University of Idaho.

Jean Davis (Episode 32, essay) has published devotions in Devo’zine, Cup of Comfort Devotional for Women, and Love is a Verb Devotional. Her humorous and inspirational stories have appeared in Vista, Live, FellowScript, Heart of a Mother and Whispering in God’s Ear. Originally from southeast Texas, she lives in Delaware with her husband.

Philip F. Deaver (Episode 35, interview; Episode 57, poetry & fiction) is the 13th winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and his book is Silent Retreats. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and Bread Loaf. His work, which can be found mostly in the literary magazines, has appeared in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and has been recognized in Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. Recent work has appeared many litmags including the Southern Review and the Kenyon Review and, most recently, in the Louisville Review. He also writes poetry. His poems have appeared in magazines such as The ReaperPoetry Miscellany, and just this fall in the Florida Review, and four times have been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac on NPR.  The poems are collected in a volume titled How Men Pray.  Philip Deaver is Professor of English and Writer in Residence at Rollins College, Winter Park, FL and is on the fiction faculty in the Spalding University brief residency MFA program.

Grant Ginder (Episode 31, interview) is the author of the novels This is How it Starts (Simon and Schuster, 2009) and Driver’s Education (Simon and Schuster, 2013). He currently teaches expository writing at New York University, where he makes his students form odd connections between the essays of John Berger and George Michael videos. More information can be found about Grant at grantginder.com, or on his tumblr — dallowaycat.tumblr.com — where he endeavors to re-tell great literary works via Internet cat pictures.

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, Sheree L. Greer (Episode 183) hosts Oral Fixation, the only LGBTQ Open Mic series in Tampa Bay, teaches writing and literature at St. Petersburg College, and started The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of ancestor, elder, and contemporary women writers of color. Her debut novel, Let the Lover Be is available from Bold Strokes Books, and her second novel, A Return to Arms is set to release in March, 2016. Learn more about Sheree and her work at www.shereelgreer.com.

Krista Graham (Episode 9, essay) is a teacher, student, reader, and writer. She teaches high school literature and writing electives. Krista holds a BS in Education from Liberty University. She is also an MFA candidate at Southern New Hampshire University and the winner of the Jack Scovil Scholarship Award. Krista published a series of articles on a military blog chronicling her experiences caring for her five children while her husband served overseas. These have since been published in a volume entitled Deployment Diaries: One Year of Holding Down the Fort. Her various other writing can be found at peninmyhand.com.

Alise Hamilton (Episode 7, essay) is a writer living in Lowell, Massachusetts. She is an MFA candidate at Lesley University and holds a BFA in creative writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College. Her short fiction appears in the Francesca Lia Block-edited anthology Love Magick.  Currently, she works as the event coordinator for Hugo Bookstores in Massachusetts.

Catherine Harnett (Episode 15, essay) is a poet and fiction writer, born in New York, now living in Fairfax, Virginia. She’s published two books of poetry, Still Life and Evidence, through the Washington Writers Publishing House.  Her short fiction has appeared in The Hudson Review, Assisi and Matchbook; her story, “Her Gorgeous Grief,” is included in an anthology of coming-of-age stories, Writes of Passage. Recently, her poetry has appeared in a number of magazines, including Alimentum, Cider Press Review, The Roanoke Review, The Sakura Review, Lung, Right Hand Pointing and Six Sentences. In 2007, she retired from serving the federal government on Capitol Hill in the Department of State and the Department of Justice.

Helena-Anne Hittel (Episode 35, essay) is an Art History Major at the University of Central Florida and Intern at the UCF Art Gallery.

Tony Hoagland (Episode 40, interview) has a book of essays on poetry and craft called Real Sofistakashun, from Graywolf Press.  His awards include the Jackson Prize, the O.B. Hardisson Prize, and The James Laughlin Award. He teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Houston, and at the Warren Wilson College.

Scott Hoffman (Episode 66, essay) is an independent scholar and native Austinite living and working in his hometown. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University in 2005 and is currently revising his manuscript Haloed by the Nation: Popular Martyrdom in Contemporary America. In 2008, he was nominated for a Lone Star Emmy for researching and writing The World, the War and Texas, a public television documentary about Texans during the Second World War. His publications include “How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria? St. Maria Goretti in the Post-Counter-Cultural World” in The CRITIC and “Holy Martin: The Overlooked Canonization of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” and “‘Last Night I Prayed to Matthew:’ Matthew Shepard, Homosexuality and Popular Martyrdom in Contemporary America,” both in Religion and American Culture. This year he completed compiling an LBGT Resource Guide for the Austin History Center. In his spare time Scott likes to sing like nobody’s listenin’ and dance like nobody’s watchin’, which means he tends to wail and flail his arms a lot…

Nathan Holic (Episode 1, interview; Episode 52, interview) is the author of the novel American Fraternity Man. He teaches writing courses at the University of Central Florida and serves as the Graphic Narrative Editor atThe Florida Review. He also works with Burrow Press as the editor of the ongoing anthology series, 15 Views of Orlando, a literary portrait of the city featuring short fiction from fifteen Orlando authors young and old, local and far-removed, established and aspiring. His fiction has appeared in print at Reunion: The Dallas Review and The Portland Review, online at Hobart and Necessary Fiction, and his serialized graphic narrative “Clutter” (a story structured as a home décor catalogue) appears at the online magazine Smalldoggies.

Susan Hubbard (Episode 14, interview) has written seven books of fiction, including The Season of Risks, Blue Money (Janet Heidinger Kakfa Prize) and Walking on Ice (AWP Short fiction Prize). Her short fiction has appeared in TriQuarterly, The Mississippi Review, Ploughshares, and other journals.  She coedited 100% Pure Florida Fiction, a fiction anthology.  She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Project, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and Cill Rialaig. 
Hubbard has received teaching awards from Syracuse University, Cornell University, the University of Central Florida, and the South Atlantic Administrators of Departments of English. A former president of Associated Writing Programs, she has served as an assessor and curriculum consultant for several colleges and universities. Hubbard currently is a Professor of English at the University of Central Florida. She is an advocate for animal rights, social justice, academic etiquette, and literacy. Her hobbies include running, salvaging, and collecting items of questionable taste.  For more information, please visit www.susanhubbard.com.

Ashley Inguanta (Episode 8, interview; Episode 29, poetry) is a Florida-based writer and photographer. She’s the art director of SmokeLong Quarterly, and her first collection, The Way Home, is forthcoming with Dancing Girl Press this year. Keep up to date with Ashley’s publications and travels at ashleyinguanta.com.

Mitchell S. Jackson (Episode 11, interview) is a Portland, Oregon native who lives in Brooklyn, New York.  He received an M.A. in writing from Portland State University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New York University.  He has been the recipient of fellowships from Urban Artist Initiative and The Center For Fiction.  A former winner of the Hurston Wright Foundation’s award for college writers, he teaches writing at New York University.  Jackson has published an eBook collection titled Oversoul: Stories and Essays.  His novel, The Residue Years, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury USA in the spring of 2013.  Check him out at www.mitchellsjackson.com.

Patrick Jehle (Episode 16, essay) is a writer from Brooklyn. He is currently working on a novel.

Monty Joynes (Episode 60, essay) is the author of more than a dozen published books including six novels and two making-of-the-movie books. His award-winning short story in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors (Nov. 2012) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His latest non-fiction book is Confessions of A Channeler (Fall 2013). Visit his website at http://www.montyjoynes.com.

Jaroslav Kalfař (Episode 2, interview; Episode 6, interview; Episode 7, interview;  Episode 9, interview) is gearing up to move to New York City this summer to attend NYU’s MFA Fiction program. During his undergraduate years at UCF, he proudly served as the editor-in-chief of the student literary journal, The Cypress Dome, where his work appeared in print after retirement. More recently, he contributed fiction to the 15 Views of Orlando series, and published book reviews on thedropp.com. He is hard at work on his first novel /psychiatric ward admission, whichever comes first.

Robert Kingett (Episode 11, essay) is a freelance writer and editor in Florida. Robert was always a voracious reader and storyteller. He began writing his first essays at 13 years old. Robert created, edited, and produced The Cobra, the first ever newspaper at The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind his freshman year in high school. He began to submit his work to many venues at 16 years old. His work appeared in Teen Ink’s monthly magazine, Fred’s Head, a blog on adaptive technology, and many more. You can reach him at kingettr (at) Gmail.com. He’s currently obtaining a BA in journalism.

Rusty Kjarvik (Episode 12, essay) is a writer, musician and artist. Poetry publications include Poydras Review (August 2012) and Danse Macabre (July 2012). With short fiction in PressBoardPress (August 2012), and visual art for the cover of Eskimo Pie (July, August, September 2012), Kjarvik also blogs (www.rkjarvik.blogspot.com) and performs world music.

Jeff Kurtti (Episode 15, interview) is a renowned cross-media storyteller recognized for his fluency in a variety of forms and formats. As an author of more than twenty-five books,a writer-director of award-winning documentaries, and a respected public speaker, host, and panel moderator, Kurtti is a recognized expert on pop culture and the entertainment industry. He is a consultant to several clients in the motion picture, theater, museum/exhibit and themed-entertainment industries.  He has a Disney blog called The Wonderful World of Walt.

Dylan Landis (Episode 48, interview) is the author of two books of fiction: Normal People Don’t Live Like This (Persea Books) and I Know What Makes You Come Alive (forthcoming from Soho Press). Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, Bomb, Best American Nonrequired Reading, The New York Times Book Review and House Beautiful. She received a 2010 Fellowship in Prose from the National Endowment for the Arts, and lives in New York.

Eleanor Lerman (Episode 48, essay) lives in New York.  Her first book of poetry, Armed Love (Wesleyan University Press, 1973), published when she was twenty-one, was nominated for a National Book Award. She has since published four other award-winning collections of poetry—Come the Sweet By and By (University of Massachusetts Press, 1975); The Mystery of Meteors (Sarabande Books, 2001); Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds (Sarabande Books, 2005); and The Sensual World Re-Emerges (Sarabande Books, 2010), along with The Blonde on the Train (Mayapple Press, 2009) a collection of short stories. She was awarded the 2006 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and the Nation magazine for the year’s most outstanding book of poetry for Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds and received a 2007 Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2011 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her first novel, Janet Planet, based on the life of Carlos Castaneda, was published by Mayapple Press in 2011. Her latest collection of poetry, Strange Life, is forthcoming from Mayapple.

Graham Liddell (episode 59, essay) is currently an intern in Washington, D.C.  A recent graduate, he feels like he accomplished a few cool things in college.  He drove from Michigan to Alaska with his best friend and made a bunch of goofy short films documenting the journey.  He helped start an alternative student news magazine called The Laker Sentinel, to which he regularly contributed articles.  He wrote and defended an undergraduate thesis on North African protest slogans and political hip hop music. Come mid-August, though, he has no idea where he will be going or what he will be doing, and thus would like you to hire him.  Please?

Chad W. Lutz (Episode 17, essay) was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1986 and lives in the neighboring suburb of Stow.  An avid athlete, activist, writer and musician, Chad holds a BA in English with a Minor in Writing from Kent State University, Class of 2008. His work has been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly Journal, Haunted Waters Press and AltOhio.com. He currently works as head content writer for an online job applications website in North Canton, Ohio, and aspires to run the marathon in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Richard Manchester (Episode 18, interview) teaches Literature and Writing at Florida Atlantic University. He lives in Pompano Beach Florida with his wife and two children. Home to Barcelona is his first novel.

Since moving to New York at 16, Lisa Martens (Episode 22, essay) has graduated from NYU, served Governors Island as a National Park Ranger, quit architecture school and currently works at a website called Meetup. Through it all, creative writing has always been her nagging passion. Read some of that here: http://somerestrictionsmayapply.tumblr.com/

Chauncey Mabe (Episode 33, interview) fell in love with reading as a boy to learn more about dinosaurs, little suspecting he would eventually become one himself. A lifelong journalist, he served as book review editor at the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale for 23 years, until the powers that be decided local arts coverage was no longer required or even desirable in the digital age.  Since leaving daily journalism in 2009 (kicking and screaming and grasping every door jam), Mabe has survived by a combination of hunting, gathering, and scavenging, which is to say as a freelance journalist, ghostwriter, and book doctor.   For two and a-half years he wrote a daily books blog for the Florida Center for the Literary Arts.

Laren McClung (Epiosde 10, interview) is a poet from Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in journals and reviews including Massachusetts Review, PN Review, and War, Literature & the Arts, among others. She has led workshops in poetry at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island and in the Creative Writing Program at New York University. She currently teaches in New York City.

Stephen McClurg (Episode 24, essay) teaches and writes in Birmingham, Alabama. Saving money for an electric bass, he once organized his banknotes by serial number. He has shelved books by color, publisher, and height. He occasionally runs from grocery stores.

Tim J. Myers (Episode 63, interview, Episode 31, essay) is a writer, songwriter and storyteller who also teaches at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley.  He’s been nominated for two Pushcarts, has published over 120 poems, has two books of adult poetry out, and won a national poetry contest judged by John Updike.  He’s also published much fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers, won the 2012 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction, and won a prize in a major science fiction contest.  His children’s book Basho and the River Stones is a Junior Library Guild selection, his Tanuki’s Gift got an excellent boxed review with art in The New York Times, and his Basho and the Fox, a New York Times bestseller and Smithsonian Notable Children’s Book, was also read aloud on NPR.  He has ten children’s books out and two on the way, and his Glad to Be Dad: A Call to Fatherhood is out from Familius.  He can also whistle and hum at the same time, though he hasn’t won any awards for that.  Yet.

Annemarie Ní Churreáin (Episode 137) is a poet from the North West of Ireland. Her work has been published in Ireland and abroad. Some of the major publications in which her poems have appeared are: Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, The Shop Poetry Magazine, The London Magazine, Agenda Magazine and the Morning Star Newspaper. In 2014 Annemarie was Literature Fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude/ Germany and Fall Writer in Residence at Kerouac House/ Orlando. She has also been awarded residencies by The Heinrich Böll Cottage, Achill/Ireland, the Cill Rialaig Arts Centre Kerry/Ireland, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Monaghan/Ireland and The Good Hatchery/ Ireland. Annemarie is a recipient of a 2015 Hawthorndon Castle Fellowship. See her website here.

Alissa Nutting (Episode 59, interview) is an assistant professor of creative writing at John Carroll University. She is the author of the award winning collection of stories,Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesOprahTin HouseFence, and Bomb, among other venues.TAMPA is her first novel. She lives in Ohio. Follow Alissa on Twitter & Facebook.

Richard Peabody (Episode 45, interview) is a French toast addict and native Washingtonian. He has two new books out–a book of poetry Speed Enforced by Aircraft (Broadkill River Press), and a book of short stories Blue Suburban Skies (Main Street Rag Press). He won the Beyond the Margins “Above & Beyond Award” for 2013. He has edited Gargoyle Magazine since back before Elvis died.

Don Peteroy (Episode 19, interview) is a PhD Candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati. After spending ten grueling years as a social worker, Don sold his soul to literature. He is the author of the novella Wally (Burrow Press 2012), and his fiction has appeared in Playboy, The Chattahoochee Review, Cream City Review, Santa Clara Review, Eleven Eleven, Permafrost, Ellipsis, and others. He’s been nominated for a Pushcart Award, and he plays in a bar band called The Knife Incident.

A former wilderness guide, Clinton Crockett Peters (Episode 115, essay) has an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow. He is a Teaching Fellow pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the University of North Texas and has work published or forthcoming in UpstreetAmerican Literary ReviewAntimuseLos Angeles Review, and Ethos. He writes regularly for AMRI. 

The debut story collection of Matthew Pitt (Episode 38, interview), Attention Please Now, won the Autumn House Fiction Prize, and was later a winner of Late Night Library’s Debut-litzer Prize, and a finalist for the Writers League of Texas Book Award. His fiction appears in Oxford American, Epoch, BOMB, Cincinnati Review, Forklift, Ohio, Southern Review, Best New American Voices, and many other forums. It has also been cited in the Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Pushcart Prize anthologies. Matt’s website remains www.matthew-pitt.com, although he himself moved last autumn to Fort Worth, where he is an Assistant Professor of English at TCU, and at work on a novel and a second collection.

Nate Rankin (Episode 14, essay) is a writing student at the University of Arkansas. He is a staff editor for AmericasComedy and the recipient of the 2009 William Blake Athanatos Christian Ministries award.

Ryan Rivas (Episode 1, interview; episode 36, essay) is editor and publisher of Burrow Press, an Orland-based, independent publisher of fiction and creative nonfiction.  His fiction has appeared in Annalemma magazine, Prick of the SpindleEmprise Review, and elsewhere.

Jason Roeder (Episode 24, interview) is a former senior writer for The Onion and co-editor of the new encyclopedia, The Onion Book of Known Knowledge. He is
currently a writer/producer for the new Adult Swim website thingx.com.

Lisa Claire Roney (Episode 3, interview; Episode 7, interview; Episode 9, interview; Episode 29, essay) is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida and the author of a memoir, Sweet Invisible Body (Henry Holt). Her short work has appeared in publications such as Harper’s, Sycamore Review, the new renaissance, So to Speak, Red Rock Review, The Healing Muse, and Willows Wept Review, and is forthcoming in Saw Palm.  She also publishes cultural criticism on issues of media, health, and illness, and blogs at Joyous Crybaby.

Originally from New Jersey, Elizabeth Sauchelli (Episode 28, essay) lives in New Hampshire where she works as a copy editor at the Valley News, a daily newspaper. She studied nonfiction, poetry and journalism at the State University of New York at Oswego.

Jared Silvia (Episode 62, essay; Episode 47, story) grew up in Northeast Ohio and other rusty locales. His work has appeared as web features for Monkeybicycle and Annalemma Magazine as well as in collections from Burrow Press. He is an MFA student at The University of Tampa and lives in Orlando, FL. You can read more at jaredsilvia.com.

Pamela Skjolsvik (Episode 38, essay [replayed on Episode 50]) recieved her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College and has been published in Creative Nonfiction, Ten Spurs, and Witness to name a few.  Some people know her as “The Death Writer,” but what she really likes to do is make people laugh.

Sam Slaughter (Episode 119, essay) is a writer, English professor, and beer brewer based in DeLand, Florida. He’s had fiction, book reviews, and other nonfiction published in a variety of places, including McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, South85, Drafthorse, The Southern Literary Review, Heavy Feather Review, and elsewhere. He can be found on twitter @slaughterwrites and on his website www.samslaughterthewriter.com.

Claude Clayton Smith (Episode 10, essay) is a Professor Emeritus of English at Ohio Northern University.  He is the author of a novel, two children’s books, and four books of creative nonfiction. He is also co-editor/translator of The Way of Kinship, an anthology of Native Siberian literature (University of Minnesota Press, 2010). His latest book is Ohio Outback: Learning to Love the Great Black Swamp (Kent State University Press, 2010). A native of Stratford, Connecticut, he holds a BA from Wesleyan, an MAT from Yale, an MFA from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a DA from Carnegie-Mellon. His work has been translated into five languages. You can read his Iris interview here.

Adam Soldofsky (Episode 33, poem) was born in Oakland, California, and raised in the
Silicon Valley. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from NYU
 in 2007. His work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Paperbag
 Journal, Bodega, Clementine, No, Dear and Gigantic Sequins. He lives
in New York City.

Jonathan Starke (Episode 12, interview) is a former bodybuilder and boxer. He’s currently vagabonding the globe and often missing the Golden (80s) and Attitude (90s) eras of professional wrestling. He’s the founding editor of Palooka, and his  essays, stories, plays, and poetry can be found in The Sun, The Missouri Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Brevity, Fourth Genre, Post Road, Passages North, Third Coast, The Pinch, The Normal School, PANK100 Word StoryMonkeybicycle, and Blood Orange Review. You might find him watching old boxing matches on a Sunday evening. You might not.

Darin Strauss (Episode 23, interview) is the author of the novels Chang and Eng, The Real McCoy, and More Than It Hurts You, plus the memoir Half a Life.  He teaches creative writing at New York University.  Learn more about him here.

Terry Ann Thaxton (Episode 46, interview; Episode 47, essay) has published two full-length collections of poetry: Getaway Girl and The Terrible Wife, both from Salt Publishing. Her book Creative Writing in the Community: A Guide is due out October 2013 from Bloomsbury. Her poetry and prose have been published in numerous journals such as Rattle, The Missouri Review, Connecticut Review, Comstock Review, Hayden’s Ferry, West Branch, Tampa Review, Cimarron Review, Main Street Rag, Cold Mountain Review, Teaching Artist Journal, Connotation Press Online Artifact, and others.  She teaches creative writing at the University of Central Florida.

Holly Thompson (Episode 118, interview) is the author of two young adult novels in verse, The Language Inside and Orchards, winner of the APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, as well as the forthcoming middle-grade verse novel Dragon’s Mouth. She is also author of the adult novel Ash and the picture books Twilight Chant (forthcoming) and The Wakame Gatherers. Raised in Massachusetts but a longtime resident of Japan, she edited Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories, a collection of 36 stories including ten in translationA graduate of the N.Y.U. Creative Writing Program, she writes poetry and fiction for children, teens and adults, serves as regional advisor for the Japan chapter of SCBWI, and teaches creative writing.

Vanessa Victoria Volpe (Episode 3, essay) is “something else too” – currently a Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she teaches Child Development. In her undergraduate days at New York University her poetry appeared in West 10th Review. She has also spent time as a Reader for The Paris Review and an Editorial Assistant at Palgrave-Macmillan and McGraw-Hill. Her poetry is most heavily influenced by Milan Kundera, Cornelia Parker, and the Missed Connections section of Craigslist. She also currently serves as Art Director for a local Chapel Hill “rock sneak” called We Are Not Marmots.

Chuck Wachtel (Episode 16 & 17, interview) is the author of the novels Joe The Engineer, winner of the Pen/Ernest Hemingway Citation, The Gates, and 3/03, as well as a collection of stories and novellas: Because We Are Here.  He has also published five collections of poems and short prose including The Coriolis Effect, and, most recently, What Happens to Me.  He has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts in both poetry and fiction, and in Spring, 2011, 3/03 received the Mary Shelley Award for Outstanding Fictional Work.  He has written the screenplay for Joe The Engineer, currently in development as a film.  His short fiction, poems, essays and translations have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals both here and abroad.  He lives in New York and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at N.Y.U.

Adam Walck (Episode 4, essay; Episode 18, essay) has published poems in The Bensonhurst Review, theatrical criticism in the Washington Square News, and written songs for an upcoming, currently untitled album.  Since taking a B.A. in Creative Writing at NYU he has spent most of his time building and running Off-Broadway shows and reading, reading, reading.  He has long been entertaining a novela about a dogfood disaster in Appalachia and a novel about Huff hunters in the New York City sewers, and as soon as he finds a way out of his frenetic work schedule he’ll flip a coin and get to work.

JT Waldman (episode 28, interview) is a comic book creator and digital designer based in Philadelphia. He is best known for his graphic novel, Megillat Esther, published in 2005 by the Jewish Publication Society. In 2010 he designed and launched a web application called the Tagged Tanakh for JPS–a web site that enables people to tag and contribute remarks to any word or verse in the Jewish Bible.  He has contributed to two books that detail the intersection of comic books and Judaism, From Krakow to Krypton and The Jewish Graphic Novel. In July 2012, Hill & Wang published JT’s collaboration with the late Harvey Pekar, entitled, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me. To learn more about JT and his work go to www.JTWaldman.com.

Debbie Weaver (Episode 6, essay [replayed on Episode 53) teaches writing at the University of Central Florida where she also acts as the Composition Coordinator in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric.  She has written and published short stories in another life where they appeared in literary journals now defunct.  After a long draught, she returns to writing and is zealously working to finish her first book.

Monica Wendel (Episode 5, interview; Episode 49, interview; Episode 57, poetry) is a visiting instructor of English at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Her poetry has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Forklift Ohio, Nimrod, Spoon River Poetry Review, and other journals.  She is the author of the chapbook Call it a Window (Midwest Writing Center, 2012). A graduate of NYU’s MFA in creative writing program, she is the recipient of both Goldwater and Starworks teaching fellowships, and has taught creative writing at Goldwater Hospital, NYU, and St. Mary’s Health Care Center for Kids.

Beverly Army Williams (Episode 21, essay) teaches writing at a small public university in Western Massachusetts.  She lives in the Connecticut Tobacco Valley and gathers tobacco workers’ stories while she revises a novel. She holds a MA in English literature from Mercy College and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico. Her work has appeared in Iconoclast, and Interweave Crochet, as well as other fiber arts publications. She writes about writing at www.openroadwriting.com.

Songwriter, novelist and scriptwriter, Kevin C. Wilson (episode 19, essay) has been a fiction editor for CONCLAVE –A Journal of Character since its inception in 2008.  His first novel was The Route.  His novel Saint Bob Day was a finalist for the 2012 Nilsen Prize.  Short fiction of his appeared in various outlets including Delivered, Thema, The Oral Tradition, Sheepshead Review, Faraway Journal, Mississippi Crow and Kerouac’s Dog.

Laryssa Wirstiuk (Episode 118, essay) lives in Jersey City, NJ with her miniature dachshund Charlotte Moo. She writes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and plays, and she’s a writing instructor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Laryssa earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her collection of short stories The Prescribed Burn received an Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Her writing has been published in IthacaLit and is forthcoming in Instigatorzine and A3. You can view all her projects here.

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