Ed Hack started writing poetry because it seemed the only way to make sense of the world that he experienced. Hack wrote free verse for years, was published here and there, and then, six years ago, he turned to the sonnet, wanting the discipline of form. Hack moved from the sonnet, though he still believes in the form, to a freer verse, and he still uses rhyme.
J. T. Townley has published in Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, The Threepenny Review, and other magazines and journals. His stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net award. Townley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and an MPhil in English from Oxford University. To learn more, visit jttownley.com.
Balloon Letters, Volume 6 , Issue 2
Robert Fern is a professor of translational neurobiology who lives in Plymouth England. This year he has published or had accepted for publication pieces in Between the lines press, The Fortnightly Review, Isacoustic, Blue Unicorn, and the Chiron Review. Other than that, his publication record is purely academic.
Last, Under the surface, and I don’t know where she lies, Volume 6, Issue 2
A native of Moscow, Andrey Gritsman emigrated to the United States in 1981. He is a physician who is also a poet and essayist. Andrey has
published five volumes of poetry in Russian. His poems, essays, and
short stories in English have appeared or are forthcoming in over 60
literary journals, including Pirene’s Fountain, Forge, Emprise Review,
Amarillo Bay, Mad Hatter’s Review, Foliate Oak, decomP, Gloom Cupboard,
New Orleans Review, Two Cities Review, Verdad, Whistling Shade, The
Writer’s Chronicle, and The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review.
Black-And-White Photos, Caedmon’s Song, Colosseum, Scuba Diving, and Warning, Volume 6, Issue 1
Cameron Morse’s poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, South Dakota Review, TYPO, and Bridge Eight. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. Morse’s second, Father Me Again, is available from Spartan Press. His chapbook Coming Home with Cancer belongs to Blue Lyra Press’s Delphi Poetry Series.
Flying Snail and Magnificent Monarchs!, Volume 6, Issue 1
Jeanne Lutz grew up on a small dairy farm in southern Minnesota, attended the National University of Ireland Galway, and spent two years in Japan. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Best-of-the-Net nominee, and Loft Mentor Series fellow for poetry, she is the author of the chapbook Hearts and Harrows and her poetry has appeared in The Missouri Review; NonBinary Review, Conduit and elsewhere. She divides her time between the family farm and working at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Nova’s Poem; Lost in Darwin; Heart, I’m Sorry I Did This to You; In Good Thunder for a Family Wedding Where the Groom sings ‘Purple Rain’ to His Bride; and Taper vs. Fade, Volume 6, Issue 1
Marguerite Maria Rivas’s work has been published in numerous journals including The America’s Review, Waterways, The Mas Tequila Review, and Quarterday Review. The author of two books of poetry, Rivas is an Associate Professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College and is at work on a new volume of poetry, Rapid Transit.
In Catherine’s Study, That Blue Day, and Contingencies of a Summer Night, Volume 6, Issue 1
Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?
I write primarily in the Nook of my bedroom looking out on a hill and four thin pines I pretend I own, although it’s really just the back of my condo. I find I write particularly well when I go away to a remote airbnb or retreat. I dream of finding a more permanent, isolated writer’s space, maybe a cabin or shed in the woods.
I also enjoy writing in coffeehouses. One of my favorite things to do with friends is to meet to “parallel work,” which largely means to hang out and ignore each other between smiles and short conversations. Not all of my friends enjoy this pastime.
What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?
I primarily type on my laptop although I love pens, especially colored, erasable gel pens these days for outlines and notes.
What is your routine for writing?
I’d like to say I wake up early every morning and write; that is usually my plan and sometimes a habit, but my routine is more typically random. I’m typing these responses at 3:00 am after drafting a poem. I see nights like this as writing between two naps.
How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?
I started most of my creative writing after college, when I began identifying as a writer. I lived what I considered a good writer’s life–traveling and collecting experiences, but not spending enough time writing or editing. I rarely wrote when my children were little, but started writing seriously in 2015. My children, now 11 and 16, are supportive, which helps inspire me.
Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?
I know that I’m supposed to have an audience in mind, but I don’t. I have faith that most of what I put out there needs to be read by someone, but I don’t usually imagine who that might be. I write primarily for myself. At times, I might write something as a gift to someone, but even then, it’s my wanting to capture feelings, ideas, and phrases primarily to study, understand, or celebrate for myself.
What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?
I’m a better person when I write. It’s how I process the world and it helps keep me centered. So any manner of hardship or crisis inspires me to write. As Philip Roth said, “Nothing bad can happen to a writer. Everything is material.” With that said, when life is too chaotic or rushed, it’s hard to find the mental space and stillness to write. At those times, things that help include a day off, a walk in the woods, and a good scented candle.
What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?
I paint a few pictures every summer to enter in the county fair. I sometimes imagine I’ll keep it up year round, but never carve out time for it. I play guitar. I’ve been playing on and off for years, but got serious with it last spring and am nearing competent now. I’m working on writing songs too.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
My favorite part of the creative process might be the window-staring. Also, it’s wildly satisfying when I struggle with a piece and think it may be one to give up on, but stick it out and Voila! It comes together. Usually my writing is slow and steady, and I have more than my share of work I’ve trashed, but sometimes it comes together in the end. How it does sometimes astounds even me. And sometimes it’s easy, the work just writes itself, which calls to mind all sorts of mysterious notions I enjoy musing about.
I always feel grateful to be writing, even when it’s not going well, even when it’s difficult. I never take for granted the time and space and presence of mind writing requires. It’s all a great luxury.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
When I reflect on why I produced so little in my 20s, despite having lots of time, I conclude that I cared too much about what other people thought and took feedback poorly. I now regularly seek feedback, and it consistently improves my work, but I don’t take it too seriously. So I guess that would be my advice to aspiring writers, not to take any of it too seriously–criticisms, expectations, yourself. They’re only words after all, easily deleted, trashed, or erased.
Kristin Kowalski Ferragut has been a featured poet at local readings including Words Out Loud at Glen Echo, Evil Grin in Annapolis, DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry, and Third Thursday Poetry Reading in Takoma Park. Kristin participates in local poetry and prose writing workshops and open mics, in addition to reading, hiking, teaching, playing guitar, and enjoying time with her children. Her work has appeared in Beltway Quarterly, Nightingale and Sparrow, Bourgeon, and Mojave He[Art] Review among others.
Midlife Legacy, Path of Lightning, Teacher Training, Change Takes Energy, Whispers Enough, and The One There Behind Me, Volume 6, Issue 1