Contributor Bios

KATHRYN STRIPLING BYER was raised on a farm in Southwest Georgia, where the material for much of her first poetry originated.  She graduated from Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia, with a degree in English literature, and afterward, received her MFA degree from UNC-Greensboro, where she studied with Fred Chappell and Robert Watson, as well as forming enduring friendships with James Applewhite and Gibbons Ruark. After graduation she worked at Western Carolina University, becoming Poet-in-Residence in 1990.  Her poetry, prose, and fiction have appeared widely, including  Hudson Review, Poetry, The Atlantic, Georgia Review, Shenandoah, and Southern Poetry Review.  Often anthologized, her work has also been featured online, where she maintains the blogs "Here, Where I Am," and "The Mountain Woman."  Her body of work was discussed along with that of Charles Wright, Robert Morgan, Fred Chappell, Jeff Daniel Marion, and  Jim Wayne Miller in Six Poets from the Mountain South, by John Lang, published by LSU Press. Her first book of poetry, The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest, was published in the AWP Award Series in 1986, followed by the Lamont (now Laughlin) prize-winning Wildwood Flower, from LSU Press.  Her subsequent collections have been published in the LSU Press Poetry Series, receiving various awards, including the Hanes Poetry Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Poetry Award, and the Roanoke-Chowan Award. She served for five years as North Carolina's first woman poet laureate.  She lives in the mountains of western North Carolina with her husband and three dogs.  

JULIE BROOKS BARBOUR is the author of the chapbook Come To Me and Drink (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Waccamaw, Kestrel, UCity Review, diode, Prime Number Magazine, storySouth, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, The Rumpus, and Verse Daily.  She teaches at Lake Superior State University where she is co-editor of the journal Border Crossing.

GLORIA LUDLAM BENNETT writes poetry and prose and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared in various literary journals and reviews. She teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at the University of North Georgia. She also serves as President, Board of Directors, for the Georgia Writers Association and Vice President of the Southern Literary Festival Association Executive Council. She is currently at work on a collection of poems. 

JO BRACHMAN has work in The Southern Poetry Anthology by Texas Review Press, Birmingham Poetry Review, Poetry East, and Waccamaw Journal. She is currently a graduate student at the University of West Georgia. 

KENDALL DUNKELBERG directs the creative writing concentration at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi, where he also directs the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. He has published two collections of poetry, Time Capsules and Landscapes and Architectures, and one of translations Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus.

MATTHEW HAUGHTON is the author of "Stand in the Stillness of Woods" (WordTech Editions). His chapbook, "Bee-coursing Box" (Accents Publications) was nominated for the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry Book of the Year. His poems have appeared in many journals including Appalachian Journal, Now & Then, Still, Border Crossing, and The Louisville Review. Haughton works as a school teacher in his native Kentucky.

ELIZABETH HOWARD lives in Crossville, Tennessee.   Her work has appeared in Comstock ReviewBig Muddy,Appalachian HeritageCold Mountain ReviewPoem, Still, Mobius, Now & Then, Slant, and other journals. 

MERYL MCQUEEN is an American poet, novelist, and linguist. Her poetry has been published in Dunes Review, Clearfield Review, Phoebe, RiverSedge, and Yellow Moon, among others. Meryl's writing reflects a close affinity with nature, and the geographical dislocation of an international childhood spent in Africa and Europe. She now makes her home in Sydney, Australia with her husband and young son.

ANDREA O’ROURKE’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Missouri Review, Harpur Palate, The Rag, Barrelhouse, Raleigh Review, Slipstream, Verse Wisconsin, and elsewhere. She is the 2013 Robinson Jeffers Tor Prize Winner. A native of Croatia, she lives in Atlanta, where she attends the MFA program and teaches composition at Georgia State University, translates, and paints—oils on cotton paper and acrylics on canvas. 

Two books of JAMES OWENS’S poems have been published: An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press). His poems, reviews, translations, and photographs have appeared widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in The Cortland Review, Poetry Ireland, The Cresset, and Flycatcher. He lives in central Indiana and northern Ontario.

RITA QUILLEN lives with her husband Mac on Early Autumn Farm in Scott County, southwest Virginia. She was one of six finalists for the 2012 Poet Laureate of Virginia and also received a Pushcart nomination and Best of the Net nomination for the year. Her most recent book, Her Secret Dream: New and Collected Poems received the 2008 Poetry Book of the Year from the Appalachian Writer’s Association. In addition to her other books of poems, October Dusk, and Counting the Sums, she is the author of a book of critical essays, Looking for Native Ground: Contemporary Appalachian Poetry. Her work has been featured in literary journals such as Antietam Review, Chattahoochie Review, Roanoke Review, Appalachian Journal and many others. Her work has been included in several critically acclaimed anthologies, including Blood Root: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers (UP of KY 2000); Listen Here: Appalachian Women Writers (UP of KY 2004); Girls Like Us: 40 Extraordinary Women Celebrate Girlhood (New World Library 1999); and the Appalshop public radio series, “Tell It On The Mountain.” Most recently, her poems are featured in the new Southern Poetry Anthology-Vol.3 published by the Texas Review Press in 2011. Her novel, Hiding Ezra (Little Creek Books) and a collection of poetry Something Solid to Anchor To (Finishing Line Press), are both forthcoming in 2014.

DIANA REAVES, a native Alabamian, is an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where she currently holds a Walton Fellowship and a Lily Peter Fellowship in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, Boxcar Poetry Review, and The 2River View.

ROBERT SNYDERMAN has written and directed six plays, most recently the street play, Voice Graffiti. His poem "Monastery For Sandy Hook Children And Teachers" won the Confrontation Poetry Prize. Long term work is dedicated to the archive of late nomadic writer, besmilr brigham.

ANDREA SPOFFORD writes poems and essays some of which can be found or are forthcoming in Sugar House Review, Kudzu Review, paper nautilus, the Oklahoma Review, and Vela Magazine, among others. Her chapbook, Everything Combustible, is available from {dancing girl press} and her second chapbook is forthcoming from Red Bird Press. She is poetry editor for Zone 3 Press. 

HANK SPOTTSWOOD was born in Mobile, Alabama, sixteen months before Pearl Harbor. He attended Georgia Tech. He lives in downtown Cincinnati, in a building dedicated in 1888, with his kitties Maggie and Matilda and his wife Mary.

STEVEN TARLOW has published poetry (original and translated) in many journals, including The Cortland Review, Northwest Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Painted Bride Quarterly. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

NAOMI THIERS lives in the Washington, DC area. Her full-length book of poetry, Only The Raw Hands Are Heaven, won the 1992 Washington Writers Publishing House competition and her chapbook In Yolo County was recently published by Finishing Line. Her poetry and fiction have been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Colorado Review, Pacific Review, Antietam Review, Gargoyle, Town Creek Poetry, Potomac Review,  Iris, Sojourners,  and many other magazines. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and featured in anthologies. She is an editor with Educational Leadership.

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