Contributor Bios

JOSEPH BATHANTI was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. He has BA & MA degrees in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. Bathanti came to North Carolina as a VISTA Volunteer in 1976 to work with prison inmates. At present he is Professor of Creative Writing, and Co-Director of the Visiting Writers Series, at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  

Bathanti is the author of six books of poetry: Communion Partners; Anson County; The Feast of All Saints; This Metal, which was nominated for The National Book Award, and won the 1997 Oscar Arnold Young Award from The North Carolina Poetry Council for best book of poems by a North Carolina writer; Land of Amnesia, published in 2009 by Press 53; and his new collection, Restoring Sacred Art,from Star Cloud Press, winner of 2010 Roanoke Chowan Award, given annually by the NC Literary and Historical Association for the best book of poetry published in a given year. His first novel, East Liberty, winner of the Carolina Novel Award, was published in 2001 by Banks Channel Books in Wilmington, NC. His latest novel, Coventry, winner of the 2006 Novello Literary Award, was published by Novello Festival Press in Charlotte, NC. They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971-1995, his book of nonfiction, was published in early 2007. His collection of short stories, The High Heart, winner of the 2007 Spokane Prize, was published by Eastern Washington University Press in Fall 2007.

Bathanti's poetry, fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Shenandoah, Manhattan Poetry Review, The Nebraska Review, Carolina Quarterly, America, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Louisiana Literature, The Sun, North Dakota Quarterly, The Texas Review, California Quarterly, West Branch, Southern Humanities Review, South Dakota Review, Kentucky Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Southern Poetry Review, The Hollins Critic, Tar River Poetry, South Carolina Review and many others.

His one-act play, Afomo, won The Wachovia Playwrights Prize, The Playwrights Fund of North Carolina Prize and was produced by the Lab Theatre of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in short fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction.

He is the recipient of Literature Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council in 1994 (for poetry) and 2009 (for fiction); The Samuel Talmadge Ragan Award, presented annually for outstanding contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina over an extended period; a Fellowship from The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry; the Bruno Arcudi Literature Prize; the Ernest A Lynton Faculty Award for Professional Service and Academic Outreach; the Aniello Lauri Award for Creative Writing (in 2001 and 2007); the Linda Flowers Prize; the Sherwood Anderson Award, the 2007 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize; and others.

MARK BLAEUER’s poems and translations have appeared in Blue Unicorn, The Dark Horse, The Flea,
The Hiram Poetry Review, Nimrod, Pudding Magazine, The Raintown Review, RE:AL,
Slant, Umbrella, Westview, among other journals. He lives near Hot Springs, Arkansas.

CATHARINE SAVAGE BROSMAN, who lives in Houston, is Professor Emerita of French at Tulane University. In addition to scholarly books, she has published two volumes of creative prose, seven collections of poems, and four chapbooks. Her recent collections, Range of Light  (LSU Press, 2007) and Breakwater (Mercer University Press, 2009), received starred reviews in Booklist. In 2011, LSU Press will bring out another collection, Under the Pergola, and Mercer will publish On the North Slope in 2012. Her poems have appeared in Sewanee Review, Southern Review, Critical Quarterly, South Carolina Review, American Scholar, Southwest Review, and First Things. French translations of her poems have been published in the Nouvelle Revue Française, Europe, and elsewhere.

A native and long-time resident of Mississippi, JOHN FREEMAN now lives in Harvey, Louisiana, where he is a retired teacher. His poetry has appeared in Arkansas Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, The MacGuffin, Roanoke Review, and Xavier Review. He has published three books of poetry, the most recent In the Place of Singing (Louisiana Literature Press, 2005). He taught English and creative writing at Tarleton State University and Mississippi State University. He is currently poetry editor of The Magnolia Quarterly.

AVA LEAVELL HAYMON is a poet, playwright, and teacher.  Her poems have appeared in the journals Poetry, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, The Sun, and many others; in five chapbooks from independent small presses; and in three collections, The Strict Economy of Fire, Kitchen Heat, and Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread, from Louisiana State University Press.  She holds the Louisiana Literature prize for poetry in 2003, and the L. E. Phillabaum Prize for 2010. She teaches poetry writing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, during the academic year and in New Mexico in the summer, where she directs a retreat center for writers and artists. She has directed workshops and read her poems widely, in the United States and in Canada.

EDISON JENNINGS’s poems have appeared in Boulevard, Kenyon Review, Nebraska Review, Poetry Daily, Slate, Southern Cultures, Southern Review, Southern Poetry Review, River Styx, and other journals. He lives in Abingdon, Virginia and teaches at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia.

RICK KEMPA lives in Rock Springs, Wyoming, where he teaches writing and philosophy at Western Wyoming College. His book of poems, Keeping the Quiet, is available from Bellowing Ark Press.  Additional biographical and publication history can be found at

DON RUSS is the author of Dream Driving (Kennesaw State University  Press, 2007) and the chapbook Adam’s Nap (Billy Goat Press, 2005).  He continues to publish regularly in literary magazines.  

ELIZABETH SAVAGE is poetry editor for Kestrel: A Journal of Literature & Art. A chapbook, Jane & Paige or Sister Goose, and a full-length poetry manuscript entitled Grammar are forthcoming this year from Furniture Press.

TOM SHEEHAN’s books are Epic Cures, 2005 and Brief Cases, Short Spans, November 2008 from Press 53; A Collection of Friends, 2004, From the Quickening, March 2009, from Pocol Press; proposals for story collections, Where the Cowboys Ride Forever, and Out of the Universe Endlessly Calling are with other publishers. His work is currently in or coming in Ocean Magazine, Perigee, Rope and Wire Magazine, Qarrtsiluni, Green Silk Journal, Halfway down the Stairs, Ad Hoc Monadnock, Hawk & Whippoorwill, Buffalo Carp, Eden Waters Press, Lyrical Ballads, Lock Raven Review, Indite Circle, Northville Review, Yale Angler’s Journal, Oddville Review, Ozone Park Journal, and in books coming from Press 53, Home of the Brave, Stories in Uniform, and Milspeak Anthology. He has 10 Pushcart nominations, Million-Writer Noted Story Nominations for 2007 and 2008, the Georges Simenon Award for fiction, and is included in the Dzanc Best of the Web Anthology for 2009. His poetry books include The Saugus Book; Ah, Devon Unbowed; Reflections from Vinegar Hill; and This Rare Earth & Other Flights. He is a 1956 Boston College graduate after service in Korea with the 31st Infantry Regiment, 1951.

STEPHEN SIPERSTEIN is a native of Boston, Massachusetts and currently lives in Eugene, Oregon where he teaches composition and literature courses at the University of Oregon. His poetry has appeared in Meeting House Magazine, Listenlight, and Ecotone: A Journal of Environmental Studies.

NAOMI THIERS’s poems have been published in many journals, including Antietam Review, Poet Lore, Virginia Quarterly Review and Potomac Review, as well as several anthologies. Her collection, Only the Raw Hands Are Heaven, won the Washington Writers Publishing House first-book prize and was published in 1993.

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