Contributor Bios

DESTINY O. BIRDSONG is a poet and essayist whose poems have either appeared or are forthcoming in African American Review, Indiana Review, Bettering American Poetry Volume II, and elsewhere. Her critical work recently appeared in African American Review and The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature. Destiny is a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Prize, has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Jack Jones Literary Arts, and residencies from The Ragdale Foundation and The MacDowell colony. Read more of her work at (Author photo by Hunter Armistead)

ROBERT LEE KENDRICK lives in Clemson, SC. He has previously published, or has work forthcoming, in Atlanta Review, Tar River Poetry, Louisiana Literature, The Cape Rock, South Carolina Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Winter Skin, was released in 2016 by Main Street Rag Publishing. His first full collection, What Once Burst With Brilliance, is forthcoming from Iris Press. He can be found online at

ROSE MCLARNEY’s collections of poems are Its Day Being Gone, winner of the National Poetry Series, and Forage, forthcoming in 2019, both from Penguin Books, as well as The Always Broken Plates of Mountains, published by Four Way Books.  Rose has been awarded fellowships by the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and Warren Wilson College; was the 2016 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place and winner of the Chaffin Award at Morehead State; is the 2017 Summer Poet in Residence at University of Mississippi; and has received other prizes such as Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared in publications including The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Missouri Review, and many other journals. Rose earned her MFA from Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers and has taught at the college, among other institutions. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Auburn University and Co-Editor in Chief and Poetry Editor of The Southern Humanities Review.

DAVID ARMAND was born and raised in Louisiana. He now teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also serves as associate editor for Louisiana Literature Press. He has published three novels, a memoir, and a collection of poetry. His website is:

JACK BEDELL is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. His latest collections are Elliptic (Yellow Flag Press, 2016), Revenant (Blue Horse Press, 2016), and Bone-Hollow, True: New & Selected Poems (Texas Review Press, 2013). He has recently been appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to serve as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019. .

A three-time Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, & Bettering American Poetry nominee, LANA BELLA is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016), has had poetry and fiction featured with over 400 journals, Acentos Review, Comstock Review, ExpoundIlanot ReviewNotre Dame Review, Waccamaw, Word/For Word, among others, and work to appear in Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3. Lana resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps.

MARY SOL ERIKA R. BELARMINO is an undergraduate of the BA Communication Arts program majoring in Writing at University of the Philippines Los Banos. She is a member of Samahang Layb, a poetry organization from her university.

SETH COPELAND edits Jazz Cigarette, and is the current publishing editor for New Plains Review. His poetry has been spotted in Menacing Hedge, Mud Season Review, pioneertown, Crab FatSan Pedro River Review, and Otoliths, among others. A southwest native, he lives/studies/teaches with his wife in the Oklahoma City metro.

JAMES GRABILL’s recent work is online at the Caliban, Elohi Gadugi, Buddhist Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Terrain, Mobius, Calliope, The Toronto Quarterly, Mad Hatter’s Review, and others. His books include Poem Rising Out of the Earth (1994) and An Indigo Scent after the Rain (2003), both from Lynx House Press. Wordcraft of Oregon has published his new project of environmental prose poems, Sea-Level Nerve: Book One, 2014 (available online
-, Book Two, 2015 (now available). A long-time Oregon resident, he teaches 'systems thinking' and global issues relative to sustainability.

RASMA HAIDRI grew up in Tennessee and makes her home on the arctic seacoast of Norway.  She is the author of the poetry collection, As If Anything Can Happen (Kelsay Books, 2017) and three college textbooks. Her poems and essays appear in a wide range of anthologies and literary journals in the USA and abroad. Literary distinctions for her writing include the Southern Women Writers Association Emerging Writer Award in creative non-fiction, the Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Letters & Science poetry award, and a Best of the Net nomination. Read more of her work at

JOE KITCHENS has deep roots in rural Georgia. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of West Georgia and a  Ph.D. in history from the University of Georgia. Joe began his career as a professor of history at Georgia Southwestern State University, then turned his interests to a second career in cultural resource management. He is the Executive Director of the Funk Heritage Center of Reinhardt University and is  a specialist in Native American history. New to poetry,  he writes mainly of the ironies and tragedies history brings to ordinary people.

After earning his M.F.A. from UNC-Greensboro and M.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill, RICHARD LEBOVITZ taught college and high school English before entering the career path that led him to become responsible for the editorial direction of award-winning consumer and B2B magazines. He currently resides in an Atlanta suburb, where he has developed his small backyard into a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat and a Georgia Native Plant Society Native Plant Habitat. His poems have recently appeared in the Broad River Review, Canary, and The RavensPerch.

MAREN O. MITCHELL’s poems appear in The Pedestal Magazine, The Lake (UK), Still: The Journal, POEM, Slant, A Journal of Poetry, Poetry East, Hotel Amerika, Tar River Poetry, The South Carolina Review, Town Creek Poetry, Appalachian Heritage, Chiron Review, The Classical Outlook, Southern Humanities Review and Appalachian Journal. Work is forthcoming in The Comstock Review, Poetry East, Chiron Review, and Hotel Amerika. Poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia with her husband.

RONALD MORAN lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina. His poems have been published in Asheville Poetry Review, Commonweal, Connecticut Poetry Review, Evening Street Review, Louisiana Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Negative Capability, North American Review, Northwest Review, South Carolina Review, Southern Review, Tar River Poetry, The Wallace Stevens Journal, and in thirteen books/chapbooks of poetry.  Clemson University Press published his Eye of the World in the spring of 2016.  He was inducted into Clemson University's AAH Hall of Fame this spring. 

SIMON PERCHIK is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Osiris Poems published by box of chalk, 2017. For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

SUZANNE UNDERWOOD RHODES has recent work in Poetry East, Midwest Quarterly, Spiritus, and ARTS, and she teaches poetry at the Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, VA. Hungry Foxes is her most recent chapbook; she's nearing completion of her second full collection

LEE SLONIMSKY’s work has appeared in Angle (UK), Best of Asheville Poetry Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Connecticut Review, Measure, The New York Times, New Ohio Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Per Contra, Poetry Daily, 32 Poems, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, and has received seven Pushcart Prize nominations, and one for Best of the Web. My seventh collection of poems, Consulting with the Swifts: New and Selected Poems 1982-2016, with a preface by Rachel Hadas, was published this past August by Spuyten Duyvil Press.

SPENCER SMITH is a University of Utah graduate and works in the corporate world to pay the bills that poetry doesn’t pay (i.e., all of them). His poems have appeared in over forty literary journals, including RATTLE, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Main Street Rag, RHINO, and Roanoke Review

HM SPOTTSWOOD was born in Mobile, Alabama, sixteen months before Pearl Harbor. He describes powerful memories of day-long convoys inching toward the river where troop ships loaded. He attended Georgia Tech where he discovered his avocation, playing the banjo Scruggs style. Influences toward poetry included study and recitation of “Thanatopsis” in high school, and friendship with Mary Ellen and Jim Wayne Miller at Western Kentucky University, where he taught for eight years in the school of business. His favorite line of poetry is Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me.” He lives in downtown Cincinnati with wife Mary and two kitties.

TIM SUERMONDT is the author of three full-length collections of poems: Trying To Help The Elephant Man Dance (The Backwaters Press, 2007), Just Beautiful (New York Quarterly Books, 2010) and Election Night And The Five Satins (Glass Lyre Press, 2016)—along with three chapbooks. He has poems published in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Bellevue Literary Review, North Dakota Quarterly, december magazine, Plume Poetry Journal, Poetry East, and Stand Magazine (England), among others. He is a book reviewer for Cervena Barva Press and a poetry reviewer for Bellevue Literary Review. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.

LARRY D. THACKER’s poetry can be found in over seventy magazines and journals including The Still Journal, Poetry South, Mad River Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Mannequin Haus, Ghost City Press, Jazz Cigarette, and Appalachian Heritage.His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books, Voice Hunting and Memory Train, as well as the forthcoming, Drifting in Awe. Visit his website at:

RODNEY TORRESON, poet laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan from 2007-2010, is the author of four books of poetry. His most recent, The Secrets of Fieldwork, is a chapbook from Finishing Line Press. In addition to Town Creek Poetry, he has new work forthcoming in Great Lakes Review, Miramar, Negative Capability, Poetry Lore, Tar River Poetry and Third Coast.

DIANE WEBSTER grew up in Eastern Oregon before she moved to Colorado. She enjoys drives in the mountains to view all the wildlife and scenery and takes amateur photographs. Writing poetry provides a creative outlet exciting in images and phrases Diane thrives in. Her work has appeared in The Hurricane Review, Philadelphia Poets, Illya's Honey, and other literary magazines.

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