Quail on the Airfield

by Ellen Seusy
Winner, Editors’ Prize for Poetry, selected by Bianca Lynne Spriggs

In Texas, near the Gulf, a man wakes up
and pulls on coveralls and heavy boots.
He drives his truck along a narrow road
to the strip where jets line up for fuel,
heat already shimmering near the ground.

He works alone all day in the exhaust
and roar of jets, as planes take off and land.
He’s paid to save their engines from the birds.
All day, the heat accumulates; his clothes
go dark with grime and sweat, while sickening
fumes waver in the air. He knows this dance;
the quail softly tumble in his net.
He closes it to carry them across
the runway to where the tarmac ends, then
frees them in the sedge where he knows they nest.
Some mornings, when I would rather sleep
than go to work, I remind myself that
in Texas, near the Gulf, a man wakes up
and pulls on regulation boots, then goes
to sweep the quail gently in a net.

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Drag Heavy Pot to Shed (Ars Poetica)

by Janine Certo

Squint at the barred owl, then race down
the steep hill of your childhood. You lost
the dog but found your grandmother
who drank a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Shake
her ten times. Prepare a fine cheese, sliced peach,
hazelnuts. Drizzle with honey. Slide it under
the bed to the monster. Hear the crack in a mother’s
voice who says it would be so easy to go down
to the garage, turn the ignition on. What will you do with all this
moonlight on the pond, at once galaxy, scattered photons,
shards of glass? If you want to know Truth, see
the Pope’s Swiss Guard cursing at tourists,
throwing stones at pigeons in the square. Play a game
of Chase the Trees for leaves like wine in a human
heart—darker than the blood it pumps, the beating silence
in those hours cleaning after they took away
your father’s body. I tell you, we cannot say love
enough times. The vacuum’s defective, so it sings.
Write until the sage & fir candle kills the smell
of the wall’s rotting mouse. Look over your
shoulder for the child you never had, the sibling
you left in the front yard, the dog returning, bread
in her mouth. Revisit title. Now your words are the
loose parts of a rocking chair, the longing for meadow—
some ground of consciousness, what the philosopher
called the dialectic of inside-outside. And when you’re
close, smear the shapes of ghosts. Draw grief a warm bath.
Lately, there is little spring or fall, but keep the large bright
mum in its pot until the flowers are dull, their necks broken.

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Feature: Ohio Stories

                                                                                  Editors’ Note:

Ohio. How is the state, the landscape, the word itself used in literature? As a community to be idolized or escaped, as a locale of unexpected mystery? Or, simply, as a bouncy amphibrach (unstressed-stressed-unstressed) to end a line?

In stories and poems, Ohio often seems to stand for America itself, or at least a certain slice of America. It is sometimes meant to indicate Industrial and Rural and Suburban. It can be gritty or pure, used for nostalgia, or to create a par- ticular kind of speaker. And its history has certainly contributed to its literary import. But we were curious about the speci c ways writers have employed our home in the past, and how they might use it today.

Certainly, it is a place that characters love and hate, an idea that must be contended with. And we are convinced, having read thousands of poems and stories mentioning particular spots, that Ohio is one of the most versatile (and sonically pleasing) of all of them.

For the following feature, we asked five writers to reflect on the state that’s often referred to as “The Heart of It All.”

Shadow and Shine: Ohio in the Literary Imagination

by Jana Tigchelaar
Featured Art: In The Sky Somewhere Else – Emma Stefanoff

In his preface to The Marble Faun (1860), Nathaniel Hawthorne infamously recounted the limitations of America as material for art and artists, citing the “difficulty of writing a romance about a country where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor anything but a commonplace prosperity, in broad and simple daylight, as is happily the case with my dear native land.” Hawthorne’s words were and are astonishing in their obtuse, perhaps willful ignorance of one particular “gloomy wrong” shadowing America’s “commonplace prosperity” as the nation careened toward the Civil War. But they also set up the persistent idea that America is a contented and peaceful country, one without a shadowy past that is ripe for romantic literary exploration.
     The notion of America as a young, fresh, tabula rasa had its inception long before Hawthorne set pen to paper, and even then, in its earlier colonial and Revolutionary-era iterations, it was a lie. While Hawthorne’s description of America suggests a blithe happiness that characterizes the nation and its inhabitants, the specific literature of Ohio, for instance, would suggest otherwise. In fact, literary portrayals of Ohio seem particularly in tune with the tension between shining surface and hidden shadows. It is as if Ohio is, as Bill Ashcraft notes on returning home to the fictional New Canaan in Stephen Markley’s novel Ohio (2018), “the microcosm poster child of middle-American angst.”

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“On the Lip of Lake Erie”: Toni Morrison’s Ohio Aesthetic

by Dustin Faulstick
Featured Art: People Growing Pink – Emma Stefanoff

In an interview with Claudia Tate, Toni Morrison had this to say about her home state of Ohio:

The northern part of the state had underground railroad stations and a history of black people escaping into Canada, but the southern part of the state is as much Kentucky as there is, complete with cross burnings. Ohio is a curious juxtaposition of what was ideal in this country and what was base. It was also a Mecca for black people; they came to the mills and plants because Ohio offered the possibility of a good life, the possibility of freedom, even though there were some terrible obstacles.

In Ohio, there’s a distinct feeling of being in the middle—not only in the physical middle, mostly landlocked near the center of the country, but also in the ideological middle, politically, morally—having been on the right side of history regarding the question of slavery, but, even during the same time period, often in the wrong on questions of justice: at least as supportive of fugitive slave laws as of the underground railroad. Morrison not only grew up in this contradictory state, it pervades her fiction. “In my work, no matter where it’s set,” she once told an Ohio audience, “the imaginative process always starts right here on the lip of Lake Erie.”

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The Importance and Depth of “Ohio” in Two Poems by Rita Dove and Ai

by Marcus Jackson
Featured Art: Linez and Boxez – Felicity Gunn

In poems, Ohio—as word, as a set of landscapes, as a cradle for psychological, emotional, and cultural exploration—exists with significance and versatility. Derived from the Iroquois word that means “beautiful river,” Ohio, as a name, is vowel wealthy, bookended by o’s, assuring that its mention brings a sonic vitality and depth. Ohio, in terms of topography, is rolling plains, glacial plateaus, Appalachian hills, stretches of bluegrass. Due to its proximity to the Great Lakes, and its general position on the continent, Ohio has hosted all of the following: major, ancient routes used by Native American tribes to travel and trade; pivotal exchanges between Native American and European fur traders; the ruthlessness and violence brought on by the heightened European demand for exportable goods and by the grueling process of colonization; numerous battles fought during extended, armed confrontations or wars (Pontiac’s Rebellion, the American Revolutionary War, the Northwest Indian War, the War of 1812, and the American Civil War); hubs and final stops for freedom- seeking slaves along the Underground Railroad; early industrialization; and destinations for African Americans leaving the Jim Crow south during the Great Migration. To many poets and readers, the mention or involvement of Ohio can at least subconsciously educe some of the locale’s extensive identity. Looking closely at two poems by Rita Dove and Ai, we will examine a few of the elements and forces that the incorporation of Ohio brings to the texts.

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Buckeye Sci-Fi: “Does Anything Exciting Ever Happen Around Here?”

by Christopher A. Sims
Featured Art: Up In The Air – Emma Stefanoff

Ohio and Science Fiction. Perhaps unexpectedly, given the overwhelming norm- ness of Ohio, the two have become inextricably linked. So, for the bene t of colonizing aliens and future AIs, busy consuming every spec of human information in an effort to understand us—where we went wrong, what were our occasional successes, what is meant by “Cincinnati Five-Way”—I’m happy to set out on a kind of fantastic discovery of my own, seeking to answer: Why do an inordinate amount of authors and directors set sf works in Ohio? What could the place represent that makes it such rich soil for these stories? And how might sf itself be enriched by Ohio-ness? Dust off your ray gun and wearable OSU memorabilia, I’m going to need some help.

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Sometimes a Vague Notion

by David Armstrong
Featured Art: Rep2 -Felicity Gunn

Here in the backyard of our mutual friend in San Diego, holding a beer while a balmy twilight coats us in aquatic hues, a woman talks about Norway. Norway by way of Bulgaria.
     “Bulgaria is awful,” she says. “But Norway is expensive.” She’s a systems analyst for a cyber-security company.
     Another woman says San Francisco by way of Hong Kong by way of, originally, Thailand.
     Among others in this six-week writers workshop are a couple of New Yorkers, two Baltimoreans, L.A. folks (with stints in Poland), a South African, and an energetic woman from Lake Charles, Louisiana, whose pale hands utter like scared doves when she revs up for a joke.
     Chatter. Writers talking shop, life, travel. I say Ohio. “I’m from Ohio.”
     Someone says, “Oh.”
     Like the abbreviation of the state itself.
     A sip of beer, eyes downcast, searching the dirt for a lost thread of conversation.
     I should have said San Antonio (current), or Las Vegas (three years), Pacific Northwest (one), or even Japan (a few months).
     Because Ohio is a vague place. A conversation ender. A fly-over state. Rows of corn and plains and farms and factories. The Midwest (though a vehement Iowan once denied me even that: “Ohio is in the east,” he declared, “not in the middle, and definitely not west of anything”).
     Sometimes Red. Sometimes Blue. Blue collar. A swing state. Strictly non-icon.
     The license plates read, “Birthplace of Aviation,” when we all know, strictly speaking, that isn’t true.

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Contributors’ Notes

David Armstrong has authored two story collections, Going Anywhere (Leap- frog, 2014) and Reiterations (New American, 2017), and a chapbook, Missives from the Green Campaign (Omnidawn, 2017). His stories have appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Narrative, Iron Horse, and Best of Ohio Short Stories, and have won the Mississippi Review Prize, Yemassee’s William Richey prize, and the New South Writing Contest. He is a professor of creative writing in San Antonio, where he lives with an amazing partner, a loquacious four-year-old, and a grouchy rescue dog. Website: davidarmstrongwriter.com.

Amber Wheeler Bacon is a writer, teacher, and literacy specialist. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is on the board of directors of the South Carolina Writers Association. Her writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Epiphany, CRAFT, Post Road Magazine, and Crazyhorse. She also reviews fiction titles for Ploughshares. She is the recipient of the 2018 Breakout 8 Writers Prize sponsored by Epiphany and The Author’s Guild. She grew up in the Atlanta area and now lives on the South Carolina coast.

Ansie Baird taught for forty years at The Buffalo Seminary and is the former editor of Earth’s Daughters. She is the author of three collections, including In Advance of All Parting (2009), The Solace of Islands (2016), and Porch Watch (forthcoming from The Foundling Press, 2019). Her work has been published in The Paris Review, The Southern Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Quarterly, Western Humanities Review, among others.

John Mark Ballenger lives in Mount Vernon, OH, with his wife and two children. He received an MFA in creative writing from Ashland University in 2012. Ballenger grew up in rural southern Ohio, and the landscapes and lives and voices of northern Appalachia are the primary forces which have shaped his imagination and writing.

Max Bell is a writer and used-bookstore enthusiast from Santa Monica, CA. He received his MFA from California State University, Long Beach, and his love of fiction from his parents. His nonfiction has appeared in print or online for Noisey, Billboard, Bandcamp, and the LAnd, among others.

Janine Certo is the author of In the Corner of the Living, first runner-up for the 2017 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. Her poetry is published in Mid-American Review, Crab Orchard Review, The National Poetry Review, Italian Americana, and elsewhere. She is also author of the book Children Writing Poems: Poetic Voices in and out of School (Routledge, 2018). She is currently an associate professor at Michigan State, and she lives in East Lansing with her husband and rescued lab-weimaraner. Website: certojl.wixsite.com/mysite.

Robert Danberg’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Sun, The Cortland Review, and other journals. His book of creative nonfiction, Teaching Writing While Standing on One Foot, was published by Sense Publishers in 2015. He lives with his two children in Ithaca, NY, and he teaches academic writing at Binghamton University.

Dawn Davies is the author of Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces (Flatiron Books, 2018), which recently won the GLCA New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction and was a 2018 and 2019 Indie Next List book. Her essays and stories have been Pushcart Special Mentions and Best American Essays notables. Her work can be found in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Missouri Review, Poetry Northwest, Arts & Letters, Narrative, Fourth Genre, and elsewhere. She lives in weird Florida. Website: dawndaviesbooks.com.

Steven Dawson is an MFA student at Purdue, where he serves as poetry editor of Sycamore Review. He was raised in Los Angeles and Denver. This is his first publication.

Joanne Dominique Dwyer lives in northern New Mexico and is the author of the poetry collection Belle Laide (Sarabande Books). She is a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Award, an American Poetry Review Jerome J. Shestack prize, a Massachusetts Review Anne Halley prize, and a Bread Loaf scholarship. Dwyer’s work will appear in the upcoming Best American Poetry 2019.

Dustin Faulstick is a Senior Lewis Lecturer in the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky. His critical essays have appeared in Studies in American Naturalism, Literature and Belief, Edith Wharton Review, and Religion and the Arts. He is working on a book about Ecclesiastes and early-twentieth-century U.S. literature.

Sujatha Fernandes is the author of several books, including a memoir on a global hip hop life, Close to the Edge, and Curated Stories: The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling. Her essays and short stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, and The Maine Review, among others. She teaches sociology at the University of Sydney and the City University of New York. Find her work at sujathafernandes.com.

Kate Fox’s work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Pleiades, Valparaiso Review, and West Branch. She is the author of two chapbooks: The Lazarus Method, published by Kent State University Press (Wick Poetry Chapbook Series) and Walking Off the Map (Seven Kitchens Press). She earned her Ph.D. from Ohio University and lives in Athens with her partner, Robert DeMott, and their dogs.

Mary Jo Firth Gillett’s Soluble Fish won the Crab Orchard Series First Book Award and she’s published four award-winning chapbooks, most recently Dance Like a Flame (Hill-Stead Sunken Gardens Poetry Award). Poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Salamander, Third Coast, Green Mountains Review, and other journals as well as on the Verse Daily website. She’s won the N.Y. Open Voice Poetry Award and a Kresge Artist Fellowship in the Literary Arts.

Becky Hagenston’s three story collections have won the Permafrost Prize, the Spokane Prize, and the Mary McCarthy Prize. Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, the Oxford American, New England Review, and many other journals, and have been chosen twice for an O. Henry Award. She teaches creative writing at Mississippi State University.

Paul Hansen lives in Tallahassee, FL. His work has appeared in Juked and online at the Fanzine. He is a Ph.D. student at Florida State University and earned his MFA from McNeese State in Lake Charles, LA.

Janice N. Harrington is the author of the collections: Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone, The Hands of Strangers, and the newly released Primitive: The Art and Life of Horace H. Pippin. She curates “A Space for Image,” a blog on poetic imagery, and teaches creative writing at the University of Illinois.

Tony Hoagland’s latest collections of poems are Recent Changes in the Vernacular (Tres Chicas Books, 2017) and Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God (Graywolf, 2018). His book of essays, The Art of Voice: Poetic Principles and Practice (Norton), was published in March 2019. “Sunday at the Mall,” included here, was also known as “Last Poem for Kath.” Tony Hoagland died in October 2018.

Bobbie Jean Huff has published short stories, essays, and poems in various Canadian literary journals and newspapers. She has been the recipient of a Canada Council Arts Grant as well as an Ontario Arts Grant, and she received first prize in a cross-Canada fiction contest sponsored by Queen’s University. She has just finished her second novel and has begun the process of getting both published.

Marcus Jackson’s second book of poems, Pardon My Heart, was released by Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books in 2018. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, and Harvard Review. Jackson lives with his wife and child in Columbus, and he teaches in the MFA programs at Ohio State and Queens University of Charlotte.

Stephanie Johnson is the recipient of an Asheville Regional Artist Grant and the first-place winner of the 2017 Lumina Magazine Poetry Contest. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Passed Note. Her work has been published by Beecher’s Magazine, Jabberwock Review, and QU, among others. She lives in Asheville, NC, with her husband and their seven bookshelves. Her website is srenae.com.

Judy Kronenfeld is the author of four full-length collections and two chapbooks of poetry, including Bird Flying through the Banquet (FutureCycle, 2017), Shimmer (WordTech, 2012), and Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths (2nd edition, Antrim House, 2012)—winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, Natural Bridge, Rattle, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and other journals, and in more than twenty anthologies. She is Lecturer Emerita, Creative Writing Department, University of California, Riverside, and Associate Editor of the online poetry journal, Poemeleon.

Lance Larsen, former poet laureate of Utah, has published five poetry collections, most recently What the Body Knows (Tampa, 2018). He has received a number of awards, including a Pushcart Prize and an NEA fellowship. His essays have made the Notables list in Best American Essays six times. He teaches at BYU.

Mercedes Lucero is the author of Stereometry (Another New Calligraphy, 2018) and the chapbook, In the Garden of Broken Things (Flutter Press, 2016). She is the 2017 winner of the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award for Poetry and her writing can be found in Puerto del Sol, The Pinch, Heavy Feather Review, and Curbside Splendor, among others. You can see more of her work at mercedeslucero.com.

Jane Marcellus’s essays have appeared in the Washington Post, Gettysburg Review, and Sycamore Review. Her essay “My Father’s Tooth” was a Best American Essays 2018 Notable, and she received the Betty Gabehart Award for non ction from the Kentucky Women Writers Conference in 2018. A former journalist, she is the author of Business Girls and Two-Job Wives: Emerging Media Stereotypes of Employed Women (2011) and a co-author of Mad Men and Working Women: Feminist Perspectives on Historical Power, Resistance, and Otherness (2014). Twitter: @janemarcellus. Online at janemarcellus.com.

John McCarthy is the author of Scared Violent Like Horses (Milkweed Editions, 2019), which won the Jake Adam York Prize; and Ghost Country (Midwestern Gothic Press, 2016), named a Best Poetry Book of 2016 by The Chicago Review of Books. His work has appeared in Best New Poets 2015, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Passages North, Sycamore Review, and Zone 3. He lives in Illinois.

Owen McLeod’s first book of poems, Dream Kitchen, won the 2018 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. His work has found homes in New England Review, Ploughshares, FIELD, The Southern Review, and many other publications.

Fleming Meeks’s work has appeared in The Yale Review, The American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review Online, and Brevity. He can be seen in PBS’s Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, which is now streaming on Netflix. He worked as a financial writer and editor for thirty years. He lives in New Jersey.

Kelly Michels received her MFA from North Carolina State University. Her honors include the Rachel Wetzsteon Poetry Prize from 92nd Street Y, the Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Prize, the Robert Watson Literary Prize from The Greensboro Review, and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Third Coast, Best New Poets, Green Mountains Review, and Nimrod, among others. Her most recent chapbook, Disquiet, was published by Jacar Press in 2015.

Roger Mitchell’s Reason’s Dream was published in 2018 by Dos Madres Press. His new and selected poems, Lemon Peeled the Moment Before, came out in 2008, The One Good Bite in the Saw-Grass Plant in 2010. He lives in Jay, NY.

Emily Mohn-Slate is the author of FEED, winner of the Keystone Chapbook Prize (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). Her writing has appeared in The Adroit Journal, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. Her manuscript, THE FALLS, has been named a finalist for the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press) and the Brittingham and Pollak Prizes (University of Wisconsin Press).

Karla K. Morton was the 2010 Texas Poet Laureate and has written twelve collections. Her work has been published by Alaska Quarterly Review, Southword, and Boulevard. She is currently on a Words of Preservation: Poets Laureate National Parks Tour with fellow Texas Poet Laureate, Alan Birkelbach, visiting the National Parks to help culturally preserve them. A percentage of sales from the forthcoming book will benefit the Parks System.

Maria Nazos’s writing been published in The New Yorker, The Tampa Review, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. She is the author of A Hymn That Meanders, (Wising Up Press, 2011) and the chapbook Still Life (Dancing Girl Press, 2016). She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and scholarships from The Sewanee Writers’ Conference. A recent graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s English Ph.D. program, she can be found at marianazos.com.

Kathleen Radigan grew up in Rhode Island, then got a BA in English from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Poetry from Boston University. She is interested in the intersections between theater, poetry, and community engagement. Her poems have been published in The Antigonish Review, The Adroit Journal, Dialogist, The Academy of American Poets, and several other journals. She lives in Brooklyn, where she teaches English. Her website is kathleenradigan.com.

Kristin Robertson is the author of Surgical Wing (Alice James Books, 2017). Her poetry has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, The Southern Review, The Threepenny Review, and Kenyon Review, among other journals. She teaches creative writing at Tennessee Wesleyan University.

Jeremy Schnotala has an MFA from Western Michigan University, and he lives with his husband in Grand Rapids, MI, where he teaches English and directs theater in the public schools. He recently won rst prize in the Saints and Sinners 2018 Literary Festival fiction contest and for The Tishman Review 2018 Tillie Olsen Short Story Award. He was nominated in 2018 for a Pushcart Prize. Other recent work can be seen in Temenos Literary Journal, Chagrin River Review, and New Rivers Press. More information at schnotala.com.

Ellen Seusy lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her work has appeared in From the Other World: Poems in Memory of James Wright, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlanta Review, Blue Earth Review, and other anthologies and journals. She has been an Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and she currently volunteers as a poet in schools.

Lauren Shapiro is the author of Easy Math (Sarabande Books, 2013), which won the Kathryn A. Morton Prize and the Debut-litzer Prize. With Kevin González she co-edited The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (Rescue Press, 2013). She translates poetry from Italian and Spanish into English and is an assistant professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University.

Christopher A. Sims received a Ph.D. from Ohio University. He lives in Columbus and teaches at Columbus State Community College. His scholarship explores the representation of technology in literature, focusing on the business of being a human in an increasingly inhuman world. Perhaps surprisingly, he is grateful to be alive and loves his life, his family, and the experience of being.

Lana Spendl’s chapbook of flash fiction, We Cradled Each Other in the Air, was published in 2017 by Blue Lyra Press. Her work has appeared in The Cortland Review, Hobart, The Greensboro Review, Notre Dame Review, Baltimore Review, Bayou Magazine, Zone 3, and other journals. Lana is originally from Bosnia and is working on a collection of stories that take place in southeast Europe.

Jana Tigchelaar is an assistant professor of English at Marshall, where she teaches classes in women’s writing, literary regionalism, and textual analysis. She is at work on Neighborly Encounters: Women’s Regionalist Literature and the Project of Neighborly Reconciliation, a monograph examining neighborliness and reconciliation in the work of nineteeth-century American authors. Her scholarship has appeared most recently in Legacy, and in Community Boundaries and Border Crossings: Critical Essays on Ethnic, Women Writers.

Craig van Rooyen holds an MFA in poetry from Paci c University. He lives and works in San Luis Obispo, CA. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 32 Poems, Narrative, Rattle, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Poetry Review, Willow Springs, and elsewhere. He is the winner of the 2014 Rattle Poetry Prize, and he was runner-up for the 2018 Auburn Witness Prize.

Dan J. Vice earned his MFA at Eastern Washington University and teaches at the University of Indianapolis. He lives with his wife, their son, and two Toyotas.

Lesley Wheeler’s books include Radioland and Heterotopia, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Propagation. Her poems and essays appear in Cold Mountain Review, Ecotone, Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere, and her novel, Unbecoming, is scheduled for publication in 2020. Poetry Editor of Shenandoah, Wheeler teaches at Washington and Lee University in Virginia and blogs about poetry at lesleywheeler.org.