Issue #4 Contributors



Cover Photo, Warren County Train, by Don Zirilli — Don was born on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. He survived by hustling pinball games on a Hootenanny-themed machine, leading to a lifetime of incurable nostalgia. He found the only girl at the hootenanny and married her. They live in New Jersey, where he edits Now Culture.

Melanie Ruuska, Birds Nest (Art) – Melanie, age 20, is a poet and photographer from Indiana. Her visual work has been published in Cicada Magazine.

Jim Fuess, Crying Crow and Ripped Blue (abstract art) – Jim works with liquid acrylic paint on canvas. Most of his paintings are abstract, but there are recognizable forms and faces in a number of the paintings. He is striving for grace and fluidity, movement and balance. He likes color and believes that beauty can be an artistic goal. There is whimsy, fear, energy, movement, fun and dread in his paintings. A lot of his paintings are anthropomorphic. The shapes seem familiar. The faces are real. The gestures and movements recognizable. More of his paintings, both in color and black and white, may be seen at

C Albert, Serves Four (collage) – C.Albert is a collage artist and poet. Her collages have most recently appeared in Shakespeare’s Monkey Revue, Western Front, qarrtsiluni and Shit Creek Review. View more of her works at and

Kyle Diorio, Neon Glasses (photo) –
A 22 year old self-taught photographer that has cohabitated places such as New Jersey, California, South Carolina, and Italy. I am a student at Coastal Carolina University with hopes to continue my studies at a Photography school in Florence, Italy upon graduation. I shoot half film/ half digital, using a Canon EOS 40D, Holga, Duaflex, and Polaroids. I try to create images where historical time and exact location cannot be pinpointed, giving a feeling of timelessness and nostalgia. Surfing, philosophy, traveling, Italian Cinema, and electro indie pop are my main sources of inspiration. The true philosopher is the artist, who gives a beautiful interpretation of the world. I want my interpretations to help people feel. Check out the website if you so choose, at

Shabnam Shademan, Lone Tree, Rainbow, and Horse (photos)
I have a Persian accent, a PhD that licenses me to call myself a psycholinguist, a talent for getting in trouble, and a passion for poetry. I was born in Tehran and grew up in Iran during the revolution in 1979 & the 8-year war with Iraq that followed. This year is the 20th year that I have lived in the US, which means that now I have lived here longer than I lived in Iran – and that boggles my mind. In addition to having lived most of my life as an immigrant, I was born to parents who came from different religious and tribal backgrounds. As a result, I think that being a minority has become a defining factor in how I view the world. Currently, I live with my husband in Southern California, where I also enjoy photography along the water’s edge.



Séamas Patrick Patten came to reside in the Midwest by way of Ireland, Australia and happenstance. He lives in a one-room flat, where he is kept by a cat named Danny. He is an avid runner.

Paul Handley spent a career as a student and a student of odd jobs. He has an MA, an MPA, and is ABD. He has driven a cab and sold meat door-to-door. Paul has work included or forthcoming in Anemone Sidecar, Apollo’s Lyre, Boston Literary Magazine, Poesia and others.

Jennie Mejan’s poems have appeared in Ruminate, Lily Literary Review, and the Guardian UK Poetry Workshop. She is a photographer and homeschooling mother of three. She started Mejan Photography and shoots lifestyle photography and weddings alongside her husband of 15 years. Writing is her favorite struggle.

Russell Evatt has an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His work has appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, PANK, and Basilica Review, among others. He lives in Krakow, Poland where he writes a blog about the city ( and practices his Polish daily at the local deli counter where the older ladies roll their eyes when they see him coming.

S. Thomas Summers is a teacher of Writing and Literature at Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, NJ and an adjunct writing professor at Passaic County Community College in Wanaque, NJ. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Death Settled Well (Shadows Ink Publications, 2006) and Rather, It Should Shine (Pudding House Press, 2007). Summers’s poems have appeared in several literary journals and reviews: Your Daily Poem, 2River View, The Pedestal Magazine, The Loch Raven Review, The Oak Bend Review, The Literary Bohemian, Mannequin Envy, 3rd Muse, and many more publications. Summers’s poem A Fall from Grace was awarded the IBPC 2009 Poem-of-the-Year. Summers believes that poetry develops a keener appreciation of breath. As of today, his lungs are full and healthy.

Visit him and his blog at

Nancy Lazar: Retired from eighteen years as a wood worker in her own business, Nancy Lazar found work as a stringer for a local branch of Morning Call, Allentown. She left that position to concentrate creative writing after moving to her home in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains. She has recently been published in Qarrtsiluni Dec. 2009 Words of Power Issue, her can also be see now at Victoria Violet Journal and in 3Lights Winter, 2010.

Esther Pearson is a Minnesota native who loves the change of seasons, chocolate labradors, and running in the rain. She is a poet and writer who finds her inspiration in children’s books, startling art, and quirky people. Some of her greatest influences are Shirley Jackson, Dr. Seuss, and Toni Morrison.

Randall Compton currently resides in Longview, Texas, where he teaches writing and literature at LeTourneau University.

Greg Grummer lives and works in Milwaukee Wisconsin, manufacturing and marketing kits used to make handmade paper. He has been published in numerous periodicals including APR, Hunger, Ploughshares, Indiana Review and Rhino.

Rodney Nelson was born and grew up in the Great Plains but spent most of his life out west. His poems began appearing early on in mainstream journals like Georgia Review; but he turned to fiction and did not write a poem for twenty-two years, restarting during the 2000s in the ezines. See his entry in the Poets & Writers directory. He has worked as a book and copy editor and lives again in his home region.

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. Michael has been published in over 22 countries. He is also editor/publisher of four poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: His poetry books are also available through his site.


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