Contributor Notes

Patricia Brody‘s chapbook American Desire received a 2009 Finishing Line New Women’s Voices award. Her collection Dangerous To Know (Salmon Poetry, 2013) contains poems in the voices of “forgotten literary women.”  Her poems appear in many print and online journals and anthologies, from Western Humanities to the Paris Review,including most recently Levure Litteraire,, and American Book Review.  She has taught Seeking Your Voice: Poetry and Beginning Memoir for 6 years at Barnard College Center for Research on Women, currently at Studio School.  She and her husband raised 3 children one block from the Hudson River. Thomas Hardy’s novels and poems are among Brody’s lifelong literary passions, thus her deep gratitude to the Thomas Hardy Association.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Gargoyle, Pinyon, Little Patuxent Review, Spillway, Midwestern Gothic and others. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 18 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and “Ribcage” from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Three of her poems have been featured on Verse Daily and another is among the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. Her newest books are “Carnival” which was published by FutureCycle Press in 2016 and “The Seven Heavenly Virtues” just out from Kelsay Books. Colby is a senior editor of FutureCycle Press. Website: Facebook: Joan Colby. Twitter: poetjm.

Philip Dacey ’s latest of thirteen books is Church of the Adagio (Rain Mountain Press, 2014).  He appears in Scribner’s Best American Poetry 2014.  Winner of three Pushcart Prizes,  Dacey has published whole volumes of poems about Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Eakins, and New York City.

Alixa Doom has published in numerous magazines. Her chapbook manuscript, titled Cedar Crossings was awarded the 2009 Blue Light Poetry Prize and published in the spring of 2010. Her first full-length book of poems, A Slow Dissolve of Egrets, was published by Red Dragonfly Press in 2014. She moved in 2011 from her home of many years in the Minnesota River Valley to South Minneapolis.

Robert Klein Engler Robert Klein Engler lives in Omaha, Nebraska and sometimes New Orleans. Many of Robert’s poems, stories, paintings and photographs are set in the Crescent City. His long poem, “The Accomplishment of Metaphor and the Necessity of Suffering,” set partially in New Orleans, is published by Headwaters Press, Medusa, New York, 2004. He has received an Illinois Arts Council award for his “Three Poems for Kabbalah.” If you google his name, then you may find his work on the Internet. Link with him at to see examples of his recent paintings and photographs. Some of his books are available at and




JANE CROWN RADIO INTERVIEW: Show/va/2009/02/22/robert-klein-engler

Allen C. Fischer brings to poetry a background in international studies and business — previously a director of marketing for a nationwide corporation. A past contributor to BigCityLit, his poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, The Laurel Review, Poetry,  Prairie Schooner and Rattle.

David Francis has produced five albums of songs, one of poems, and “Always/Far,” a chapbook of lyrics and drawings. In 2013 his film “Village Folksinger” premiered at Anthology Film Archives in New York. His poems and stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.

Cori L. Gabbard earned a doctorate in English literature from the CUNY Graduate Center and is an adjunct assistant professor at the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York where she teaches a wide range of courses, including Law through Literature and Technical Writing. Her scholarship, which focuses upon medieval and post-1900 British literature, partially informs her own poetry which also engages a variety of subjects such as the New York Public Library, Mark Zuckerberg, Russian salad and Anne Yale Hopkins, a seventeenth-century American poet.

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had many of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for work published in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. He lives in Denver.

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three of her poems have been nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, and she has over 950 poems published in more than 400 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published twelve other books of poetry and seven collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay;

Joanne Grumet loves language and writes poetry and songs. She was twice the featured artist on the TV show “The Song” which was devoted to her poetry and music. Her poetry can be found previously in BigCityLit, as well as in Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, Poetry Quarterly, and The Same.

Patrick Henry was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, in 1938. His maternal grandfather, Company Sergeant Major Will Birt, East Yorkshire Regiment, died at Abbeville from wounds sustained in the Second Battle of The Somme, 1918. His father, Private James Henry, Durham Light Infantry, survived the Battle of Loos, 1915, and then served in the Royal Navy Minesweepers, 1916-18. And then served in The Inniskillen Dragoons in Punjab, India. 1919-26. And then served in the RAF in Britain and Africa, 1939-45.

Patrick Henry served in the RAF in the Cyprus Emergency Campaign, 1957-59, and was awarded the General Service Medal, Cyprus. He has published poems in magazines, pamphlets and websites, in Yorkshire, Manchester, Cornwall, Cambridge (England), Cambridge, (Massachusetts), Paris, and New York. He has performed poetry reading tours throughout Britain, and in Ireland, Paris, New York City, New York State and Australia. In 1995 he visited the Anzac Cemetery at Gallipoli, Turkey. In the years 2000-2003, he attended Anzac Day tributes at the Australian towns of Broken Hill, Alice Springs, and Whyalla.  He publishes travel essays in the New York website:  He now lives in Scarborough, again.

Walter Hess was born in Germany and arrived in the US in 1940 via Ecuador. He was educated in New York City schools, with a BA from the City College of New York in 1952 and an MA from CCNY in 2003. He is a retired film editor. Films on which he collaborated have won numerous awards; among them two Peabodys and three Emmys. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, and Mima’Amakim. Translations from the German of the poetry of Hans Sahl have appeared in Metamorphosis. He was awarded a prize from The Academy of American Poets in 2002. In 2003 he received from the Nyman Foundation, a prize, along with a substantial cash award for a selection from his memoir.

Preston Hollow was found in a basket, floating down Kaaterskill Creek, in upstate New York. But this is not where his legend begins. In fact, this happened only last week. He was charged FYI (Floating Yet Intoxicated) and released on his own recognizance, though he admitted he hadn’t seen a mirror in years.

There’s not much depth to Hollow’s past. Some say he was born on the bio. By one account, he’s an environmental lawyer who never met a tree he didn’t like, and has passed the bar to practice in over a dozen states. By other accounts, he’s incapable of passing a bar. Several years ago, someone identified him as Preston Hollowman, a charismatic rebbe known for his kleizmer fiddling and philatilism. Hollowman eloped with the shikza chanteuse Rebeaucca Sunnyface, and they were never heard from again, where they worked as public service employees and raised two children.

Edison Jennings‘s poetry has appeared in several reviews and anthologies, including Kenyon Review, Slate, TriQuarterly, and Poetry Daily. His chapbook, “Reckoning,” was published by Jacar Press in 2013.

Samantha Kitsch published seven books of poems in Polish: “Bahama” (Obserwator), “25 wierszy” (Mamiko), “Helena” (Instytut Mikołowski), “Ulubiony sport” (Instytut Mikołowski), “wszystko jest kleptomania. autoremiks” (Kwadratura), “kolaże kolarzy” (Dom Literatury w Łodzi), and “konfiskata konfetti” (Dom Literatury w Łodzi).

Katrina Kostro was born, raised, and educated on the upper-Upper West Side of New York City. She studied Art History and Psychology at Barnard College, then completed a 2-year position as a clinical research coordinator at New York Presbyterian’s Columbia Center for Eating Disorders in the NY State Psychiatric Institute. She composes sonnets as she sings, swims, and downward-dogs, trying to figure out the next beats of her life. She has co-authored medical articles in scientific journals, and her poems have appeared in Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-Po LISTSERV, Columbia University’s literary/art journal, Tablet, and Mezzo Cammin. She is delighted to return to BigCityLit!

Pamela L. Laskin is a lecturer in the English Department, where she directs the Poetry Outreach Center. Poetry collections include: REMEMBERING FIREFLIES and SECRETS OF SHEETS (Plain View Press); THE BONSAI CURATOR and VAN GOGH’S EAR; (Cervena Barva Press), DARING DAUGHTERS/DEFIANT DREAMS (A Gathering of Tribes) and THE PLAGIARIST (Dos Madres Press). Several children’s books have been published, too, VISITATION RITES (Diversion Press) and HOMER THE LITTLE STRAY CAT (Red Balloon Press) the most recent.

Richard Levine, a retired NYC teacher and the author of the chapbooks The Cadence of Mercy (Finishing Line Press, 2014), A Tide of a Hundred Mountains (Bright Hill Press, 2012), That Country’s Soul (Finishing Line Press, 2010), A Language Full of Wars and Songs (Pollack Press, 2004), and Snapshots from a Battle (Headwaters Press, 2001).  political Youtube videos: “Judge Roberts: One Man, One Woman One Vote” and “The Talkin’ Frackin’ Blues”.

Recent or forthcoming publications include Blueline, Comstock Review, Cortland Review, Main Street Rag, Mudfish Review, and Stone Canoe. Amazon Author’s Page:

Michael Morical is a freelancer in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He has published two chapbooks of poetry, Sharing Solitaire and The Way Home. He is currently an assistant editor at The Same.

Ronnie Norpel is the host and producer of the eclectic variety show TRACT 187 CULTURE CLATCH, featuring poets, prosers, actors, comedians, singers, tap dancers, hula hoopers, and musicians, gigging bi-monthly on the Upper West Side since Feb. 2011.

Valery Oisteanu is a poet, writer, and artist of the avant-garde. Born in USSR (1943) and educated in Romania. He debuted as a poet with the collection PROSTHESIS in 1970(Litera Press, Bucharest). At the age of 20,he adopted Dada and Surrealism as a philosophy of art and life and a few years later English as his primary language. Immigrating to New York City in 1972 he has been writing in English for the past 44 years. He is the author of 12 books of poetry, a book of short fiction,” The King of Penguins” (Linear Art Press, 2000) and a book of essays (in progress), ”The AVANT-GODS”.

Over the last 10 years he wrote art criticism for Brooklyn Rail,, Whitehot Magazine, and NY Arts. He is also a contributing writer for French, Spanish & Romanian art and literary magazines (La Page Blanche,, Viata Romanesca, Observatorul Cultural,,, etc).

As an artist he exhibits collages and assemblages on a regular basis at galleries in New York and also creates collages as covers d illustrations for books and magazines. A new book of VisPo (Visual Poetry) collages titled ”Lighter than Air” in Spuyten Duyvil Press NYC (2016). He has performed in theater and in poetry-musical collaborations with jazz artists from all over the world in sessions known as Jazzoetry. His work has appeared in international surrealist publications of the last four decades, including: Dream Helmet (1978), What Will Be (Brumes Blondes, 2014)

Phala (Sao Paulo, Brazil), The Annual (Phasm Press, 2015) etc

Member of Poets and Writers, Inc. New York (1977-2016)

Founding member of PASS (Poets and Artists Surrealist Society) 1977-2016

“It’s the end of the World as we know it” Award (Vault Literary Society) 2000 award for exceptional cutting edge artists who constantly take risks with their art).

Awarded Chivot order of the Chevalier of the Castel for the dissemination of Romanian Avant-Garde in Diaspora, 2010, Dublin Recipient of the Kathy Acker Award, NYC, 2013, for contribution to the American avant-garde in Poetry Performance.

Lisa Olsson is a poet, cellist, visual artist living near New York City. She plays in a string quartet, the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra, and teaches at the Hudson River School of Music. Her poems have appeared in Ginosko Literary Journal, The Westchester Review and The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly.

After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, Tamra Plotnick traveled in Spain and Latin America, earned a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from The City College of New York, completed another Master’s degree, and transitioned to teaching public high school in New York City.

Besides working as an educator for nearly three decades, she has danced, performed, acted in bilingual theater, and occasionally taught over the years in a variety of styles from creative/improvisational movement and modern dance to Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian, Rio-style samba, yoga, collective creation theater and classical Egyptian belly dance.  She has written, published and performed her own writing from a range of genres–poetry, memoir, essay and fiction.   She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and daughter.

Carolyn Alifair Skebe is a poet and visual artist living in Albany, NY. She is author of three books of poetry: Thin Matter, “Water Is the Blood of the Earth,” and Postcards: Les Lettres d’Amour.  She teaches composition and poetry at the University at Albany.

Jared Smith‘s 12th volume of poetry, “This Town”, co-authored with Kyle Laws, was released in January of 2017, and his 13th, “Shadows in The Roaring Fork,” will be released in August of 2017.  He is Poetry Editor of Turtle Island Quarterly, and has served on the staffs of Home Planet News, The New York Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, and Trail & Timberline, as well as on the boards of several arts and literary non-profits in New York, Illinois, and Colorado.  He now lives in the foothills of The Rockies.

Margo Taft Stever’s four poetry collections include The Lunatic Ball (Kattywompus Press, 2015); The Hudson Line (Main Street Rag, 2012; Frozen Spring (2002), (winner of the Mid-List Press First Series Award for Poetry) and Reading the Night Sky (winner of the 1996 Riverstone Poetry Chapbook Competition) (Introduction by Denise Levertov). She co-authored Looking East: William Howard Taft and the 1905 U.S. Mission to Asia, The Photographs of Harry Fowler Woods (Zhejiang University Press, 2012). The University of Cincinnati and Zhejiang University Press, Hangzhou, China, collaborated to publish an English-language version (Orange Frazier Press, 2015). Her articles and book reviews have appeared in the Connecticut Review, Minnesota Review, Rain Taxi Review, Home Planet News, New Delta Review, Calyx, and Poets & Writers, among other places. Her poems have appeared widely in literary magazines and in numerous anthologies including Blackbird, Salamander, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, Cincinnati Review, Rattapallax, Webster Review, Cadence of Hooves; Dire Elegies; Chance of a Ghost; The Breath of Parted Lips, Volume II; and No More Masks. She is the founder and of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and the founding and current editor of Slapering Hol Press ( more information, please see:

Andrew S. Taylor is a writer and attorney based in New York City.  His stories have been published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Abyss & Apex, Pindeldyboz, Menda City Review, The Cafe Irreal, Mad Hatter’s Review, Sein und Werden, Mud Luscious, The Dream People, Underground Voices, Monkeybicycle, Thieves Jargon, Word Riot, decomP, Toasted Cheese, Willows Wept Review, Defenestration, and in the anthologies Bloodbond, Needles & Bones, Roar Volume 6, and Ellery Queen’s The Crooked Road Volume 2.  His work has received two Pushcart nominations, and has been selected as a “Notable Story” by storySouth’s Million Writer’s Award.  He has also contributed articles and book reviews to American Book Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and Ghettoblaster Magazine.  He holds an M.A. from the writing program at The City College of New York and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.  His website is here:

John J. Trause, the Director of Oradell Public Library, is the author of Eye Candy for Andy (13 Most Beautiful… Poems for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, Finishing Line Press, 2013); Inside Out, Upside Down, and Round and Round (Nirala Publications, 2012); the chapbook Seriously Serial (Poets Wear Prada, 2007; rev. ed. 2014); and Latter-Day Litany (Éditions élastiques, 1996), the latter staged Off-Off Broadway.  His book of fictive translations, visual poems, manipulated texts, and found poems, Exercises in High Treason, is published by from Great Weather for Media.  He is a founder of the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N. J., and the former host and curator of its monthly reading series.

Bonnie Walker is a writer, lawyer, teacher, and photographer who lives and works in New York City. She holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College, the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, and the University of Michigan Law School. Her writing has appeared in BigCityLit, Everyday Fiction, and the ABA Journal E-Report. One of her personal essays will be published in a forthcoming issue of The Same. She is currently at work on a book-length memoir.

Barry Wallenstein is the author of seven collections of poetry, the most recent being Drastic Dislocations: New and Selected Poems [New York Quarterly Books, 2012].  His poetry has appeared in over 100 journals, including Ploughshares, The Nation, Centennial Review, and American Poetry Review.  His analytical text, Visions & Revisions: The Poets’ Practice [T.Y. Crowell, 1971], was reissued in a new and expanded edition by Broadview Press [2002].  In November, 2014 a bilingual E-Book, Tony’s Blues was published by Recours au Poème.

Among his awards are the Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poetry Prize, (1985), and Pushcart Poetry Prize Nominations, 2010, 2011, 2012. He has had resident fellowships at the MacDowell Colony (1995), Hawthornden Castle in Scotland (1999), Fundación Valparaiso in Spain (2008) and Casa Zia Lina on Elba, Italy. Between June 2002 – June 2008, he was part of the poetry faculty at the Bear River Writers’ Conference in Upper Michigan.

A special interest is his presentation of poetry readings in collaboration with jazz.  He has made seven recordings of his poetry with jazz, the most recent being Lucky These Days, to be released by Cadence Jazz Records in April 2013.  A previous CD, Euphoria Ripens, was listed among the “Best New Releases” in the journal, All About Jazz (December 2008).

Barry is Emeritus Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the City University of New York and an editor of the journal, American Book Review.  In his capacity as Professor of English at City College he founded and directed the Poetry Outreach Center, and for 35 years coordinated the all-inclusive citywide Annual Spring Poetry Festival. He remains an active advisor and participant in this program.

Chocolate Waters has been writing, publishing and performing her work since the 1970’s. She is a continuously evolving radical feminist poet and celebrant of the new power of the feminine. Her latest book, the woman who wouldn’t shake hands, was published by Poets Wear Prada and Eggplant Press and is available at the reading, along with other select titles.

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has been nominated for 10 Pushcart and 10 Best Of The Net awards. His poems have been in Blue Fifth, Turtle Island Quarterly, Stone Canoe, Centrifugal Eye, Kentucky Review, and many more. He won the International Dylan Thomas Poetry Award for the 2014 centennial. He has 8 full-length collections and over 20 chapbooks of poetry. His forthcoming collections include “How to Be Silent” (FutureCycle Press), “God Is Not Amused With What You Are Doing In Her Name” (Aldrich Press).