Meet the Editors
Jennifer is a queer poet who lives in Seattle and keeps earning degrees from schools that have policies against hiring queer people. So far, she has an MFA from Seattle Pacific University, and a BA and M.Ed. from Eastern Nazarene College. She likes to test her husband’s patience by agreeing that they have too many houseplants and then buying more. When not watering houseplants and writing poems, she can be found on a nature walk or in the kitchen. Some of her favorite writers are Mary Oliver, Ada Limón, Neil Gaiman, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Macdonald, and Annie Dillard. She always carries peanuts to feed to the crows in her neighborhood.
Michael prefers to write screenplays, poetry, and novels, and is an avid reader. He is also an actor, a director, and an editor and writer for Reveal Film Group and Cross-Eyed Productions. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at Eastern Nazarene College and a Master's degree at National University. He has taught 3rd grade through college, every subject. Currently he is teaching English at an academy in West Palm Beach Florida.
Alicia fell in love with Poetry at Bowdoin College. She was double majoring in English and Spanish, and both required a lot of reading. She signed up for Poetry classes to ease her load, not knowing she would discover her favorite genre of writing as well. Poetry is also her favorite subject to teach. Nothing beats the awed silence or the quietly uttered "wow" in a classroom after a powerful poem has been read aloud, especially if the poem was written by a student! When she was in high school, a famous Cuban poet, Herberto Padilla, substituted for her Spanish teacher for a couple of months. She didn't know how highly esteemed he was until he came to Bowdoin to do a reading, and her Spanish professor was so impressed that she knew him!
Joel is a reader, writer, and teacher of poetry. He earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters of Education from Eastern Nazarene College. He teaches ELA at the high school level and incorporates poetry reading and writing as a weekly part of his curriculum. Some of his favorite poets include Anne Sexton, e. e. Cummings, Mary Oliver, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Tracy K. Smith. His writing advice is to write, write, write, and revise, revise, revise. Writing is not a thing to be done but rather a thing to be doing.
Melissa Fite Johnson
Melissa took a college creative writing class to study fiction and accidentally fell in love with
poetry, thanks to her incredible professor Laura Lee Washburn. Melissa has an MA in literature and poetry, and she’s taught high school English since 2006. She couldn’t imagine loving a career more. Her own high school English teacher, Al Ortolani, published her first book, While the Kettle’s On (Little Balkans Press, 2015). She is also the author of the chapbook A Crooked Door Cut into the Sky (Paper Nautilus Press, 2018), and the full-length collection Green (Riot in Your Throat, 2021). Her favorite poets are Sharon Olds and Lucille Clifton. Melissa and her husband live in Lawrence, KS, with their three dogs.
Robin (known to loved ones as Robbie) has recently been busy writing for academic publications, but she also attempts to write creative non-fiction from time to time. She is the English Department Head at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan where she has been teaching for over 25 years, and has developed curriculum and taught everything from Notes from Underground to Citizen Kane to There Are No Children Here. Her chapter “Opening the Proverbial Can O’ Worms: Teaching Social Justice to Educated Elites in Suburban Detroit” appears in Anti-Oppressive Education in “Elite” Schools: Promising Practices and Cautionary Tales From the Field edited by Katy Swalwell and Daniel Spikes. Robin earned a B.A. in Communications from Michigan State University, did English course work at Wayne State University, and has an M.A. in Education from Michigan State and an Ed.M. in Education Psychology from Harvard University. She loves sports (particularly baseball), discussing politics, playing classic video games, and hanging out with her dog Scout.
Matthew E. Henry ~ Editor-in-Chief
Matthew is a multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated poet. He is author of the poetry collection the Colored page (Sundress Publications, 2022), as well as the chapbooks Teaching While Black (Main Street Rag, 2020) and Dust and Ashes (Californios Press, 2020). His poetry and short stories have appeared both online and in print under the name “MEH": his initials and response to many things in life. Matthew earned his MFA in poetry from Seattle Pacific University, before continuing to spend money he didn’t have completing an MA in theology and a PhD in education. His favorite things to teach include Things Fall Apart and The Things They Carried. He thinks people should spend more time appreciating the awesomeness of squirrels and crows.