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Meet the Editors

Jennifer Avignon

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.

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Jared Beloff

Jared has been writing poetry since high school but never managed to take an actual class on it; he’s in love with it all the same. Along with several other degrees for English, Teaching and Education Administration, Jared has an MA in Literature from Johns Hopkins University. He has been teaching English in kindergarten, middle school, high school and community college ever since. He is the author of a full length collection of poetry on climate change Who Will Cradle Your Head (ELJ Editions 2023), the editor of the Marvel comics inspired poetry anthology, Marvelous Verses (Daily Drunk, 2021) and co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Poets of Queens (Olena Jennings, 2024). His favorite poets are Ilya Kaminsky, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Ross Gay, Diane Seuss and Victoria Chang. Jared lives in Queens, NY with his wife and two daughters.

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Alicia Collins

 

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!

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 Joel Dunlap 

 

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.

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Carrie Esposito 

Carrie is a fiction writer and sometimes poet/essayist who lives north of New York City. She misses the mountains of Colorado where she spent ten years writing and raising her three daughters. Carrie began writing before she ever brought pen to paper, forming stories in her mind just as her youngest child does now. She remembers writing a book with her best friend in fifth grade during recess. In college, she chose to study English Education because she is passionate about bringing her love of reading and writing to young people. She has been an English teacher, Literacy Coach, and Assistant Principal in the NYC schools and she is now an Education Consultant, coaching teachers and school leaders while meeting exceptionally lovely students in classrooms across the city. She has work published in The Georgia Review, Literary Mama, Ruminate Magazine and elsewhere. Her favorite novelists include Zadie Smith, Ann Patchett and Jhumpa Lahiri. You can find her and her work at carrieesposito.com.

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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. 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 published her first book, While the Kettle’s On (Little Balkans Press, 2015). She is also the author of the full-length collections Green (Riot in Your Throat, 2021) and Midlife Abecedarian (Riot in Your Throat, 2024). Her favorite poets are Sharon Olds and Lucille Clifton. Melissa and her husband live in Lawrence, KS, with their three dogs.

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Robin Moten

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. 

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Matthew E. Henry ~ Editor-in-Chief


Matthew is a multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated poet. He is author of the poetry collections the Colored page (Sundress Publications, 2022), The Third Renunciation (NYQ Books 2023), and said the Frog to the scorpion (Harbor Editions, 2024), as well as three chapbooks. 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. 

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