About the Writers

Melinda Alderman-Vajaria began her love affair with poetry when high school teachers encouraged her to read and write poetry. She enjoys works such as Longfellow and Mary Oliver. Meanwhile, her poetry has also appeared in "The Quest" a literary magazine in India. She has traveled and lived in India. Currently she lives in the south suburbs of Chicago. Her late mother and husband are constant force of encouragement in her writing.

Jeffrey Alfier is a technical writer dividing his time between Tucson, Arizona, and Bechhofen, Germany. He holds an MA in Humanities and is a member of the United Poets Coalition. Publication credits include Border Senses, Columbia Review, Laughing Dog, Poetry Greece, Stolen Island Review, The Richmond Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review (forthcoming).

Jesmia Avery graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology. She has been writing poetry for 15 years, and she has had poetry published in Kouroo, Lexicon, and Urban Pioneer. Also, she is the Poetry Editor at Urban Pioneer, and she enjoys kick-boxing, biking, traveling, and reading in her spare time.

Sreedhar Balagapal is a post graduate in Mechanical engineering working in Research & Development. He's anchored somewhere in the hot dusty plains of Southern India. A die hard cricketholic, his many addictions include jay walking the info bahns of the world wide web and relishing 'great nature's second course'.

Danny P. Barbare has a deep Southern accent. He likes anything to do with nature and enjoys the Southern Appalachian Mountains. He lives a simple life as a custodian, where he seems to be most creative. He thinks he could probably make a book about his work as a custodian.

James Beach composes reportage, invents criticism, edits websites and proofreads financial documents to generate some semblance of an income. Artier endeavors are tackled on a less frequent and decidedly more whimsical basis. He lives in Minneapolis with two housemates and a rather demanding television set.

Tom Brennan is a thirty six-year-old writer living by the sea in Liverpool, UK. He has been writing full-time for just over a year, producing a wide variety of fiction touching on different subjects and themes. On a good day in winter, he can see snow on the mountains.

Sandy Carlson lives with her husband and daughter in Woodbury, Connecticut. She is a free-lance writer and edits the monthly special-interest American Irish Newsletter.

Ben Carr is 17 and lives in Guilderland, New York. In the past 2 years he has been a fish monger, a roller coaster operator and a CD warehouse box packer.

Sharon Chmielarz's latest (third) book of poetry is a biography of Nannerl Mozart, The Other Mozart. Ontario Review Press.

Maria Cinanni grew up in Ottawa, Canada and now lives in Umbria, Italy, where she works as an educator. Quasi-hysterical, culturally-insecure Maria writes poetry when she manages to find a pen.

Jim Cooley is a fortysomething recovering skid-row alcoholic and drug addict with over 19 years clean and sober, though he prefers to write skanky drinking stories based on his lavishly misspent youth, and has been published in several venues, both print and on-line.

Chet Corey's poetry has most recently appeared in Ache (online), The North Stone Review, and Windhover.

Neil Cunningham is one person who functions best when he does one thing at a time. He typically works in St. Paul by day and at night returns home to Minneapolis to make beautiful messes with his wife and fifteen month-old son.

Weston Cutter would never admit to missing living with Paul.

Rhonda Dahl is a recent college graduate living in Minneapolis who writes when she has time. She is still in search for the perfect job and is a confirmed musicmatch.com-aholic..

Michael Davidson recently graduated from The University of Chicago and has had stories published in Literary Potpourri and Snow Monkey. After a long drive, he currently lives in San Diego, California, where he is working on publishing his first novel, Way of the Currents. He can be reached at:

Brian Defferding is a part-time cartoonist of DEFTOONS! Editorial Cartooning. He remains politically active as a fundraiser for a major political party in Minnesota. Brian loves cartooning work, so if you would like to employ Brian's services email him at

Colleen Dripé has been writing since she was six years old. Her first story was about a pirate—she actually lived on a tropical island and that's what she wanted to be. Instead of becoming a pirate, however, she became a mother and now a teacher as well. She writes fantasy, science fiction, essays, and articles on education and family life. Her science fiction novel Godcountry is due out this fall from Novel Books, Inc.

Patrick Erickson is a Lutheran pastor currently without a flock. He was formerly a bookseller for Alice James Books.

Michael Fedo has published fiction in The North American Review, American Way, America West Airlines Magazine, The North Dakota Quarterly, and elsewhere. His novel, "Indians in the Arborvitae," has just been released by Green Bean Press. Most notable among his six books is "The Lynchings in Duluth" (Minn. Historical Society Press).

Kellie Lyn Fournier is a single mom with a gorgeous 3 year old named Gage. Her poetry has been published in Blind Man's Rainbow, The Angry Sun, The Edge and Motorcycle Monthly. She is graduating from The U of MN in December with a BA in English, and spends her time editing a poetry 'zine called "Squid Ink" as well as serving coffee to ungrateful hordes in suburbia. Someday she would like to get a real job and edit a feminist mag.

Anne Fraser lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and son. Her work has most recently been published on the internet at PW Review, Lingerings, A Little Poetry and Prairie Poetry. Anne is a legal assistant by day and a scribbler of words by night.

Dave Fromm lives with his wife in Los Angeles. He expects big things from the 2003 Red Sox.

Tom Garcia is an outdoors enthusiast, who is contemplating a tattoo symbolizing our land of sky blue waters. He has been dabbling in poetry for some time, but has only been published in his occupational field (museums) until very recently.

D. Garcia-Wahl lives on Phelps Island on Lake Minnetonka. He is editor of The Venerable Seed, a literary journal. Along with the journal, he has created local television shows that focus on poetry and recorded albums where his poetry is put together with jazz and classical music. His novel, Ashes of Mid Autumn, is set to be published mid 2003.

Jesse Glass has lived in Japan for ten years. He is the proud father of Tennessee Junko Glass, just born in August. Some of his chapbooks, including Momentum, are available at xpressed.org.

Daryl Gobey writes poetry and fiction.

John Grey is an Australian born poet, playwright, and musician. His latest chapbook is The Secret Address from Snark Publishing.

Judd Hampton lives in rural Alberta, Canada, among the spruce and poplar. His fiction has been published at Insolent Rudder, Flashquake, Eyeshot, Literary Potpourri, Outsider Ink, Bovine Free Wyoming, Palace of Reason, and Night Train to name a few. He has work forthcoming in NFG Magazine and Literary Potpourri.

Neil Haugerud is a former state legislator, former sheriff and the author of Jailhouse Stories, a regional best selling memoir, which humorously depicts the last the era in the Midwest when county sheriffs and their families lived in jail houses.

Scott Helmes is a poet and writer who lives in St. Paul.

Mic Hunter is a psychotherapist in St. Paul. In addition to several books on sexual abuse he is the author of The American Barbershop: A Closer Look at a Disappearing Place.

Sten Johnson lives above the 510 Restaurant in Minneapolis but has never eaten there.

Christopher Jones looks like the frickin’ devil, and he doesn’t think he likes the cut of your jib. As Minneapolitans go, he is one of the more vindictive, and the only one that runs Lost Prophet Press. His work can currently be seen in the fuori:one anthology, Over the Roofs of the World (MuscleHead Press) and Nuthouse.

Daniel Karasik is a fifteen-year-old writer from Toronto. E-mail:

Karen Kleiman: When I'm not at work, I take my collie to the dog park and tell him stories. "Why the long face?" I ask, suspecting that he resents always having to critique a rough draft. When I am at work, I'm a rheumatologist and I've been practicing in Minneapolis for almost 20 years. My son is 21. These days, all he wants from me is benign neglect, so I have time to write. My husband types my manuscripts as long as I promise to vacuum and so far I have kept that promise, more or less.

Danny C. Knestaut lives a good life among the hills of Pennsylvania.

Jeff Leong, a law attorney residing in Malaysia and Singapore, mixes business with the pleasures of writing. A Fulbright Visiting Scholar to the US in 1997, he is deeply addicted to the written word and writes poetry and prose regularly. His work has been published in online poetry journals and print media such as Mocha Memoirs, Peshekee River Poetry, Wild City Times and UNESCO ITALIA's Babele Poetica 2003.

Rick Lewis earned a B.A. in English Lit. at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire campus. He lives in Eau Claire currently and still, earning a wage as a child-care worker and spending much of his free-time preaching poetry and dreaming about revolution. This is his first publication, but it won't be his last.

Duane Locke was Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa for over 20 years. His poems have appeared in magazines such as American Poetry Review, Nation, Literary Quarterly, Black Moon, and Bitter Oleander.

Jennifer Mack will be graduating this May from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, after a semester in Hungary. Anybody looking for a hard working, double major in Dance-Performance and Arts Management with minors in psychology and international studies should feel free to contact her! She will be available this summer at the "ripe for picking" age of 22.

Shawn P. Madison lives with his wife of thirteen years in a brand new house in Suffolk, Virginia, where the boxes are almost all unpacked, the grass is finally growing and all of his books now fit. His first novel, Guarded Lore, was recently released in both electronic and trade paperback formats by NovelBooks, Inc. (www.novelbooksinc.com). You can learn more about Shawn and his writing by visiting his website at http://www.shadowkeepzine.com/shawn/. E-mail:

Neha Malhotra lives in India. She is a student of economics. Her poems have appeared in her college magazine and in Reading Divas. She is one a moderator at Flowing Quills, Poeticwings, and Poets-in-Tents. Neha is 20 years old.

Pam Manthey is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. She has lived in Northeast Minneapolis for over thirty years.

Marcia Mascolini retired from teaching business communication for money to write flash fiction for fun and glory. Her stories have appeared in Retrozine, the Green Tricycle, Naked Humorists, Newtopia and other journals.

AJ Mason lives in Montana and has been drawing his daily cartoon strip, SQUEAKY MEAL, for roughly two years. He is hard at work on his first full-length Squeaky Meal comic book, THE SECRET RECIPE, currently slated for release in fall, 2003.

J.K. Mason is a full-time fiction writer currently working on a novel. He has a cat named Max.

Dan May moved into an old house in Eau Claire, WI after twenty years in the woods, and has been working on both it and his writing. A highlight of his summer occurred in June when a Broadway actress read the lead part in his ten-minute play, "Planting Mama," at the Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska. In the past six years his poems and short stories have appeared in literary magazines. Before that he was a monk, factory worker, parole agent, psychiatric social worker, fourth grade teacher and a carpenter.

K.G. McAbee has had 8 novels and over 45 short stories published since 1999, and is executive editor of NovelBooks, Inc (www.novelbooksinc.com). Check her website at www.kgmcabee.net. E-mail: kgmcab@aol.com

Larry McDonough is a legal aid attorney, law school professor, and jazz pianist living in St. Paul.

Allen McGill is originally from NYC. He lives, writes, acts and directs theatre in Mexico. His published fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, etc., have appeared in print as well as on line: NY Times, The Writer, Newsday, Retrozine, Laughter Loaf, Flashquake, Herons Nest, Cenotaph, TempsLibres, Autumn Leaves, Poetic Voices, Amaze-Cinquain, Bottle Rocket, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, World Haiku Review, many others.

Greg McNellie is a college student in Nottingham, England. Greg's poems explore the relationship of myth and magic to cultural displacement and leftist ideology. He draws inspiration from the beats, old photographs, film, the history of baseball and the writings of Lester Bangs, to name a few. His current obsessions include Truman Capote, the television series "6 Feet Under" and the desire to cross Russia by train. E-mail:

Eric Mein is completing his MFA at Hamline University, where he was assistant prose editor of the literary review, Water~Stone. He co-founded the Live Lit reading series and is currently finishing his first novel, Suckers, a satire of the Minneapolis music scene. His story in this issue is dedicated to Shelley Nichols. E-mail:

Corey Mesler is the owner of Burke’s Book Store, in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He has published poetry and fiction in numerous journals including Pindeldyboz, Orchid, Black Dirt, Thema, Mars Hill Review, Poet Lore and others. He is also a book reviewer for The Memphis Commercial Appeal. His first novel, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue has just been released. He also claims to have written, "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves." Most importantly, he is Toby and Chloe’s dad and Cheryl’s husband.

Steve Mueske earned an MFA in Writing from Hamline University and has published prose and poetry in a variety of print and online publications including Water-Stone, Rattle, ArtWord Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, The Drunken Boat, ForPoetry, and others, with recent or forthcoming publications in Blaze, Snow Monkey, Eclectica, Poet Lore, and others. He edits the online literary arts journal three candles (http://www.threecandles.org), and is looking for a publisher for his first collection of poems, The Long Hours Before Dark. He is a moderator for Haven, a contemporary poetry workshop, and can be reached at steve@threecandles.org.

Brooke Noble writes poetry and prose. Her work has appeared in various anthologies at poetry.com.

Garry Nordenstam is contemplating a career as a professional breeder of Mexican Hairless Racing Dogs.

Sandra O'briant's views on local politics were influenced by her husband's successful bid for election to the Beverly Hills school board. Her views on marine iguanas were influenced by the Discovery Channel. Angelique, not her real name, no longer performs locally. An excerpt from Sandra's novel, The Secret of Old Blood, will be published in October by LA HERENCIA. Other stories can be found at The Palace of Reason, and Zoetrope.com.

Henrik Paaske hails from Stavanger, Norway. He is currently teaching English at Eagan High School as part of a one-year Fulbright exchange program.

Composer, musician, and writer Nick Padron lives in Madrid and Miami. His short stories have appeared in The Blue Moon Review, Full Circle, The Barcelona Review, Howling Dog Press' Omega, and others. He has completed a novel, Sembrar. He is currently at work on his second novel.

Michael Pracht is by day an Information Technology Project Manager for a state housing agency and by night and weekends, a painter, musician and poet. He lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and young daughter. For more information, feel free to visit www.prachts.com.

Michael Ramberg lives and writes in Minneapolis. More of his work can be found at www.grebmar.net.

Tony Rauch is an architect living in South Minneapolis. He has a book of funky/jazzy short stories out from Spout Press entitled I'm Right Here, and occasionally he roam the streets in the middle of the night shrieking at the top of his lungs: "Rock and roll will never die!!!"

Shelly Reed studied Creative Writing at Drake University in the Midwest. She made her first appearance in Whistling Shade in the Fall 2001 issue. Her work also appears regularly with The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. From 9-5 (in between poems) Shelly works for Heart & Vascular Care in Des Moines, Iowa.

Dan Rice is a photographer/video artist and lives in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. He has previously been published in Ilya's Honey, ConTexas, and Bootface.

Janis Riehl has been writing poetry since the 1950s. She lives in California.

John Rosenman's stories appeared in Weird Tales, Treachery and Season, Hot Blood, Starshore, Whitley Strieber's Aliens, Cemetery Dance, and elsewhere. A science fiction adventure novel, Beyond Those Distant Stars, will be published by NovelBooks, Inc. in July.

Stephanie Scarborough is a pisces, a vegetarian, and wishes that she could play the accordion. Her poetry has appeared in Nuthouse, Bathtub Gin, Toasted Cheese, Lunatic Moon, Studio One, Raw Nervz, Love Words, Bovine Free Wyoming!, Psychic Pet and others; her fiction has appeared in Rant-O-Rama and Planet Relish. She also draws cartoons and edits The Pleasant Unicorn ( www.tarleton.edu/students/sscarborough/pu.html).

Amber Shields is currently working toward a BA in French Studies and searching frantically for a career having anything to do with the French language. She drives a white Honda Accord and her favorite book is The Catcher in the Rye

Barry Simms is a writer of short stories and poetry and an alumnus of the University of Tennessee. His poetry has appeared in Fictionfunhouse.com. He is currently working on his first novel, entitled Sprig.

Maureen M. Smith is a writer who lives in Minneapolis but has an eternal attachment to Africa. She is writing a memoir, tentatively entitled "My African Sister," about a rural African woman she met while working as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

Judd Spicer is a free-lance/fiction writer in St. Paul. A graduate of the University of MN Duluth, he prefers single malts rather than blended scotches, and does 170 pushups a day. His works have appeared in several publications, including Minnesota Monthly and Pulse of the Twin Cities, and he is the author of Seven Days, a collection of stories.

Judy Stainer worked as Assistant Editor of three racy sounding magazines, where she penned phony Letters to the Editor when there weren't enough real ones. For her four kids, she's written some truly creative absence notes; but since buying Hubby a new computer as a Valentine's gift, she's done poetry, nonstop. She promises she'll let him use it soon.

Lauran Strait teaches creative writing, editing, and runs a year round writer's workshop at the Adult Learning Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Some of her most recent work has appeared in The Gator Springs Gazette, Atomicpetals, The Virginian Pilot, and Dog Eared.

Jeff Strand is the author of Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary), Single White Psychopath Seeks Same, How to Rescue a Dead Princess, and Elrod McBugle on the Loose. He has never purposely gotten his ring finger caught in a can of Mountain Dew. You can visit his Seriously Whacked website at http://www.jeffstrand.com.

P.D. Sunderland is a novice writer whose work has recently appeared in Insolent Rudder, Pindeldyboz.com and The-Phone-Book. She lives in Massachusetts where each spring her hopes blossom that this will be the year the Red Sox win the pennant.

Carly Svamvour is a writer living in the west end of Toronto, Canada. Her work has appeared in Wild City Times, Twelfth Planet, Mocha Memoirs, Seven Seas, Pedestal Magazine, Bovine Free Wyoming, as well as small publications in Toronto. She is the leader of Wild City Writers' Workshop at the public library in Toronto and also hosts an online version.

John Sweet , 34, lives in the wastelands of rural upstate new york with his wife and two young sons. he has been writing for 21 years, publishing in the small press for 15. he is opposed to poets, and to the idea of poetry in general, and to the misguided belief that a 2-party system actually constitutes a democracy. his first full-length collection, Human Cathedrals, was recently published by Ravenna Press (www.ravennapress.com).

Justin Teerlinck is a fat, cynical, former special-ed student. Teerlinck has hair on over 90% of his body, which led to his being called "gorilla boy" at a camp he attended for "rural disturbed children." Mr. Teerlinck distrusts authority, has few friends, and wants to swim with dolphins someday. He lives with his girlfriend in St. Paul. Please don't beat him up.

Ed Teja is a writer, musician and gypsy. He has been a columnist for Caribbean Compass (since 1995), and has published poetry in publications ranging from ART:MAG to Ellery Queen to Cappers. His first novel, The Legend of Ron Añejo is due out from NovelBooksInc in March 2003. His solo blues CD "Union City Blues" and "Better Day" with Jim Luke are available from CD Baby.

Anthony Telschow was a founding editor of Kouroo magazine and is a senior editor of Urban Pioneer, a Minneapolis-based literary newspaper. He is an acquisitions editor for Whistling Shade.

B. Somnouk Thao Worra hates writing his bio with a passion. He'll tell you "La tete de poisson c'est ma maison" if you get him drunk enough, which only goes to prove he should have taken more French in school. He's currently milling about the Twincs, probably involved in some cockamamie project du jour.

Tim Torkildson is a retired circus clown. He lives in Nonthaburi, Thailand, six months out of the year, teaching English at schools & businesses. He has eight children, no wife and a pet ulcer.

Joel Van Valin is the editor and publisher of Whistling Shade. His fiction has appeared in Alien Worlds, Fifth Di, and Bygone Days and his first novel, The Flower of Clear Burning, will be published by Novel Books, Inc. in September 2002. For more information about Joel, click here.

Ken Warner was told by the American writer John Gardener, one evening at an academic cocktail party, that he could not possibly teach highschool English and write at the same time. Taking that as a license to be victimized by a self fulfilling prophecy, he spent the 31 years doing graphic art of various sorts, and has only began to write again since he retired. This is his first published piece since he wrote a series of non fiction articles for The Northfield Magazine back in the ’80s.

Curtis West is a freelance writer from St. Paul, MN. who winters in Oaxaca, Mexico. He has taught English as a Second Language both in the United States and in Mexico and is a recipient of the Minnesota Literacy Council's Volunteer Leadership Service Award. His fiction has appeared in the Urban Pioneer and although he is a native English language speaker, he seeks out every opportunity not to speak it.

Kelly Westhoff is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer who is at work on her first book—a travel memoir. This summer she plans to eat tomatoes fresh off the vine and stay as far away from cockroaches as she can.

Janie Shelton Whisenhunt is a native of Alabama, mother of three girls. She is involved with a writing project at Jacksonville State University, placed 2nd and honorable mention in a 1999 creative writing contest at the same. Her poems have been published in Poetry Depth Quarterly, Voices, Rocky Mountain Reader and in December, Autumn Leaves.

Allison Whittenberg is a Midwest transplant with never-ending aspirations to be a professional singer. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and a professor at Hamline University.

Nikole Williams aka dreamer, is a twenty-something Minneapolis local who works with kids with autism to pay the bills. She spends the majority of her "free" time writing poetry, playing games, making digital art and animation, and learning to program. You can check out her web site at www.warpcat.com/dreamer.

Ian Randall Wilson is the managing editor of the poetry journal 88. Recent work has appeared in The Alaska Quarterly Review, Spinning Jenny and Spork. His first fiction collection, Hunger and Other Stories, was published by Hollyridge Press. He is on the faculty at the UCLA Extension, and an executive at MGM Studios.

William Woolfitt has worked as an adult education teacher and a camp counselor; presently he is a student in the M.A. program for English and Creative Writing at Hollins University. He divides his time between Roanoke, Lake Winnipesaukee and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and his grandparents’ farm near Nestorville, West Virginia.

Joyce Yarrow has worked as a singer/songwriter/storyteller for many years and recorded an album for the Pacific Arts label. Her poems have been published in Niobe Magazine, Ghost Dance, and the Seattle Poetry Festival anthology Vox Populi; her story "The Ring of Truth" will be in the May 2002 issue of INKWELL.

Braxton Younts grew up in North Carolina and now lives in Seattle. He writes prose and poetry and his work has appeared in DeadMule.com.

  • Jackpot
  • The Usual
  • Happy Hour

    Kate Zangrilli is a novelist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She would rather be in Minneapolis.