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Sally Bellerose has received many awards including an NEA, The Barbara Deming Prize, and The Rick DeMatinis Award. Her recent work appears or is forthcoming in Rock and Sling, The Journal of Humanistic Anthropology, Cutthroat, Saint Ann’s Review, Cup of Comfort for Writers, Memoirs, and Crab Orchard Review. Her writing has always involved themes of sexuality, illness, and class. Her most recent writing, fiction inspired by the lives of her elderly parents, has only reinforced her interest in these issues.  Click here to read Sally Bellerose's work in this issue.

Deborah Burnham has lived in Philadelphia for over thirty years, teaching literature and writing at the University of Pennsylvania, and writing poetry and fiction. Her book of poems, Anna and the Steel Mill, won the first book prize from Texas Tech University Press. Her new volume, Simplified to Blue, is in circulation. For twenty years, she directed the writing program at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts.  Click here to read Deborah Burnham's work in this issue.

Wesli Court an anagram pseudonym under which Lewis Turco has published most of his traditionally formal poems.  Read Wesli Court's work in this issue.

Gagan Gill was born in 1959 in Delhi. Considered one of the outstanding poets of her generation, she had an extremely successful career as a journalist, but chose to give up the journalist to the poet in her in order to secure the 'long periods of silence in her everyday life' which she considered necessary to remain 'truly connected to words'. Gagan Gill has published four collections of poetry and two volumes of prose: her first collection, Ek din lautegi larki (One day the girl will return), focuses on the gamut of female experience (but also includes epigrams and verses about political events); the poems in Andhere me Buddha (Buddha in the darkness) are variations on the theme of sorrow in human existence; her third volume, Yah akanksha samay nahin (This is Not the Time of/for desire), is dedicated to the enigma of desire; the songs of her fourth collection, Thapak thapak dil thapak thapak, (thump, thump heart thump, thump) rely on sound and images, rather than narratives, to crystallize suffering as the one constant in the impermanence of human existence. Those who are familiar with Buddhism will see the reflections of the Buddha's four noble truths in much of Gagan's writing.  Click here to read Gagan Gill's work in this issue.

Gagan Gill was a visiting writer at Iowa International Writing Program in 1990 and a Nieman Fellow for Journalism at Harvard University in 1992-93. She lives in New Delhi.  Click here to read Gagan Gill's work in this issue.

Kiran Bharthapudi is a freelance writer and a journalist in New York City. His flash fiction pieces were showcased on This is his first full-length short story.  Click here to read Kiran Bharthapudi's work in this issue.

Victor Ehikhamenor has been named Leon Forrest Scholar in Fiction, one of 12 Africana Scholars, by the Pan-African Literary Forum.  Hewas born in Udomi-Uwessan in Edo State, Nigeria. His fiction and non-fiction are published or forthcoming in The Washington Post, Wasafiri, Transition, English in Africa Journal, Trespass Magazine and others.

Ehikhamenor is also an avid painter and photographer whose arts have been widely exhibited and collected worldwide. His works have been used for notable book and journal covers including Chimanmada Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus, Helon Habila’s Measuring Times, Jonathan Luckett’s Feeding Frenzy, Unoma Azuah’s, Skyhigh Flames and Dreams, Miracles & Jazz: New Adventures in African Writing, edited by Helon Habila and Kadija Sesay Ehikhamenor received an MS in Technology Management from University of Maryland, University College and his MFA in Fiction from University of Maryland, College Park . He maintains a home in the United States and Nigeria.  Click here to read Victor Ehikhamenor's work in this issue.

Rhina P. Espaillat, Dominican-born and bilingual, has translated poetry into and out of English and her native Spanish, and composes poems, essays and short stories in both languages. Her seven books and three chapbooks include, most recently, Playing at Stillness, a collection of her poems in English; Agua de dos rios/Water from Two Rivers, bilingual poems and essays; and El olor de la memoria/The Scent of Memory, bilingual short stories. She has won several national awards, including the T. S. Eliot Prize in Poetry, the Richard Wilbur Award, the Oberon Prize, the Frost Foundation's "Tree at My Window" Award, and various prizes from the Poetry Society of America and the New England Poetry Club, as well as a number of honors from the Dominican Ministry of Culture and the City University of New York. Her work appears frequently in literary magazines, anthologies and websites. She lives in Newburyport, MA, where she is active with the Powow River Poets.


Read Rhina P. Espaillat's essay on translation.


Read Rhina P. Espaillat's translations in this issue.


Read the Per Contra Interview with Rhina P. Espaillat.

Inger Johansson is a literary translator from English, Romanian and French into Swedish who live in Lund, Sweden. She has been a full-time literary translator since 1983 and has translated about sixty works of literary and non-literary prose, poetry and drama, including the writers Karen Armstrong, André Brink, Mircea Cărtărescu, Doris Lessing, Olivia Manning, Gabriela Melinescu, Rohinton Mistry and Tim Winton. Johansson was awarded the translation prize of the Samfundet de nios (the Academy of the Nine) in 1999 and the Gerard Bonniers stipend in 2003.  Read Inger Johansson's work in this issue.

Beverly A. Jackson writes short stories and poetry that have appeared in over 60 venues since 1999, including Eclectica, Smokelong Quarterly, Zoetrope All-Story Extra, Night Train, Absinthe Literary Review, Tattoo Highway, and In Posse Review. She was nominated by Vestal Review for a BASS (Best American Short Stories) award for "The Dead", which has since been anthologized in "You Have Time for This," and a flash fiction textbook for China.

Beverly was the Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of the print literary journal, Ink Pot, (and its ezine) and the small independent press, LIT POT PRESS, INC., which published poetry and short story collections, literary novels out of the mainstream. (1999 - 2006)

In addition to writing, Beverly does mixed media abstract paintings and collages in her home studio. You can find her blog Here and her artwork Here Click here to read Beverly A. Jackson's work in this issue.

Alexis Levitin Click here for biographical informationClick Here to read Alexis Levitin's work in this issue.

Ana Minga was born in the far south of Ecuador, in the town of Loja, in 1983. She won a major poetry prize from the Fine Arts Museum of Quito before the age of twenty. Then, in 2003, she won first prize from the Central University of Ecuador for her first collection Pandemonium. She went on to win the University's Silver Medal for Poetry in 2006. Her recent book from which these poems are taken is called Behind God's BackClick here to read Ana Minga's work in this issue.

Gabriela Melinescu, born in Bucharest, published seven volumes of poetry between 1965-75, one of which was awarded the Writers’ Union Prize. In 1975 she emigrated to Sweden, where she has published five more volumes of poetry and nine books of prose, winning the prestigious Swedish Academy Prize “De Nio” twice and also the Albert Bonniers Prize for “opera omnia.” After 1989 she has again been able to publish in Romania, reprinting all her works and winning two prestigious awards: the Nichita Stănescu prize from the Romanian Academy in 2002 and the Romanian Cultural Institute prize for lifetime achievement in 2004. Melinescu is also a celebrated translator of Swedish writers into Romanian. Her poems have appeared in Born in Utopia: An Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Romanian Poetry, edited by Carmen Firan and Paul Doru Mugur with Edward Foster (Talisman House, 2006).  Click here to read Gabriela Melinescu's work in this issue.

Kostas Myrsiades is a professor of comparative literature and editor of College Literature at West Chester University. His translations of Greek poetry have been published widely. is a professor of comparative literature and editor of College Literature at West Chester University. His translations of Greek poetry have been published widely.  Click here to read Kostas Mysiades' work in this issue.

Darlin' Neal's story collection, Rattlesnakes and the Moon, was a 2007 finalist for the GS Sharat Chandra Prize. In the last two years, her work has been nominated six times for the Pushcart Prize, and appears in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Puerto del Sol and numerous other magazines. Her nonfiction piece, "The House in Simi Valley," which first appeared in storySouth, has been selected for the forthcoming anthology, Online Writing: The Best of The First Ten Years and Wigleaf chose her short story, "Red Brick," which appeared first in Smokelong Quarterly as one of the top fifty short shorts on the web in 2008. She is assistant professor of creative writing in the University of Central Florida's MFA program.  Click here to read Darlin' Neal's work in this issue.

Carolina Patiño (Guayaquil, 1987-2007) won "Buseta de papel"s first poetry competition in 2004. In 2006 she published her first book, Trapped in Adam's Ribs. Her posthumous volume, Kill Yourself, from which this poem is drawn, has just been published in Guayaquil. Carolina's poems have appeared in numerous anthologies in Ecuador, including The Voice of Eros: Two Centuries of Erotic Poetry by Ecuadorian Women (2006). Her work has also appeared in various other Spanish-speaking countries such as Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Spain. Click here to read Carolina Patiño's work in this issue.

Carter Ratcliff is a poet and art critic. He is a contributing editor of Art in America and a member of the editorial board of Sculpture Magazine. Ratcliff's writings have appeared widely in European and American journals and in the publications of museums here and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Guggenheim, NY, and the Royal Academy, London. His awards include the College Art Association's 1987 Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two national Endowment for the Arts' Art Critics Grants, and a Poets Foundation Grant. He is the author of monographs of John Singer Sargent and Andy Warhol. His other books on art include The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art and Out of the Box: The Reinvention of Art 1965-1975. His books of poetry include Fever Coast (1973), Give Me Tomorrow (1983), and Arrivederci, Modernismo (2007).


Click Here to read Carter Ratcliff's poetry in this issue.


Click Here to read Carter Ratcliff's essay on visual arts in this issue.


Click here to read the Per Contra Interview with Carter Ratcliff.



Don Riggs is a poet and translator. He teaches literature and writing at Drexel University. He is the Editor of Lamont B. Steptoe's A Long Movie of Shadows and translated Chinese Poetic Writing by Francois Cheng.  Click here to read Don Riggs' work in this issue.

Lauren Schenkman was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. She attended the University of Southern California and graduated in 2007 with bachelor's degrees in physics and creative writing. Since then she has been working and writing in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is her first publication.  Click here to read Lauren Schenkman's work in this issue.

David R. Slavitt Click here for biographical informationClick here for David R. Slavitt's work in this issue.

William Jay Smith has been a major force in American letters for over half a century. He is the author of more than sixty books of poetry, children’s verse, memoirs, and criticism. From 1968 to 1970 he served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (a post now called the Poet Laureate). Two of his thirteen poetry collections were finalists for the National Book Award, and his translations have won awards from the French Academy, the Swedish Academy, and the Hungarian government.

Smith was born in Louisiana in 1918 and brought up at Jefferson Barracks, just south of St. Louis, Missouri. His memoir, Army Brat (1980), which recounts his unusual boyhood as the son of a professional soldier, a clarinetist in the Sixth Infantry Band, was widely acclaimed. Artur Lundkvist of the Swedish Academy said of it: “One would have to go back to the books of Kipling portraying military life seen through a child’s eyes in order to find anything comparable.”

Of Native American (Choctaw) descent, Smith explores his family roots in The Cherokee Lottery (2000), a poetic sequence describing the forced removal of Indian tribes east of the Mississippi. Harold Bloom has found the book to be Smith’s “masterwork: taut, harrowing, eloquent, and profoundly memorable.”

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1975 and its former Vice President for Literature, he divides his time between Cummington, Massachusetts and Paris.  Click here to read William Jay Smith's work in this issue.

Adam J. Sorkin’s recent volumes of translation include three 2006 books: Magda Cârneci’s Chaosmos, translated with Cârneci (White Pine Press), Mihai Ursachi’s The March to the Stars, translated mostly with the poet (Vinea Press), and Mariana Marin’s Paper Children, with various collaborators (Ugly Duckling Press). Other books include Daniela Crăsnaru’s short stories translated with the author, The Grand Prize and Other Stories (Northwestern UP, 2004), and Marin Sorescu’s The Bridge, translated with Lidia Vianu (Bloodaxe Books, 2004)—the winner of the 2005 Corneliu M. Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation of The Poetry Society, London. In 2007, he published Radu Andriescu’s The Catalan Within (Longleaf Press), translated with the poet. Sorkin is Distinguished Professor of English at Penn State Brandywine.  Click here to read Adam Sorkin's work in this issue.

Lewis Turco was founding director of both the Cleveland State University Poetry Center (1962) and the Program in Writing Arts at the State University of New York College at Oswego (1968) from which he retired as Emeritus Professor of English in 1996. He took his B. A. from the University of Connecticut in 1959 and his M. A. from the University of Iowa in 1962. In 2000 he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Ashland University. His poems, essays, stories and plays have appeared in most of the major literary periodicals over the past half-century, and in over one hundred books and anthologies. In 1999 he received the John Ciardi Award for lifetime achievement in poetry sponsored by the periodical Italian Americana and the National Italian American Foundation.

Prof. Turco’s The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics has been called “the poet’s Bible” since its original publication by E. P. Dutton in 1968, through three editions, the most recent in 2000, and many printings; it was included in the New York City Schools’ list of “Recommended Books for Teachers.” A companion volume, The Book of Literary Terms, received a Choice citation as an “Outstanding Academic Title ”for the year 2000. A third volume in this series, The Book of Dialogue, How to Write Effective Conversation in Fiction, Screenplays, Drama, and Poetry, appeared in February 2004 and was chosen in 2005 by the AAUP as a “University Press Book Selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries.” The publisher of all three books is the University Press of New England.

Turco’s first book of criticism, Visions and Revisions of American Poetry, published by the University of Arkansas Press, won the Melville Cane Award of the Poetry Society of America in 1986, and his A Book of Fears: Poems, with Italian translations by Joseph Alessia, won the first annual Bordighera Bi-Lingual Poetry Prize in 1998.

Star Cloud Press of Scottsdale, Arizona, published The Collected Lyrics of Lewis Turco / Wesli Court 1953-2004, the latter sobriquet being an anagram pseudonym under which Lewis Turco has published most of his traditionally formal poems. In 2007 the same publisher brought out Fearful Pleasures: The Complete Poems of Lewis Turco 1959-2007, a gathering of non-traditionally written poems, some of which had originally won three chapbook prizes: the American Weave Chapbook Award for The Sketches in 1962, the Silverfish Review Chapbook Award for A Family Album in 1990, and the Cooper House Chapbook Competition for Murmurs in the Walls in 1992.


Click here to read Lewis Turco's poetry in this issue.


Click here to read the Per Contra Interview with Lewis Turco.

Arlene Zide b. 1940, NYC. Poet, linguist and translator, her work has appeared in journals and anthologies in the US, Canada and in India such as: The Alembic, Meridians (Smith College), Xanadu, Rattapallax, Primavera, Colorado Review, California Quarterly, Women’s Review of Books, A Room of Her Own, Oyez, Earth’ Daughters, Rhino, and in anthologies such as In Love United, Kiss Me Goodnight and Rough Places Plain and online in e.g., Anderbo, Chicago Poetry, Red River Review, The Pedestal Magazzine, R-KV-R-Y, and Kritya. She has lived in India nine times over the last 39 years, most recently involved in translation from Hindi. (An anthology of contemporary Indian women poets out from Penguin India (1993) contained a number of her own translations.) Translations from Hindi and other Indian languages have appeared in places as diverse as The Bitter Oleander, Manushi, Salt Hill, Paintbrush, Smartish Pace, Modern Poetry in Translation (UK), Blue Unicorn, Indian Literature, Rhino, International Poetry Review, The Malahat Review, International Quarterly, Chicago Review, and in the Everyman series: Indian Love PoemsClick here to read Arlene Zide's work in this issue.