Jennifer Byrne writes short fiction, humor essays and poetry. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency,, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She was among the top 25 winners in the 2007 Writer's Digest Short Short Fiction Competition, and was subsequently published in an anthology of competition winners. She recently won 2nd place in the Literary Short Story category at the Philadelphia Writer's Conference, and was among the top four winners of the 2007 Robert Benchley Award for Humor. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.


Alina Cârâc is an active translator of Romanian literature into English, including more than thirty volumes of drama, works of poetry, novels, collections of short stories and essays, and film scripts, as well as numerous books from English into Romanian. In 2002, she published her first novel, Letters from Parallel Worlds, in Romanian, and she has finished a second novel which is awaiting publication. She works as a senior editor with Press Group “Romania,” in charge of the publication, Romanian Panorama.


Ioan Flora, author of fifteen books of poetry, among them Lecture on the Ostrich-Camel (1995), The Swedish Rabbit (1998), Medea and Her War Machines (2000), died in February 2005 only a few days after the publication of his final book of poems, whose title, ironically, was a black-humor variation on Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe — in Romanian, Dejun sub iarba or Luncheon Under the Grass. Flora won prizes at the Struga Poetry Festival, from the Writers’ Union of the Republic of Moldova, and from both the Romanian Writers’ Union and Association of Professional Writers in Romania (aspro), among other awards. He was born in Yugoslavia in the Romanian-speaking region of the Serbian Banat across the Danube from Romania, and lived in Bucharest during the 1990s, working for the Museum of Romanian Literature and then the Romanian Writers’ Union. His poems have appeared in Adam J. Sorkin's collaborative versions in Sorkin's anthology of Romanian prose poetry, Speaking the Silence (2001), as well as in Natural Bridge, Chase Park, River City, Visions International, Facets, Ellipsis, Hunger Mountain, Archipelago, Mantis, Rhino, Tar Wolf Review, New Orleans Review, Philadelphia Poets, Words Without Borders, Saranac Review, Divide, The Hamilton Stone Review and Zoland Poetry.


Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from the University of Zimbabwe, Graz University in Austria and the University of Cambridge.  Her short fiction has been published in literary journals and anthologies in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, and is forthcoming in an anthology by OV Books of Chicago. In 2007, she came second in a Southern Africa-wide short story contest organised by the South Africa Centre of International PEN and judged by J.M. Coetzee. She lives in Geneva, Switzerland, with her son Kush, where she works as a lawyer for the ACWL, an organisation that advises developing countries on WTO law. She is currently completing her first novel, polishing a collection of short stories, and researching a biography of Zimbabwean musicians the Bhundu Boys.


Rachel Hadas is Board of Governors Professor of English at the Newark campus of Rutgers University. The most recent of her numerous books is a collection of poems, River of Forgetfulness (David Robert Books 2006). A collection of essays, Classics, is forthcoming in 2007. 


Ioana Ieronim, noted Romanian writer, is the author of eleven collections of poetry, among them five books in English translation by Adam J. Sorkin with the author. These include The Triumph of the Water Witch (Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2000), a volume of prose poems that was shortlisted for Oxford’s Weidenfeld Prize; 41, a bilingual volume of poetry (Cartea Românească Publisher, Bucharest, 2003); and two 2005 books, Dragon Kites over the Pyrenees (a trilingual volume in Catalan, Romanian, English) and Escalator. Ieronim is former Cultural Counselor of the Romanian Embassy, Washington, DC (1992-1996) and Romanian PEN Club president. Life Line as a Skyscraper appeared in fall 2006 from Vinea Press, Bucharest and New York.


Henry Israeli’s books include New Messiahs (Four Way Books: 2002) and Fresco: the Selected Poetry of Luljeta Lleshanaku (New Directions: 2002)—which he edited and co-translated. He has been awarded fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Canada Council on the Arts, as well as a residency at the MacDowell Colony. His poetry and translations have appeared in numerous journals, including Grand Street, The Iowa Review, Quarterly West, Tin House, Fence, Verse and elsewhere. Henry Israeli is also the founder of Saturnalia Books.


Luljeta Lleshanaku , born in Elbasan, Albania, began publishing her work in 1991 after the overthrow of the Stalinist regime.  Her critically acclaimed books of poetry are The Sleepwalker's Eyes (1993), Sunday Bells (1994), Half-Cubism (1996) and Yellow Marrow: New and Selected Poems (2001) for which she won the Albanian National Book Award.  In 2002, New Directions published her first collection of translations in English, titled Fresco: Selected Poetry of Luljeta Lleshanaku. English translations of her work have appeared in Grand Street, Seneca Review, Fence, Tin House, Pool, Modern Poetry in Translation, Anthology of American Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry 1997, and Visions-International, for which they won the 1996 Translation Award. 


John Martin is a Denver, Colorado native who has been writing professionally for over twenty-five years.  His work has appeared in Bloomsbury Review and Bias Onus Quarterly, and is due to appear in a forthcoming issue of The Externalist.  He is currently in search of an agent or publisher for his first novel, The Innkeeper’s Wife.  You can reach him at


Becca Menon is the author of the forthcoming verse novel, A Girl and Her Gods.

M.G. Piety teaches philosophy at Drexel University. She has published numerous articles on the philosophy of Sřren Kierkegaard, as well as on other philosophical subjects, in both scholarly and popular journals. Her work has appeared in The International Kierkegaard Commentary, Faith and Philosophy, Rockhurst Review, ASK (the journal of the College of Arts and Sciences of Drexel University) and the Times Literary Supplement. She is presently translating two books by Kierkegaard for Oxford University Press.


Ion Pop is the award-winning author of eight books of poetry, the most recent a volume of selected poems in the respected Hyperion Series, The Discovery of the Eye (The Romanian Book, 2001), and Elegies on the Offensive (Vinea Publishers, 2003).  An important critic as well, Pop has written about poetry and edited scholarly and reference works since the time of his studies at the University of Cluj, where he later has served as Professor and Dean.  He also taught at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, and served as Director of the Romanian Cultural Center, Paris.  Pop has translated widely from twentieth-century French poets.  In the United States his poems have appeared in The MacGuffin and (forthcoming) Karamu and International Poetry Review. as well as in the anthologies, Transylvanian Voices: An Anthology of Contemporary Poets of Cluj-Napoca and Born in Utopia: An Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Romanian Poetry, ed. Carmen Firan and Paul Doru Mugur with Edward Foster.


Shpresa Qatipi is a professor of English at Tirana University. In addition to the poems of Luljeta Lleshanaku, she has also translated and published short stories, essays, and articles for the Eurolindja Publishing House in Albania and the Soros Foundation.


Laurie Rosenblatt M.D. is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and practices psychiatry at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Her poems have appeared in Salamander, JAMA, The Bellevue Literary Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, among others.  She has also been anthologized in “Poems for the Waiting Room” for the British National Health Service.


Lorna Smedman is a graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and author of Dangers of Reading. She is a long-time resident of New York City. Current projects include a book of short stories, and a nonfiction account of fixing up a little shack in the woods called Making House.


Rachel Sawyer is a writer and blogger living in Northern Maryland. After more than 10 years as a journalist, she left the field and entered graduate school. She received a master's in library and information science in 2003. She blogs at Tinkerty Tonk.


Adam Sorkin’s  recent volumes of translation include Magda Cârneci’s Chaosmos, translated with Cârneci (Buffalo: White Pine Press), Mihai Ursachi’s The March to the Stars (Bucharest and New York: Vinea Press), and Mariana Marin’s Children, done with various collaborators (Brooklyn: Ugly Duckling Presse).  Other books include Daniela Crasnaru’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. He received an NEA Poetry Fellowship for Poetry Translation for 2005-2006.


Maryanne Stahl, author of novels  The Opposite Shore and Forgive the Moon, lives in Thunderbolt, Georgia.  Visit her blog by Clicking Here.


Molara Wood is a Nigerian writer currently living in London, England. As an arts journalist and essayist, she has written widely on arts and culture in the Nigerian/African media. Her poetry and short stories have been featured in publications including: In Posse Review, Eclectica, Mindfire Renewed and Chimurenga. Molara recently guest-edited an issue of Farafina Magazine, a Lagos-based journal to which she is a regular contributor.








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Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas

Contributors Fall 2007