[12] Spring 2012



Our National Treasure, Robert Bly

What Is Possible


Our Guest and Treasure, Marie Sheppard Williams:

The Book of Jo…, Marie Sheppard Williams

Words of Praise…, Thomas R. Smith

Thoughts on Poetry, Marie Sheppard Williams


Four Poems, Robert Herschbach
Insomnia and the Mind-Body Problem, George Ovitt

“Dance” To Elsewhere, Buff Lindau

Early Morning Homage, Peggy Aylsworth

A Dream of Garrison Keillor, Thomas R. Smith

Three Poems, Mark Burke

Tension of Opposites, Elizabeth E. Landrum

Trinity, Ariana D. Den Bleyker

Conversation, Terry W. Ford

Heber, Douglas Cole

Half-Life, N. A’yara Stein

Family Letters, Gay Baines {Publication: May 15th}

Chasing Sunrise, Richard T. Rauch

2011, Spring, Laurel Albina

Song and Seed, Joseph Murphy

Five Poems, Changming Yuan

Commonality, Bhisma Upreti

[Untitled,] Chase B. Howard

Self-Portrait, Lana Rakhman

Whispering, Ethan Joella

Two Poems, Joel F. Johnson

Remedy, Maxwell Dahlquist

Poppies (4), Robert Rothman

The Ferryman, by David Ruekberg [Publication: May 15th]


Chip, Corey Mesler

The Essence of Pain, Marian Kilcoyne

[ink, heart]: bleeds, Michelle Disler

Questions Floating In (Cyber)Space, Steven D. Stark


Origins, Pei Wang

Roaring Meg, Erin Stagg

Alone, In This House, Justin D. Anderson

Barely, Michael C. Keith

The Ring, Diane Lake

Winter Light, David Gauly


Mary Hansen, photograph of Poet Williams

Not Alone, Eleanor Leonne Bennett


Our National Treasure. “Robert Bly’s work Iron John: A Book about Men is an international bestseller which has been translated into many languages. His most recent book of poems is Talking Into The Ear Of A Donkey, published by W. W. Norton in 2011. He frequently does workshops for men with Robert Moore and others, and workshops for men and women with Marion Woodman. He and his wife Ruth, along with the storyteller Gioia Timpanelli, frequently conduct seminars on European fairy tales. In the early 90s, with James Hillman and Michael Meade, he edited The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, an anthology of poems from the men’s work. Since then, he has edited The Darkness Around Us Is Deep: Selected Poems of William Stafford, and The Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy, a collection of sacred poetry from many cultures. Recent books of poetry include What Have I Ever Lost by Dying? Collected Prose Poems and Meditations on the Insatiable Soul, both published by Harper Collins. His second large prose book, The Sibling Society, published by Addison-Wesley in hardcover and Vintage in paperback, is the subject of nation-wide discussion. His collection, Morning Poems (Harper Collins), named for William Stafford’s practice of writing a poem each morning, revisits the western Minnesota farm country of Bly’s boyhood with marvelous wit and warmth. His new selected poems, Eating the Honey of Words, has recently appeared from Harper Flamingo, as well as his translations of Ghalib, The Lightning Should Have Fallen on Ghalib (with Sunil Dutta) from Ecco Press. He has also edited the prestigious Best American Poetry 1999 (Scribners).”

©This biography was republished with Poet Bly’s permission from his website.


Justin D. Anderson is an MFA candidate in fiction and writing. He teaches at West Virginia University in Morgantown, where he lives with his wife and son. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Whitefish Review, Necessary Fiction, Controlled Burn, South Dakota Review, and elsewhere and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Laurel Albina is a Canadian born Palestinian-American writer and organizer. She is a 2011 Hedgebrook Alumnae and a five-year student of Bent Writing Institute in Seattle, WA. Laurel is scheduled to have her poetry published in Prairie Fire Magazine in 2012. She is employed as a union negotiator and lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and four-year old daughter.

Peggy Aylsworth is a retired psychotherapist living in Santa Monica, CA. Peggy says, “Althoughthe calendar tells me I’m ninety, my spirit and my husband tell meotherwise.” Her poetry has appeared in The Houston Literary Review, Beloit PoetryJournal, Ars Interpres (Sweden), Rattle, Chiron Review and numerousother journals throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Gay Baines [mid spring publication] lives in East Aurora, New York, and is a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. She holds a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College and has done graduate work at Syracuse University and SUNY-Buffalo. Gay won the National Writers Union Poetry Prize in 1991, Honorable Mention in the Ruth Cable Memorial Poetry Contest in 1996, and the 2008 Mary Roelofs Stott Award for poetry, as well as other prizes. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in several literary journals, including 13th Moon, Amarillo Bay, Anemone Sidecar, The Baltimore Review, Bayou, Cimarron Review, Confluence, Confrontation, Controlled Burn, Dislocate, Eclectica, Eclipse, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Jabberwock Review, Louisiana Literature, Nimrod International Journal, Oregon East, Phoebe, The Pinch, Poet Lore, Quiddity Literary Journal, RE:AL, Rosebud, Slipstream, South Carolina Review, The Texas Review, Verdad, Westview, Whiskey Island, Willow Review, Wisconsin Review, and Zone 3.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a fifteen year old and international award-winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography Papworth Trust, Mencap The Woodland Trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in The Guardian, The Telegraph, BBC News Website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United states and Canada. Her art is globally exhibited, having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles, Florida, Washington, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada ,Spain, Germany, Japan, Australia and The Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition (2011) among many other locations.

Mark Burke is a father, poet, and lawyer. He lives in the Seattle area and is also developing a rural learning center near Hope, British Columbia. His work has been published recently in The North American Review, Poet Lore, The Hampden–Sydney Poetry Review and The Chicago Review.

Amanda (Mandi) Casolo, Manuscript Editor for Overwatch by Allen Gray, is currently employed at Yale University Press. She graduated with a BA in English literature with a concentration in creative writing in 2010 from the University of Connecticut and was a fiction editor for the nationally award-winning literary journal, Long River Review.

Douglas Cole has work in The Connecticut River Review, Louisiana Literature, Cumberland Poetry Review, and Midwest Quarterly. He has work available online as well in TheAdirondack Review, Salt River Review, and Avatar Review, among others, and recorded a story for Bound Off. He has work forthcoming in the Red Rock Review and a novella to be issued as a chapbook in the Overtime series ofWorkers Write Journal. Douglas has won the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry for a selection called, “The Open Ward,” a Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House and First Prize in the “Picture Worth 500 Words” poetry contest by Tattoo Highway. He lives in Seattle, Washington and teaches writing and literature at Seattle Central College, where he is also the advisor for the literary journal, Corridors.

Maxwell Dahlquist was born in Middle America in the late 1980s. His work has appeared in SOFTBLOW Poetry Journal and Polaris Magazine. Maxwell enjoys playing rugby and once rode an ostrich.

Michelle Disler’s work has appeared in The Laurel Review, Seneca Review, Gulf Coast, Painted Bride Quarterly, Fourth Genre, Water~Stone Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Columbia, where it received the Essay Prize. She has also received the Virginia Woolf Prize in the Essay, and has been nominated for the AWP Intro Award in Nonfiction and the Pushcart Prize on her multi-genre work on 007 James Bond. She holds a PhD in Creative Nonfiction from Ohio University and teaches Creative Nonfiction at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Terry W. Ford is a Professor Emerita at Kent State University and a part-time instructor. She taught full-time at the KSU Stark campus for almost 40 years. In that time, she served as English department coordinator, spoke and presented at numerous academic conferences, was featured in campus literary publications, and was honored with several awards and nominations for teaching. A longtime supporter of Ohio and Midwest writing, she was a grant writer for the Ohio Arts Council and a planner of the Midwest Writer’s Conference. Now semi-retired, she enjoys gardening, swimming, boating, cooking, and spending time with her granddaughter. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Chaffin Journal; Our Town, North Canton; Stark Raving Mad; and Schuylkill Valley Journal.

David Gauly is an MFA candidate at Hollins University, where he received the Andrew James Purdy Award for Short Fiction in 2010. Prior to attending Hollins, he worked for Sauce Magazine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mary Hanson is a professional portrait photographer who has been working for over eight years in the Minneapolis, MN area, and occasionally travels around the country as well. Mary’s practice of capturing portraits that reflect her subjects spirit is not about equipment, but rather about making a connection with the person she is working with. Mary honestly cares about each person she photographs, and her open, warm and easy way of connecting make for truly beautiful work. Her work can be seen in select national publications, and on her site: maryhansonphotography.com

Robert Herschbach is a professional editor, currently living in the Washington, DC metro area. His poems have been published recently in West Branch, South Carolina Review, Natural Bridge, Subtropics, Fugue, and other journals.

Chase B. Howard is an English student currently studying poetry and other forms of creative writing at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. He is a junior this year and has taken great interest in the freedom of making his own creative writings with his own technique.

Joel F. Johnson’s poetry has been accepted for publication in Blackbird, the Aurorian and the Hiram Poetry Review. He has been a member of the Concord Poetry Center for five years, and attended the Colrain Manuscript Conference.

Ethan Joella is a 2008 Eric Hoffer finalist. Forth-coming is a story in Robert Olen Butler’s 2010 Fiction Anthology from Del Sol PressWork. Poet Joella has also appeared in The International Fiction Review, The American, The Collagist, SNReview, Perigee, Tiferet, Paradigm, Retort, No Place Like Here anthology and the Stickman Review.

Michael C. Keith is the author of over 20 books on electronic media, among them Talking Radio, Voices in the Purple Haze, Radio Cultures, Signals in the Air, and the classic textbook The Radio Station. The recipient of numerous awards in his academic field, he is also the author of dozens of journal articles and short stories and has served in a variety of editorial positions. In addition, he is the author of an acclaimed memoir–The Next Better Place, a young adult novel–Life is Falling Sideways, and three story anthologies–Of Night and Light, And Through the Trembling Air, and Hoag’s Object. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Pen/O.Henry Award.

Susanne Riette-Keith has been a commercial artist for several years and graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Designwith majors in Painting and Illustration. Her artistry can be found on giftware, toys, fabrics, and paper products. She has a freelance design studio located in Easton, Massachusetts. Those interested in Susanne’s art work may contact her at: susannerk@comcast.net.

Marian Kilcoyne is an Irish writer based on the West coast of Ireland. She has been published or forthcoming at Metazen, Apalachee Review, and others. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for cooking and her dog, Coco.

Diane Lake has been a working screenwriter since 1993 when she sold her first story idea. Since then she has been commissioned to write films for Columbia, Disney, Miramax, Paramount and NBC. Diane’s film, Frida, opened the Venice Film Festival in 2002, was named one of the ten Best Films of 2002 by numerous top 10 lists, including the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. Frida was also nominated for six Academy Awards in 2003. Current projects under option include Ada, a biopic of Lord Byron’s only legitimate daughter, and Hemingway in Paris, the story of the young Hemingway’s five years in Paris, where he moved from wife #1 to wife #2 while writing The Sun Also Rises. Diane is also a screenwriting professor at Emerson College. Visit her site at dianelake.com

Elizabeth E. Landrum is a retired clinical psychologist whose work has most recently appeared in Southern Womens Review. Her poems have also been published in SharkReef where she has since served as co-editor for poetry. She received her doctorate in Psychology from the University of Louisville and practiced as a private psychotherapist for 30 years in Louisville, KY and Edmonds, WA. After retiring, she moved to an island in the San Juan’s where she and her partner are building their dream home. She has found inspiration for her poetry from her beautiful surroundings, from the inner world of dreams, from stories of suffering and survival, as well as from her fellow poets.

Buff Lindau was born in 1944 and raised in South Carolina. She attended Goucher College and then the University of South Carolina, where she earned her Ph.D. in English. While there she studied with James Dickey and wrote her dissertation on feminism in the English novel. Buff now lives in Burlington, Vermont, where her husband and she raised two sons. She is Director of marketing and communications and Executive Editor of the magazine for Saint Michael’s College.

Annam Manthiram is our volunteer Associate Editor at Grey Sparrow. She is the author of the forthcoming novel, After the Tsunami (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2011) and a short story collection, Dysfunction, which was a Finalist in the 2010 Elixir Press Fiction Award and received Honorable Mention in Leapfrog Press’ 2010 fiction contest. A graduate of the MA Writing program at the University of Southern California, Ms. Manthiram resides in New Mexico with her husband, Alex, and son, Sathya. URL: AnnamManthiram.com

Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published five novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002), We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006), The Ballad of the Two Tom Mores (2010) and Following RichardBrautigan (2010), Gardner Remembers (2011), 2 full length poetry collections, Some Identity Problems (2008) and Before the Great Troubling (2011), and 3 books of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009), Notes toward the Story and Other Stories (2011) and I’ll Give YouSomething to Cry About (2011). He has also published a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He can be found at http://www.coreymesler.com.

Joseph Murphy is a professional editor and writer who lives in Michigan. He has had poetry published in a number of journals, including The Tower Journal, Pure Francis and The Sugar House Review. Murphy is also a poetry editor for an online literary publication, Halfway Down the Stairs.

George Ovitt is a blues guitar player, a medievalist with a couple of books in that field, a high school teacher, an army vet (Vietnam-era) but also a Quaker and pacifist. He lives with his wife and children. Writing has been published in San Pedro River Review, Story Quarterly, Burning Word, Other Voices, and Oak Bend Review.

Lana Rakhman was born in Kiev, Ukraine, but currently resides in Chicago. She has poems published or forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly, Harpur Palate, Salamander, Otis Nebula, Psychic Meatloaf, Jet Fuel Review, Poetry South, and others. She is the poetry editor for the literary journal TriQuarterly Online, and teaches college English.

Richard T. Rauchwas born and raised in and around New Orleans, and after college and career stints in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., he returned to the New Orleans area and currently lives along Bayou Lacombe in southeast Louisiana. He currently tests rockets that one day may enable human explorers to escape Earth’s orbit and venture out to Mars and beyond. His poetry has recently appeared or is about to appear in California Quarterly, decomP, Hotel Amerika, Many Mountains Moving, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Oxford American, Quiddity, and Slow Trains, among others.

Robert Rothmanlives in Northern California and attended the University of California at Berkeley: undergraduate and graduate school. His recent work was published by Diverse Voices Quarterly.

David Ruekberg lives near Rochester, NY, and teaches English in the International Baccalaureate program at Hilton High School. He received his MFA from Warren Wilson College, has attended a residency at Jentel Arts, in Sheridan Wyoming. Publications include Yankee, Poet Lore, North American Review, 88, Mudfish and others.

Thomas R. Smith lives in River Falls, Wisconsin and teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. His most recent book of poetry is The Foot Of The Rainbow (Red Dragonfly Press, 2010). He is editing Airmail: The Letters Of Robert Bly And Tomas Tranströmer, to be published by Graywolf Press in April of 2013.

Erin Stagg settled in New Zealand, after traveling between the northern and southern hemisphere chasing winter, where she is currently working on a short story collection. Her fiction has also appeared in The won for the 2002 Wellesley College Johanna Mankiewicz prize for prose fiction. She recently received her MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Steven D. Stark is the author of four books and one e-book. He has written frequently for the New York Times and Atlantic Monthly. He recently won theClapboard House short story contest.

N. A’Yara Stein, a Romani-American poet and writer, was nominated twice for the 2010 Pushcart Prize by Apparatus Magazine and Vox Poetica as well as nominated by Blast Furnace for a “Best of the Net” poem in the 2011 “Best of the Net” Competition. She holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas and is a grant recipient of the Michigan Art Council and the Arkansas Arts Council, among other honors. The former editor of the arts quarterly Gypsy Blood Review, she’s recently published in Verse Wisconsin, The Mayo Review, Ping Pong: The Journal of the Henry Miller Library, The Chaffey Review, The San Pedro Poetry Review, and The Delinquent (UK), among others. She lives near Chicago with her sons and is the featured poet in the current issue of The James Dickey Review.

Tim Stobierski, Sparrow Poetry Editor for Overwatch by Allen Gray and Manuscript Editor for Shenanigans! by author Joseph Michael Owens, our retired editor. Tim is a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut. While a student, he worked for two years on the universities’ literary journal, The Long River Review. This past year, he served as the Creative Non-fiction editor, and interned at Yale University Press in the Acquisitions Department.

Bhisma Upreti is a Nepali poet and essay writer. Nepali Translator Mahesh Paudyal ‘Prarambha’ offered the English version of Bhisma Upreti’s charming poem, “Commonality.”

Townsend Walker, Assistant Editor, Grey Sparrow, short story writer.

Pei Wang holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, as well as a graduate certificate in teaching composition. Her work has been published previously in the literary journals Transfer and Instant City. These days, Author Wang is working on a collection of stories and a novel, writing in furious bursts when she is not busy chasing her toddler.

Our Treasure, Marie Sheppard Williams, has lived and worked in Minneapolis all her life, 80 years now, except for twelve years spent in a log cabin in the Flandrau woods near New Ulm, Minnesota. In New Ulm, she worked as a country correspondence editor for the New Ulm Daily Journal. She has published, or self-published, a book of poems and drawings—drawings by her daughter Megan Williams—seven collections of short stories, and is now working on an eighth collection, The Magic Stories. She has won many awards for her writing, including two Pushcart prizes and a Bush grant. She began writing at age six, publishing at age fifty.
About five years ago she turned to poetry, and has since been published in such magazines as The Sun, Poetry East, and Grey Sparrow. One of her poems appeared in Ted Kooser’s newspaper column.

She has a daughter, Megan, who is an architect in London, and a large orange cat, Albert.

Changming Yuan, author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Politics and Poetics (2009), is a three-time Pushcart nominee who grew up in rural China and published several books before moving to Canada. Yuan teaches in Vancouver and has poetry appearing in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine and more than 360 other literary journals/anthologies worldwide.


search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close