[3] Winter 2010



Our National Treasure, Robert Bly

The Water Tank


Brief Love, Hair of Night, The Water Queen of Jerusalem, Raquel Chalfi

Graphic Field of Light by Cooper Renner

Its Way, Kashmir 1987, Alamgir Hashmi

Laughing with Father, Elizabeth P. Glixman

Beach Walk, Pouring Tea by Way of Titration, Remnants, Sandy Green

Single-Cell, Mercy, Tainted Blend, Carol Lynn Grellas

Winter Solstice, Downtown Minneapolis, Kinnickinnic River Eagle, Thomas R. Smith

A Fall, Gone to Bone, Marie Sheppard Williams

Monument, Jon Wesick

Five Senryu, Michael Chacko Daniels

Three Diminuendos, Thom Olausson


Combo-Suite, Tsipi Keller

Four Micros: A Leap of Faith, Suzanne Nielson

Morning Things, Possum, John Oliver Hodges

I Wish It Would Rain, Antonios Maltezos

My Ayah, Townsend Walker

The Visit, Carol Wobig

Riders, Aidan Ryan

Graphics and Fine Art

Fine Artist: Wing-Fu Lai

Driftless, Sheila Ryan

Photographer, Christopher Woods

Ice1, Ice2, Cooper Renner

Photographer Connie Moses


A State of Becoming, Sita Bhaskar

My Drowning Country, Michael C. Keith

The Conservator and the Knight, Anna Lunk

Marty, Marie Sheppard Williams


Our National Treasure, Robert Bly 

In 1966 Bly co-founded American Writers Against the Vietnam War and led much of the opposition among writers to that war. When he won the National Book Award for The Light Around the Body, he contributed the prize money to the Resistance. During the 70’s he published eleven books of poetry, essays, and translations, celebrating the power of myth, Indian ecstatic poetry, meditation, and storytelling. During the 80’s he published Loving a Woman in Two Worlds, The Wingéd Life:  Selected Poems and Prose of Thoreau,The Man in the Black Coat Turns, and A Little Book on the Human Shadow.

Mr. Bly’s biography was reprinted from his website with his permission.   


Sita Bhaskar, Pushcart Nominee for Grey Sparrow Press, was born in India and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the author of Shielding Her Modesty; a collection of short stories set on both sides of the globe. Her reviewers mention “Shades of R.K. Narayan.” Sita’s short stories have been published in Crab Orchard Review, GSU Review, Desilit Magazine and TQR Stories. She received an Honorable Mention in Washington Post Magazine’s fiction contest for her story, “Touch of Wrinkled Skin” and placed as a finalist for her story, “Safety in These Times,” with the Thomas Wolfe Literary Competition conducted by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. She has included this story in the anthology. Set either in India or America or the space in-between where immigrants resist the tug and pull of both sides, Sita calls her stories ‘a slice of life.’

Alex Braverman was born in Lithuania in 1955, resided in Israel, South Africa, and now lives in Texas. Alex is a mathematician by profession, who finally abandoned this exciting career for the benefit of literature and the art of photography. His stories appeared in publications around the world: USA, Israel, South Africa, Ireland, and India. Alex’s photographs are exhibited in New York and Texas. He is currently working on a book dedicated to photography of modern dance. Our photographic art for the cover of In The Silence of this Room was taken by Alex Braverman.

Raquel Chalfi, Pushcart Nominee for Grey Sparrow Press and guest poet, was born in Tel-Aviv where she lives and works. She studied at Hebrew University, at Berkeley University, and at the American Film Institute. She worked for Israeli radio and television as writer-director/producer, and has taught film at Tel Aviv University.

She has published nine volumes of poetry, and is the recipient of numerous awards for her poetry as well as for her work in theater, radio and film. Her collected poems, Solar Plexus, Poems 1975-1999, appeared in 2002; in 2006 she received the Bialik Award for Poetry. Most recently, her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Zoland Annual, Metamorphoses, and in the anthology: Poets on the Edge: An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry (SUNY Press, 2008).

Michael Chacko Daniels is a former community worker and clown who grew up in Bombay, India. His past adventures include five years as a Volunteer In Service To America, four as editor/publisher of the New River Free Press of Grand Rapids, MI, and 16 running the Jobs for Homeless Consortium. He lives and works in San Francisco. His writing has appeared in Apollo’s Lyre, Cricket Online Review, Denver Syntax, Eclectica, dragonfire, Hackwriters, Indelible Kitchen, Quicksilver, SHALLA Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. He has published three books: Split in Two (Poetry, 2004), Anything Out of Place Is Dirt (Novel, 2004), and That Damn Romantic Fool (Novel, 2005).

Marko Fong, Pushcart Nominee for Grey Sparrow Journal, is a fourth generation Chinese-American who was born, raised and lives in Northern California. He never learned to speak Chinese and has never been to China. He recently completed a collection of short stories about the last Chinatown in America, Inventing China. It was once one of his dreams to dunk a basketball. 

Elizabeth P. Glixman is a poet, writer and artist. Her publication credits include The Pedestal Magazine, Wicked Alice Poetry Journal, In Posse Review, Small Spiral Notebook, 3 A.M. Magazine, and Journey: a poetry anthology ( Eden Waters Press 2009). Elizabeth’s poetry chapbook A White Girl Lynching was published by Pudding House Publications in 2008.

Sandy Green has had poems and stories published in several literary reviews, newspapers, magazines, and anthologies including Bitter Oleander, Anderbo, U.S. 1 Worksheets, Ibbetson Street, and Chicken Soup for the Child’s Soul (HCI 2007). She is a 2008 nominee for Best of the Net and her chapbook—Pacing the Moon—is available from a link on her website: http://sandygreen.webs.com/

Carol Lynn Grellas is a three-time Pushcart nominee and the author of A Thousand Tiny Sorrows soon to be released from March Street Press along with two chapbooks: Litany of Finger Prayers, from Pudding House Press and Object of Desire from Finishing Line Press.  She is widely published in magazines and online journals including most recently, The Centrifugal Eye, Oak Bend Review and deComp, with work upcoming in Breadcrumb Scabs, Past Simple  and Best of Boston Literary Magazine. She lives with her husband, five children and a little blind dog who sleeps in the bathtub.   Website for Carol:  www.clgrellaspoetry.com

Alamgir Hashmi, Pushcart Nominee for Grey Sparrow Press and guest poet, was born in Pakistan and has published  eleven books of poetry and several volumes of literary criticism in the United States, England, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, India and other countries. He has won a number of awards and honors, and his work has been translated into several European and Asian languages.

For over three decades he has taught in European, Asian, and U.S. universities, as Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Although he has little faith in the determinants of birth or death asdefinitions of cultural life, he cares for people and places.  He lived and taught in Cambridge, MA before moving overseas. He has also taught down south and on the west coast. He began writing at the ripe old age of eleven and has not stopped since. Currently, he lives in Islamabad, Pakistan. © Its Way by Alamgir Hashmi has been reprinted here with the author’s permission from My Second in Kentucky by Alamgir Hashmi (Vision Press, 1981).

John Oliver Hodges lives in Oxford, Mississippi where he is enrolled in the MFA program at Ole Miss.  His stories have appeared recently in Swink, The Midwest Literary Review, Existere Journal of Arts and Literature,  and Steam Ticket.  His works are forthcoming from The Literary Review, Skive Magazine, Wrong Tree Review, Redivider, The Chiron Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Trespass Magazine, and Big Lucks Magazine.  John offered the lovely cover photograph of William Faulkner’s grave for Issue III of Grey Sparrow Journal.

Michael C. Keith, Ph.D., is an award winning professor of Communication at Boston College and the author of over 20 books on electronic media as well as an acclaimed memoir.  He has recently completed work on the lost manuscript of radio’s foremost dramatist, Norman Corwin, and is finalizing production on a novel. What he terms his “fringe group” series, consists of a book that examines the use of radio and television by Native Americans–Signals In the Air, a volume that explores the nature and role of counterculture radio in the sixties–Voices In the Purple Haze, a monograph that probes the right-wing’s exploitation of the electronic media airwaves–Waves of Rancor, a title that examines radio’s decreasing role in the local community–The Quieted Voice, a study concerning broadcasting and the First Amendment, and a book which assesses the role of gays and lesbians in broadcasting–Queer Airwaves.  Keith is also the author of the most widely adopted textbook on radio in America–The Radio Station–now in its eighth edition and used internationally, an oral history of radio in the television age–Talking Radio, a study of nocturnal broadcasting–Sounds in the Dark, the first full-length study of FM radio—Sounds of Change, and The Broadcast Century: A Biography of American Broadcasting and Beyond.  He is also the author of a critically praised autobiography–The Next Better Place, published by Algonquin Books—as well as two-dozen short stories. Prior to joining Boston College, Keith served as the Chair of Education at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, taught at George Washington University and Marquette University, and worked as a professional broadcaster for over a dozen years.  He is the cofounder and first chair of the radio division of the Broadcast Education Association.  His many honors include the International Radio and Television Association’s Stanton Fellow Award and the Broadcast Education Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award. 

Tsipi Keller, guest flash fiction writer, was born in Prague, raised in Israel, and has been living in the United States since 1974. She is the recipient of several literary awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, CAPS and NYFA awards in fiction, and an Armand G. Erpf award from Columbia University.

Her most recent publications are: Poets on the Edge: An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry (SUNY Press, 2008); and The Hymns of Job & Other Poems (BOA  Editions, 2008).

Wing-Fu Lai graduated in the specialty of fine art from the Hong Kong First Institute of Art and Design, and is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at the University of Hong Kong where he has received his bachelor’s degree with first class honors.

He is a great aficionado of multiple artistic genres ranging from poetry to painting, and his fervent enthusiasm for them has never been wavered by frustrations over his creative journey. 

His artwork has appeared in a few print publications, including Qin Zi Guan Xi Jiao Shi (The Chinese University Press, 2008), Qin Zi De Yu Gu Shi Ji (Multimedia Services Limited, 2008) and Zhong Guo Shao Nian Er Tong Mei Shu Shu Fa She Ying Zuo Pin Ji (The China Youth & Children Research Center, 2000). 

Recently, Mr. Lai has published several chapters in edited books and has co-authored a storybook for children with his enlightening teacher, Prof. Zenobia C. Y. Chan, from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He can be reached by e-mail at rori0610@graduate.hku.hk.

Robert Lietz, Pushcart Nominee for Grey Sparrow Press,  is a professor of English and Creative Writing (fiction and poetry) at Ohio Northern University.  He has authored over 500 poems.

Anna Lunk has been teaching creative writing to adults for approximately twenty years through various Adult Education providers and University Departments.  She noted, “For some years I was the South West theatre reviewer for a national paper and have been a writing/performing member of Girls Own Theatre.  I have just completed a novel, Flight, set on an transatlantic flight between San Francisco and London.  A story about an entirely different conservator has recently been published in Riptide and has been chosen for an audio reading by Spoken Ink.”

Antonios Maltezos has work forthcoming in Pank and Storyglossia. He is an associate editor at Vestal Review.

Connie Moses holds a  B.F.A. in Communications Design from the University of Tennessee, where her studies included both fine art and commercial art training. She has worked in print design and production, newspaper, magazine, advertising, and mail-order marketing in her career. Currently she focuses on equine fine art, and custom portraiture, as well as raising and training her own carriage and riding horses in central New Hampshire.  Just Google, © PortraitsWithHorses.com and Connie’s website will be listed.  Her beautiful art and photography can be found there for viewing and sale.

Suzanne Nielsen, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, teaches writing at Metropolitan State University and Augsburg College.Her poetry, fiction and essays appear in literary journals nationally and internationally; some of these include The Comstock Review, The Copperfield Review, Mid-America Poetry Review, Identity Theory, The Pedestal,and 580 Split. So’ham Books released her first collection of poetry titled East of the River, in December 2005, a collection of short fiction titled The Moon Behind the 8-Ball & Other Stories in 2007, and a second collection of poetry titled I Thought You Should Know, in March 2009. Her fourth book, Cool Dead People, a collection of essays, will be released in January, 2010. Nielsen holds a doctorate in Education from Hamline University.

Thom Olausson, born in 1974, grew up on the east coast of Sweden. A work-related accident forced him to retire from work completely in 2005. He suffers from Sciatica 24/7 and uses a cane to get around.  He noted, “I take painkillers, but sometimes they just don’t help.  I have found that writing poetry soothes my pain in a way that the medications cannot. ”  His first attempts at writing poetry were lyrics for local bands when he was a teenager. He continued to write, mainly for his own high pleasure, until a family member urged him to submit his work to magazines.  His poems are well liked, and he has been published in: Aoife’s Kiss, Abandoned Towers, The Stray Branch Magazine, Shadows & Light Magazine, Worlds Within-Worlds Beyond Magazine, SciFaikuest, and Awen, just to mention a few.  A Secret Place, Thom’s first chapbook of Dimionuendo’s, has been released by Cyberwit, 2009. 

James S. Oppenheim was born in Washington, D.C., raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, schooled in Oxford, Ohio and resident in half a dozen Maryland towns (and, for a summer, Jacksonville, Florida). Jim has published in Equus, The North AmericanReview, The Washington Post and Firehouse Magazine, and worked as managing editor of the University of Maryland graduate literary magazine,Ethos.He has also had a life in music, producing one album  and playing venues from cabin porches in West Virginia to bars in Florida. James offered the lovely dove that graces the legal information page for Grey Sparrow Journal. Today finds him in Hagerstown, Maryland as a photographer, singer/songwriter, and the editor of a blog: Oppenheim Arts & Letters (commart.typepad.com) devoted to the understanding of political conflicts and small wars, also art, culture, and language.

Cooper Renner’s photograph “Inquisitor”, was taken at the Inquisitor’s Palace in Malta, and featured in the digital exhibition “Extreme Places” at the University of California–Riverside in spring 2009. His drawings and paintings have been featured in chapbooks from Bannock Street Books (Boise, Idaho) and several magazines.

Aidan Ryan is a sixteen year old author, poet, drummer and occasional journalist from Buffalo, New York.  His poetry has previously appeared in Tangent Literary Arts Magazine.  He also writes for the NeXt section of the Buffalo News and his high school newspaper, both award winning publications.  Aidan hopes to continue writing poetry and short stories while working on a novel.  More information can be found at www.aidanryan.com

Sheila Ryan is an artist and consulting archivist living in the Driftless Region of the Upper Midwestern United States. 

Robert Bly has written, “Thomas R. Smith is a high-spirited poetry horse, riding over the hills of emotion.”  Smith was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and grew up in the paper mill town of Cornell on the Chippewa River.  A poet, essayist and editor, his work has appeared in hundreds of journals in the US, Canada, and the UK.  His poems have reached mass audiences on Garrison Keillor’s public radio show Writer’s Almanac and former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s syndicated newspaper column, American Life in Poetry.  He is author of four full-length collections of poetry, Keeping the Star (New Rivers Press, 1988), Horse of Earth (Holy Cow! Press, 1994), The Dark Indigo Current (Holy Cow! Press, 2000), and Waking Before Dawn (Red Dragonfly Press, 2007). A chapbook of nature poems, Kinnickinnic, appeared in 2008 from Parallel Press.  His selection of the Canadian poet, Alden Nowlan, What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread (Nineties Press, 1993), introduced this important voice to a generation of readers in the US.  Red Dragonfly Press will bring out a new book of Smith’s poems in 2010.  He has lectured on poetry at the Temenos Academy in London and the University of Minnesota.  He lives in River Falls, Wisconsin, and currently works as a Master Track instructor in poetry at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.  He has been active in peace and justice issues and a frequent participant in Minnesota Poets Against the War events. He invites you to check out poems and essays on his web site at http://www.thomasrsmithpoet.com.

Susanne Riette-Keith has been a commercial artist for several years after graduating from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design with majors in Painting and Illustration.  Her freelance design studio is located in Easton, Massachusetts.  Her art can be found on giftware, toys, fabrics, and paper products.  Email Ms. Riette-Keith at Susannerk@comcast.net for more information. 

Townsend Walker lives in San Francisco. His stories have appeared in L’Italo-Americano, Crimson Highway, Static Movement, 971 Menu, The Aggregated Press; Raving Dove, AntipodeanSF, Neonbeam, Amazon Shorts, The Write Side Up, Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, The Battered Suitcase, Dark Sky Magazine, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Cantaraville, Pequin, Danse Macabre, the delinquent, Bartleby Snopes, and two stories in the collection In the Silence of this Room. During a career in finance he published three books: on foreign exchange, on derivatives, and the last one on portfolio management. Four years ago he went to Rome and started writing short stories.

Jon Wesick has a Ph.D. in physics and has published close to two hundred poems in small press journals such as the The New Orphic Review, Pearl, Pudding, and Slipstream. Two of his chapbooks have been honorable mentions in the San Diego Book Awards. His poem, “Bread and Circuses,” won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest.

Marie Sheppard Williams has lived in Minnesota all 78 years of her life, most of them in Minneapolis.  For twelve years she lived with her husband (ex-) and daughter as a caretaker in Flandrau State Park Group Camp in 847 acres of woods near New Ulm, Minnesota.  She worked for two years as the country correspondence editor at the New Ulm Daily Journal. 

Other jobs over the course of her life have included social work positions at Kenny Rehabilitation Center, the VA Hospital in Minneapolis, and social work department manager at what used to be called The Minneapolis Society for the Blind. Her first collection of short stories centered around her experiences at the Society.

She has also worked as a clerk in a hardware store—(“my favorite job of all,” she says)—a floral designer, caregiver for people with Alzheimer’s, “feeder” in a nursing home, sign painter, telephone operator at the U. of M. and for Ma Bell, encyclopedia contributor, window-cleaner—you name it, she may have taken a shot at it.

Marie Sheppard Williams has been published in many literary magazines, including The Yale Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Poetry East, Rosebud, The Sun and Tiferet.

One of her poems will appear in Ted Kooser’s newspaper column.  Her six collections of short stories/memoir include The Worldwide Church of the Handicapped (which was made into a play and mounted in two separate productions at Interact Theater in Minneapolis), The Weekend Girl, The Soap Game, The God Stories, Stories from the Child and, most recently, Us, which is an account of three generations of women on the distaff side of her family.  Any of her books can be obtained at Amazon.com; some are available at Common Good Books in St. Paul.

She is currently working on a new book with her daughter, Megan Williams, who has her own architectural firm in London, England—Marie is an immensely proud Mama. Drawings for the new book, called The Best Cat, were done by Megan on the living room floor at Brimnes, the Iceland home of the late Bill Holm.  Marie says, “The best thing that happened to me in my writing life was that Bill Holm loved my work.”

Marie Sheppard Williams has been nominated perhaps ten times for the Pushcart Prize, and has won it twice.  She has been a recipient of the Bush Grant, and won a fellowship from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Carol Wobig writes short stories, humor and monologues, usually set in small town Wisconsin or the convent. Her latest award was an Honorable Mention in the 76th Annual Writer’s Digest Contest in the Mainstream/Literary Short Story category for Ravishing Red and and Honorable Mention in this year’s Annual Writer’s Digest Contest in the same category.   She also won First Place in The Florence Lindemann Humor Contest sponsored by WRWA for Love and and Honorable Mention in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition for The Haircut.  Her  Wheel of Fortune Monologues were selected for production in the Village of Wauwatosa One Act Festival, 2006. 

Christopher Woods is a writer, photographer and teacher. He lives in Houston and in Chappell Hill, Texas. His work has appeared recently in Glasgow Review, Litchfield Review and Narrative Magazine. His books include a prose collection, Under a Riverbed Sky, and a book of stage monologues for actors, Heart Speak. He shares an online gallery with his wife Linda at Moon Bird Hill Arts –www.moonbirdhill.exposuremanager.com/

Joseph Young, Pushcart Nominee for Grey Sparrow Press,  lives in Baltimore. Most recently, his work appeared in Lamination Colony and FRiGG and is forthcoming in Caketrain. A collection of his microfiction will be released by Publishing Genius Press in late 2009. Currently, he is helping to paint a mural with a local artist to which his words will be added. Visit his blog at verysmalldogs.blogspot.com or drop him a line at youngjosephh21@hotmail.com


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