Coal Hill Blogger Bios
Dakota Garilli is a queer poet, essayist, and recent legal resident of Pennsylvania. He moved to Pittsburgh from New Jersey in 2012 to pursue an MFA in creative writing at Chatham University. He currently works there as a teaching assistant, in addition to serving as Nonfiction Editor of IDK Magazine. Dakota’s poems have appeared in Weave Magazine and Two Hawks Quarterly.
Jim Coppoc makes his living through some murky but evolving balance of poetry, nonfiction, pedagogy, playwriting, music and performance. In addition to his long history on spoken word and musical stages, Coppoc has recently been getting a lot of good attention from the literary world, with 4 Pushcart nominations for both poetry and nonfiction. Among other projects, Coppoc teaches Film, Literature and American Indian Studies at Iowa State University; plays bass in the Gatehouse Saints and guitar/keys/vocals in Love Rhino; blogs for Coal Hill Review; and lives in Ames, Iowa with his wife and two sons.
Nola Garrett is Faculty Emerita of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She lives in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. Her poems, Macedonian poetry translations, and essays have appeared in Able Muse, Arts & Letters, Christian Century, Christianity and Literature, FIELD, Georgia Review, Poet Lore, and Tampa Review. Her chapbook, The Pastor’s Wife Considers Pinball, won the 1998 American Poets’ Prize. Her first book, The Dynamite Maker’s Mistress, a collection of 27 variations on the sestina form, was published by David Robert Books in 2009. Her second book, The Pastor’s Wife Considers Pinball, was published March, 2013, by Mayapple Press. She has received a Residency at Yaddo and Scholarships from the West Chester Poetry Conference and the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.
Zara lives in Berkeley and is one of the first women to graduate in architecture from UC Berkeley. She grew up along California’s North Coast, attending school in Portland when she was fourteen, and later Mills College and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) for college and graduate school. In her twenties, she traveled, living in Paris, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., where she made a living as a freelance editor and writer, participating for a time in the Capitol Hill Poetry Group, before returning to the West Coast to raise her children.
Early California is a subject of her book Swimming the Eel, just as the drama of family life is the subject of The Book of Gretel. In leaving behind the rural counties, she became a part of the human potential movement of the 1960′s, and that movement perhaps more than anything, shapes her life and her work. Since she was a teenager, she kept journals, and sometimes returns to those early notebooks for ideas. Her poems appear in many literary reviews and magazines, including The Dark Horse, The Evansville Review, River Styx, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, Dos Passos Review, Arts & Letters, and others. She also reviews books and writes essays on literature for various publications, including the Redwood Coast Review, Poetry Flash, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Colorado Review, and The Boxcar Poetry Review.
MIKE WALKER is a writer, skateboarder, surfer, and snowboarder who lives in Gainesville, Florida. His original research and other academic work has been published in: AirMed, Goldenseal, EcoFlorida, BrightLights Quarterly, the ATA Chronicle, Translation Journal, Multilingual Computing and Technology and other journals. His journalism in: The Florida Times-Union, The North Florida News Daily, Satellite Magazine, Twisted Ear, and other publications. His poetry in: Meanie, the Church Wellesley Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, and other publications. To find out more about Mike’s interests, visit his website: http://myfloridiana.blogspot.com/.
Rita Malikonyte Mockus, born in Lithuania, is a classically trained
pianist, studies philosophy and has a degree in art history. Her poetry
appeared in Salos (Sviesa Press). She was a featured vocal performer and
wrote a cycle of poems set to Antanas Jasenka’s electro-acoustic recording
“An Artist and a Plane” for the Electroshock label in 2004. Rita wrote the
lyrics to the work “Yoin,” which was performed at the National
Philharmonic of Lithuania in Vilnius. In 2007 she read her poetry at the
City of Asylum Jazz Poetry Concert. She is currently a resident of the
North Side in Pittsburgh.
Noah Gup is a writer living in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
Shannon Azzato Stephens is recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with an Honors BA in Creative Writing. While at CMU, she served as Editor-in-Chief of The Oakland Review, and completed an honors thesis: a collection of her work called “Fumbling in the Marrow: Poems”. She has lived and worked in New York City, New Jersey, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Ireland. Right now, she is enjoying her life in Pittsburgh, where she freelances, works in retail, and ogles other peoples’ dogs. Please visit her blog, shannonazzatostephens.wordpress.com, to view more of her work.
Publius is a pseudonym used by a poet who teaches in a large urban public high school in the Midwest.
Susan Kelly-DeWitt is the author of The Fortunate Islands and eight small press collections, including Cassiopeia Above the Banyan Tree, Poems About Hawai’i. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, her work has appeared on Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily, in journals like Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and The International Literary Quarterly, and in a number of anthologies, most recenly Afghanistan: A Window on the Tragedy and the forthcoming Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. Her visual art has also been exhibited in Northern California galleries for over twenty years.
She lives in Sacramento, California, where she is currently a contributing editor for Poetry Flash and an enthusiastic blogger for Coal Hill Review. She also just completed a second full-length collection, Gravitational Tug.
Songyi Zhang is a native of Guangzhou, China, where she served as an editor of Crazy English Teens and Crazy English Speaker, two of the nationally-distributed, monthly, bi-lingual (English and Chinese) magazines of the Crazy English Group designed to help students practice their English. She wrote extensively about her travels to India, Pakistan, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and Bali as well as within China itself. She is in her second year of pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts in creative nonfiction at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, where she has contributed to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Coal Hill Review. She also writes a regular column for Crazy English Speaker.
Arlene Weiner has been a cardiology technician, a college instructor, an editor, and a research associate in educational applications of cognitive science. Escape Velocity, a collection of her poems, was published by Ragged Sky in 2006. Poet Joy Katz wrote of it, “I want to keep my favorite of these beautifully alert, surprising poems with me as I grow old.”
A MacDowell Colony fellow, Arlene has had poems published in various journals, including Hawk and Handsaw, Off the Coast, Pleiades, and Poet Lore, anthologized in Along These Rivers (Quadrant), Eating Her Wedding Dress (Ragged Sky) and Thatchwork (Delaware Valley Poets), and read by Garrison Keillor on his Writer’s Almanac.
Ella Stone taught writing workshops to inmates in the Allegheny County Jail in the summer of 2010. Her blog on CHR chronicles these experiences. She lives in Pittsburgh.
Read Ella’s blog entries here.
Since 1998, Michael Simms has led the Autumn House community in building one of the most influential independent literary organizations in the country. Currently serving as Editor-in-Chief, he coordinates the selection, editing, design, manufacture, and marketing of our publications. He is the author of five collections of poetry: Black Stone, The Happiness of Animals, The Fire-eater, Migration, and Notes on Continuing Light, as well as essays and reviews in The Southwest Review, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and the Dallas Morning News. Simms lives with his wife Eva and their two children in the historic Mount Washington neighborhood overlooking downtown Pittsburgh and the Monongahela River.
Read Michael’s blog entries here.
John Samuel Tieman earned a bachelor’s degree and his M.A. from Southern Methodist University, and his Ph.D. from St. Louis University. A certified classroom teacher since 1975, Dr. Tieman teaches in the St. Louis Public Schools.
He was born in St. Louis, has traveled widely, studied in England, taught school in Mexico City and the West Indies. He served with the U. S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division Band in Vietnam.
His poetry is published locally, nationally and internationally in translation. The publishers include The Americas Review, The Caribbean Quarterly, The Chariton Review, Cimarron Review, The English Journal, Hawai’i Review, The Iowa Review and River Styx. The Pittsburgh Quarterly On-line published a collection of his poetry entitled Morning Prayers. The Pittsburgh Quarterly OnLine also publishes several of his essays and book reviews. BkMk Press, of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, recently published a chapbook of his poetry, A Concise Biography Of Original Sin. His essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Des Moines Register, The Kansas City Star, the Los Angeles Times, The National Catholic Reporter, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Star And Stripes, the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution among many others. His first prose submission, an eyewitness account of the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake, appeared on the front page of a Sunday edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Scholarly essays of his have appeared in Schools: Studies In Education, U. S. Catholic Historian and elsewhere. The online literary journal, Coal Hill Review, publishes his blog.
He served three terms on the Citizens’ Advisory Panel For Literature of the Missouri Arts Council. He is a member of the board of Autumn House Press, Inc., a publisher of poetry and fiction. Dr. Tieman serves on the Schools Committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association, in which he chairs the subcommittee for the biennial Educational Achievement Award.
Read John’s blog entries here.
Elizabeth Kirschner is the author of five volumes of poetry, most recently, My Life as a Doll, published by by Autumn House Press in 2008, and Surrender to Light (Cherry Grove Editions, 2009). Nominated for the Lenore Marshal Prize, My Life as a Doll is a memoir in verse chronicling a mother’s violence, madness and recovery. Kirschner is currently on the faculty of Fairfield University’s low residency MFA program in Creative Writing. She lives on the water in Kittery Point, ME where she writes as a daily practice, searches for the urgencies inside language, and engages in subject matter that moves her to where narrative mediates with song. A memoir in progress, Walking With Winter, about a lost marriage, the retrieval of searing memory and the redemptive work of transcendence.
Read Elizabeth’s blog entries here.