30/30 Project: Contributor Bios

June 2020 30/30 Poets:


Nancy Davis


Nancy L. Davis writes and publishes poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in such journals as Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts, 15th Anniversary Edition: Best of Philadelphia Stories (anthology), Route Nine, Cooweescoowee Journal of Arts & Letters, and From the Depths (Haunted Waters Press), forthcoming. Awards include a Pushcart Prize Nomination in Poetry, First Place in the Sandy Crimmins National Poetry Prize, Finalist in the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, Quarter-Finalist in the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, and Semi-Finalist in Tuliptree Press’ Stories That Need to Be Told anthology. Her poems were longlisted in the Disquiet Literary Seminar Competition, Lisbon, Portugal. Ghosts, her poetry chapbook, was published July 2019 by Finishing Line Press. Davis received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, was an Associate Professor of English at Harper College for 25 years, and currently divides her time writing between Chicago and Long Beach, IN, on Lake Michigan.


Kelsi Folsom
Kelsi Folsom is a Texas-born writer whose work is published in The Caribbean Writer, West Texas Literary Review, Mothers Always Write, Voice of Eve, Women Who Live on Rocks, Voices de la Luna, and elsewhere. She is the author of Buried in the Margins (Finishing Line Press, 2020) and poetry chapbook Words the Dirt Meant to Share (Desert Willow Press, 2018). She contributes regularly to Red Tent Living Magazine, and enjoys traveling with her husband and three kids, getting lost in a good book, working on her first novel, and occasionally putting her B.M. in Voice Performance from Anderson University to good use. Follow her writing and activities at www.kelsifolsom.com and on Instagram @kelsifolsom.
Kylie Gellatly
Kylie Gellatly is a poet living in Northern Vermont. Her reviews and interviews have appeared in or are forthcoming in Adroit Journal, Green Mountains Review, Pleiades, and The Rumpus. She is the Book Reviews Editor and Editorial Assistant for Green Mountains Review, as well as a poetry reader for Pleiades and Anhinga Press. Kylie has been awarded the Factory Hollow Press Scholarship to the Juniper Writing Institute and two fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center. Kylie is a Frances Perkins Scholar at Mount Holyoke College.
Nina Gibans


A well-known arts advocate, author and teacher, Nina Freedlander Gibans has written poetry since college, read in San Francisco during the Beat era (once on the same stage as Allen Ginsberg) and in the Cleveland area where she has lived for more than 60 years. She has participated in readings at the Akron and Cleveland Museums of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, area bookstores and the Shaker Heights Public Library. She was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Artists Project grant for poetry in 1999. Working with photographer Michael Loderstedt, a poetry publication 18 Gardens and their Gardeners resulted. “Silver Apples of the Moon”, a program she directed whereby the public was invited to match art and poetry involved libraries and museums resulted in a publication produced by the Shaker Heights Public Library and Cleveland State University (2006). Her poetry books include And So I must Imagine (XLibris, 2010) She co-edited the history of poetry in Cleveland — Cleveland Poetry Scenes: Panerama and Anthology (Bottom Dog Press, 2008). One poetry project was sponsored by the Cleveland Artists Foundation where the Take Nine poets wrote and read poems stimulated by specific works by visual artists. Gibans’ most recent books (2018-9) are memoirs from several perspectives — Celebrating the Soul of Cleveland is described as a “love song to the city”. Rosepetals..towards memory was written to her dying husband and The Garden of Old Age speaks to her current environment, an assisted living facility.. These are among her nine publications. Through her advocacy efforts, West 2nd Street was renamed Daniel’s Way, for Daniel Thompson, Poet Laureate, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, who died in May 2004. Gibans was honored this June with Citation for Life Achievement from Sarah Lawrence College where her poetry life was nurtured. For full details see www.ninagibans.com. Thank you. 

Sarah Green


Sarah Green is the author of Earth Science (421 Atlanta, 2016) and the editor of Welcome to the Neighborhood: An Anthology of American Coexistence (Ohio University Press, 2019.) A Pushcart Prize winner, Sewanee Writers’ Conference Fellow, and Vermont Studio Center Fellow, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in FIELD, Paris Review, Sixth Finch Gettysburg Review, Copper Nickel, 32 Poems, Pleiades, Mid-American Review, Best New Poets, Verse DailyThe Incredible Sestina Anthology, and elsewhere. 

Shirley Jones-Luke



Shirley Jones-Luke is a poet and a writer. Ms. Luke lives in Boston, Mass. Shirley has an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her poems deal with culture, race, and society. She has participated in workshops held at Breadloaf, Martha’s Vineyard, Tin House, and VONA. Ms. Luke is currently working on her manuscript.

Oksana Maksymchuk


Oksana Maksymchuk is a poet, translator, and scholar. Her poetry appeared in or is forthcoming from Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, Tar River Poetry, The Common, and other journals. Judges Cole Swensen, Oliver de la Paz, and Maggie Smith named Oksana’s manuscript Tongue Ties a finalist for Tupelo Press’s Snowbound (2019), Berkshire (2019), and Dorset (2020) prizes. As a Ukrainian language poet, she is the recipient of Antonych (2005) and Smoloskyp (2007) prizes, two of Ukraine’s top awards for younger poets. Oksana’s translations were featured in Words Without Borders, Poetry International, Modern Poetry in Translation, and Best European Fiction series from Dalkey Archive Press. With Max Rosochinsky, she co-edited Words for War, a NEH-winning anthology of contemporary Ukrainian war poetry (Academic Studies Press, 2017). She won first place in the 2004 Richmond Lattimore and 2014 Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender translation competitions and was awarded a National Endowments for the Arts Translation Fellowship in 2019. Oksana holds a PhD in philosophy from Northwestern University. Most recently, she has been named 2020-2021 Writer in Residence by the Institute for Advanced Study at the Central European University to support her work on a manuscript titled The Bestiary.

Marisa Sullivan

Marisa Sullivan is a journalist and actress living in Los Angeles and is originally from Chicago. She studied writing and theatre at the University of Iowa. Marisa was a senior staffer at Us Weekly magazine and is currently a freelance writer/reporter. She has interviewed nearly every celebrity you can think of at countless red carpets including the Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammys and Emmys for over a decade. Marisa is currently nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Play at the Valley Theatre Awards and her most recent film, “I’ll Be Around,” just won Best Independent Film at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival in L.A. After a 2019 breast cancer diagnosis, Marisa has been leaning more toward the health space and has recently been penning articles about her experience going through cancer and COVID-19 for the Global Healthy Living Foundation — a non-profit with the mission to improve the quality of life for people with chronic illness. Marisa is rekindling her first love with poetry and creative writing and is starting her first book in the fall.

Nicole Yurcaba


Nicole Yurcaba is a Ukrainian-American poet and essayist, who teaches at Bridgewater College and serves as the Assistant Director to the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Atlanta Review, The Lindenwood Review, Whiskey Island, Raven Chronicles, and many other online and print journals. While her poems often focus on Ukrainian culture and the Ukrainian diaspora experience, her essays primarily focus on US Army Special Forces. She lives in West Virginia, and she holds an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. She is the recipient of a July 2020 Writing Residency at Gullkistan, Creative Center for the Arts in Iceland.

May 2020 30/30 Poets:





Patty Joslyn

Patty Joslyn moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts from Mendocino County, California, in 2018. She is fascinated with both death and birth as passages into new realms. As a writer she has been published in El Calendario de Todos Santos, poetsonline.org, VOYA, (Voices of Youth Advocates) Tupelo Press-30/30 Project-March 2015, and several anthologies. She has been a guest presenter at many events. Patty’s book ru mi nate was born in 2017 and she has eight self-published chapbooks. She and her husband share four wonderful grown children. Patty has never fully recovered from empty nest syndrome or the fact she can no longer do a cartwheel.

Katie Kalisz

Katie Kalisz is a Professor in the English Department at Grand Rapids Community College, where she teaches composition and creative writing. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Loyola University of Chicago, and Queens University of Charlotte. Quiet Woman, her first book, was a finalist for the 2018 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Midwestern Gothic, The Michigan Poet, Red Paint Hill, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Unbroken Journal, among others. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their three children.

Pratibha Kelapure

Pratibha is the alumna of the Tupelo 30/30 project and Tupelo Truchas Poetry Conference. Her poems appear in Choice Words: Writers on Abortion, Plath Poetry Project, miller’s pond poetry, and many other literary magazines. She is also the editor of the online poetry journal, The Literary Nest.

Sean Patrick Mulroy

A writer, actor, visual artist, and musician, Sean Patrick Mulroy was born and raised in the American South; he lives all over the world, now. An internationally recognized writer and performer, as well as an award-winning professor, Sean earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow, a 2017-2018 Writer-in-Residence at The Kerouac Project in Orlando Florida, and a 2019 Writer in Residence at Villa Sarkia in Sysma, Finland.

Christina-Marie Sears

Christina-Marie Sears is an interdisciplinary artist, with a background in performance and somatic theory. Currently a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program at Eastern Michigan University, she is a writer, poet, educator and workshop teacher, in addition to her artistic practice. Her poetry and performance has recently been featured at the First Fridays Festival of Ypsilanti, at Cultivate and at Maple Street Studios Arts Share Series.

Randy Smith

Randy Smith founded and directs the BFA Program in Creative Writing at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. Angie Thomas (author of The Hate U Give) is one of the program’s most famous graduates. Randy received his Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina where he studied literature and verse composition with James Dickey. He has published poetry in RuminateRock & SlingYemasseeTupelo Quarterly, and Prometheus Dreaming. In 2018, two of his poems were finalists for the Tupelo Quarterly Open Poetry Prize judged by Denise Duhamel. During the summer of 2018, Randy attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He is an alum of the 30/30 Project (February 2016) and the Truchas Manuscript Workshop (November 2017). Most importantly, he is the father of Nathanael and Flannery. 

Cheyenne Taylor

Cheyenne Taylor is a second-year MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Florida, Class of 2021. She received both her BA and MA in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the city she also calls home. She has previously been a teacher, tutor, freelance writer, and part-time librarian, and hopes her writing is more interesting generally than she is. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Quarterly West, and storySouth, among others.

David Weinstock

David Weinstock is a poet, freelance creative writing teacher and journalist, fundraiser, and recovering ad agency copywriter. He founded the Otter Creek Poets, a workshop that has met continuously and weekly in Middlebury for 22 years. At college, David won the Connecticut Poetry Circuit’s Four Connecticut Student Poets competition and toured the state giving readings, and since have published poems in Riding the Meridian, Modern Haiku, the Burlington Poetry Journal, Zig Zag Lit Mag, and Truck. He is working on a manuscript titled Physical Findings, and a novel he calls, “The Adventures of Two-Desk DaVinci.” 

Christine Aikens Wolfe

Christine is president of the Pittsburgh Poetry Society. She published a full-length book of poetry with Dos Madres Press in 2018, GARLANDING GREEN. She was a 30/30 poet in May of 2016 and 2017 and attended the fall Tupelo Press Truchas Poetry Conferences in 2015 and 2016.