30/30 Project: Contributor Bios

May 2018 30/30 Poets:

María Luisa Arroyo

María Luisa Arroyo

María Luisa Arroyo, born in Manatí, Puerto Rico and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, is the author of Gathering Words: Recogiendo Palabras (Bilingual Review/Press: 2008) and the chapbook Flight (Thousand Hands Press, 2016). María Luisa’s years of collaboration with the Springfield City Library to provide community poetry workshops and curate community readings have earned her recognition as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Springfield (2014-2016) and as a 2016 NEPR Arts & Humanities recipient. María Luisa has also facilitated workshops at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival (2013, 2015-2017) and at the Annual Spring Art Show and Exhibition in Monson, Massachusetts (2012-2017). A Solstice MFA graduate of Pine Manor College with an MA in German from Tufts University, María Luisa has poems published in WomenArts Quarterly Journal, The Women’s Review of Books, and Hospital Drive. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Writing and First-Year Studies at Bay Path University.

Steve Bellin-Oka

Steve Bellin-Oka

Steve Bellin-Oka is a native of Baltimore and has lived in San Francisco, Mississippi, and Canada. He earned his MFA from the University of Virginia and his PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. He is the author of a chapbook, Dead Letter Office at North Atlantic Station (Seven Kitchens Press, 2017). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Nimrod International Journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, among others. He has been a finalist for the Tomaz Salamun Prize, the Autumn House Press First Book Award, and the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, among other honors. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. He lives in Portales, New Mexico and teaches at Eastern New Mexico University.

Rebecca Ferlotti

Rebecca Ferlotti

Rebecca Ferlotti is a freelance writer and social media strategist based out of Cleveland, Ohio. She attended John Carroll University for both her BA in Creative Writing and her MA in Communication Management; she loves to learn, but after 6 years straight in college, she was ready for the real world.

She has presented at the Sigma Tau Delta conference for the past 5 years and spoken around Northeast Ohio on how to tell a story. Her poetry has appeared in Mock Orange Magazine, Mind Murals, Midwestern Gothic, and a few others. When she’s not writing poetry, she’s traveling the world, trying to get to 30 countries before she turns 30.

Kimberlee Titus Gerstmann

Kimberlee Titus Gerstmann

Kimberlee is a lover not a fighter; a poet, a dreamer, a seeker of justice, and a collector of moments. She is all about the story.  Kimberlee has a MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a M.Ed from WGU. Most days, she wrangles cats as well as her 8-year old grandson. She also volunteers as an art docent for the elementary school.  #chronicillnesswarrior #crazycatlady

ava m. hu

ava m. hu

ava m. hu is an artist who currently resides in bushwick, brooklyn. most notably, ava received the amy award from poets & writers magazine as best woman poet under 30 in nyc. she studied at sarah lawrence college and the new school for poetry and has her own indie clothing line called avalove in nyc.

Maria Nazos

Maria Nazos

Maria Nazos’s poetry, translations, and lyrical essays are published in The New Yorker, The Tampa Review, The Mid-American Review, The North American Review, The Florida Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Drunken Boat, and elsewhere. She is the author of A Hymn That Meanders, (2011 Wising Up Press) and the chapbook Still Life (2016 Dancing Girl Press). Her work has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and scholarships from The Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She earned her PhD in English and Women’s and Gender Studies from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She can be found at www.marianazos.com.

Tom Sterner

Tom Sterner

Tom​ ​(WordWulf) Sterner is a multi-media artist employing imagery, music, photography, & WORD in his work. A native Coloradoan, he lives in Denver. Tom’s artwork, music, photography, & written word have been published in magazines and on the internet, including Howling Dog Press/Omega, Carpe Articulum Literary Review, Skyline Literary Review, Storyteller, &Flashquake. Published work includes five novels: Momma’s Rain, Spiders ‘n Snakes, Gordian Objective, After Earth, Cranial Loop, and the epic book-length poem Quodlibet. He is winner of the Marija Cerjak Award for Avant-Garde/Experimental Writing and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2006 and 2008. Website: http://wordwulf.com–

Christine Aikens Wolfe

Christine​ Aikens Wolfe

Christine​ Aikens Wolfe ​attends Madwomen in the Attic poetry writing workshops at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where she is also president of the Pittsburgh Poetry Society. She attended Tupelo Truchas in fall of 2015 and 2016, and was a 30/30 poet in 2016 and 2017 (May both times). Three would be a magic number!

 Jess Young

Jess​ Young

Jess​ Young​, a singer song writer and guitarist, lives with a curse. She wonders, would completing confessional poetry day after day delight the soul and blot out the demons? Having, through religious exposure, found confessionals lonely, can she dissuade the doleful butterflies of adverse possibility

Published in Whurk Magazine & The Echo World Magazine, Jess is up to the challenge of writing more, creating more, and, in the long run, publishing her work. “I am young,” she remarks as she types, “and I believe in my abilities.”​ ​In her work one will hopefully sense the poetic influences of Nikki Giovanni, Robert Frost, Charles Bukowski and numerous musicians.


April 2018 30/30 Poets:

Anne Bower

Anne Bower

The mountains, snow, mud, the burst of spring and short vibrant summer, and the quick splash of fall foliage in rural Vermont makes Anne Bower keenly aware of place and her own body’s relationship to each element in this place. That and tai chi, which is so much about moving mindfully with and among spaces and people. Her second chapbook, The Space Between Us (Finishing Line Press,2018), highlights these themes. The first, Poems for Tai Chi Players (Kattywompus Press, 2013) plays with tai chi in relation to language, teaching, age, nature, and more. Other poems have appeared in Light Journal, The Literary Nest, PoemTown (Randolph, VT), PoemCity(Montpelier, VT).

Her life these days is taken up with teaching and practicing tai chi, writing, a big organic garden, community volunteerism, and spending time with family. Earlier, as a Prof. at Ohio State University-Marion, besides teaching literature and composition courses, she published books and articles about food and culture, including Recipes for Reading (U. Mass. P.), Reel Food (Routledge), and Introduction to African American Foodways. Some of her poems still reflect that interest—the growing, cooking, preserving, and sharing of food.

Martha Brenckle

Martha Brenckle

Currently, Martha Brenckle teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of Central Florida. She writes and publishes both poetry and fiction and has been published most recently in Driftwood, Broken Bridge Review, Lost Coast Review, Xavier Review, Pelican Review, The Alembic, Estuary, New Guard Literary Review, and Calliope among others. In October 2000, she won the Central Florida United Arts Award for poetry. Her first novel, Street Angel, published in 2006 was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and a Triangle Award and was a Finalist for Fence Magazine’s Best GLBT Novel for 2006.

Kristi Carter

Kristi Carter

Kristi Carter is the author of Red and Vast (dancing girl press), Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem (Porkbelly Press) and Cosmovore (Aqueduct Press). Her poems have appeared in publications including So to Speak, poemmemoirstory, CALYX, Hawaii Review, and Nimrod. Her work examines the intersection of gender and intergenerational trauma in 20th Century poetics. She holds a PhD from University of Nebraska Lincoln and an MFA from Oklahoma State University.

C.W. Emerson

C.W. Emerson

C.W. (Chris) Emerson’s work has appeared in print and on-line journals including Atlanta Review, Mantis, Poetry East,​ ​Tupelo Quarterly, and others. He was named finalist/runner-up for the 2017 Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize, and semi-finalist for the 2017 Tomaž Šalamun Prize. Many of the poems in Emerson’s manuscript-in- progress emerged during 30/30 Projects in 2015 and 2016, including “Coldwater Canyon Suite,” a finalist for the New Letters Prize for Poetry 2017, and forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry this July. He divides his time between L.A. and Palm Springs, California, where he maintains practices as a clinical psychologist, and studies with acclaimed poet Cecilia Woloch.

Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly

A fourth-generation Minneapolitan, poetry was Deborah Kelly’s first love, but it was not until recent years that she returned it to the center of her life. Now, she lives in Boulder, Colorado and attends workshops nearby and beyond to develop her craft. Most recently, she spent a week in residence/workshop at Tupelo Press.

Last summer she participated in a weeklong advanced workshop with Ada Limón (The Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Denver). Other workshops: One week with Jericho Brown (2016). Single-day workshops with Eileen Myles and Mark Statman in Oaxaca, Mexico (2016). One week with Michael Dennis Browne at The University of Iowa (2009).

She’s read her own work in Boulder, Denver, and in other towns on Colorado’s Front Range and Western Slope, where a handful have been published in the local press. “Mushroom” appears in the Fall 2017 issue of The Art of Fungi Magazine. “Drama” appears in the December 2017 Issue of Stone Coast Review. “The Gamete” appears in the Spring 2018 Issue of The Fourth River.

Darby Lyons

Darby Lyons

Darby Lyons is an Army brat who settled in Cincinnati, recently graduated from the Sewanee School of Letters MFA program and recently retired after 31 years of teaching high school English in Wyoming, Ohio. She now spends her time going out for late breakfasts, visiting with friends and family, and reading and writing poetry in coffee shops. Her poems have been published in Mud Season Review and Flights.

Sana Tamreen Mohammed

Sana Tamreen Mohammed

Sana Tamreen Mohammed is a bilingual poet (English, Hindi), MA (English Language and Literature), BEd (University of Calcutta) and has interned in a renowned news channel. Born and brought up in India, she now resides in North Carolina with her husband. Having worked as a teacher in India, she trusts in the power of knowledge and connects to people through her poems. Her work appeared in Scratches Within as a contributor to the poetry book. She was a featured poet in a radio talk show. Besides being published in various anthologies and magazines, she co-authored Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems. Only a writer can capture time and moments in words to revisit the memories and keep them alive.

Shanley Wells-Rau

Shanley Wells-Rau

Shanley Wells-Rau spent 20 years in corporate communications and is working now on her MFA in poetry at Oklahoma State University. Her poetry has been published in The Maine Review, Bluestem Magazine, and Poetry Quarterly, among others. She serves as an editorial assistant for Cimarron Review. Living in a deeply red state, she and her husband hide on a windy hilltop with their two elderly dogs.

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