THE VOLTA BLOG Contributors

Jose Angel Araguz – is a CantoMundo fellow and winner of Rhino Poetry’s 2015 Editor’s Prize. He has had poems recently in Poet Lore, Borderlands, and The Laurel Review. He is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati. He runs the poetry blog The Friday Influence.

Brian Bender – is a young poet and writer in Tempe, AZ.

Heather Brown –  received her MFA in poetry from Oregon State University. She lives and writes in Portland, Ore. and works for Powell’s Books, Inc.

Melissa Burke – is a poet living in San Francisco, finishing her MFA in Poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California. She is a Poetry Editor and Social Media staff member at Omnidawn Publishing, as well as an Education & Children’s Events Assistant at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA.

Chris Caruso – is a poet with MFA’s from Rutgers Newark and Boise State University. He is fascinated with the limits and transgressions of borders/boundaries especially the margins between words and images. Chris is currently working on Fairy Tales interpreted through the Fibonacci sequence and a poetry collection that juxtaposes the anxiety bound in artistic creation against American Anxiety Post 9/11. Chris is also in the process of creating a blog to host a yearlong conceptual poetry/visual art project.

Andrés Cerpa – was raised in Staten Island, New York. He spent many of his childhood summers living with his grandparents in Puerto Rico. He received his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Delaware. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts in poetry at Rutgers University Newark, where he also teaches.

Sarah A. Chavez – is a mestíza born and raised in the California Central Valley. She earned her PhD with a focus in poetry and Ethnic Studies from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in North American Review, The Fourth River, and The Midwest Quarterly, among others. A selection from her manuscript, This, Like So Much, was chosen as a finalist for the 2012 Arts & Letters/Rumi Prize for Poetry and the manuscript as a whole was named an Honorable Mention for the 2013 Quercus Review Press Poetry Book Contest. A selection from her chapbook manuscript All Day, Talking won the Susan Atefat Peckham Fellowship in 2013. All Day, Talking is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press, August 2014.

Ansley Clark – is originally from Portland, Oregon and recently a traveling teacher. She is an MFA candidate at University of Colorado Boulder, where she also teaches creative writing.  She has poems published in Spork and Cirque and can be found on her tumblr.

Anthony Cirilo – is a poet, translator, and MFA candidate at Rutgers-Newark where he teaches composition.

Kyle Dacuyan – is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Emerson College, where he serves as the assistant poetry editor for Redivider and as a poetry reader for Ploughshares.

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach – came to the United States as a Jewish refugee in 1993, from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Benjamin Franklin Fellow in the University of Pennsylvania’s Comparative Literature Ph.D. program. Julia’s awards include Lilith Magazine’s 2013 Charlotte A. Newberger Poetry Prize as well as honorable mentions in Spoon River Poetry Review’s 2010 Editors Prize and Consequence Magazine’s 2013 Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Guernica, Commons Magazine, JMWW, and The Doctor T.J Eckleburg Review, among other journals. She is currently working on completing her first full-length poetry collection Like Honey and Milk. Julia is the Poetry Editor for Construction Magazine.

Housten Donham – serves as editor for the Volta’s 365 reviews project. His creative and critical work has appeared in HTMLGiantPersonaOtoliths, and other journals. He grew up in rural Arizona and holds an MA in Literature from Mills College. His personal blog is He lives in Tucson.

Allison Donohue – Born in Washington DC, Allison Donohue grew up in Centreville, VA. She received a BA in English, Creative Writing from Virginia Tech in 2012. Most recently, she completed her MA in English Literature with a focus on Poetics at Texas Tech University. While currently pouring wine at local vineyards in the Virginia hills, she looks forward to starting her MFA at the University of Oregon this September

Ellie Francis Douglass – was born and raised in Texas. She studied English Literature at St. Edward’s University, where she studied under the poet Carrie Fountain. She is now getting her Masters in Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

John Dudek – is an MFA candidate for poetry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Helena Duffee – is a senior at Tulane University, studying English and Economics. She is a member of the Tulane Honors Program, and during the spring of her Junior year, she studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France at the American University Center of Provence. Before moving to New Orleans, she grew up in New York City and spent four years at a small boarding school in Groton, Massachusetts.

Tim Etzkorn – holds a MA in English literature from the University of Wyoming where he now teaches. In his free time he enjoys writing and scaling the Rocky Mountains with his dog, Jake.


Caitlin Ferguson – is in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark

Luke A. Fidler – is an art historian based in Chicago, IL. He regularly reviews books for The Economy, and his writing has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, postmedieval, Softblow, and TriQuarterly. He is the co-editor of TAG

Jamie Figueroa – is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has been published in various literary journals including Split Oak Press, The Santa Fe Literary Review, The Yellow Medicine Review, Flash: International, ekleksographia and Sin Fronteras. Jamie teaches creative writing at New Mexico School for the Arts. She is a recipient of the Truman Capote Scholarship as well as the Jack Kent Cooke graduate scholar award.

Connor Fisher – was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and currently lives in Denver, Colorado. He has a MA in English Literature from the University of Denver and is working towards an MFA in Creative Writing—Poetry from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Michael Flatt –  is a PhD candidate in the Poetics program at SUNY Buffalo.  He is the author of Absent Receiver(SpringGun Press, 2013) and with Derrick Mund, Chlorosis (Bon Aire Projects, forthcoming).

J. Fossenbell – writes, teaches and eats gray snow in Minneapolis. Soon she’ll graduate from MFA school and become a mutha.

Logan Fry – is an Ohio native living in Austin, Texas, where he received his MFA at the University of Texas and teaches at Texas State. He is the founder and co-editor of Flag + Void with Matthew Moore, and his poetry has appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, DIAGRAM, Bestoned, The Cultural Society, Forklift, Ohio, and elsewhere.

Patrick Gaughan – is a poet, performer and critic living in Northampton, Massachusetts. He contributes regularly to Blunderbuss, and has recent work in BOMBColdfront, The Conversant, and Diagram. He’s an ensemble player in the Connecticut River Valley Poets’ Theater. Find him on Twitter here.

Michael Gossett is from Memphis, Tennessee. He tweets commonplace books of poetry, riddles, comedy, and basketball at: @michaeljgossett and @theebigsir

Derek Gromadzki – is an MFA candidate in the Literary Arts Program at Brown University, where he holds the Peter Kaplan Memorial Fellowship.

Emma Hine – is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry at NYU. She received her BA in English from Washington University in St. Louis, and she is originally from Austin, Texas. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and The Bitter Oleander.

Elizabyth A. Hiscox – is the author of the chapbook Inventory from a One-Hour Room. She currently serves as Poetry Editor for Third Coast at Western Michigan University where she has also served as Layout Editor for New Issues Poetry & Prose. Her poems appear in DMQ Review, The Fiddlehead, Gargoyle, Georgetown Review, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Solo Novo, and elsewhere.

Christine Holm – began writing poetry while employed in social services and continues to find spaces where creative work overlaps with community service, from writing with palliative care patients through Poesia del Sol to teaching inmates with The Writers in Prison Project.

Eric Howerton: writes fiction, cooks mushrooms, gardens, practices screaming, collects masks, plays poker, skis, and does not believe in the ontology of half sandwiches. His writing has appeared/is forthcoming in PANK, The Locust, Plaza, theNewerYork, The Legendary, Dying Goose, The Higgs Weldon, Night Train, Grey Sparrow, Duck and Herring Pocket Field Guides, Johnny America, and Haggard and Halloo, as well as several alt-weeklies in Texas and New Mexico. He is a former fiction editor of Gulf Coast Magazine.

Safia Jama – was born and raised in Queens, NY. A graduate of Harvard College, she currently teaches writing and pursues an M.F.A. in poetry at Rutgers-Newark. Her poems appear in Reverie, The New Sound, and the forthcoming Cave Canem 2010-2011 Anthology. She is currently a guest-blogger for Bryant Park’s Word for Word poetry series.

Emma Kemp – is an MFA candidate at Cal Arts. Her writing can be found at: Mark Moore GalleryBlack Clock and Trop

Jacqueline Kari – is an MFA candidate at Louisiana State University. A poet and translator, her work has appeared in Lana Turner, The Cambridge Literary Review, The West Wind Review, Smoking Glue Gun, and elsewhere. A chapbook of her poems is forthcoming on Dancing Girl Press this summer.

Clay Kerrigan – is an Creative Writing MFA candidate at CalArts.

Abigail Kerstetter – is a poetry MFA candidate at Colorado State University and an editorial assistant for Colorado Review.

Ginger Ko – studies at the University of Wyoming’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Her poetry and reviews have appeared in Toad, smoking glue gun, Anti-, TYPO, inter|rupture, and HTMLGIANT. She is originally from Los Angeles.

Victoria Kornick – is pursuing her MFA at New York University, where she is a Rona Jaffe Fellow.

Inês Lopes – was born in Aveiro, Portugal and raised in Newark and Livingston, NJ. She is a former Newark high school English teacher and holds a B.A. from Montclair State University with a concentration in Creative Writing, as well as a Master of Arts in Secondary English Education also from MSU. Ines is a NJ Governor’s School of the Arts graduate. Her poetry has appeared in Eclectica and The Normal Review, Montclair State’s poetry magazine. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Rutgers University – Newark.

Dane Mainella – is poet, actor, and filmmaker living in Philadelphia. He is a senior at University of Pennsylvania studying English and Mechanical Sciences and will be graduating in May 2014. His first book, Desire (2012) is a transcription of every desire experienced over the course of a day. He is currently in post-production of a film he wrote, directed, and starred in called Driving Not Knowing, expected to be released mid-2014, and working on an upcoming web-based collective, d^a^t^a press, which will publish digital works of poetry and poetics.

Victoria Mansberger – is a mother and poet who is nearing completion of her MFA in poetry from Louisiana State University.

Sally McCallum – is from Tucson. She teaches English conversation to French high schoolers in Paris.

Liz McGehee – is an MFA candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Zachariah McVicker – is a first year MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Scott Russell Morris – lives in Lubbock, TX, where he is an English PhD student at Texas Tech University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. His essays have appeared in Brevity, Proximity, Blue Lyra Review, and Stone Voices. He is mildly obsessed with squirrels and even just today bought another squirrel ornament for the squirrel-ornament tree he will decorate with at Christmas.

Daniel Owen – is the author of the chapbook Authentic Other Landscape (Diez Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in Clock, Death and Life of American Cities, Lungfull!, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, where he co-edits Poems by Sunday and is an editor at Ugly Duckling Presse.

Douglas Piccinnini – is the author of the forthcoming book of poems, Blood Oboe (Omindawn, 2015) and a novella, Story Book (The Cultural Society, 2014), as well as numerous chapbooks, including Flag (Well Greased Press, 2013) and (TPR Press, 2013) — a bilingual book of poems with Cynthia Gray and Camilo Roldán. His work has appeared or will soon appear in Antioch Review, Aufgabe, So & So, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Lana Turner, Vanitas, Verse, Vlak — among others. He is a winner of the 2014 SLS Contest for Poetry, judged by Dorothea Lasky.

Matt Pincus – was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He received his B.A. from Pitzer College in English and World Literature and is an M.F.A. Candidate at Naropa University’s Writing and Poetics program.

Marthe Reed – is the author of four books of poetry: Pleth, a collaboration with j hastain (Unlikely Books 2013), (em)bodied bliss (Moria Books 2013), Gaze (Black Radish Books 2010) and Tender Box, A Wunderkammer (Lavender Ink 2007). A fifth book of poems will be published by Lavender Ink in Fall 2014. She has also published chapbooks as part of the Dusie Kollektiv, as well as with above / ground press and Shirt Pocket Press. Her collaborative chapbook thrown, text by j hastain with Reed’s collages, won the 2013 Smoking Glue Gun contest and will appear in 2014. She is Co-Publisher of Black Radish and the Editor/Publisher of Nous-zot Press chapbooks. Her reviews have appeared or are forthcoming at Rain Taxi, Jacket2, Galatea Ressurrects, Openned, Cut Bank, New Pages, and The Rumpus among others.

Scott Riley – is a MFA student in poetry at St. Mary’s College of California. He also holds degrees from UC Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union. He lives in Menlo Park, CA.

Elizabeth Robinson – is the author, most recently, of the poetry collections Three Novels (Omnidawn) and Counterpart (Ahsahta). Her recent mixed genre book, On Ghosts, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. She is a co-editor of Instance Press and the litterery periodical pallaksch.pallaksch.

Carolyn Ruocco – studies English at Tulane University.

Janice Sapigao – is a Pinay poet, writer and educator born and raised in San Jose, CA. She earned her MFA in Critical Studies/Writing from CalArts. She co-founded an open mic in Los Angeles called the Sunday Jump. She currently lives in the Bay Area and teaches at Skyline College and San Jose City College. Please visit her website at

Matthew Schmidt – studies English at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Lizi Gilad Silver – holds an MFA from UC Riverside’s low residency program. Her work has appeared in Amethyst Arsenic, A-Minor, burntdistrict, The Rumpus, Weave, and others.

Cosmo Spinosa – is a poet and critic living in the Bay Area. He holds an MFA from Mills College.

Andrew Squitiro – is an MFA student at Old Dominion University.

Liam Swanson – is an MFA student at the University of Arizona. He writes on/studies communism, feminism, the politics of the apocalypse. His work has recently appeared in the Sonora Review, Cabildo Quarterly, and the Platypus Review.

Chrysanthe Tan – is a writer, composer, and professional violinist based in Los Angeles, CA. She is the Communications Editor of Black Clock Literary Magazine. When not writing or performing, you can find her cooking vegan food or watching Star Wars.

Nicky Tiso – is an MFA creative writing candidate at The University of Minnesota. He received his BA in English from The Evergreen State College in 2010 and interned with Siglio Press in between. He has work currently or forthcoming in: TYPO, Revolver, Poets for Living Waters, HTML Giant, Ditch, Thieves Jargon, No-Record Press, and Wheelhouse Magazine. Nicky was a recipient of the 2012 Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize for Poetry as well as a panelist at the 2013 Conference on Ecopoetics at UC Berkeley. He blogs infrequently at and tweets.

Zoe Tuck – lives, writes, and reads poetry submissions for HOLD: a journal in Oakland, CA. Her chapbook Terror Matrix is forthcoming in the Spring of 2014 from Timeless, Infinite Light. Recent work can also be found in Textsound and Dusie.

Peter Vanderberg is the founding editor of Ghostbird Press.  He served in the US Navy from 1999 – 2003 and received a MFA from CUNY Queens College.  Recent work has appeared in CURA, LUMINA, The Harpoon Review and in collaboration with his brother James’ paintings in their book, Weather-Eye He teaches art and creative Writing at St. John’s Preparatory School and Hofstra University.

Nic Walker – Nic Walker lives in Houston, TX and has an MFA in poetry from University of Houston. She currently teaches at Lone Star Community College. Her work can be found in Southern Humanities Review.

Michael Wasson – nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho, earned his MFA from Oregon State University and his BA from Lewis-Clark State College. He received a Joyce Carol Oates Award in Poetry, and his work is included or forthcoming in Poetry Kanto, As/Us, Hayden’s Ferry Review, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Cutthroat, and elsewhere.

Erin Watson – is a Southern person in Chicago. She writes poetry slowly and lives online at

Drew Webster – reads and writes poetry in the MFA Program at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.

Anna Wilsonhas poems, reviews, and interviews published/forthcoming in the Chicago Reader, Gulf Coast, Meatpaper, New Delta Review, The Volta and elsewhere. A graduate teaching assistant and M.F.A. candidate at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, she writes and makes books, incorporating letterpress and other printing techniques, and handmade papers

David Wojciechowski – lives in Syracuse, NY. He is an editor of the soon-to-be Midnight City Books. His reviews can be found in The Laurel Review, Coldfront, and elsewhere.

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