Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts
Contributors’ Notes, Issue 2




Jimmy Santiago Baca is the author of more than fifteen books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and a screenplay, Bound by Honor, which became the feature film, Blood In, Blood Out. His work has received the American Book Award, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the International Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. He is the founder of Cedar Tree, a literary nonprofit that serves at-risk youth, prisoners and ex-prisoners, and disadvantaged communities. His latest volume is The Lucia Poems, book two of his Breaking Bread with the Darkness series (Sherman Asher Publishing).

Jack Bedell is Professor of English and coordinator of the programs in Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also serves as editor of Louisiana Literature and director of Louisiana Literature Press. His most recent books include Bone-Hollow, True: New & Selected Poems, Call and Response, and Come Rain, Come Shine, all with Texas Review Press.

Karin C. Davidson is originally from the Gulf Coast. She has an MFA from Lesley University and is the recipient of A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize for Short Fiction, the Waasmode Short Fiction Prize, and a Peter Taylor Fellowship. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, Passages North, Post Road, Iron Horse Literary Review, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. Her fiction has been shortlisted in several writing competitions, including the Jaimy Gordon Fiction Prize, the Faulkner-Wisdom Writing Competition, and the Bridport Prize. A chapbook of her story collection was a finalist in the 2012 Iron Horse Literary Review Single Author Competition. Her writing can be found at

Nancy Devine teaches high school English in Grand Forks, North Dakota where she lives. She co-directs the Red River Valley Writing Project, a local site of the National Writing Project. Her poetry, short fiction and essays have appeared in online and print journals.

Allison Grayhurst’s poems have been published in over 110 journals throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and in the United Kingdom, including The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Wascana Review, Poetry Nottingham International, The Cape Rock, Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry, and White Wall Review. Her work was also included in the Insomniac Press anthology Written In The Skin. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995.

Ed Hammerli is a retired high school English teacher who lives in Thibodaux, Louisiana, where he pursues poetry, photography, and the deliberate life.  His sons are named Walt Whitman Hammerli and Nathaniel Hawthorne Hammerli. He is the author of During the Sun the Moon Was.

Ava Leavell Haymon’s poetry collections include Kitchen Heat, The Strict Economy of Fire, Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread, and the forthcoming Eldest Daughter, all issued by LSU Press. She teaches poetry writing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and directs a writers’ retreat center in the mountains of New Mexico.

Ann Keniston is Associate Professor of English at University of Nevada, Reno, with a specialty in American Poetry. She is the author of a monograph, Overheard Voices: Address and Subjectivity in Postmodern American Poetry (Routledge, 2006); a collection of poems: The Caution of Human Gestures (David Robert Books, 2005); and a forthcoming chapbook, November Wasps: Elegies (Finishing Line, 2013). She is also coeditor (with Jeffrey Gray) of The New American Poetry of Engagement: A 21st Century Anthology (McFarland, 2012) and (with Jeanne Follansbee Quinn) of Literature after 9/11 (Routledge, 2008). Recent poems have appeared in Tampa Review, River Styx, Michigan Quarterly Review, Interim, Southwest Review, North American Review, and elsewhere; recent reviews and essays have appeared in Kenyon Review.

Robert S. King lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Hollins Critic, Kenyon Review, Lullwater Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Negative Capability, Southern Poetry Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Writers’ Forum. He has published three chapbooks (When Stars Fall Down as Snow, Garland Press 1976; Dream of the Electric Eel, Wolfsong Publications 1982; and The Traveller’s Tale, Whistle Press 1998). His full‐length collections are The Hunted River and The Gravedigger’s Roots, both from Shared Roads Press, 2009. He recently stepped down as Director of FutureCycle Press in order to devote more time to his own writing. He continues to serve the press as Poetry Co‐Editor.

Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, Yusef Komunyakaa is Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University’s creative writing program. He is a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the Wallace Stevens Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Louisiana Arts Council, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. From 1999 to 2005, he served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. His most recent volume is The Chameleon Couch (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). *Mr. Komunyakka wrote “Negritude” for the centenary celebration honoring Aime Cesaire at Wesleyan University, where he read the poem on April 5th, 2013.

Jennifer A. Kuchta teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at the University of New Orleans. Her non-fiction can be found in Year Zero: A Year of Reporting From Post-Katrina New Orleans, Soul is Bulletproof: Reports From Reconstruction New Orleans, and Where We Know: New Orleans as Home, while her fiction has appeared most recently in Life in the Wake: Fiction From Post-Katrina New Orleans. Kuchta makes her home in Uptown, New Orleans, with a trio of rescue dogs.

Jacob Mercer earned an MFA in Fiction at Oregon State University and now teaches English at Chosun University in Gwangju, South Korea. He’s recently had another story published in The Atlas Review.

Juan Morales is the author of Friday and the Year that Followed. His poems have appeared in Copper Nickel, PALABRA, Poet Lore, Zone 3, and other publications. He is a Canto Mundo fellow and Associate Professor of English at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he curates the SoCo Reading Series and directs the Creative Writing Program. These poems come from a new manuscript tentatively titled, I Felt the Sun, which explores the contemporary fascination with culture clash captured within studies of the Spanish Conquest of the Incan Empire.

Tony Morris’s first book of poems, Fugue’s End, won the 2004 Mary Belle Campbell Poetry Book Award, published by Birch Brook Press in 2005. His second book, Back to Cain, was published by The Olive Press in 2006. His latest chapbook, Greatest Hits (Puddinghouse Press), was released in March 2012. Recent work can be found in: River Styx, Green Mountains Review, Connecticut Review, South Carolina Review and many others. He currently teaches poetry and journalism at Armstrong-Atlantic State University, in Savannah, GA, and works as the managing editor of Southern Poetry Review.

Uche Ogbuji was born in Calabar, Nigeria. He lived, among other places, in Egypt and England before settling near Boulder, Colorado where he lives with his wife and four children. Uche is a computer engineer and entrepreneur whose abiding passion is poetry. His poems, fusing native Igbo culture, European Classicism, U.S. Mountain West setting, and Hip-Hop influences, have appeared widely, most recently in IthacaLit, Unsplendid, String Poet, Mountain Gazette, The Raintown Review, Victorian Violet, YB Poetry, Shadow Road Quarterly, OF ZOOS, Lavender Review and Angle Poetry Journal. He is editor at Kin Poetry Journal and The Nervous breakdown.

Frederick Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness, both published by Story Line Press. Other of his poems and essays have appeared in Hudson Review, Southern Review, Fulcrum, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Die Gazette (Munich), The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Representations and elsewhere. Poems have most recently appeared in the print journals Magma (UK), The Hat, Bateau, and Chiron Review. Online, poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Snorkel, Hamilton Stone Review, Diagram, BlazeVox, The New Hampshire Review, Mudlark, etc. Recent Web publications appear in Gloom Cupboard, Blinking Cursor, Occupoetry, and Seltzer. Pollack is an adjunct professor of creative writing at George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Robert James Russell is the Pushcart Prize nominated author of Sea of Trees (Winter Goose Publishing, 2012), and the co-founding editor of the literary journal Midwestern Gothic. His work has appeared in Joyland, The Collagist, Thunderclap! Magazine, LITSNACK, and The Legendary, among others. Find him online at

Dennis Sipiorski is Professor of Ceramics in the Art + Design Program of Southeastern Louisiana University. He states, “My art work has changed many times. I am mainly a storyteller…My images come from many sources in my past and present—growing up in the Midwest, Catholic school, college and southern Louisiana. Many of my current images come straight from my backyard—frogs, rabbits, cats, birds, fish, alligators, dogs, armadillos, snakes, along with plants, flowers, banana trees, magnolias, etc. The relationship of these images—how I place them in the piece—creates the stories…I hope my stories are universal to the viewer. I want my work to ask questions about life, but not necessarily produce all the answers.”