Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts
Contributors’ Notes, Issue 7

José Angel Araguz is a CantoMundo fellow and winner of RHINO Poetry’s 2015 Editor’s Prize. He has had poems recently in Prairie Schooner, Huizache, and The Laurel Review. He is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Cincinnati. His collection of prose poems and flash fictions, Everything We Think We Hear, is forthcoming from Floricanto Press. He runs the poetry blog The Friday Influence.

Deborah Cibelli is an art historian affiliated with the Department of Art at Nicholls State University.  Her research on the art of the Italian Renaissance has contributed to her interest in the religious symbolism of the art of Kenny Hill at the Nicholls Folklife Center and Sculpture Garden in Chauvin. This essay, on the rescue of the garden, was published in the journal, Raw Vision.

Peter Cooley has published nine books of poetry, eight through Carnegie Mellon. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, and The New Yorker. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has lived over half his life in New Orleans. He is Senior Mellon Professor of the Humanities and Director of Creative Writing at Tulane University, and is the Poet Laureate of Louisiana.

Nancy Devine teaches high school English in Grand Forks, North Dakota where she lives. She is a writing specialist with 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.

Alejandro Escudé is the winner of the 2012 Sacramento Poetry Center Award. The winning manuscript, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He received a master’s degree in creative writing from U.C. Davis and among other journals, his poems have appeared in Lilliput Review, as well as in California Quarterly, Main Street Rag, Phoebe, Poet Lore, and Rattle.

Jason Marc Harris’s stories appear in EveryDay Fiction, Masque and Spectacle, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Cheap Pop, Riding Light Review, Arroyo Literary Review, Psychopomp Magazine, and Midwestern Gothic. He teaches creative writing, folklore, and literature at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.

Kristen Jackson has poems published recently in The Broken Plate and SLAB. She studied creative writing at the University of Houston and teaches English at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Deborah Lillie earned her BFA from Colorado State University in 1990, and her MFA from Louisiana State University in 1996. She taught at Loyola University New Orleans for two years before joining the faculty at Nicholls State University in 1998. At Nicholls, Deborah currently heads the photography program in the Department of Art. She also teaches a course in beginning design, and works with the department’s study abroad program. Deborah is highly active in the Society for Photographic Education, having hosted four regional conferences since 1998. Her artwork varies from being purely photographic to a mixed media combination of photography and found objects or other documents. Throughout all the work runs a strong attention to the object and the role of the individual. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. in various group and solo exhibitions.

Mary Jo Melone received her MFA from the University of South Florida. Her fiction has appeared in the Iron Horse Literary Review, Two Bridges Review, Crack the Spine, Philadelphia Stories, and in the linked flash fiction collection, Fifteen Views of Tampa, in Corridor.  For many years, she was a journalist, chiefly a metro columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. Her non-fiction has also appeared in the Tampa Review and Philadelphia Magazine.  She is working on a collection of stories set in Florida. In 2015, she was a writer-in-residence at Rivendell Writers Colony in Tennessee. She is also a linguist and tutors non-native English-speaking adults. She lives in Tampa.

Andrea Nolan has published two narrative guidebooks, Sea Kayaking Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and Sea Kayaking Virginia, and has had essays and stories listed as “Notable” in both The Best American Essays series and in The Pushcart Prize. Previously working as an environmental educator, and then as the owner of a sea kayaking company, she now works as a lecturer of English at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia.

Stan Sanvel Rubin’s fourth full length collection, There. Here.,was published in 2013 by Lost Horse Press. His poems are forthcoming in The National Poetry Review and Poetry Northwest. He lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.

Born in France and educated in Paris, Jean-Mark Sens has lived in the American South for over twenty-five years, and dwells “poetically” in New Orleans. He is a culinary art instructor and librarian delving on a daily basis with the tensions between nature and culture, the raw and the cooked, the virtual and the actual and doing his best to bridge all antinomies under his toque. He has published poems in magazines in the U.S. and Canada, and a first collection, Appetite, with Red Hen Press.

Cody Smith is a Louisianian studying poetry in the Northwest where he’s an MFA candidate at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers. He spends most days lamenting creole food, sea level, and humidity. His work has appeared in Permafrost, Glass Mountain, Cactus Heart, Belle Reve, among others. He is editor-in-chief for the literary magazine The Swamp.

Sheryl St. Germain’s poetry books include Making Bread at Midnight, How Heavy the Breath of God, The Journals of Scheherazade, and Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems. A memoir, Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman, was published in 2003, and she co-edited, with Margaret Whitford, Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-First Century. Her most recent book, Navigating Disaster: Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair, was released in September of 2012. A new anthology, Words Without Walls: Creative Writing in Alternative Spaces, appeared in 2015 with Trinity University Press. She directs the MFA program in Creative Writing and the Words Without Walls program at Chatham University.

Tom Vollman is a writer, musician, and painter. He has written a number of things, published a bit, recorded a few records, and toured a lot. Recently, he’s had stories appear in Palaver, Pithead Chapel, Empty Sink, Crab Fat Magazine, Critical Pass Review, Literary Orphans, and Per Contra. Tommy was selected as an Honorable Mention for Glimmer Train’s “Family Matters”, and was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s “Short-Story Award for New Writers.” He has some black-ink tattoos on both of his arms. Tommy really likes Raymond Carver, Two Cow Garage, Tillie Olsen, Greg Dulli, Tom Colicchio, Willy Vlautin, and Albert Camus. He’s working on a novel entitled Tyne Darling. Tommy will release a new record, These Ghosts, in the fall of 2016. He currently teaches English at Milwaukee Area Technical College and prefers to write with pens poached from hotel room cleaning carts.

Linda Umans enjoyed a long teaching career in the public schools of New York City where she lives, studies, writes. Recent publications include poems in qarrtsiluni, The Broome Street Review,, DIALOGIST, Switched-on Gutenberg, Spillway, Composite {Arts Magazine}, Spiral Orb, A Narrow Fellow, and pieces in Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood.