Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts
Contributors’ Notes, Issue 8

David Axelrod is the editor of Sensational Nightingales: The Collected Poetry of Walter Pavlich, forthcoming from Lynx House Press. His new collection of poems, The Open Hand, is forthcoming from Lost Horse Press. Other work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in About Place, American Poetry Journal, Cape Rock, Cascadia Review, Cloudbank, CrazyHorse, Fogged Clarity, The Hopper, Hubbub, Miramar, Southern Poetry Review, Stringtown, among others.

Emma Barnes is a second-year undergraduate student at The University of Maine, studying both English and Philosophy. She comes from a family of poets, and she attributes her love of poetry to her mother and oldest sister. She hopes to carry out her passion for Creative Writing by becoming an English professor in the future.

Tad Bartlett’s writing has appeared in print or online at The Oxford American, The Bitter Southerner, The Baltimore Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Chautauqua Literary Journal, and The Stockholm Review of Literature, among others. He earned an MFA in fiction at the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans; and is a graduate of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, and Tulane University Law School. He is a founding member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.

Glenn Bergeron II is a poet and mortician in Thibodaux, LA. His work has appeared nationally and internationally in publications such as The Southern Poetry Anthology: Louisiana, Quirk, Louisiana Literature, Hellas, and Louisiana English Journal. When not undertaking the burial of the dead, he raises his two sons, Aodhan and Matthias.

Amy Conner is a sixty (ish) year-old New Orleans writer, a philosophy graduate of Newcomb College, and has participated in writing workshops over the years until happily becoming part of a great community of writers, The Peauxdunque Literary Alliance. In 2005, upon retiring from various concurrent and demanding professions—horse trainer, alligator farmer and wife, among others—she wrote and published her first books of fiction, The Right Thing and Million Dollar Road, with Kensington Press. Her other two novels, Lost, Stolen or Strayed and Holy Water, placed in the Semi-Finalist and Finalist categories at the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Literary Competition. Ms. Conner has two wonderful grown children, Fionn and Rue Casey, and currently lives in the Treme area with two confused but agreeable dogs, Weasel and Baggage, as well as an ungrateful, senile pirate of a cat who shall remain nameless. To read Ms. Conner’s more detailed (some say too detailed) biography, please visit her website

Merridawn Duckler is a poet, playwright from Portland, Oregon. She’s the author of “Interstate” forthcoming from dancing girl press. She has recent work published or forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Juked, Jet Fuel Review, Disquieting Muses Quarterly and the anthology “Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry.” Her fellowships/awards include Writers@Work, NEA, Yaddo, Squaw Valley, SLS in St. Petersburg, Russia, Southampton Poetry Conference, Wigleaf Top 50 in micro-fiction. She’s an editor at Narrative and at the international philosophy journal Evental Aesthetics

Tina Egnoski is the author of three books: This Invisible Beauty (Finishing Line Press, 2017), Perishables (Black Lawrence Press, 2010) and the novella In the Time of the Feast of Flowers (Texas Review Press, 2012). Her work, both fiction and poetry, has appeared in a number of literary journals, including Cimarron Review, Hawaii Pacific Review and Louisville Review.

Jesse Falzoi was born in Hamburg and raised in Lübeck, Germany. After stays in the US and France, she moved to Berlin in the beginning of the nineties, where she still lives with her three children. Her stories as well as her translation of Donald Barthelme’s “Sentence” have appeared in American, Russian, Indian, German, Swiss, Irish, British, and Canadian magazines and anthologies. Her book on craft came out in May, her first novel and her first short story collection will be published in spring 2018. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada College.

William Guion has photographed the Louisiana landscape and live oaks for more than 30 years. His writings and photographs about oaks have appeared in numerous publications like American Forests magazine, Louisiana Life, Country Roads magazine, The Journal of the International Oak Society, The Baton Rouge Sunday Advocate magazine, Cultural Vistas (publication of the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities), Under the Oaks magazine (the alumni publication of Newcomb College of Arts), the Calumet Fine-Art newsletter, View Camera magazine, Creation Spirituality magazine, and books like Live Oak Lore by Ethelyn Orso, Spiritual Literacy by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat, and Folklife in Louisiana through Photography by Frank DeCaro. His images have also been used on several book jacket designs for publishers Scribner/Simon & Schuster, Crown Books, Random House, Harper Collins, and Bulfinch/Little, Brown & Co., and were featured in the 1999 Alfre Woodard film The Wishing Tree. A sampling of his work with oaks is contained in his four books: Heartwood, Meditations on Southern Oaks, published by Bulfinch / Little Brown Press in 1998; Heartwood, Further Meditations on Oaks, by Blue Oak Press in 2009; and Across Golden Hills – Meditations on California Oaks in 2013, and Laura Plantation – Images and Impressions, published in 2017 by The Zoe Company. Currently he is working on a fifth book project on historic oak alleys of Louisiana.

Ben Gunsberg is a professor of English at Utah State University. His poetry appears in CutBank, The Southeast Review, and The South Carolina Review, among other magazines. His poetry manuscript, Cut Time, won the University of Michigan’s Hopwood Award for Poetry Writing. He lives in Logan, Utah, at the foot of the Bear River Mountains.

Tina Kessinger—poet, fiction writer, film critic, humanist, Renaissance woman—-lived for various periods in greater Washington, DC; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Ocean Springs, Mississippi before touching down in Asheville, North Carolina, where she lived for a decade until her tragic, untimely death in February 2016. Tina was a fierce, compassionate advocate for the disenfranchised and abused—-be they animal or human. She wrote film and theater reviews for the Santa Fe New Mexican and Pasa Tiempo, as well as feature articles for other periodicals, including New Mexico Magazine and the Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS).  Her short stories appeared in on-line venues, and her poetry appeared in publications such as Santa Fe Literary Review and Pegasus. She is sorely missed by all who had the good luck to know her.

Donald Levering’s recent poetry book, Coltrane’s God, published by Red Mountain Press, was Runner-Up in the 2016 New England Book Festival contest in poetry. His previous book, The Water Leveling with Us, placed 2nd in the 2015 National Federation of Press Women Book Award. He is a former NEA Fellow and won the 2014 Literal Latté prize and was runner-up for the 2015 Mark Fischer Poetry Prize. In 2016, he was runner-up for the Ruth Stone Prize. He won the Tor House Robinson Jeffers prize in 2017.

Eric Pankey is the author of many collections of poems. A new book, Augury, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2017.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Osiris Poems published by box of chalk, 2017. For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

Stella Vinitchi Radelescu, Ph.D. in French Language & Literature, is the author of several collections of poetry published in the United States, Romania and France. She writes poetry in English, French and Romanian and her poems have appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, Pleiades, Louisville Review, Ginosko, Laurel Review, Rhino, Wallace Stevens Journal, Seneca Review among others, as well as in a variety of literary magazines in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Romania. Her last collection of poetry, I scrape the window of nothingness – new & selected poems, was released in 2015 from Orison Books Press. At the present she lives in Chicago.

Benjamin Soileau was born and bred in South Louisiana. His fiction has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Louisiana Literature, Bayou, Mojo, and many other journals and is forthcoming in Colorado Review. He lives in Olympia, WA with his wife and son. Reach him at

J.R. Solonche has been publishing in magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. He is author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions), Heart’s Content (Five Oaks Press), Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (forthcoming from Deerbrook Editions), and coauthor of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books).

Dante Di Stefano is the author of Love is a Stone Endlessly in Flight (Brighthorse Books, 2016). His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in Brilliant Corners, The Los Angeles Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. He is the poetry editor for DIALOGIST, the poetry book review editor for Arcadia, and a correspondent for The Best American Poetry Blog. Along with Maria Isabel Alvarez, he is the co-editor of the anthology, Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump’s America forthcoming from NYQ Books in the fall of 2017.