Opening Letters > From the Editors
Issue #4 marks our first full year of existence at Sky Island Journal, and we are incredibly excited to celebrate this new milestone! Jason and I are continually blown away by the outpouring of support and positivity that we have received along this journey.
A year ago, while hiking in the Florida Mountains outside of Deming, New Mexico, I looked out on the vast expanse of valley below us and tried to visualize how our dream would become a reality. We have learned so much over the past twelve months, devoting countless hours to a relentless pursuit of improvement. Along the way, we have never lost sight of the fact that we do not do this alone.
First of all, we would like to thank our writers and contributors. In just one year’s time, we have received written work from 49 of the 50 states in the U.S., and have had the pleasure of experiencing pieces from 23 countries all over the globe. Our published writers hail from 32 different states in our home country, and as of today, over 26% of our published pieces are from international contributors! As a young boy growing up along the rivers, forests, and farms of rural Wisconsin I could have never imagined that such national and international connections would be possible in my lifetime. In many ways, this has been made possible by organizations such as New Pages, Submittable, Volume One, and many others who have helped spread the word about our journal, effectively connecting us with world-class writers. As we have said before, we are so grateful that once writers find us they offer their trust and are willing to share their literary work; we consider it a great responsibility to treat all authors and their writing with the care that is deserved.
To our readers, you give meaning and purpose to our work. Every decision about the content, access, look, and feel of Sky Island Journal has been made with you at the very center. It is our sole mission to connect you with the finest writing that has the ability to transport you intellectually and emotionally. For our returning guests, welcome back, we’re so glad you’ve found a home here! If this is your first time, welcome, you’re in for a treat, and if you like what you see, please be sure to visit the tab titled “Our Contributors,” where we keep an updated list of links to help you explore more work from your favorite writers.
Last, but certainly not least, a huge thank you to our friends and family. Your love and encouragement is the lifeblood that sustains us in all facets of our lives. To my lovely wife and Jason’s beautiful family at home, thank you for your unwavering support, sound advice, and commendable patience each week as we continue to bring this dream to life.
This Saturday, I’ll be huddled around a campfire with several of my friends and our tired pups after a day of exploring Gardner Canyon, deep in the Santa Rita Mountains of Arizona’s Coronado National Forest. We’ll swap stories, discover more about each other, and fully engage. Readers, it is such a pleasure to introduce you to our writers, who have incredible stories of their own to share through poetry, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction offerings. Lean in, get close enough to let their words ignite the flame inside you. Think, feel, and engage.
Jeff Sommerfeld, Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief
It’s spring in the Florida Mountains of New Mexico: Sky Island Journal’s birthplace and spiritual home. The foothills are draped in Mexican poppies. Their brave, yolk-orange blooms are in constant motion—tousled this way and that—as the winds rush down from the peaks and splay out across the desert floor. Ocotillos—taller than any man—snake toward the sky, their spiny necks and blood red buds defying gravity. This landscape is the source of our positive energy, our rugged independence, and our relentless tenacity. Having grown 669% in submissions since our first issue, this landscape has also become our center—the place to which we constantly return after venturing farther and farther down this path as a publication. It helps us remain mindful. It helps to ensure that every step we take is made with kindness and humility. Reading and responding to every submission, then having the ability to share the work of writers from around the world with readers from around the world, is a privilege beyond the telling. We're grateful for our contributors and our readers. Whether you're new to Sky Island Journal, or you're already one of our 15,000 readers in 104 countries, we're confident that the new writing in our stunning fourth issue will find a home in your heart.
While social media certainly has a place in our lives, we've elected to leave the "scroll-through experience" to other literary platforms. Our readers deserve a more mindful approach. Each piece of writing that we publish opens as a read-only Word Document for an authentic, focused, and immersive experience that encourages a close, intimate, distraction-free reading of the work. We want your experience with each contributor's work to be singular: just as it would be on the printed page, with crisp white paper between your collective fingertips. We understand this is a radical departure from how most literary journals present writing to their readers online, but we think it's a refreshing change for the better. It's okay to slow down. It's okay to take your time, savor, and simply be present in the moment of one of the many beautiful worlds that our contributors have created for you.
Out of the 1062 individual pieces that we received from around the world for Issue 4, these 57 are the finest.
Welcome to Sky Island. Welcome home.
Jason Splichal, Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief
Akhila Kolisetty > Poetry > New York, USA
Akhila Kolisetty is a lawyer, writer, advocate, and feminist based in Brooklyn, New York, where she provides legal representation and advice to survivors of gender-based violence. Previously, she worked with human rights organizations to strengthen access to justice and women’s rights in Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and India. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School. Her poetry has been published in Lily Lit Review.
Aleda Bliss > Poetry > New York, USA
Aleda Bliss is an actress and a poet. Her written work has appeared in Chronogram, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and as part of The Boudica Series: A Festival of Women’s Voices in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn.
Alison Thompson > Poetry > Australia
Alison Thompson is an award-winning Australian poet and short story writer who lives on the South Coast of NSW and is a founding member of the Kitchen Table Poets. Her work has been published in Australian and overseas and her chapbook Slow Skipping was published in 2008 by PressPress. She is fortunate to live in a beautiful rural area of NSW and is a close observer of nature. Of particular interest is the interaction between humans and the natural environment, and she is currently working on a full-length collection of poems around this theme. In addition, she is finalising her first collection of short stories.
Ariel S. Maloney > Poetry > Massachusetts, USA
Ariel S. Maloney teaches literature and writing to high school students in Cambridge, MA. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in publications such as The Inman Review, Around the World: An Anthology of Travel Writing, The Huffington Post, The Ekphrastic Review, Commonwealth Magazine, The Jewish Advocate, and more.
Bruce Pemberton > Poetry > Washington, USA
Bruce Pemberton is a retired high school teacher, coach, and Gulf War veteran. His work has appeared in Snapdragon, Palouse Journal, Northern Journeys, Redneck Review of Literature, Third Wednesday, and the anthologies, In Tahoma’s Shadow and Spokane Writes. He lives on the Palouse in rural eastern Washington state.
Chang Liu > Poetry > Ontario, Canada
Chang Liu was born in Montreal to French and Chinese immigrants, and now lives in Toronto, where he works as a translator and emerging forest conservationist. Much of his poetry concerns itself with our momentous turning away from nature as we succumb to the spell of our self-reflexive technologies and asks us to revisit the non-human world that birthed us—the soil, trees, animals, waters and other spirits that call to us and remind us of our ancient kinship and conversation with them. His poems have appeared in The UC Review (Spring 2018), TOK Book 5 (2010), and The Dry Wells of India: An Anthology Against Thirst (1989). His first collection of gay-themed poetry is unpublished but available as an e‑book at Glad Day Bookshop (Toronto, Canada).
Charlene Stegman Moskal > Creative Nonfiction > Nevada, USA
Charlene Stegman Moskal lives and writes in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is part of a vibrant, multi-generational arts community in this beautiful high desert. For three decades she taught visual arts, theater and speech in the Southern-most city in the U.S., Brownsville, Texas on the border with Mexico. Through many arts incarnations, she has been a visual artist, actor/director, and always, a writer. Now, her own words, rather than someone else’s, have taken center stage. She has been published in Voices from the Rio Grande, CLARK: Poets of Clark County, 2017, Legs of Tumbleweed, Wings of Lace, An Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women, issues of The Raven's Perch, and has a poetry chapbook titled One Bare Foot published by Zeitgeist Press scheduled for release Summer 2018.
Charles Farrell Thielman > Poetry > Oregon, USA
Raised in Charleston, South Carolina and Chicago, educated in red-bricked universities and on city streets, Charles Farrell Thielman has enjoyed working as a social worker, a truck driver, a city bus driver and an enthused bookstore clerk. A loving Grandfather of 6 free spirits, his work as poet, artist, and secretary for an independent bookstore’s company and collective continues!
Chelsea Bunn > Poetry > New Mexico, USA
Chelsea Bunn is a poet and educator living in New Mexico. Her work appears in publications in print and online, including Maudlin House, Apathy Magazine, Cover, The Big Windows Review, Dogwood, and Georgetown Review. She earned her BA in creative writing and her MFA in poetry at Hunter College in New York, where she received a teaching fellowship, a Norma Lubetsky Friedman Scholarship, and taught creative writing for eleven years. She was selected as Thinker in Residence by Art in Odd Places in 2016 and was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize twice. Born and raised in NYC, she currently teaches poetry for the Continuing Education Departments of Santa Fe Community College and UNM.
Craig Barker > Poetry > United Kingdom
Craig Barker is a University student and English Language teacher residing in Norwich, England. When not fixating on the correct pronunciation of certain vocabulary items, he spends time writing, reading, and trying to stay afloat at the local pool. He's currently working on a poetry collection concerning long-distance relationships and mountain goats (it's a long story).
Cristalle Smith > Creative Nonfiction > British Columbia, Canada
Cristalle Smith is an MFA candidate at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Creative Writing. She studies under Matt Rader. She is a single mother and enjoys spending time with her son. Cristalle has lived in Canada, the United States, England, and the Isle of Man. Her favourite musician is Art Garfunkel.
Daniel Schneider > Poetry > New Mexico, USA
Daniel Schneider has taught high school and college English in New Mexico and upstate New York. He has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and published poems in Poet Lore and A Narrow Fellow. He currently lives with his family in Rio Rancho, New Mexico where he is collaborating on a first book of poems with his Labradoodle.
Diane Raven > Creative Nonfiction > Michigan, USA
Diane Raven is a naturalist, therapist, and illustrator/writer. She holds a Masters of Education in Counseling with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Northern Michigan University. She co-founded Headwaters Environmental Station in the Keweenaw Bioregion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where she taught environmental /ecological education. Her column, Field Notes, ran in Minnesota and Wisconsin newspapers throughout her career as a naturalist. She co-produced the radio program Journeys Into a Sense of Place for Minnesota Public Radio affiliate WGGL. Raven worked as a therapist developing/directing the art therapy program for an adolescent residential behavioral health agency. Most recently, she authored the chapter “Hidden Voices: Creative Art Therapy Interventions for Adolescents with Dissociation” in The Fractured Child: Diagnosis and Treatment of Youth with Dissociation, by Frances S. Waters (2016, Springer Publishing Company). She is currently working on writing/illustrating a book on the development of an ecological conscience in children. She and her husband continue to live at Headwaters.
Drew Pisarra > Poetry > New York, USA
As one half of the conceptual art duo, Saint Flashlight, Drew Pisarra helps activate poetry in public spaces including the takeover of a Brooklyn movie marquee with film-themed haiku and the dissemination of "lost poems" at the O, Miami Poetry Festival 2018. Additionally, Publick Spanking, a collection of his short stories, was published by Future Tense eons ago.
Emily Alice Katz > Flash Fiction > North Carolina, USA
Emily Alice Katz's fiction has appeared recently in Mud Season Review and Kindred and has been recognized by Glimmer Train (September 2016); her short story "The Italian Dance" was nominated for the 2017 Best of the Net Anthology. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her family and assorted household and barnyard critters.
Frank Dullaghan > Poetry > United Arab Emirates
Frank Dullaghan is an Irish poet who lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He holds an MA with Distinction in Writing (University of South Wales) and has three poetry collections published by Cinnamon Press in the United Kingdom. A fourth collection, Lifting the Latch, due out in May 2018. He has also been a children’s poetry judge for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature since 2013 and in 2014 he was commissioned to provide the final English translation (from literal translations) of HH Sheikh Mohammed’s poetry, published as Flashes of Verse. In 2016, he published a pamphlet, Secrets of the Body, with Eyeware Publishing. Frank’s poetry has been widely published in journals internationally, including in The Shop, Cyphers, Poetry Ireland, HU, Poetry Review, PN Review, London Magazine, Poetry London, Nimrod, Paris LitUp, and Queens Quarterly.
Jacklyn Janeksela > Creative Nonfiction > Czech Republic
Jacklyn Janeksela works in fields of healing arts, manifestation work, and creative conjurings at Hermetic Hare. She writes about wellness, art, culture, the body, sex, magic, meditation, plant medicine, and astrology/alchemy/the occult. Her poetry can be found (fitting a witch//hexing a stitch), on The Operating System, 2017. She belongs to a post-punk, experimental band called The Velblouds. She lives between Prague, Czech Republic and Paris, France. She is an energy.
Jarred Thompson > Poetry > South Africa
Jarred Thompson graduated from Alabama State University with a Summa Cum Laude in English. He has been published in Typecast Literary Magazine, Type House Literary Magazine, The Best New African Poets Anthology of 2016, New Contrast Literary Journal, and was longlisted for The Sol Plaatje Award and Anthology of Poetry and placed second in the Fitzgerald Museum Short Story Contest, a national contest for college students in the US. He currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa where he is at work on his Masters at the University of Johannesburg.
Jeanine Pfeiffer > Creative Nonfiction > California, USA
Jeanine Pfeiffer is an ethnoecologist exploring biocultural diversity: the connections between nature and culture. A Fulbright scholar, University of California Pacific Rim researcher, and National Science Foundation/National Institutes of Health grantee, Dr. Pfeiffer has worked in over thirty countries. Based in Northern California, she teaches environmental studies at San José State University. Her scientific articles are curated on ResearchGate.net and Academia.edu and her Pushcart-nominated prose can be found in the Bellevue Literary Review, Hippocampus, The Guardian, High Country News, Lowestoft Chronicles, Langscape, Between the Lines, and Nowhere.
Jesse Miksic > Poetry > New York, USA
Jesse Miksic is a graphic designer and writer living in Peekskill, New York. He spends his life hanging out with a wonderful wife and daughter, cycling rapidly through projects that rarely seem to get finished. His writing can be found in Berfrois, Issue 116 of Right Hand Pointing, and the December 2017 issue of Cold Creek Review.
Joan Colby > Poetry > Illinois, USA
Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Gargoyle, Pinyon, Little Patuxent Review, Spillway, Midwestern Gothic and others. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 20 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Three of her poems have been featured on Verse Daily and another is among the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. Her newest books are Carnival from FutureCycle Press and The Seven Heavenly Virtues from Kelsay Books. Her next book, Her Heartsongs is just out from Presa Press. Colby is a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Good Works Review.
John Hicks > Poetry > New Mexico, USA
John Hicks is an emerging poet: has been published or accepted for publication by: I-70 Review, First Literary Review – East, Panorama, MidnightCircus, The Lincoln Underground, and The Society for the Preservation of Wild Culture. When he retired, he started an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, recently completing it.
Joseph Mills > Poetry > North Carolina, USA
A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills has published several collections of poetry with Press 53, most recently Exit pursued by a bear and Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers (2nd edition). Currently, he is at work on a fiction manuscript entitled Bleachers.
Josh Crummer > Poetry > Michigan, USA
Josh Crummer is a poet from Zilwaukee, Michigan. He holds an MA from Central Michigan University and would love to visit the American Southwest one day.
Kelsie Balon > Poetry > Italy
Kelsie Balon is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, where she received her degree in English Education. She loves to travel and is currently living in Civitanova Marche, Italy, teaching the English language to middle school students and traveling around the country in her free time. While reading, writing, and making art are her creative outlets, she also enjoys a variety of passions, including riding her motorcycle and training in martial arts. Sky Island Journal is her first literary publication, and she hopes to contribute to it again in the future.
Kristy Nielsen > Poetry > California, USA
Kristy Nielsen has published fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in many journals including Mid-American Review, Poet & Critic, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, Kalliope, ACM, The Madison Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review in which she was a featured writer. A collection of her prose poems, Two Girls, was published by Thorngate Road. This year, a poem of hers published in Hubbub received the Vi Gale Award. She is a past recipient of the AWP Intro Award and the Amelia Prose Poem Award. She received honorable mention in both Literal Latte’s short story and poetry contests. In addition, she has co-written a screenplay based on two of her short stories; the resulting feature film, "A Measure of the Sin," won several awards at Indy film festivals and is now available as a video on demand.
Linda H.Y. Hegland > Poetry > British Columbia, Canada
Linda H.Y. Hegland is an award-winning poet, lyric essayist, and photographer who lives in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. Her writing and photos most often reflect the influence of place, and one’s relationship with place. She has published in several literary and art journals, and has had work nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Lora Bray > Creative Nonfiction > Wisconsin, USA
Lora Bray holds degrees in English and Library and Information Studies and is rediscovering the joy of creative writing after taking a hiatus to focus on child-rearing and her career. She especially enjoys writing memoir and creative nonfiction. Lora comes from Cottage Grove, Wisconsin and works in Madison as a researcher and technical writer in the financial services industry. Sky Island Journal is her first literary publication; she also has work forthcoming soon in Fiction Southeast.
Max Ghannam > Flash Fiction > Massachusetts, USA
Max Ghannam is a writer of fiction and poetry. His work often explores the tenuous terrain of relationships and the ephemera of life. He is pursuing a Communications degree with an emphasis on Professional Writing. His debut novel is forthcoming.
Melissa Weiss > Poetry > British Columbia, Canada
Melissa Weiss studies Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Recently, her work has appeared in Prairie Fire, Into the Void Magazine, and others, as well as being short-listed for CV2’s 2017 2-Day Poem Contest. Additionally, she co-runs One Button Press in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Michael Hardin > Poetry > Pennsylvania, USA
Originally from Los Angeles, Michael Hardin lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife, two children, and two Pekingeses. His poetry has appeared in North American Review, Seneca Review, Quarterly West, Tampa Review, and Gargoyle, among others. He is currently working on a memoir entitled, How to Raise an Atheist.
Nicholas Trandahl > Poetry > Wyoming, USA
Nicholas Trandahl is a newspaper reporter, outdoorsman, and poet living in Wyoming with his wife and three daughters. He has published two poetry collections through Winter Goose Publishing, Pulling Words in 2017 and Think of Me in 2018. His third collection with Winter Goose, Echoes in the High Country, will release in 2019. He has also appeared in various poetry anthologies and journals.
Paul Acker > Poetry > Missouri, USA
Paul Acker grew up in Connecticut, studied in Boston and Providence, and teaches poetry at Saint Louis University. He has taught as a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico. His work has appeared in Puerto del Sol and Boulevard and he is currently writing a book on dragons in legend, literature and art.
Pepper Trail > Poetry > Oregon, USA
Pepper Trail grew up outside. His environmental writing appears regularly in High Country News, and his poetry has appeared in Rattle, Borderlands, Comstock Review, Atlanta Review, Kyoto Journal, Cirque, Windfall, and elsewhere. His collection, Cascade-Siskiyou: Poems, was a finalist for the 2016 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. He lives in Ashland, Oregon, where he works as a forensic biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Reed Venrick > Poetry > Florida, USA
Reed Venrick lives between his timber farm in Pennsylvania and his orange grove in Florida and often writes poems with themes of the natural world.
Richard LeBlond > Creative Nonfiction > North Carolina, USA
Richard LeBlond is a retired biologist living in North Carolina. His essays and photographs have appeared in numerous U.S. and international journals, including Montreal Review, High Country News, Compose, New Theory, Lowestoft Chronicle, Concis, and Still Point Arts Quarterly. His work has been nominated for “Best American Travel Writing” and “Best of the Net.”
Richard Martin > Poetry > Massachusetts, USA
Richard Martin's latest book is Goosebumps of Antimatter (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018), a selection of poems and stories, art galleries, and interviews with poets and artists. Martin is a past recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry and founder of the Big Horror Poetry Series (1983-1996) in his hometown, Binghamton, New York. He lives in Boston with his family.
Russell Rowland > Poetry > New Hampshire, USA
Russell Rowland is a pastor, grandfather, and trail volunteer in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. A seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he is a past winner of Old Red Kimono’s Paris Lake Poetry Contest, and twice winner of Descant’s Baskerville Publishers Poetry Prize, and of the Plainsongs Award. His chapbooks, Train of All Cabooses and Mountain Blue are available from Finishing Line Press.
Sandra Lindow > Poetry > Wisconsin, USA
Sandra J. Lindow has been publishing her poetry for 57 years. Her first published poem appeared in a Sunday School magazine when she was 11. She now has seven collections of poetry and several more in process. Lindow has served as Regional Vice President of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets since 1987. Her awards include two WWA Jade Ring awards, the WFOP Triad Award, and the Wisconsin Press Women's Award for Poetry. She lives on a hilltop in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
Sandra Shaw Homer > Creative Nonfiction > Costa Rica
Sandra Shaw Homer has lived in Costa Rica for 27 years, where she has taught languages and worked as a translator and environmental activist. For several years she wrote a regular column, “Local Color,” for the English-language weekly The Tico Times. Her writing has appeared in several print and online literary and travel venues. Her first travel memoir, Letters from the Pacific, received excellent Kirkus and Publishers Weekly reviews. A brief memoir of survival, The Magnificent Dr. Wao, is available as a Kindle Book, and a second travel memoir, Journey to the Joie de Vivre was released in 2015.
Sandy Coomer > Poetry > Tennessee, USA
Sandy Coomer is a poet, artist, and endurance athlete living in Brentwood, Tennessee. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and magazines such as Sheila Na Gig, Mud Season Review, BlazeVOX, and Oyster River Pages. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including the most recent, Rivers Within Us (Unsolicited Press). She is the founding editor of the online poetry journal, Rockvale Review, and the creator and curator of the Ekphrastic poetry project 20/20 Vision: A Poetic Response to Photography. Her favorite word is “Believe.”
Sean Williams > Poetry > New Jersey, USA
Sean Williams is a writer and graphic designer who primarily works as a restaurant manager in Northern New Jersey. His passion as a writer is a fiery approach to personal recollections of life's darker moments, and the imperative search for light. He is currently working on a collection of essays he hopes to publish as a memoir. Sky Island Journal is his first literary publication.
Shane Griffin > Poetry > Iowa, USA
Shane Griffin is a graduate student at Iowa State University's Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and the Environment. He is an Iraq War veteran and is a firefighter/paramedic in Des Moines, Iowa. His award-winning poetry and prose have appeared in the Baltimore Review, Heroes' Voices, Hippocampus Magazine, and the Wapsipinicon Almanac.
Steve Denehan > Poetry > Ireland
Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He has been published in The First Literary Review, Poets and Poetry, and The Poet Community. Later this year, five of his poems are to be published in print in a poetry anthology.
Tera Joy Cole > Flash Fiction > Idaho, USA
Tera Joy Cole is the author of the short story, “Where Things Are Made” which was published by Blunderbuss Magazine (April 2015). Additionally, her short story “Coyotes Don’t Litter” appeared in the online literary journal, The Writing Disorder (Winter 2015). She holds an M.A. degree in English and teaches composition and literature at Idaho State University. When she’s not teaching or writing, she enjoys trail running in the beautiful mountains of Idaho.
Tom Boswell > Poetry > Wisconsin, USA
Tom Boswell is a writer, photographer and community organizer living in Madison, Wisconsin. His poetry has appeared in the Atlanta Review, Rattle, Poet Lore, The Potomac Review, Two Thirds North and other journals, as well as the anthology New Poetry from the Midwest 2017 (New American Press). He has won national competitions judged by Tony Hoagland, Luis Alberto Urrea and Robert Cording. His chapbook, Midwestern Heart, won the Codhill Poetry Chapbook Award. A second chapbook, Neighbors, was published by Evening Street Press in late 2017 and won the Helen Kay Chapbook Prize.