As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Contributor Bios

Celeste Adame, Muckleshoot, is happy to report that she’s a member of the inaugurating class of the “Low-Rez” MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the sixth grade she told herself that she’d one day have a Master’s Degree and she’s chasing that dream. She’s been published in the Santa Fe Literary Review, Yellow Medicine Review and numerous Institute of American Indian Arts anthologies, Bone Light, Radical Enjambment, Fish Head Soup and Voyeurs of War. When not writing or working, she can often be found in the company of her family. Being the second oldest of 8 children from her mom, she’s always made it a point for her younger siblings to have someone to look up to, because she is someone who wasn’t afraid to chase their dream and succeed in doing so.

Kimberly Alidio is a poet, historian, high school teacher, tenure-track drop-out, and author of Solitude Being Alien (dancing girl press). Originally from Baltimore, she lives in Austin. Her poetry has appeared in Bone Bouquet, Fact-Simile, Horse Less Review, Esque, Make/shift, Spiral Orb, and Everyday Genius. She is a Kundiman fellow, alumna of VONA/Voice of Our Nation, a Center for Art and Thought Artist-in-Residence, and recipient of the Naropa’s Zora Neale Hurston Scholarship. She holds a Ph.D from the University of Michigan. Her website is kimberlyalidio.tumblr.com.

Tria Andrews is a PhD Candidate in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley and a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at San Diego State University. In addition to writing her dissertation, Tria is currently completing a collection of poetry, titled, “Dead Center of the Heart.” This collection highlights the experiences of Native Americans and Filipinos as a result of U.S. colonial policies and their legacies. Tria has taught courses for Poetry for the People, Prison University Project, Sinte Gleska University, UC Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco. She is grateful to have received support and recognition from numerous sources for her critical, creative, and embodied work. In 2012, Tria was selected as a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow and Fulbright Scholar.
——In March 2014, Tria began studying dance under Jack Gray, a New Zealand Maori choreographer, dancer, and founder of Atamira, Maori Contemporary Dance Company. Tria has danced collaborative and solo pieces choreographed by Jack in performances at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside. These performances include Tria’s original spoken word and movement inspired by her decades of training in martial arts and yoga. In Summer 2014, Rulan Tangen, choreographer, dancer, and founder of Dancing Earth: Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations, selected Tria as a Global Cultural Ambassador Artist for the company.

Leow Hui Min Annabeth is a Chinese settler in a post-colonial country, an anglicised product of the former British Empire. She is preoccupied with language politics and the identities of nth-generation immigrant descendants. Her essays have appeared in Speculative Fiction 2013, The WisCon Chronicles, POSKOD.SG, Etiquette, and Bitch. With many scruples but a lot of fierce love as well, she calls Singapura home for now.

My name is Michael Armendariz.  I was born in 1978, and I spent most of my life in correctional facilities.  I am currently serving a life sentence since 2002 for a crime of which I maintain my innocence.  I began writing poetry at age 11 in the D home, but at the time I called my poems raps or flows.  I started rocking house parties in middle school and before my life sentence I recorded several serious gangsta raps, working with artists such as Baby Bash and Chingo Bling, among others.  As a writer/poet/hustler I have met many obstacles on the path of my life, but I continue to use the written and spoken word to bring awareness to the struggle and to uplift La Raza.  My most recent publication was an article challenging the level systems in New Mexico prisons in the newspaper, “The Ground Up.”   I see the corruption of capitalism and the criminal justice system as the civil rights struggle of my era.

Jessica Bardill (Cherokee) is an Assistant Professor at East Carolina University. Bardill earned her PhD from Duke University and subsequently held the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She then taught in the Thinking Matters Program at Stanford University and now teaches Native American Literatures at ECU.  She has contributed to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Policy Research Center on the American Indian/Alaska Native Genetics Resource Center and teaches in the Summer Internship for Native Americans in Genomics (SING) workshop.

Charlie Bast grew Hawaii- and Las Vegas-raised before her family migrated to Southern California. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is not afraid to use it. In addition to her past editorship for two literary journals, her poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction have appeared in print and web publications under pen name Clarity Bast. When Charlie is not distracted by writing speculative novels, she works at a library full-time. Self-dubbed a ‘halfling girl,’ this Korean-Filipina-American has never identified as fitting into just one category of anything.

Trevino L. Brings Plenty is a poet and musician who lives, works, and writes in Portland, OR. His day job is a social worker at a local Native American community center. Trevino is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, South Dakota, USA.

Jerry Brunoe grew up on the Warm Springs Reservation as a Toe Good Wasco boy driving his mother crazy.  His poetry has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Basalt, Red Earth Review, Red Ink, Naugatuck River Review, Contrary, Sing:  Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, and others.  He pretends to know what he is doing at Toe Good Poetry.

Tori Cárdenas is from Taos, New Mexico. She recently graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Dual Bachelor’s of Arts in History and Creative Writing. In addition to writing  poetry, Tori enjoys writing and playing music, and reading every book she can get her hands on. She is currently applying for MFA programs in Poetry.

Performance poet Carlos Contreras secured his place in Albuquerque history as a member of the city’s winning 2005 National Poetry Slam team, a triumph he describes as “excellent … kind of a surreal experience!” When asked what he likes to write about, Contreras says, “Family, place and identity . . . who I come from and who I am.” Perhaps that’s not surprising. His family roots in Albuquerque go back generations, and his immediate family has lived on one piece of land in the North Valley his entire life. A performing bard by night at venues all over town. He is a proud co-creator of JustWrite. www.nowrongjustwrite.org

Velma Kee Craig (Navajo) is a poet, an award-winning writer / director of short films, and a textile artist. She is the co-founder of White Springs Creative, LLC, which she runs with her husband and fellow director, Dustinn Craig. Velma is a graduate of Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature and a minor in American Indian Studies. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Screenwriting at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives with her family in Mesa, Arizona.

Che Christ Cruz is born of the people, in the desert lands of his pipá/quechan (Colorado River Tribes) ancestors. Raised on traditional teachings, bird songs, & a high respect for the land-combined with a steady diet of underground hip-hop, che maneuvered the inner-city streets of Phoenix using his words to combat the oppression around him. Currently che resides with the masses, working to end all systems of exploitation.

Imee Cuison is a freelance writer based in Charleston, SC and Brooklyn, NY. She is the creative executive for Intrinsic Value Films, an independent film production company. Her work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies such as Maganda Magazine, Tayo Literary Magazine, and Phatitude Literary Magazine. When not involved in film or writing, she is an Intensive Care Unit nurse, without which none of this would be possible.

Laura Da’ is a poet and a public school teacher.  A lifetime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and The Institute of American Indian Arts.  Da’ is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.  She has published poems in Prairie Schooner, Hanging Loose, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere.   Her first chapbook,The Tecumseh Motel, is soon to be published in Effigies II, and the University of Arizona Press will publish her first full-length manuscript, Tributaries, in 2015. Da’ lives near Seattle with her husband and son.

Writer, vocalist, and sound artist, Latasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author TwERK (Belladonna 2013), as well as the album, Television. LaTasha has received scholarships, residencies and fellowships from Cave Canem, Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, VCCA, The Laundromat Project, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Eben Demarest Trust, and Millay Colony. She lives in Harlem.

Michael currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana, where he works, writes, tutors at an after-school program, and mentors incarcerated writers. He has been named a 2014 Millay Colony resident artist, and was a finalist for the 2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. His poems have recently appeared in At Length, The Golden Key, Toe Good Poetry, and are forthcoming in the Sonora Review.

Trustarious (aka Curtis Espiñosa) See, I write for the main reason that it puts me in a reality world that I can understand on a creative mode.  I like to be able to use words to make phrases to mean multiple things.  It’s an abstract world that I make my own.  I feel a control I can handle on so many levels.  It gets limitless, thinking in and out the box.

Marlon Footracer attended Stanford University where he majored in Creative Writing. Currently, he works as a non-profit strategist for development and capacity building. He also is the co-coordinator for Project 562.

Sierra Fredricksen is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana and grew up near Red Lodge, Montana. She graduated in June of this year from the University of  Denver with her Masters of Art in English, Literary Studies and plans to go back to school to get her doctorate in the fall of 2015. She’s always been interested in visual narratives and believe that drives her love of photography.

Christine Garcia is a West Texas transplant to the beautiful city of Albuquerque where she is completing a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing at the University of New Mexico. While her scholarly writing focuses on Chicana Rhetoric(s) and Rhetoric and Composition Theory, her personal writing tends to fall the way of love and the Southwest. Aside from finishing her dissertation, which surveys Chicana Rhetoric and explores the work of Dolores Huerta, Christine spends her time enjoying Albuquerque’s vibrant art scene and making day trips throughout Aztlán.

Victoria Garica is Chiricahua Apache and grew up in Covelo, CA on the Round Valley Indian Reservation. She also identifies as Chicana in addition to all of her intersecting identities for which she uses writing as a way to process the complexities of life. As a graduating senior at UC Berkeley, she majored in American Studies with an area of concentration in Native American Representations in Film and Performance. Vickie also double minored in Native American Studies and Creative Writing and plans to eventually attend medical school after completing the requirements in a Post-Bacc program. Vickie writes poetry as a form of resistance.

Diahndra Grill is a mixed media artist and educator who has worked in schools, prisons, detention centers, and with organizations in promoting and using artistic processes as tools for self-discovery, growth, storytelling, and to revitalize, and build community.  She is the co-founder of JustWrite, an organization that encourages the creation and presentation of visual and literary arts focused on underserved communities in the education sector and with those who are incarcerated. (nowrongjustwrite.org) Grill is the Program Manager of the Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media Program at the University of New Mexico and serves as the Chair of the Rio Grande Chapter ACM SIGGRAPH, a digital arts community promoting dialogue and activities in computer graphics and interactive media. She is also the Vice President of the SAFE House Board of Directors, an organization that shelters and empowers survivors of intimate partner domestic violence and works to improve the way New Mexico responds to violence. Diahndra has developed violence prevention curriculum and programs as well as facilitated adult support groups, directed after-school programs, facilitated art and writing workshops and taught at-risk youth.

Lisa Hase-Jackson a holds a Master’s Degree in English from Kansas State University and is pursuing her MFA at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Her poems have most recently appeared in such literary magazines as Kansas City Voices and Pilgrimage and anthologized in Lift the Sky. She is the editor of 200 New Mexico Poems.

Leticia Hernández-Linares has performed her poemsongs throughout the country and in El Salvador. Her writing has appeared in newspapers, literary journals and anthologies, some of which include Theatre Under My Skin, Street Art San Francisco, This Bridge We Call Home, U.S. Latino Literature Today, and Crab Orchard Review. In 2001, she founded the event series and artist collaborative Amate: Women Painting Stories. Mucha Muchacha, Too Much Girl is the title of her spoken word c.d. and forthcoming poetry collection. The Creative Work Fund, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and San Francisco Arts Commission have awarded her grants for her various projects. For more information, visit: [www.ciguanabaink.com] and [www.daraluz.net].

Lorenzo Johnson will be released from San Quentin State Prison in 2016. To write him, use this address:
Lorenzo Johnson, #P89543
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, CA 94974

Patricia Killelea is a mixed-heritage Chicana poet, musician, and scholar. She is the author of the poetry collection Other Suns, which is available from Swan Scythe Press (2011), and is currently a Ph.D Candidate in Native American Studies at the University of California at Davis, where her scholarship focuses on contemporary experimental indigenous poetics. She holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and English, also from UC Davis. Originally from the Bay Area, CA, she has taught the Introduction to Native American Literature course at UC Davis since Fall 2009, and she also teaches Native American Film & Literature at the University of San Francisco and Creative Writing at Solano College. A former artist-in-residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute, Patricia has recently completed her second manuscript, titled Counterglow, and is currently producing experimental video poems. Find out more about her work at www.patriciakillelea.com

Kathryn Kilner is a dancer, choreographer and marketer living in San Francisco, California. She received her BA in history with honors and human biology as well as a minor in dance from Stanford University in 2009. She can be found tweeting @KKilner.

Lettie Laughter is a queer high moon femme of the Diné nation, poet, performer, & playwright flirt, currently surviving & loving in Salt Lake City, Utah.  They have graced stages from coast to coast, preaching the gospel of their own babeliness, queer love & desire, & family, hoping to create spaces for folks to connect with their own healing processes.  All they want in the future is to travel & perform poetry, live in a house, love people, & be surrounded by babies & stories!

Vincent Lewis – Convict poet, dreamer and man.

Tanya Lukin Linklater is Alutiiq with family from the Native Villages of Port Lions and Afognak in southern Alaska. She is an artist whose practice spans experimental choreography, performance, video, and text. Her publications include poetry and essays, and she’s been published in Drunken Boat, Ice Floe, Western Front Gallery, McLaren Art Centre, and fifty3 magazine. She is interested in the interstices between poetry and visual art, women’s stories, indigenous languages, and pedagogy. Tanya studied at University of Alberta (M.Ed.) and Stanford University (A.B. Honours). She was awarded the K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Literature in 2013 and has received generous support from the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Tanya lives in northern Ontario, Canada, with her husband and three children. http://tanyalukinlinklater.com

Chip Livingston is the author of the story collection, NAMING CEREMONY (2014), and two collections of poetry, CROW-BLUE, CROW-BLACK (2012) and MUSEUM OF FALSE STARTS (2010). His work has appeared in Ploughshares, New American Writing, Court Green, Mississippi Review, and on the Poetry Foundation website. Chip teaches creative writing in the low-rez MFA program at Institute of American Indian Arts. Visit his website at http://www.chiplivingston.com.

Sandy “Rasheed” Lockheart is thirty-six and from Los Angeles, California. He has been incarcerated for twelve years and has nine years remaining. He is a man of change with a forward way of thinking. He recently discovered spoken word and welcomes reader feedback:
Sandy Lockheart, #P39506
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, CA 94974

BOJAN LOUIS is a member of the Navajo Nation — Naakai Dine’é; Ashiihí; Ta’neezahnii; Bilgáana. His poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Platte Valley Review, Hinchas de Poesía, American Indian Research and Culture Journal, and Black Renaissance Noire; his fiction in Alaska Quarterly Review. He is the author of the nonfiction chapbook, Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona (Guillotine Series, 2012). He has been a resident at The MacDowell Colony. He earns his ends and writing time by working as an electrician, construction worker, and teaching fiction writing and first-year composition at Arizona State University and Phoenix College. He is Co-editor of Waxwing, a new on-line literary magazine.

Jessica Helen Lopez is the current City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate.  She has been a member of the ABQ Slam Team five times and has been twice the Women of the World Albuquerque Poetry Champion.  She is founder of the collective for women and gender-identified women, La Palabra – The Word is a Woman.  Lopez is the author of the Zia Award receiving book, Always Messing With Them Boys (West End Press 2011) and the chapbook, Cunt. Bomb. (Swimming With Elephants Publication).  She is also serving as the Volunteer Coordinator for the upcoming national tournament Women of the World 2015 to be hosted in Albuquerque.  She is a mama, teacher, feminist XINGONA, and a wannabe gardener.

LUIS LOPEZ-MALDONADO was born and raised in Orange County, CA. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California Riverside, majoring in Creative Writing and Dance. His work has been seen in the American Poetry Review, Cloudbank, The Packinghouse Review, Off Channel, and Spillway, among others. He is single and currently living in Tallahassee, Florida where he is a candidate for the Master of Arts degree in Dance at Florida State University.

Arielle Taitano Lowe is 19 years of age. She was born and raised on the Pacific island of Guam (a.k.a. Guahan) a U.S. colony. She is half Chamoru (Guam native) and half Caucasian. She is passionate about writing, Pacific dancing, and performing slam poetry. Since November 2011, she has trained as a youth poet with Sinangan-ta Youth Movement, Guam’s Official Spoken Word Arts Organization. Her piece, “Dance” was performed at Brave New Voices 2013 in Chicago. She also has other work published in Storyboard 14: A Journal of Pacific Imagery. She strives to use her voice in the movement for decolonization.

Annita Lucchesi is Southern Cheyenne, with ancestral roots in what is now the Colorado-Wyoming border region. She is a survivor of domestic and sexual violence, and currently works at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, which fights for safety for Native women by advocating for tribal sovereignty. Annita is also a graduate student at Washington State University, in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, & Race Studies. Her scholastic work is a self-reflexive study of art as a means of storytelling experiences of genocide in Native communities, with the end-goal of creating alternative languages with which to imagine restorative justice. She also frequently writes on violence against Native women and Native fashion, and blogs at Nita Nahkohe and FYeahIndigenousFashion.

Leslie McGraw is a poet, writer, blogger, multimedia journalist and social entrepreneur living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Leslie has created content for dozens of companies including Buyer Zone, Bounty Paper Towels, Lifescript and Gather News and is the owner of several blogs including Life by Poetry (www.lifebypoetry.tumblr.com).
——Beginning in the open mic arena, Leslie’s debut poetry collection will be published in August, 2014. Leslie has her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix and has received specialized training in journalism, content creation and management and database design from Washtenaw Community College, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Michigan. Leslie’s recognition and awards include The Leaven Center’s Eleanor S. Morrison Scholarship for Creative Writing for Social Justice and inclusion on the 2014 Best of the Blogs list by the Southeast Michigan Media Lab for Tru Story (www.trustorysuccess.com).

Samantha McQuibban is a freelance writer who holds a B.A. in English from George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY – Brooklyn College. Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, by way of Silver Spring, Maryland, she has freelanced since the age of 19 –contributing articles to publications such as Urban Latino Magazine, The AVE and 944. Inspired by pioneers such as Gloria Anzaldua and Amiri Baraka, she aspires to fine tune her poetic voice.

As a Chamoru woman raised on the mainland, home is straddling the International Date Line, where it is today and tomorrow simultaneously. Clarissa Mendiola’s work attempts to describe that place, however disorienting. She explores cultural identity and ethnic purity via memory, myth, oral and written history. Clarissa Mendiola has an MFA in Writing from California College of Arts and was a 2011 Hedgebrook Writer in Residence. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and son.

Tiffany Midge is the recipient of the Kenyon Review Earthworks Prize for Indigenous Poetry for “The Woman Who Married a Bear” (forthcoming) and the Diane Decorah Memorial Poetry Award for “Outlaws, Renegades and Saints; Diary of a Mixed-up Halfbreed” (Greenfield Review Press).  Her work has appeared in North American Review, The Raven Chronicles, Florida Review, South Dakota Review, Shenandoah, Yellow Medicine Review and the online journals No Tell Motel and Drunken Boat.  An enrolled Standing Rock Sioux, she holds an MFA from University of Idaho and divides her time between Moscow, Idaho (Nez Perce country) and Seattle. Tiffany is a professional redsplainer who aspires to be Poet Laureate but will settle for Poet-Want-Fries-With-That.  She blogs at http://tourquoise.livejournal.com/ and opines at https://twitter.com/TiffanyMidge

Steven Mirabal is a growing writer and performer who confronts ideas of life, incarceration, life experience, in its successes and failures. Steven’s raw, honest, and accessible poetry, gives his readers and audience a true depiction of what life is like for a young brown male in the Southwest. Unapologetic and candid, Mirabal allows himself to be vulnerable, open, and creative, while at the same time guiding himself and his readers in a direction towards understanding and healing.

Born and raised in Gallup New Mexico, I (Nicolaus Montoya) graduated from Gallup High School in 2008.  Which lead to me moving to Albuquerque upon graduation.  It was here that I came to my Hip-Hop Roots, and I started writing poetry and creating my underground Hip Hop music.  I love music; there was one point in my life when music was my life.  I played instruments in my youth and was never the best student, but I made it through school.  Music changed me, going from Heavy Metal when I was young to rapping now that I am a lot older.  When I arrived in Albuquerque it was a big change to be in a city setting “living on my own,” as opposed to my small town of Gallup.  My horizons expanded and so did my social skills.  I would attend concerts whenever possible.  It wasn’t until I turned 21 and moved in next to a man the same age as me whose name was Victor Seanz, we all call him Gio-matic, that I started writing down what’s in my head.  Along with him, Pyrex, Rubicon, S.I., Mistah Monks, Dizzy tha Dawn, and myself we created The Elementals and started creating music together.  I’m 24 now and incarcerated in MDC for problems I had.  The past 3 years I have spent addicted to drugs which caused me to lose my passion and my friends and from the age of 23 until now, I have been paying for the sins I have committed.  I’m known as OCyRus, a name I haven’t gone by in years.  This old me is coming back in a great way.  Clear-headed and almost free, I am going to pursue my Hip-Hop talent in better ways than ever before…Here I come world.  Soon enough… To be continued…

My name is Isiah J Morgan, aka Big ZaYe.  I grew up in both New Mexico and California.  I’ve lived a wild gang lifestyle; I am a Hoover Gangsta Crip.  I know nothing but the street’s rules and regulations. well at least that’s what I thought until I was locked up at MDC.  This is when I got back into poetry and music; I write only what I know and what I have seen throughout life.  I’m 24 years old and I feel 42.  Now that I have gained some knowledge in and out of jail I feel I should share it.

A.M. Nelson is Seminole of Florida and Crow descent. She is a BFA graduate in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is a Truman Capote Fellow and a recipient of an N. Scott Momaday Award. Currently, Anna lives in Santa Fe, NM. Her work is forthcoming in a book of poetry from Montana—the title of which is still in the works.

Sonny Nguyen is an inmate at San Quentin State Prison. He has been incarcerated since he was nineteen years old. He spends his time furthering his education. Sonny tutors his peers and has helped them to earn their General Education Diplomas. His kindhearted English Instructor, Tria Andrews, encouraged him to voice his story.

Nakita Nokwanda, aka Nakita Blue, aka Nakita Nokwanda Maseko is a brave girl in the making. Born in Mpumalanga (South Africa) in 1991, she is a lover of art in all its forms. She’s also a lover of reading. She has been published in Via Grapevine, Black Communion and As/Us.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled Sri Lankan cis femme writer, performer, organizer and badass visionary healer. The author of the Lambda Award winning Love Cake and Consensual Genocide and co-editor ofThe Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities, her work has appeared in the anthologies Dear Sister, Letters Lived, Undoing Border Imperialism, Stay Solid, Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World.
——With Cherry Galette, she co-founded Mangos With Chili, North America’s performance incubator for Two Spirit, queer and trans people of color performance artists, and is a lead artist with Sins Invalid. In 2010 she was named one of the Feminist Press’ “40 Feminists Under 40 Who Are Shaping the Future” and she is one of the the 2013 Autostraddle Alternative Hot 105. She has taught, performed and lectured across North America, Sri Lanka and Australia and co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School. She is currently completing her third book of poetry, Bodymap, and a writer’s manual,Writing the World, to be published by AK Press in 2014.

Jasmine Nikki “Nikay” C. Paredes was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines. She earned a BFA in Creative Writing from the Ateneo de Manila University and an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in El Aleph Magazine, Tuesday; An Art Project and Drunken Boat. She is the author of the chapbook collection WE WILL SEE THE SCATTER from dancing girl press. (jnparedes.wordpress.com)

Patricia Perea is an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities at Northern New Mexico College in Española, New Mexico. She studied American Studies at the University of New Mexico. Previously, she taught Chicana/Hispana/Mexicana Studies and Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico and at Brown University. Both her academic and creative works have appeared in several publications. Recently, she has been the featured poet at public readings in Taos, New Mexico and in Española, New Mexico. Patricia grew up in the llanos of eastern New Mexico and western Texas. Patricia—a descendant of Coahuila, México, Santo Domingo Pueblo, and the Hispano land grant community of Dilia, New Mexico—has committed herself to working in the Indo-Hispano communities of New Mexico. She has also taken up the long family tradition of weaving. Currently, she lives in Chimayó, New Mexico.

Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2010), winner of theGlobal Filipino Literary Award for Poetry and a finalist for the California Book Award. She was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Gravities of Center(Arkipelago Books, 2003) and Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. She is also the author of the chapbooks Easter Sunday (Ypolita Press, 2008) Cherry (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2008), and For the City that Nearly Broke Me (Aztlan Libre Press, 2012).
——Her work is published or forthcoming in Arroyo Literary Review, Asian Pacific American Journal, Boxcar Poetry Review, Chain, Eleven Eleven, Fairy Tale Review, Fourteen Hills, Hambone, Kartika Review, Lantern Review, New American Writing, North American Review, Notre Dame Review, Poetry, TAYO, Unpublished Narratives, xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics, among others.
——An Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow, she received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies at U.C. Berkeley and her M.F.A. at San Francisco State University. She is an adjunct professor at University of San Francisco’s Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program, where she teaches Filipino/a Literature in Diaspora, and Filipina Lives and Voices in Literature. She has also taught Filipino American Literature at San Francisco State University, and graduate poetry workshop at Mills College, and currently serves on the board of Philippine American Writers and Artists (PAWA). She lives with her husband, poet Oscar Bermeo, in Oakland, where she is co-editor of Doveglion Press.

Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes is Queer, Feminist, mixed-race, second generation Colombian immigrant, writer, scholar, artist, and political activist. Her performance, creative writing, and photography have been seen or are forthcoming in places such as San Francisco’s SomArts, Galería de la Raza, the Mission Arts and Performance Project, the SICK Collective, Wilde, The Progressive, Yellow Medicine Review, Descant, Write Bloody’s We Will Be Shelter and others. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

Julian Romero is a writer and performer who has managed through the vehicle of self-expression, to capture the trials and tribulations of life. Romero writes with raw and real honesty, and performs with energy that is seldom matched or paralleled. As he ventures through the journey of writing and performance, Romero will likely grace stages near and far; his words are necessary in a world with so much hurt and pain – Romero shares his own wounds, as an offering and step toward the healing of all.

Jaye Sablan is a genderqueer Indigenous Chamoru from San Antonio Village, Saipan in the Mariana Islands. As a first-generation college student, Jaye navigated the academic industrial complex with the support of family, friends and mentors—eventually earning an M.A. in Feminist Studies at the University of Washington with honors.  She was awarded the prestigious GO-MAP/Ronald E. McNair Fellowship for her studies. Jaye is also an indigenous feminist teacher, writer and activist who finds community in intersectional, social justice movements. Currently co-editing an anthology of writing and visual art for and by queer and trans Native Chamorus titled ‘Our Bodies Are Sacred’, she lives as a humble visitor on the homelands of the Duwamish peoples—also known as Seattle.

Elithet Silva-Martínez is an Assistant Professor at the University of Puerto Rico Beatriz Lassalle Social Work Graduate School at the Rio Piedras Campus. She has worked on several research projects involving gender violence and migration, and has presented her work at national and international conferences. Her latest work has been published in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work and Migraciones Internacionales, among other journals. Elithet is the recipient of the 2014 Council on Social Work Education Feminist Manuscript award for her article, “Permitanme Hablar”: Historias de Valentia de Latinas Migrantes Sobrevivientes de Violencia/”Allow Me to Speak”: Stories of Bravery among Latina Survivors of Violence”. Her work is inspired by her abuelas Abuelita Ana and Mamá Isabel, and her mami María Odette, and is dedicated to her divertidas guardianas 4 year old Lina and 1 year old Lara.

Leanne Simpson is a writer of Mississauga Nishnaabeg ancestry. She is the editor of Lightning the Eighth Fire: The Liberation, Protection and Resurgence of Indigenous Nations(Arbeiter Ring) andThis is an Honour Song: Twenty Years Since the Blockades (with Kiera Ladner, Arbeiter Ring). She is the author of Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence(Arbeiter Ring) and The Gift Is in the Making, a re-telling of traditional stories, forthcoming Spring 2013 (Debwe Series, Highwater Press). Her first collection of short stories, Islands of Decolonial Love is now available from Arbeiter Ring.

Melissa R. Sipin is a writer from Carson, California. In 2013, she won First Place in the March Glimmer Train Fiction Open and Honorable Mention in the September Glimmer Train Fiction Open. Her writing is published or forthcoming in Glimmer Train Stories, PANK Magazine, Fjords Review, Quiet Lightning’s sPARKLE+bLINK, Hyphen Magazine, 580 Split, Lantern Review, and Kweli Journal, among others. Cofounder of TAYO Literary Magazine, she was the Community Engagement Fellow at Mills College and the Tennessee Williams Scholar at the 2013 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her short fiction received the 2014 Amanda Davis MFA Thesis Award (Runner-Up), the 2013 Ardella Mills Prize, the 2011 Miguel G. Flores Prize, and, in 2012 and 2013, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. As a Kundiman Fiction Fellow, VONA/Voices Fellow, and U.S. Navy wife, she splits her time writing on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. She is currently working on a novel.

LeNeil Spotted Horse  I was born in Lawton Oklahoma in 1973.  I am Seneca and Kiowa decent.  I am a self-taught artist and have always had a flare for drawing and creating from the age of 5 years.  I learned to draw by looking at things and copying them:  comic book and movie heroes, objects of interest, works of art from various artists.
——By the time I was twelve I could draw most anything from my imagination, or draw things from memory.  When I became a young adult I became more interested in my Native culture, my interest in who I was and where I came from.  My Native American heritage became another inspiration, and created new themes for me in my art.
——Throughout my personal life I’ve had many hard struggles with addiction and behaviors.  It’s been a ‘battle’ within myself to become aware of myself.  It’s my belief every human must face who they are and realize their faults, to overcome or be imprisoned by their defeats.
——On my very own road of personal understanding I convey what I learn about myself and the world around me through my artwork.  My desire is to share these things with the world.  Especially those who are looking for themselves.

David Andrew Talamantes is from El Paso. TX.  He earned an MFA in fiction in 2012, and has since moved to Las Vegas, NV to write, teach writing, and deal blackjack.

Sophia E. Terazawa is a poet and performance artist, who works at the yellow-burning crossroads of myth, gender, and violence. Her work has appeared in various places, including Kalyani Magazine, Broad!, and the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health. Her artist page / site of performance is www.sophiaterazawa.com

Eve Tuck (Ph.D., The Graduate Center, City University of New York) is Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  She has conducted participatory action research with New York City youth on the uses and abuses of the GED option, the impacts of mayoral control, and school non-completion.  Her current research is with migrant youth in New York’s Hudson Valley.  Her publications are concerned with the ethics of social science research and educational research, Indigenous social and political thought, decolonizing research methodologies and theories of change, and the consequences of neoliberal accountability policies on school completion.  She is the author of Urban Youth and School Push-Out: Gateways, Get-aways, and the GED (Routledge, 2012) and Place in Research (with Marcia McKenzie, Routledge, 2014).   Tuck’s writings have appeared in Harvard Educational Review, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, and Society, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal for the International Society on Teacher Education, Urban Review, and several edited volumes.  With K. Wayne Yang she is co-editor Youth Resistance Research and Theories of Change (Routledge, 2014) and she is co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of Environmental Education Research on land education with Kate McCoy and Marcia McKenzie.   Tuck is an enrolled member of the Tribal Government of St. Paul Island, in Alaska.

Michael Utzler – Born, June of 1979 in Gallup New Mexico.  I am a member of the Navajo Nation.  Much, if not all of my art is a product of circumstance.  Following a less-than-ordinary childhood, I spent a number of years on the wrong side of locked doors.  In those years I was filled with resentment, shame, and I felt unworthy of anything.  And it was there, I suppose, behind Constantina Wire Fences and concrete walls I found myself.  My soul, some would say, emerged from a blank piece of paper and a black pen.  Everything I hated about myself, the world and my environment became irrelevant when I was immersed in the imagination.  Admittedly at first I was far short of even a novice artist.  But through years of trial and error, through pain–staking hours of frustration and no formal training, I began to develop my own unique artwork.  To date it is still evolving with the more often than not reflections of my tribal heritage.

Philippine-born and LA-raised, Elsa Valmidiano is an Oakland resident, a writer, poet, partner, feminist, globe trekker, and women’s freedom fighter. Her works have appeared in local literary journals such as Maganda Magazine, Tayo, Make/shift Magazine, and Burner Magazine, and the anthologies Field of Mirrors, Walang Hiya, and Same Difference. She holds a BA from UC San Diego, a JD from Syracuse University, an MFA from Mills College, and is a long-time member of the Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc.

James Earl Vick was born on April 6, 1953 in Greenville, Mississippi. He has five brothers and two sisters. James is the youngest of the siblings. After a failed marriage, he found himself addicted to heroin. This eventually led to him being alone and destitute. In this condition, James met Chaplin Paul, who became his mentor. But somehow, prison was inevitable. James writes to you from behind these cruel and inhuman walls called San Quentin State Prison.

James Vick, #K34819
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, CA 94974

Michael Wasson, nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho, earned his MFA from Oregon State University. Recent poems are forthcoming in Poetry Kanto and Toe Good Poetry, among others. He’ll soon reside on a small island in Kagoshima, Japan.

Camele-Ann White was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and grew up in the New York area. She has worked in the performing arts as a writer, director, choreographer, and arts educator. She holds a JD and an MBA from UCLA, and a BA in Film Studies from Yale University. Camele-Ann resides in New York City, where she is currently launching a dance company and writing a collection of poetry and fiction.

Danny White  – I write for many reasons. I write to express myself and show people what I’ve been through. I write for the people I love, to express how I feel about them. I write to validate to myself my feelings by putting them into words. There are many reasons I write but probably the most important reason is to remind myself who I am, where I’ve been, and to help me figure out where I want to go.

Vanessa Willoughby is a graduate of Emerson College and The New School. She has written for The Huffington Post, Paper magazine, FAULT magazine, xoJane, and The Toast. Her work can be found on her blog,www.my-strangefruit.tumblr.com.

As a writer who lives through his hands and imagination, Robert Wilson constantly creates.  Already published in the Harvard Education Review, Wilson is building a career with words.  His dreams will lead him down a literary path that he is well prepared for.  This and his former publication opportunities, will be a few among a list of accomplishments, of this prolific writer – and amazing human being.

Raised in Los Angeles, Michael Wolke is the middle son of a working class family. Heroin became Mike’s companion early in life, which resulted in the majority of his adult years spent in federal and state prisons. Mr. Wolke is sixty-seven years old and will be eligible for parole in 2030.

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Issue 3February 14th, 2014
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