Meet Our Writers
John – (Site Owner) - John was born in the north hills of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania during the winter of 1952. McKnight Road, as it is still known today was then a two lane road with staggered farms, fields of corn, and cows that roamed the pastures that are now businesses, parking lots and highways.
He began his artistic career as a poet and artist in pointillism while attending the University of Pittsburgh in 1986. An undergraduate, he never lost focus of his learning. He is a self-taught award winning digital photographer. He never pursued his interest in photography until his later years. It was then that he produced such Awarded works as: “Pithole City Reflections”, “Generator House” and “Drifting Clouds.” With an intense desire to 'capture the moment' as it appears in its own natural state, he awakes to capture early morning sun rises, dew drops on an orchid, or a historical moment in History. He not only wants the viewer to see what he sees, but to also feel what he feels when he presses the shutter button. He produces pictures of places and subjects that give the audience an opportunity to see an image of something unique and special.
John has been photographing landscapes and creative subjects for over a decade. His poetic and photographic works has appeared in such publications as: Reminisce Magazine, The Powhatan Review, Photographer's Edge, Inc., Pittsburgh City Paper, The Aurora Review, Pedestal Magazine, The Adirondack Review, Haiku Zasshi Zo, TPQ Online, British Journal of Photography, The Front Porch Magazine, Void Magazine, Dr. Henry Smith’s photography book, 'Pennsylvania Seasons' and more.
John held a two year seat on the Board of Governor’s at the North Hills Art Center while further pursuing his career. He has won various awards through the North Hills Art Center, participated at the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, and won 1st Place in the Professional Photography category at the Kennedale’s 49th Annual Arts Festival coordinated by the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism in 2005.
John was a member of the Vanguard Jaycee’s from 1981 thru 1983 where he completed courses in Orientation in the objectives, history, structure, and program of the Jaycee movement. Parliamentary Procedure, based on the consideration of the rights: of the majority, of the minority (especially a large minority greater than one-third), of individual members, of absentee members, of all of these groups taken together. Speak Up Jaycee, a personal development program in the art of Oral Communication, and Leadership Dynamics, the Leadership in action series an individual development program conducted by the Vanguard Jaycees.
In 1987 he was named Personality of America for Outstanding Achievements in the Arts. In 1997 he received the Commemorative Medal of Honor for Outstanding Achievements and Dedication to Personal and Professional Goals from the American Biographical Institute.
He is the author of three books: “Splintered Reflections of a Memory (Poetry & Fine Art),” "Haiku & Senryu: Human Nature (Haiku & Senryu)," and "Captured with an Artistis Eye (Fine Art Photography)," all published through The Book Patch. John is also a former Marine and a Viet Nam war era veteran.
John is the editor and publisher of Nite Writers International Literary Arts Journal that he started in 1994, but folded in 2004 due to health issues. He has since then re-launched it as an on-going, on-line literary arts publication.
John has six children, seven grandchildren and a feline. John still awakens to morning sun rises and resides in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
Sister Lou Ella Hickman - Is a librarian at Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Autumn Koerbel - Was a student at the California University of Pennsylvania earning her major in Scientific and Technical Writing. Her work has appeared in Flipside magazine which is associated with the Professional Writing Program of the English Department at the California University of Pennsylvania.
Debbie Payne - I am a happily married, hot-flashing, out-spoken woman who loves life! I work full time and attend Kilgore College where I am working towards an Associate of Arts degree. Upon completion, my goal is to transfer to a four year college to pursue a BA in English Language and Literature. I love reading, writing, art, and photography.
Carol Schmidt - Won the Blue Ribbon Award from the Southern Poetry Association and will be published in the Southern Poetry Review. She also attended the Antioch Writer's Workshop and studied with Pittiann Rogers. Carol is also a wild life rehabilitator and involved in teaching young people about nature at an inviromental center.
Doug Holder - Is a counselor at McLean Hospital in the Boston area. He holds a M.A. from Harvard University Extension. His work has appeared in The Poetry Motel, Sub-Terrain, Neologism, and The American Poetry Monthly.
Maria Shockley Erman - Is an English teacher at Elgin High School. Her poetry has been published in The Forum and The Rose Review which are published by Cameron University.
Francis G. Allenby - Was born in Toronto, in 1960. He got the certificate of school teacher, but never practiced teaching and preferred earning his living with all sorts of jobs.
He started painting as a boy and refined his technique at the Art studio of Mr. Antonio Roberto Nitti, a renowned painter and architect. He stayed for some time in Paris and got in touch with some other European artists.
He also joined exhibitions and retrospectives (‘Artists in the square’, 1998, ‘Views of the Old Town’, 2008). His most important editorial work, so far, is the set of humorous cards entitled ITALIAN POLITICAL TAROTS 2008, from an idea of Mr. Antonio Nitti, designed and painted by Francis Allenby.
Walter Willaim Safar - Was born on August 6th 1958 Sherman-TEXAS- . He is the author of a number of a significant number of prose works and novels, including "Leaden fog", "Chastity on sale", "In the falmes of passion", "The price of life", "Above the clouds", "The infernal circle", "The scream", "The negotiator", "Queen Elizabeth II", as well as a book of poems, titled "The angel and the demon".
Steve De France MFA - Has traveled widely in the United States. On more than one occasion he hitch-hiked across America. He rode rails on freight trains, worked as a laborer with pick up gangs in Arizona, dug swimming pools in Texas, did 33 days in the Pecos city jail as a vagrant, fought bulls in Mexico, and dove for salvage off a small island on the coast of Mazatlan.
His poetry has been published in most of the English speaking countries of the world. Some recent publications include, The Evergreen Review, The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Sun, Rattle, and many others. He has won writing awards in England and in the United States. He continues to write poetry, plays, essays & short stories.
Dusan Colovic - Was born 1934. in Orasac. He has graduated from the Belgrade’s Divinity school “Saint Sava” and lives and works in Belgrade.
Colovic has published 15 books of poetry: Promise, 1984; There is day, 1985; Tree of lougeval wood, 1986; Ancestor satisfied smile, 1987; Hunger of time, 1989; The first year, the first day, 1994; We must say, 1995; Talking about you, 1997; Language of corn, 2000; Track cleaned light, 2002; In icon of soul, 2005; Orasac road, 2007; Echo of infinity, 2008; The gates of light 2009; To the Sons of the Celestial Secret, 2010 and Milk of Language, 2011.
Colovic is also known for his anthologies of Serbian patriotic poetry. He is actively involved in the literary scene of Serbia. Critics emphasize his crystallized precision and haiku-like, epigrammatic, condensed expression. His play with language often makes it unfair to even attempt translation.
Bee Smith - USA born Bee Smith is an expatriot twice over, having lived in England for 20 years and in bucolic Ireland since 2001. As a poet she has collaborated with Helen Shay on their poetry collection "Binary Star" with the support of Yorkshire Arts (2004). She has also collaborated with her sister Pamela Smith on the haiku collection "Just Three Lines."
She lives with her Irish partner and blogs at www.irishblessingstours.com with a mission to introduce visitors to the sacred landscape of her part of northwest Ireland.
Ariel Marie McManus - Ariel is a student at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia where she majors in communications. She currently volunteer works at the National Air and Space Museum while running a blog for Marymount about college life and the Washington DC metro area. After graduation, Ariel hopes to develop a career in the publishing world as an editor.
Bing Liu - Has been published in Down in the Dirt magazine. His work has also been featured in the University of Illinois at Chicago Honors College literary arts journal Red Shoes Review.
Bing Liu is a writer, filmmaker, and skateboarder living in Chicago, IL. Born in Beijing and passed back and forth between family members while his parents trudged through college, he finally moved to Alabama when he was five. After his parents divorced, he had brief stints of living on the West coast with his mother before moving to the Midwest.
He graduated from UIC in 2011 with a BA in English. When he is not working as a camera man in film and television, he travels for inspiration.
Rex Sexton - I am a Surrealist painter exhibiting in Chicago and Philadelphia and my writing has that illusory element. My latest book of stories and poems“Night Without Stars” received 5 stars from ForeWordClarion Reviews, which commentedon the “wild beauty” and “joy of this collection … the prose rabid, people hustling to survive their circumstances …” Another recent collection of stories and poems “The Time Hotel” was described by Kirkus Discoveries as “… a deeply thought-provoking …compelling reading experience.” My novel “Desert Flower” was called “ … innovative and original …” by Large Print Reviewand “ … so skillfully devious it couldhave been written by Heinrich von Kleist two centuries ago in Germany,” in another Kirkus review. My short story “HolyNight” received the Editor’s Choice Award in the Eric Hoffer Award competition and was published in Best New Writing 2007.
Recent poems have been published in reviews such as Mobius, The Poetry Magazine, Willow Review, Mother Earth International and Edge,recent fiction in r.kv.r.y, Children, Churches and Daddies, Art Times, and Foliate Oak.
Nina Sokol - Is a poet and translator in the midst of translating a series of plays and poems written by Hans Christian Andersen. I have a Master’s degree in English from Copenhagen University. I was a grant poet-in-residence at The Vermont Studio Center for four weeks this past April. Most recently I have received a grant from the Danish Art’s Council to translate a modern Danish play from English to Danish.
My poems have been published in the latest issue of "Ardent: A Journal of Poetry and Art", "The Write Stuff" and have received honorable mention in "The Emily Dickinson Award for Poetry."
LYDIA VAN DEN BERG - Was born in 1974 in Pleven, Bulgaria. When she was 7 years old she lost her father. Because of poverty and the fight for everyday life this was a very difficult and demanding time for Lydia and her mother. Lydia's idol was her older brother Dinko from whom she gained her strength.
Lydia had only one wish and that was to study art as her brother did. When she was 14 Lydia left home to begin her studies in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Soon after her graduation at the school for applied arts in Sofia, Lydia migrated to Switzerland.
Lydia travelled extensively in Northern Africa and Europe finding inspiration along the way. She was fascinated and inspired by the people from different cultures which she visited. On all of Lydia's travels she noticed that all cultures find their survival and safety within the boundaries of their home. This inspired Lydia and is reflected in her art. Lydia's experiences were first translated into abstract images. Since then she experimented with many different techniques to find her preferred medium which is Acrylics on Paper, Papier-mâché and Encaustics (bee wax on wood).
Lydia married for a second time in January 2003 and lived in Switzerland before migrating together with her family to Australia in 2007.
Since Lydia became a mother of two children she specialized and focused her creative style on "Magical - Poetic - Realism". She is inspired and fascinated by the gradual transition from being a child to becoming an adult. Lydia's works reflect everyday life which can be understood by children and adults alike.
After living in Australia for three and a half years Lydia realized that her roots were in Europe. During her last six months in Australia she, together with her family, travelled around that huge continent. In 2010 they ended their adventures with a trip around Europe. Today Lydia is living and working as an artist near Zurich - Switzerland.
Sharon Anderson - Sharon's work has appeared in The Aurorean, Lucidity and more.
Michael Fraley - Is a regular contributor to Pegasus and Hidden Oak, among other poetry magazines. M.A.F. Press published my chapbook First-Born. Tamafyhr Mountain Press published my e-chapbook Howler Monkey Serenade. My poems have appeared internationally in five countries. I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of San Francisco. I live with my wife and daughter, and four cats, within walking distance of the zoo. Besides reading, I also enjoy photography and vintage cameras.
Eric Bonholtzer - Mr. Bonholzer is an attorney with a Master’s Degree in English and a strong publishing history. I have established quite an audience with my short story work, and a collection of my short fiction entitled, The Skeletons Closet, was released to great acclaim. I won first place in both the fiction and poetry categories of the College Language Association (CLA) Creative Writing Contest/Margaret Walker Prizes for Creative Writing national competition. I am also the recipient of the Ted Pugh Poetry Award and took 2nd place in New York Times Bestselling Author F. Paul Wilson’s “Stump Repairman Jack” Creative Writing Contest, among other honors. Several of my stories and poems have been included in anthologies. In addition to writing fiction, I write for several prominent publications such as FIGHT! Magazine and Skinnie Entertainment Magazine, and I was a two-time finalist in the Rolling Stone “I’m from Rolling Stone” National Journalism Contest. I am a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society as well as a member of the Moot Court Honors Program, Law Review, and the Trial Advocacy Honors Program.
Diane Webster - Diane's work has appeared in "Illya's Honey," "Old Red Kimono," "Philadelphia Poets" and other literary magazines.
Russelle Marie Constance Johnson - Russelle began her artistic career in (1962) when she was given her first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, the first of it's kind. At age nine, she recognized her interest in capturing significant people in her surroundings and began documenting these images with a passion. At the age of seventeen her neighbor introduced her to the mechanics of 35 mm photography and some darkroom techniques. Russelle received a two year scholarship to Allegheny Community College where she majored in Liberal Arts and Science.
In 1979, she enrolled in a one year apprenticeship program as an assistant photographer in the Erie School District where she expanded her skills to include black and white and color film developing, graphic design, and print publishing and half tone techniques. During this year she also created and published Holiday Meat Packaging Co.’s in-house employee newsletter.
While attending Gannon University she continued her studies in English Communications, Photojournalism, Graphic Arts and Radio Broadcasting.
Ayaz Daryl Nielsen - A poet/father/husband/veteran/x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse - his poetry has found many homes, among favorites are Yellow Mama, Lalitamba, Lilliput Review, Barbaric Yawp, Shemom and SCIFAIKUEST - he has been editor/custodian of the print pub bear creek haiku for over 20 years.
Robert L. Martin - Is a published writer and an award winning poet. Among his credits are Mature Years, Alive Now, Purpose Magazine, Poetica, Poet’s Pen, among others. Robert is also a jazz pianist and the organist at his local church. His writing influence is Kahlil Gibran.
Walter William Safar - Was born on August 6th 1958 in Sherman-Texas . He is the author of a number of a significant number of prose works and novels, including "Leaden fog", "Chastity on sale", "In the flames of passion", "The price of life", "Above the clouds", "The infernal circle", "The scream", "The Devil’s Architect”, "Queen Elizabeth II", as well as a book of poems.
Doug Bolling - Doug's poetry has appeared widely in literary journals including Georgetown Review, Slant, Tribeca Poetry Review, Wallace Stevens Journal, Cider Press Review, Earthshine, Albatross, Slipstream, Connecticut River Review and Blue Unicorn among others. He has received two Pushcart Prize nominations among other recognitions. He now resides in Flossmoor, Illinois, a SW suburb of Chicago.
lulia Sincraian - lulia moved from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to Vancouver, Canada, when she was six. She graduated from New Westminster Secondary School from the International Baccalaureate program, and is currently attending Simon Fraser University, working towards a Bachelor Degree in International Studies.
She is also working towards a certificate in Negotiation at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. She has worked part-time as a dance teacher, and now a member of a professional dance team.
She began writing when she was in High School, and has won several Historica Competitions, which included poetry. She has been published in Poets' Haven, Shemom, and in several editions of The Storyteller.
Judi A Meisenhelter - Lives in Pittsburgh, PA spending her time with her cats, and scribbling and reading. She is not very good at writing about herself in the third person.
Kyra Cooper - is an 11th grader at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. This is her first published work. We congratulate you!
Kirsten Marino Walz - Kirsten lives with her husband, Bill, also a writer, in the mountains of Appalachia. She was born in Boston, MA, grew up in Miami, FL and now calls Asheville, NC home. Kirsten has a BA degree in Art History and English and has worked as a disability law paralegal for the last nineteen years.
She delights in writing poetry and short stories, some of which were published in her college literary journal and, more recently, had prize-winning poems published in a local arts and culture magazine. She also relishes going on long walks with her husband and spirited dog, Eva; relaxing at home with Bill, Eva and their two cats, Wally and Eliot; playing guitar and piano; singing; painting and practicing yoga.
Tony Walton - Tony is a Caribbean writer living in the Cayman Islands. His works have appeared in Storyteller Magazine, Whisperings Magazine, Mountain Tales Press, Out of Our Magazine, Poetry Bay Magazine, Burningword Magazine, Wilde Magazine and other magazines and journals.
Elizabeth Green - Elizabeth is a senior at Valley High School and who has lived in three states, Iowa being her most recent. She spends most of her time writing poetry but has a handful of short stories under her belt. She is looking forward to a future teaching special education students but will always keep the art of writing close to her heart and a pen in her hand.
Scott Thomas – Scott holds a B.A. in Creative Writing/Literature from Bard College, a M.S. in Library Science from Columbia University, and a M.A. in English from the University of Scranton. He is currently employed as a librarian; specifically, Head of Information Technologies & Technical Services at the Scranton Public Library in Scranton, PA. His work has been published in Mankato Poetry Review, The Kentucky Poetry Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, Webster Review, Poetry East, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Poem, Philadelphia Stories, Poetry Bay, Floyd County Moonshine, and other journals. He lives in Dunmore, PA with his wife Christina and son Ethan.
Chris Mohnacky - Chris is a former English teacher, currently working for a publisher of academic physics journals in Philadelphia, PA.
Allison Waskow - Allison is a senior at Canton High School and a beginning poet. Congratulations Allison!
Nick Kaczmarek – Nick is a Chemist by training and has worked for over 30 years in the field. An avid reader, he began writing to pass the time in airports and hotel rooms. He lives in Mid Michigan with his wife of over 25 years. They have 3 adult children.
Jackie Maugh Robinson - Jackie is a poet in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been writing haiku, senryu and other short-form poetry for three years. Her work has been published in Lyric Passion Poetry E-zine and she will be teaching a haiku workshop for the Las Vegas Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee in the Fall of 2014.
David A. Forrester - David has been writing poetry since he was 13 (he is now 59 years old). He has received an A.S. degree in Science, a B.S.M.E., and an MBA. David has two poems published in Sandra Ball’s e-zine she called Autumn Leaves under the pen name Neekinshawk Okiksapa. In 2012 he suffered a stroke, but wrote his work prior to that.
Anthony Cristina - Doubles as an illustrator and vocalist for hire. His books include Gentlemen Pigs and Working Class History. He was born in a subarctic jungle called Downsview.
Anthony Cristina - Doubles as an illustrator and vocalist for hire. His books include Gentlemen Pigs and Working Class History. He was born in a subarctic jungle called Downsview.
Becky Sutherland - Is a student at Virginia Tech, a cat lover, and a frequent eater of Chinese food. Her hobbies include people-watching, writing, and trying to catch stray animals to take home as pets.
Candy Schock - Has been writing poetry since the fifth grade. She has published poetry and articles in over 50 literary journals and multiple magazines. She comes from the Land of Oz; and since that means tornadoes, she keeps a copy of all of her writing in a safety deposit box. Air and food might keep her alive, but writing poetry makes her alive.
Charlotte Fiehn - Is originally from the United Kingdom and was recently offered a place to read English at the University of Cambridge. She has lived in the United States for the last ten years and worked as a freelance writer during that time.
Ann Lamparski - Ann is an English tutor from Lansing, Illinois. She was a newspaper editor and reporter in the past. Ann enjoys writing fiction, photography, cooking, and camping. She looks forward to connecting with other artists.