Issue No. 19, Winter 2016

Ghost Town
Justine Arinda Johnson

Krista Ahlberg grew up in Colorado, spent a few years in the Midwest, and now lives in New York City. She enjoys fairy tales, peppermint tea, and falling in love with (fictional) monsters.

M. J. Arlett is an MFA candidate at Florida International University where she is the nonfiction editor for Gulf Stream Magazine. She was born in the UK, spent several years in Spain and now lives in Miami. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lunch Ticket, Poet Lore, Mud Season Review, Tinderbox Poetry Review and elsewhere.

Ruth Asch is a poet, in the rare moments she can run away and seek inspiration. She is also a mother, and sometimes a teacher. She writes in many different styles and enjoys attempting the impossible – poetry translation from other languages. There is a book of her early poems in print: Reflections (St. Austin Press 2009), and she has been published in many literary journals since. (Clusters of her work can be found online at Peacock Journal, Mediterranean Poetry, Classical Poets, Poetry Atlas, Bamboo and elsewhere.)

Lisa Bren is a Pacific Northwesterner who drinks caramel lattes, wears wool sweaters, and thoroughly enjoys the ashy smell of campfires. Lisa is currently studying creative writing at Central Washington University.

In the last year Mark C. Childs has published 17 poems in 11 different magazines. Mark is the author of the award-winning books The Zeon Files: the art and design of historic Route 66 signs; Urban Composition; and Squares: a public place design guide. He is also the author of Composing Speculative Cities (Analog 2016), a newspaper series, and numerous academic urban design articles. He is a Fulbright Scholar and was on MIT’s international tiddly-winks team.

AJ Cunder graduated from Seton Hall University with a Master’s in Creative Writing after receiving his Bachelor’s in English and Philosophy. His published work includes academic articles in The Oswald Review and Momentum and creative work in Seton Hall’s Literary Magazine Chavez. He is currently working on a co-authored Medieval Literature volume under contract with Routledge as well as numerous other writing projects spanning a variety of genres and forms. He has served as a volunteer fire fighter, a police officer, earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and has advocated for those with disabilities, living with Type I Diabetes himself since the age of seventeen months.

Merridawn Duckler is a poet, playwright from Portland, Oregon. Recent poetry in TAB: Journal of Poetry and Poetics (best of the web nomination), International Psychoanalysis, Otis Nebula, Rogue Agent, The Offing, Unbroken Journal, forthcoming from Blue Lyra, Free State Review, Yellow Chair Review, Crab Creek Review, Literary Orphan, Birds Piled Loosely, TXTOBJX, inter/rupture. She was runner-up for the poetry residency at the Arizona Poetry Center, judged by Farid Matuk, and a finalist at Center for Book Arts and Tupelo Press. Recent prose in Poetica and humor in Defenestration. Finalist for the 2016 Sozoplo Fiction Fellowship. Awards include Writers@Work, NEA, Yaddo, Squaw Valley, SLS in St. Petersburg, Russia, Southampton Poetry Conference with Billy Collins, others. She’s an editor at Narrative and the international philosophy journal Evental Aesthetics.

Raquel Vasquez Gilliland is a painter and poet inspired by myth and folklore, lupine and quartz. She lives in Florida with her husband and son. More of her work can be seen at

Kim Hambright is a Florida-based poet currently pursuing an MFA with Chatham University. She enjoys blogging for The Fourth River and collecting fabulous SEE Eyewear. Her work can be found in the “Home” issue of Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing.

Dah Helmer’s fourth poetry collection is The Translator from Transcendent Zero Press. His first three books are from Stillpoint Books. Dah’s poetry has been published by editors from the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Canada, China, the Philippines, Spain, Australia,and India. His poems recently appeared in Straylight Magazine, River & South Review, The Cape Rock, Acumen Journal, Sandy River Review, Indian River Review, and The Linnet’s Wings. Dah lives in Berkeley, California where he is working on the manuscripts for his fifth and sixth poetry books. Harbinger Asylum Magazine has nominated Dah’s poem “Some god” for the Pushcart Prize.

Jessica Jernigan is a writer, editor, and student living and working in Central Michigan. Her writing has appeared in Bitch, Web Conjunctions, Maximum Middle Age, and The Women’s Review of Books.

Justine Arinda Johnson is a young artist currently living in New York City. This summer she was part of an art residency in Kingman, Arizona, during which time she produced a large body of work inspired by the ghost towns off route 66. She is currently writing a novel about this experience, entitled Arizona Royalty.

Sandi Leibowitz is a school librarian and classical singer who writes speculative fiction and poetry. Her works appear in Mythic Delirium, Metaphorosis, Liminality, Polu Texni and other print and online magazines and anthologies. Her poems have been nominated for the Rhysling, Dwarf Star, Pushcart Prize, and Best of the Net awards, and have appeared in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year 5 and editors’ lists of recommended reading. She lives in a raven’s wood, next door to bogles—in the middle of New York City.

For three and a half decades Katharyn Howd Machan, picking up where Rod Serling left off, has taught creative writing at Ithaca College in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Her specialty courses, besides in poetry, are Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, Women and Fairy Tales, and first-year seminars called Fairy Tales: The Hero’s Journey. Her poems have appeared in 32 published collections (most recently WILD GRAPES: POEMS OF FOX [a kitsune shape-shifter]) and many magazines, anthologies, and textbooks.

Matt Morris has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, such as DMQ, 88, Hunger Mountain, New York Quarterly, Runes, and Utter. He has received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize as well as Best of the Net. Nearing Narcoma, his first book, won the Main Street Rag Poetry Award. Knut House Press recently released his latest collection, Walking in Chicago with a Suitcase in My Hand.

Louisa Muniz is a freelance writer and a reading/writing tutor. She lives in Sayreville, NJ. She is a recent retired reading specialist and takes pride in having been a National Board Certified teacher who traveled to China to learn about their educational system. She has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Kean University. Her work is forthcoming in Tinderbox Poetry Journal. She is currently working on her first poetry chapbook.

Nahida S. Nisa writes about disruption. Her short stories explore power dynamics, upheavals, and the ramifications of trauma on human lives, problematizing the circumstances in which individuals are situated. They suggest unexpected resolutions. “Sometimes a Raincloud” is an homage to the subversive powers of magical realism. Nahida lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, as a settler on Ohlone land.

Allison Parker is a writer and English instructor living in Wilmington, NC. She graduated with an MFA in poetry in 2002 from UNCW. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry East, Cobalt, Fjords, Lilies and Cannonballs, The Oklahoma Review, Scissors and Spackle, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, and The Lyricist. She currently performs with the sound art troupe 910 Noise.

Skye Rozario is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is double majoring in English and Humanities with a minor in Creative Writing.

Nora Shychuk grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania before she hopped across the pond and earned her MA in Creative Writing from University College Cork in Ireland. Her work has appeared in The Quarryman Literary Journal, The Rose Magazine, and The Lonely Crowd. More of her work can be found at

Bradley Sides is a writer and English instructor. His work appears at Electric Literature, Fiction Southeast, The Lit Pub, Literary Orphans, The Rumpus, Toasted Cheese, and elsewhere. He lives in Florence, Alabama, with his wife, and he is working on his first collection of short stories.

Arizona Bedroom
Justine Arinda Johnson