Cleaver-Cover-Issue-2-300pxSarah Andrew (“The Law of Constant Angles“, illustrator) is a recent graduate of the MFA program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she worked as a teaching assistant in The Publishing Laboratory. Her portfolio-in-progress can be viewed here.

R. C. Barajas (“You Were Going to Tell Me“) was born in Stanford, California. She attended college, skipping from UC Berkeley to College of Marin to San Francisco State like a rock across a pond. She eventually garnered a degree in art. For ten years, she worked as a goldsmith. While living in Colombia in the early 90s, she began writing non-fiction and short stories. She has published in magazines and newspapers on a variety of topics. R.C. currently lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband, three sons, and a pack of dogs.

Brian Baumgart (“This Film of My Life If I’d Paid More Attention to French Cinema“) directs the creative writing AFA program and teaches English at North Hennepin Community College just outside Minneapolis. He holds an MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in or are forthcoming from various journals, including Ruminate, Sweet, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and North Chicago Review.

Bill Brown (“Openings” and “In the Road“) is the author of five collections of poems, three chapbooks and a textbook. The recipient of many fellowships, Brown was awarded the Writer of the Year 2011 by the Tennessee Writers Alliance. A Scholar at Bread Loaf and a Fellow at VCCA, Brown has work in Asheville Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Southern Humanities Review, Potomac Review, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Smartish Pace, Rattle, West Branch, Borderlands, The Literary Review, and Connecticut Review, among others.

Kat Carlson (“Baby Pictures“) is a Brooklyn-based writer whose work has appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn and Fiction Writers Review. After four years in the editorial departments of St. Martin’s Press and Viking, she moved to the other side of the desk to earn an MFA in Fiction from the NYU Creative Writing Program. She now teaches in NYU’s Expository Writing Program and is wrapping up work on her first novel. Follow her on Twitter: @katcarl.

John Carroll (“Journalism“) has published fiction in Philly Fiction 2 (Don Ron Books), Versal, Interrobang!? and The Battered Suitcase. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from American University in Washington, DC. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he was born and raised. He is a former staff member of the Kelly Writers House, as well as the former Arts and Culture Editor of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. He currently blogs at, as well as maintaining the Poetry, By Google Voice web site.

George Dila (“That Summer“) is the author of a short story collection, Nothing More to Tell, published by Mayapple Press in 2011. His short fiction and personal essays have appeared in numerous journals, including North American Review, Palooka, Literal Latte, Fiction Now, and others. A native Detroiter, he now lives in Ludington, MI, a small town on the Lake Michigan shore. His website is

Amber Lee Dodd (“Crocodile Hands“) is a dual-national writer who resides in England. She studied scriptwriting and performance at the University of East Anglia, where she was funded to showcase new writing at the Edinburgh Fringe. She returned to the Edinburgh Fringe with her work performed in the sold-out show Body Gossip. Her writing has been showcased in Litro and RiverLit. She is currently a playwright for the young playwrights programme at Chichester Festival Theatre and has work published in the short story collection Bookfest 2012: Writers to Watch. She writes the serialized blog

Rachel B. Glaser (“Turid“) is the author of the poetry collection Moods (Factory Hollow Press, 2013) and the story collection Pee On Water (Publishing Genius Press, 2010). She teaches Creative Writing at Flying Object, and paints basketball players. “Turid” appeared first in 2011 in Issue 3 of Cousin Corinne’s Reminder, which has ceased publication.

Carly Greenberg (“Wash, Rinse, Repeat“) is an undergraduate English student at the honors college, New College of Florida. In addition to studying, she interns as a reader for the New York City-based Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. When not reading for the agency or writing essays, she is completing a humorous YA manuscript on the marvels of summer camp. This is her first published piece.

Mike Harper (“I Didn’t Know How to Spell Spondylolisthesis“) fled to Oregon right after getting a degree in English and Comparative Literature from one of those biggish schools in Southern California. His poetry has been featured in BurningwordDash Literary JournalHibbleton IndependentLexicon PolaroidNew Verse NewsOrigami CondomVerdad, and a handful of zines and chapbooks. He now lives beneath your couch, hoping you won’t look under there too often. You can find more of him or ignore him at

Katherine Heiny (“After Dinner“) has published stories in The New Yorker, Glimmer Train, Ploughshares, Seventeen, and many other publications, presented on Selected Shorts on NPR, and performed off-Broadway. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and two children.

Kathryn Hellerstein (“My Writer’s Block“) is associate professor of Yiddish at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her books include translations of Moyshe-Leyb Halpern, In New York: A Selection, and Paper Bridges:  Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky, and an anthology—Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology.  Forthcoming from Stanford University Press are her monograph, A Question of Tradition:  Women Poets in Yiddish 1586-1987, and Women Yiddish Poets: An Anthology.  Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Poetry, Tikkun, Bridges, Kerem, Gastronomica, The Drunken Boat, and in anthologies—Without a Single AnswerFour Centuries of Jewish Women’s SpiritualityReading Ruth, and Common Wealth:  Poets on Pennsylvania.

Rich Ives (“Carefully Wrapped Festival of Discovery“) is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander and the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. His book of days, Tunneling to the Moon, is currently being serialized with a work per day appearing for all of 2013 at

Jamie-Lee Josselyn (“Dispatch from the Cat Show“) is the Associate Director of Recruitment at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, where she also teaches nonfiction writing. She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from Bennington College, where she was the nonfiction editor of The Bennington Review. She lives in the Italian Market neighborhood of Philadelphia with her boyfriend, her two cats, and her dog.

Jen Karetnick (“Night Sweats“) is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including Landscaping for Wildlife (Big Wonderful Press, 2012), and six other books. Her mango cookbook is due out from University Press of Florida in fall 2014. Her poems have appeared in journals including Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, The Greensboro Review, North American Review and River Styx. She works as the Creative Writing Director for Miami Arts Charter School; the dining critic for MIAMI Magazine; and a freelance food-travel writer for various publications including USA TODAY and

Timothy Kercher (“The Tao of Words“) lived overseas for the last six years—four years in Georgia and two in Ukraine—and has now moved back to his home in Dolores, Colorado. He continues to translate contemporary poetry from the Republic of Georgia. He is a high school English teacher and has worked in five countries—Mongolia, Mexico, and Bosnia being the others. His poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of recent literary publications, including Crazyhorse, Versal, Plume, upstreet, Bateau, The Minnesota Review and others.

Timothy Kenny (“Duckpin bowling with Caitlin and Buffalo Bill“) is a former newspaper foreign editor, non-profit foundation executive, and college journalism professor. He reported widely from Central and Eastern Europe, including Croatia and Bosnia during the early stages of the Balkan conflicts in the 1990s, and has taught journalism as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Bucharest. He lived in Kosovo for a year and worked more recently in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. Kenny’s narrative nonfiction has appeared in The Louisville Review, The Gettysburg Review, Irish Pages, The Kenyon Review Online, the Green Mountains Review, and elsewhere.

Leah Koontz (“BiProduct“) grew up in Louisville, Colorado near the foot of the Rocky Mountains. In the early 2000s she moved to Philadelphia, where she lives now. With the support of her amazing family, she was able to connect with her love for art. Currently she attends Moore College of Art and Design where she is majoring in Fine Art and minoring in Curatorial Studies. She expects to receive her BFA in 2014. Leah spends her time creating art, reading books, protesting patriarchy, and of course attending local drag shows.

Kate LaDew (“The Song in a Cloud“) is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art. She resides in Graham, North Carolina with her cat, Charlie Chaplin.

Roger Leatherwood (“Rolling Empty“) worked on the lower rungs of Hollywood for almost 20 years before returning to UCLA for his MFA and to print fiction, where at least the stories he could tell were his own. His feature “Usher” won numerous awards on the film festival circuit, and his writing has or will appear in Skive Magazine, Crack The Spine, Oulipo Pornobongo, Nefarious Ballerina, European Trash Cinema and others. His novella Times Two, a long-form memoir about the different birth stories of his two daughters, is available from Amazon. Visit his website here

Nissa Lee (“An Omen” and “Before Going Out“) has poetry appearing or forthcoming in Mason’s RoadThe Raleigh ReviewRequited, and Wicked Alice. This year, she was named a finalist for The Normal School’s Normal Prize and received an honorable mention in Philadelphia Stories’ Sandy Crimmins Prize for Poetry. She is a graduate of the Rutgers-Camden MFA program and lives and teaches in southern New Jersey.

Chris Ludovici (“Daisy“) has published articles in The Princeton Packet and online at Cinedelphia. His fiction has appeared in several literary magazines, and in 2009 he won the Judith Stark awards in fiction and drama. He has completed three novels, two on his own and one with his wife Desi whom he lives with along with their son Sam and too many cats in Drexel Hill. Daisy also appears in the 2013 issue of Peregrine, the print journal of the University of Pennsylvania Creative Writing Program.

Anya Lichtenstein (“Beating Plowshares into iPods“) recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received the Rittenberg Prize for Best Undergraduate Student in English. Anya is the former chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Players Board of Governors, and recently performed the role of Kate Monster in Penn’s Quadramics Theatre Company’s production of Avenue Q.

Eva Lomski (“They Shared a Fish“) lives and writes in Melbourne, Australia. Her stories have appeared in several Australian journals including The Best Australian Stories 2012 (Black Inc.), The Sleepers Almanac, Kill Your Darlings, Griffith Review and Island.

Mark Lyons (“The Place of the Red-footed Rooster in the Hierarchy of Sentient Beings“) lives in Philadelphia. His fiction has been published in several literary journals, and has been read in the Reading Aloud program at Interact Theater, in Philadelphia. He is author of Espejos y Ventanas / Mirrors and Windows: Oral Histories of Mexican Farmworkers and Their Families, written in Spanish and English. Mark was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and awarded Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships in literature in 2003 and 2009. Currently he is director of the Philadelphia Storytelling Project, which works with immigrants and youth to teach them to create digital stories about their lives.

Prairie Markussen (“On Beige“) is a poet and college teacher living in Chicago. She has lived in and written about lots of different places and would like to live in and write about more places, which means a change in location is always on the horizon. She likes imagist, war, and confessional poetry, and in her own writing tries for a confluence of personal and cultural experiences. Her works appear in Atticus ReviewPainted Bride QuarterlyThe FiddleheadLouisiana Literature, and other journals, and in an anthology of short poems called Bigger Than They Appear published by Accents Publishing.

Grace Maselli (“Beyond the Blue Ridge“) is at work on a collection of essays and poems. She studied for seven years in New York City at the Writers Studio founded by American poet and author Philip Schultz. Her work has recently appeared in 42 Magazine, Poydras Review, Streetlight Magazine and is forthcoming in The Penman Review. She lives outside Philadelphia.

Rithika Merchant (“Comparative Mythology“) is an Indian visual artist. She was born in 1986 in Mumbai, India. She graduated with a BFA in Fine Arts with Honors from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City in 2008. In 2006 she traveled to Greece to study painting and conceptual art at the Hellenic International Studies In the Arts in Paros, Greece. Following her graduation, Rithika has exhibited widely in Europe as well as select venues in Mumbai, New York and Montreal. She had her first major solo exhibition in Mumbai in 2011. The following year she was represented as a solo art project at Swab Art Fair in Barcelona, Spain. Rithika is currently preparing for her second solo exhibition, which will open in October 2013 in Mumbai. She divides her time between Mumbai, India and Barcelona, Spain. See more of her work at

Mark Mondalek (“The Straight Warp of Necessity“) is a Detroit-area writer and editor. He previously worked as an assistant editor for South Loop Review: Creative Nonfiction + Art, a national literary magazine published annually by the Nonfiction Program within Columbia College Chicago’s English Department, interviewing authors for publication and approving final manuscript submissions. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fiction Writing.

Eric G. Müller (“Bicycles and Frog Rain“) is a musician, teacher and writer living in upstate New York. He has written two novels, Rites of Rock (Adonis Press, 2005) and Meet Me at the Met (Plain View Press, 2010), as well as a collection of poetry, Coffee on the Piano for You (Adonis Press, 2008). Articles, short stories and poetry have appeared in many journals and magazines. His website is

Jason Newport (“The Law of Constant Angles“) recently received an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction have appeared in many fine journals, including Chautauqua, where he is a contributing editor. He is currently revising his novel manuscript with a terrific agent and working on a short story collection.

Nathaniel Popkin (“The Dig“) is a journalist, author, editor, film writer, historian, professor, and critic. Since 2002, with the publication of his first book, Song of the City: An Intimate History of the American Urban Landscape (Four Walls Eight Windows-Basic Books), he has been a distinctive urbanist voice in the conversation about Philadelphia’s past, present, and future and a careful observer of cities in the context of American life. According to Tom Sugrue, historian of the University of Pennsylvania, Popkin is “a visionary with two feet on the ground, a poet who finds verse in the everyday.” Lion and Leopard, Popkin’s novel of historical fiction about the romantic movement that shook the foundations of the American art establishment in the early 19th century, will be published by the Head and the Hand Press in Fall 2013.

Jennifer Pullen (“Of Snakes and Stones“) grew up in Washington State surrounded by trees and books. She graduated from Whitworth University with a B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature, and received her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at Eastern Washington University. Presently she is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and a teacher at Ohio University. She writes with the loving support of her husband, mother, father, and a large orange cat named Widdershins. Her current project is a collection of myth-based stories which have appeared in Going Down Swinging (Australia) and The Rubbertop Review.

Christopher X. Shade (“In Very Little Time on the Nile“) has a novel set in Spain and France in agent circulation, and lives in New York City. His stories have appeared in numerous national and small press publications; recently, Poydras Review, Arcadia, and Prime Number Magazine. His book reviews have appeared in New Orleans Review and Saint Ann’s Review. Visit his website at

M. A. Schaffner (“We Have to Talk” and “With and ‘Oon in It’“) has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.

Jenny Wales Steele (“Keep the Change“) has published fiction in The Ampersand Review, Juked, The First Line, Harpur Palate, Salt Hill, Verdad, Jerseyworks, DarkSkyMagazine, and many other literary journals, and she’s been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. A native of Arizona, she now lives in Tucson.

Emily Steinberg (“The Modernist Cabin“) is a painter and graphic novelist who earned her MFA and BFA from the University of Pennsylvania. She has shown at 55 Mercer Gallery and The Westbeth Gallery in New York, and has exhibited at several Philadelphia area venues, including Mangel Gallery, The Borowsky Gallery, The Woodmere Museum of Art and the Michener Museum of Art in Doylestown, PA. Most recently, she exhibited in the solo series at the Abington Art Center and at The Crane Arts Center in Philadelphia. Her graphic novel memoir, Graphic Therapy, can be read online at Smith Magazine. Her short comic, Blogging Towards Oblivion, was included in The Moment (Harper Collins, 2012). She currently teaches painting and the graphic novel at Penn State Abington. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, photographer Paul Rider, and her puppy Gus.

Luke Stromberg (“Memorial Day“) has also published work in Rotary DialVictorian Violet JournalTower JournalShot Glass JournalLucid RhythmsPhiladelphia StoriesThink Journal, Mid-America Poetry Review, and on Ernest Hilbert’s blog E-Verse Radio. His work has also been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer on multiple occasions. He lives in Upper Darby, PA, and works as an adjunct English instructor at Eastern University and West Chester University.

Anna Strong (“Apostrophes“) is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and is originally from Haverford, PA. Her work has previously appeared in the Penn Review, the Pennsylvania GazettePeregrine, and Poems for the Writing. Anna also helps teach Penn’s Modern and Contemporary American Poetry course through Coursera. She is pursuing a master’s degree at Boston College.

Daniel Torday (“Air Conditioner“) is the author of a short novel, The Sensualist, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Outstanding Debut Fiction. His short stories and essays have appeared in Esquire Magazine, Glimmer Train Stories, Harper Perennial’s Fifty-Two Stories, Harvard Review, The New York Times and The Kenyon Review. He is an editor at The Kenyon Review, and he serves as Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College.

Caleb True (“The Pain“) lives everywhere and nowhere. He holds a Master’s Degree in History. His fiction has appeared in The Madison Review, Yemassee and some other cool places. He exists online at

Randi Ward (“Peonies”, “Spring”, “Clotheslineis a poet, translator, and photographer from West Virginia. She earned her MA in Cultural Studies from the University of the Faroe Islands in 2007. Her work has appeared in The Bitter OleanderBeloit Poetry JournalAnthology of Appalachian WritersCold Mountain ReviewVencil: Anthology of Contemporary Faroese Literature and other publications. For more information, please visit her website: