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CONTRIBUTORS

Allyson Allen uses traditional materials to create unique, dimensional textile art, quilts, dolls, and handmade books. She is a multiple California Arts Council grant award recipient, twice nominated for NEA National Heritage Fellowship consideration, and has been recognized for three decades as an award-winning Master African American Quilt and Doll Artist by the state of California. The characteristics of her unique, original story quilts are considered information art. Her quilts combine art, craft, research, original design,​history, and culture in traditional and contemporary pieces exemplifying a cross-disciplinary approach to quilt making. Allen's work often references American history, social issues, African folklore, or Black history. Many of her quilts are created specifically for storytelling presentations. Her handmade quilted journals usually incorporate recycled materials, fabric, and stitched paper elements.

Lisa Alvarez was born in Los Angeles and came to Orange County as a grad student earning an MFA in fiction at UC Irvine. Her essays, stories and poems have appeared in Air/Light, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Huizache, [Pank], Santa Monica Review and elsewhere, including Santa Ana Literary Association’s Year in Poetry series and Breath of Fire’s COVID Monologues. Her work has been included in anthologies such as Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America. She has herself edited three anthologies, including Orange County: A Literary Field Guide and most recently, Why to These Rocks: Fifty Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers, both from Heyday. For nearly 30 years she has been a professor of English at Irvine Valley College, where she teaches writing and literature and co-directs the Puente program. During the summers she co-directs the workshops at the Community of Writers in the High Sierra.

Shannon Anderson is a lifelong resident of Orange County and graduate student of American Studies at Cal State Fullerton. She has served a Co-Editor-in-Chief of her department’s student-run journal, The American Papers, and worked as a grad assistant for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ “Mapping the Gay Guides” project. Shannon currently manages social media for the book A People’s Guide to Orange County. At present, she is in the process of writing her thesis about the public memory surrounding the Bernal house in Fullerton.

Gustavo Arellano is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, covering Soutnern California everything and a bunch of the West and beyond. He is author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, Orange County: A Personal History, and !Ask a Mexican!, and co-author of A People’s Guide to Orange County.

Tamara Beauchamp is the Writing Director of the Humanities Core Program at UC Irvine. She lives in Modjeska Canyon.

carla joy bergman is a joyarchist who dabbles with poetry, writing, and storytelling, often opening realms of autonomy, art, creativity, and challenging empire. carla has spent the past two decades creating intergenerational multi-media projects with community that are rooted in trust, and with youth autonomy and undoing adult supremacy at the heart of all she does.

Lisa Black was born in Los Angeles but found her most influential theater mentors in Orange County: Lee Shallat-Chemel and Jerzy Grotowski. She earned her MFA at UC Irvine in Drama, and has worked on new plays with Chicago’s Theater Oobleck; toured in original solo and ensemble-devised performances throughout Europe and North and South America; and considers North American Cultural Laboratory in Highland Lake, NY, a theatrical home. She is soon off to help create some theatrical shenanigans to celebrate NACL’s 25th anniversary. Until its untimely demise, she proofread Orange County Weekly’s dead-tree edition and wrote the arts column "Paint It Black." Lisa’s first work of short fiction appeared in the Santa Monica Review last spring. She is working on a longer nonfiction version of The Grotowski Notebooks and hopes to finish a short performance early in 2023.

World Fantasy Award-winning author James Blaylock, one of the pioneers of the steampunk genre, has published thirty novels and story collections as well as scores of essays and articles.  Despite his close association with steampunk, most of his work is contemporary, realistic fantasy set in southern California, typified by novels like The Last Coin, All the Bells on Earth, and The Rainy Season, which was listed by Orange Coast Magazine as one of the ten quintessential Orange County novels.  His latest novel is Pennies from Heaven, published by PS Publishing and available from JABberwocky in ebook. A sequel, The Invisible Woman, is due to be published in 2024.

Dawn Bonker was born and raised in Orange County-adjacent Whittier and studied journalism at California State University, Fullerton. She wrote for the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times, and had other work included in the humor anthology Sand in my Bra: Funny Women Write from the Road (Travelers’ Tales, Inc.) and short fiction in Wild Edges: Poetry and Prose of the Mother Lode and Sierra (Manzanita Press). Newly retired from Chapman University’s marketing department, she is returning to the novel in the drawer and watching for those coyotes who also like early morning walks along suburban greenbelts.

Kathryn Campo Bowen is a Salvadoran American writer and second-year MFA student at the University of California, Irvine. Her stories have appeared in Salt Hill Journal, Issue 47, and have been selected as finalists in annual contests by the Sewanee Review and STORY Magazine.

Stephanie Brown is the author of two books of poetry, Allegory of the Supermarket  (University of Georgia Press) and Domestic Interior (University of Pittsburgh Press). She was awarded Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Breadloaf. Her work has been published in American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slope, Pool, ZYZZYVA, Green Mountains Review and other journals and selected for six editions of The Best American Poetry, including the 25th anniversary edition. Her poetry and essays have been included in many anthologies including Orange County: A Literary Field Guide. From 2004-2010 she curated the Casa Romantica Reading Series in San Clemente, California, and was the poetry editor for Zócalo Public Square from 2010-2016. She taught creative writing at UC Irvine and the University of Redlands but has made her living in librarianship and recently retired from her position as an Administrative Manager II for OC Public Libraries.

Mary Camarillo’s first novel The Lockhart Women, published in June 2021 by She Writes Press, won first place in the Next Generation Indie Awards for first fiction. Her work has appeared in publications such as 166 Palms, The Sonora Review, Lunch Ticket, and The Ear. Her newest novel, Those People Behind Us, is out out from She Writes Press in October 2023. She lives in Huntington Beach, California.

Jaime Campbell's work has appeared in Sonora Review, Santa Monica Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Angel City Review among others. She is Managing Editor at Citric Acid, an online literary quarterly focused on regional writing in Orange County, California. She teaches writing at Chapman University, Santiago Canyon College, and Irvine Valley College. Her writing can be found at jaimecampbell.com.  Jaime also teaches mindfulness and meditation at Cloud Mindfulness..

Peter Carr (1925-1981) taught in the Department of Comparative Literature at CSULB and co-founded the grassroots anti-nuclear organization, the Alliance for Survival.  He was the author of self-published books and pamphlets, including Aliso Creek and In the Summer We Went to the Mountains, and produced thousands of drawings, paintings, posters and illustrations.  He lived in Laguna Beach with the community activist Jeanne Bernstein. A posthumous showing of his work was organized by the late Mark Chamberlain at BC Space in 2016. Both the Jeanne Bernstein and Peter Carr papers are held at the libraries of the University of California Irvine.

Nathan Cayanan is a writer, illustrator, and college professor. He attended the University of Southern California, Cal State Long Beach, and Cal Poly Pomona, where he studied fiction, screenwriting, filmmaking, and business. Being Filipino-American, he has written about the Asian diaspora, evolving

AAPI identities, and the struggles of the perpetual foreigner. He has taught in Taiwan, China, and the United States at USC International Academy, UC Irvine, and Irvine Valley College, where he is currently a part-time associate professor. He is currently participating in the DC Comics’ Milestone Initiative talent development program as a writer and continues to develop his art skills with the hopes he will draw his own graphic novel.

Araceli Centanino is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and History at Irvine Valley College. Araceli began her academic career as a community college student at Grossmont College in San Diego. In 2012, Araceli graduated from the University of California San Diego with a B.A. in History and a thematic emphasis in Race, Ethnicity, and Migration. Araceli then went on to complete an M.A. in History from UCLA in 2015, followed by a PhD in History in 2021, also from UCLA. Her dissertation focused on the history of policing, public schools, and Black and Chicano student movements in Los Angeles between 1945-1985. Before joining Irvine Valley College, Araceli taught as an adjunct instructor in the departments of History, as well as Ethnic, Gender, and Social Justice Studies, at Cuyamaca College, Grossmont College, and Santa Monica College.

Jonathan Cohen's short stories and creative nonfiction have been published in the Community of Writers' Omnium Gatherum Quarterly and the Santa Monica Review. He is a 2004 alumnus of the CoW. For eighteen years, he and his wife Beth have been the proofreaders of the Santa Monica Review. Jonathan is a private tutor specializing in AP U.S. History and has been a volunteer literacy tutor at Orange County's two public library systems, for which he received the Excellence in Volunteerism award from Orange County in 2015.

Former OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his journalism career at daily newspapers before “graduating” to the Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor. He is now the UC Irvine School of Social Ecology’s Social Media Manager.

Chris Davidson's poetry has appeared in Zyzzyva, Mockingbird, Cultural Weekly, Ekstasis, Zocalo Public Square, Alaska Quarterly Review, and many other publications, including the anthologies Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poems from the Community of Writers and Orange County: A Literary Field Guide. His chapbooks include Easy Meal (2020, Californios Press) and Poems (2012, Canvas Shop Press). He was born in Orange County and now lives in Long Beach.  

Thuy Vo Dang is Curator for the University of California, Irvine Libraries Southeast Asian Archive and Research Librarian for Asian American studies. She has a Ph.D. in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and is co-author of the books, A People's Guide to Orange County and also Vietnamese in Orange County. Thuy serves on the board of directors for Arts OC and the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association.

Sandra E. De Anda is an award-winning Santa Ana-based writer and immigrant rights advocate. She received her BA in English from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry work has been featured in the LA Times, Voice of OC, Sin Cesar, The Ear, Makara Arts, Khabar Keslan, and the late OC Weekly, where she co-founded a weekly column titled, “Deport This” which highlighted the stories of local immigrants and refugees in resistance. You can follow her recently published work here: https://linktr.ee/Basurababushka.

Instagram & Twitter: @basurababushka

Lorene Delany-Ullman teaches composition at UC Irvine and is the author of Camouflage for the Neighborhood. In collaboration with artist Jody Servon, their book Saved: Objects of the Dead, a photographic and poetic exploration of the human experience of life, death, and memory, arrives in January

2023.

Alexis Munoa Dyer (Payómkawichum Pechangayam) of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians is a film photographer, traditional basketweaver, traditional food lover, surfer, wife and mother. She loves being on the ocean in any form. She hates anything grape flavored, people who yell from cars and talking about herself.

Felicity Figueroa is a community advocate, activist and organizer working to promote human and civil rights. She is a founding board member and current chair of the Orange County Equality Coalition (OCEC), an organization created after passage of Prop 8 and is dedicated to protecting the rights of OC’s LGBTQ+ community with a special focus on trans rights and on those of gay and gender-nonconforming school children in the county. Felicity also serves on the board of Women For: Orange County, where she chairs the Great American Write-In, an annual event that brings together non-profit/progressive organizations and the general public to write letters to legislators and corporate heads on pressing social issues.

 

Edward (Ted) Fowler, a Californian from the age of five months, spent his youth in Los Angeles County and the past three decades in Orange County, where he taught for twenty-two years at UC Irvine. Best known for his San’ya Blues: Laboring Life in Contemporary Tokyo, he is the author of or contributor to half a dozen books on Japan. He is also a 2019 alumnus of the Community of Writers. In retirement, he has written a memoir about his first wife, a Japanese national, from which “A View from the Ridge” is excerpted.

Sarah Rafael García is an author, community educator, curator, and performance ethnographer born in Brownsville, Tejas and raised in Santa Ana, California. She’s the founder of Barrio Writers, LibroMobile and Crear Studio — all art programs initiated as a response to build cultural relevance and equity for BIPOC folks in Orange County. Sarah Rafael García is an author, community educator, curator, and performance ethnographer born in Brownsville, Tejas and raised in Santa Ana, California. She’s the founder of Barrio Writers, LibroMobile and Crear Studio — all art programs initiated as a response to build cultural relevance and equity for BIPOC folks in Orange County.

Natalie Garth was an attorney for decades before retiring to work at Target for minimum wage. She lives in Silverado, California with her wife, Linda,  and her dogs, Gracie (her cross to bear in life) and Kona. 

Peter Gerrard grew up in Southern California, and ended up “Behind the Orange Curtain,” specifically Irvine. While he attended UCI for graduate school (which he never finished), his wife Kim and two sons are Anteaters with degrees. He likes to ski, and ride bikes that are embarrassingly expensive but at least environmentally justifiable. Classes and seminars at IVC and Chapman keep his interest in writing fresh.

Meredith Gordon is the creator of The Shame Recovery Project, work devoted to healing the unwarranted shame of sexual and other traumas, and founder of The Writer’s [Inner] Journey, an award-winning site about the intersection of writing, creativity and depth. She is co-author of All the Love: Healing Your Heart and Finding Meaning After Pregnancy Loss. Her writing delves into universal themes through very personal storytelling. https://meredithresnick.com

Natalie J. Graham, a native of Gainesville, Florida, earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida and Ph.D. in American Studies at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. Since moving to Orange County in 2013, Natalie has coordinated art-centered community events, workshops, and readings for hundreds of participants. She is an award-winning author and performer who has toured nationally with her collection of poems, Begin with a Failed Body. Her poems and articles have been published in San Francisco Chronicle, PEN America: A Journal for Writers and Readers, Callaloo, Obsidian, New England Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Journal of Popular Culture, and Transition. In August 2021, she was appointed Poet Laureate of Orange County.

Jimin Han was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Rhode Island, Ohio, and New York. Her writing can be found on NPR’s “Weekend America,” in Catapult MagazinePoets & Writers Magazine, and elsewhere. A Small Revolution, her first novel, was among Entropy’s Best Fiction of 2017, Pleiades Editors’ Choice 2017, and Electric Literature's Ten Galvanizing Books About Political Protest. Her new novel, The Apology, was published by Little, Brown & Co. in August 2023. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and Pace University.

Danielle Hanson strives to create and facilitate wonder. She is author of Fraying Edge of Sky, winner of the Codhill Press Poetry Prize, and Ambushing Water, Finalist for the Georgia Author of the Year Award. She is Marketing Director for Sundress Publications, and serves on their Editorial Board. Her work has appeared in over 100 journals. She teaches poetry at the University of California, Irvine. More at daniellejhanson.com.

Gustavo Hernandez is the author of the poetry collection Flower Grand First (Moon Tide Press). His poems have been featured in Reed, Acentos Review, Sonora Review and The Slowdown podcast. He was born in Jalisco, Mexico and lives in Santa Ana, California.

 

Grant Hier was the first Poet Laureate of Anaheim, California from 2018-2020. Honors include Prize Americana, the Kick Prize, and the Courage Award. Books include Untended Garden, The Difference Between, and Similitude. A new book of poetry and instruction titled Practice: 394 Poems in 365 Days, is forthcoming. California Continuum Vol. One is a book of historical flash fiction he co-wrote with John Brantingham, the Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Grant has been entered for three Grammy Awards: as a writer for “Best Album Notes” (for the last two Los Lobos albums, Llegó Navidad and Native Sons) and as a Producer for “Best Folk Album” (for Joyride: Friends Take the Wheel). He recently wrote the liner notes to a forthcoming, special edition 5-LP box set (WAR—The Vinyl: 1971-1975). As a voice actor he contributed to the audio book of George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the 2018 Audie Award for Audiobook of the year. Grant is a Full Professor at Laguna College of Art and Design, and poetry editor for Chiron Review. More at www.granthier.com

Grant Hoskins is a self-taught artist who has been creating art from childhood onward. His art can be found locally and internationally ranging from galleries, zines, music album covers and pieces in the streets of Southern California. 

Rhoda Huffey’s newest novel 31 Paradiso is partly set in Orange County. She lives in Venice Beach where she is a writer and tap dancer. The daughter of two Pentecostal preachers, she holds an MFA from the Programs in Writing at the University of California at Irvine. Her first novel, The Hallelujah Side, is being reissued along with 31 Paradiso.

Eugene Ipavec was born in what was at the time Yugoslavia and has lived in Orange County for thirty years. He has been published in the Santa Monica Review.

Marissa Jacobi earned her B.S. from UC Davis in Environmental Horticulture.  She lives in Irvine and works as a tutor.  She enjoys learning about health, human behavior, and the natural world.

Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Zyzzyva, The Paris Review, Callaloo, The Iowa Review, and has been included in several anthologies. Among her latest work is Trailblazer: Delilah Beasley’s California, a fictionalized account of the life of African American historian and scholar Delilah Beasley. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California. You can find out more about her work at https://danajohnsonauthor.com

Saskia Kennedy is the new editor of the Fullerton Observer, a 45-year-old volunteer community newspaper that her grandfather, Ralph Kennedy, started with a group of friends. She has also started a nonprofit to give high school to college students hands-on experience in journalism and podcasts called Observing Fullerton  Inc.

Michelle Latiolais is the Director of the Programs In Writing at UC Irvine.  She is the author of the novel Even Now which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California.  Her second novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published in 2008 by Bellevue Literary Press.  Widow, a collection of stories, Involutions and essays, was released in January 2011 from Bellevue Literary Press, and was a finalist for The Believer Award.  She was released in May 2016 by W.W. Norton & Company, a novel with embedded stories.  Recent work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Santa Monica Review, Juked and The Kenyon Review.

Jesse La Tour is currently the editor of the Fullerton Observer newspaper, one of the last remaining independent local newspapers in Orange County. Prior to that, he was co-founder of Hibbleton Gallery, Bookmachine books + zines, The Magoski Arts Colony, and the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk (all of which are, sadly, on hiatus due to the pandemic). He has also taught English composition at Cal State University, Fullerton and Fullerton College. La Tour enjoys writing about local history, and is working on an in-depth history of Fullerton called The Town I Live In.

 

Anna Leahy’s latest books are the poetry collections Gloss, What Happened Was:, and Aperture and the nonfiction book Tumor. Her work has appeared at Aeon, Atlanta ReviewThe Atlantic, Bennington Review, BuzzFeed, Poetry, Scientific American, The Southern Review, and elsewhere, and essays have won top awards from Mississippi Review, Los Angeles ReviewNinth Letter, and Dogwood. She edits the international Tab Journal and has been a fellow at MacDowell and the American Library in Paris. Leahy directs the MFA in Creative Writing program at Chapman University. See more at https://amleahy.com.

Elaine Lewinnek is professor of American Studies and chair of the Environmental Studies program at California State University Fullerton. She is co-author of A People's Guide to Orange County and also author of The Working Man’s Reward: Chicago’s Early Suburbs and the Roots of American Sprawl.  

Alex Lin is just a girl from Jersey. Plays developed at Second Stage, Roundabout, NYTW, MTC, the O'Neill, South Coast Rep, Playwrights Realm, Central Square Theatre, and Theater Mu. Guest lectures at CMU, Rutgers, and Union College. As an actor, Actors Theatre of Louisville (The Wolves), New Victory (In the Land of Mauve & Gold), HVSF (Julius Caesar, Pika the Hawaiian...), Ma-Yi (The House of Billy Paul), Jewish Plays Project (Zionista Rising), and Commonwealth Shakespeare (Henry VI Part III, Richard III). Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee and Weissberger Award nominee. TheatreWorks musical theatre commission

Tina Mai is a 16-year-old writer and the inaugural OC Youth Poet Laureate. Her writing has received recognition from the Library of Congress, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Poetry Society of the UK, Bow Seat, the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the CSLA, among others. She is also the youngest recipient of the Atlanta Review International Poetry Award, in addition to being a Best New Poets nominee and a Scholastic National Gold Medal winner in poetry. Outside of writing, she finds passion in public speaking and computer science, including developing an app to aid writing accessibility through spoken word stories. 

Stefan Mattessich is the author of three novels: Point Guard, a coming-of-age story set on the Northern California coast of Mendocino; East Brother, a satire about gentrification in a fictional California beach town; and most recently A Precarious Man, about the search for love and belonging in neoliberal times.  He went to Yale College and has a PhD in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he wrote a dissertation that became a monograph on Thomas Pynchon called Lines of Flight. He has also written a variety of literary criticism and cultural theory as well as fiction. He teaches English at Santa Monica College and lives in Los Angeles.

Flynn Mixdorf is a first-year fiction writer in the MFA Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. He earned his BFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His arts journalism and creative nonfiction work have been published in F Newsmagazine. He hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, from which a building-sized mural of Kurt Vonnegut looms large in his psyche.

Maxfield Ney is a junior at the Orange County School of the Arts in the Acting Conservatory. He was born and raised in Orange County, California. A budding cinephile, he volunteers at The Frida Cinema in downtown Santa Ana. He enjoys backpacking, theater and seeing live bands and is a major history buff.

Jax NTP holds an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Long Beach. They currently teach critical thinking, literature, and composition. They are working on two poetry manuscripts: In Bones & Tentacles: Forgetting as Commodity and How to Pivot When You’re Paralyzed. Their words have been featured in Berkeley Poetry Review, Hobart Literary Magazine, Apogee Journal, Cordite Poetry Review and elsewhere.

Miles Parnegg is a graduate of the Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. He lives in Los Angeles and works as a bookseller.

Raised in Orange County, Victoria Patterson is the author of the novels The Peerless Four, The Little Brother, and This Vacant Paradise, a 2011 New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her story collection, Drift, was a finalist for the California Book Award, the 2009 Story Prize, and was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The San Francisco Chronicle. A second story collection, The Secret Habit of Sorrow, arrived in 2018. She lives with her family in Southern California and teaches at Antioch University’s Master of Fine Arts program.

Anthony Pignataro is a freelance journalist. He wrote for OC Weekly in its earliest years, and in its final months. He also somehow wrote three trashy detective novels about Maui. He lives in Long Beach with his girlfriend Angie and their cat Gromit.

Linda Purdy was born in 1943 and earned a BA in English from Whittier College and a Master of Library and Information Science from CSU Fullerton.  Her poetry and prose appeared in Irvine Valley College's The Ear, Faultline, International Harvest, and the Santa Monica Review, and at the Smithsonian Photography Initiative. She died in October. A commemorative collection of her work, including short fiction and poems, is being published by a group of her fellow workshop participants, teachers and editors, all champions of her work.

Professional multidisciplinary artist Roger Eyes R, has creatively engaged with communities in and around his hometown since 2015. His interest is in the people, history, and culture of Santa Ana California. and has this to offer on staying inspired: “Keep creatively busy. Do it well, so it with love, and you’ll know your muse has found you when you begin to have fun.” His work was selected for exhibition at the age of five after, unbeknownst to him, his teacher submitted his drawing to an art contest and received an award; and from then on it began. Roger studied fine art, sculpting, graphics arts & design for many years and currently focuses on large-scale murals. He employs his signature “Color-Rez” style, layering application informed by impressionism and pointillism to form textures and images through the placement of complimenting colors in all of his personal work. He regards art to be a magnetic form of "expression & response" and his compulsion to create and share is his nature and so, he remains an active member of the art community with award-winning independent creative projects, partnerships and collaborations that continue to connect people to art and further strengthen the future of Santa Ana, arts and culture.

Erik Rangno teaches creative writing and literature at Orange Coast College, in Costa Mesa, CA. His fiction has appeared in The Santa Monica Review and nonfiction in The Atlantic. “San Domingo” is one of a series of prose poems set in Southern California.

Morgan Read Davidson is the Director of Creative Writing at Chapman University, won a Nichol Fellowship in Screenwriting, and is currently completing a novel set in Dark Age Britain about two sisters separated by war. His most recent short fiction has appeared in Alt HistJelly Bucket, and Fly Away Journal. He spends his free time hiking the rugged High Sierras and joining his daughters in their imaginative worlds of dragons, fairies, and warrior princesses. 

Brennan Roach is a musician/artist from Santa Ana, Ca.

Joel Robinson is Director & Senior Naturalist, Naturalist For You.  He has guided interpretive nature walks, restored wildlife habitat, conducted biological surveys and organized environmental awareness classes, workshops, presentations and events for the public benefit since 2001.  He worked for The Nature Conservancy, City of Santa Ana Parks & Recreation, Inside the Outdoors, The Wildlands Conservancy and California State Parks.  His services are regularly appreciated by public agencies, schools, community groups, nonprofits, religious institutions and businesses throughout Southern California.  He enjoys foraging wild foods, birding, barefooting, hiking and camping with his family and performing sea shanties in a pirate band.

Stacy Russo, librarian/associate professor at Santa Ana College, is a writer, poet, visual artist, librarian, and DIY oral historian who is committed to creating art and books for a more peaceful world. Stacy is a current PhD student at California Institute of Integral Studies. She writes across the genres of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. She is also the author/illustrator of two children’s picture books. Stacy's books have been adapted for university classes and featured on National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting System, Sirius XM Radio, KCET Artbound, LA Weekly, and various other media channels. One Day I Started a New Life, an art book featuring Stacy’s collages and mixed media work over the last decade, is forthcoming from Sacramento-based Litwin Books. If a large pot of gold fell in her backyard, she would follow her dream of opening a community gathering place called the Wild Librarian Bakery and Bookstore. Stacy eats chocolate before noon every day and always takes her coffee black. She lives on a purple tree-lined street in Santa Ana, California, with her two dogs from Coastal German Shepherd Rescue.

Garrett Saleen is a writer and visual artist from Southern California. His fiction has appeared in Santa Monica Review, Funicular, The Collagist, and Data Epics with Studio Tilt at the University of Washington’s School of Art, Art History, and Design. He is a member of the PNW Collage Collective and his art has been featured in galleries around Seattle and in Holiday in Mar-a-Lago, a collage zine inspired by the Dead Kennedys. His art can be found @jan_homm on Instagram. He lives in Seattle, where he is editing his first collection of short fiction.

Gabriel San Román is an Orange County reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He previously worked at OC Weekly – as a reporter, podcast producer and columnist – until the newspaper’s closing in late 2019. He produces the newsletter Slingshot. San Román just may be the tallest Mexican in O.C.

Jody Servon is an artist, curator and educator who creates socially engaged projects. Her work and collaborations have been in exhibitions, screenings, and publications in North America, Europe and Asia. She is a Professor of Art at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.

Patty Seyburn has published five collections of poems: Threshold Delivery (Finishing Line Press, 2019); Perfecta (What Books Press, Glass Table Collective, 2014); Hilarity (New Issues Press, 2009), Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998). She has a Ph.D. from the University of Houston, an MFA from UC Irvine, and an MS and BS from Northwestern University. She is a proud professor at California State University, Long Beach. She likes the words “parabola” and “plum” in proximity to one another.

Claudia Shambaugh hosts Ask a Leader, on KUCI 88.9 FM. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she completed her BA in political science at Scripps College and her Masters in urban and regional planning at UNC-Chapel Hill. She worked in coastal zone management on the East Coast, and urban open space projects in Southern California. As host and producer at Radio KUCI, solely responsible for her radio programming, she divides the world into two parts; those who have been her guests and those who have not. Evidence is available at: https://askaleader.com/ . She continues collecting her receipts on politics and culture inside OC and beyond, having lived in Denmark, Spain, Israel, South Africa, Northern Ireland, and all corners of the U.S.

Virginia Shank writes, rides a velomobile, taught at Irvine Valley College, and for a decade edited The Ear in Southern California. She recently moved to upstate New York. (We miss her!) Poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, So It Goes, Rhino, and elsewhere.

Nicholas Schou is the former Editor-in-Chief of OC Weekly and an investigative reporter whose work has led to the release from prison of wrongfully convicted individuals as well as the indictment and imprisonment of a Huntington Beach Mayor. Schou's work has appeared in numerous publications including The Atlantic, Newsweek, Salon, and the Los Angeles Times. He is also the author of several books including Kill the Messenger, which was made into a 2014 Hollywood film starring Jeremy Renner, and Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and its Quest to Spread Peace, Love and Acid to the World

Bethia Sheean-Wallace has been working in the stacks in libraries from Florida to California for twenty-five years. She writes like a fiend about everything from poetry to politics and always has. She was born and raised in Los Angeles in a time when Orange County was considered the home of Disneyland, orange groves, and John Birch Republicans. She has been married for four decades to a fellow hippie and has three adult children, one daughter-in-law, and one wee grandbaby.

Octavio Solis is an award-winning American playwright and director whose plays have been produced at theaters and small companies across the United States. He has written over 25 plays, including his most famous works: LydiaSantos & Santos and Man of the Flesh. His collection Retablos: Stories From a Life Lived Along the Border was published by City Lights Books in 2018. 

Alex Stanley is a graduate of Boston College, and he received his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of California, Irvine. He is a former sports journalist, and his sports writing has been featured in Sports Illustrated. His published poems have appeared in seventeen literary magazines. He is a recipient of the 2021 Academy of American Poets Award. He resides in Costa Mesa, California.

Kareem Tayyar’s collection The Revolution of Heavenly Bodies & Other Stories will be released by J.New Books in May, 2022.His work has appeared in a variety of literary journals, including Poetry Magazine, Prairie Schooner, the Santa Monica Review, and The Writer’s Almanac. His novel, The Prince of Orange County, received the 2020 Eric Hoffer Prize for Young Adult Fiction, and he was a recipient of a 2019 Wurlitzer Poetry Fellowship.

Linda Thomas is a retired community college writing professor. She now volunteers for Sea and Sage Audubon as a birder and naturalist.

Andrew Tonkovich is the founding editor of Citric Acid and longtime editor of the Santa Monica Review. His fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Ecotone, ZYZZYVA, Faultline, Juked, and Best American Nonrequired Reading. He wrote for both OC Weekly and the Orange County Register.  With Lisa Alvarez, he co-edited the landmark Orange County: A Literary Field Guide, and is the author of two fiction collections, The Dairy of Anne Frank and More Wish Fulfillment in the Noughties and Keeping Tahoe Blue and Other Provocations. His review of A People's Guide to Orange County appeared recently in Alta online. 

Daniel C. Tsang is Librarian Emeritus at University of California, Irvine, where he was a social sciences bibliographer for thirty years, and a union activist on campus. With decades of activism in queer, academic labor organizing, police watch, and alternative media, he was twice a Fulbright Research Scholars, in Hanoi and Hong Kong, where he was born and grew up. His reportage, op-eds or interviews have appeared in Hong Kong Free PressSouth China Morning Post, Los Angeles Times, Critical Asian Studies, Subversity on KUCI, Far Eastern Economic Review, Michigan Free Press, OC Weekly, Fusion (Toronto), Covert Action Quarterly, Asian Week, AMASS, and Gay Community News. He blogs at Mediumhttps://medium.com/@dancal04. Past profile: https://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=5142. Email: dtsang@uci.edu

David Womack is the author of Mountain Bike! Orange County and The Stand-Up Paddler’s Guide to Southern California. He lives and works in Laguna Beach.

Mitsuye May Yamada is an acclaimed poet, essayist, educator, feminist and human rights activist. Yamada was one of the first and most vocal of Asian American women writers who wrote about the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. She is the author of Camp Notes and Other Poems (1976) and Desert Run: Poems and Stories (1988), both of which are available in the combined volume, Camp Notes and Other Writings (1998). At age 96, she released Full Circle: New and Selected Poems (2019). With a lifelong commitment to fighting for human rights, Yamada served on the Amnesty International USA National Board of Directors. She is featured in the documentary Mitsuye and Nellie: Asian American Poets (1981). Most recently, her life is depicted in the political biography Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake (2020) by Diane C. Fujino. 

​​Yamada has received numerous awards including a MELUS award, a Vesta Award from the Los Angeles Woman’s Building, and a Jesse Bernard Wise Women Award from the Center for Women’s Policy Studies, Washington DC. She was a Women’s Day USA Honoree, has been designated a KCET Local Hero and was a Yaddo Fellow, Saratoga Springs, New York. Yamada received an honorary doctorate from Simmons College, Boston in 2009.

Gabriel Zacuto is a partner, parent, worker, artist, and writer surviving in Southern California.  Anarchy lives in his heart.

Sara Zacuto is a former preschool teacher and parent educator who specializes in the Reggio approach. She cares deeply about the rights of children, and wants to see the world become a place where children's voices and ideas are lifted up and respected. She loves writing, thrifting, and collecting books. She lives in Orange, California, with her husband Gabe, two children, and four cats.

Tom Zoellner is a much-published journalist and author of eight books, most recently River to Rim and The National Road: Dispatches from a Changing America. He won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire. Since 2016 he has served as politics editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is a professor of English at Chapman University in Orange, California.

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