A CLOSER LOOK: Afaa Michael Weaver

Jon Barrows


Jon Barrows is a Maine native who recently relocated to Boston after seven years in Washington, D.C. He has been a teacher and grassroots organizer and currently works as a data analyst in the education sector. He has also organized events and workshops around National Poetry Writing Month with Bloombars, a community art space. His work has appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Cactus Heart, StepAway Magazine, and Written River.

Doritt Carroll

Doritt Carroll is the author of In Caves (Brickhouse Books, 2010) and GLTTL STP (Brickhouse Books, 2013), of which the title poem was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Nimrod, Rattle, Negative Capability, The Baltimore Review, Journal of Formal Poetry, and elsewhere.  Her poem "motherlove" appeared in Fuck Poems: An Exceptional Anthology (Lavender Ink, 2012). She is (unfortunately) a lawyer and (fortunately) the mother of two daughters.  A native of Washington, D.C., she received her undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University.

Joan Colby

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review's James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010). She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 11 books including The Lonely Hearts Killers and How the Sky Begins to Fall (Spoon River Press), The Atrocity Book and Dead Horses (Lynx House Press), and Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press, 2013 FutureCycle Prize). Two chapbooks are forthcoming in 2014: Bittersweet (Main Street Rag Press) and Ah Clio (Kattywompus Press). Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review.

Bill Freedman

Bill Freedman is a retired English literature professor, currently teaching part time and serving on the board of governors at the Sakhnin College for Teacher Education in the Arab town of Sakhnin, Israel. In addition to books and essays on literary criticism and theory and an oral history of baseball fans, he has published three books of poems with Ginninderra Press in Australia and poetry in American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, The Quarterly, The International Quarterly, Dalhousie Review, The Nation, The California Quarterly, and elsewhere.

Edward H. Garcia

Edward Garcia has published many reviews and articles in The Dallas Morning News and other publications, including The Texas Observer, The Texas Humanist, Pawn Review, Texas Books in Review, Tex!, County Line Magazine, and Southwest Historical Quarterly.  He is represented in Texas in Poetry 2, Texas Short Stories 2, Literary Dallas, and in two anthologies of writing by DCCCD faculty and staff, Out of Dallas and Voices from Within.  Retired from teaching composition, literature, and creative writing in the Dallas County Community College District, he has an undergraduate degree and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s from the Ohio State University. He lives on the upper east side of Texas with his wife Rica.

Ashley Goedker

If Ashley Goedker was honest with every stranger she met, she’d tell them that she hailed from her hometown Brainerd, Minnesota. She’d tell people that she’s from the place people call “Cabin Country,” “The Brainerd Lakes Area,” or “That Place in the movie Fargo.” Instead, sometimes Ashley likes to pretend she’s from Duluth, Minnesota, where she really does feel at home. She spent her early twenties learning how to get lost, read maps, and then find herself climbing (or clawing) up icy streets in the middle of the night. Aside from living in Duluth, where Ashley received her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Minnesota, she has made a point to live and travel in many different places. She received her Master’s in English Literature and Pedagogy from Northern Michigan University in Marquette. And now lives in Moscow, Idaho, where she works on an MFA at the University of Idaho. Ashley believes that belly-laughing is the best exercise she gets.

Sid Gold

A native New Yorker, Sid Gold is a two-time recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for Poetry. Poems of his have appeared recently in Poet Lore, Loch Raven Review, and Free State Review. His third book, Good With Oranges, is forthcoming from the Broadkill River Press. He lives in Hyattsville MD.

Paul Haenel

Paul R. Haenel is a Pittsburgh native who has lived in Northern Virginia since 1981. He graduated from Penn State University in 1975 and subsequently spent four years as a German linguist/voice intercept operator for the US Army Security Agency (ASA)––later INSCOM––attaining the exalted rank of buck sergeant. His service included sixteen months in West Berlin. He attended George Mason University in the late nineties in the Master of Fine Arts program and studied with Eric Pankey and Carolyn Forché. He has worked at Morgan Stanley since 1979. His poems have appeared over the years in numerous journals, including The Wallace Stevens Review, Antietam Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Poet Lore, Potomac Review, 10X3 Plus, and others. The Washington Writers’ Publishing House published his volume of poems, Farewell, Goodbye, Wave Goodbye, in 1994.

Gerald Jonas

Gerald Jonas is the author of six nonfiction books: On Doing Good: The Quaker Experiment (Scribner’s, 1971); Visceral Learning: Toward A Science of Self-Control (Viking, 1973); Stuttering: The Disorder of Many Theories (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1977); The Circuit Riders: Rockefeller Money and the Rise of Modern Science (W. W. Norton, 1989); Dancing (Harry N. Abrams, 1992, companion book to TV series); North American Trees (Readers Digest Books, 1993). As a New Yorker staff writer for thirty years, he wrote major articles on subjects ranging from computers, basketball, and science fiction to biofeedback, psychology, aging and the brain. As the science fiction critic for the New York Times for thirty years, he reviewed nearly 1,000 works of science fiction and science. His poems and short stories have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, Grand Street, Loaded Bicycle, and elsewhere. He recently finished his first novel, RiveR: A Grandmat in Three Landings.

Michael Lauchlan

Michael Lauchlan's poems have landed in many publications including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, English Journal, The Dark Horse, Nimrod, Thrush, Innisfree, and The Cortland Review, and have been included in Abandon Automobile, from WSU Press and in A Mind Apart, from Oxford. His awards include the Consequence Prize in Poetry. His next collection, Trumbull Ave., is forthcoming from Wayne State University Press.

J.T. Ledbetter

J.T. Ledbetter has published poems in Innisfree, Poetry, New York Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, The Southern Review, Poet Lore, and others.  His latest collection is Old and Lost Rivers (Lost Horse Press, 2012).

Lyn Lifshin

Lyn Lifshin’s Another Woman Who Looks Like Me was published by Black Sparrow at David Godine in October, 2006. (Also out in 2006 is her prize-winning book about the famous, short-lived racehorse, Ruffian: The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian from Texas Review Press.) Lifshin's other recent books include Before it’s Light, published in 1999-2000 by Black Sparrow press, following their publication of Cold Comfort in 1997 and 92 Rapple from Coatism: Lost in the Fog and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenesss and Light at the End, the Jesus Poems, Katrina, Ballet Madonnas. For other books, bio, photographs see her web site: Persephone was published by Red Hen, and Texas Review published Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness. Most recent books: Ballroom, All the Poets (Mostly) Who Have Touched me, Living and Dead. All True, Especially the Lies. And just out, Knife Edge & Absinthe: The Tango Poems. In July 2013, NYQ books published A Girl Goes into The Woods. Also just out: For the Rosespoems after Joni Mitchell and Hitchcock Hotel from Danse Macabre. Forthcoming books include Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle.  And Tangled as the Alphabet —The Istanbul Poems from NightBallet Press. Just released, the DVD of Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass.

Saundra Rose Maley

Saundra Rose Maley has published poems in a number of small press magazines, mostly in the Washington, D.C. area, including Full Moon on K Street: Poems about Washington, D.C., Dryad, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and D.C. Perspectives. After decades of assembling manuscripts that were never sent out, her first book of poems, Disappearing Act, will be published by Dryad Press this fall. In 2005, with Anne Wright, Saundra co-edited A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright. She also published Solitary Apprenticeship: James Wright and German Poetry and is currently working again with Anne on a book about Wright and translation, tentatively titled, Where the Treasure Lies. She teaches Composition and Research at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Art Nahill

Art Nahill is an American physician/writer currently living and working in New Zealand. He has published on both sides of the Pacific, including Poetry, Poetry NZ, Harvard Review, Rattle, and upcoming in Tar River Poetry and Salamander.

Jean Nordhaus

Jean Nordhaus was the subject of our Closer Look in Innisfree 13: Her fourth volume of poetry, Innocence, won the Charles B. Wheeler Prize and was published by The Ohio State University Press in 2006.  Her other books include The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn (Milkweed Editions, 2002), My Life in Hiding (Quarterly Review of Literature, 1991), A Bracelet of Lies (Washington Writers' Publishing House, 1987) and two chapbooks, A Purchase of Porcelain and A Language of Hands

Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, free e-books, and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

Roger Pfingston

Roger Pfingston has poems in recent issues of Apple Valley Review, Rhino, and Hartskill Review. New work will appear in Drunken Boat and I-70 Review. A poem recently published in Poetry East will be featured in Ted Kooser’s weekly column, American Life in Poetry, in December of this year. His chapbook, A Day Marked for Telling, is available from Finishing Line Press.

Barbara Presnell

Barbara Presnell is the author of Piece Work, winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Prize (CSU Poetry Center, 2007). Her work also appears in three award-winning chapbooks and in The Southern Review, Cimarron Review, Connotation Press, Prime Number, Women’s Realities, Women’s Choices, and other journals and anthologies. She has received grant support from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. As a documentary poet, she writes often of social and cultural change, particularly in the South.

Oliver Rice

Oliver Rice’s poems appear widely in journals and anthologies in the United States and abroad. Creekwalker released an interview with him in January 2010. His book of poems, On Consenting to Be a Man, is published by Cyberwit and is available on Amazon. His online chapbook, Afterthoughts Siestas, and his recording of his Institute for Higher Study appeared in Mudlark in December 2010.

David Salner

David Salner’s writing appears in upcoming issues of North American Review, Atlanta Review, River Styx, Magma, Tupelo Quarterly, Salmagundi. His second book is Working Here (Rooster Hill Press, 2010). He worked for 25 years as an iron ore miner, steelworker, general laborer.

Sam Sipe

Sam Sipe has a Ph.D. in English Literature and taught English at the college level in his late 20’s.  In that phase of his life, he published several short stories and poems in literary magazines, including The Nassau Literary Magazine (Princeton University) and The Smith.  For the past 35 years he has practiced law in Washington, DC.  He has recently resumed writing poems.

Janice D. Soderling

Janice D. Soderling has recent and forthcoming work at Alabama Literary Review, Hobart, Per Contra, Measure, Evansville Review, Raintown Review, and elsewhere. She was guest associate editor for the special translation issue of Able Muse, and has been a featured reader at TransatlanticPoetry on Air:

Israel Wasserstein

Israel Wasserstein, a Lecturer in English at Washburn University, was born and raised on the Great Plains. His first poetry collection, This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, is a 2013 Kansas Notable Book. His poetry and prose have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Blue Mesa Review, Flint Hills Review, and elsewhere.

Rebecca York

Rebecca York, the granddaughter of former Innisfree contributor Edwin Zimmerman, begins her undergraduate studies this month at Smith College.

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Contributors' Notes

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Innisfree 1
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