Meet Our Poets ~ Profiles S
Rosa Saba is a Canadian journalism student, hailing from a small farm and living in the big city, both of which inspire much of her writing. She has been writing poetry for a few years, about whatever crosses her mind. Rosa uses poetry as a procrastination technique and as a means of understanding the world (or at least trying to). She has a sporadically updated blog entitled perks of being a three, and at hellopoetry, you can find her poems. VerseWrights is her first publishing experience. Read.
Miriam Sagan is the author of some 25 books, including her recent collection, Seven Places in America: A Poetic Sojourn. She was recently awarded the New Mexico Literary Arts Gratitude Award in Poetry, and has received the Santa Fe Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. She also does text and grassroots installations—most recently at Salem Art Works and at The Betsy Hotel. Her second novel, Black Rainbow, is forthcoming this fall from Sherman Asher Books. She blogs online at Miriam's Well, to which she invites your visit. Read.
Jacob Salzer has been writing poetry since 2006. He is the author of four books of poetry: The Sound of Rain (haiku), Birds with No Names (haiku), The Last Days of Winter, and Advaya. His haiku are featured in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Under the Basho, Chrysanthemum, A Hundred Gourds, and The Heron's Nest. He lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is currently a medical student studying medical coding. He is frequently inspired by many poets, including Nicholas Klacsanzky, Dave Read, Malintha Perera, and Willie Bongcaron, among many others. His favorite poet of all time is W.S. Merwin. Jacob maintains a poetry blog, and he invites your visit. Read.
Christopher Sanderson (a.k.a. coastmoor) graduated with a MA in Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University in 2006. Since that time he has facilitated creative writing workshops in Louth and Lincoln. The workshops have created the need to continuously read poetry, and prose. He writes that, "Most days I would try to write a poem; it is a practice, as I suppose is meditation, or smiling, or watching the world go by." His poetry swings between sadness and joy, between love and loss, between portraits and landscapes, between form and freedom and between beauty and beauty. At christophersanderson.blogspot.co.uk you can find Christopher's poem a day, and links to his other sites. Read.
Paul Sands was born in 1962 in Erdington, UK, but was raised in The Meadows close to the River Trent in Nottingham. He worked in the IT industry for twenty-seven years until downsized and outsourced in 2006. After dallying with photography he now lives and "attempts to work" in Lincolnshire. He is extensively published, including the self-published collection ego...ergo (Amazon), 2012, and Scratch (Lulu, 2013). He has published in The Nexxuss, Volumes 17 & 18 (2012), Hot Summer Nights Anthology (Inner Child Press, 2012), the Forward Poetry Anthology: Near & Far (Autumn 2012), and the Forward Poetry Anthology Down: Memory Lane (2013). He had a poem selected for use as part of the Rochdale Canal Festival, and has published on the Ink, Sweat & Tears website (2013), and on the Kiss the Witch website (2013). Read.
Ernesto P. Santiago has authored two books of poetry: The Walking Man (2007) and The Poet Who Asked The Birds How To Fly (2009), both published by Outskirts Press. His poetry has won several international awards, including the Nosside World Poetry Prize, Special Mention, (2010), Italy; the International Academy Orient-Occident Grand Prize for Arts, (2008), Romania; and PoetrySoup International First Prize “Award of Excellence,” (2007), USA. Currently he lives in Athens, Greece, where he enjoys exploring the poetic myth of his senses, and has recently become interested in the study of haiku and its related forms. His haiku and tanka have won or placed in international contests, including: Kernels "Pen this Painting, "Winner," (Spring, 2013), USA; Vladimir Devide Haiku Award, Runner-up (2013, 2011), Japan, Librasia; Diogen "Waters of Spring" Tanka, Second Prize (2013), Serbia; Diogen Winter Haiku International Competition, First Prize (2012), Serbia; Haiku Euro Top 100 Most Creative Haiku Authors (2013, 2012, 2011), Poland; NAR Haiku Contest, Winner (2012), USA. He is a member of the Haiku Society of America, the Italian Haiku Association, the World Haiku Association, and the United Haiku and Tanka Society. He is Filipino. Read.
Carl Scharwath's work has appeared internationally with over eighty publications selecting his poetry, short stories, essays or art photography. He won the National Poetry Contest award on behalf of Writers One Flight Up. His first poetry book, Journey To Become Forgotten, was recently published by Kind of a Hurricane Press. He currently makes his home in central Florida. Read.
Rachel Schmieder-Gropen is a sophomore at Mount Holyoke College, double majoring in French and English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She has a cartoon-style small dog and a drawer full of disposable fountain pens. Schmieder-Gropen (regrettably) self-published a collection of poetry and short stories as a freshman in high school and hopes to publish a less embarrassing collection in 2016. She has had poetry published in several reviews, including Yellow Chair Review, Crab Fat Magazine, and Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. Read.
Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. She was also a semi-finalist for the Pangaea Prize and the Atlantis Award. Claire was the grand prize winner of The Maine Review’s 2015 White Pine Writing Contest. Her poems have been published in The Healing Muse, Bellevue Literary Review, The Evansville Review, Enizagam and Atlanta Review, among others. Her first book of poetry, Waiting to be Called, was published in 2015. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry. Read.
Therese Sellers is the author of Alpha is for Anthropos, a collection of original nursery rhymes in Ancient Greek (with English translations). Trained as a classicist, Therese is deeply touched by Greece and all things Greek. She began writing poetry when she was six years old and has been tweeting haiku daily since 2012 at @qerese. She is grateful to Carl Sharpe for finding her on Twitter and for inviting her to submit some of her poems to VerseWrights. Therese maintains an eclectic website at theresesellers.org and invites your visit. Read.
Michele Seminara is a poet, editor, and yoga teacher from Sydney, Australia. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Bluepepper, Tincture Journal, Regime, Seizure, Plumwood Mountain and Social Alternatives. She is also the managing editor of the online creative arts journal Verity La. You can also follow her on Twitter @SeminaraMichele, and she maintains a Wordpress blog, to which she invites your visit. Read.
Rita Lange Severino is a proud Philadelphia native. She has been writing poems since the age of ten, when her grandmother asked her to write her a poem for Christmas. Since 1990, she has taught middle school English, a task rewarding and frustrating in equal measure. Her earlier work was written with a young audience in mind, though she has recently begun writing poems that test the waters in the deep end. Her work can be found on Writerscafe.com, and now on VerseWrights. Read.
Shloka Shankar resides in Bangalore, India. She holds a Master's degree in English Literature, and is a gold medalist from Madras Christian College, Chennai. Shloka is notable for her work in prestigious anthologies, including Traversal of Lines (2012), The Dance of the Peacock (2013), The Unsettled Winter (2014) and Family Matters (2013). She has also seen her poems published in numerous literary journals including Urban Confustions (2012), RaedLeaf Poetry India (2013), Writers Asylum (2013), The Literary Yard (2014), Wordweavers India (2013), Asahi Haikuist Network (2014), Whispers (2014), a handful of stones (2014), Brown Boat (2014), Cattails (2014), A Hundred Gourds (2014) and Creatrix (2014) among others. Read.
Ray Sharp writes poetry and fiction from his home near Lake Superior on Michigan’s rugged Keweenaw Peninsula. His poems and stories have appeared in more than forty journals and anthologies. Sharp’s first book-length poetry collection, Memories of When We Were Birds, was published in 2013 by Red Dashboard Press. He is the author of two chapbooks, a collection of poems about snow called Wind Fierce As Love (published by Dead Mule School of Southern Literature) and a self-published volume of poems about rivers titled Nothing Abides. He will serve as guest editor for the 2016 fall showcase at the zen space. Sharp blogs at raysharp.wordpress.com, and invites your visit. Read.
You can read more about me on the "About" page. I am 72 years old, and live near the ocean on the South Coast of Massachusetts. I love the ocean passionately, and draw upon it and its environs for a lot of my poetic imagery. My poems come hard, and that is most of the fun. Read.
Shaw grew up and lives in the Midwest, where she writes poetry, short stories, and young adult novels with representation by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary. Her short story, A Shot In the Dark, appears in Mystery Times Nine, published by Buddhapuss Ink. In 2010 she was awarded a fellowship by the Midwest Writers Workshop for her manuscript, Scatter. You can find her poetry on Facebook, her website, and here on VerseWrights. Read.
The right side of Dan Shawn’s brain resides in a small corner of southern Quebec, just north of the Green Mountains of Vermont, where it tends a garden and vineyard in summer and gets around on snowshoes in winter. The left side can be found in the Biology Department of a Montreal university, where he teaches and researches in the areas of genetics and evolution. He is a newcomer to poetry and a bit timid when it comes to painting things with words, but nonetheless, feels compelled to do so anyway. Read.
Harriet Shenkman, Ph.D. is a Professor Emerita at City University of New York. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Women’s National Book Association, NYC. She was awarded second place in poetry in the Women’s National Book Association National Writing Contest, 2013. She serves currently as Poet-in-Residence at BoomerCafe.com. Her poems have been published in a number of publications and her new book, Teetering, has been released and is now available from Finishing Line Press. She lives in New York with her husband Jerry and has three children. Read.
Michelle Sho (known elsewhere as Circe) is from Queensland, Australia. She "occasionally scribbles poetry," and loves to explore things and places with a camera. She graduated with a bachelors degree in commerce and is currently self-employed. She publishes on WritersCafe and now here. She says, "All I want is to feel what is real and understand what is true, even the things I never will." Read.
Ken W. Simpson is an Australian poet who grew up in South Camberwell, a suburb of Melbourne. After studying art at Swinburne Art School, he enjoyed a successful career as an art teacher. Since retiring, he has devoted his time to writing poetry. His first book, The Learning Process, was published in 2010. Since then he has published four additional books: A Life in Orbit: A Biography in Verse (2012), The Mind Inside (2013), A Face in the Rain (2013), and his most recent volume, Patterns of Perfection (2015). This year he has had some 40 poems accepted for publication in various venues. He currently lives with his family at Lysterfield, a Melbourne suburb, in the state of Victoria, where—when he is not writing poetry—he enjoys gardening. He maintains an official author website, here, to which he invites your visit. Read.
Ram Krishna Singh was brought up and educated in Varanasi, India, and is now a university professor. His fields fields of interest are scientific writing and Indian English writing--especially poetry. He has been writing for decades in both areas. His published poetry collections include My Silence (1985), Above the Earth’s Green (1997), My Silence and Other Selected Poems (1996), The River Returns (2006), Sexless Solitude and Other Poems (2009), Sense and Silence: Collected Poems (2010), New and Selected Poems: Tanka and Haiku (2012), and I am No Jesus and Other Selected Poems: Tanka and Haiku (2014). He has won a number of Prizes and awards for his work, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013 and 2014. He maintains a blog and an academic website, and invites your visit to both. Read.
Caroline Skanne is a poet and photo artist, originally from Sweden. She was educated in London, and she presently lives with her family in a cottage near the river Medway in Kent. When she is not writing she enjoys photography, mudlarking, bird watching, foraging, gardening, yoga and martial arts. Her poems have appeared online and in printed journals including Word Riot, Decanto, Moonbathing: a Journal of Women’s Tanka, Undertow Tanka Review, Whispers, Lovers & Writers Cafe, The Mustard Grain and Brass Bell: a Haiku Journal, to mention a few. She maintains a website, caroline skanne ~ poems, and invites your visit. Read.
Mikels Skele was born following World War II in Germany, and came to the United States where he grew up in Indiana. He presently lives in Illinois. He is a former teacher, and has worked as an archaeologist in the United States, Greece, Italy, and Latvia. He has been writing poetry and fiction all of his life, minoring in creative writing in college. His publications have been primarily archaeological, a fact he intends to remedy now that he has retired from that profession. His two blogs are www.omniop.net and www.exileschild.org; the former features prose, and the latter poetry. Read.
Ken Slaughter will be Vice President of the Tanka Society of America beginning in 2016. In 2015, he won first place and two honorable mentions in the TSA International contest. His tanka have been published in many journals, including Ribbons, Skylark, Atlas Poetica, Ribbons, Red Lights, Prune Juice, Notes From Jean, and A Hundred Gourds. Also, some of his free verse poetry has been published on Verse-Virtual. Ken lives in Massachusetts, USA, with his wife and two cats. Ken notes that he proud to have his work published on these pages. Read.
Ian C. Smith was born in the UK and, after migrating to Australia, eventually settled in the Gippsland Lakes district of south-east Victoria. Smith overcame a period of criminal activity and subsequent imprisonment to see the value of wordpower, to educate himself and to write poetry and short stories. He wrote about these experiences in an article in Overland in 1997. His poetry has appeared in Cordite, Social Alternatives, Australian Poetry Journal, Poetry New Zealand, The Best Australian Poetry, Chiron Review, London Grip, New Contrast (South Africa), Poetry Salzburg Review, and Two-Thirds North (Sweden), among many others. He has authored seven books, the latest of which is wonder sadness madness joy (Ginninderra: Port Adelaide). Read.
Jared Smith has been publishing over 40 years. His work has appeared in hundreds of journals in this country and abroad, and his Collected Poems: 1971-2011 was released by NYQ Books last spring. He has served on the editorial boards of The New York Quarterly, Home Planet News, The Pedestal Magazine, and Trail & Timberline, as well as having hosted a number of poetry venues in New York and Chicago. He now resides in the foothills of The Rockies, outside Boulder, Colorado. His website is www.jaredsmith.info. Feel free, he says, to visit it and drop him an email. Read.
Cheryl Snell is the author of Prisoner’s Dilemma (Lopside Press Chapbook Competition winner, 2009) and five other collections of poetry. Her most recent novel, Shiva’s Arms (Writer’s Lair Books 2010) reflects her interest in all things South Indian, and her ongoing collaboration with expressionist painter Janet Snell can be followed on the sisters’ blog Scattered Light. Cheryl has had work chosen for a Best of the Net Anthology and is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poems have appeared in many print journals, including Antietam Review, Potomac Review, River Oak Review, Comstock Review, and online in Stirring, Eclectica, Lily Lit Review, Boston Literary Review, Snakeskin, and others. Her work was most recently anthologized in The Centrifugal Eye’s Fifth Anniversary Anthology, and Unlikely Stories of the Third Kind. She lives in Maryland with her husband, a mathematical engineer. Read.
Amauri Solon Is a longtime psychoanalyst, organizational consultant, and, until now, unpublished poet who lives in Rio de Janeiro. Now that he is semi-retired, he spends more time at composing poetry. An immensely busy man throughout his life, he was active in the field of horse-assisted therapy for handicapped children for nearly ten years, and also dedicated a number of years to "Globo Organization," a communication and entertainment group in Brazil which contains some 100 companies with 25,000 employees. He has also been a professor at Rio de Janeiro University. Yet, he has always studied and written poetry, admiring such poets as Guimarães Rosa and Mario Quintana in Brazil, Gabriel Garcia Marques, Jorge Luis Borges in Latin America, and English language poets such as Dylan Thomas and Elizabeth Bishop. As noted above, VerseWrights is his first foray into publishing his work. Read.
r soos is a teacher, poet and musician, and has been published in over 200 print magazines, and has published some twenty books of poetry, including Somersaults With Life (2016), Parting/Departing (2015), and Bringing In The Sheets (2012). All of his books may be purchased at on-line bookstores, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. His poetry has appeared recently online in Peacock Journal, Tuck, Leaves of Ink, Micropoetry, Random Poem Tree, Cuento, In Between Hangovers, and others. r soos also maintains a blog, very small poems, to which he invites your visit, and his video poems may also be viewed on Youtube. His latest chapbook, Cell Notebook, will be published in December, 2016. He currently lives in Joshua Tree, CA and soaks in the beauty of the desert every day. Read.
Amy Soricelli is a lifelong resident of The Bronx and has been writing poetry for a long time. Along with being published in several small magazines, zines, and journals, her work also appears in a few anthologies. Additionally, she was recently nominated for the Best of the Net Award for a poem about the Boston Marathon bombing. When not writing poetry, Amy spends her time helping people land jobs. As an Assistant Vice President for a college, her main focus is assisting alumni with job placement and career planning. Not only has she been at this for almost 40 years, but she also is humbled and honored to have such a "cool job." Way back in the 70's Amy's professor at college was Billy Collins. He told her to "keep at it kid," and, well, she has. Read.
Gareth Spark is from Whitby, Yorkshire. He began writing the poems that became his first collection, "At the breakwater" (Mudfog Press, 2001) in the late 90's. This led to a long association with The Network Arts organisation, out of which came residencies with the Pannett Museum, the North Yorkshire Library service, and several collaborations with the poet Ian McMillan, including the three-day Whitby Town Play festival. His second collection "Ram raid" (Skrev Press, 2004) was a critical success. In 2005, he moved to Spain, where he began to write his first short stories, as well as the poems that made up his third collection "Rain in a dry land" (Mudfog Press, 2008). A period of travel, followed by a wide variety of Blue-collar day jobs followed. Meanwhile, his short fiction and poetry appeared in Shotgun Honey, Line Zero, Ink, sweat and tears, Out of the Gutter, NAP, Poetry Bus and Deepwater Literary Review, among others. His story "American Tan" won second place in the GKBC International Short Story competition in 2013. The publication of his first collection of stories "Snake Farm" (Electraglade Press, 2015) followed. He reviews poetry online for Fjords Review, among others, and is a member of the Zelmer Pulp writing collective. He currently works in Whitby, Yorkshire, plays a rough kind of blues guitar, and is working on a novel. Read.
Sejla Srna is an aspiring poet from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. After moving around her entire life, living in 7 different houses, she has finally (and hopefully) settled down in Edmonton, Canada. There, she is a florist by day and a vigorous watcher of Netflix at night. When writing, she draws inspiration from authors of all sorts, from Virginia Woolf to Henry Miller. She hopes to one day publish a collection of poetry. VerseWrights is her first publishing experience. Sejla maintains a poetry blog on Tumblr, and invites your visit. Read.
Jen Stein is a writer, advocate, mother, and finder of lost things in Fairfax, Virginia. Her experience as an advocate, with PTSD and fibromyalgia, and with the continuing process of healing and reinvention, informs much of her writing. She studied Creative Writing at George Mason University, and is assistant editor for Rogue Agent Journal. Her work has recently appeared in Thirteen Myna Birds, Cider Press Review, Menacing Hedge, Luna Luna Magazine, and Nonbinary Review, and is featured in a micro-collection in Wood Becomes Bone, a series by ELJ Publications. Jen maintains a website at jensteinpoetry.wordpress.com to which she invites your visit. Read.
Julia Stothard is originally from Brighton, England, but currently lives in Middlesex where she works in Further Education as a data report writer and analyst. Her poetry has appeared in various magazines over the years, including South Poetry, iota, Orbis, and Ink, Sweat & Tears webzine. Julia tweets @TerzaVerse, and she maintains a poetry blog entitled Poeticadia, to which she invites your visit. Read.
Debbie Strange makes her home in Winnipeg, Canada. She is a member of The Writers' Collective of Manitoba, and is also affiliated with several tanka and haiku organizations. Her writing has received awards, and has been published internationally in numerous journals, as well as translated into several languages. Debbie is an avid photographer whose work has been published, and was featured in an abstract exhibition. The photographs from this exhibition may be viewed on her gallery on crated.com. She is currently working on a collection of haiga and tankart. Debbie also enjoys singing, playing guitar, songwriting, gardening, and exploring nature with her husband and their dog in a lime-green 1978 VW camper named Ludwig Van. She invites you to visit her on Twitter @Debbie_Strange. Read.
Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English from San Francisco State University, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college. Over 250 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. Most recently her work has appeared in Dark Matter, Strong Verse, Aji Magazine, Counter Punch, and Marathon Literary Review. The natural world is generally her framework; she also considers the stories of people and places around her and personal histories. She is a semi-retired teacher of English and ESL living in Northern California. Read.
Polly Stretton is a member of Worcester Writers’ Circle and part of the Worcestershire Literary Festival team – she is one of two organisers for the alternative poetry event 42 Worcester and also a Croome Poet. Writing for both page and performance, her work has been widely published in anthologies. Her first collection of poetry, Girl’s Got Rhythm, was reprinted by Black Pear Press (2014), which also published her latest work, a series of poems in a pamphlet, Chatterton (2014), about the tragic 18th Century poet Thomas Chatterton. Polly can occasionally be found on Facebook and posts at journalread.com and pollycroome.wordpress.com. Read.
Christina Strigas lives in Montreal and is a graduate of Concordia University with a major in English. She is the author of a trilogy based on the life of a fashion model turned spiritualist: Althia's Awakening, Althia's Calling, and Althia's Journey (Wheatmark). She is currently working on a romantic novel and looking to publish a paranormal romance. She has written articles for magazines, including New Art Review (2010) and The Write Place (fall, 2013), and has been published in poetry reviews and blogs, such as landoffun on Wordpress. She tweets @christinastriga and can be found on her own Wordpress blog where she mostly posts poetry. She presently teaches English and French to young children. Read.
Liam Strong is a poet and writer from Traverse City, Michigan, where he has lived all his life and where he studied at Northwestern Michigan College. He works for the literary staff of the NMC Magazine, and also for the music promotional website It Djents. He has subsequently been published in both places, as well as Dunes Review and Poets' Night Out. He is pursuing an MFA in poetry, and has realized that wooing girls with poetry is futile, but the poems are still cool anyway. Read.
Eleanor Swanson’s fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of publications including The Missouri Review, Black Warrior Review, High Plains Literary Review, The Denver Quarterly, and The Southern Review. Awards include a Fiction Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship in Literature (fiction). Her first poetry collection, A Thousand Bonds: Marie Curie and the Discovery of Radium, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Her novel is Before the Reef (Plainview Press). Little Houses, her debut short story collection, was published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. Conundrum Press published her third book of poetry--Memory’s Rooms. Most recently, 3: A Taos Press published Trembling in the Bones: A Commemorative Edition Honoring the 100 Anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre. Her second short story collection, Exiles and Expatriates, winner of the 2013 Press Americana Prize for Prose, is forthcoming from Hollywood Books. A native of Miami, Florida, Swanson now lives in Denver and teaches environmental literature and fiction and poetry workshops at Regis University, where she is a professor in the English Department.
Wally Swist has published several books of poetry, including Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012) and Velocity (Virtual Artists Collective, 2013). He is also the co-translator along with David Breeden and Steven Schroeder, of The Daodejing of Laozi (Lamar University Press, 2015). His poems have appeared in such journals and anthologies as Appalachia, Commonweal, North American Review, and Sunken Garden Poetry, 1992–2011 (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). He is the author of a scholarly monograph, The Friendship of Two New England Poets: Robert Frost and Robert Francis (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009). He has published over two hundred articles and reviews in periodicals such as The American Book Review, Connecticut Artists, Grolier’s Masterplots, The New Haven Advocate, and Small Press Review. He has also been the recipient of two fellowships and a number of grants. He keeps a website at WallySwist.com and invites your visit. The poet currently makes his home in South Amherst, Massachusetts. Read.
Marianne Szlyk grew up in Massachusetts, went to graduate school in Oregon and Indiana, and now lives in Maryland (near Washington, DC) with her husband, their two cats, and too many CDs. She is a professor at Montgomery College and the editor of "The Song Is…” Recently, she published her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy (Flutter Press). Her first (Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking Up at Trees of Heaven) was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press and is available here. Her poems have appeared in Of/with, bird's thumb, Cacti Fur, Peeking Cat Poetry Journal, Contemporary American Voices, and other online and print venues including Kind of a Hurricane Press' anthologies. She began as a free verse poet but is exploring counted verse and even syllabic verse. Like Weather Underground, some of her poems are hyper-local, inspired by her walks in her neighborhood and Washington, DC. Others are not. She hopes that you will visit The Song Is... and perhaps even submit a poem or two. Read.