Meet our Authors

Judith Arcana is a Jane, a member of Chicago’s pre-Roe underground abortion service. She writes poems, stories, essays and books, including a much-loved biography of Grace Paley (Grace Paley’s Life Stories) and several poetry collections: What if your mother, 4th Period English, The Parachute Jump Effect, Announcements from the Planetarium, and Here From Somewhere Else, which received the Editor’s Choice Chapbook Award from Turtle Island Quarterly. She hosts a poetry show on KBOO in Oregon and online. Born and raised in the Great Lakes region, Judith has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1995. For more about, and examples of, her work, visit JudithArcana.com.
Sara Backer has lived in Costa Rica, Japan, and both coasts of the United States. She earned an M.A. in English from the University of California at Davis and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has published a novel, American Fuji (Penguin Putnam), and two poetry chapbooks: Bicycle Lotus (Left Fork) which won the Turtle Island Poetry Award, and Scavenger Hunt (dancing girl press). Her writing has been honored with fellowships from the Djerassi and Norton Island artist residency programs. She lives in the woods of the Merrimack River watershed, teaches at UMass Lowell, and leads reading groups at a men’s prison. Her website is sarabacker.com.
Jane Blue has been published widely both in print and online, including anthologies, books, and chapbooks. She authored four previous books of poetry and one memoir. Her publications include Avatar, Panoplyzine, Poetry Breakfast, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Turtle Island Quarterly, and the anthology Unrequited Love. Her poems have also appeared in, among others, Antigonish, The Chattahoochee Review, The Montserrat Review, Poetry International, The Louisville Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Salt Hill. She was born and raised in Berkeley, CA and lived in Sacramento, CA, before passing in October 2019.
Elena Botts has lived in the Hudson Valley, Johannesburg, Berlin, NYC, DC, and many other places. In the past few years, her poems have been published in dozens of literary magazines. She is the winner of four poetry contests and has had six books published. Her visual artwork has won numerous awards and has been exhibited in various galleries. She has also collaborated on, released and exhibited sound and moving image art.
Sara Clancy is a Philadelphia transplant to the Desert Southwest by way of two lovely detours through Wyoming and Washington State. She is an associate editor for Good Works Review. Her poems have appeared in Off the Coast, Crab Creek Review, Kentucky Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Antiphon, Turtle Island Quarterly, Poppy Road, The Linnet’s Wings, Verse Wisconsin, and Houseboat, where she was a featured poet. She lives in Arizona with her husband, their two dogs, a cross-eyed cat, and a 24 year old goldfish named Darryl.
Deborah Ann Dawson grew up in Oregon’s Rogue Valley and majored in Art at what is now Southern Oregon University. In 1978, she was the first woman to receive the Outstanding Senior of the Art Department Award. For three years, Deborah was an Artist in Residence for the Southern Oregon Arts Council, teaching drawing and watercolors to thousands of elementary school children. Learn more at deborahanndawson.com.
K. Elder lives in the woods of Oregon.
Ryan Forsythe is the publisher of Left Fork. Originally from the suburbs of NE OH, when not traveling, he now lives off-grid in the woods of SW OR. He is a writer, editor, teacher, artist, and dad, with an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. For four years he and wife Kaci ran a hostel in Redwood National Park. You can learn more at RyanForsythe.com.
My name is Kailen Forsythe-Elder. I like blue. Dark blue is my favorite color. I go to the Dome School. I’m in Fourth Grade. I write because it’s fun.
Rory Forsythe-Elder is a boy who hates beets, though he loves sour gummy worms. His illustrations appear in "Goldilocks and the Three BARs (Beyond Available Resources)." He makes his home in the woods of the Illinois Valley of Southern Oregon.
Coreen Davis Hampson has lived in Southern Oregon since 1972. That was a year in which many idealistic urbanites moved here to live off the land, frequently communally. After graduating from Los Angeles State University with a B.A. in Anthropology, she decided to be a farmer. She and three friends started a farm in Selma. She has maintained a passion for growing things from the earth to this day, at age 73.
Ted Jean is a carpenter who also writes, paints, and plays tennis with lovely Amy Lee. His work appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, [PANK], DIAGRAM, Juked, Gargoyle, Magma, and dozens of other publications.
Gary Lark's other work includes Ordinary Gravity (Airlie Press 2019), River of Solace (Flowstone Press 2016), In the House of Memory (BatCat Press 2016), Without a Map (Wellstone Press 2013), Getting By (Holland Prize from Logan House Press 2009). His poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Catamaran, Hubbub, Poet Lore, and ZYZZYVA. Gary and his wife Dorothy live in Oregon's Rogue Valley.
Ken Letko teaches at the College of the Redwoods. He grew up on the seasonal rhythms of Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay. Travel in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, Ecuador, and China globalized his awareness of the natural world and diverse cultures. For the last 25 years, he has lived in the magical intersection of ocean, redwoods, and mountains in Del Norte County on California’s far Northern coast. He spent part of last summer as a fire lookout on Red Mountain in the Siskiyou Range. Ken’s poems have appeared in five chapbooks and numerous small-press journals and anthologies.
Christopher Luna is a poet, publisher, visual artist, writing coach, teacher, and editor with an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He served as Clark County, WA’s first Poet Laureate from 2013-2017, and is the editor of “The Work,” a monthly email newsletter featuring poetry events in Portland, Vancouver, and the Pacific Northwest. He is the co-founder, with Toni Lumbrazo Luna, of Printed Matter Vancouver, an editing service and small press for Northwest writers. He and Lumbrazo Luna co-host Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, the popular reading series he founded in 2004.
Carter McKenzie’s work has appeared in journals and anthologies, including What the River Brings: Oregon River Poems, Canary, Sisyphus, Turtle Island Quarterly, The Berkeley Poets Cooperative: A History of the Times, and the poetry anthology Of Course, I’m a Feminist! She lives in a small community in Western Oregon’s Middle Fork Willamette watershed region. Carter is an active member of the Springfield-Eugene Chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). Stem of Us is her second full length book of poetry.
David Newell was an artist and wood carver, specializing in necklaces, animal and floral figures, and ornamental garden boxes. Mytho-poetic themes and imagery were a primary focus of his work. He spent his extra time playing banjo, making one-string puppets (like Murphy the Leprechaun Lawyer), and throwing spears with an atlatl on the spear golf course he built. He reconstructed the banjos, and made the one-string puppets and atlatls himself. His poems appeared in the first two issues of Cobra Lily, and issue three is dedicated to him. He passed the week of his 74th birthday in September 2017.
dan raphael moved to Oregon in 1976, and lived in Ashland almost two years before moving to Portland, where he has lived since. For over 4 decades, he has been active in the Northwest as poet, performer, editor and reading host. For 17 years, dan edited NRG Magazine. He then published 26 Books—26 chapbooks of 26 pages each by 26 Oregon and Washington poets. He also ran a monthly reading series in downtown Portland for 13 years, and organized Poetland—80 writers reading in 8 different venues in an 8 hour stretch. For nearly 4 years now he has written a current events poem most Wednesdays for the KBOO Evening News. Oh, and he worked for the DMV for 32 years.
Ruth Rhodes has lived in Del Norte County since 2003 and teaches English at the College of the Redwoods. She began writing about local culture through two long-running columns in The Triplicate. “The Localvore” focused on Del Norte foodways and “The Accidental Family,” written by her and other family members, chronicled their family’s expansion to include two teen-aged daughters coming out of the foster care system. Ruth is the author and co-composer of the musical This is Crescent City, produced by Lighthouse Repertory Theatre in 2014, and is the writer of a forthcoming graphic novel: How Did We Get Here? which tells the fictional story of four young friends struggling to find their place in their community. In 1998, BBC Radio’s show Short Story featured “Weaver Bird,” a tale Ruth penned while living and working in Kenya as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Her Alaska memoir about living and working in Denali National Park, included in Bona Fide Book’s 2015 anthology Permanent Vacation, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Jared Smith is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry, two CDs, and multi-media stage presentations in New York and Chicago. He is Poetry Editor of Turtle Island Quarterly, and has served on the Editorial Boards of leading literary magazines, including The New York Quarterly, Home Planet News, and The Pedestal Magazine. He has also served on the Board of Directors of literary and arts non-profits in New York, Illinois, and Colorado. He is a former Director of Education and Research for an international research institute, as well as former advisor to several White House Commissions under President Bill Clinton, and Special Appointee to Argonne National Laboratory. He has served on the faculty of New York University, LaGuardia Community College, and Illinois Institute of Technology. Jared currently lives outside Boulder, Colorado and spends much of his time at an unimproved log cabin deep in Roosevelt National Forest where the nearest neighbors are bears, elk, and moose.
Michael is a martial arts instructor and poet. He’s won several awards and distinctions for his poetry, including a Luso-American Fellowship from DISQUIET International; the 2016 Centennial Artist of the Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve; the 2013 Turtle Island Poetry Award for his chapbook Blue Wolf; Honorable Mention in the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Root of Lightning; and the 2004 Robert Graves Award. He is also a poetry editor for The Pedestal Magazine. He lives on a mountainside in O’Brien, Oregon.
Darryl Lorenzo Wellington has spent 20 years as a journalist, syndicated columnist, playwright, poet, surrealist, and performance artist. His essays on poverty, economic justice, race relations, African American history, civil rights history, and post-Katrina New Orleans have appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic, Dissent, Crisis (The NAACP magazine), The Guardian, and many more. He has appeared as a guest on the Tavis Smiley Radio Show and is presently a Writing Fellow at the Center for Community Change in Washington, DC. In the arts (sometimes in life) he loves playing with fire.
Martin Willitts Jr. is a retired librarian living in Syracuse, New York. He is a visual artist of Victorian and Chinese paper cutouts. He is the author of 10 full-length collections and more than 20 chapbooks. Recent books include “Searching for What is Not There” (Hiraeth Press, 2013), “God Is Not Amused with What You Are Doing in Her Name” (Aldrich Press, 2015), and “How to Be Silent” (FutureCycle Press, 2016). He has won numerous awards, including the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award, the 2013 Wild Earth Poetry Prize, and Big River Poetry Review’s 2012 William K. Hathaway Award.
Vincent Wixon’s previous collections include Blue Moon: Poems from Chinese Lines, The Square Grove, and Seed. For many years he was a scholar in the William Stafford Archives at Lewis & Clark College, and, with former Archives director Paul Merchant, has edited four books by Stafford. In 2014, Vincent and his wife Patty received the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award for contributions to the literary life of Oregon.