2020-2021 Inagural Issue
Zahra Ahmed is Black, Somali, Muslim, and has been called none of the above. While she is not yet fluent in any of her heritage languages, she keeps her culture close through seeking out her family’s histories and writing poetry and fiction based on their stories. When she is not writing, she is thinking she should be writing.
Rebecca River Forbes is a British-Mauritian fuelled by tea (she travels with a tea library). She writes poems, short stories, and she writes and performs stand-up comedy.
Her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, longlisted for Fiction Factory’s Short Story Prize, shortlisted for the Exeter Short Story Prize, and published in Inlandia. Her poetry has been published in The Elevation Review, River River, Riotous, West Trade Review, and Route 7 Review.
She recently finished her novel Shut Mouth and is hunting for an agent to give her some love. Find her on Twitter @bohobo101.
Mariah Ghant (she/her) is a Black artist based out of Philly. An alumnus of Vassar College, she studied Drama and English focusing on Acting and Poetry Writing. Mariah’s work has been featured in three print publications with Z Publishing, as well as online with Distance Yearning, Lucky Jefferson, MixedMag, Passengers Journal, and most recently with Philadelphia Stories. In her everyday life, Mariah enjoys creating and teaching art across various genres including theatre, writing, dance, and movement. Forever fantasizing on the phenomenal, Mariah’s writing explores relationships, identity, and the cosmos. To see more of her work, you can visit her poetry Instagram @mariah.g.poetry or check out her artist website at mariahghant.com.
Anna Idelevich is a scientist by profession, Ph.D., MBA, trained in the neuroscience field at Harvard University. She writes poetry for pleasure. Her books and poetry collections include “DNA of the Reversed River” and “Cryptopathos” published by the Liberty Publishing House, NY. Anna’s poems were published by Louisville Review and Fleur-de-Lis Press, Weasel Press, In Parenthesis, displayed at The McNay Art Museum, O:J&A, Lucky Jefferson, Hash, Gyroscope review, Bourgeon Magazine, among others. We hope you will enjoy their melody, new linguistic tone, and a slight tint of an accent.
Lily Kardon (she/they) is a poet and parent residing in Philadelphia on unceded Lenape land. Lily’s writing resides at the intersection of ancestral healing, queerness, and jewish identity.
Tina Karelson’s poetry and book reviews have appeared in the 2018 Women Artists Datebook, The Southeast Review, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Mystery Readers’ Journal and other publications. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota. Tina’s most unusual achievement is that she is a Jeopardy! champion, winning one game on the legendary television quiz show. The child of Estonian refugees, Tina is the first person in her family to have been born in the United States.
Sam Kaspar was born in Canada, is of Lebanese heritage, and works in Iowa as an orthopedic surgeon. He writes part-time and prefers topics of nature, existentialism, social justice, emotion, heritage, memory… He’s had over 30 publications so far of his poetry & prose in Snapdragon, Decomp, Tiny Seed, Rigorous, Burnt Pine, Weasel, Tower, Wingless Dreamer, and others. In 2020, he was a finalist in Vallum’s poetry contest, and Iron Horse’s year-end ekphrastic challenge as well as their prose chapbook contest. He also sees literary value in his previous scientific publications, although the language there is in part statistical – he’s okay with that because he definitely ‘speaks math’ as well as loving wordplay and concept-rich poetry. Facebook page reading: Sam Kaspar the writer @MightySamster.
Saira Khan (@sairakhans) lives and writes in Issaquah, WA. Her work can be found in the University of Chapman’s TAB: Journal of Poetry and Poetics; “Who’s Afraid of the Dark” in the Haunted Traveller; and the forthcoming “Virgin” in Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones.
Khando Langri (she/her/མོ་) is a disabled Tibetan of mixed heritage from Tio’tia:ke (Montreal). She is currently completing a master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Oxford where she is thinking about landscape, texture, archive and memory within the Tibetan exiled community while wandering the aisles of Tesco
Cristina Legarda was born in the Philippines and spent her early childhood there before moving to Bethesda, Maryland. She studied literature in college and then attended medical school and is now a practicing physician in Boston. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in America magazine, the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, the Journal of Medical Humanities, and FOLIO.
Lekey Leidecker is a Tibetan writer born and raised in Kentucky. Her family is from Pemako. She is preoccupied with Tibetan life, identities, time, and land. She divides her time between New York and London and just finished her first chapbook. Read her other work and connect at lekeyleidecker.com.
Jessica Mehta is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and multi-award-winning poet. To learn more about Mehta and view the Emmy award-winning documentary on her life and work from Osiyo TV, visit www.thischerokeerose.com.
Nofel is a Canadian poet and essayist. His poems and essays are forthcoming or recently appear in Yolk Literary Journal, House: Queer Black and Brown Creative Anthology, The Nasiona, and Canadian Notes and Queries. His Arabic writing can be found on Raseef 22 and Jeem.me. Nofel only publishes under his first name as a stance against heteronormative blood relations and the racist systems that stem from them.
Natalia A. Pagán Serrano is a poet from Puerto Rico. She resides in Oregon drenched in tree-magic and rain. She adores her fiancé, Daniel, and her cat, Esteban. Natalia’s poems have been published in PANK Magazine, Portland Review, and The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism, among others.
Horia Pop has romanian blood, speaks in french and writes in english. He writes about marginalized people, lunatics and hobos. Sometimes a crazy publisher accepts his latest writing. This never ceases to amaze him. When he’s not writing, he watches old movies, reads old books and talks with old spiders about life and secret lovers. That’s about it folks!
angelic proof (t[he]y) is a Russian-Jewish trans-gender queer poetry-excavator. They have performed across Turtle Island and Europe, unearthing what was once buried in silence. They have been published in Frontier Poetry, SAD Mag among other journals. They are currently the Poet-in-Residence at the Roundhouse Community Arts Centre. They hate taxidermies and love timelessness.
Takwa (Tee) Sharif is a Somali-American writer and social worker from Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a social worker in education, helping low-income families with connect with community resources. She’s passionate about equity, social justice, and human rights. During her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, hiking and kayaking. She currently lives in Ogden, Utah with her partner and 2 dogs. Find her on Instagram: @teesharif.
Gabriel Vazquez is a poet, writer, and cartoonist. Gabrielwas born in Puerto Rico but raised in the South Bronx. They hold a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (concentrating on English Literature & Creative Writing) from WNMU. Gabriel works as a vocational rehabilitation technician and a freelance writer/illustrator in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They live with their husband and two dogs.