Essay in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2018;
(cited in BAE 2015, 2016, 2020); PUSHCART poetry finalist
President and Founder of the Solstice Institute and Fiction Co-Editor
Lee Hope, is the author of the novel Horsefever, a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards. She is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, and a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship for Fiction. She has published stories in numerous literary journals such as Witness and The North American Review. She founded and directed a low-residency MFA program and has taught at various universities. She also teaches for Changing Lives Through Literature, which serves people on probation and parole.
Officer on the board
Eric Charles May is an associate professor in the English/Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago and the author of the novel Bedrock Faith, the 2021 One Book, One Chicago selection by the Chicago Public Library, and a 2014 Notable African American Title by Publisher’s Weekly. A Chicago native and a former reporter for The Washington Post, May is a past recipient of the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, president of the Guild Literary Complex, a company member of 2nd Story, a curatorial board member of the Ragdale Foundation, and a selection committee member for the Harold Washington Literary Award.
Secretary and Photography Editor
William Betcher is a psychiatrist in private practice in the Boston area and a fine art photographer. His photographic work has been exhibited at the Griffin Museum, Catamount Art, the Danforth Art Museum, PhotoPlace Gallery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mass Audubon Habitat, and at other places. He published a book of landscape photography, “Anthem: For a Warm Little Pond,” which was included in the Griffin Museum’s Photobook exhibition in 2016, and he is the author of four nonfiction books. He received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MD from Harvard Medical School, and a PhD in clinical psychology from Boston University
Treasurer of Solstice Institute
Peter Katz is a dentist by day and aspiring writer / photographer by nights / weekends or whenever he is not toiling in an oral cavity. His dental practice is in Peterborough, NH and has a home in nearby Harrisville, NH, as well as in Needham, MA. For him creative writing is the highest art form – the ability to create one’s world from the imagination, and to convey it to the reader is truly a thing of wonder. This is why he is pleased to be the treasurer on the board of the Solstice Institute.
Lorena Hernández Leonard is a Colombian-American writer, storyteller, and filmmaker. She is a Pauline Scheer Fellow and graduate of the Memoir Incubator program at GrubStreet and now serves on the program’s board. Her writing has been published in Corporeal KHÔRA, WBUR’s Cognoscenti, Tasteful Rude, and received an Honorary Mention in Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. Her memoir-in-progress, Salsipuedes: Leave if you Can, documents her experiences growing up during the Colombian drug war and immigrating to the US. Lorena has appeared on WORLD Channel’s television program Stories from the Stage and performed on the International Institute of New England’s Suitcase Stories. She is co-producer of the award-winning animated short film Demi’s Panic which has screened at film festivals around the world and was long-listed for the 94th Oscars. Lorena holds a B.A. from UMass Amherst and an M.A. from Emerson College.
Richard Hoffman is the author of seven books, including the memoirs Half the House and Love & Fury, the story collection Interference and Other Stories, and four books of poems: Without Paradise; Gold Star Road, which won the 2006 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Motton Book Award; Emblem; and Noon until Night, winner of the 2018 Massachusetts Book Award for poetry.
Anjali Mitter Duva is an Indian American writer raised in France. She is the author of the bestselling historical novel FAINT PROMISE OF RAIN which was shortlisted for a William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and a Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. She was a 2018 Finalist for a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship. Anjali co-founded and runs the Arlington Author Salon, a quarterly literary series with a twist, and has run a 9-year book club for kids. She is also a co-founder of Chhandika, a non-profit organization that teaches and presents India’s classical storytelling kathak dance. Anjali was educated at Brown University and MIT.
Robbie Gamble holds an MFA in poetry from Lesley University. His poems and essays have appeared in Scoundrel Time, Writers Resist, Stonecoast Review, Solstice, and Poet Lore. He was the winner of the 2017 Carve Poetry prize. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, and works as a nurse practitioner caring for homeless people in Boston.
Editor of Poetry in Translation
Barbara Siegel Carlson is the author of two poetry collections Once in Every Language (Kelsay Books 2017) and Fire Road (Dream Horse Press 2013). She is co-translator (with Ana Jelnikar) of Look Back, Look Ahead, Selected Poems of Srečko Kosovel (Ugly Duckling Presse 2010) and Open (2018) as well as a co-editor of A Bridge of Voices: Contemporary Slovene Poetry and Perspectives (2017). Her third book of poems What Drifted Here is due out from WordTech (Cherry Grove Collections) in 2022 and a chapbook Between the Hours is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2022.
Co-Editor of Poetry in Translation
Ewa Chrusciel is a poet, teacher and translator. She has three books of poems in English: Of Annunciations (Omnidawn 2017), Contraband of Hoopoe (Omnidawn 2014), Strata (Emergency Press 2009, reprinted by Omnidawn in April 2018), as well as three books in Polish: Tobołek, Sopiłki, Furkot. Contraband of Hoopoe was translated into Italian by Anna Aresi (Edizioni Ensemble, May 2019). She also translated selected books by Jack London, Joseph Conrad, I.B. Singer, and Jorie Graham, and selected poems of Kazim Ali, Lyn Hejinian, Cole Swensen and other poets into Polish. She is an Associate Prof. of Humanities at Colby-Sawyer College.
Digital Media and Graphic Lit Editor
Andrai Whitted is the Digital Media Editor at Solstice Literary Magazine where he painstakingly formats each issue among other contributions. He is also a designer and artist and in our Spring 2019 issue he has kickstarted a new genre for the mag with Graphic Lit featuring comic storytelling and other forms of sequential art including comic poetry and experimental works.
Annaka Saari is a writer, teacher, and administrator from Michigan. She received her BA from The University of Michigan and her MFA from Boston University, where she now serves as the administrative coordinator for the Creative Writing Program. She is the recipient of a Florence Engel Randall Graduate Fiction Prize and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, and her work has been published in domestic and international outlets.
Associate Editor in Nonfiction
Jill Frances Johnson grew up overseas, schooled in Jordan, Nepal, and Nigeria. She earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA in 2017 after graduating from Smith College in the Ada Comstock Scholars Program for nontraditional (older!) students. Her work appears in Under the Gum Tree and Clockhouse. Her current project is a memoir Water Skiing in Kashmir about expat life during the ’60’s. She divides her time between the green hills of Vermont and the creative city of St Petersburg, FL.
Co-Editor-in-Chief of Development
Iain Haley Pollock’s second collection of poems, Ghost, Like a Place, is forthcoming from Alice James Books in September 2018. His debut collection, Spit Back a Boy, won the 2010 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He teaches English at Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY, and is a member of the poetry faculty at the Solstice MFA program of Pine Manor College.
Dzvinia Orlowsky is a Pushcart Prize poet, translator, and a founding editor of Four Way Books. She is also the author of six poetry collections published by Carnegie Mellon University Press including Bad Harvest (2019, Massachusetts Book Awards “Must Read”); Silvertone (2013); and Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones (2009).Her translations include Alexander Dovzhenko’s novella, The Enchanted Desna (House Between Water, 2006), Memorials by Mieczysław Jastrun (Dialogos, 2014, co-translated with Jeff Friedman), and Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow by Natalka Biolotserkivets (Lost Horse Press, 2021, co-translated with Ali Kinsella). Dzvinia is Writer-in-Residence at the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing.
Betsy Sholl served as Poet Laureate of Maine from 2006 to 2011. She is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Rough Cradle (Alice James Books), Late Psalm, Don’t Explain,and The Red Line. Her awards include the AWP Prize for Poetry, the Felix Pollak Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and two Maine Individual Artists Grants. Recent poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Image, Field, Brilliant Corners, Best American Poetry, 2009, Best Spiritual Writing, 2012. She teaches at the University of Southern Maine and in the MFA Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts.
January Gill O’Neil is the author of Misery Islands (fall 2014) and Underlife (2009), both published by CavanKerry Press. She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and an assistant professor of English at Salem State University. Recently, she was elected to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ (AWP) board of directors. January’s poems and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in Harvard Review, Green Mountains Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares, among others. A Cave Canem fellow, she runs a popular blog called Poet Mom . January lives with her two children in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Ben Berman is the author of Strange Borderlands (Able Muse Press), which won the 2014 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Poetry Book and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. He has received awards from the New England Poetry Club and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Somerville Arts Council. He teaches in the Boston area, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. You can visit him at www.ben-berman. com
Author, songwriter, educator and performer, Regie Gibson, received his MFA in Poetry from New England College. He has read, taught, lectured and performed at universities, theaters and other venues in eight countries. Regie has performed with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra “X.” He and his work are featured in the New Line Cinema film “love jones” (a film based on events in his life). His poems have appeared in The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Iowa Review and Poetry Magazine among others. He is a National Poetry Slam Individual Champion and his book “Storms Beneath the Skin” received the Golden Pen Award.
Jennifer Boyden is a poet and novelist who lives on an island in Washington state. Her novel, The Chief of Rally Tree (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018) won the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature. She is also author of two books of poetry, The Declarable Future and The Mouths of Grazing Things (University of Wisconsin Press) which were awarded the Four Lakes and The Brittingham Prizes in poetry. Jennifer Boyden’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and she is a former PEN Northwest Wilderness Writing Residency recipient. She teaches literature and creative writing for Spring Street International School and for Eastern Oregon University’s low-residency MFA program.
Marjan Kamali’s debut novel Together Tea (EccoBooks/HarperCollins) was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. Marjan graduated from U.C. Berkeley and earned an MBA from Columbia University and an MFA from NYU. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her stories appear in the anthologies Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been and Tremors. Her essays appear in The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She taught writing at Boston University and currently teaches at GrubStreet. Her second novel, The Stationery Shop, was published by Gallery/Simon & Schuster in 2019.
Helen Elaine Lee was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She is author of The Serpent’s Gift (Atheneum, 1994) and Water Marked (Scribner, 1999). She recently finished two books: A Life Without and The Hard Loss. Her stories have appeared in Callaloo, Prairie Schooner, Hanging Loose, and Best African American Fiction (2009). She is Professor of Fiction Writing in MIT’s Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and a Writer in Residence with the Solstice Low-Residency MFA program. A member of the Board of Directors of PEN New England, she serves on its Freedom to Write Committee and volunteers with its Prison Creative Writing Program.
Brenda Sparks Prescott lives and writes in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She works in higher education administration and fundraising and practices Tai Chi. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The Louisville Review, Crab Orchard Review, Portland Magazine, and the anthology Soap Opera Confidential. She has an MFA from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine and an AB from Harvard University. She is an advisory board member for the Pine Manor College MFA in creative writing and a founding member of Simply Not Done, a women’s writing collaborative. Her first novel Home Front Lines is forthcoming from Bedazzled Ink Publishing.
Patricia Ann McNair’s short story collection, The Temple of Air, won the Chicago Writers Association’s Book of the Year, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Readers Award, and Society of Midland Authors Finalist Award. Her short story, “My Mother’s Daughter” won first prize in SolLit’s fiction awards in 2014. McNair’s work has appeared in American Fiction: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, Prime Number, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and other publications. She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing, Columbia College Chicago.
Elizabeth Searle is the author of five books of fiction and the co-author of a Feature Film screenplay, I’ll Show You Mine (Duplass Brothers Productions, 2022). Elizabeth’s most recent novel, We Got Him, was a finalist for the Midwest Book Award and her previous books include A Four-Sided Bed, nominated for an ALA Book Award, and My Body to You, Iowa Short Fiction Prize winner. Her books Celebrities in Disgrace and A Four-Sided Bed are the basis of short films and her film scripts have won multiple awards. Her theater works have been featured on CBS, CNN, NPR, the AP and more.
Ilan Mochari’s Pushcart-nominated debut novel Zinsky the Obscure (Fomite, 2013) earned flattering reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. His short stories, poems, and essays have been widely published, appearing or forthcoming in McSweeney’s, Hobart, J Journal, Valparaiso Fiction Review, and elsewhere.
Contributing NonFiction Editor
Dewitt Henry is a Professor at Emerson College and the founding editor of Ploughshares (for which he won a Commonwealth Award in 1992). He has authored The Marriage of Anna Maye Potts (winner of the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel) and two memoirs, Safe Suicide: Narratives, Essays, and Meditations and Sweet Dreams: A Family History; he has also edited five anthologies, including Sorrow’s Company: Writers on Loss and Grief. For details see www.dewitthenry.com
Photography Contributing Editor
Lou Jones’s eclectic career has evolved from commercial to the personal. It has spanned every format, film type, artistic movement and technological change. He maintains a studio in Boston and has photographed for Fortune 500 corporations including Federal Express, Nike and the Barr Foundation; completed assignments for magazines and publishers such as Time/Life, National Geographic and Paris Match; initiated long term projects on the civil wars in Central America, death row, Olympics Games and pregnancy; and published multiple books including Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row, Travel & Photography: Off the Charts and Speedlights & Speedlites: Creative Flash Photography at Lightspeed. www.fotojones.com
Photography Contributing Editor
Karin Rosenthal’s photographs reside in numerous museum collections including the Boston MFA, Brooklyn Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Fogg Museum, the ICP, and the Yale University Art Gallery. In 2000, the Danforth Museum of Art produced for a retrospective of her work, Karin Rosenthal: Twenty Years of Photographs. In 2011, Boston’s Photographic Resource Center co-sponsored a year-long exhibition of Rosenthal’s work at MIT’s Center for Theoretical Physics. Her nude, Belly Landscape, was selected to represent the Yale University Art Gallery’s exhibition First Doubt: Optical Confusion in Modern Photography. Karin is a Resident Scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center.
Associate Editor of Reviews & Interviews
Richard Cambridge’s poetry, writings, and theatre productions address controversial themes on the American political landscape. He is a fellow emeritus at the Black Earth Institute. He has a poetry collection, PULSA—A Book of Books, and two spoken word CDs: The Cigarette Papers—A Journey from Addiction and One Shot News—Poetry of Conscience. His awards include the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize and the Master’s Slam at the National Poetry Slam. He received the City of Cambridge Peace and Justice Award for his contributions to art and activism. He curates the Poets’ Theatre, a monthly venue, in Somerville’s Arts at the Armory.
Zibiquah Denny is Potawatomi (People of the Fire) and Ho-Chunk (People of the Sacred Voice) originally from the great lakes and woodlands of Wisconsin. Educated at the University of California at Berkeley, she is a storyteller—she tells stories that educate by writing from an indigenous cultural and historical perspective and entertain by writing from contemporary experience. Former editor of The Circle newspaper and Executive Director of the Native American Journalists Association, she has published essays in the Yellow Medicine Review, The Hocak Worak, The Water-Stone Review and others. She is currently writing a memoir.
Jennifer Gentile, a Melrose, MA native, received a liberal arts degree from Suffolk University and will graduate from Pine Manor College’s MFA program in the winter of 2017 with a degree in fiction. She is an editor of a weekly newspaper outside of Boston, a softball coach, and mother of three.
Meg holds an MFA from Antioch and a degree in textiles from Saterglantan, Insjon, Sweden. She lives in Belmont, MA with her husband and one of her sons. She is a longstanding member of two writing groups that meet monthly. She likes to walk and hike. She votes.
Kaylin Wu is a writer and artist from West Hartford, Connecticut. She earned her dual BA in English and Studio Art from Simmons University. Having worked with several writing institutions in Boston, including Mass Poetry and GrubStreet, she aims to help advance access to the creative arts in the Boston community. Her writing has appeared in Sidelines. She enjoys Thai food, feminist prose, and angry girl music of the indie rock persuasion.
Angie Chatman is a freelance writer, editor, and storyteller. She won a Best of the Net WEBBY Award for the Stories from the Stage: Growing Up Black episode. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Literary Landscapes, the Rumpus, Hippocampus, fwriction: review, Blood Orange Review, and the DINE Anthology. Her Pushcart Prize nominated essay Ode to Poundcake can be found in Pangyrus. A Kimbilio Center for Black Fiction fellow, Angie received support from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Ragdale Foundation. Angie earned her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and lives in Dorchester with her husband, children, and rescue dog, Lizzie.
Karen Halil is a writer from Canada of Lebanese and Armenian Turkish heritage. Formerly a lecturer at Boston University’s Writing Program and Harvard University’s Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, she is currently seeking publication of her debut novel. Her earlier short stories and poetry can be found in Canadian literary magazines. She holds a PH.D. in English literature from the University of Alberta, Canada, and lives in the Greater Boston area.
Metro Detroit Writer Jenifer DeBellis is the author of micro-memoir in verse, Blood Sisters (Main Street Rag, 2018). She’s Pink Panther Magazine’s executive editor and directs the Detroit Writers’ Guild. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Solstice of Pine Manor College. A former writer-in-residence for the Meadow Brook Writing Project, she facilitates workshops for Oakland University’s MBWP Writing Camps. She teaches writing and literature for Saginaw Valley State University and Macomb Community College. Her works have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appears in AWP’s Festival Writer, the Good Men Project, Literary Orphans, Sliver of Stone, Solstice Literary Magazine, and other fine journals.
Michelle S. Ramadanholds an MFA from Lesley University. Her poetry has recently been published in Literary Mama and Mizna. She lives in Massachusetts, and teaches at an independent high school in the North Shore.
Eileen Cleary earned an MFA at Lesley University and is a candidate for a second MFA at Solstice. She co-founded the Lilly Salon of Needham and is a recent Pushcart nominee. Her work is published or forthcoming at Apeiron, Naugatuck River Review, The Main Street Rag and The American Journal of Poetry.
Cassandra Goldwater is a writer and photographer. Her work has appeared in Precipitate (an on-line journal), Storytelling Asia and the Women’s Review of Books. She received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Lesley University and an MBA from Simmons College. She currently teaches writing courses at Lesley University (undergrad) and is a mentor to students in the MFA program in word/image projects. She lives in greater Boston with her husband and constantly shedding pets.
Rebecca Faulkner is a London-born poet and arts educator based in Brooklyn. Her work is published or forthcoming in journals including New York Quarterly, SWWIM, The Maine Review, CALYX Press, CV2 Magazine, On the Seawall, and Into the Void. She is the 2022 winner of Sand Hills Literary Magazine’s National Poetry Contest and the 2021 Prometheus Unbound Poetry Competition. Rebecca was a 2021 Poetry Fellow at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. Her debut collection is forthcoming in the US and the UK from Write Bloody Press in spring 2023.
Linda Button’s essays have appeared in the New York Times Modern Love, Boston Magazine, Brevity Blog, and Dorothy Parker’s Ashes. She’s performed on Stories from the Stage, produced by World Channel for WGBH. She graduated from the Memoir Incubator and Essay Incubator at Grub Street, where she has also served on the board. Button spent 20 years running an award-winning ad agency and romping across six continents to speak on creativity. Her memoir-in-progress, Fight Song, explores marriage, mental illness, and how martial arts saved her. She lives in Massachusetts with her sprawling, complicated family.
Amy Grier is a freelance writer and editor who earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Lesley University. A singer and classically trained pianist, she has taught music and English in the United States and Japan. Amy has an MA in East Asian Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in Literature and Writing from Rivier University. Her work has appeared in Solstice Literary Magazine, Poetry East, the Brevity Blog, eratio, Streetlight Magazine, and others. Her memoir-in-progress, Terrible Daughter, is about the events leading to her estrangement from her parents. She lives in Florida with her dog and piano.
Heather Labay is a writer and freelance editor. Her short story, Cuss Words, appeared in the inaugural volume of The New Southern Fugitives and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and currently lives in Rochester, MI with her husband, children, and two cats.
Kurt Brown founded the Aspen Writers’ Conference, and Writers’ Conferences & Centers. He is the author of six chapbooks and six full-length collections of poetry, including his newest, Time-Bound, from Tiger Bark Press. He is currently an editor for the online journal MEAD: The Magazine of Literature and Libations and has edited ten anthologies of poetry, including his most recent (with Harold Schechter) Killer Verse: Poems about Murder and Mayhem. His memoir, Lost Sheep: A Portrait of Aspen in the 70s, was published by Conundrum Press in 2012. He taught for many years at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and now lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Michael Steinberg is the founding editor of the literary journal Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. He’s written and co-authored five books and a stage play. In 2004, Still Pitching won the ForeWord Magazine /Independent Press Memoir of the Year. An anthology, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (with Robert Root) is in a sixth edition. Steinberg has presented workshops, craft talks and seminars at many colleges and universities as well as at international and national writers’ conferences, And he’s a Nonfiction Writer-in-Residence in the Solstice/Pine Manor College low residency MFA program.
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