Burky Achilles is on sabbatical from her fitness coaching business. She began a spontaneous eruption of poetry in January 2014 following the deaths of her mother and mother-in-law in 2013. Burky was raised on the south shore of Kauai and received her Masters in Writing in Fiction from Portland State University in 2002. In 2000 she was awarded a Literary Arts Fellowship and honored to be a Summer Fishtrap Fellow. Her non-fiction has appeared in the Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul series.
Shawn Aveningo is a globally published, award-winning poet who can’t stand the taste of coconut, eats pistachios daily and loves shoes … especially red ones! She believes poetry, especially when read aloud, is the perfect literary art form for today’s fast-paced world due to its power to stir emotion in less than two minutes. Shawn carries a band-aide and a safety pin in her wallet. She’s given birth on two continents and her three children make her an extremely proud “mama bear.” She shares the creative life – and business, The Poetry Box – with her best friend and soul-mate. They have recently made Portland, Oregon their home.
A resident of Portland, Oregon, Heidi Beierle works as a community planner, specializing in bicycle tourism and active travel options. Her creative work has appeared in Journal for America’s Byways, Herbivore Magazine and Alternatives Magazine.
As a long term resident of Portland, Kamala Bremer works with human and community service organizations to chart their course for the future and achieve their goals. She has received a Kay Snow award for a short story and a Fishtrap fellowship for the first chapter of a novel. Love of the outdoors and the wild inspires her life.
Margaret (Maggie) Chula lived in Japan for twelve years where she taught creative writing at Kyoto universities. Her seven collections of poetry include, most recently, Just This, published by Mountain and Rivers Press. She has been a featured speaker and workshop leader at writers’ conferences and festivals throughout the United States, as well as in Poland, Canada and Japan. In 2010, Maggie was appointed poet laureate for Friends of Chamber Music, composing poems while listening to concerts. She currently serves as president of the Tanka Society of America. For more information about Maggie and her work, visit her website.
Kate Comings is a retired medical transcriptionist and an amateur photographer. She is working on the fourth book of a series of novels set in Portland, Oregon. She lives and writes in Northeast Portland near The Grotto, a shrine to the Virgin Mary.
Thea Constantine grew up in Hollywood, California, and has worked as an award-winning performer, filmmaker and playwright. She is a certified facilitator in the Amherst Writers and Artists method and does workshops with PDX Writers here in Portland. Her short stories have most recently appeared in the Watercress Journal, In Focus, Stellazine and Roving Writers. She has also written “On theYellow Line,” a column for Street Roots, and a serial for the on-line magazine The Black Boot. She shares writing VoiceCatcher’s monthly website prompt column with friend and writer, Carrie Conner. She is currently editing her first novel, Stumptown.
Marylynne Diggs is a teacher, writer and photographer living in Portland, Oregon. She teaches English and Humanities at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington and spends significant time east of the Cascades in Oregon’s high desert. Marylynne migrated west from the Washington D.C. suburbs to pursue graduate work at the University of Oregon. The wild beauty of Oregon inspires her writing and photography.
Linda Ferguson‘s poetry, fiction and essays have been published in numerous journals, including VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, The Santa Fe Literary Review, The Milo Review and Gold Man Review. She has won many awards for her poetry, received the Perceptions 2013 award for non-fiction and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her story “Some Tigers.” She teaches creative writing for both adults and children. You can visit Linda at her blog.
Following a 25-year career as a high school teacher, Geraldine Foote currently divides her time between family, peace advocacy work, art and writing. She is creator of the Peace Leaves, letter-pressed gift poems offered at galleries and art shows. Her poems have appeared in The English Journal; Fireweed, Sunrust; The North Coast Times Eagle; The Reed Exile; The Oregonian; and the anthologies Peace; Peace to the Far, and to the Near; Icarus: One Small Step; Portland Lights; and Inquiry: The Immigrant Experience. She helped found the MFA in Writing program at Pacific University.
Jennifer Foreman lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She works for the county with the elderly and disabled population and writes quirky personal poems in her spare time.
Melanie Green has had two books of poetry published, Continuing Bridge and Determining Sky. Both books are available through Mountains and Rivers Press.
A longtime lover of words, Tanya Jarvik lives in an eco-village in northeast Portland. She has several alter egos, one of whom is an advice columnist.
Lois Rosen’s award-winning poems and stories have appeared in numerous magazines including CALYX Journal; VoiceCatcher; Conversations Across Borders and The Night, and the Rain, and the River. Traprock Books published her first poetry book, Pigeons. She’s taught at Willamette University and Chemeketa Community College. A Rainier Writing Workshop graduate, Lois helps edit Gold Man Review.
Claudia F. Savage‘s first collection, Take The Rain Into Your Mouth, was named a finalist for the New Issues Press Poetry Prize in 2012. She has also been awarded residencies at Ucross, Jentel and the Atlantic Center for the Arts; been a Hawthorne Fellow at The Attic; and published a chapbook, The Last One Eaten: A Maligned Vegetable’s History. Her work has most recently appeared in CutBank, The Boulevard and The Buddhist Poetry Review. Her poetic musings and artistic collaborations can be found on her website.
Penelope Scambly Schott‘s forthcoming book is called HOW I BECAME AN HISTORIAN. She teaches an annual poetry workshop in Dufur, Oregon.
Ann Sinclair is a poet, weaver and retired social worker who lives in Portland. Her poetry has been published in Verseweavers, The Oregonian and The Widows’ Handbook.
Cindy Stewart-Rinier holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University. Her poetry has appeared in publications such as CALYX Journal, The Smoking Poet, Crab Creek Review, Ascent and VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions. Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize: in 2011 by Crab Creek Review and in 2013 by VoiceCatcher. She is a board member of and teacher for the Mountain Writers Series in Portland, Oregon.
Elizabeth Stoessl moved to Portland seven years ago, after many years on the East Coast, but Portland feels like her true and forever home. She spent a long career as a public librarian in Arlington, Virginia. Her work has appeared in many journals, most recently in VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, Persimmon Tree and Passager. Several of her poems were also included in the anthology Unsilenced: The Spirit of Women.
Linda Strever’s poetry collection Against My Dreams was released in Fall 2013. Her poetry credits include VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, CALYX Journal, Adanna, Floating Bridge Review, Crab Creek Review, Nimrod, Spoon River Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal and others. Winner of the Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Prize, Linda has been a finalist for the New Issues Poetry Prize, the Levis Poetry Prize and the Ohio State University Press Award in Poetry. She has an MFA from Brooklyn College.
Kosjenka Filipovic was born and raised in Zagreb, Croatia where she studied art history and literature at the University of Zagreb. Since 1987 she has worked as an interior designer, helping to create living spaces for her clients that are attractive, comfortable and in harmony with their surroundings. While studying design, drawing and watercolor, she began to develop her own images that reflect a sense of balance and a deep reverence for nature. Her passion for contributing to a sustainable lifestyle is reflected in her work, inspiring a sense of warmth and balance to any environment.
Oriana Lewton-Leopold is a painter based in Portland, Oregon. She received her MFA in Visual Studies from PNCA in 2012. Her work has been exhibited in New York and Portland, most recently at Blackfish Gallery, where she is represented. More of her work can be viewed on her website.
Carole Murphy’s sculptures have been shown nationally in such places as the Maryhill Museum; the Coos Bay Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon; New Mexico Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico; The Robert Paul Gallery in Burlington, Vermont; KGB Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona; and Brueton La in West Hollywood, California. Moving from bronze figurative realism, Murphy’s art has morphed into a more organically fundamental aspect of form using cement, steel and mixed media. Carole also writes poetry and essays and is presently writing a book. Find more at her website.
Amy Robinson is a Portland, Oregon artist. While she enjoys the act of making and creating in many mediums, Amy tends to drift toward watercolor as her primary medium. Her work is based on people. Amy believes there is something extraordinary about each of us. Her work is focused on portraying the feelings evoked in her when examining different people. Amy uses negative space to create an unresolved feeling about each portrait, letting each person exist in the space while still leaving a sense of something missing.
Colette Au is currently a junior at Oregon Episcopal School. She found the challenge and satisfaction of creative non-fiction through a personal essay unit in sophomore English. In that class, she wrote her first published work: the memoir “Light and Dark,” featured in the “Young Voices” section in the Summer 2013 issue of VoiceCatcher: a jounal of women’s voices & visions.
Molly Benson’s natural habitat is either at Riverdale High School where she is a freshman or at home playing the baritone ukulele. She can easily be identified by her love of blue makeup, bad puns and green tea. Her philosophy on life is to be as happy as possible and appreciate everything/everyone. It is highly unlikely she will ever become a philosopher. She is working diligently on becoming a writer and perfecting her vegan brownie recipe.
Leilani Garcia is a sophomore at Franklin High School. She enjoys reading and making collages, and aspires to attend Bowdoin University.
Sophia Mautz is a sophomore at Lincoln High School where she is founder and president of the Poetry Club. She won a National Gold Medal for poetry from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, as well as three regional awards. Sophia writes poetry with her feet when dancing with the Polaris Dance junior company and makes bricolage artwork. She is also unit captain of Lincoln’s Constitution Team that won the national championship in Washington, D.C. in April 2014.
Janet Webster is a sophomore at Franklin High School. She participates in every means of storytelling – whether writing, dance, music or theater. Traveling is another passion of hers and she hopes to continue telling stories from all around the world.