Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 Scissortail: Author Biographies (Friday's Readers)

Ken Hada, Alan Berecka, Melissa Morphew, Carol Hamilton
Phil Poulter, of TSTC Waco, has aptly described Alan Berecka’s poetry as that of a time worn child or a wise assed mystic. Berecka makes a living as a librarian at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. He has published poems in many journals and webzines including The Texas Review, The American Literary Review, Ruminate and the Christian Century. He has published two collections of poems, The Comic Flaw (NeoNuma Arts, 2009) and Remembering the Body (Mongrel Empire Press, 2011). To learn more about the poet and his work, please visit .

Joey Brown writes poetry, fiction, and essays. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals, most recently Edge, bordertown, San Pedro River Review, The Dos Passos Review, Quiddity, Compass Rose, and The Chaffin Journal. Her poetry collection Oklahomaography was published by Mongrel Empire Press in 2010. She teaches creative, professional, and technical writing courses at Missouri Southern State University, where she directs the writing internship program.

Phil Estes is a student in the PhD in Creative Writing Program at Oklahoma State University. His poems have recently appeared in: The Associative Press (Canada), DIAGRAM, Hayden's Ferry Review, Interrupture, and others, with poems forthcoming in Sonora Review and West Wind Review. His manuscript, High Life, has finished as finalist for the Black Box Poetry Prize and Subito Poetry Prize.

Steve Garrison’s novel Shoveling Smoke was published under the pseudonym “Austin Davis” by Chronicle Books in 2003. He is currently working on a novel set in a small Oklahoma town in the mid-1960s. A professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Central Oklahoma, Garrison is currently the director of the M.F.A. degree program in creative writing at UCO.  He is married to the writer Constance Squires.

Patricia Goodrich has been featured reader at writers’ conferences, including the Druskininkai International Festival, Lithuania, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, USA.  Her work has been translated into Chinese, Lithuanian and Romanian.  She is a recipient of fellowships through the Andy Warhol Foundation, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Europos Parkas (Lithuania), Inter-Art Foundation (Romania) Leeway Foundation, Makole Sculpture Symposium (Slovenia), Puffin Foundation, Santa Fe Art Institute, Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo. Goodrich also received Pennsylvania Fellowships in Poetry/Creative Nonfiction and was nominated for Pushcart Prizes in poetry and fiction. She is Pennsylvania’s 2005 Bucks County Poet Laureate. Poetry books include How the Moose Got to Be (forthcoming 2012, VAC press), Verda’s House (VAC 2010) and Red Mud (VAC Press 2009).  Her work also appears in six chapbooks, as well as numerous literary journals and anthologies.

Joshua Grasso is an Assistant Professor of English at East Central University. He has his Ph.D. in English from Miami University, specializing in British literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. In addition to publishing articles on writers such as Defoe, Kipling, and Elspeth Huxley, he has recently completed his first novel, for young adults, entitled The Portrait Behind the Portrait. 

Michael Howarth grew up in Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. After earning a BA in English at James Madison University, he entered the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Alaska at Anchorage where he studied the novel and short story. He then earned a PhD in Children’s Literature at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Currently Michael teaches Children's literature, Young Adult literature, and Film Studies at Missouri Southern State University. He also directs the Honors Program. His short stories and essays have appeared in such publications as The Southwestern Review, Flashquake, Farmhouse Magazine, DASH
Literary Journal, Mud Luscious, Cave Region Review, and Cybersoleil Literary Journal.
At the moment, Michael’s agent is submitting his debut novel, Fair Weather Ninjas, to editors and publishing houses. 

Jessica Isaacs is Division Chair of Language Arts and Humanities at Seminole State College, where she teaches creative writing, literature, and composition, and serves as the Director of SSC’s Annual Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium. She enjoys experimenting with form in writing, often combining cross-genre techniques of playwriting, poetry, and fiction.  She believes in delving head-first into a character's voice and perspective in order to spark the writing into an active experience for the reader.   Recently, she presented her poetry with the “WoodyFest Poets” as part of the annual Woody Guthrie Festival Events in 2011 at the Istvan Art Gallery in Oklahoma City and Okemah venues, and she has presented her original flash fiction at the 2011 Southwest / Texas Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association Joint Conference. She claims she is officially “coming out of the closet as a poet,” and is loving every minute of it.  Her selections are from her Sycamore Collection of poetry, a work in progress.

Hardy Jones has had over thirty pieces of fiction and nonfiction published in journals, and his writing has been awarded two grants. He is the author of the novel Every Bitter Thing, and he is the executive editor of the online journal Cybersoleil.  He is an Assistant Professor at Cameron University where he directs the Creative Writing Program.

Abigail Keegan has a Ph.D. in Literature and teaches British and Women’s Literature at Oklahoma City University. She has authored a critical book, Byon’s Othered Self and Voice: Contexualizing the Homographic Signature. She has published three books of poetry including The Feast of the Assumptions and Oklahoma Journey. Her most recent book, Depending on the Weather, was published in 201l. She has read her poetry at universities and at poetry festivals throughout the southwest and published in journals and anthologies. She is currently working on a book about 20th century gothic women writers of Scotland and two new poetry collections.

George McCormick’s new fiction collection, Salton Sea, will be coming out this summer through Noemi Press (Las Cruces).

Michael Melancon, descendent from the 18th-century French settlers forced to migrate from Acadia (now Nova Scotia) to Louisiana, grew up in a working-class section of Baton Rouge, attending grade school in the shadow of the enormous Exxon refinery located along a road named—with unintended irony—Scenic Highway. Baton Rouge sits at the north end of a geographical corridor along the Mississippi River that contains hundreds of chemical plants and has been dubbed by environmentalists—with intended irony—Cancer Alley. Michael’s poetry reflects the influence of these industrial and historical forces. Michael is in his final year of matriculation in the MFA program in creative writing at Oklahoma State University. His work has appeared in Big Muddy, Off the Coast, and The Fiddleback

Along with publishing Noise and Stories, John Morris is attempting to finish a second book of poems (tentatively entitled Unwritten Histories). He has recently published poems in Flint Hills Review and Sugar Mule (and reprinted in Ain't Nobody Can Sing Like Me). Having given twenty-four years of his life to freshman English, American literature, film, and creative writing at Cameron University, he remains Professor of English.

Elizabeth Raby’s two previous books, Ink on Snow, (2010) and The Year the Pears Bloomed Twice, 2009, were both published by Virtual Artists Collective (  Her book, This Woman, is scheduled to be published in 2012, also by Virtual Artists. She is the author of three chapbooks and her work has appeared in numerous journals. Elizabeth has lived in Santa Fe, NM since 2001. There, she and her husband, Jim, conduct a monthly open poetry reading at Tribes Coffee House. Elizabeth is on the board of New Mexico Literary Arts. She worked
as a poet-in-the schools for many years and taught poetry at Muhlenberg College.

The poems and stories of Charlotte Renk are products of long walks in the woods behind her cabin and reflections accumulated over many years of living and teaching. Charlotte says, “I love this earth; it instructs my living in a difficult world. And in my twenty-five years of teaching English and humanities at Trinity Valley Community College here in Athens, TX, I have tried to convey this love for people and nature.” Charlotte has published in Kalliope, Mochila Review, New Texas-’95, ’98, Concho River Review, Sow’s Ear, and Southwest Review.  Eakin Press published These Holy Hungers in 2009, and Poetry in the Arts published her book, Solidalgo, An Altar to Weeds, in 2010. Currently, Charlotte is working on a fiction manuscript entitled, Fires She Couldn’t Put Out. One of those stories won the National Storyteller Award, and three of those stories were published in Langdon Review of Arts in Texas, 1911. Charlotte says, “What matters most is my love of life —family, nature, teaching, hiking, wildflowers, birds, mountains and streams, which function often as metaphors to help me cope with the Way of life. I may have to live a very long time to get there.”

Regina Schroeder was raised by anarcho-syndicalist wolves in an urban jungle. She was permanently warped by early exposure to atonal music, west Texas, Piaget, and the picture books of Eugene Ionesco.

Steven Schroeder was born in Wichita Falls and grew up northwest of Amarillo in Oldham County. He is the co-founder, with composer Clarice Assad, of the Virtual Artists Collective (, which has published five full-length poetry collections each year since it began in 2004. His most recent poetry collection (with Debby Sou Vai Keng) is a guest giving way like ice melting: thirteen ways of looking at laozi. Four Truths, a collection of three short stories and a drama in verse (with paintings by Debby Sou Vai Keng) was published by Wipf and Stock in 2011. He teaches at the University of Chicago in Asian Classics and the Basic Program of  Liberal Education for Adults.

Karen Eileen Sisk received her M.A. in Literature and Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio in June of 2008.  Since then, she has been working on a doctorate in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry at Oklahoma State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Permafrost, Harpur Palate, and Barely South.

Sandra Soli's new poetry collection, Child's Play, is based on her early childhood in wartime England. Emigrating to the U.S. with her mother aboard the Cunard liner Brittanic, Sandra became a naturalized citizen in 1963. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, she earned an honors M.A. in creative writing; and this past summer studied with Gregory Orr at Mt. Holyoke with a grant from Image Journal. Sandy traveled in the Oklahoma artist-in-residence program for a decade, also serving as columnist and poetry editor for ByLine Magazine. In addition to writing and editing, she teaches online and by invitation, facilitating workshops in poetry, short fiction, and memoir, and in 2011 keynoted an inspirational writing conference. Sandra has published in more than sixty literary markets, with an article featured in the 2009 edition of Poet's Market. Awards include LSU's Eyster Poetry Prize, the 2008 Oklahoma Book Award in poetry, and two Pushcart Prize nominations, also nominated for the AWP Intro Award. Recent publications include Naugatuck River Review, Burnt Bridge, War, Literature, and the Arts, Cross Timbers, and the 2012 Texas Poetry Calendar. Sandy contributed this year to anthologies Agave, edited by Ashley & Nathan Brown, Broken Circles, a fundraising project benefiting food pantries across America, and Shifting Balance Sheets, a book focusing on immigration and naturalization issues. She has presented at Woody Guthrie festivals, at literary symposia, and previous Scissortail festivals. Currently on the board of the Oklahoma Center for the Book, Sandy enjoys collaborative projects with artists in other disciplines and has worked with artists, musicians, dancers, and clergy to develop new works.

Constance Squires’s novel Along the Watchtower was published in 2011 by Riverhead/Penguin, and she has completed a new novel, set in Medicine Park, entitled The Return of Lena Jack. Her short fiction has appeared in such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, Identity Theory, Eclectica, The Dublin Quarterly, The New Delta Review, The Gingko Tree Review, Bayou, and The Briar Cliff Review. Her nonfiction has appeared in the Village Voice, Salon, and Largehearted Boy, and was featured on the NPR Radio program Snap Judgment.  She is the winner of the Bob Schacochis Short Story Award, the Matt Clark Fiction Prize, and the Briar Cliff Review Short Fiction Award, and she has received numerous nominations for Best New American Voices, the Pushcart Prize, the Million Writers Award, and the O Henry Prize. She lives with her husband and daughter in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she teaches in the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Rebecca Hatcher Travis, an enrolled citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, frequently writes about her native heritage and the wonder of the natural world. Her first poetry book, Picked Apart the Bones, won the 2006 First Book Award for Poetry by the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas and was published by the Chickasaw Press in 2008. Other published work appears in literary journals, anthologies, Sol Magazine and Friendswood Public Library blog online, historical publications, The Chickasaw Times and Texas Poetry Calendar 2008, 2011 and 2012. She is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, Bay Area Writers League, Gulf Coast Poets and the Poetry Society of Texas. She often reads at Houston area poetry venues.

Sarah Webb is retired from teaching English at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. She edits poetry and fiction for USAO’s interdisciplinary journal Crosstimbers and serves as co-editor for Just This, an online Zen arts magazine. Her essays and poetry have appeared most recently in Zen Gong, Brevities, Texas Poetry Calendar 2012, and Blue Rock Review

Hugh Tribbey’s poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Sugar Mule, Experiential-Experimental Literature, Eratio, Moria, Cormac McCarthy’s Dead Typewriter, and Mad Hatters’ Review Blog. He is the author of seven collections of poetry. His most recent are Day Book and EF Zero forthcoming from White Sky Books. Hugh holds a Ph.D. in English from Oklahoma State University and teaches literature and creative writing at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.

Jim Wilson is a professor of English at Seminole State College in Seminole, Oklahoma. He has an MFA in creative nonfiction (2007) from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. He will read from his memoir-in-progress, The Journeyman, which is about love in the time of civil war Lebanon.

Clarence Wolfshohl is professor emeritus of English at William Woods University.  He operated Timberline Press for thirty-five years until the end of 2010.  His poetry and creative fiction have appeared  in Concho River Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Colere, Rattlesnake Review, Cenizo Journal, and Melic Review, Muse2, Houston Literary Review  and Right Hand Pointing online.  Recently, a chapbook of poems about Brazil, Season of Mangos, was published by Adastra Press (2009) and a compilation of three earlier chapbooks, The First Three (2010), and Down Highway 281 (2011) were published by El Grito del Lobo Press.  A native Texan, Wolfshohl now lives with his wife, his writing, two dogs and two cats in a nine-acre woods outside of Fulton, Missouri.


  1. I really enjoyed going to the ScissorTail the other day, I got to listen to Alan and Sandra they were both very good a funny I enjoyed them both! I liked The Divine Error by Alan and Red by Sandra, I'm glad I went and got to see how other people express their art!

  2. I really enjoyed going to the Scissortail it was interesting, I got to listen to Alan and Sandra on Saturday read their poems. I really liked The Divine Error by Alan and Red by Sandra they were the ones I liked the most,I'm really glad that I went and got to see how other people express their art!

  3. Loved hearing Clarence Wolfshohl talk about his adventures in Brazil and the Amazon. Liked "High Flying Mangos" and the Baseball references made like "Willie Mayes snaps up a mango" and "Line drive mangos". Also liked hearing "Holy Spirit Fish Fry"- coleslaw levitation.

    April 6, 2012 7:08 PM

  4. Well written article. the biographies are perfect and explain the hard work and dedication towards writing. I really enjoyed treading these biographies so keep updating us in future too.

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  6. O wao indeed Alan Berecka’s poetry is amazing.He is my hot favourite poet and i always love to read more about his poetic services.Thanks for sharing such nice post.

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