Thursday, March 9, 2023

18th Annual Scissortail: The Poster


2023: Schedule of Readings

18th Annual: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival
April 6 - 8, 2023
East Central University
Ada, Oklahoma 

Thursday, April 6

I. 9:30 – 10: 45 Estep Auditorium 

Ben Myers: Oklahoma Baptist University
The Family Book of Martyrs
Denise Tolan: San Antonio, Texas
Italian Blood & This is What Love Looks Like
Gary Worth Moody: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Cartography of Random Graves Antlered with Unfamiliar Desert Bird 

II. 11:00 – 12: 10 Estep Auditorium

Andrew Geyer: U. South Carolina - Aiken
Molly Sizer: Lawton, Oklahoma
Loving Our Neighbors
Cullen Whisenhunt: Eastern OK State College
Childish Thing & other poems 

III. 11:00 - 12:10 Regents Room

David Meischen: Albuquerque, New Mexico
An Alphabet for Mockingbirds
Julie Chappell: Cleveland, Oklahoma
Watermarks – Only Visible in the Light
Corbett Buchly: Richardson, Texas
Like All Strong Things Leave Us 

*** Lunch ***

IV. 2:15 – 3: 35 Estep Auditorium

Maryann Hurtt: Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Bedlam and Blossoms
Alan Birkelbach: Raton, New Mexico
Transformation:Absence, Silence, and Distance
Richard Dixon: Oklahoma City, OK
West on the 40 

V. 2:15 – 3:35 Regents Room

Ann Howells: Carrollton, Texas
My Most Unforgettable Character
Patrick Kindig: Tarleton State University
The Stephenville Poems
John Morris: Cameron University
The Laws of Physics & other poems 

VI. 3:55 – 5:10 Estep Auditorium

Sarah Webb: Burnet, Texas
Neal Ostman: Colleyville, Texas
Earthman – Churned Earth
Alan Gann: Dallas, Texas
In Dorothy's Shadow 

VII. 3:55 – 5:10 Regents Room

Bill McCloud: Rogers State University
Hypnotic Poetry
Keely Record: Tulsa, Oklahoma
What I've Seen
Mark Walling: East Central University
Mother Merry Turns Contrary 

VIII. 7:00 – 8:30 Estep Auditorium

Featuring: Major Jackson
(Authors’ Reception – Polo’s Restaurant)

Friday, April 7

IX. 9:00 – 9:50 Estep Auditorium
Rob Roensch: Oklahoma City University
The World and the Zoo
Tina Carlson: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Let's Say My Lover is a Volcano 

X. 9:00 - 9:50 Regents Room

Joey Brown: Missouri Southern State U.
Paul Austin: Norman, Oklahoma
Looking, Listening, Feeling 

XI. 10:00 – 10:50 Estep Auditorium

karla k. morton: Raton, New Mexico
Politics of the Minotaur
Marc DiPaolo: SWOSU
He Saved My Life, He Save My Bongo 

XII. 10:00 – 10:50 Regents Room

Ron Wallace: Durant, Oklahoma
Winter Descending
Josh Grasso: East Central University
Psychics Always Cheat 

XIII. 11:00 – 12:10 Estep Auditorium

Chris Murphy: Northeastern State University
The Soviet Bloc: Studies in Genre
Linda Neal Reising: Poseyville, Indiana
Stone Roses: Voices of Oklahoma Women Pioneers
Tom Murphy: Corpus Christi, Texas
Where Does Love Go & other poems 

XIV. 11:00 – 12:10 Regents Room

Paul Juhasz: Seminole State College
The Inner Life of Comics
Sally Rhoades: Albany, New York
Don Stinson: Northern Oklahoma College
Dark Rooms in Silent Houses 

*** Lunch ***

XV. 2:15 – 3:35 Estep Auditorium

Sharon Edge Martin: Oilton, Oklahoma
Turning Life Experiences into Fiction
Roy Beckemeyer: Wichita, Kansas
The Currency of His Light
Steven Pedersen: East Central University
Dog Days 

XVI. 2:15 -3:35 Regents Room

Woodstok Farley: Tarleton State University
The Glass Factory Menagerie
Lyman Grant: Harrisonburg, Virginia
Symptom and Desire
Bill Hagen: Shawnee, Oklahoma
Others and Upsets 

XVII. 7:00 – 8:30 pm Estep Auditorium 

Featuring: Allison Amend

Recognition of Undergraduate Writers

(Reception for Authors, Guests & Students:

Ross-Osborn Family Foundation Event Center) 

Saturday, April 8

XVIII. 9:00 – 10:10 Estep Auditorium
Wendy Dunmeyer: Lawton, Oklahoma
My Grandmother’s Last Letter
Markham Johnson: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Summer's Discordant Joy
John Yozzo – Tulsa, Oklahoma
Emanations of Angels: Dreams That Never Say Enough 

XIX. 9:00 – 10:10 Regents Room
Brady Peterson: Belton, Texas
Selected Love Letters
Rilla Askew: University of Oklahoma
Two of Her
Robert Wynne: Burleson, Texas
Recent Poems 

XX. 10:25 -11:35 Estep Auditorium
Alan Berecka: Sinton, Texas
Selected Poems
Chloe Lafevers: Tishomingo, Oklahoma
Peak, and other poems
Aaron Glover: Dallas, Texas
Caftan Season & Other Considerations 

XXI. 10:25 -11:35 Regents Room
Nathan Brown: Wimberly, Texas
Saved by the Fire: Pandemic Poems Project
Ky George: Gallup, New Mexico
Oil and Water
Zhenya Yevtushenko: Tulsa, Oklahoma
A Country Yet to Be 

XXII. 12:00 – 1:00 pm Estep Auditorium

Grand Finale, Featuring:
Octavio Quintanilla 

Awarding the Dr. Darryl Fisher
State High School Contest Winners

2023 Scissortail Biographies

Rilla Askew is the author of five novels, a book of stories, and a collection of creative nonfiction. She’s a PEN/Faulkner finalist and recipient of the American Book Award and the Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her essays and short stories have appeared in AGNI, Tin HouseWorld Literature Today, NimrodPrize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and elsewhere. Askew’s most recent novel, Prize for the Fire, is about Early Modern English writer Anne Askew, who was burned as a heretic in 1546.

Paul Austin’s book Spontaneous Behavior, the Art and Craft of Acting, was published by Turning Plow Press, in October, 2022. his collection of poetry Notes on Hard Times was published by Village Books Press. His work has appeared in such publications as This Land, Sugar Mule, Oklahoma Review, More Monologues by Men, and Newport Review. His poems have also been included in Speak Your Mind, the 2019 anthology of Woody Guthrie Poets, Bull Buffalo and Indian Paintbrush, an anthology of Oklahoma poetry, Behind the mask: Haiku in the Time of Covid-19, Jerry Jazz Musician, and LEVEL Land: poems for and about the I-35 corridor. Late Night Conspiracies, a collection of his writings was performed with jazz ensemble at New York’s Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Roy J. Beckemeyer’s fifth book of poetry, The Currency of His Light, has been accepted for publication by Turning Plow Press for 2023. His 4th book, Mouth Brimming Over (2019) was published by Blue Cedar Press. Stage Whispers (2018, Meadowlark) won the 2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award. Amanuensis Angel (2018, Spartan Press) contains ekphrastic poems inspired by artists’ depictions of angels. Music I Once Could Dance To (2014, Coal City) was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. Beckemeyer’s work has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net Awards, and has won Best Small Fiction. He has designed and built airplanes, discovered and named fossils of Palaeozoic insect species, and has traveled the world. Beckemeyer lives with and for his wife of 60 years, Pat, in Wichita, Kansas. His Authors Page is at

Alan Berecka – Since he was in Ada last, has had a damn good year. His most recent book A Living is not a Life: A Working Title was named a finalist in the Hofer Award. He’s had several poems posted on the Texas Poetry Assignment and snuck into their print anthology. He was published in the Windward and Langdon Review, and read at the Poezijos pavasaris, the Lithuanian Writers Unions Spring Festival held in Vilnius and other cities and towns around Lithuania. But the greatest thing to happen in the last year is that he retired from working as an academic librarian.

Alan Birkelbach, a Texas native, is the 2005 Texas Poet Laureate. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, Western Writers of America, National Park Foundation, and The Academy of American Poets. He is a Spur Award Winner, two-time international Indie Book Award Finalist, winner of North Texas Book Festival Award, Pushcart Prize Nominee, editor for several editions of the TCU Press Texas Poet Laureate Series, winner of the Pat Stodghill Book Publication Award and winner of the Edwin M. Eakin Memorial Book Publication Award. His twelfth book is The National Parks: A Century of Grace, with fellow Texas Poet Laureate karla k. morton. is due out from TCU Press in November of 2020. They visited all 62 National Parks, wrote poetry and took photos, with a percentage of the sales from the forthcoming book going back to the Parks System.  This is to help culturally preserve our greatest treasures – our National Parks for the next 100 years.

Joey Brown is a poet and a fiction writer. She has authored two poetry collections: The Feral Love Poems (Hungry Buzzard Press) and Oklahomaography (Mongrel Empire Press). Her poems and prose have appeared in The Red Earth Review, Plainsong, Concho River Review, The Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas, Tulsa Review, Oklahoma Review, The San Pedro River Review, and other journals. She has recently completed two new manuscripts – a book length narrative poem set in early-80s oil bust Oklahoma and a mystery novel – for which she is seeking publishers. She frequently performs her poetry at festivals and writing conferences around the Midwest and sometimes beyond. Joey now lives in southwest Missouri with her husband, the novelist Michael Howarth, and spends her free time making amateur art, watching British tv shows, and dreaming about retiring from her day job.

Nathan Brown is an author, songwriter, and award-winning poet living in Wimberley, Texas. He holds a PhD in English and Journalism from the University of Oklahoma where he’s taught for over 20 years. He served as Poet Laureate for the State of Oklahoma in 2013/14, and now travels fulltime performing readings, concerts, workshops and speaking on creativity, poetry, and songwriting. Nathan has published 25 books. Most recent is his new collection of poems, In the Days of Our Resilience, the fourth in a series now known as the Pandemic Poems Project, a collection of commissioned poems that deal with the days of the pandemic, and a new travel memoir  Just Another Honeymoon in France: A Vagabond at Large. Karma Crisis: New and Selected Poems, was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and the> Oklahoma Book Award. His earlier book, Two Tables Over, won the Oklahoma Book Award

Corbett Buchly’s poems have appeared in 17 journals, including SLAB, Rio Grande Review, North Dakota Quarterly, and Barrow Street. He is an alumnus of Texas Christian University and the professional writing program at the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Northeast Texas with his wife and two children. You can find him online at

Tina Carlson is a NM poet. She has published two previous collections of poems: Ground, Wind, This Body (UNM Press, 2017) and, in collaboration with two other NM poets, We Are Meant To Carry Water (3: A Taos Press, 2019), winner of the 2020 NM/AZ Poetry Anthology prize. Her third collection, A Guide to Tongue Tie Surgery is forthcoming in fall 2023 from UNM Press. She won second place in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts 2020 Joy Harjo Poetry Contest.

In her former life as a professor of medieval and early modern English literature and creative writing, Julie Chappell published six books of scholarship; a collection of her original poetry, Faultlines (Village Books Press, 2013); and other writings. Her poetry and prose have appeared in a number of anthologies and journals including Cybersoleil: A Literary Journal; Malpa├»s Review; Voices de la Luna; Concho River ReviewStone RengaSpeak Your Mind: Woody Guthrie Poets Celebrate Freedom of Speech 2019; and Bull Buffalo and Indian Paintbrush (The Poetry of Oklahoma). She has also read her work widely in a variety of venues from California to Virginia and places in between. In 1994, she was the Grand Slam Poetry prize winner in Lawrence, Kansas. Since retiring in 2018, she has published two more collections of poetry, Mad Habits of a Life (Lamar University Literary Press, 2019) and As I Pirouette Away (Turning Plow Press, 2021). Her second collection, Mad Habits of a Life was nominated for the Paterson Prize in 2020. She also has two collections of original short stories, Homecoming and Other Mythic Tales (Fine Dog Press, 2021) and Contrary Qualities of Elements (Fine Dog Press, 2023). 

Marc DiPaolo is an Associate Professor of English at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Secretary for the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States. He has written the ethnic autobiography Fake Italian (2021), and the nonfiction books Fire and Snow: Climate Fiction from the Inklings to Game of Thrones (2018), Emma Adapted: Jane Austen’s Heroine from Book to Film (2007) and War, Politics, and Superheroes (CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2011). He has also edited and co-edited book collections of essays about film directors Ozu and Mike Leigh, and on religion in American culture. He has been interviewed on NPR, BBC4, and in the documentaries Geek and You Shall Find (2019) and Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics (s1e4, 2017).

Richard Dixon is a retired high-school Special Education teacher and tennis coach. His poems and essays have been published in literary journals, and he has been a featured reader many times. 2017 saw the publication of an extended chapbook, Leaving Home.

Wendy Dunmeyer loves poetry, wildflowers, and watercolor painting. Her poetry has been selected as a finalist for the Morton Marr Poetry Prize; received honorable mention in NDSU’s Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Chapbook Contest; and has been published in Measure, Natural Bridge, The Oklahoma Review, and elsewhere. Her full-length collection, My Grandmother’s Last Letter, is forthcoming from Lamar University Literary Press. To encourage future generations of poetry lovers and young poets, she has taught poetry classes for children at her local library and volunteered as a visiting writer for National Poetry Month at local elementary schools.

Woodstok Farley is a former beach bum from South Florida living on the edge of West Texas. Now instead of waves, reefs, and cypress-filled swamps, he lives on land full of mesquite, cactus, and a longhorn named Tip. He also shares the land with his beautiful bride of 40+ years, a dog named Tallahassee, and a cat who comes when you whistle. Woodstok says he’s been writing all his life; it’s just that he used to do it with a paintbrush and a canvas. Telling crazy stories of beaches, swamps, and life on the road, his friends said he should write this stuff down. So he did. The result was his first collection entitled As the Wave Rose: Florida Tales and Other Wandering Stories, published by Fine Dog Press. His second collection, also by Fine Dog Press, tells of his wanderings among the hills of Oklahoma entitled, The Water Stop Saloon: More Wandering Tales. Currently, Woodstok is working on a noir novel set in his hometown entitled Murder at the Pennsylvania Hotel.

Alan Gann facilitates after-school programming and writing workshops for under-served youth for which he wrote DaVerse Works, a performance poetry curriculum. Multiple Pushcart and Best-of-the-Net nominee, Alan is the author of three volumes of poetry: Better Ways to See (Assure Press), That’s Entertainment (Lamar University Literary Press), and Adventures of the Clumsy Juggler (Ink Brush Press). His nonexistent spare time is spent bird watching, biking and otherwise enjoying the outdoors.

Inspired equally by her upbringing on the plains of Oklahoma and time spent exploring the high desert of New Mexico, Ky George uses essay, fiction, and poetry to explore the intimate relationships between the land and its people. Ky is a graduate of the Red Earth MFA and has had work published in The Oklahoma Review, Insurrection, and Lesbians are Miracles. 

Andrew Geyer’s tenth book is the composite anthology Magic, Mystery, Madness: electric ekphrastics (Angelina River Press 2022).  A member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the South Carolina Academy of Authors Literary Hall of Fame, Geyer currently serves as English Department Chair at the University of South Carolina Aiken and as fiction editor for Concho River Review.

Aaron Glover’s poetry has previously appeared in Thimble Literary Magazine, the Virginia Quarterly ReviewMad SwirlIllya’s Honey, the Red River Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook Bio Logic (2017) was published through INF Press. From 2011-2016, he was on faculty in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. As a performer and director, he worked throughout Texas and the Great Plains. He holds an MFA from the University of Houston, and currently lives in Dallas, TX.

Lyman Grant lives in the Shenandoah Valley. For four and a half decades, he taught at Austin Community College and served in various administrative roles including Dean of Arts and Humanities. He is the editor of New Growth: Contemporary Short Fiction from Texas, Short Fiction: Classic and Contemporary, and The Letters of Roy Bedichek. He served as book review editor of The Texas Humanist and fiction editor for Brazos River Review and published essays and reviews in Texas Observer, Texas Books in Review, The Langdon Review, Creative Pulse, and Dallas Morning News. With John Lee and Sharon Adams, he founded and edited MAN!, a quarterly magazine devoted to men’s issues. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and in several volumes of poetry. In 2023, he will publish two new books Symptom and Desire:  New and Selected Poems and Ostraca (a volume of Golden Shovel poems).  He is married and the father of three sons. 

Joshua Grasso is a Professor of English at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where he has been teaching everything from Batman to Beowulf for the last 15 years. He has a PhD in 18th century English lit from Miami University, and an MA from the University of Tulsa. His science fiction and fantasy stories have recently appeared in Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, Metaphorosis, Allegory, and the Creepy and Tales to Terrify podcasts. His most recently published story, "Emissary," will be featured in a benefit anthology to support victims of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. 

Bill Hagen retired from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2012, where he taught courses in Western Civilization, fiction, film, and drama for 38 years. He has published articles on Joseph Conrad, Malcolm Lowry, detective fiction, silent Westerns, film adaption, and regularly reviews for World Literature TodayDr. Hagen has been involved in the Let’s Talk About It programs since the mid-1980s and presently serves on the state FOLIO (Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma) board.

Ann Howells edited Illya’s Honey for eighteen years. She has published four books: Under a Lone Star (Village Books Press, 2017), So Long As We Speak Their Names (Kelsay Books, 2019), Painting the Pinwheel Sky (Assure Press, 2020), and Cattlemen & Cadillacs -- as editor (Dallas Poets Community Press, 2017). Chapbooks include: Black Crow in Flight, Editor’s Choice in Main Street Rag’s 2007 competition and Softly Beating Wings, 2017 William D. Barney Chapbook Competition winner (Blackbead Books). Her work appears widely in small press and university publications including Plainsongs, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Borderlands, Concho River Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Switchgrass, and San Pedro River Review. She is a multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee.

Now retired after working thirty years as a hospice RN, Maryann Hurtt now has the energy to explore and write. She comes from a family of storytellers and her poetry reflects a wish for “one more story.” Once Upon a Tar Creek: Mining for Voices (Turning Plow Press) came out in 2021. Recent work has been or will soon to be published in Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Moss Piglet, Gyroscope Review, Snapdragon, Verse-Virtual, and Oklahoma Humanities. Her poem. ”at six weeks” received a Pushcart nomination in 2022.

Markham Johnson's book of poetry, Dear Dreamland, was published in 2022 by Lamar University Literary Press. Of this book, Roger Weingarten said "Johnson weaves a midwestern web around his childhood, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and 'an okie/ on a back porch mulling obsession/ and a half bottle of Lone Star.' " Johnson won the Pablo Neruda Prize, and his first book, Collecting the Light, was chosen for the University of Central Florida's Contemporary Poetry Series. His chapbook, Grackles, Redwings, Starlings, was selected for publication by Philip Levine.

Living what could be charitably called a nomadic life, Paul Juhasz was born in western New Jersey, grew up just outside New Haven, Connecticut, and has spent appreciable chunks of his life in the plains of central Illinois, in the upper hill country of Texas, and in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. Most recently seduced by the spirit of the red earth, he now lives in Oklahoma City. A graduate of the Red Earth M.F.A., his work has appeared in several literary journals, most recently Concho River Review, Poetry Quarterly, Oklahoma Review and Main Street Rag. He has been serving as curator and coordinator of the Woody Guthrie Poets since 2020. His first book, Fulfillment: Diary of a Warehouse Picker—a mock journal covering his six-month stint in an Amazon warehouse—was published by Fine Dog Press in 2020. His second book, Ronin, a collection of (mostly) prose poems—also published by Fine Dog Press—was named a finalist for the 2022 Oklahoma Book Award in poetry. His second collection of poetry, The Inner Life of Comics, was published by Turning Plow Press in the fall of 2022.

Patrick Kindig is assistant professor of English at Tarleton State University. He is the author of the chapbook all the catholic gods (Seven Kitchens Press 2019) and the micro-chapbook Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press 2016), and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, the Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Washington Square Review, Copper Nickel, and other journals.

Chloe LaFevers is a graduate student currently enrolled in Oklahoma City University’s Red Earth MFA program. A graduate of East Central University, she acted as an editor for the 2022 edition of Originals, ECU’s annual literary journal, in which she also had several works featured. She placed third in both the Scissortail Festival’s 2022 Undergraduate Creative Writing Contest and East Central University’s annual Paul Hughes Memorial Writing Award in 2022.

Sharon Edge Martin has been published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Family Circle, Malpais Review, Oklahoma Today, Oklahoma Humanities, Outside, True West, and in three Wood Guthrie Anthologies. Her work is included in Michael Bugeja’s The Art and Craft of Poetry, in Bull Buffalo and Indian Paintbrush, edited by Ron Wallace, and in Level Land, edited by Craig Hill and Todd Fuller. She writes for the Oklahoma Observer and is the author of two books from Village Books Press, Not a Prodigal and I’ve Got the Blues: Looking for Justice in a Red State.

Bill McCloud is an associate poetry editor for the Right Hand Pointing literary journal and is the poetry reviewer for Vietnam Veterans of America. His poetry book, The Smell of the Light (Balkan Press), reached #1 on The Oklahoman’s “Oklahoma Bestsellers” list. His poems have appeared in Oklahoma Today and the Oklahoma English Journal, are taught in classes at the University School of Milwaukee, WI, discussed in a Creative Writing class at the University of Tulsa, and read by cadets in an English class at the Air Force Academy. He is a faculty member of William Bernhardt’s WriterCon, presenting sessions on writing and publishing poetry. Bernhardt’s Balkan Press will be publishing McCloud’s second full-length poetry book, A Common Little Hurt

A Pushcart honoree, with a personal essay in Pushcart Prize XLII, David Meischen is the author of Anyone’s Son, winner of the John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas

Institute of Letters (TIL). Nopalito: Stories is forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press. David has twice received the Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story from TIL, most recently for “Crossing at the Light,” lead story in The Distance Between Here and Elsewhere: Three Stories (Storylandia, Summer 2020). His work has appeared in The Common, Copper Nickel, The Evansville Review, Salamander, Southern Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, and elsewhere. A former juror for the Kimmel Harding Nelson center for the arts, David completed a 2018 writing residency at Jentel Arts. Co-founder and Managing Editor of Dos Gatos Press, he lives in Albuquerque, NM with his husband—also his co-publisher and co-editor—Scott Wiggerman.

A graduate of St. John's College and of the George Mason University MFA Program, Gary Worth Moody has worked as a forest fire fighter, a farrier, a cowboy, and building a town for coal miners in Siberia’s Kuzbass Region. His poems have appeared in myriad journals on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the anthologies, Cabin Fever: Poets at Joaquin Miller’s Cabin, 1984-2001 (Word Works Press) and Weaving the Terrain (Dos Gatos Press). He is the author of Hazards of Grace (Red Mountain Press, 2012); Occoquan (Red Mountain Press, 2015) shortlisted for the international Rubery Book Award in poetry; and The Burnings (3: A Taos Press, 2019), co-winner of the New Mexico / Arizona Book Award. He is currently in the final assembly of a 4th manuscript with working Cartography of Random Graves Antlered with Unfamiliar Desert Bird. A falconer, Gary lives in Santa Fe with the artist and writer, Oriana Rodman, Handsome, the cinnamon Dachshund, Beauty, a grulla hound of indeterminant genetic origin and, if health and luck hold, a Ferruginous or Red-tail hawk this coming autumn.

John Graves Morris has attempted to commit poems for nearly fifty years because he can't quite escape the sneaking suspicion that someday he might be good at that endeavor, a notion that, among other things, has kept him from retiring.  He has one published collection, Noise and Stories, and an unpublished one, The County Seat of Wanting So Many Things, and one of the many things he wants is to find a publisher for it.  His poems have appeared in The Chariton Review, The Concho River Review, The Red Earth Review, The Red River Review, Jelly Bucket, Big Muddy, and others.  He teaches at Cameron University, which so far seen fit not to kick him out, and lives in Lawton with Janie Lytle.

karla k. morton has fifteen books, and is nominated for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Her The National Parks: A Century of Grace is historic: there’s never been another poetry book written in-situ from each of the 62 American National Parks to help culturally preserve and protect these sacred spaces for the next seven generations. Morton and fellow Poet Laureate and co-writer/explorer Alan Birkelbach give a percentage of their royalties from the book back to the National Parks. Her most recent poetry book Politics of the Minotaur won First Place in Poetry in the Firebird Book Award, won the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America, and is short-listed for the International Rubery Book Award. Her work has been published by such journals as American Life in Poetry, Alaska Quarterly Review, Southword, Atlanta Review, Arkansas Review, descant, Boulevard, Comstock Review, Lascaux Review, Grub Street and New Ohio Review. An avid conservationist, Morton is a Quixote: the word she coined meaning a person with the seemingly impossible dream of visiting all their country’s National Parks. She was named Texas Poet Laureate in 2010.

Christopher Murphy received his MFA from The University of Arkansas and teaches creative writing at Northeastern State University. He serves on the board for the Nimrod International Journal and the Oklahoma Humanities Council. His work has been published at Gulf Coast, This Land, Jellyfish Review, Necessary Fiction, and decomP among others. He has a collection of flash fiction, Burning All the Time, from Mongrel Empire Press.

Tom Murphy was the 2021-2022 Corpus Christi Poet Laureate and the Langdon Review’s 2022 Writer-In-Residence. Murphy’s books: When I Wear Bob Kaufman’s Eyes (2022) from Gnashing Teeth Publishing, Snake Woman Moon (2021), Pearl (2020), American History (2017), and co-edited Stone Renga (2017) with Alan Berecka. He’s been published widely in literary journals and anthologies such as: Poetry is DEAD: An Inclusive Anthology of Deadhead PoetryBoundlessConcho River Review, MONO, Good Cop/Bad Cop Anthology, Odes and Elegies: Eco-Poetry from the Texas Gulf Coast, Wine Anthology, The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology, Red River Review, Switchgrass Review, Windward Review, Corpus Christi Writers Anthologies, Voice de la Luna, WordFest Anthology, Outrage: A Protest Anthology for Injustice in a Post 9/11 World among other publications. Recently retired from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, he still works with the Barrio Writers and the People’s Poetry Festival. Contact information, books or bookings, or .

Benjamin Myers was the 2015-2016 Poet Laureate of the State of Oklahoma and is the author of four books of poetry: The Family Book of Martyrs (Lamar University Press, 2022), Black Sunday (Lamar University Press, 2018), Lapse Americana (New York Quarterly Books, 2013) and Elegy for Trains (Village Books Press, 2010). His poems may be read in The Yale Review, Image, Rattle, The Cimarron Review, Ninth Letter and many other literary journals. He has been honored with an Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry and with a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers Conference. Myers is the Crouch-Mathis Professor of Literature at Oklahoma Baptist University, where he teaches creative writing and English literature and directs the great books honors program. His first book of non-fiction, A Poetics of Orthodoxy, was recently published by Cascade Books.

Neal Ostman’s poetry has appeared in various journals, anthologies and e-zines, including: artsDFW guide; Cattlemen & Cadillacs;; Electric Acorn, Dublin, Ireland; The Fort Worth Poet;; Lllya’s Honey; New Texas 2001; Pierian Springs; Poems Niederngasse; Poetry Pacific; Red River Review, Under the Streets and Bridges, WordFest Anthology 2022, and Wired Art from Wired Hearts. His poetry readings have been well received at many venues in Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, and other cities in his travels. Neal has taught writing and poetry seminars at the OU Short Course on Professional Writing and Texas Writers’ Conferences, respectively. In addition to poetry, his published credits include humor and op-ed columns, and business articles. Neal is a member of the Dallas Poets Community and The Poetry Society of Texas. He lives in Colleyville, Texas.

Steven M. Pedersen, PhD, is a scholar in rhetoric, composition, and technical writing. His work has appeared in Rhetoric ReviewThe Journal of the Kenneth Burke SocietyJournal of American Studies Association of Texas, and The Oklahoman. He is also an aspiring poet with a manuscript in development entitled, Dog Days. He currently teaches at East Central University as an Assistant Professor in the English and Languages Department.  

Brady Peterson has lived in Belton, Texas for the past 37 years. There he taught rhetoric, built houses, helped raise five daughters, and wrote poetry. He is the author of Glued to the Earth, Between Stations, Dust, From an Upstairs Window, and From the Edge of Town. 

Keely Record lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Received an MFA from the Red Earth Creative Writing MFA program at Oklahoma City University. She serves on the editorial board of Nimrod International Journal. Her poetry has appeared in Atlas Poetica and Bamboo Hut.

Linda Neal Reising, a native of Oklahoma and a member of the Cherokee Nation, has been published in numerous journals, including The Southern Indiana Review, Comstock Review, and Nimrod. Reising’s work has also appeared in a number of anthologies, including Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (Harper/Collins) and And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (Indiana Historical Society Press). She was named the winner of the 2012 Writer’s Digest Poetry Competition. Her chapbook, Re-Writing Family History (Finishing Line Press), was a finalist for the 2015 Oklahoma Book Award, as well as winner of the 2015 Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Poetry Book Prize. In 2018, her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the editors of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library. Kelsay Books nominated her poem “Emmaline” for a Pushcart Prize in 2022. The Keeping, her first full-length book of poetry published by Finishing Line Press in 2020, won the Kops-Fetherling Phoenix Award for Best New Voice in Poetry. Her second full-length collection, Stone Roses, which was published by Kelsay Books in 2021, was finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award, the Spur Award, and the WILLA Award. Stone Roses won the Eric Hoffer Award and the Western Heritage Wrangler Book Award.

Sally Rhoades was the feature at Third Thursday this past September hosted by Dan Wilcox. She was interviewed by Andrea Cunliffe for the Hudson Mohawk magazine at WOOC105.3 FM, a Sanctuary for Independent Media. She has been featured in Poetry Spoken Here, a podcast directed by interviewer/poet Charlie Rossiter. Her poetry has appeared in Misfit Magazine, Dragon Poetry Review, 2, Elegant Rage, a poetic tribute honoring the centennial of Woody Gutherie, the Highwatermark Salo[o]n performance series by Stockpot flats, Up the River and in Peerglass, an anthology of Hudson Valley peer groups. She received her Masters of Arts in English in 1995 at the University of Albany.

Rob Roensch is the author of the story collection The Wildflowers of Baltimore (Salt, 2012), the short novel The World and the Zoo (Outpost19, 2020), and the novel In the Morning, the City is the Prairie (forthcoming from Belle Point Press). He teaches at Oklahoma City University. 

Molly Sizer is a retired rural sociologist living in southwest Oklahoma. She spends a lot of time walking in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, and occasionally writes poetry. She’s presented her words to Lawton’s Third Saturday readings, Duncan’s Reading Down the Plains, the Woody Guthrie Poetry Readings (2018, 2022) and the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. (2019, 2022)   Her work has been published in Westview and The Oklahoma Review.

Don Stinson is the author of two poetry collections—Flatline Horizon (Mongrel Empire Press, 2018), and Hunger (Turning Plow Press, 2020), which was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. His third book, tentatively titled Dark Rooms in Silent Houses, will be published in the summer of 2023 by Turning Plow Press. Individual poems have appeared in Concho River Review, Southwestern American Literature, Loonfeather, and other print and online publications. A graduate of Oklahoma State University’s graduate creative writing program, Stinson has taught at Northeastern State University, OSU, and Ridgewater College in Minnesota. He is retiring June 1 after 24 years at Northern Oklahoma College, where he taught on all three NOC campuses (Tonkawa, Enid, and Stillwater), and—with Brandon Hobson and Paul Bowers, co-founded the Chikaskia Literary Festival.

Denise Tolan's work has been included in places such as The Best Small Fictions, The Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening PostBlue Mountain ReviewAtlas and Alice, and Lunch Ticket. Denise was a finalist for Best of the Net 2022 and for the International Literary Awards: Penelope Niven Prize in Nonfiction, as well as the Diane Wood’s Memorial Award for Nonfiction. Her memoir, Italian Blood, is scheduled for release with CavanKerry Press in fall 2023.

Ron Wallace is an Oklahoma native and currently an adjunct instructor of English at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, in Durant, Oklahoma. He is the author of ten books of poetry, five of which have been finalists in the Oklahoma Book Awards. Renegade and Other Poems was the 2018 winner of the Oklahoma Book Award. Wallace has been a “Pushcart Prize” nominee and has recently been published in Oklahoma Today, Concho River Review, San Pedro River Review, Borderlands and a number of other magazines and journals. He also edited Bull Buffalo and Indian Paintbrush, a collection of Oklahoma Poetry and completed his first novel, A Secret Lies in New Orleans, a finalist in fiction in the 2022 Oklahoma Book Awards.

Mark Walling is a professor in the department of English at East Central University. Among many other things, he sponsors Originals, the ECU student journal of creative writing, and serves as the judge for short fiction for the annual Fisher high school contest, a state-wide contest. His short fiction has been published in several leading journals.

Sarah Webb is the former poetry editor of Crosstimbers, an interdisciplinary journal from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Her poetry collections Red Riding Hood's Sister (virtual artists collective, 2018) and Black (virtual artists collective, 2013) were finalists for the Oklahoma Book Award and Black for the Writers' League of Texas Book Award. She is a co-editor for the Zen arts magazine Just This and co-leader of an ongoing writing group for Zen and Writing. 

Cullen Whisenhunt is a graduate of Oklahoma City University's Red Earth Creative Writing MFA program. His work has appeared in Dragon Poet's Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and The Bamboo Hut, among other journals. His debut chapbook of poetry, Among the Trees, was published by Fine Dog Press in 2021, and he has a chapbook of experimental poetry, Childish Thing and Other Experiments, forthcoming from Fine Dog Press. He currently teaches English at Eastern Oklahoma State College in McAlester, OK, where he conducts writing workshops with the McAlester Public Library Poetry Club. He also co-hosts (with Ron Wallace) monthly Poetry on Lost Street readings in Durant, OK.

Robert Wynne earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. A former co-editor of Cider Press Review, he has published 6 chapbooks, and 3 full-length books of poetry, the most recent being Self-Portrait as Odysseus, published in 2011 by Tebot Bach Press. He’s won numerous prizes, and his poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies throughout North America. He lives in Burleson, TX with his wife and a lively German Shepherd. His online home is

Zhenya Yevtushenko is one of the sons of Maria and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Zhenya likes to claim that he is pursuing his undergraduate degrees in English, Political Science, and History whenever he isn't going on walks with his little dog. His works and translations have appeared in Suburban Witchcraft Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, The Tulsa Review, and The Guardian. He owes his inspiration to his mother, his brothers, and to the love of his life, Olivia.

John M. Yozzo is a retired professor of English and a retired farmhand, residing in Tulsa OK.  A native of Ponca City OK he is sprung from a large Catholic family, is a proud product of strict parochial schools, and holds 3 degrees from the University of Tulsa. Yozzo taught at TU, the University of Alabama in Birmingham and at East Central U in Ada OK a total of 34 years. Yozzo has published in Concho River Review, Arcadia, and Malpais, as well as Ain’t Gonna Be Treated This Way and Oklahoma Poems and Their Poets. Yozzo has published two collections of poems with Village Books Press, Only Wonder (2017) and Echoes and Omens (2019).  He has, after 50 years of writing, manuscripts for many more.

Winners of the 19th Annual Daryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest

Poetry Winners:

First Place: Elaine Gao, “The Sunken Cathedral.” Jenks (Instructor: Emily Stewart)
Second Place: Ava Blakley, “Apocalypse.” Edmond Santa Fe (Valerie Roberson)
Third Place: Ainsley Nidiffer, “Al Balad.” Claremore (Mrs. Andrews)

Honorable Mentions:
Elissa Marks, “Myself Through a Prism.” Edmond Memorial (Kelly Bristow)
Abigail Harmon, “(Double) Standard of Education.” Edmond Memorial (Kelly Bristow)
Nora Garrison, “Among the Silt.” Edmond Memorial (Kelly Bristow)
Liberty Rogers, “Everything Changed.” Dale (Allison Robinson)
Kaylee Irvin, “Inner Monologue of a Pencil.” McAlester (Rachel Morris)
Preseley Boschert, “Austin, Texas, July 10.” Owasso (Sherry Beeson)
Izzy Lewis, “Holding Up Half the Sky.” Dewey (Deborah Thoreson)
Ingeyla Ghori, “My Caged Bird.” Bartlesville (Anna Garrett)
Emilia Chambers, “It Is What It Was.” Bishop Mcguinness Catholic (Kathy Judge)
Emily Spotts, “Elegy for a Best Friend.” Life Ready Center (Maureen Durant)

Fiction Winners:

First Place: Elissa Marks, “The Re-education of Quentin Whatever.” Edmond Memorial (Instructor: Kelly Bristow)
Second Place: Helena Todd, “Starboy 2.” Shawnee (Cathy Megee)
Third Place: Aubrey Whiteside, “Spanish Carmine.” Ada (Preston Mann)

Honorable Mentions:
Maddie Dilley. “Lost in a Long-Forgotten Nightmare.” Harding Fine Arts Academy (Carly Heitland)
Ian Doering. “The Burning Irony.” Edmond Memorial (Kelly Bristow)
Maggie Gower. “Tribulation.” Bristow (Kyle Zapata)
Gracie Kinnaman. “Library in the Dunes.” Cascia Hall, Tulsa (Melissa Halve)
Brynn Peterson. “Inflorescence.” Lawton (Christina Bausch)
Sade Proper. “A Second Chance.” Carl Albert (Brooke Beasley)
Liberty Rogers. “The Fearful and the Fearless.” Dale (Allison Robinson)
Harini Senthil. “Dollhouse.” Jenks (Rachel Games)
Asbah Talal. “A Winter’s Night.” Edmond North (Shannon Coffee)
Patience Williams. “A Dark Night in Orio.” Ada (Preston Mann)

Friday, December 9, 2022

2023 Undergraduate Creative Writing Contest

Prizes: * 1st - $100 * 2nd - $75 * 3rd - $50
(Plus Books & Honorable Mentions)


· Contest is open only to currently enrolled undergraduate students.

· Eligible students are expected to attend the Festival. Recognition will occur Friday evening, April 7, 2023. (Please do not submit if you cannot attend the festival).

· Submissions must be confirmed by a sponsoring faculty member.

· Each institution is allowed a maximum of 5 (five entries); This includes ECU.

· Each institution is responsible for selecting its contestants

· Submissions are limited to one of three categories: 1) one piece of short fiction (up to 7500 words), or one piece of creative nonfiction (up to 7500 words), or up to three poems (150 lines total).

· Prizes will not be designated by genre, but will be awarded for best writing.

· All entries must be the original work of the student.

· All entries must be neatly typed; please double-space prose entries.

· Entries will not be returned, so keep your originals.

· No identifying marks should be on the manuscript itself, except for the title.

· Provide separate Cover page with contact information: 1) Student’s Name; 2) Student’s email address AND mailing address 3) Faculty Member’s Name & Email address 3) Institution 4) Classification 5) Phone number 6) Title of original work submitted

· Submit work by email to Dr. Jennifer Dorsey at In the subject line of your email submission, type “Scissortail Undergraduate Contest.”

· Professor Dorsey will screen entries, then an outside judge will judge all entries that meet minimum guidelines.

DEADLINE: Email entries to must be received by Midnight February 19, 2023. There will be no exceptions. Recognition of writers will occur Friday April 7 as part of the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival held at East Central University (April 6 - 8, 2023). Please visit (and subscribe via email) to receive festival updates. Contact: Ken Hada, (580) 559-5557 for information regarding the Festival

Judge: Dr. Andrew Geyer, whose tenth book is the composite anthology Magic, Mystery, Madness: electric ekphrastics (Angelina River Press 2022). A member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the South Carolina Academy of Authors Literary Hall of Fame, Geyer currently serves as English Department Chair at the University of South Carolina Aiken and as fiction editor for Concho River Review.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Scissortail Submission Guidelines 2022-2023

The Deadline for submissions for the 18th Annual Scissortail Festival, April 6 - 8, 2023 has passed.

We invite submissions to be considered for an in-person program. Please send your best work, while considering the following guidelines. Please follow exactly.

COVID DISCLAIMER:  By submitting your work to be included as a participant and/or audience member of the 2023 Scissortail Festival, you voluntarily acknowledge that you have been vaccinated for COVID and/or you fully accept all responsibility for any potential health risk when gathering in these public events. By submitting work to be included on the festival program, applicants further agree to hold harmless the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival and East Central University. You also recognize that plans to hold an in-person festival, could be changed at the last minute, as necessary, due to unforeseen circumstances associated with Covid, and/or the festival could be canceled at the discretion of East Central University.

* We anticipate that authors will have up to 20 minutes to present their material – this is the total time at the mic, including any comments you make in addition to the presented material.

* Scissortail is a reading festival. No workshops, how-to, propaganda or pre-arranged panels are acceptable. Reading sessions feature a mixture of authors and genre.

* Fiction and creative nonfiction writers are encouraged to Excerpt their submission to fit into the time restraints (The appeal of a narrative may, in fact, be heightened by presenting a carefully selected excerpt, rather than speed-reading).

* Due to the number of participants, it is not possible to accommodate scheduling requests.

* Please understand that Ada, Oklahoma is a small town with very limited public transportation and has a limited number of hotel rooms. Ada is a two-hour drive from the Oklahoma City airport, three hours from DFW (in good traffic) and two and half hours from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Scissortail Festival is unable to provide shuttle service to and from these airports, so please consider these factors before submitting.

* Sessions usually consist of 3 or 4 readers per session. Authors may NOT exceed 20 minutes total time at the mic – including prose, including commentary. Please respect your audience and fellow readers by diligently adhering to time restraints.

Submit by email: 1) complete contact information 2) the title of your program and the work to be considered – please consider the time restraints per reader. 3) a paragraph-length biographical narrative summarizing publications and significant accomplishments (please write bios in 3rd person).

Deadline for submission is December 18, 2022. The schedule will be announced as early as possible, in January, and certainly by early February at the latest.

Send email submissions to: Identify “Scissortail Submission” in the subject line.

Please check your calendar before submitting. Participants are not charged registration fees, nor are authors compensated. Please subscribe by providing your email at in order to receive notice of information regarding the festival and related events. Updates are posted on this site.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

19th Annual R. Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest

East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma presents 

Oklahoma’s Most Prestigious High School Writing Competition 

Prizes to be awarded at ECU, Scissortail Festival, April 8, 2023

Fiction: 1st Place $250; 2nd place: $150; 3rd Place $100
Poetry: 1st Place $250; 2nd place: $150; 3rd Place $100
20 Honorable Mention Awards of $25 each


* All Oklahoma high school students (9th - 12th grade) are eligible.

* Poetry (up to 100 lines) or Short Fiction (up to 6,000 words) is acceptable.

* Limit 5 poems and 1 short fiction piece per student.

* All entries must be the original work of the student.

* All entries must be neatly typed; please double-space fiction entries.

* Entries will not be returned, so keep your originals.

* No identifying marks should be on the manuscript itself, except for the title.

* Provide cover page with contact information: 1) Student’s name; 2) High School and Teacher’s name 3) Classification (senior, junior, etc.) 4) Phone number, Email and student’s mailing address. (Work submitted without a mailing address for each student will not be judged)

* Work may be submitted through conventional mail or email.

DEADLINE: Conventional mail must be postmarked on or before Friday, February 10, 2023. Email entries must be sent via email by 11:59 p.m. on February 10, 2023. There will be no exceptions. Winners will be notified and awards will be presented to students during the annual Scissortail Festival at ECU, April 8, 2023. The names of winning writers will be posted online at:

Poetry Submissions: send work electronically as attached files to or mail to Dr. Joshua Grasso, East Central University, Dept. of English & Languages, 1100 E. 14th St., Ada, OK 74820

Fiction Submissions: send work electronically as attached files to or mail to Dr. Mark Walling, East Central University, Dept. of English and Languages, 1100 E. 14th St., Ada, OK 74820

Contest Information: Dr. Joshua Grasso (580-235-3197); Dr. Mark Walling (580-559-5440).  Scissortail Creative Writing Festival Information: Dr. Ken Hada (580-559-5557)