Uprooted: An Anthology on Gender and Illness is now available for purchase in paperback or Kindle on Amazon! The editorial board has been refining the new edition for over a year now, adding new content to the collection of essays, stories, and poems about gender, illness and identity. Purchase today!
Asad Alvi is a writer from Karachi, Pakistan. He has conducted and facilitated several fiction writing workshops at Open Letters, a growing society of writers and artists. In 2014, he was accepted to the Young Writers Workshop at Lahore University of Management Sciences. His work has been published in a collection of short stories entitled I’ll Find My Way (Oxford University Press, 2014), launched at the 5th Karachi Literature Festival, and in an international anthology of contemporary poems, We Will Be Shelter (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014). He writes about issues of gender and sexuality to voice opinions on subjects that remain a taboo in patriarchal Pakistani society. Art, Alvi believes, is the most effective tool to bring about awareness, and thus, social change.
Joan Annsfire is a writer, poet and retired librarian who lives in Berkeley, California. Her poetry chapbook, Distant Music, was published by Headmistress Press in 2014. Following her cancer diagnosis, Annsfire began to write as though her life depended on it. Her poetry has appeared in many anthologies and literary journals, including The Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s & 70s, Milk and Honey, The Other Side of the Postcard, The Queer Collection, The Cancer Poetry Project Anthology, 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, CounterPunch’s Poets’ Basement, Lavender Review, Poetry Superhighway, OccuPoetry, SoMa Literary Review, Harrington Lesbian Literary Quarterly, Sinister Wisdom, 13th Moon, Bridges and The Evergreen Chronicles. Her stories can be found in Identity Envy and Sinister Wisdom. Annsfire was also an award-winning guest contributor to the online community forum A Simple Revolution, sponsored by Aunt Lute Books. lavenderjoan.blogspot.com
A San Francisco-based writer, Jayinee Basu is the author of a book of poems entitled Asuras (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2015) and has written for a wide variety of publications. She graduated from UC San Diego with BAs in Political Science and Literature/Writing, as well as a minor in Studio Art. She is a volunteer research assistant at the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF, where she aids research in neural network functions and frontotemporal dementia. Basu is also currently finishing a pre-med program at UC Berkeley.
Amy Berkowitz is the author of Tender Points, published this year by the Oakland, California, small press Timeless, Infinite Light. She’s also the author of two chapbooks, Listen to Her Heart (Spooky Girlfriend, 2012) and Lonely Toast (what to us, 2010). Her writing has appeared in 580 Split, Dusie, and Where Eagles Dare, and on the VIDA blog. In 2014, Berkowitz was a writer-in-residence at Alley Cat Bookstore & Gallery. She currently lives in a rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco, which serves as the headquarters of her small press, Mondo Bummer Books, as well as the venue for Amy’s Kitchen Organic Reading Series. From her own experience as a woman living with chronic pain in a culture that generally mistrusts both female testimony and the concept of invisible illness, Berkowitz has developed deep insights about illness and gender, as well as a righteous anger that she enjoys channeling into her writing. She believes that breaking the silence around the underrepresented crises that emerge at the intersection of illness and gender is the only way to resolve them, and she takes great pleasure in doing so.
Gina Marie Bernard writes and lives in Bemidji, Minnesota, where she teaches high school English. She is a tattooed blocker for the Babe City Rollers roller derby team, and claims that her daughters, Maddie and Parker, are the two halves of her heart. Bernard’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Appalachia, Balloons Lit. Journal, The Bat Shat, Border Crossing, Cimarron Review, and Fox Cry Review.
Erin M. Bertram is the author of eleven chapbooks, most recently Memento Mori, published by Dancing Girl Press (2014). A former John Woods Scholarship recipient from the Prague Summer Program for Writers, she has also received the Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award and was named a published finalist in the 2013 Diagram Essay Contest. Bertram earned her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, where she received the Academy of American Poets Prize and a Junior Writer-in-Residence Fellowship. She has also done continuing education work through Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. Her work has appeared in Handsome, So to Speak, Copper Nickel, Hotel Amerika, Lambda Literary Review, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. Bertram is a PhD student and Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is also on the board of the Lincoln Zen Center.
Cathleen Calbert’s writing has appeared in many publications, including The New Republic, The New York Times, and The Paris Review. She has published three books of poetry: Lessons in Space (University Press of Florida, 1997), Bad Judgment (Sarabande Books, 1998), and Sleeping with a Famous Poet (WordTech Communications, 2007). Her fourth book, The Afflicted Girls, won the Vernice Quebodeaux Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Little Red Tree Publishing. Calbert has also been awarded The Nation’s Discovery Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and the Mary Tucker Thorp Award from Rhode Island College, where she is currently a professor of English. She, like many, became a ‘well spouse’ when her husband became disabled by chronic pain. ‘How to Be a Wife’ expresses the confusion of how to take on this role and how to be a caretaker.
Kimberly A. Condon graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has spent twenty years in the field of medicine, both as a nurse and as a paramedic. Her previous work has been included in the anthology I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out (Gutkind, 2013) and published by Slate.
Annie Dawid’s three books of fiction have been published by commercial, university and literary presses, in that order. She is raising her now fifteen-year-old son in Monument, Colorado, where she teaches creative writing and tutors. Her current plan is to attend a history-literature program at Cambridge University when her son leaves for college. Since her experience of severe depression during pregnancy in 1998-99, the subject of pregnant women’s mental health has come to the fore, and is now included in pre- and postnatal healthcare.
Anna Eilertsen studied English at Whitman College and now lives in Oakland, California. Her mother’s journey with cancer sparked an interest in the experience of illness and, specifically, how language plays a part in shaping that experience. Eilertsen knows first-hand that harnessing a sense of humor through writing lends an incredible ability to help us endure illness and heal from the wrack and ruin it often leaves. She believes that good cheese and whiskey sours are also quite helpful.
Dana Fasciano received her MFA in poetry from Chatham University in 2008. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications including Black Book Press, Lunarosity, and The Working Poet: 75 Writing Exercises and a Poetry Anthology. She is also the recipient of the 2008 Laurie Mansell Reich Poetry Prize. Illness and gender are two topics that are very close to the author and much of her writing addresses themes of eating disorders, body image, and sexuality. Having struggled with anorexia herself many years ago, she feels that it is important to shed light on the many facets of this often misunderstood disease. Fasciano currently teaches writing at Rutgers University.
Sarah Feldman’s poems have been published in The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, The Antigonish Review, Dandelion, Grain, Fiddlehead, Pacifica Literary Review, and One Throne Magazine. Several of her poems also appeared in the anthology Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry (Cormorant Books, 2011). Feldman is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, and her imaginative landscape draws on both coastal British Columbia and the Connecticut River Valley. Currently a resident of Springfield, Massachusetts, Feldman teaches English and Latin at Commonwealth Academy. She wrote ‘Hospital Poems’ as a way of comprehending a time in her life when both illness and its cures seemed to make it impossible for her to ever recover her own voice.
Andrea Freund is a graduate of Stanford University, where she received her BS in biology. She currently works in technology communications as a copywriter, marketer, and user researcher. Born and raised in Texas, Andrea now calls San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood home. Outside of work, Andrea dabbles in fiction and humor writing. She’s also an avid runner, questionable dancer, and aggressive Scrabble player. Andrea maintains her blog, FreundianSlip.
Givens is a member of the St. Louis group Writers Under the Arch. Her work has appeared in The Citron Review, The Healing Muse, and the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, among others. She received her MD from Washington University in St. Louis. Since the time chronic migraines led her to resign from her position at an Alzheimer’s research center, she has developed an increased interest in communicating the experience of having migraines and her involvement with new research and treatment options.
Leonore Hildebrandt is the author of a letterpress chapbook The Work at Hand (Flat Bay Press/Stone Island Press, 2011) and a full-length collection titled The Next Unknown (Pecan Grove Press, 2014). She has published poems and translations in The Cafe Review, Cerise Press, Cimarron Review, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, The Fiddlehead, and Poetry Salzburg Review. Winner of the 2013 Gemini Poetry Contest, she has received fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission. Her work has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. A native of Germany, Hildebrandt lives “off the grid” on the coast of Maine, where she teaches writing at the University of Maine and serves as an editor for the Beloit Poetry Journal. To her, the body’s fragility seems both marvelous and unsettling. In times of illness, a sense of integrity is easily lost. To write poetry offers solace—crafting language into something musical; a way of saying, “I am here.”
Janis Butler Holm lives in Athens, Ohio, where she serves as Associate Editor of Wide Angle, a film journal. Her prose, poems, and performance pieces have appeared in small-press, national, and international magazines. Her sound poems have been featured in the inaugural edition of Best American Experimental Writing, edited by Cole Swensen (Omnidawn, 2014). An educator, Holm works with others in higher education to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Judy Juanita’s first novel, Virgin Soul, was published by Viking Press in 2013. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in 13th Moon, Poetry Monthly, LIPS, Painted Bride Quarterly, Crab Orchard Review, Croton Review and Obsidian II. Also a skilled playwright, Juanita’s plays have been produced in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York City. Her collection of short stories, The High Price of Freeways, is a two-time finalist in the Livingston Press Tartts First Fiction contest in 2014. Juanita earned an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University and has taught writing at Laney College since 1993. She believes that vulnerability, dependence/independence and hope/despair can bring about some of the most powerful poetry, drama and fiction.
Shubhangi Joshi is a poet and musician based in Mumbai, India. She is the author of the poetry collection To Stir Up an Ornate Nest (Authorspress, 2014) and the winner of the Commendation Prize at the All India Poetry Competition 2014, organized by the Poetry Society of India. Her poetry has appeared in Manushi, The Brown Critique, The Voices Project, Levure Littéraire, and other journals. Joshi originally began writing poetry at the age of sixteen, and over time her writing began to focus on critiquing and challenging Indian societal norms. Having observed first-hand the various ways in which patriarchy manifests itself in Indian society, she felt the need to express her dissent through her music and poetry. Joshi has spoken out against many ills plaguing Indian society, such as domestic violence and female feticide, as well as everyday sexism, in the hope that encouraging discussion on such topics will help end these practices.
Cindy E. King writes to bring insight and understanding to issues related to gender and illness. Her work appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, North American Review, River Styx, Black Warrior Review, American Literary Review, Jubilat, Barrow Street, African American Review, and elsewhere. Her poems can also be heard online at Weekend America (an American Public Media production), RHINO Poetry, and Bellingham Review. In 2014, King was awarded a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to attend the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her book-length poetry manuscript was a finalist for the Crab Orchard Review and Permafrost First Book Prizes last year. She has also received scholarships and fellowships to attend the New York Summer Writers Institute, the Wesleyan University Writers Conference, the Colgate Writers’ Conference, and others. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, King currently lives in Texas, where she is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas at Dallas.
Tricia Knoll is a poet from Portland, Oregon. She has degrees in literature from Stanford University (BA) and Yale University (MAT). She began seriously writing poetry in 2007 when, on her first day of retirement from a job in communications with the City of Portland, she started rereading Leaves of Grass. In 2011, a potentially life-threatening health challenge (multiple pulmonary embolisms) made her realize she had no time to waste. Knoll also suffers from spasmodic dysphonia, a voice disability that has taught her to listen where she once she might have talked. Over one hundred of Knoll’s poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, and her poetry chapbook Urban Wild was published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. Knoll is currently working on a collection of poems about the wisdom and perils of aging.
Before her mother and father were diagnosed with late stage cancers in 2010, Karen Land worked as a professional dog musher, public speaker, and writer of outdoor columns and features for newspapers and magazines. Land lived in Montana for over fifteen years, but after her mother was diagnosed with uterine carcinosarcoma, she moved back to her childhood home in Indianapolis. Land has given over 1,000 talks in twenty-six states over the past fifteen years, and continued speaking about the wilderness, dog mushing, and the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in schools and libraries until her parents needed full-time care. After fifty years of marriage, Jack and Janice Land passed away in 2012, just five months apart. Land is currently writing a memoir about caregiving and endurance—the beauty and challenges of living together, and dying alone. stringofdogs.wordpress.com
Jennifer MacBain-Stephens was inspired to write ‘In the Pink’ after watching Léa Pool’s documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. (National Film Board of Canada, 2011). Jennifer attended New York University and currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her family. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Every Her Dies (ELJ Publications, 2014), Clotheshorse (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and Backyard Poems (Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming 2015). Recent work can be seen or is forthcoming in Toad Suck Review, The Poetry Storehouse, Pretty Owl Poetry, Yes, Poetry, Gargoyle Magazine, Jet Fuel Review, and Hobart. jennifermacbainstephens.wordpress.com
Julia Older has lived in France, Italy, Mexico and Brazil. Her published books include Endometriosis (Scribners, 1984-2006), Appalachian Odyssey (Authors Guild, 2009 reprint; Open Road, 2016 ebook), Blues for a Black Cat (University of Nebraska Press, 2001), Boris Vian Invents Boris Vian (Black Widow Press, 2015), and two historical novels of her Isles of Shoals Trilogy (Appledore Books, 1994 and 2006). Older’s eleven poetry titles include the bio-novel Tahirih Unveiled (Turning Point, 2007) and Tales Of The François Vase (Hobblebush Books, 2012), a book-length poem and verse play on CD. She has received fellowships to the Iowa Workshop, Yaddo, and The MacDowell Colony, a University of Michigan First Hopwood Award, and Puffin, Deming, and NEA Writing Grants. Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers, The New Yorker, Entelechy International, Nonbinary Review Online, and numerous other publications. She writes full-time in the foothills of Grand Monadnock, New Hampshire.
At age seven Erica Sternin began her writing career, making “shape poems” in the style of E.E. Cummings. Shortly after her fiftieth birthday, she was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer and thyroid cancer. Aware of the research regarding expressive writing and healing, Sternin focused on “writing to heal” alongside her conventional treatment. She has published poetry through the King County Metro Transit Poetry on Buses project and in the literary journal Between the Lines, as well as on several online venues. Sternin is a trained SoulCollage© facilitator and a children’s librarian in Seattle, Washington. she currently has a blog under development called Sweet Spot: Truthtelling
Stephanie Waxman’s work has appeared in dozens of journals and magazines, including The Missouri Review, The Bitter Oleander, North Dakota Quarterly, and West. Her story ‘Perfection’ was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her story ‘Delicate Touch’ is included in the anthology New Sudden Fiction (W.W. Norton & Company, 2007). She is also the author of a novel, Divided Loyalties (Marco Press, 2010), and a collection of short stories, Sex and Death (Marco Press, 2011). Her nonfiction work includes Muse in the Classroom (Marco Press, 2014), Growing Up Feeling Good (Panjandrum, 1979), A Helping Handbook – When A Loved One Is Critically Ill (Marco Press, 2011), and the internationally published What Is A Girl? What Is A Boy? (Marco Press, 2010). Waxman currently teaches writing in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, Dennis. It was her mother’s physical decline that moved Waxman to write “The Outing.”
Gina Williams is a Pacific Northwest native originally from Whidbey Island, Washington. Much of her creative work is influenced by experience and observation. Over the years, she has worked as a firefighter, reporter, housekeeper, caregiver, veterinarian’s assistant, tree planter, gas station attendant, technical writer, cocktail waitress, and berry picker. Her most rewarding job has been raising her sons. Williams earned a BA in Journalism/English and an MA in Communications from the University of Oregon. Her writing and visual art have been featured most recently in Carve, The Sun, Fugue, Palooka, Great Weather for Media, theNewerYork, Black Box Gallery, and Gallery 360, among others. She enjoys writing about topics such as gender, illness, aging and class as a way to help herself—and hopefully readers—better understand our oftentimes difficult human condition. Learn more about Gina and her work at GinaMarieWilliams.com.
Dr. Ernest Williamson III has published creative work and poetry in over 550 journals, including The Oklahoma Review, Review Americana: A Creative Writing Journal, Pamplemousse, The Copperfield Review, The GW Review, and The Tulane Review. Dr. Williamson has also published articles on comparative education. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Allen University and is a self-taught pianist, painter, editor, poet, singer, and composer. Professor Williamson’s poetry has been nominated three times for the Best of the Net Anthology. He holds a BA and an MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Memphis and a PhD in Higher Education Leadership from Seton Hall University. Professor Williamson’s art is influenced by an intrinsic desire to know how and why illnesses and gender identifications evolve and affect cultures over time.
Yuan Changming, eight-time Pushcart nominee and author of four chapbooks (including Mindscaping, published by Fowlpox Press in 2014), is probably the world’s most widely published poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes in English. Growing up in a remote village, Yuan began to learn the English alphabet at nineteen and published several monographs on Chinese-English translation before leaving China. Since mid-2005, Yuan has had poetry appearing in literary publications across thirty-one countries, including Best Canadian Poetry, Best New Poems Online, Cincinnati Review and Threepenny Review. He has written (and published) dozens of poems about illness simply because he seems to have a family curse of chronic pain and illness. In particular, his younger son, also a poet, began to suffer from a disc problem eight years ago, which has cost their family huge amounts of time, money and energy. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently tutors and co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver, British Columbia.