The Community of Wayfarers featured in Vol 3 Issue 3 (Autumn 2014 Edition)
L.M. Browning grew up in a small fishing village in Connecticut. A longtime student of religion, nature, art, and philosophy these themes permeate her work. Browning is the author of numerous award-winning titles. In 2010, she debuted as a writer with a three-title contemplative poetry series: Ruminations at Twilight, Oak Wise, and The Barren Plain. These three books went on to garner several accolades including a total of 3 pushcart-prize nominations and the Nautilus Gold Medal for Poetry in 2013. In 2011, Browning opened Homebound Publications—a rising independent publishing house. She currently divides her time between her home in Connecticut and her work in Boston. Her latest poetry collection, Vagabonds and Sundries: Poetic Remnants of Lives Past, is now available. To learn more go to www.lmbrowning.com
Jamie K. Reaser’s writing explores themes at the interface of Nature and human nature. In addition to more than 100 professional publications in the fields of biology and environmental policy, she is the author of four collections of poetry and the editor of two anthologies. Jamie currently serves as an Associate Editor for The Wayfarer journal and is a member of the International League of Conservation Writers.
Theodore Richards is a poet, writer, and religious philosopher. He has received degrees from various institutions, including the University of Chicago and The California Institute of Integral Studies, but has learned just as much from practicing the martial art of Bagua; from traveling, working or studying all over the world; and from the youth he has worked with on the South Side of Chicago, Harlem, the South Bronx, and Oakland. He is the author of Handprints on the Womb, a collection of poetry; Cosmosophia: Cosmology, Mysticism, and the Birth of a New Myth, recipient of the Independent Publisher Awards Gold Medal in religion and the Nautilus Book Awards Gold Medal; the novel The Crucifixion, recipient of the Independent Publisher Awards bronze medal; and Creatively Maladjusted: The Wisdom Education Movement Manifesto, which radically re-imagines education. Theodore Richards is the founder of The Chicago Wisdom Project and teaches world religions at The New Seminary. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughters. His next novel, The Conversions, will be released in October.
Danny Haley was raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where his father taught him to write. The landscape of the region and the energy it contains influences much of his writing. Danny teaches writing at a small middle school in northeast Washington, D.C..
Cristina J. Baptista is a Portuguese-American writer and educator from Connecticut. Her work has appeared in California Quarterly; DASH Literary Journal; MARGIE, The American Journal of Poetry; Oranges & Sardines; The Cortland Review; CURA; and elsewhere. Currently, she is an “onboard poet” for the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, the world’s last remaining whaleship. She is creating a collection that reflects the immigrant experience aboard the ship in its 173-year history. Cristina also teaches American Literature at a school in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Reggie Marra is a poet, Integral Master Coach®, educator and author of two volumes of poetry and three of nonfiction. In 2014 he joined the visiting faculty at The Graduate Institute’s M.A. in Consciousness Studies program, teaching Integral Theory and Embodiment. Reggie has presented his work for the National Association for Poetry Therapy, the Transformative Language Network’s Power of Words Conference, The National Speakers Association, The Spirituality Institute at Iona College, and most recently, HealingNewtown. He has conducted hundreds of poetry-writing sessions in a variety of venues since 1996. His education includes Integral Coaching Canada, Animas Valley Institute, Iona College and St. John’s University. He is committed to alleviating unnecessary suffering through skillful means. You can find out more at www.reggiemarra.com and www.qualityofeffort.com
Eric D. Lehman is a travel and history writer, and director of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He writes fiction, travel stories, reviews, history shorts, and essays, which have been published in a wide variety of journals and magazines, from the International Henry Miller Journal to Antiques Trader. His books Bridgeport: Tales From the Park City, Hamden: Tales from the Sleeping Giant, A History of Connecticut Wine, and A History of Connecticut Food are available from the History Press. His comprehensive travel manual, The Insiders Guide to Connecticut, was published by Globe Pequot Press. A memoir/natural history, Afoot in Connecticut, was published in May 2013 by Homebound Publications, and Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P.T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity from Wesleyan University Press.
Amy Nawrocki is a Connecticut native, raised in Newtown and now living in Hamden. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Arkansas. She has received numerous honors for her poetry, including awards from the Litchfield Review Poetry Contest, the Codhill Chapbook Competition, The Loft Anthology, Phi Kappa Phi, New Millennium Writings, and the Connecticut Poetry Society. Finishing Line Press published her three chapbooks: Potato Eaters, Nomad’s End and Lune de Miel. With her husband, Eric D. Lehman, she wrote A History of Connecticut Wine, A History of Connecticut Food and Literary Connecticut. In 2013 she was named finalist in the Homebound Publications Poetry Prize. The winning collection, Four Blue Eggs, in now available. She teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Bridgeport and is mother to two cats, Maple and Django.
J.K. McDowell is an artist, poet and mystic, an Ohioan expat living in Cajun country. Always immersed in poetry, raised in Buckeye country by a mother who told of Sam I Am, Danny Deaver and Annabel Lee and a father who quoted Shakespeare and Omar Khayyam. In the last decade a deepened study of poetry and shamanism and nature has inspired a regular practice of writing poetry that blossomed into the works presented in this collection. Lately, mixing Lorca and Lovecraft, McDowell lives twenty miles north of the Gulf Coast with his soul mate who also happens to be his wife and their two beautiful companion parrots. He is the author of Night, Mystery & Light.
FEATURE ARTIST • Ashley Halsey has been painting since childhood and is currently a book designer, illustrator and fine artist living in Brooklyn, NY. Living in New York City is quite the inspiration for color, pattern and light, and the vibrant energy of the city is continually exciting. However, growing up on a farm in Connecticut deeply ingrained a love nature in her. As a result, Ashley is interested in the environment and conservation, and how she can spread awareness of the natural world through her art. In 2010 Ashley completed Colors of Mystic, an illustrated historic guide to Mystic, Connecticut, published by the Mystic River Historical Society. More of her work can be found at www.ahalsey.com. Prints can be purchased through her Etsy shop, From Sky to Sea. www.etsy.com/shop/FromSkytoSea
John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Slant, Southern California Review and Natural Bridge with work upcoming in the Kerf, Leading Edge and Louisiana Literature.
Diana Woodcock’s first full-length collection, Swaying on the Elephant’s Shoulders, won the 2010 Vernice Quebodeaux International Poetry Prize for Women. Her chapbooks include Desert Ecology: Lessons and Visions, Tamed by the Desert, In the Shade of the Sidra Tree, Mandala, and Travels of a Gwai Lo. Widely published in literary journals, her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award. Her second full-length collection, Under the Spell of a Persian Nightingale, will be published by WordTech Communications in 2015.
For Gail Collins-Ranadive, writing has always been the best way to stay centered and make sense of life’s experiences: from being a nurse to earning a private pilot’s license; from visiting with in-laws in India to spending time with a friend living in Nicaragua before and after the revolution there; from earning a degree in Peace Studies as a military spouse to lobbying for federal funding of the U.S. Institute of Peace; from creating a women’s writing workshop as part of an M.F.A. in Creative Writing to winning a grant to publish it in book form; from earning an M.Div. to doing ordained interim ministries all across the continent; from growing up the oldest of eight to mothering two daughters to becoming a grandmother of four granddaughters and one grandson. An Easterner by birth, she currently spends winters at her home in Las Vegas, summers in her partner’s home in Denver….always writing, writing, writing. Her latest book, Chewing Sand: An Eco-spiritual Taste of the Mojave Desert is now available.
FEATURE POET • Gunilla Norris’ parents were world travelers in the Swedish diplomatic corps and so she grew up essentially in three places—Argentina, Sweden and the United States. As a child she was given a rich exposure to different languages and cultures. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.S. from Bridgeport University in the field of human development. She is a mother and a grandmother. She has been a psychotherapist in private practice for more than thirty years and has felt privileged to accompany many people on their journeys to growth and healing. Her special love has been teaching meditation and leading contemplative workshops of many kinds. As a writer Gunilla has published eleven children’s books, one book of poetry and six books on spirituality including: Being Home, Becoming Bread, Inviting Silence, A Mystic Garden, Simple Ways and the multiple award-winning title Sheltered in the Heart. Look for Gunilla’s forthcoming title Match: Bringing the Heart and Soul into Alignment November 11, 2014 from Homebound Publications.
Kathleen M. Quinlan’s pamphlet, From We to I, is forthcoming from Cinnamon Press. In the past year, her book manuscripts have been finalists for the Venture Award at Flipped Eye Press and the Cinnamon Press Poetry Collection Award. Her poetry has been placed in magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, including Acumen, Ariadne’s Thread, Bloodroot, the Aurorean, Envoi, Frogmore Papers, Gargoyle, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Interpreter’s House and Vermont Literary Review. Born and raised in rural Maine, she now teaches at the University of Oxford and is a member of Back Room Poets and Second Light Network. Find her at :http://www.kathleenmquinlan.net
David K. Leff is a freelance writer and photographer from Collinsville, Connecticut. He is the author of three nonfiction books and three volumes of poetry. His latest book, Finding the Last Hungry Heart, is a novel in verse about the confluence of the present and the 1960s. It was released this year by Homebound Publications. David is on the board of directors of the Riverwood Poetry Series and has taught nature poetry at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. He is the town meeting moderator in Canton, Connecticut and was Deputy Commissioner at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection from 1996 to 2006. His work can be found at www.davidkleff.com
Susan K. McCann has been the proprietor of Essex Books for six years. She worked at Sesame Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street, for 17 years and still does educational consulting for them. She is a two-term AmeriCorps volunteer, which is probably why she enjoys doing bookstore “community service.” She is the co-creator (along with LaFrancois Marketing Consultants) of The Big Book Getaway, an event series featuring bestselling authors that has been produced at Mohegan Sun, The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate), and The Bee & Thistle Inn. She serves on the boards of Reach Out and Read CT, Region 4 Music Boosters, and Sister Cities Essex Haiti. She has one daughter, Annie Brown, an 11th grader at Valley Regional High School, who actually told her mom to buy Essex Books in the first place…or else it never would have taken seed.
Shannon Viola attends Gettysburg College where she studies Classics and Italian. Her previous publications include Teen Ink, Calliope, and Cleaver magazine. She attended the Bread Load conference and was a winner of the 2013 Mayborn National History Contest.
Jason Kirkey is an author, poet, and the founder of Hiraeth Press. He grew up in the Ipswich River-North Atlantic Coast watershed of Massachusetts. Inspired by the landscapes in which he has lived—the temperate forests and old mountains of New England and the Eastern Piedmont, the red rocks and high desert of Colorado, Irish hills and sea—his work is permeated with an ecological sensibility. Whether poetry or prose, Jason’s words strive towards consonance with the ecosystem. He has written four volumes of poetry, including Estuaries and a nonfiction book, The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality. Jason is now working on his second nonfiction book and a graduate degree in conservation ecology. He now lives near Boston.