Contributor Bios – Volume One


Sara Backer, an Oregonian for 15 years, now lives in New Hampshire where she teaches at UMass Lowell and leads a reading group in a men’s prison. Her poems have received three Pushcart prize nominations, two Best of the Nets nominations, and two nominations for the Best New Poets anthology of 2015. Her recent publications include A cappella ZooAllegroCarveCrab Creek ReviewGargoyleHermes PoetryThe PedestalThe Rialto (UK), and Turtle Island Quarterly. For links to her online publications, visit the bio page of

Deborah Ann Dawson is a Southern Oregon native who grew up in the Rogue Valley and majored in Art at what is now Southern Oregon University. In 1978 she was the first woman to receive the Outstanding Senior of the Art Department Award. Deborah has focused on Drawing and Watercolor for the last 26 years, including teaching drawing and watercolors. She moved to the Illinois Valley in 2001 and opened the Artful Being Studio the next year. She also became an Artist in Residence for the Southern Oregon Arts Council for 3 years, teaching drawing and watercolors to thousands of Southern Oregon’s elementary school children. Learn more at

Dave Dunbar is a graduate of West Virginia University at Parkersburg and currently resides in Prospect, Oregon.  His poetry has appeared on or in The Seismic Thread:A Northwest Storytelling Project; UW Baraboo/Sauk County’s Spirit Lake Review; UW Barron County’s The Red Cedar Review, and West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Gambit.  He has also self-published free form books of multiple genres including his favorite, the science fiction comedy Station 24 and Revenge of the Space Smelt!!! 2nd Edition.

Kay Elaine Ekwall lives in O’Brien, having moved from northern California in 2003 and immediately felt like she was ‘home’. She didn’t know that some ancestors had lived here before they became Californians; her great uncle having been a representative for the state of Oregon. Kay’s poetry site is ‘Poemotions” and she has many photograph websites, the newest being Rough and Ready She loves being able to walk out the door, or drive close by and get shots of nature and critters so easily. She was first published when she was in college in 1963, and has since been published in online sites, in newspapers and more.

Susanne Kindi Fahrnkopf (far-en-kof) was born in Germany and grew up in Southern California. A hippie, flower child of the 60’s, Kindi moved to Cave Junction in 1979 with her husband Jim and two little children to open the Cave’s Cobbler shoe repair and Birkenstock shop. Since then she has raised four children at her home in Takilma and works as a Bookkeeper. Kindi has been published in seven Poetry anthologies. Her book, Takilma Tales: The Hippie History of Takilma, Oregon, is a vivid and informative history of the little-known community of Takilma. Learn more at

Kailen Forsythe-Elder says, “Say this: Kailen knows how to ride a 2-wheeler bike. And I run fast. I jump off a swing, landing on my feet. Albert and I are friends. Kamy and I are friends.”

Rory Forsythe-Elder is 10 years old and likes eating ice cream. He lives off-grid in the woods of the Illinois Valley. He does not like beets.

Savanna G. S. writes, “I am 12 years old and live in the Rogue Valley. I really love to draw and write books and stories. I want to be an author and artist when I grow up. I also like to write poems for many occasions.”

Angela Graves moved to Southern Oregon from Oklahoma 11 years ago. She has managed Bagel Junction for the last 3 years. She notes, “I have been writing since middle school and need to do more of it.” She enjoys hiking with her husband and three kids.

Susan Gustafson has lived in Cave Junction since 1978. She works at The Dome School and also makes flower remedies for people and animals which assist with emotional healing and personal growth. She and Craig have long since figured out what makes them happy.

‘Buckwheat Bob’ Harrison. Lived by his wits in the Northwest woods for 15 years. Returned to tech work with the State, running a graphics, desktop publishing, and video production unit for the next 13 years. Now retired, he devotes himself mostly to performing and recording music. His memoir, Hippie Tales of the Northwest Woods, is forthcoming from Hillcrest.

Gary Lark’s work includes Without a Map (Wellstone Press, 2013), Getting By, winner of the Holland Prize from Logan House Press, 2009, and three chapbooks. His work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Hubbub, Poet Lore, and The Sun. Three poems were featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. He and his wife Dorothy live in the Rogue Valley.

Alan Laurie has been an artist all his life. He can recall at age 3 finding joy with a red crayon, ruler and some sort of paper while drawing what he knew was a large letter “L”, and then, satisfied, running back outdoors to play. He graduated Lousiana State University with a degree in fine arts. Other experiences include festival poster artist, television courtroom artist, and political campaign graphic designer. He has lived in Takilma for 13 years and his graphic art skills are behind many a familiar local logo. His “Cubist Cub” is on permanent display in front of the Grants Pass Art Museum on G Street. Alan is Co-Editor/Publisher of “Takilma Common Ground.”

Rhonda Lynn says, “I became a dedicated felt maker after becoming enchanted with the magic of the medium. From wool, soap and elbow grease, one can create beautiful pieces of wearable art.” She focuses on one-of-a-kind “Art to Wear” that is environmentally friendly and infuses upcycled fabrics. In addition, Rhonda conducts workshops in felt-making. Her latest endeavor is conducting classes in middle schools focusing on the sustainability and many uses of wool in our daily lives. Find her at and

Melissa Matthewson‘s essays have appeared, or are forthcoming, in River Teeth, Defunct, Numero Cinq, Pithead Chapel, Under the Gum Tree, Terrain, Prime Number, and Literary Mama among other publications. She is currently pursuing an MFA in creative nonfiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives on an organic vegetable farm in the Applegate Valley. Find her at or on twitter at @melmatthewson.

Dallion McGregor is a writer, artist, and cartoonist living in southwest Oregon. He’s currently working on his first graphic novel while attempting to buoy his heart lest it be thrown to crocodiles. More of his work can be seen at

David Newell lives in O’Brien, Oregon. He is a wood carver and artist who spends his extra time playing banjo for his marionette gnomes and fairies, and throwing spears with an atlatl. Oh, yeah, he makes the banjos, marionettes, and atlatls. His first full collection of poems, The Poem Said, is set to appear in 2015.

John Noland lives and writes near the ocean in Coos Bay, Oregon. He has published in Chicago Review, Orion, Nature Writing 1999 ed. by John Murray, Georgetown Review, Seattle Review, Laurel Review, Jefferson Monthly, and other publications. His most recent chapbook is Midwestern Trees and Shadows (Finishing Line Press). A previous chapbook, This Dark Land Where I Live, won the Kulupi Press’ “Poetry of Place Contest,” and his chapbook The Caged and the Dying won the 2012 Gribble Press Chapbook Contest.

Rich Norman is the founder and editor-in-chief of Mind Magazine ( and The Journal of Unconscious Psychology and Self-Psychoanalysis. A writer, newspaper columnist, and musician with degrees in philosophy and music, he is the author of books and scientific papers spanning philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, verse and fiction, as well as a contributor to the Ultranet, and the Prometheus Society journal, Gift of Fire.

Lilyana Rain is a homeschooled 14-year old singer, actress, musician and writer. She loves sharing her voice with the world and she has an album coming out in late July 2014. You can find her music at or join her newsletter to stay in the loop by emailing

Annette McGee Rasch is a freelance writer who lives in the Illinois Valley. Raised by naturalists and animal lovers, Rasch is also a dog trainer and wildlife rehabilitator who possesses vast experience with multiple species. She also spent decades working as an environmental activist and is a perennial student of the sciences. Her writing reflects her love for and knowledge of the natural world.

Originally from Boston, Anita Savio has lived in many parts of the U.S., and in Mexico and Canada as well. She writes, “Although four photos and accompanying poems of mine appear in this issue, I consider myself to be, at best, an amateur photographer, and a poet only when great need arises. I have also worked as a reporter and freelance journalist. Among my current and creative endeavors is my lively blog on thoughtful nonfiction: I invite you to pay photos, poems and blog a visit!”

Scott Simpson lives in Selma, OR. He can be found hosting the very popular Wednesday Open Mic Night at Wild River in Cave Junction, OR. He is a novelist, poet, and song writer. Yes, he has dogs. He can be seen running the mountain paths with them. If you think you’ve spotted Big Foot with a guitar, or a tennis racket (i.e. the best looking and well-groomed Big Foot ever seen), chances are you’ve spotted Scott.

Michael Spring is the author of three poetry books and five chapbooks, His most recent book, Root of Lightning, was awarded an honorable mention for the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and his chapbook, Blue Wolf, won the 2013 Turtle Island Poetry Award. He lives in O’Brien, OR. He is a natural builder, a martial art instructor and a poetry editor for three publications: The Pedestal MagazineMind Magazine, and Cobra Lily.

Scott T. Starbuck was a 2013 Artsmith Fellow on Orcas Island. His newest book The Other History was published by FutureCycle. He has eco-poetry blog posts at Miriam’s Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond and at South 85 Literary Journal. His newest eco-poem, “Thinking About AWP 2014 in Seattle”, is at The Monarch Review. He blogs at

Pepper Trail’s poetry has appeared in Comstock Review, Atlanta Review, Spillway, Turtle Island Quarterly, Toe Good Poetry, Windfall, and other publications, and his poem “Syllabus for the Warming World” was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Cascadia Review. His environmental essays have been a regular feature of the Jefferson Monthly’s “Jefferson Almanac” since 1997. Trail lives in Ashland, Oregon, where he works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Kathryn Velho writes, “I am currently 16 years old, I love writing scary stories, reading all kinds of books, and drawing Anime style pictures. I go to a charter school and I’ve lived in the beautiful rouge valley Oregon all my life.”

Kelly Waldin resides in Westside Takilma with her partner Waves. “It is your mind that creates this world.”

David Lorenz Winston is an award winning photographer, internationally recognized for his nature photography. His crisp winter landscapes and stunning images of trees enhance art and photography collections around the world. More than 300,000 posters have been published of his image “Solitude,” an image of a zigzag fence and tree taken after a fresh coat of snow near Philadelphia. David publishes The Winston Eye, a weekly photoletter featuring his latest work. Learn more at

Patty Wixon’s poem “Early April” features several stops on a recent car trip to Gold Beach, Oregon. Wixon’s poems have appeared in several literary journals and anthologies. Her chapbooks include Airing the Sheets (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and Side Effects (Uttered Chaos Press, 2014). She is a long-time poetry co-editor for Jefferson Monthly, Jefferson Public Radio’s program guide. She lives in Ashland.

Summer Wolf lives in southern Oregon with her husband and 4 children, including Isaac Wolf and Juliette Wolf. She is a full time mom with a career in the health industry that keeps her busy but allows her to work from home. On the rare occasion she finds a moment to herself, she might write something of her experience or observation with some hope of sparking a flame in someone, while reminding herself of her own fire.