Issue #4

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 Zoo, Allegro, Carve, Crab Creek Review, Gargoyle, Hermes Poetry, The Pedestal, The 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

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.

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.”

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.

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.”