blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1
poetry gallery features

A joint venture of the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.


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(Left to right) Mary Flinn, Susan Settlemyre Williams, John Anderson, Dona Young, Gregory Donovan, Tara Moyle, Michael Keller, Memuna Sillah, Scott Reynolds, Melinda Johnson, William Tester, Craig Beaven, Jeff Lodge.
(Not pictured) Leslie Shiel, Mathias Svalina.

William Tester, literary editor and editor-in-chief of Blackbird, Vol 1. No. 2, is the author of Darling, a novel, Head, a collection of stories, and fiction and poetry in numerous publications. He has taught in the writing programs at Columbia University and SUNY/Oneonta, and he is the recipient of The Mary McCarthy Prize for Fiction, a literature grant from the NEA, fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, and the Hob Broun Prize and PEN/Syndicated Fiction awards.

Gregory Donovan, literary editor, has won the Robert Penn Warren award in the poetry competition sponsored by New England Writers (judged by Rosanna Warren), as well as two grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and fellowships from the Ucross Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Donovan's poetry collection, Calling His Children Home, was the 1993 Devins Award winner from University of Missouri Press. Donovan is the writer-in-residence for the Virginia Commonwealth University Glasgow Artists and Writers Workshop.

Mary Flinn, literary editor, has been the Director of New Virginia Review, Inc., since 1985 and is the editor, with George Garrett, of Elvis in Oz, New Writing from the Hollins College Creative Writing Program (1992). She also facilitated the editing of The Gazer Within by Larry Levis (2001), and she has served as the Poetry and Fiction editor of 64 Magazine and as editor of New Virginia Review. She has participated on editors' panels, as a literature fellowship judge for numerous art councils, and as a review panelist for the National Endowment and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She was the first recipient of the Theresa Pollack Award for Words presented by Richmond Magazine.

Tara Moyle, associate editor, is a second-year poetry MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her BA in English from Northern Illinois University in 1996. She has edited and founded a number of zines, including browsing room and a perzine titled My Mother's Fashion. Tara also collaborated on two video projects while living in Chicago, one of which screened at the Women in the Director's Chair Film Festival. Before coming to VCU she worked as a licensed massage therapist, a freelance copyeditor and writer, and in technical services at a public library.

Michael Keller, managing online editor, is a technologist and writing instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of English. He has presented at regional and national conferences on computer and writing issues ranging from teaching creative and informational hypertext to reading new media Web texts in the tradition of the lyric sequence. His poetry has appeared in The Southern Review, New Virginia Review, and other publications.

Jeff Lodge, managing online editor, is the author of the novel Where This Lake Is (1997) and fiction, poetry, and essays in GSU Review, Persona, Pleiades, and other publications. He coordinates the graduate programs in the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of English, where he teaches literature and writing. He also reviews fiction and nonfiction for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Susan Settlemyre Williams, assistant managing editor, is an MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a JD from the University of Richmond, and is retired from the practice of real estate law.  Her poetry has appeared in Aethlon, Calyx, Pudding, Earth's Daughters, and other small journals, and her interviews with Eleanor Ross Taylor and George Garrett were featured in the inaugural issue of Blackbird.

John Anderson, intern, is an MA student in Writing and Rhetoric at Virginia Commonwealth University. After graduation, he plans to pursue his PhD and to teach writing. He is currently working on a collection of poems.

Craig Beaven, intern, is a second-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds a BA in English from the University of Kentucky.

Melinda Johnson, intern, is a second year MFA student in fiction and a teaching assistant. She earned her BA in English at Grand View College in her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.

Scott Reynolds, intern, received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of
Arizona. He taught high school English for two years in Lexington, Virginia, and for a semester in Cuenca, Ecuador. Currently, he is pursuing an MA in Writing and Rhetoric at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Memuna Sillah, intern, will receive her MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2003. She is a Jacob Javits fellow, and has recently published work in Natural History Magazine and Anthropology. She is currently working on her first novel, an autobiography of her childhood in Africa.

Dona Young, intern, is a second-year MA student in Literature at Virginia Commonwealth University, and will graduate in May 2003. She currently teaches at John Tyler Community College. She attended the Glasgow, Scotland, Writer's Workshop during the summer of 2000 and holds a BA in English from VCU.

Leslie Shiel, correspondent, took her MFA degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989. Her poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The Sun, Crab Orchard Review, New Virginia Review, and other publications. She teaches a variety of writing courses at VCU, curates the Eric Schindler Gallery Reading Series, and teaches poetry and nonfiction courses in the Richmond community.

Mathias Svalina, correspondent, received his MFA in poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2002 and was the 2001-2002 Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry. He has work forthcoming in River City Review, Nidus and Willow Springs. He recently won an Associated Writing Programs Intro Journals Project award.