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) Front row: Mary Flinn, Susan Settlemyre Williams, Mary Lee Allen, Vera Kononova, Gregory Donovan; Second Row: Jennifer Merrifield, Jeff Lodge, Sarah Wolfgang; Third row: Cynthia Lotze, Jules Irvin, Courtney Fenner; Fourth row: Tim Goulet, M. A. Keller, Steven Collis, Sallie Jennings, Tiffany Ford. (Not pictured: Patrick Cribben)

Gregory Donovan, senior 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, senior 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.

M. A. Keller, online editor, is a technologist and writing instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of English. His poetry has appeared in The Southern Review, New Virginia Review, Runes, and other publications. He has presented in the computers and writing community on issues of technology and writing pedagogy, creative and informational hypertext, and New Media.

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

Steven Collis, associate editor, is a second-year MFA student at Virginia Commonwealth University and has a BA in English from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is studying fiction and is currently writing his second novel. His work is forthcoming in Proteus: A Journal of Ideas.

Susan Settlemyre Williams, associate literary editor, holds an MFA in poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a JD from the University of Richmond. She is retired from the practice of real estate law. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Shenandoah, Barrow Street, The Cream City Review, DIAGRAM, storySouth, Aethlon, and other journals; and her interviews and book reviews have appeared in several issues of Blackbird.

Patrick Cribben, contributing editor, was the recipient of the 1990 Virginia Prize for Playwriting for Feast of Stephen and the 1989 Southern Playwrighting Award for Fall Into Winter, which also won the Critics' Choice Award at the Festival of Southern Theatre at the University of Mississippi. His plays have received more than two dozen productions throughout the U.S. In 2003 The Theatre-Studio Inc. in New York City produced a program of four of his short plays, including Turnaround. His short plays Overview and Professional Help were produced at the Source Theatre in Washington D.C. in 2000 and 2001. He has been a contributing writer for Saturday Night Live, and has taught comedy writing and improvisational comedy at the University of Virginia's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He was Playwright-in-Residence at the State University of New York–Oneonta in 1991 and has been a fellow at the Yaddo artists' community and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Cribben's film and theater criticism has appeared in 64, C-Ville, The Charlottesville Daily Progress, The Fredericksburg Freelance-Star, and Die Welte Woche.

Mary Lee Allen, volunteer reader for Blackbird, is Secretary for the Center for Palladian Studies in America, an organization which studies Palladian architecture and its influence in the United States. She holds a Master of Humanities degree from the University of Richmond and an MA in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University and is retired from the Assistant Directorship of Gunston Hall, a historic house museum built by George Mason.

Courtney Fenner, intern, is a first-year MFA fiction student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Tiffany Chantelle Ford, intern, received her BS in Film and Television from Boston University's College of Communications in Massachusetts and is a first-year MA student in English at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Tim Goulet, intern, received his BA in English from the University of Nebraska in Omaha and is a second-year MA student in literature at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jules Irvin, intern, is a first-year MA student at Virginia Commonwealth University and has a BA in Sociology and Rhetoric and Communication Studies from the University of Richmond.

Sallie Lupton Jennings, volunteer reader for Blackbird, studied Literature at Antioch College and has an MA in Psychology from New School for Social Research. Retired from vocational rehabilitation counseling and photography, she studied playwriting with William Packard at HB Studios in New York and won a one-act play contest with a staged reading at the Barksdale Theater in Richmond two years ago. Publication of her first poem is forthcoming in the Quaker journal, What Cans't Thou Say?

Vera Kononova, intern, originally from Voronezh, Russia, received her BA in English from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She is a first-year graduate student in the MA program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Cynthia Grier Lotze, intern, is a second-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon graduating from VCU, she plans to pursue a PhD in creative writing.

Jennifer Merrifield, volunteer, is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. She compiled the bibliography of poets in their thirties for Poetry 30—an anthology of thirty-something poets edited by Gerry LaFemina and Daniel Crocker, which will be released by MAMMOTH Books in early 2005. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Controlled Burn, Terminus, Whitewater Review, and the anthology Wild Sweet Notes II: More West Virginia Poetry.

Sarah Wolfgang, intern, is a senior undergraduate honors student at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in English.