Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Fall 2007  Vol. 6 No. 2
poetry gallery features

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


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Blackbird Staff

(Left to right) Kneeling: Patrick Scott Vickers; Front Row: Mary Flinn, Tarfia Faizullah, Susan Settlemyre Williams, Gregory Donovan; Second Row: Alaina Hohnarth, Andrea Cleary, Marie Potoczny, Bill Edwards; Third Row: Elizabeth Quinn, Diane Armstrong, Sallie Lupton Jennings; Fourth Row: Mary Lee Allen, Lenore Gay, Meghan Rosatelli, Melinda White, Natalie Mesnard; Back Row: J. Randy Marshall, Keith Gurgick, Matt Baker, Kevin Powers, M.A. Keller. (Not pictured: Bridgforth Allen, Joshua Ekhardt, Lora Jarrel, Elizabeth Gerber, Stella Reinhard and Jeff Lodge)

Gregory Donovan, senior editor, has won many awards for his writing, including the Robert Penn Warren Award from New England Writers (judged by Rosanna Warren), as well as 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, won the Devins Award from University of Missouri Press, and his work has been published and anthologized widely, recently appearing in Commonwealth: Contemporary Poetry of Virginia from the University of Virginia Press. Donovan also has been writer-in-residence for the Chautauqua Institution, the VCU Glasgow Artists and Writers Workshop in Scotland, and currently for Literary and Visual Arts in the Highlands, a VCU summer program which takes writers and visual artists to Lima and Cuzco, Peru.

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, senior 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 taught advanced writing, poetry workshops, and courses in hypertext and New Media writing. His work currently centers on electronic writing and electronic publication, issues of materiality and multimodal writing, and the question of defining, supporting, and teaching “New Media.”

Patrick Vickers, online editor, is currently a technologist and instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University's Engish Department and a PhD student in Media Art and Text. He graduated in spring 2006 with an MFA in poetry from the University of Alabama. His short story The Featherless Chicken was published in the online journal Strange Horizons, fall 2005, while his poems have appeared in the journals Mid-American Review and Touchstone. Most recently, his Flash art has appeared in the online journal Failbetter.

Tarfia Faizullah, associate editor, is a second-year MFA student in poetry in Virginia Commonwealth University’s creative writing program. In 2007, her poem “Ramadan Aubade” was an AWP Intro Journals Award Winner and is forthcoming in Mid-American Review. Also in 2007, her poem “Mending Time” received an honorable mention from the Catherine and Joan Byrne Poetry Prize through the Academy of American Poets. She was a 2006 Writers at Work Fellowship Competition finalist. Her other poems have appeared in The Adirondack Review and The Daily Star.

Susan Settlemyre Williams, Blackbird book review editor and associate literary editor, is the author of a chapbook, Possession (Finishing Line, 2007). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in the Mississippi Review, Shenandoah, 42opus, Sycamore Review, the Marlboro Review, and other journals. Her book-length manuscript Ashes in Midair has been a runner-up or finalist in several recent competitions, and one of her poems won the 2006 Diner poetry contest and was selected for Best New Poets 2006 (Samovar, 2006). She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. 

Jeff Lodge, founding and contributing editor, is the author of the novel Where This Lake Is (1997) and, with John A. Brown, A Prayer for Foxes and Hens (forthcoming).  He has published fiction, poetry, and essays in GSU Review, Persona, Pleiades, Squib, and other publications, and has written dozens of book reviews for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly. He is currently an assistant professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Doha, Qatar, where he teaches writing and literature.

Randy Marshall, associate literary editor, received his MFA in poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in the Richmond Arts Magazine, GSU Review, Cream City Review and Blackbird. With Mary Flinn, Andrew Miller and John Venable, he edited Larry Levis: The Gazer Within, which was published in 2001 by the University of Michigan Press as part of its Poets on Poetry series. Since 1999 he has been a featured contributor to Platform, a broadside published by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and New Virginia Review to promote Poetic Principles (an ongoing reading/lecture series that has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities). Selections of his poetry were named finalists in the Frank O’Hara Chapbook Competitions for 2004 and 2005.

Joshua Eckhardt, contributing gallery editor, teaches early modern English literature at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is completing a study of early-seventeenth-century verse collectors and their manuscript poetry anthologies. He has published articles in Huntington Library Quarterly and Elizabeth I and the Culture of Writing, forthcoming from the British Library.

Stella Reinhard, associate production editor for Blackbird, is in her second year in the Media, Art & Text PhD program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her focus is on the effects of technology on the writing, illustrating and producing of the children’s narrative. As an adjunct faculty as well as a graduate teaching assistant, she teaches art and design courses for the Communication Arts Department at VCU. Stella received her Masters Degree in Children’s Literature from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, and has been an art director, illustrator, copywriter and graphic designer.

Meghan Rosatelli, associate production editor, is currently a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University with a focus on popular culture. She has an MA in English writing and rhetoric from VCU and a BA in English creative writing from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Melinda White, associate production editor, is currently a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has a Bachelor's degree in professional and technical writing and a Master's degree in English literature and writing from Utah State University. Her focus is on new media literature, with interests in postmodern print literature, hypertext, and string theory.

Diane Armstrong, intern and lead pagebuilder for Blackbird, v6n2, is a second semester MA English student at Virginia Commonwealth University.  She has taught high school English for the past seven years as a literary adviser, and is excited to move high school literary magazines into the digital age.

Matthew Baker, intern, is a first-year MFA fiction student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his BA in history from Mary Washington College.

Andréa Cleary, intern, is a first year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her BA in English and Writing from Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

Keith Gurgick, intern, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is majoring in English with a focus in Writing.

Alaina Hohnarth, intern, is a first-year MA Literature student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received a BA in English from Liberty University.

Natalie Mesnard, volunteer, holds a BS in Mathematics from Virginia Commonwealth University. She spent a year teaching English in Hyogo prefecture, Japan.

Marie Potoczny, intern, is a first year MFA student in the fiction program at VCU. She has work published or forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Lullwater Review, The Pinch, and others. She is originally from Ohio and received her undergraduate degree from Miami University.

Kevin Powers, volunteer, is a senior with a major in English at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Elizabeth Quinn, originally from Birmingham, Alabama, is an intern for Blackbird and a first year fiction student at Virginia Commonwealth University.  She received her BA in Studio Art from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.  Before moving to Richmond she was writing and teaching in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Bridgforth Allen, technology advisor, has a BA in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MS in Computational Linguistics from Georgetown. He is an information technologist specializing in digital media productions and has extensive experience in online publishing.

Mary Lee Allen, reader and copyeditor, is Secretary for the Center for Palladian Studies in America. 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. She studies poetry writing.

Lenore Gay, reader and copyeditor, holds an MS in Sociology and an MS in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling at VCU. The Virginia Center for Creative Arts has awarded her two writing fellowships. In 2003 Beacon Press published her essay “Mistresses of Magic” in the anthology In Praise of Our Teachers. In 2005 her story “The Hobo” won first prize in Style Weekly’s annual fiction contest.

Sallie Lupton Jennings, reader and copyeditor, 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, Virginia, in 2002. She recently published her first poems in the Quaker journal, What Canst Thou Say?  bug

Special Thanks

to all the editors, staff members, and interns who made Blackbird volume 6, number 2, possible. More detailed acknowledgements to follow after we rest up a bit and remember just who did what.