blackbird online journal Spring 2008  Vol. 7  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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photo and Flash animation by Patrick Scott Vickers                                  reload page to reset
(Left to right) Front Row: Mary Flinn, Tarfia Faizullah, Patrick Scott Vickers, Randy Marshall, Gregory Donovan; Second Row: Amanda Branam, Sallie Lupton Jennings, Nicole Pitts, Laura Davenport; Third Row: Lenore Gay, Melinda White, Jennifer Woodruff, Stella Reinhard; Back Row: Meghan Rosatelli, Brett Fairbrother, Matt Baker, Doug Scott (Not pictured: Susan Settlemyre Williams, M.A. Keller, Bridgforth Allen, Mary Lee Allen, Matt Myers, 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. He took an MFA in Poetry from VCU in 1989. 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 Scott 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 at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a 2007–2008 AWP Intro Journals Award Winner and a 2006 Writers at Work Fellowship finalist. Her poems have appeared in the journals The Adirondack Review, Makeout Creek, Mid-American Review, Harpur Palate, and Diode, and are forthcoming in Green Mountains Review, Cimarron Review, and Memorious.

Susan Settlemyre Williams, Blackbird book review editor and associate literary editor, is the author of a chapbook, Possession (Finishing Line, 2007) and the collection of poems, Ashes in Midair, which was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as the winner of the 2007 Many Mountains Moving Press poetry contest and published in 2008. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in the Mississippi Review, Shenandoah, 42opus, Sycamore Review, the Marlboro Review, and other journals. 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.

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 and online outreach coordinator, 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 and manuscript wrangler, 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.

Matthew Baker, intern, style manual coordinator and lead pagebuilder, is a first-year MFA fiction student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his BA in History from Mary Washington College.

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, manuscript reader and proofreader, 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, manuscript reader and proofreader, 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, manuscript reader and proofreader, 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?

Laura Davenport, intern and bio editor, is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was a winner of the 2008 Academy of American Poets’ Catherine and Joan Byrne Poetry Prize as well as a nominee for the 2008–2009 AWP Intro Journals Award. 

Doug Scott, intern and photo editor, is a first-year MA Writing & Rhetoric student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received a BA in Journalism from the University of Kentucky, where he was an editor and columnist for The Kentucky Kernel.

Amanda Branam, intern, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is graduating in May of 2008 with a BA in English and a minor in Creative Writing.

Brett Fairbrother, intern, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is graduating in May of 2008 with a BA in English Literature and a double minor in British Studies and Creative Writing.

Matthew Myers, intern, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is majoring in English with a double minor in Writing and Religious Studies. He spent a year teaching English in Budapest, Hungary.

Nicole Pitts, intern, is graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May of 2008 with a BA in English and a double minor in Religious Studies and Writing.

Jennifer Woodruff, intern and pagebuilder, is a second-year MA Literature student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her BA in Comprehensive Communication from the University of Rio Grande. bug

Special Thanks

to all the editors, staff members, and interns who made Blackbird volume 7, number 1, possible. More detailed acknowledgements to follow after we rest up a bit and remember just who did what.