Introducing Our Fall 2017 Contributors

leaves-1051937_1280Sending you hearty autumn greetings from the editorial team at Compose!

Our Fall 2017 issue is now well underway, and we very much look forward to sharing the work of these writers, poets and artists with you in late October.

In the meantime, as we work through edits and lay out the issue, take a look through our fantastic lineup of contributors.


Julie Paul is the author of three books: two collections of short fiction, The Jealousy Bone (Emdash, 2008) and The Pull of the Moon (Brindle & Glass, 2014) and the poetry collection, The Rules of the Kingdom (MQUP, 2017). The Pull of the Moon was awarded both an IPPY award and the Victoria Book Prize and was named a Top 100 Book in the Globe and Mail. Her essay “It Not Only Rises, It Shines” won the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Award from The New Quarterly, and her story “The Expansion” won The Rusty Toque’s 2016 Chapbook Award. She lives in Victoria with her family, where, in addition to writing, she works as a Registered Massage Therapist.


M. J. Arlett is an MFA candidate at Florida International University, where she is the nonfiction editor for Gulf Stream Magazine. She was born in the UK, spent several years in Spain, and now lives in Miami. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lunch TicketMud Season ReviewPoet LoreRust + MothTinderbox Poetry, and elsewhere.

GRACE STREET, Edward A. Dougherty‘s latest collection of poems, is available from Cayuga Lake Books. He teaches at Corning Community College and is a regular reviewer for American Microreviews & Interviews.

David Koehn‘s first full-length manuscript, Twine, now available from Bauhan Publishing, won the 2013 May Sarton Poetry Prize. His poetry and translations were previously collected in two chapbooks, Tunic, (speCt! books, 2013) a small collection of some of his translations of Catullus, and Coil (University of Alaska, 1998), winner of the Midnight Sun Chapbook Contest. He just released Compendium (Omnidawn Publishing, 2017), a collection of Donald Justice’s take on prosody. His second full-length collection, Scatterplot, is due out from Omnidawn in 2020. His writing has appeared in a wide range of literary magazines including Kenyon ReviewNew England ReviewAlaska Quarterly ReviewRhinoVoltCarolina QuarterlyNew York QuarterlyDiagramMcSweeney’sThe Greensboro Review, and many others.

Cammy Thomas has published two collections of poems with Four Way Books: Inscriptions (2014) and Cathedral of Wish, which received the 2006 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in The Missouri ReviewSalamanderOcean State ReviewThe Maine Review, and Off the Coast. A fellowship from the Ragdale Foundation helped her complete Inscriptions. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

nicole v basta is the co-founder of the Brooklyn-based art collective/performance night “Say Yes.” Her chapbook ‘V’  was the winner of The New School’s 2016 annual contest and will be published in the fall of 2017. Her work appears or is forthcoming in ComposeForthThe Gravity of the ThingCrosswinds Poetry JournalPublic PoolJukedCanary, and others. She was an artist-in-residence at Art Farm in Nebraska.

Cathie Sandstrom’s work has appeared in The Southern Review (and TSR Audio Gallery), PloughsharesEkphrasisCider Press ReviewComstock Review, and Lyric, among others, and is included on Anthologies include Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond. A poem and essay appear in The Poetry Mystique. Her poem “You, Again” is in the artists’ book collection at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and an essay, “Braiding the Dreamscape,” is forthcoming from the C.J. Jung Society of St. Louis. A military brat, she has lived in ten states and four foreign countries. A writer for the National Veterans Foundation, she lives against the San Gabriels just north of downtown Los Angeles. Part of her still expects to hear from the Pentagon any day.

Caroline Plasket‘s poems have been published or are forthcoming in WomenArts Quarterly JournalRise Up ReviewThe Tishman Review, and The Hollins Critic, among others. She was a fall 2016 mentee in the AWP Writer to Writer Program. She lives in the Cincinnati area.

Laurinda Lind keeps adding insulation in New York’s North Country in the U.S. In honor of Compose Journal, here are her publications/acceptances that start with C: ChautauquaChiron ReviewCokefishCold Mountain Review,  Coldnoon, CommunionComstock ReviewConclaveConstellations, and The Cortland Review.

Creative Nonfiction

Melissa Lewis-Ackerman is a bi-coastal English Professor, dividing time between LA and New York. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Queens University of Charlotte. Melissa has published Letter To New York, Crab Fat Magazine (January 2017); The Jew Who Loved Me, Claudius Speaks, “Buried” (January 2017), White Light, Flights (Fall 2015), Seventy, DUENDE (Fall 2015), and Clock Towers, BOOMTOWN, Explosive Writing From Ten Years Of The Queens University of Charlotte MFA Program.

Marcia K. Bilyk is a writer, photographer, and retired Elder in the United Methodist church. She lives in rural New Jersey with her husband Ed and three dogs. She and Wally, their 110 lb. Bernese Mountain Dog, visit Hospice House and the local middle school, where Wally listens to students with learning disabilities read.

Kelly Shire is a native of Southern California and received her MFA from Cal State Long Beach. Recent work has been published by Full Grown PeopleHippocampus, and Angels Flight/Literary West, and was included in the 2014 Seal Press anthology SPENT: Exposing Our Complicated Relationship with Shopping. When not working on a memoir-in-essays collection, she works at a public school library and enjoys hiking, road trips, and hanging with her husband and two adolescent children.

Shiv Dutta’s personal essays have appeared in Under the SunTin HouseConnotation PressThe Grief DiariesSouth85 JournalRiver & South ReviewThe Evansville ReviewGreen Hills Literary LanternHippocampus MagazineEclectica MagazineEpiphanyThe Evergreen ReviewSilk Road ReviewPilgrimageFront Porch, and other journals. He has also produced forty-five technical papers and two technical books. One of his personal essays was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Silk Road Review. Links to some of his essays can be found on his website, Shiv is currently working on a memoir.

Jillian Schedneck is the author of the travel memoir Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights. Her work has been published in Panorama JournalThe Manifest-Station, and Brevity, among others. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Adelaide, Australia and runs the Writing Centre at the University of Adelaide.

Iris Anixter is a former poet and photographer turned essayist, who hopes to soon be retired from the non-profit sector. Her non-fiction has appeared in Hippocampus.


Stephanie Dickinson, an Iowa native, lives in New York City. Her novel Half Girl and novella Lust Series are published by Spuyten Duyvil, as is her Love Highway based on the 2006 Jennifer Moore murder. Her other books include Port Authority OrchidsHeat: An Interview with Jean SebergThe Emily Fables (ELJ Publications), and Flashlight Girls Run just out from New Meridian Arts Press. Her work has been reprinted in Best American Nonrequired ReadingNew Stories from the South, and 2016 New Stories from the Midwest.  She is the editor of Rain Mountain Press.

Chaya Bhuvaneswar‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, NimrodThe Asian American Literary ReviewMichigan Quarterly Review, and The Notre Dame Review, along with several web journals such as r.k.v.r.y.,  Redux, aaduna, Bangalore Review, and elsewhere. She is interested and in love with poetry, lyricism, moral reflection, racial and social justice, solidarity, courage, and humor (full range, from smirking to giggling to laughing out loud to smiling angrily and plotting insurrections).

Kevin McGeary is a Mandarin translator, musician, and MBA candidate. His Chinese-language songwriting has been the subject of features in China Daily and on Guangdong Television. He is working on a collection set in the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen.

Jeanette Geraci is originally from New York and graduated from Florida Atlantic University’s MFA Creative Writing program in Spring 2017. Her creative nonfiction, flash fiction, original poetry, and translated poetry have appeared/are forthcoming in Room Magazine3Elements ReviewBlue Fifth ReviewLunch Ticket Literary MagazineLingerpostAnomaly (FKA: Drunken Boat), and numerous other publications. Jeanette received a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2016. She currently lives and works in South Florida.


William C. Crawford is a writer & photographer based in Winston-Salem, NC. He was a combat photojournalist in Vietnam. He has published extensively in various formats including fiction, creative nonfiction, memoirs, book reviews, and essays. His new book is highlighted elsewhere on this site. He had a parallel career as a social worker and community organizer. There, he wrote biting editorials on behalf of the powerless such as abused children, the frail elderly, and victims of enforced state sterilizations. He is known as Crawdaddy to his Yellow Lab, Scout.

Linda Ryma is a landscape photographer residing in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Accredited in NatureBotanical, and Night Photography by the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC), Linda considers all of Northwestern Ontario and Northern Minnesota to be her canvas. In addition, she is the official photographer for James Boraski & MomentaryEvolution, a local blues band.

A graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Chuka Susan Chesney is an imaginative artist. “Extremely prolific” is how one would describe her creative output, but more important is her pleasure in experimentation, pushing her to include new techniques and materials. Much of her work is narrative. Watercolor is a favorite base and there is always a strong lyrical line running through each piece. Subjects range from very personal to energetic landscapes, and the combination of plant motifs covered with tiny marks, dots, and lines is endearing and whimsical. Chesney’s paintings and poems have appeared in Claudius SpeaksInklette, and Peacock Journal. She also collaborated with the prize-winning poet Laura Madeline Wiseman on a book of poetry called People Like Cats.


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