(Left to right) Front Row: Mary Flinn, Emilia Phillips, Patrick Scott Vickers, Claire Boswell, Gregory Donovan; Second Row: Gregory Kimbrell, Bri Spicer, Katy Traxler, Rose Groves; Third Row: Ross Losapio, Sallie Jennings, Maria Lourdes De Panbehchi, Steve Mahone, Kathleen Brown, Doug Fuller; Fourth Row: Meagan J. Saunders, Chrissie Lozano Griffith, Stephan Bayless, Ben Orth; Fifth Row: Lauren Boasso, Leah Thomas, Sarah Riddick, Suzanne Mancini; Sixth Row: Susan Settlemyre Williams, Rory O'Connor, Lauren Miner, Katelyn Kiley; Seventh Row: Michael Rackett, M.A. Keller
(Not pictured: Randy Marshall, Neal Wyatt, Michael Beskin, )
Blackbird joins individuals from its publishing partners—Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.—with members of the Richmond, Virginia, and Doha, Qatar communities. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only venture at VCU that joins together international collaborators, undergraduate students, MA and MFA students, PhD students, alumni and community volunteers, and a regional non-profit.
Blackbird has benefited in the past few years from the expertise of graduate assistants in the VCU doctoral program in Media, Art, and Text (MATX). We are grateful for the partnership between the journal and MATX. MATX TAs serve as assistant production editors, but have the opportunity to advance to associate production editors with increased responsibilities.
Lead Associate Editors Emilia Phillips 2010-2011 Grant White 2009–2010 Matthew Baker 2008–2009 Tarfia Faizullah 2007–2008 Kate Beles 2006–2007 Anna Journey 2005–2006 Steven Collis 2004–2005 Maria Hagan 2003–2004 Tara Moyle 2002–2003 Jamye Shelleby 2001–2002
Each year, Blackbird awards the coveted lead associate editor position to a second–year VCU graduate student; to qualify, the student must already have been awarded a graduate fellowship and must have worked as an intern for the journal. The lead associate staffs the Blackbird office and is at the center of all the journal’s activities, working to coordinate communication between literary and production editors, as well as between the editors and contributors.
Staff listings are by categories; individuals are listed alphabetically under each subhead.
Gregory Donovan, senior editor, is a faculty member in Virginia Commonwealth University’s creative writing program. Among other awards for his writing, he received 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 is the author of Calling His Children Home (1993), which won the Devins Award for Poetry from University of Missouri Press, as well as poetry, essays, and fiction published in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Chautauqua, storySouth, 42opus, diode, The Southern Quarterly, and elsewhere. His work has also been anthologized frequently, most recently in Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia from University of Virginia Press (2003). Donovan has often served as guest faculty for summer conferences such as those held by the Chautauqua Writers’ Center and the Other Words Conference of the Florida Literary Arts Coalition. He has also helped to establish VCU summer programs for writers and visual artists in Scotland and in 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 (University of Virginia Press, 1992). She facilitated the editing of The Gazer Within by Larry Levis (University of Michigan Press, 2001), and has served as poetry and fiction editor of 64 Magazine and as editor of New Virginia Review. Flinn has served as a participant on editors’ panels, a literature fellowship judge for numerous art councils, and 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, web coordinator, and writing instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of English. He took an MFA in creative writing from VCU in 1989. His poetry has appeared in The Southern Review, New Virginia Review, Runes, and other publications. Most recently, his chapter “Meghan Sapnar’s ‘Car Wash’ as a New Media Sonnet” appears in RAW!: Reading and Writing New Media (Hampton Press, 2010). He has taught advanced writing, poetry workshops, and courses in hypertext and new media. His work currently centers on electronic writing, issues of materiality and multimodal writing, and the question of defining, supporting, and teaching online publishing and new media.
Randy Marshall, senior literary editor, earned 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. Marshall, with Mary Flinn, Andrew Miller, and John Venable, 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 New Virginia Review to promote Poetic Principles (an ongoing reading/lecture series that has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts). Selections of his poetry were finalists in the Frank O’Hara Award Chapbook Competitions for 2004 and 2005.
Emilia Phillips, lead associate editor, is a second-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of a chapbook, Strange Meeting (Eureka Press, 2010). Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Asheville Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cimarron Review, Copper Nickel, diode, Indiana Review, Sycamore Review, and elsewhere. Her reviews have appeared in or are forthcoming from Blackbird, Connecticut River Review, and James Dickey Review. Phillips holds a BA in English: writing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Patrick Scott Vickers, online editor, is a technologist and instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of English and a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program. He graduated in spring 2006 with an MFA in poetry from the University of Alabama. His poetry and fiction have been published in Strange Horizons, Mid-American Review, Touchstone, and miraclemonocle.com. His Flash art has appeared in the online journal failbetter.com.
Susan Settlemyre Williams, book review editor and literary editor of Blackbird, is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Ashes in Midair (Many Mountains Moving Press, 2008), as well as a chapbook, Possession (Finishing Line Press, 2007). Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, diode, Mississippi Review, Sycamore Review,and Shenandoah, among other journals, and in the anthologies Best New Poets 2006 and Letters to the World. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.
María Lourdes De Panbehchi (Lulú), associate production editor for the Tranströmer suite and pagebuilder, is a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned her BA in Spanish literature from the University of Chihuahua, Mexico, and her MA in Spanish from New Mexico State University. Her work focuses on the relationship between smart phones and simulation, nostalgia, and remediation.
Chrissie Lozano Griffith, associate production editor and senior audio editor, is a second-year MA student in the English literature program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a BA in English from VCU in 2008.
Michael Rackett, associate production editor and lead copyeditor, holds a PhD in religion from Duke University, an MA from a denominational seminary, and a BA in religion from the College of William and Mary. Rackett is completing his final semester as an MA student in writing and rhetoric at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Bri Spicer, associate production editor and graphic designer, is a third-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her BA in writing from the University of Central Arkansas in 2008, with a double minor in history and honors interdisciplinary studies.
Neal Wyatt, associate production editor, senior media features editor and lead indexer, is a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received an MA in English from VCU and an MS in library science from the Catholic University of America. Her work focuses on appeal theory, map reading, and the role of the reader.
Lauren Boasso, assistant media and special projects editor, is a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned an MA in comparative literature from Binghamton University and a BA in English literature from Augusta State University.
Leah Thomas, assistant media editor, is a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has an MA in English and an MS in library and information science from the University of Kentucky.
Claire Boswell, lead bio editor, is a second-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work appears in Blue Crow Magazine and on the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts website. She earned her BA in English from VCU in 2008.
Steve Mahone, lead pagebuilder, is a first-year MA student in the writing and rhetoric program at Virginia Commonwealth University. His writing appears in Currents, and one of his stories received third place honors for the William D. Wolf Short Story Award. He earned his BA in sociology with a concentration in criminology and a minor in writing from Christopher Newport University in 2007.
Michael Beskin, literary intern and audio editor, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and will graduate in May 2011 with a BA in English and minors in writing and religious studies.
Kathleen Brown, literary intern and photo editor, is a third-year student working on her BA in English at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Doug Fuller, literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and will graduate in May 2011 with a BA in English and a minor in writing. He will be entering the MFA program in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University in Fall 2011.
Rose Groves, literary intern and sound editor, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and will graduate in May 2011 with a BA in English. Her fiction appears in the The Susquehanna Review and The Armchair Aesthete.
Katelyn Kiley, literary intern, public relations coordinator, and copyeditor, is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received a BA and an MA in English language and literature from the University of Virginia. Before joining the staff of Blackbird, she worked as an editorial intern at albemarle Magazine and on the staff of Meridian.
Ross Losapio, literary intern and copyeditor, served as special project coordinator for this issue’s Tranströmer Suite. He graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a BA in writing and English and is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. His poems appear in Naugatuck River Review, Milk Money, The Emerson Review, and elsewhere. He has also self-published a chapbook of poems titled The Measure of Healing.
Suzanne Mancini, second semester literary intern and photo editor, will graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2011 with a BA in English and minors in gender, sexuality and women’s studies and writing.
Rory O’Connor, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and will graduate in May 2011 with a BA in Mass Communications, concentrating on creative advertising, and with minors in writing and English.
Ben Orth, literary intern and copyeditor, is a first-year MA student in the English literature program at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his BA in fiction writing with a minor in literature from Columbia College Chicago in 2008.
Sarah Riddick, literary intern and copyeditor, will graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University in December 2011 with a BA in English, a BA in Spanish, and a minor in creative writing.
Meagan J. Saunders, literary intern and copyeditor, is a first-year MFA fiction student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her fiction has been anthologized in Richmond Noir (Akashic Books, 2010). Saunders earned her BA in English and history from the College of William and Mary in 2008.
Katy Traxler, literary intern and audio editor, will graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2011 with a BA in theatre and a minor in creative writing.
Stephan Bayless, photo editor and manuscript reader, has a BA in English from Virginia Commonwealth University with minors in writing and British Studies. He has served as senior editor of Opus literary magazine and maintains a blog featuring original work and reviews of graphic fiction.
Ian Bodkin, manuscript reader, is working on his MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He teaches English and Latin at Benedictine High School.
Sallie Lupton Jennings, manuscript reader, holds an MA in psychology from The New School for Social Research. Retired from vocational rehabilitation counseling and photography, she studied playwriting with William Packford at HB Studio in New York. In 2002, a staged reading of her one-act play was performed at the Barksdale Theater in Richmond, Virginia. Her poetry appears in the Quaker journal What Canst Thou Say.
Gregory Kimbrell, copyediting advisor, is a third-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the 2010–2011 Levis Fellow for the coordination of the conference “Larry Levis: A Celebration” and the 14th annual Levis Reading Prize contest, and he is special-events coordinator for VCU Libraries. His review of Boys Whistling Like Canaries by Jorn Ake appears in issue v9n1 of Blackbird. He received his BA in philosophy in 2004 from the College of Charleston. In 2008, he participated in the Crazyhorse/Tupelo Press Publishing Institute, also at the College of Charleston.
Lauren Miner, copyeditor, is a first-year MA student in the English literature program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a BA in English from James Madison University in 2007.
Grant White, bio editor and former associate editor, is a third-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. Before serving as associate editor, White served as lead bio editor for Blackbird. He has published reviews of three books in Blackbird: Heathen by Leslie Wheeler (v9n1), Miscreants by James Hoch (v8n2), and The Learners by Chip Kidd (v8n1). White holds a BA in English and art history from Bowdoin College.
ADVISING & CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
John Bresland, contributing editor for video essays, works in video, audio, and print. His audio essays have aired on public radio’s Weekend America, and his video essays can be seen at Ninth Letter and Requited. His print essays can be read in North American Review, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing and new media at Northwestern University.
Vera Kononova Brown, advising production editor for the Blackbird index, is a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. A native of Russia, she has a BA in English with an emphasis on technical/professional writing from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, and an MA in English with an emphasis on writing and rhetoric from VCU. Her interests include the use of new media in language instruction, iconography, and stereographic imaging.
Katie Lynch, advising web developer and css programmer, is a PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has a BFA in crafts from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MFA from The Ohio State University. Her work focuses on the presence of text in visual art and the relationship between art, science, and technology.
& MANY THANKS
to all the editors, staff members, interns, and volunteers who made Blackbird volume 10, number 1, possible.
We’ll repeat from previous issues that we can’t say enough about our Media, Art, and Text TAs and interns and their help on everything from the core issue to projects yet to be published on our site. For their work completing the Blackbird index, particular thanks go to Neal Wyatt, associate production editor and senior media features editor, to Lauren Boasso, assistant media and special projects editor, and to Leah Thomas, assistant media editor. Special thanks also go to Vera Kononova Brown for her work initiating the Blackbird index and for her continuing role as an advising editor to the project. We thank Neal as well for her work with the legion of features, Lauren for her investigations of media platforms, and Leah for her work editing audio.
Thanks to Chrissie Griffith for her continued leadership on the audio front; Michael Rackett for taking charge on the copyediting team; Bri Spicer for her design of the 10th anniversary logo; and to Claire Boswell, for jumping right into bio territory in her first semester with us.
Thanks to Lulú De Panbehchi for her work designing the Tranströmer suite, Ross Losapio for his assistance in the initial organization of the suite, and to David Wojahn for his work in making Blackbird the home for the suite and for his introduction.
Thanks to all those that have given many semesters’ worth of work to Blackbird, and who will be leaving us soon, including Lulú De Panbehchi, Chrissie Griffith, Gregory Kimbrell, Michael Rackett, Grant White, and Neal Wyatt.
And to all others—manuscript readers, content converters, pagebuilders, audio editors, transcribers, and copyeditors everyone, our sincere appreciation.
Finally, we wish Michele Poulos and Senior Editor Gregory Donovan long happiness in their marriage in the hope that their commitment to each other provides a graceful sanctuary from the ills that besiege us.
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