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About the Contributors to Dirt

Melissa Altenderfer’s work has appeared in Yawp, The Taproot Literary Review, Pittsburgh City Paper, Ms., Water~Stone, and in the anthology September 11, 2001: American Writers Respond, edited by William Heyen. She is the Public Reading Series Coordinator for the International Poetry Forum in Pittsburgh, where she lives with her retired racing greyhound, Penny.

Michael Byers is the author of The Coast of Good Intentions, a book of stories, and Long for This World, a novel. He teaches fiction at the University of Pittsburgh.

Don Kingfisher Campbell is the founder of POETRYpeople youth writing workshops, publisher of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, and leader of the Emerging Urban Poets writing and critique workshop. He received the 2001 Charles Ferguson Prize from the Pennsylvania Poetry Society, among other awards, and his poetry appears in several anthologies, including Cosmic Brownies and Three Chord Poems.

Randall DeVallance is a 2002 graduate of Edinboro University. His short stories have appeared in The Anteater, McSweeney's Online, Eyeshot, Facsimilation, and many other publications online and in print. A short novel, Dive, is forthcoming from Exquisite Cadaver Press. He lives in Pittsburgh.

Kathleen E. Downey received a masters degree in writing from Carnegie Mellon University. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in publications such as the Pittsburgh Quaterly, the Loyalhanna Review, Truce, Pendulum, and Pudding. Her story "Everyone Needs a Door to Close" won the 2001 Taproot Literary Review award for fiction.

Karl Elder is Lakeland College's Poet in Residence and author of four volumes of poetry from Prickly Pear Press, including Phobophobia and A Man in Pieces. Two new books will appear from Parallel Press and Marsh River Editions in 2005. Among his honors are a Pushcart Prize, the Lucien Stryk Award, grants from the Illinois Arts Council for poetry and fiction, and Lakeland's Outstanding Teacher Award.

Holly Farris is an Appalachian who has worked as an autopsy assistant, restaurant baker, and beekeeper. To date, she has published close to sixty articles, poems, and stories, including erotica. Her newest short fiction is forthcoming from Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies and Home Planet News.

Sherrie Flick's I Call This Flirting (Flume Press, University of California, Chico) won the 2003-04 Fiction Chapbook Award. Her stories have appeared in numerous literary journals including North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, New Orleans Review, and Puerto Del Sol. She has received fellowships from the Ucross Foundation and Atlantic Center for the Arts, and an Artist Opportunity grant from ProArts, Pittsburgh. She is the director of the Gist Street reading series and lives in Pittsburgh.

Phil Gruis is a former editor of daily newspapers who spent most of the nineties in the Montana wilderness. He now lives and writes in Sandpoint, Idaho, and Johnson's Landing, British Columbia. His poems have been accepted by Bear Deluxe, Pontoon, Erosha and Poetry Motel.

Kathryn Hawkins was born and raised in Pittsburgh and returned to attend law school after a five-year stint in Santa Cruz, California. Her poetry has appeared in the online journal, Stirring: A Literary Collection.

Marjorie Maddox, Director of Creative Writing and professor of English at Lock Haven University, has published Transplant Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Book Prize, WordTech, 04), Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award, 1994), five chapbooks, and over 270 poems, stories, and essays in literary journals and anthologies. She is the co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (forthcoming PSU press, 2005).

Jessica Mesman is a freelance writer and the managing editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Godspy, Brevity, and The New Yinzer and is forthcoming from Riverteeth and Elle.

J. O'Nym is a bass player. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Calyx and Borderlands and has work forthcoming in Hanging Loose. She has co-written songs with Meg Hentges on the albums Tattoo Urge, Afterlaugh, and Brompton's Cocktail and is working on a new recording, E Cat for the band Skidding Kitty. She was the recipient of a poetry fellowship from the Texas Writers' League in 2003.

Lisa Toboz earned an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. Formerly a business manger at Pittsburgh City Paper, she is teaching English in Osijek, Croatia.

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