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The American Poetry Journal

Issue 15 Contributors

Jessica Cuello is the author of Pricking (Tiger Bark Press, 2016), which won the CNY Book Award; Hunt (The Word Works, 2017); and the chapbooks My Father's Bargain (2015), By Fire (2013), and Curie (2011). She has been awarded The Washington Prize (for Hunt), The New Letters Poetry Prize, a Saltonstall Fellowship, and The Decker Award from Hollins University for outstanding teaching. Pricking was recently nominated for the CNY Book Award and Hunt was a finalist for The Lawrence J. Epstein Visiting Writer Award at SCCC. Cuello teaches French in Central New York.


Cara Dees holds an MFA degree from Vanderbilt University. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and was a finalist for Indiana Review’s 2016 Poetry Prize. Her work appears or is forthcoming in such journals as The Adroit Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets 2016, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, Muzzle Magazine, and Southern Humanities Review


Anthony DiPietro is a Rhode Island native who worked for 12 years in community-based organizations that addressed issues such as violence, abuse, and income inequality. In 2016, he moved to New York to join Stony Brook University as a candidate for a creative writing MFA and now teaches undergraduate courses. A graduate of Brown University with honors in creative writing, his writing has earned fellowships and residencies at Aspen Summer Words, Fine Arts Work Center, The Frost Place, and Sundress Academy for the Arts. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Anomaly, Assaracus, Canyon Voices, The Good Men Project, Helen, Rogue Agent, The Southampton Review, Talking River, and others.


Jill Alexander Essbaum is the author of several collections of poetry as well as the New York Times bestselling novel Hausfrau. Her work has appeared in dozens of journals including Poetry, The Christian Century, Image, and The Rumpus, and has been included in several anthologies including The Best American Erotic Poems and two editions of the annual Best American Poetry anthology. A core faculty member of the UCR Palm Desert Low Residency MFA program, she is currently working on a new collection of poems and a second novel.


Jeannine Hall Gailey served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She is the author of five books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, The Robot Scientist's Daughter and the winner of the 2015 Moon City Press Book Prize for Poetry and the Elgin Award, Field Guide to the End of the World. Her poems have been featured on NPR's The Writer's Almanac and Verse Daily, as well as in collections like The Best Horror of the Year and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Her web site is www.webbish6.comYou can follow her on Twitter @webbish6.


Susan Grimm is the author of Almost Home (Cleveland State University Poetry Center 1997), Lake Erie Blue (BkMk Press 2004), and Roughed Up by the Sun’s Mothering Tongue (Finishing Line Press 2011). Her work has appeared in Blackbird, The Journal, The Cortland Review, Seneca Review, and Tar River Poetry. She earned an MFA in poetry through the Northeast Ohio MFA consortium (NEOMFA) and teaches creative writing part-time at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She also occasionally teaches classes for Literary Cleveland. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and can be found online at her blog, The White Space Inside the Poem.


Benjamin Gucciardi's poems have appeared in Chautauqua, Forklift Ohio, Orion Magazine, Radar Poetry,, upstreet and other journals. A Best New Poets nominee, he is a winner of a Dorothy Rosenberg Memorial Prize and the 2017 Maine Review poetry contest. U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera selected his poem "Border Angels" as a finalist for The Santa Ana River Review poetry contest. You can find more of his work at


Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress ( His own work has been published widely in such places as The Chiron Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, El Portal, Phantom Drift, Common Ground Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal and Gravel. More about him and his work can be found at


Stacy Kidd is the author of two chapbooks, A man in a boat in the summer (Beard of Bees) and About Birds (Dancing Girl Press). Her work has appeared in journals including Boston Review, The Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Phoebe, and Pith, among others. She lives and writes in Oklahoma.


Elidio La Torre Lagares earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas-El Paso. He has published several poetry collections in Spanish, and he is preparing his first English language book of poems. His work has appeared in Revista Centro Journal (City University of New York), Azahares (University of Arkansas-Fort Smith), Sargasso (University of Puerto Rico), The Acentos Review, Nagari, Malpaís Review, and Ariel Chart. He currently teaches literature and creative writing in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.


Jeffrey Morgan is the author of Crying Shame. His poems have recently appeared in Copper Nickel, Kenyon Review Online, Ninth Letter, and Slice. He was a 2017 National Poetry Series finalist, and you can sometimes find him at  


Steve Mueske is an electronic musician and the author of a chapbook and two books of poetry. His poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Crazyhorse, Water~Stone Review, Hotel Amerika, Poet Lore, Typo Magazine, The Massachusetts Review, Thrush, Redactions, Crab Orchard Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere.


Tzynya Pinchback is a mermaid and storyteller. She is author of How To Make Pink Confetti (Dancing Girl Press, 2012) and the blog series, Tulle (Cat in the Belly blog, January 2018) - a cancer journal in photograph, comic book sketch, and prose. Her work has appeared in various publications online and in print. An empty nester, she bakes misshapen cookies that go into care packages for a polyglot unicorn and salutes the sun daily as it rises over the small seaside cottage she shares with a turtle who brews tea and makes collage. Tzynya boondoggles at


Lori Schreiner is a painter, writer, and social worker. She has studied painting at the Arts Students League in New York City, at River Gallery School since 1988, and was a member of the Windham Art Gallery. Her work has been shown in NYC and local venues in Vermont.  Her writing has been published in The Best of Write Action 1 and 2, and 26 of her paintings appear in a collaborative book with the poems of Theresa Senato Edwards entitled, Painting Czeslawa Kwoka ~ Honoring Children of the Holocaust, which won the Tacenda Literary Award for Best Book, 2011.  During the summer of 2017, Schreiner had a show in Brattleboro, VT, entitled We Are All Refugees, Portraits of Syrian Children Fleeing the War.


Ruth Thompson is the author of Crazing, Woman With Crows, and Here Along Cazenovia Creek. Her poems have won New Millennium Writings, Harpur Palate, and Tupelo Quarterly awards, and have been choreographed by Shizuno Nasu and Jenn Eng. New poems currently appear or are forthcoming in Poetry Flash, bosque, and Tar River Poetry. Thompson received a BA from Stanford and a doctorate in English from Indiana University. She teaches poetry, meditation, and writing from the body/writing from nature, and is editor of a small literary press in Hilo, Hawai’i. Poems, videos of dance/poetry performances, and a brief film of Thompson talking about her work are on her website,, and her YouTube channel,


Mary TwoTeeth is an artist living in the Salishan Territories of western North America. She publishes in a variety of journals.

Lori Schreiner
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