Laura A. Zink is a Beast Crawl Literary Festival organizer who lives in Oakland, California. Her fiction has appeared or is upcoming in Broad River Review, Full of Crow, sPARKLE & bLINK, Naked Bulb 2016 Summer Anthology, Literally Stories, Fiction on the Web, and The East Bay Review.
Seth Simons is a writer and assistant editor for Paste Magazine.
AC Harmon is the Poetry Genre Editor for MARY and a second-year poetry student in the Saint Mary’s MFA program. In her poetry, she discusses themes of mental illness, lesbian womanhood, anti-fascism, and violence. This past summer, her work was featured in Bay Area Generations issue #47 alongside Laura A. Zink. In addition to writing poetry and editing for MARY, AC teaches college-level English composition and fosters a weakness for all things Batman-related. She is originally from the Central Valley.
Assistant Poetry Editors:
Emily Alexander is a writer, a clumsy waitress, and an overly enthusiastic foodie. She has had poems published in Radar Poetry, Blood Orange Review, and Narrative Northeast, and she received the Academy of American Poets Prize at the University of Idaho in 2016.
Julie Mackay: Poet/ former English teacher/ amateur Oneironaut. Interested in transcending cultural tangles and writing poetry capable of accessing the universal. Can generally be spotted in a contemplative stroll about San Francisco. Fond of obese cats and pickled things. Enamored with questions and prose poems. Still uncertain about the nature of the ode.
Terry Taplin holds several local and national slam poetry championships and final-stage performances spanning 2006–2012 across the youth and collegiate circuits. By occupation he is a scholar of classical and medieval/Renaissance art, literature, history, and philosophy. He has performed on stages ranging from the San Francisco Opera House and The Masonic Auditorium to The Apollo Theater in Harlem and Da Poetry Lounge in Hollywood. His credits also include Poetry Mission, Lyrics and Dirges, Under the Influence, Beast Crawl, and the 10th Berkeley Poetry Festival. He is the co-recipient of the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize for undergraduate poetry and the Newman Award for undergraduate writing.
Amy George is from India and currently lives in the Bay Area. She is the Fiction Genre Editor for MARY: A Journal of New Writing. She is an alumna of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley (Summer ’17), and was the Saint Mary’s Fellow at Kearny Street Workshop (Spring ’17).
Assistant Fiction Editor:
Brian Barrientez II (allegedly) sold poorly drawn comics in elementary school and junior high for 25 cents, and has aspirations of selling full-length novels for more. He studied English at San José State University and is pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California. His work frequently deals with life in the suburbs of Northern California.
Creative Nonfiction Editor:
R. Awwal is a student and educator living in the Lamorinda area, and plans on teaching after receiving her MFA degree in Creative Nonfiction. A CWAC Fellow and the Creative Nonfiction Genre Editor for MARY, she enjoys reading books from different genres. She admires authors such as Emily Bronte, Nick Flynn, Svetlana Alexievich, and Tracy Kidder. Her nonfiction work centers on defining the concept of home for a child of immigrants, unveiling her cultural heritage, and accepting her religious identity. She is excited to graduate with her MFA and continue her journey as a writer.
Assistant Creative Nonfiction Editor:
A Bay Area native, Gillian Reimann is a graduate of Pacific University’s Creative Writing program and a current MFA in Nonfiction candidate at Saint Mary’s. An avid reader of all things, she’s worked as a junior editor for Pacific University’s Silk Road Literary Review and PLUM. She is excited for her next journey with Saint Mary’s and MARY.
On career day in first grade, Jordan Galerkin dressed as a writer in a striped turtleneck and overalls with a pencil tucked behind her ear. Although her fashion sense has changed, her career goals haven’t. Jordan gets some of her best ideas at night while walking her cat, Beyoncé.
Cynthia Leonard is a third year student at Saint Mary’s College in the MFA program, fiction and nonfiction genres. Her nonfiction has appeared in Shebooks. Her memoir (in progress) is about growing up on the road with her magician father and levitating mother. She is also the author of short stories about magic shows, religion, and culture. She holds an MTS in Theological Studies from Pacific School Religion in Berkeley, California.
Alyssa Johnson has done some things and plans to do many more. She is an architect, a writer, a designer, and an artist. She has one black cat and one brown rabbit.
Ryan Jones is a writer, student, and educator living in Oakland, California. He has been writing his whole life, but only recently discovered creative nonfiction and loved the opportunities the genre provided. He has taught a wide range of students, from high school to elementary. You can find his most recent creative essay “Rain on the Radio” in Litro Magazine.
Rebecca Samuelson was born in Hayward, California and still resides there today. She received her BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is the first in her family to graduate from university. Her work has been published in Transfer Magazine.
Dee Allen-Kirkhouse started collecting homonyms in a small notebook when she was in kindergarten. She has journals going back to sixth grade—over fifty years of memories from which she can draw to write her collection of essays about growing up in Crockett, California during the 1950’s and 60’s. She is a retired high school teacher, adjunct professor at Diablo Valley College for over 25 years, former newspaper reporter, and freelance journalist. She is also a wife, mom, grandma, avid gardener, and backpacker.