Whit Arnold is a graduate from Muskingum University (BA) and West Virginia University (MFA). His work has appeared in The Rumpus and Schuylkill Valley Journal. In addition, Whit is a co-investigator on a study conducted at the WVU Cancer Institute, where patients participate in storytelling and writing activities to help assess quality of life and to help facilitate advance care planning.
Mark Brazaitis is the director of the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of four books of fiction, including The Incurables: Stories, winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize from the University of Notre Dame Press, and The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award. His novel Julia & Rodrigo won the 2012 Gival Novel Award and will be published in November of 2013. He is also the author of a collection of poems, The Other Language, which won the 2008 ABZ Poetry Prize. His stories, poems, and essays have appeared in The Sun, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, Witness, Confrontation, Beloit Fiction Journal, Poetry International, Poetry East, and other literary journals. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and past recipient of an NEA Fellowship, he is the director of the Creative Writing Program at West Virginia University.
Courtney Angela Brkic is the author of The First Rule of Swimming (Little, Brown, and Company, 2013), Stillness: and Other Stories (FSG, 2003) and The Stone Fields (FSG, 2004). Her work has also appeared in Guernica, Zoetrope, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Harpers & Queen, the Utne Reader, TriQuarterly Review, The Alaska Review and National Geographic, among others. Brkic has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writer’s Award. Stillness was named a Barnes and Noble Discover pick, a 2003 Chicago Tribune “Best Book” and a 2003 New York Times “Notable Book”. The Stone Fields was shortlisted for a Freedom of Expression Award by the Index on Censorship. The First Rule of Swimming was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. She lives outside of Washington, DC, with her husband and children, and teaches in the MFA program at George Mason University.
Dominique Bruno studied English Literature at Boston College, earning both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Now a writer, teacher, and academic advisor, she earning her doctorate in English literature, and exploring her passion for creative writing. This is her third year working as the social media correspondent for the West Virginia Writer’s Workshop. She has presented her scholarship at conferences for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing, Victorian Poetry, Irish Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies. Her forthcoming dissertation focuses on new interpretations of eighteenth-century advice books using the tenets of New Criticism. Dominique’s creative nonfiction and reviews have appeared in the journal Souvenir. She divides her time between reading Dear Prudence, and deciding whether the free indirect discourse that should be narrating her own life is in the voice of Jane Austen or George Eliot.
Geffrey Davis is the author of Revising the Storm (BOA Editions 2014), winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist. He also co-authored, with poet F. Douglas Brown, Begotten (Upper Rubber Boots Books 2016), a chapbook in URB’s Floodgate Poetry Series. His honors include fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center, the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, the Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and nominations for the Pushcart Prize. His poems are forthcoming or have been published by The Academy of American Poets, Crazyhorse, The Greensboro Review, The Massachusetts Review, Mississippi Review, The New York Times Magazine, Nimrod, and Ploughshares, among other places. Davis grew up in Tacoma—though he was raised by much more of the Pacific Northwest—and teaches in the Program in Creative Writing & Translation at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Erich Grant is native of Winston Salem, NC who completed his Master degree and PA training at the Wake Forest School of Medicine PA Program, where he currently serves as Vice Chair for Education and Curricular Innovation. His clinical practice is within the J. Paul Sticht Center for Aging and Rehabilitation, specializing in inpatient physical rehabilitation.
Dr. Carl Grey is from Culloden, WV. He completed his undergraduate, medical school and residency training at West Virginia University. He completed fellowships in Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Grey has been practicing Geriatrics and Palliative Care at WVU Medicine since 2012, is the co-director of the medical ethics course for WVU School of Medicine, and is the Associate Director of the WVU Center for Health Ethics and Law. Dr. Grey became interested in narrative medicine and, along with Renee Nicholson, began and expressive writing project at the WVU Cancer Institute. He incorporates the patient’s story into many of his lectures and educational workshops. He is happily married and is the father of a baby girl. Lorence Gutterman, MD a former physician, is a creative writer of poetry, prose and plays. He facilitates creative writing workshops for students at the Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Nursing. He leads reflective writing (Narrative Medicine) classes for students at the Quinnipiac School of Medicine. His volunteer work includes facilitating creative writers’ workshops in a maximum-security prison and helping children in Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital create poems, stories and plays through the Arts for Healing Program. Lorence has published a book of poetry, Small Circles of Time, about his childhood in South Dakota.
James Harms is the founding director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at West Virginia University and the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop. His seven full-length books of poetry are Comet Scar (2011), What to Borrow, What to Steal (2010), After West (2008), Freeways and Aqueducts (2004), The Joy Addict (1998), Quarters (2001), and Modern Ocean (1992). He has published poems, stories and essays in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, The Gettysburg Review, TriQuarterly, Shenandoah, Oxford American, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes for his poetry and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He is the chair of the Department of English at West Virginia University. His new book, Rowing with Wings, will be published in the fall.
Marc Harshman’s fourteenth children’s title, FALLINGWATER, co-written with Anna Smucker, about Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic house, is forthcoming from Roaring Brook/Macmillan. His second full-length poetry collection, Believe What You Can, was published in 2016 by the Vandalia Press of West Virginia University. Periodical publications include The Georgia Review, Kestrel, Emerson Review, Appalachian Heritage, Salamander, and Poetry Salzburg Review. His poems have been anthologized by Kent State University, the University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and the University of Arizona. His other children’s books include The Storm, a Smithsonian Notable Book. He was an invited reader at the 2016 Greenwich Book Festival in London. His monthly show for West Virginia Public Radio, “The Poetry Break,” began airing in January. He is the seventh poet laureate of West Virginia. Aimee Mepham is the Assistant Director of the Humanities Institute at Wake Forest University where she is co-chair of the Story, Health, and Healing Initiative. She has completed the Basic and Advanced Workshops in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University and has facilitated workshops in close reading and reflective writing at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, Northwest AHEC, and the Sawtooth School for Visual Art. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis and has taught creative writing workshops at Indiana University, Washington University in St. Louis, Salem College, and Wake Forest University. Her short fiction has appeared in Hobart, Meridian, River Styx, and other magazines, and has been performed by Liars' League NYC, a live literary journal featuring professionally trained actors reading original short stories by writers.
Renée K. Nicholson is the author of Roundabout Directions to Lincoln Center, and her essays, stories and poems have been published in many literary journals and magazines, including Moon City Review, Superstition Review, Poets & Writers, Mid-American Review, Midwestern Gothic, Los Angeles Review, and Gettysburg Review. She is Assistant Professor in the Programs for Multi-and Interdisciplinary Studies at West Virginia University, a recipient of a WVU ADVANCE grant for her work in narrative medicine, a recipient of a grant from West Virginia Commission on the Arts, and was the 2011 Emerging Writer-in-Residence at Penn State-Altoona. A former professional dancer, she also holds teaching certification through American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum. Renée is a member of both the Dance Critics Association and the National Book Critics Circle. She has served as the Assistant to the Director of the West Virginia Writers’ workshop since 2007.
Natalie Sypolt is a writer who lives and works in West Virginia. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Pierpont Community & Technical College. Her work has appeared in a variety of literary journals including Glimmer Train, Appalachian Heritage, Willow Springs, Kenyon Review Online, Superstition Review, and Switchback. Natalie is also an editor for the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, a committee member for the Weatherford Award, and an active book reviewer.