WITNESS: Issue 1, Volume 3, Fall 2016


Drew Hindes was adopted through the Vietnamese Babylift, and grew up in Vermont, where he was one of a handful of non-Caucasian students. In the whole town. He has no writing degrees or honorifics, although he did stay in a Holiday Inn Express once. He’s been a fashion editor, photo producer, runway show producer, event producer, assistant teacher, nanny, and, for five minutes in college, a barista. He attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, not for the writing, obviously, but to be in New York. He’s met Anna Wintour, Calvin Klein, Christie Brinkley and Amber Valetta. He once asked Jonathan Safran Foer if he’d read Everything Is Illuminated, was five minutes into a conversation with Susan Orlean before he realized who he was talking to, and he can’t pass up a stated-first-edition of Dave Eggers’s You Shall Know Our Velocity. He’s dined with Michael Cunningham and once saw Bill and Chelsea Clinton at a screening of Live Free or Die Hard. Oh, and he’s been working diligently on a YA novel. For, like, years.

Anindita Sengupta is the author of City of Water (Sahitya Akademi, 2010). She won the Muse India Young Writer award (2012), and the TFA Creative Writing Award (2008). Her work has appeared in journals such as One, Ouroboros Review, Mascara Literary Review, Eclectica, Nth Position, Pix Quarterly and Asian Cha and in several anthologies including The Harper Collins Book of English Poetry (Harper Collins, 2012), and The Yellow Nib Modern English Poetry by Indians (Queen’s University Belfast, 2012). She has read at national and international poetry festivals and been writer-in-residence at University of Kent on the Charles Wallace Fellowship. Her next book will be published by Paperwall in 2016. 

Photo credit: Briget Ganski

Photo credit: Briget Ganski

Scott Ruescher has published poems set in Latin America, including two poems related to the one that appears in this issue, in recent editions of Chautauqua, The Harvard Educational Review, The Tower Journal, ALANA, and The Common Ground Review. Some related poems also appear in his 2015 chapbook, Perfect Memory. He won the Erika Mumford Prize for poetry about travel and international culture from the New England Poetry Club in both 2013 and 2014—in the former case for a poem set in Spain, in the latter case for a poem set in Puerto Rico. He is also the 2016 winner of the Write Prize from Able Muse journal.


Willy Palomo learned poetry from the worlds of hip-hop and slam. In 2016, he was named the runner-up Latin@ Scholar at the Frost Place Conference on Poetry. His work can be found in Vinyl, muzzle, HeArt Online, and more. He is currently pursuing an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and an MFA in Poetry at Indiana University.

Lee Keylock, originally from England, emigrated to the United States in 1989. He taught English at Newtown High School in Connecticut for thirteen years and has served as an adjunct professor teaching Creative Writing and Composition at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, where he also earned his MFA in Creative Writing.  Lee Keylock is Director of Programs at Narrative 4 and oversees the coordination and administration of all aspects of N4’s ongoing programmatic development. Lee’s writing has appeared in CT Review, Raving Dove, Broken Bridge Review, Caduceus, The English Journal, et al., and most recently in the book, An Empty Seat in Class: Teaching and Learning After the Death of a Student.  

Lauren Kosa’s writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Vox, Manifest-Station, and elsewhere. Before that, she spent a decade working in foreign affairs for a nonprofit, the State Department, and Congress, during which time she lived and traveled throughout the Middle East. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Lauren lives in the DC area with her husband and daughter, where she’s working on a novel.

Stewart Moss is the former Executive Director of The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, one of the largest literary centers in the USA. There he helped establish creative writing programs for adult immigrants and members of the military. Prior to that, he worked as an educator and fundraiser in educational institutions around the country. He has taught literature and creative writing in both the USA and abroad; Scotland, Greece, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, and Nepal are among the countries in which he has lived and worked. Moss has an essay forthcoming in "Retire the Colors: Veterans & Civilians on Iraq & Afghanistan" (published this fall by Hudson Whitman/Excelsior College Press). He has also been featured in "The Poet and the Poem" podcasts at The Library of Congress.  He was educated at Union College (NY) and Harvard University. A native of Boston, MA he resides in Annapolis, MD. 

Geoff Anderson teaches foreigners how to play the Queen's English in Columbus, Ohio. His work appears or is forthcoming in Cider Press Review, Wherewithal, and Outlook Springs, among others.

Laurinda Lind is more or less okay in New York State. Previous poems appeared or will appear in Abbey, Afterthoughts, Antithesis Journal, Ascent, Barbaric Yawp, Cokefish, Cold Mountain Review, Communion, Comstock Review, Constellations, Ellipsis, 5th Gear, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Indefinite Space, Indigo Lit, Liminality, Lucid Moon, Lucidity, Many Waters, Mobius, Moonsick, Mudfish, Passager, Paterson Literary Review, Plum Tree Tavern, Poetry Motel, Ship of Fools, Silver Birch Press, Touchstone, Trestle Creek Review, Triggerfish, Uproot, and Veil.

Kamilah Okafor currently lives in Fresno, California where she recently received her MFA in Creative Writing at California State University, Fresno. She served as the managing editor of The San Joaquin Review and an editorial assistant for The Normal School for three years. Her short story, “Part of The Neighborhood” won the Fresno Fiction Prize last May. She currently spends her days as an adjunct lecturer, traveling up and down the highway, teaching composition at Reedley College.

Michael Broek is the author of Refuge/es, winner of the Kinereth Gensler Award for poetry, from Alice James Books, and two chapbooks, The Logic of Yoo, from Beloit Poetry Journal, which has been adapted to a staged reading, and The Amputation Artist, from ELJ Publications. His poetry and essays have appeared widely in places such as The American Poetry Review, The Literary Review, Drunken Boat, Literary Imagination, Blackbird, Fourteen Hills, and others. He has received fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and the Marble House Project, a scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and a grant from the New Jersey State Arts Council in Poetry. 

Ann Arbor is a photographer, novelist, and poet. She has taught English from pre-kindergarten to graduate school, coached the Beloit College women’s basketball team, and served as Foreign Expert in China at Fudan, Nankai, Zhejiang, and Hangzhou Normal Universities. From 1976 until 2010 she served on the editorial board of the Beloit Poetry Journal. Since 1975 she has been a participant at Robert Bly's Annual Conference on the Great Mother and the New Father. As a poet she has published in local and national magazines such as California Quarterly, Kennebec, and The Blue Sofa Review. As a photographer she has had work in national and international magazines, with recent one-person shows at Hangzhou, China, in Durham, North Carolina, and at the University of Maine Farmington, where her Beauty: A Retrospective appeared in conjunction with the honorary doctorate bestowed upon her by that university in May 2009. 

Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 18 books. Titles include How to Kill Poetry (Sibling Rivalry Press) and Mute (A Midsummer Night's Press). A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and online at raymondluczak.com. 

Emma Bolden is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013), and four chapbooks. A Barthelme Prize and Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Prize winner, her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best Small Fictions, and Poetry Daily. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as The Rumpus, TriQuarterly, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, Conduit, the Indiana Review, Harpur Palate, the Greensboro Review, Feminist Studies, Monkeybicycle, The Journal, and Guernica. She serves as a Senior Reviews Editor for Tupelo Quarterly.

David Sugarman is a PhD student in New York University's Department of English. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Liz Prato is the author of Baby’s On Fire: Stories (Press 53). Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Hayden’s Ferry Review, Carve, Hunger Mountain, The Butter, and Subtropics. She is the Editor at Large for Forest Avenue Press, and teaches at literary festivals from coast-to-coast. Liz is currently working on an essay collection that examines her decades-long relationship with Hawai‘i, using the prism of white imperialism. Her website is: www.lizprato.com.

Stephenson Muret lives and writes in southern California. His plays, stories, poems and essays have appeared in scores of publications, touching virtually all genres. 

Featured Artist:

JAN KNIGHT is a native Houstonian and a Texas real estate broker. In her early life, Jan bragged that she was not artistic. Now she believes that everyone can find some satisfaction in the creative arts if they just spend some time experimenting. Jan has always been attracted to two-dimensional and three-dimensional art. She has enjoyed hand-building in clay. Raku finishes are her favorite. Another attraction for her is texture. She is fascinated by modeling paste, drywall mud, plaster, papers, egg shells, rope, string, found objects and coffee grounds. Jan likes to create a mystery in her art so people wonder how it was constructed. Collage and assemblage give her a unique way to share her view of life and people, challenge perceptions, and create a dialogue among viewers.

Posted on November 4, 2016 .