Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Contributors: Summer 2011

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 85, No. 2 (Summer 2011)

"Seward County." Photograph. 2011 Alex Matzke.

Alex Matzke has more photographs and information available at Alex Matzke.com.


Ashlee Adams has had stories published in McSweeney's, the Pushcart Prize series, and Southern Review. She is currently working on a novel from her home in Durham, North Carolina.

K. L. Cook is the author of Last Call (U of Nebraska P), a collection of stories that won the inaugural Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, and The Girl from Charnelle (William Morrow), a novel that won the 2007 Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction. His new collection of stories, Love Songs for the Quarantined, won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction and will be published in fall 2011. His stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Glimmer Train, One Story, Louisville Review, Threepenny Review, Harvard Review, and Best of the West: Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri. He teaches at Prescott College and Spalding University's brief-residency MFA in Writing Program.

Melodie Edwards's stories, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Glimmer Train, Crazyhorse, North Dakota Review, Michigan Review, South Dakota Quarterly, and others. Her first poem in print, "Sisturus," appeared in these pages in 1994. "The Bird Lady" received the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize and was aired on NPR's Selected Shorts. She is co-owner of Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse in Laramie, Wyoming, where she lives with her husband and twin daughters.

Owen King is the author of We're All in This Together: A Novella and Stories. His story, "Nothing in Bad Taste," which appeared in Subtropics, was selected as a recommended story for the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009. He lives in New York with his wife, the novelist Kelly Braffet.

Terese Svoboda's sixth book of prose, Bohemian Girl, will be published in fall 2011 under the Bison Books imprint (U of Nebraska P).

Dr. Vanda is new to creative nonfiction, and "Jack" is her first published essay of this type. As a playwright, she is an Edward Albee Fellow and has been profiled in a Dramatist cover story, "50 to Watch." Her play Patient HM was given a workshop production by Emerging Artists Theater in March 2009, was a finalist in the Eugene O'Neill Playwriting Conference in 2010, and is slated to be performed at the Society for Neuroscience National Convention in Washington dc in 2011. Her essay "Patient HM: A Life without Memory" will be published in the journal European Legacy. Her play Vile Affections was a finalist for the National Lambda Award and was published by Original Works after a sold-out run at the New York International Fringe Festival. Vanda is working on more stories about the kids she counseled as a psychologist in the inner city.


Amy Ash has had poems published in various journals, including Lake Effect, Cimarron Review, Harpur Palate, and Mid-American Review. She is a recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize. She holds an MFA from New Mexico State and is working toward a PhD at the University of Kansas.

Robert Bense's book of poems Readings in Ordinary Time was published by Backwaters Press. His poems have appeared in a variety of magazines, including Agni, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and Salmagundi.

Gary Fincke's latest book is a memoir, The Canals of Mars (Michigan State UP). His most recent collection of poems is The Fire Landscape (Arkansas UP).

William Ford has published two books of poems, the prize-winning The Graveyard Picnic (Mid-America P) and Past Present Imperfect (Turning Point), and in 2010, two chapbooks from Pudding House, Allen & Ellen and Descending with Miles. His poems have appeared in the Iowa Review, New Letters, North American Review, Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. A designated "Iowa Poet" at the 2003 and 2004 Des Moines National Poetry Festivals, Ford has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

Robert Gibb was born and still lives in Homestead, Pennsylvania. He is the author of eight books of poetry. Among his awards are the National Poetry Series, two Poetry Fellowships from the NEA, a Pushcart Prize, seven Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants, the Wildwood Poetry Prize, and the Devil's Millhopper Chapbook Prize.

Judith Infante is the author of Love: A Suspect Form (Shearsman Books), a novel in lyric poems set in twelfth-century France. Her poetry and translations of contemporary poetry from Mexico have been published in numerous anthologies and literary journals such as Manoa, Prairie Schooner, Marlboro Review, American Poetry Review, and Warwick Review.

David Kirby's latest book of poetry is Talking about Movies with Jesus. His awards include fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation. Kirby's Little Richard: The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll has been hailed by the Times Literary Supplement of London as a "hymn of praise to the emancipatory power of nonsense." He teaches English at Florida State University.

Rocco Lungariello has had work in several journals, including Bellingham Review, New Orleans Review, and Painted Bride Quarterly. A Connecticut native, he currently lives and teaches in northwest Ohio. The poems in this issue are from the manuscript "Haunted Enough to Leave."

Daniel Lusk's most recent collection is Kissing the Ground: New and Se-lected Poems (Onion River). His poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, New Letters, Iowa Review, and North American Review. His work was collected in 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. He teaches at the University of Vermont.

Dean Olson has published six limited-edition poetry collections. He is emeritus faculty of the Evergreen State College, where he taught economics, cultural studies, and maritime history. He lives in Olympia, Washington, with his children and grandchildren.

Kathleen O'Toole has combined a more than thirty-year professional life in community organizing with teaching and writing. Her creativity was nurtured in a family of actors in Wilmington, Delaware, where her parents founded and ran a dinner theatre, and her mother introduced young people to drama. In 1991 O'Toole received an MA from Johns Hopkins University, and she has taught writing at Hopkins and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her poems have appeared widely in magazines and journals. A chapbook, Practice, was published in 2005, and her first full-length collection, Meanwhile, is now out from David Robert Books.

Joel Peckham Jr. has published two full-length poetry collections, night-walking and the heat of what comes (Pecan Grove). His latest chapbook, Movers and Shakers, was recently published by Pudding House Press. His essays and poetry have appeared in many journals, including Black Warrior Review, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and Southern Review. His poems have also appeared in Contemporary Poetry of New England (UP of New England) and Poets Against the War (Nation P).

Donald Platt's fourth book, Dirt Angels, was published by New Issues Press. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, AGNI, Western Humanities Review and Shenandoah. His poems have been anthologized in The Pushcart Prize XXVII and XXIX, and in The Best American Poetry 2000 and 2006. A recipient of a 2011 fellowship from the NEA, he is a professor of English at Purdue University.

Doug Ramspeck's poetry collection, Mechanical Fireflies, was selected for the 2010 Barrow Street Press Book Prize and will soon be published. His first book, Black Tupelo Country, received the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry and was published by BkMk Press. A third book, Possum Nocturne, was published by NorthShore Press. Several hundred of his poems have been published by journals, including the Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, EPOCH, Alaska Quarterly Review, Massachusetts Review, and Western Humanities Review. He was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. He directs the Writing Center and teaches creative writing at The Ohio State University at Lima.

Arra Lynn Ross is the author of Seedlip and Sweet Apple (Milkweed). Her poetry, stories, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Harper's Ferry, Spoon River Poetry Review, Alimentum, and American Poetry Review and have also been featured on Verse Daily and the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day series. She teaches creative writing at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan.

Eleonore Schönmaier's writing has won numerous awards, including the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, Earle Birney Prize, and Sheldon Currie Fiction Award (for her story "Sidereal Time"). She is the author of the poetry collection Treading Fast Rivers (McGill-Queen's UP), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best first book of poetry by a Canadian. She has taught advanced fiction courses at St. Mary's University and creative writing at Mount Saint Vincent University. Her poem "Weightless" is included in Best Canadian Poetry in English 2010.

Steven Sher is the author of thirteen books, including, most recently, The House of Washing Hands (poems, Pecan Grove P), The Skipping Stone (poems, Finishing Line P) and Where the Shouting Began (original folktales, Montemayor P). He presently lives in New York City and teaches at Manhattan College.

Floyd Skloot's seventh collection of poems, Close Reading, will appear from Tupelo Press in spring 2012. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Adrienne Su has recent poems in Northwest Review, Asian American Literary Review, Green Mountains Review, and Cerise Press. She has received an NEA fellowship. Her third book, Having None of It, was published recently by Manic D Press.

Dwayne Thorpe is one of the founding editors of Tri-Quarterly, and his work has appeared in many journals, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Sow's Ear Poetry Review, and Midwest Quarterly. A collection, Finding Pigeon Creek, was published by Monongahela Press.

Jeanne Murray Walker's most recent book of poetry is New Tracks, Night Falling (William B. Eerdmans). Her poems and essays have appeared in many periodicals, including Poetry, Georgia Review, and Atlantic Monthly, as well as Best American Poetry. Walker is a frequent speaker at poetry festivals, conventions, churches, and universities. She teaches at the University of Delaware and serves as a mentor in the Seattle Pacific University MFA.

Charles Harper Webb's latest book is Shadow Ball: New and Selected Poems (U of Pittsburgh P). A recipient of grants from the Whiting and Guggenheim Foundations, Webb directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach.

Eric Weinstein is the winner of the 2010 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook competition for his collection Vivisection. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of publications, including Best New Poets 2009, Black Warrior Review, Cincinnati Review, Indiana Review, Massachusetts Review, and Third Coast. He is currently an MFA candidate at New York University.


Mark Brazaitis is the author of The Other Language: Poems (2009), winner of the ABZ Poetry Prize, as well as three books of fiction: The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award; Steal My Heart, a novel that won the Maria Thomas Fiction Award given by Peace Corps Writers; and An American Affair: Stories, winner of the 2004 George Garrett Fiction Prize.

Christina Cook's poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals, most recently the Dos Passos Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Harpur Palate, Packingtown Review, and Cave Wall. Cook holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a contributing editor for Inertia Magazine. She teaches writing at Colby-Sawyer College.

Joel Peckham Jr. See the Poetry section.

J. Weintraub has been publishing fiction, essays, translations, and poetry in all sorts of literary reviews and periodicals from the Massachusetts Review to Modern Philology for the past thirty or so years. He has had one-act plays produced in New York City and Naperville, Illinois, and has been an Around-the-Coyote and StoneSong poet as well as a featured author in readings at such Chicago landmarks as the Uptown Writers Space, the Red Lion Pub, Hopleaf Bar, and the Bourgeois Pig.

Theodore Wheeler's fiction has appeared in Best New American Voices, the Kenyon Review, Boulevard, and Cincinnati Review, among numerous other places. He was awarded a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts during the past year and his work was listed among the special mention stories in the 2010 Pushcart Prize anthology. Wheeler lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with his wife and daughter. He is a senior fiction reader for Prairie Schooner.