River Teeth Print Journal

Contributors’ Notes 24.2

Spring 2023

Greg Bottoms is the author of eight books, including the memoirs Angelhead and Lowest White Boy. He teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Vermont and co-directs the interdisciplinary program in Reporting and Documentary Storytelling.

Elizabeth Carls is a poet and essayist living and working in St. Paul, MN. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Split Rock Review, River Teeth, and Texas Gardener Magazine. She is currently working on an MFA in The Creative Writing Program at Hamline University.

Jim Daniels’ latest book is Gun/Shy, Wayne State University Press. His next book, a fiction collection, The Luck of the Fall, Michigan State University Press, and a poetry chapbook, The Human Engine at Dawn, Wolfson Press, are forthcoming. A native of Detroit, he lives in Pittsburgh and teaches in the Alma College low-residency MFA program.

Michael Downs is the author of three books, including most recently the novel, The Strange and True Tale of Horace Wells, Surgeon Dentist (Acre Books); the story collection, The Greatest Show (LSU Press); and House of Good Hope, winner of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. His awards also include a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2021–2022 Fulbright award that placed him in Kraków, Poland. A one-time newspaper reporter, he has published literary essays in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and in Ploughshares. “Made Holy” marks his third byline in River Teeth. He lives in Baltimore, MD, where he directs the graduate program in professional writing at Towson University.

Kathleen Driskell is the author of five books including most recently The Vine Temple, a chapbook from Carnegie-Mellon University Press, and the full-length collections Blue Etiquette: Poems and Next Door to the Dead: Poems. Her poems and essays have appeared in many nationally known magazines including The New Yorker, Appalachian Review, Shenandoah, Southern Review, and Rattle and were featured online on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and American Life in Poetry. Kathleen is professor of Creative Writing and Chair of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University, which includes the low-residency MFA in Writing Program. She served as chair of the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs from 2019–2022.

Renata Golden’s essays have been published in several literary journals and anthologies, including a 2022 anthology from Torrey House Press titled First and Wildest: The Gila Wilderness at 100 and a 2020 anthology from Cornell University Press titled When Birds Are Near. A haibun poem is scheduled for publication in 2023 in Dawn Songs: A Birdwatcher’s Field Guide to the Poetics of Migration edited by J. Drew Lanham and Jamie K. Reaser. Her essays have been finalists for the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize, Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award, Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, and Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University Award; she received the 2021 Douglas Preston Travel Grant. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Houston. Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Renata lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Diane Gottlieb’s writing appears in SmokeLong Quarterly, Barrelhouse, The Rumpus, About Place, Hippocampus, HuffPost, and 100-Word Story, among other literary journals and anthologies. She is the winner of Tiferet’s 2021 Writing Contest in nonfiction. Diane is the editor of Awakenings: Stories of Body and Consciousness (2023) and is the Prose/CNF Editor of Emerge Literary Journal. She has her MSW, MEd, and MFA in Creative Writing and is currently querying her first novel. You can find her at https://dianegottlieb.com and on Twitter @DianeGotAuthor.

A former Pulitzer finalist and winner of the Poets’ Prize, Sydney Lea served as founding editor of New England Review and was Vermont’s Poet Laureate from 2011 to 2015. He is the author of twenty-three books: a novel, five volumes of personal and three of critical essays, and fourteen poetry collections, most recently Here (Four Way Books, NYC, 2019). A fifteenth book of poems, What Shines?, is due in September. In 2021, he was presented with his home state of Vermont’s most prestigious artist’s distinction: the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Ann Leamon’s world includes venture capital research and creative writing. The sheep are gone, although she loves to watch them in the spring. In addition to writing a textbook and 150 cases for Harvard Business School, she has published in The Lyric, Hole in the Head Review, Live Nudes, Microlit Almanac, They Call Us…, and The Boston Globe. She holds degrees in German, Economics, and Poetry from Dalhousie, the University of Montana, and the Bennington Writing Seminars, respectively. She lives on the coast of Maine with her husband and a Corgi-Lab mix.

Leslie Jill Patterson teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University, where she serves as editor of Iron Horse Literary Review. Her prose has appeared in Texas Monthly, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, The Rumpus, Hotel Amerika, and Hunger Mountain, among others. Her awards include an Embrey Human Rights Fellowship; the Everett Southwest Literary Award (judged by Lee K. Abbott); a Soros Justice Fellowship; the Richard J. Margolis Award for Social Justice Writing; and a Pushcart Prize. Since 2009, she has worked as the case storyteller for public defenders representing indigent men and women charged with capital murder and facing the death penalty across the American South.

Julia Purks writes in her free time, mostly narrative essays. “The Birds Are Gone” is her first publication.

Claudia F. Saleeby Savage is an Arab-American poet, essayist, and mama who struggles with disability. She is the author, most recently, of Bruising Continents (Spuyten Duyvil) with recent work in Poetry Northwest, BOMB, Anomaly, About Place, and River Teeth. Her work lives on the page, but more often with her music-text duo Thick In The Throat Honey (they were 2019 semi-finalists for a Creative Capital award on the Syrian refugee crisis). Her collaboration about motherhood, reductions, with visual artist Jacklyn Brickman, will be exhibited in 2024. Saleeby Savage works in the field of renewable energy and creates with her husband and daughter in Portland, OR. Sometimes she is on IG @thickinthethroathoney or www.claudiafsavage.com, but more often she’s hiking through drippy forests.

Layli Shirani is a writer and civil rights attorney of Iranian descent. She is currently at work on a memoir about revolution, war and the epigenetics of loss in the wake of exile. Layli resides in California with her family.

Jill Talbot is the author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir and Loaded: Women and Addiction, a collection of personal essays. A Distant Town: Stories, won the 2021 Jeanne Leiby Chapbook Contest and was published by The Florida Review in Summer 2022. Talbot is the editor of Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction and The Essay Form(s) from Columbia University Press (2023). Her essays have appeared in AGNI, Brevity, Gulf Coast, Hotel Amerika, LitMag, Southwest Review, and The Paris Review Daily, among others. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of North Texas.

Melissa Akie Wiley is a writer, keynote speaker, and nationally-recognized leader in local government. She is the survivor of a facially disfiguring childhood dog attack and creator of an anti-bullying curriculum for children focused on the intersection of storytelling and disability. Her work was most recently published by The New York Times, The Manifest-Station, and Public Management Magazine. She is writing a forthcoming memoir about coming-of-age as a disfigured, bi-racial girl in America. She has traveled throughout the country teaching government officials how to drive innovation, change, and equity in public service delivery. Her mission is to restore faith in government and to redefine beauty for women and girls. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and lives with her husband, daughter, and dog in Erie, Colorado where she currently serves as the Deputy Town Administrator.

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