Relief is excited to present the following barrage of perspicacious poets for issue 6.2 (get your copy at the presale price here):
John lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, with his wife and two children. He teaches creative writing and is the Director of Student Success at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. John’s life and writing are deeply rooted in the Midwest, a place of striking brilliance and brokenness.
"On the Holy Mountain (2)"
"On Calvary's Rock"
"On the Church of St. Thomas"
Brett Foster is the author of The Garbage Eater (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2011). A second, smaller poetry collection, Fall Run Road, was awarded Finishing Line Press’s Open Chapbook Prize, and is forthcoming. His writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Books & Culture, Cellpoems, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Common, IMAGE, Kenyon Review, Measure, The New Criterion, Pleiades, and Shenandoah. He teaches creative writing and Renaissance literature at Wheaton College.
"He Could Not Count That High"
"The Scent of Magdalene's Hair"
John Gosslee studied mystical poetry in Turkey. His first book was 12: Sonnets for the Zodiac (Gival, 2011). He has work forthcoming in A Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear, 2013) and is an AWP 2013 panel member.
"Heaven Comes Last"
David Holper has worked as a taxi driver, fisherman, dishwasher, bus driver, soldier, house painter, bike mechanic, bike courier, and teacher. He has published a number of stories and poems and his first book of poetry, 64 Questions, is available through March Street Press. He teaches English at College of the Redwoods and lives in Eureka, California, which is far enough from the madness of civilization that he can get some writing done. Another thing that helps is that his three children continually ask him for stories, and he is learning the art of doing that well for them.
"Saint Clare Shares the Gift of Tears"
Maryanne Hannan has published poems in Ruminate, The Christian Century, Christianity and Literature, Anglican Theological Review, Windhover, and The Other Journal. Processing life in the context of faith through poetry is a renewable source of joy (as is reading the work of kindred spirits). Her website is mhannan.com.
"The Apple Seed"
Jae Newman lives with his wife and daughters in Rochester, New York. He teaches college writing courses and is currently working towards an MA in Theological Studies at Northeastern Seminary. A graduate of Spalding University’s MFA in Writing Program, his first book of poems, entitled POSTAGE, is forthcoming through Antler in 2014.
|Jennifer Merri Parker
Jennifer Merri Parker is an award-winning writer, editor, and speaker based in Jackson, Mississippi. She studied for her bachelor's in English and American literature and language at Harvard University and for the Master of Fine Arts in writing at Seattle Pacific University. A former teacher and media-librarian, Parker also did graduate studies at the Universities of Mississippi and Alabama and continues to work as a teaching artist in her home state. A multiple-genre author, Parker’s writings have appeared in numerous publications including Christianity Today, Ruminate, Catapult, The Banner, Moody Magazine, Prism, Sojourners, Black Magnolias and The Midnight Diner.
|Susan Delaney Spear
Susan Spear is an affiliate professor of English at Colorado Christian University. She earned an MFA in the Verse forms of Poetry from Western State Colorado University in July of 2012. Her poem “The Lover’s Knot” received honorable mention in the Denver Women’s Press Club’s Unknown Writers Contest in the spring of 2009. Since then her poems have appeared in Academic Questions, The Lyric, Mezzo Cammin, and Relief. She also loves music and serves as a choir accompanist and church organist. She lives on the eastern plains of Colorado with her husband. They have three grown children.
"The Body of Illnesses"
"Too Late to Learn"
"A Summer Afternoon Delusion"
Mario Susko is the author of 30 poetry collections, including Closing Time (Harbor Mountain Press, 2008), Epi/Logos (erbacce press, UK, 2011), and Framing Memories (Harbor Mountain Press, 2011). His awards include the Nassau Review Poetry Award, the Premio Internazionale di Poesia e Letteratura “Nuove Lettere” (Italy), the Tin Ujevic Award for the best book of poems published in Croatia, and Relief’s Editor’s Choice. In 2012 he was named by the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association Long Island Poet of the Year. A witness and survivor of the war in Bosnia, he teaches English at Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY.
|Sarah M. Wells
"What is a Miracle?"
Sarah M. Wells is the author of Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook, Acquiesce (2009). Poems and essays have been published by Ascent, Christianity & Literature, New Ohio Review, Poetry East, Puerto del Sol, Rock & Sling, and elsewhere.
Sarah's poetry has been honored with two Pushcart Prize nominations. Her essay, "Those Summers, These Days" was named a notable essay in Best American Essays 2012.
Sarah serves as the Administrative Director for the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University and Managing Editor for the Ashland Poetry Press and River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative.
We’re excited to announce our Fiction and CNF authors for Relief 6.2. Interesting bunch, this. Pick up your copy at the presale price in our store.
|Lisa Ohlen Harris
Lisa Ohlen Harris lives in the small town of Newberg, Oregon, where she teaches English as a Second Language at George Fox University and freelances as a manuscript consultant and developmental editor. Lisa’s Middle East memoir, Through the Veil, was a finalist for the 2011 Oregon Book Award. Her second book will be released by Texas Tech University Press in 2013 and is titled, The Fifth Season: A Daughter-in-Law’s Memoir of Caregiving.
Contact Lisa or learn more about her nonfiction critique service at www.lisaohlenharris.com.
Kelsey Vandeventer is a graduate of Biola University and the Torrey Honors Institute, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Humanities. She was raised and currently lives in Southern California, where she works for a non-profit. In the future, Kelsey plans to pursue a career as a Child Life Specialist, creating a healing atmosphere for children in hospital settings. Meanwhile, she spends time with her family, especially her niece, and learns about the benefits of yoga, friendship, and simpler living.
|Sarah M. Wells
Sarah M. Wells is the author of Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook, Acquiesce (2009). Poems and essays have been published by Ascent, Christianity & Literature, Measure, New Ohio Review, Poetry East, Puerto del Sol, River Teeth, Rock & Sling, and elsewhere. Sarah's poetry has been honored with two Pushcart Prize nominations. Her essay, “Those Summers, These Days” was named a notable essay in the Best American Essays 2012. Sarah serves as the Administrative Director for the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University and Managing Editor for the Ashland Poetry Press and River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative.
Addie Zierman (@addiezierman) is a writer, mom, and Diet Coke enthusiast. She received her MFA from Hamline University, during which time she filled notebooks with creative nonfiction and had two sons. Her work has appeared in Defunct! Magazine, The Literary Bohemian, and Relevant Magazine, among others. She writes twice a week at the How to Talk Evangelical blog (howtotalkevangelical.com), where she works to redefine faith one cliché at a time.
Renee Emerson lives in Rome, GA, with her husband and daughter. She teaches at Shorter University, and her work has been published in 32 Poems, Indiana Review, and Stirring. Her most recent chapbook is Where Nothing Can Grow (Batcat Press).
"The Virgin Martyrs"
Matthew Gesicki is currently pursuing his BA in English and Religion at Baldwin Wallace University
in Berea, Ohio. His poetry and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in The Emerson Review, Calliope, The Mill, Brevity Poetry Review, and elsewhere, and in 2012 he won an award for First Place in Fiction from the University of Mount Union for his work. Much of the religious inspiration for his writing stems from his experiences traveling through Italy, Germany, France, and
England for six weeks in spring 2012.
Michael Shoemake is a regional author who writes short stories and novels about Texas-based
characters. He recently departed the corporate world to begin doing what he'd been wanting to do for a long time, write. He focuses on fiction in order to avoid the nonsense of real life he saw too much of in the corporate world. Michael earned both his B.S. in Journalism and M.A. in Speech Communication from Oklahoma State University. He currently resides in Allen, Texas, just north of Dallas.
"The Unbearable Weight of the Universe"
Shannon Skelton is from Birmingham, Alabama. She studied English at Samford University and earned an MAE from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where her husband is a seminary student and she teaches high school English. She loves reading and running and also enjoys tea, toast, and British television. “The Unbearable Weight of the Universe” was inspired by a sermon on sleep (and by the bouts of insomnia that tend to accompany her summers off from teaching). You can also find her work in Ruminate.
All right, folks, this is happening! 6.2 is nearly ready to print and we’re pre-selling it at the discounted rate of $11.47 (+shipping). We were kind of hoping the Mayan apocalypse would save us the trouble of actually getting our butts in gear, but seeing as that didn’t happen, we’ve decided it’s just as well: now we get to offer you another great issue of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by Christians bravely fronting the world in thoughtful, honest, wonderful language.
We have a bracing, surprising creative nonfiction account of a rape on a college campus by Lisa Ohlen Harris, a very sympathetic fictional narrative about breast cancer from Renee Emerson, and a slough of fascinating poems by Brett Foster, Mario Susko, David Holper, and more!
To get your copy at the sale rate, navigate to our Buy page and click the appropriate item. Note that our Subscriptions are an even better value, especially when you figure in shipping.
Relief‘s reading period is quickly coming to an end, but we’re open to new submissions, still. If you haven’t submitted yet, maybe it’s time to do something about that.
Twice a year we aim to publish the most fascinating and hard-hitting work by Christians and their allies that speaks to the realities of our lived lives together. Come be a part of that.
For all you print purists out there, let me assure you that Relief is committed to our print edition; it was and still is what we are most proud of. However, the reality of today is that some folks want to Kindle this, and, well, we’re okay with that. We had to make some choices about how to handle things like line breaks with the poetry, but we think we’ve come up with the best use of this technology. Check it out today!