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Authors of Issue 4.1

Ian David Philpot

Presenting the authors of our next issue:

Tom Noe

“The Soul for Sale on eBay,” “Hiroshima,” “Awakening Next to My Wife,” “A New Kingdom of the Old,” and “The Lecher and the Wise Man”


Tom Noe is a professional editor and writer whose book publishing credits include: The Sixth Day (for children), Into the Lions' Den and A Friend in God. His most recent project was the libretto for an opera based on the story of Eros and Psyche from Ovid's Metamorphoses. He's currently working on a new play set in a Catholic Worker house of hospitality.

Thomas Allbaugh

“Transistor Radio: A Story of Love and Technology”


Thomas Allbaugh has published both fiction and nonfiction in Blue Moon Review, Mars Hill Review, Perspectives, and Writing on the Edge. He teaches writing at Azusa Pacific University, where he also coordinates the first year writing program. His first year composition textbook Pretexts for Writing was published by Kendall/Hunt in 2009. He lives in Southern California with his wife of almost 21 years and their four children.

Stacy Barton

"I Read Chekov"


Stacy Barton’s stories have appeared in a variety of literary journals including Potomac Review, Relief, Ruminate and Stonework. Her collection of short stories, Surviving Nashville, was released in 2007 and is available at and/or Stay tuned for the release of the audio version of her collection, coming soon! In addition to short fiction, Stacy is the author of two plays, a children's picture book, a Ringling Bros circus, and an animated short film. Currently she works as a free-lance scriptwriter for the Disney Company. Visit her at

Nicholas Samaras

“Considering the Nature of God,” “Lighter Vessel,” and “The Along of My Time”


Nicholas Samaras won The Yale Series of Younger Poets Award with his first book, Hands of the Saddlemaker. His next manuscript is a complete Book of Psalms (150), of which these are three samples. Currently, he lives with his family in West Nyack, New York.

Michael Wiley

"God is Playing to an Audience Who is Afraid to Laugh," "The Stain," "Take this Moment," and "Daniel's Moon"


Michael Wiley is a geezer who spends most of his time wearing stretchy pants and watching wildlife from his back porch. He used to have a philosophy of poetry, but he lost it about the same time he started watching birds. He's not quite a Luddite, but he still uses rabbit ears, his internet connection is dial-up, and he checks his email about once a month. He welcomes comments on his work, but he is likely to forget just where he submitted it, so don't take his non-reponse to your comments personally.

MaryAnne Wilimek

“Passing from Darkness to Light*”

Creative Nonfiction (*Editor's Choice)

MaryAnne Wilimek lives in northern Minnesota where she spends a good deal of time in the woods or on the waters with her husband Gregg and her dog Murphy. She is fond of gardening, traveling, photography, and occasions for quiet reflection. Her poems and creative nonfiction narratives have appeared in Lake Country Journal, Dust & Fire, and Northwoods Woman. She has work forthcoming in Radix and The Gettysburg Review.

Lynn Kilb

"Eternal Life"


Lynn Kilb is a former broadcast journalist who turned to corporate communications (because the money was better) and then to fiction (because money isn't everything). She is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing through the low-residency program at the University of Nebraska, and is living the advice she got years ago from a former news director: Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. Lynn has just completed her first novel set primarily on the altar of a Catholic church in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

Kenneth Steven

"The Ice"


Kenneth Steven is a full-time writer - poet, children's author and novelist. Some 25 of his books have appeared to date. He lives on the edge of Highland Scotland with his wife Ute, and from here he travels all over the UK to give readings and run workshops both for adults and youngsters alike. He's made a number of programmes for BBC Radio. Much of the inspiration for his work comes from the natural world; he spends as much time as possible walking in the woods and hills around the village where he lives.

Josh Howatt


Creative Nonfiction

Josh Howatt is a freelance writer and editor. His writing credits include pieces featured or forthcoming in The Wilderness House Review, The Battered Suitcase, The White Whale Review, and Hear Us Roar. He is in the process of editing his first novel, The Law of Lilies, which he has begun shopping to literary agents and publishing houses.

Jill Bergkamp

"Sarah," "Leah," and "Ruth"


Jill Bergkamp is a California native who now lives in Florida. A graduate student in Florida Atlantic University's MFA program in Poetry, Jill now serves as Director of Children's Ministries at the United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches, as well as teaching English Composition. She was the recipient of Relief's first Editor's Choice Award, and a Rona-Jaffe Foundation Breadloaf Scholarship.

John Fox

"Requiem for a Daughter*"

Fiction (*Editor's Choice)

John Fox received a Master of Professional Writing degree from USC and an MA in Literature from NYU. He won the 2010 Third Coast Fiction Contest and was a finalist for the Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange Award. His fiction has been published in Tampa Review, Adirondack Review, and Los Angeles Review. At his blog, BookFox, he writes about short stories.

Jenn Blair



Jenn Blair is from Yakima, WA. She has published in Copper Nickel, The Tusculum Review, the Santa Fe Review, and Cerise Press. Her chapbook All Things are Ordered is out this month from Finishing Line Press. She teaches at the University of Georgia.

Jeanne Murray Walker

“Fleeting*,” “Learning to Print Sophia,” “Conference: On Aging and Grief,” “Who is My Nieghber?,” and “St. Louis Museum of Art: Self Portrait”

Poetry (*Editor's Choice)

Jeanne Murray Walker, poet, playwright, and teacher, is the author of seven books of poetry, including A Deed to the Light, Coming into History, and, most recently, New Tracks, Night Falling. Her poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, Christian Century, The American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, Image and Best American Poetry. An Atlantic Monthly Fellow at Bread Loaf School of English, Walker has also been awarded a Pew Fellowship in The Arts, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, eight Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships, The Glenna Luschei-Prairie Schooner Prize, and other fellowships and prizes. For 20 years she was the Poetry Editor of Christianity and Literature. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Image and Shenandoah magazines. Her manuscripts are archived in Special Collections at the Buswell Library, Wheaton College.

Gwen Weerts

"The Greatest Show on Earth"

Creative Nonfiction

Gwen Weerts has an MA in nonfiction creative writing from Western Washington University. She works as an editor for an optical engineering society, and after spending her days immersed in algorithms, debating the most judicious use of a hyphen in the present lens design textbook, she spends her evenings and weekends writing and speaking in run-on, but grammatically perfect, gibberish to her husband, dog, cat, chickens, garden, and anyone else who who will listen. Her essays have appeared in the quarterly publication Adventures Northwest, and she is working on a collection of stories from her year living and learning in sub-Saharan Africa.

Eugenia Leigh

“Angel Hunting,” “Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows,” “How I Drank Us to Death,” “Plastic Continent,” and “Illegitimi Non Carborundum”


Eugenia Leigh received her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and has led poetry workshops for incarcerated youths and high school students. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Kartika Review, Inkwell Journal, and The Sow's Ear Poetry Review. Eugenia is a Korean American poet born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles. She lives and writes in Brooklyn.

Don Thompson

“Truth,” “The Word,” “Fried,” “Sin,” and “Light


Don Thompson has been publishing poetry for over forty years. He and his wife, Chris, live on her family's cotton farm in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California not far from the prison where he teaches. He has published several chapbooks in the past few years including Been There, Done That and Turning Sixty (March Street Press;) Sittin' on Grace Slick's Stoop (Pudding House;) Where We Live (Parallel Press;) and Back Roads, which won the 2008 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize.

Christopher McCracken

"But the Ball had been a Ball," "A Jar," "Empty Tree Full of Birds," "Heaven Will Smell Like the Airport," and "Ziplocked Everything"


Christopher McCracken lives in Huntsville, Texas where he studies, among other things, creative writing at Sam Houston State University.

Amy Frykholm

"The Flesh of Strangers"

Creative Nonfiction

Amy Frykholm is a staff writer for The Christian Century. She is the author of two books: the recently released Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography (Paraclete) and Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America (Oxford). She lives in Leadville, Colorado, the highest incorporated town in the United States.

Nicholas Samaras won The Yale Series of Younger Poets Award with his first book, "Hands of the Saddlemaker." His next manuscript is a complete Book of Psalms (150), of which these are three samples. Currently, he lives with his family in West Nyack, New York.