Malachi Black
Malachi Black’s work has appeared in Poetry, Southwest Review, The Iowa Review, AGNI Online, Pleiades, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. His poem “Traveling by Train” was selected by Mark Strand for inclusion in the Best New Poets 2008 anthology. The recipient of a 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, he has also received fellowships from the Michener Center for Writers and the Provincetown Fine Arts Works Center. A guest blogger for The Best American Poetry in February, he is the subject of a recent interview with W.W. Norton’s PoemsOutLoud website.

Marina Blitshteyn
Marina Blitshteyn was born in the USSR and immigrated to the US in 1991. She has performed in local and international poetry slams and has been published in The Potomac, Wag's Revue, Anamesa, and No, Dear Magazine, among others. She completed her BA in English at the University at Buffalo and is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry and translation at Columbia University. Her poems in this issue are part of a chapbook-length collection of poems called Russian for Lovers, which came about as an attempt to teach her beloved the basics of her native Russian language. It will be published by Argos Books next year.

Mike Calway-Fagen
An artist removed from his native Tennessee pursuing an MFA at the University of California, San Diego, Mike Calway-Fagen illuminates the systematic unraveling of humankind. The failure of humans comes much in the same way one’s life passes; once you’re born you begin to die. Natural phenomena have been labeled incorrectly as “natural disasters,” the semantic difference demonizes and is used to prop up humanity by placing it under attack. Maybe we are under attack. Maybe the animals and the gods and the hurricanes and the earthquakes are mad and are on the offense. The story of failure is one that will be revised for all time. Mr. Calway-Fagen has solo shows coming up at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA; Sewanee University in Sewanee, TN; and will take part in an upcoming group show Clean Slate Club at Nurture Art in Brooklyn, NY.

Tony Mancus
Tony Mancus lives in Rosslyn, VA with his fiancée, a chinchilla, and two cats. He teaches writing and literature at Emerson Prep and runs workshops with Writopia Lab D.C. He is co-founder of Flying Guillotine Press and some of his poems have appeared or will appear in Verse, H_ngm_n, We Are So Happy To Know Something, CUE, Memorious, Handsome, Painted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere.

Jennifer McCartney
Jennifer McCartney is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. Her fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio and appeared various literary journals including Joyland. She is the author of the Canadian bestseller Afloat (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin) and her website is

Elias Melad
Elias Necol Melad was born and raised in rural New Hampshire. He received his BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 2005. He recently completed his graduate education, receiving an MFA in painting from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Upcoming shows: The Child Ballads - The G Spot Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland.

Greg Mulcahy
Greg Mulcahy is the author of Out of Work (Knopf), Constellation (Avisson), and the just published collection Carbine (U. of Mass. Press).

I was refinishing a deck, and I realized I could not get the finish to coat absolutely evenly. I told myself it did not matter, but I knew, and I know, I did not believe myself.

Donald Revell
Donald Revell is the author of eleven collections of poetry, most recently of The Bitter Withy (2009) and A Thief of Strings (2007), both from Alice James Books. Winner of the 2004 Lenore Marshall Award and two-time winner of the PEN Center USA Award in poetry, Revell has also received the Gertrude Stein Award, two Shestack Prizes, two Pushcart Prizes, a PEN USA Award for Translation, and fellowships from the NEA as well as from the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim Foundations. He is also the author of four volumes of translation: Rimbaud’s The Illuminations (Omnidawn, 2009) and A Season in Hell (Omnidawn, 2007), Apollinaire’s Alcools (Wesleyan, 1995) and The Self-Dismembered Man: Selected Later Poems of Guillaume Apollinaire (Wesleyan, 2004). Revell’s critical writings include Invisible Green: Selected Prose (Omnidawn, 2005) and The Art of Attention: A Poet’s Eye (Graywolf, 2007). He lives with his wife, poet Claudia Keelan, and their two children in the desert south of Las Vegas and is a Professor of English and Creative Writing Director at UNLV.

My analyst assures me that mine is an adaptive (as opposed to maladaptive) form of OCD…which is to say that, while I do indeed alphabetize all the spices in the spice cabinet, I do indeed also allow people to use them when they cook with me. I am obsessed with symmetry, and yet I know that all my poems are found and made when, by the grace of God or overwhelming circumstance, symmetry yields pride of place to an ungainly delight and unreflecting love. I am therefore only truly well and truly at home when I am writing. No wonder I so often catch myself giggling like a schoolboy as I finish a poem.

Mark Cecil Stevens
Mark Cecil Stevens is a Pushcart-nominated author of short fiction who resides in Anchorage, Alaska. His stories have appeared in The Vocabula Review, Cantaraville, and Monday Night Journal of Literature. When he is not writing, Mark provides air transport and emergency medical care to the inhabitants of the 56 villages of the Yukon and Kuskokwim river deltas.

As far as my greatest fault goes, I spent a few minutes trying to find a way to work in how generous to a fault I am, or perhaps about how it really isn't all my fault, or even that the question itself is faulty. But in all honesty, if I give myself a hard enough stare in the mirror, I can see that I can't abide sloppy displays of knowledge. That's right, pedantry. Not one of the seven deadly sins, perhaps, but surely one of the seven most annoying.

Margery Topper Weinstein
Margery Topper Weinstein is a journalist and writer, who lives in the East Village of Manhattan, and most loves travel to international destinations, animals (wild and domestic), and dessert.

I had a bad dessert frog incident in the second grade. My birthday is in summer, and so, I always missed out on bringing cupcakes into class. One day when I was running errands with my mother in my little hometown in Connecticut, we passed by a gourmet pastry shop with beautiful frog cupcakes in the window. My mother decided they were just the thing for my class. They were artfully rendered, and I was very proud. My classmates weren't as excited as my mother thought they'd be. They suddenly morphed into gourmet dessert critics. I can still hear one of them say "It's too mocha." I guess they thought I was trying to show off. The truth is my mother is exactly like I am today, and didn't reflexively think of spending the night baking as any way to celebrate my golden 8.

Changming Yuan
Changming Yuan, twice Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Politics and Poetics (2009), who grew up in an impoverished Chinese village and published several books before moving to Canada, holds a PhD in English, works as a tutor in Vancouver and has had poetry appearing in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, Cortland Review, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine and over 250 other literary publications worldwide.