Jim Alabiso is a writer, producer, strategist, columnist at Arbus Magazine, and creative director at JumpingFish, an advocacy organization for the St. Johns River. Jim brings his unique brand of movement making to the arts and culture community. He is also the host and writer of the television show Tonight! with Jim Alabiso. He is the author of the serial novel and play All the Angels Come, Jacksonville’s epic fairytale recently performed at Players by the Sea. In 2015 Jim produced To the Sea, a play about transformation based on his water stories, in association with Players by the Sea. Jim produces collaborative projects through his company LEAP Collaborative. An open water swimmer at the core, water is in Jim’s heart and in his art. photo by Renee Parenteau. jimalabiso.com
Tricia Booker is an award-winning journalist who has written for Folio Weekly, Southern Living, Notre Dame Magazine, and other publications around the country. She currently teaches journalism at the University of North Florida and writes a popular blog about topics ranging from politics and literature to adoption and manners. She also teaches fitness classes, and is unexpectedly very good at boxing.
Her first book is a memoir about how Tricia and her husband adopted and are raising three children, including one who suffers from an attachment disorder. A Place of Peace and Crickets: How adoption, heartache and love built a family is a story about love, kids, dogs and chaos. It will be released in March by Twisted Road Publications.
Tricia lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, with her firefighter husband, three children, two permanent dogs, and one foster dog who will find a forever home as soon as his hair grows back. She dreams of living in a yurt.
RaeJeana Brooks describes her body of work as emotional collage.
She believes in repurposing vulnerability as communion and she wants to eat with you.
She will always remember your birthday.
Fred Dale is a husband to his wife, Valerie, and a father to his occasional jerk of a dog, Earl. He is a Senior Instructor in the English Department at the University of North Florida, and is pursuing an MFA at the University of Tampa, but mostly, he just grades papers. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Sugar House Review, Crack the Spine, Chiron Review, Dunes Review, Stirring and others. His audio chapbook The Sleep of Blue Moon Flowers was released through Eat in 2016.
Frances Driscoll is the author of three collections of poems: Talk To Me (Gillian Conoley's Black River Press), The Rape Poems and Seaglass Picnic (Jack Estes' Pleasure Boat Studio). William Slaughter's Mudlark published a chapbook of The Rape Poems. You can hear Driscoll read some of The Rape Poems and Seaglass Picnic at Mark Ari's EAT Magazine.
Driscoll's work is used by trauma therapists and sexual assault awareness training for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. National Guard. Her work is taught in a number of schools in a variety of disciplines and adapted for many stage productions.
Bill Ectric wants to believe he can erase the line between mysticism and science, blending the genres of mystery, psychological drama, humor, metafiction, and sometimes science fiction. His first novel, Tamper, is about a youngster named Whit who is obsessed with paranormal mysteries, old B movies, and strange voices, which may or may not be real. The novel gets its name from a phrase used by the 1940s pulp sci-fi writer Richard Sharpe Shaver, who believed that unseen fiends were tampering with his mind. Whit can relate!
Bill’s interview with jazz legend David Amram is included in the LitKicks book Beats In Time: A Literary Generation’s Legacy, edited by Levi Asher. On the internet, his writing appears in Literary Kicks, Sein und Werden, Spolia, Perversion Magazine, Candlelight Stories, Boston Poetry, Gin Mill Cowboy, Red Fez, The Beat, Empty Mirror Books, Lit Up Magazine, and Metro Jacksonville. Bill appears as a commentator in Steve Aylett’s independent film, Lint: the Movie, starring comic book writer Alan Moore, and is co-editor of a book of essays on the work of author Steve Aylett.
Bill has had two actual lucid dreams and is actively seeking the next one.
Katherine Espano is the author of The Infinity Bloom, a dystopian novel, and The Sky's Dustbin, a collection of poems that won the 2014 Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. Her poetry has appeared in Lake Effect, Green Mountains Review, The Massachusetts Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Sycamore Review, among others. She received a Florida Artist Enhancement Grant and one of her poems was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA from the University of Florida. She lives in St. Johns, Florida with her husband, two children, and a well-fed beagle.
Joe Flowers is generally either masquerading as a Senior Instructor at UNF, bluffing his way through fatherhood of brilliant twin daughters, and/or claiming to be the husband of a beautiful wife. He worries he's not an actual human so much as human background noise—like an extra in the movie of life. All this new Simulation Theory stuff just makes it worse.
Though he didn't go to his twenty-year high school reunion, he sent in the "information update" card that accompanied the invitation. Under occupation, he put "Vigilante". He could have put "Revolutionary", but these are quiet times, and the pacified Class of 1990 didn't understand him the first time around. Why should anything change now? Besides, nobody laughs at a vigilante.'t go to his twenty-year high school reunion, he sent in the "information update" card that accompanied the invitation. Under occupation, he put "Vigilante". He could have put "Revolutionary", but these are quiet times, and the pacified Class of 1990 didn't understand him the first time around. Why should anything change now? Besides, nobody laughs at a vigilante.
Sohrab Homi Fracis’s much-anticipated novel Go Home will be out in time for Jax by Jax. He was the first Asian American to win the Iowa Short Fiction Award, juried by the legendary Iowa Writers’ Workshop, for Ticket to Minto: Stories of India and America. It was also released in India and Germany. He is on the critique sessions faculty of the annual Florida Heritage Book Festival, and was Visiting Writer in Residence at Augsburg College. He was Artist in Residence at Yaddo, and Florida Individual Artist Fellow in Literature/Fiction. Read more about him and Go Home at www.fracis.com.
“Deformance” artist Liz Gibson works in painting, sculpture, video, installation, performance and storytelling. Her art has been presented and exhibited in galleries, colleges and museums including MOCA Jax, the Telfair Museum in Savannah and the Ringling Museum of Art. Liz received a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in 2014. She was a recipient of a Spark Grant funded by Florida Blue Insurance to bring art experiences to Jacksonville in 2014-2015. She also received a grant from the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida for 2013-14. Liz has an MFA in Performance Art from Florida State University and she teaches at the University of North Florida. www.deformanceart.com
Tim Gilmore is the author of 13 books, including Devil in the Baptist Church: Bob Gray’s Unholy Trinity, The Mad Atlas of Virginia King, In Search of Eartha White, and Stalking Ottis Toole: A Southern Gothic. He’s the organizer of JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival and creator of jaxpsychogeo.com. He teaches College Writing at Florida State College of Jacksonville.
Nan Kavanaugh is a seventh generation Floridian with a deep appreciation for the eccentricities and transient nature of the Sunshine State. She is the editor of First Coast Media Group, and a freelance writer. Her last creative work was published in issue 2 of Bridge Eight. She is currently working on a novel that explores her Southern heritage and its lingering effects on 21st century culture.
Grant Kittrell is a Florida native. He has served as an editor for The Hollins Critic and is now the Poetry Editor at Fiction Fix. His work has appeared in The Normal School, The Common, Heavy Feather Review, Magma Poetry, Barely South Review, Perversion, and Bridge Eight, among others. His collection of prose poems, Let's Sit Down, Figure This Out, is forthcoming from Groundhog Poetry Press (2017).
Matt Lany is favored to win Mister Superstar. For the pageant’s talent portion, he will eat a large cheese pizza while milking a cow. His Web tutorial—“Don’t Ask for Help. Don’t Help Anybody”—recently went viral and killed a bunch of people. His motto: Everyone Knows a Little Kung Fu. Matt’s current novel is Transplant, regarding a young man whose spine is replaced with a live water moccasin. It is a love story, a father and son and gangs and plant rot and mud-on-fangs story with a sheriff, Archangel Mott—the shadow in a scary dream. Matt will read the opening, a middle, and the ending chapter, while discussing the story’s origin and influences.
Johnny Masiulewicz is author of the poetry collections Keywords (HT Press) and Professional Cemetery (Puddin’head Press) and creator of the Happy Tapir zine series. His work has appeared in a variety of literary journals, sites and anthologies including Curbside Review, Letter eX, Third Wednesday, Nerve Cowboy and The Alembic. A native Chicagoan, he now lives and works in St Johns, Florida.
Emily K. Michael
Emily K. Michael is a blind poet, musician, and writing instructor from Jacksonville, FL. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Wordgathering, The Hopper, Artemis Journal, The Deaf Poets Society, Compose Journal, The Fem, Rogue Agent, Disability Rhetoric, Breath & Shadow, Bridge Eight, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, I Am Subject Stories, BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog, and Mosaics (Vol. 2). Her manuscript Natural Compliance won Honorable Mention in The Hopper’s Prize for Young Poets. Emily’s work centers on the themes of ecology, disability, feminism, and music. She develops grammar workshops for multilingual learners and participates in local writing festivals. Find her on Twitter (@ModwynEarendel) and at her blog On the Blink.
Marcus Pactor wrote the short story collection Vs. Death Noises, which won the 2011 Subito Press Prize for fiction. His short stories have been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and two Best of the Net Awards. In 2016, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Orphans, Fiction Fix Online, Yalobusha Review, and Juked. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Florida.
Ebony Payne-English is a writer, performer, educator, and human rights activist. She is the first woman to establish her own chapter of the international poetry organization, Black on Black Rhyme. Ebony is a 2015 Southern Fried Poetry Slam double finalist as well as the winner of Florida Urban Culture’s 2015 award for Most Influential Artist. Ebony has performed at The New Orleans House of Blues, Essence Festival, Nuyorican Café, Apache Cafe, Denver Mercury Slam, The Cummer Museum, and TEDxFSCJ. Her discography includes three critically acclaimed poetry albums: Old Soul (2006), Struggle’s Embrace (2010), EbEnFlo (2012), and her hip hop debut, Know Love, was released July of 2015. Ebony has taught invitational workshops at venues such as the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts; Morgan State University; Brave New Voices; the National Afterschool Programming Conference and the Department of Juvenile Justice. In her role as Curriculum Development Manager for EEAP, Ebony authored a nationally accredited K-12 entrepreneurially centered STEAM curriculum and children’s book series currently facilitated in over 48 programs across the US. Ebony’s first chapbook, Secrets of Ma’at, hit shelves September 2016. Ebony is a member of the Advisory Council for Southern Fried Regional Poetry Conference and currently serves as Program Director for The Performers Academy in Jacksonville.
Heather M. Peters is thrilled and humbled to be returning to JaxbyJax for a third year. She secretly wants people to walk up to her and tell her jokes, but would probably be really uncomfortable if it actually happened, so she keeps it to herself to be safe. Sometimes, when she speaks, Heather hears the same sibilance in Christian Bale's American accent and has been known to weep inwardly on these occasions. Heather is the author of Sinking in the Stillness (whatever kind of title that is). And, contrary to popular belief, the "M" does not stand for "kumquat."
Andres Rojas was born in Cuba and came to the United States at age 13. He's called Jacksonville home since 1983, where he attended FCCJ and was the recipient of the Douglas M. Freels Poetry Award and the State Street Review Poetry Award. After earning an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Florida, he taught creative writing and composition before earning a J.D. also from the University of Florida, and currently works for the United States Department of the Treasury. He is the poetry editor for Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, and his poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in, among others, Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, New England Review, and Notre Dame Review.
Caleb Michael Sarvis is a Maryland born, Jacksonville bred writer. He is the fiction editor for Bridge Eight Literary Magazine and the managing editor for The Underpass. His collection of stories, Broken Record Nostalgia, was once read and enjoyed by Steve Almond. In January he'll receive his MFA from the University of Tampa.
Sean T. Smith
Sean spent his early childhood in the Canadian wilderness, living in remote cabins steeped to the roof in snow. His father was a carpenter and author, and during the long winters, Sean fell to sleep at night to the sound of his father pounding out words on a manual typewriter. That sound must have gotten into Sean's blood. From Ontario, he moved to Miami, Florida, which was a wonderful, warm change. He attended the University of Florida, where he majored in Political Science. He moved to Nashville to pursue a songwriting career, and wrote about a thousand songs over the next decade. In Music City, he was fortunate to be mentored by some great tunesmiths. Passion for words has defined his life.
After moving back to Florida and starting a family, Sean turned to writing fiction, finding he could not exist properly without writing. The larger creative canvas of a novel afforded a kind of freedom he'd never known as songwriter, and he decided he'd found his true calling. A writer trapped in a salesman's life, he met some interesting characters, lost and found his faith, and somehow never gave up. He's blessed be married to an artist who believes in dreams, and children who are his light and heart.
Objects of Wrath was Sean's first novel, a labor of love and joy, the first novel in a trilogy published by Permuted Press. He is now working on his fifth novel, the first book in another trilogy. Sean loves to interact with readers via Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Mark has led workshops and writing groups in Jacksonville, the latest sponsored by Left on Mallory. His work has appeared in State Street Review and Glimmer Train, the latter of which nominated him for a Pushcart Prize.
His fiction explores the rich tension between nostalgia, hope, and the present; spirituality and skepticism; and humor and pathos. However, he still harbors a fondness for his bawdy tales of anthropomorphic woodland creatures, once handed out surreptitiously to the great delight of his junior high friends.
He is an alumnus of Jacksonville University and the University of Edinburgh.
Marisella Veiga's work has appeared in both literary and commercial publications, including The Washington Post, Poets & Writers and Art in America. In 2004, Veiga was given the Evelyn La Pierre Award in Journalism by Empowered Women International. She is a nationally syndicated columnist with Hispanic Link News Service. Selected essays are on a spoken word CD, Square Watermelons: Ten Essays on Living with Two Cultures. Many short stories, one a Pushcart Prize Special Mention in Fiction, are in literary anthologies.
Currently an adjunct professor at Flagler College, Veiga has years of college teaching experience at other colleges and universities.
In 2014, Veiga was awarded a residency at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, Minnesota. She wrote a basic draft about her formative years as a resettled Cuban refugee in the Twin Cities. We Carry Our Homes with Us is the result—published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.
This March, Veiga received an award from the Lilly Endowment in order to study Poetry, Prose and Prayer with poet Michael Dennis Browne at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research in Collegeville, Minnesota.
Jeff Whipple creates art about the weirdness and beauty of our brief appearance in the infinity of time. His 82 solo exhibitions include shows at the Tampa Museum of Art, the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, the Museum of Art DeLand, and the Boca Raton Museum of Art. His art has shown in dozens of group exhibitions across the USA and has received 48 top awards in competitions.
Jeff’s play “Spokesperson” was produced in Chicago in 2008 and his comedy, “Couch Potatoes of the 22nd Century,” was produced in 2009 in Orlando. He’s had 17 other play productions since the mid-1980s. He’s won several playwriting awards including five Florida statewide playwriting competitions.
Jeff has won six state arts council individual artist fellowships: two from Illinois and four from Florida. One of the Florida fellowships was for playwriting and the others were for visual art.
His paintings for a New Orleans library were selected as one of the 50 best public art projects in 2012 by the Public Art Network. He’s had dozens of public art commissions with work in murals, sculpture, and video installation.
Jeff has taught at several colleges including Arizona State University, Florida State University, and Northern Illinois University. He currently teaches at the University of North Florida.