Poets, Writers, Creators
CURTIS L. CRISLER
(PHOTO BY LOU BRYANT © 2018)
Curtis L. Crisler is an Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). He has three books: Pulling Scabs (nominated for a Pushcart), Tough Boy Sonatas, and Dreamist. He is the a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of many awards, and has been published in a variety of magazines, journals, and anthologies.
(PHOTO BY STEVEN CUMMINGS © 2018)
Brian Gilmore is a poet, writer, public interest attorney, and columnist with the Progressive Media Project. He is a Cave Canem Fellow (1997) and Kimbilio Fellow (2014). He is the author of two collections of poetry: elvis presley is alive and well and living in harlem, and Jungle Nights and Soda Fountain Rags: Poems for Duke Ellington. He teaches law at the Michigan State University College of Law.
FRANK THOMAS ROSEN
(PHOTO BY SANDY KOSTANTARAS © 2019)
Frank Thomas Rosen grew up in East Germany and witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall while studying English and Russian at the University of Potsdam in 1989. He moved to the United States in 1997. After earning his BA and MA in English and TESL, he taught English and ESL at universities and community colleges in Northeast Ohio for over ten years. After finishing his ADN/RN degree in 2010 (BSN/RN in 2014), he worked as an emergency nurse for six years, and after earning his MSN/FNP degree in 2017, he started working as a Nurse Practitioner for an FQHC, serving uninsured and homeless patients in the Cleveland Metro area. In his poems, he addresses recurring themes of sociopolitical injustice, cross-cultural struggle, and civil rights. He has published one book of poetry: scratches (2003), German-English. The book project was part of the Ohio Arts Council - Dresden Artist Exchange program.
(PHOTO BY RICHARD L. FUNG © 2018)
The granddaughter of immigrants, Patty Somlo grew up in a military family that moved constantly. Her nomadic childhood has fueled her passion for writing about immigrants, refugees, the homeless and the dispossessed. She spent ten years as a reporter, including at Pacific News Service, where her articles were picked up by major newspapers throughout the country, before concentrating on short fiction and creative nonfiction. Her journalistic focus on social issues reporting continues to inform her fiction. She has published two short story collections, From Here to There and Other Stories (2010) and The First to Disappear (2016), a Finalist in the 2016 International Book Awards, the 2016 Best Book Awards, and the 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards. She has received four Pushcart Prize nominations, been nominated for storySouth’s Million Writers Award and had an essay selected as Notable for Best American Essays 2014.
MICHELLE M. TOKARCZYK
(PHOTO BY MELANIE HENDERSON © 2018)
Michelle M. Tokarczyk was born in the Bronx, New York City and lived there until she was nine years old, when her family moved to the more suburban Queens. She attended Herbert Lehman College — back in the Bronx — and received her doctorate in English from SUNY Stony Brook. Tokarczyk is a professor of English at Goucher College. An avowed city dweller, she divides her time between Baltimore and New York.
(PHOTO BY MARLENE LILLIAN HAWTHRONE © 2018)
Artist Cory Thomas, Illustrator of Cherry Castle Publishing's My TV is Not the Boss of Me, grew up in Trinidad and studied mechanical engineering at Howard University (where he graduated magna cum laude). During this time, he became an illustrator at The Hilltop, Howard University's historic newspaper. There, he presented the earliest versions of his "Watch Your Head" comic strip, which has been syndicated and published by as many as 20 national and international publications.
(PHOTO BY MELANIE HENDERSON © 2018)
Truth Thomas is a singer-songwriter and poet born in Knoxville, Tennessee and raised in Washington, DC (the Capitol recording artist formerly known as Glenn Edward Thomas). He is the founder of Cherry Castle Publishing and studied creative writing at Howard University under Dr. Tony Medina. Thomas earned his MFA in poetry at New England College. His collections include: Party of Black, A Day of Presence, Bottle of Life, Speak Water, winner of the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry and My TV is Not the Boss of Me, (a children's book, illustrated by Cory Thomas). The "Skinny" poetry form is credited to Thomas' creation. A former writer-in-residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo), his poems have appeared in over 150 publications, including The 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni). He is Editor-in-Chief of The Skinny Poetry Journal, co-Editor of Tidal Basin Review, and serves on the Board of Little Patuxent Review.