Janet L. Bannister is a lifelong Connecticut resident currently planted in Coventry, Connecticut. An empty nester, direct-care worker, and recent graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, Bannister spends most of her time reading, writing, hiking the blue-blazed trails of CT, kayaking local ponds and lakes, honing home-renovation skills, and haunting libraries and pubs. She writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, with her work often centering on themes of nature, spirituality, psychology, and loss.
Charles Belson is a Connecticut architect, photographer, and writer. His published nonfiction essays include Reinterpreting Palladio’s Villa Rotonda, and For some of us, jury duty doesn’t really end at the courthouse. His work has appeared in Period Homes Magazine, The New York Times, and publications produced by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition in Egypt. He lives in Norwalk with his wife Janer. She’s the focal point of his story Rendezvous.
Playwright Susan Cinoman is a frequent contributor on ABC’s The Goldbergs. Her plays have been seen Off Broadway and at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Naked Angels, and Circle Repertory Company. Her awards include Guilford Performing Arts Prize in Drama, Capital Repertory Theatre’s Next Act! Festival, Gulfshore Playhouse Selection, the Best Connecticut Filmmaker Award in 2009, the Best Narrative Film at New England Film and Video Festival; an Official Selection by the International Berkshire Film Festival, and the Maxwell Anderson Playwright Prize.
Ginny Lowe Connors is the author of several poetry collections, including Toward the Hanging Tree: Poems of Salem Village. Her chapbook, Under the Porch, won the Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize, and she has earned numerous awards for individual poems. As publisher of her own press, Grayson Books, Connors has also edited numerous poetry anthologies, including Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry. She is coeditor of Connecticut River Review.
Jason Courtmanche is Assistant Professor in-Residence in English, an affiliate faculty in teacher education, director of the Connecticut Writing Project, and an assistant coordinator of the UConn Early College Experience in English. Recent academic publications have appeared in Profession, Writing Program Administration, Deep Reading, Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Resources for American Literary Study, Writers Who Teach, What Does It Mean To Be White In America?, What Is “College-Level” Writing?, vol. 2, and Nathaniel Hawthorne in the College Classroom.
Catherine DeNunzio has published poetry in Many Mountains Moving; The Breath of Parted Lips: Voices from The Robert Frost Place, vol. II; and Teacher-Writer 2015, vol. VII. She has work upcoming in Italian Americana. She is a member of the Westerly, Rhode Island Savoy Poetry Salon. A graduate of the University of Connecticut (BA, MA), DeNunzio lives in Connecticut with her husband and their ridiculous dog.
Joanie DiMartino has work published in many literary journals and anthologies, including Modern Haiku, Alimentum, Calyx, and Circe’s Lament: An Anthology of Wild Women. She is a past winner of the Betty Gabehart Award for Poetry. DiMartino is the author of two collections of poetry, Licking the Spoon and Strange Girls, and is completing her third manuscript about the 19th-century whaling industry, for which she was a 38th Voyager on the Charles W. Morgan.
Meghan Evans earned her master’s degree in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She teaches literature and writing at Central Connecticut State University and, until recently, taught creative writing at the Academy of Arts.
Maura Faulise is an Assistant Professor of Writing and Literature at Community College of Rhode Island. She completed her Master of Arts in Teaching at Brown University and currently studies poetry and fiction through Pacific University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing program. She resides with her family in rural Connecticut.
A recent graduate of Central Connecticut State University, Kathryn Fitzpatrick is pursuing an MFA at the University of Alabama. Her work appears in Out Magazine, Cleaver Magazine, Bodega Magazine, Gravel, and elsewhere. She recently coedited Flash Nonfiction Food (Woodhall Press, 2020) alongside Tom Hazuka, and she is writing a collection of essays about her Connecticut hometown, Thomaston, called Raggie.
After years of working for media, higher education, and nonprofit organizations, Beth Gibbs is “free-tired” and pursuing her passions of writing, teaching yoga, and leading workshops on personal growth and healthy aging. She uses her energy and sense of humor to inspire, inform, and entertain. She is the author of Ogi Bogi, The Elephant Yogi. Her next book, Enlighten Up! The Five Layers of Self-Awareness, will be released in October. She blogs at bethgibbs.com.
Cecilia Gigliotti is a writer, musician, photographer, and general documentarian who holds the MA in English Literature from Central Connecticut State University. Her poem “Igor Stravinsky Awaits the Arrival of Dylan Thomas” won Blue Muse magazine’s Leslie Leeds Poetry Prize in 2018; other works have appeared in publications including The Atticus Review, Plainsongs, Boudin, Outrageous Fortune, The Route 7 Review, Riza, Uncomfortable Revolution, and DoveTales: Writing for Peace. A native of New Britain, Connecticut, she now lives in Berlin, Germany.
Nichole Gleisner teaches French language and literature at Southern Connecticut State University. A writer and translator, she also serves as poetry editor at New Haven Review and has lived in Connecticut for the last nine years.
Sitara Gnanaguru is an Indian-American writer and lifelong Nutmegger. She is a proud alumna of the University of Connecticut, where she studied English. When she’s not reading or writing poetry, you can find her outdoors exploring new parks and trails or frequenting her favorite coffeeshops.
Emi Gonzalez grew up in Connecticut and has been writing poetry since she was a child. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, including Caduceus, the journal of Yale Medical Group and Art Place. She is a member of the Guilford Shoreline Poets and is a PhD student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies. There she works on the editorial team for Grist, UT’s nationally distributed literary journal.
José B. González is the author of Toys Made of Rock and When Love Was Reels. His poetry has been anthologized in the Norton Introduction to Literature and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States and has appeared in journals including Callaloo, Palabra, and Acentos Review. A Fulbright Scholar, he is the co-editor of Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature and editor of LatinoStories.Com.
Benjamin S. Grossberg‘s books include Space Traveler (University of Tampa, 2014) and Sweet Core Orchard (University of Tampa, 2009), winner of the Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. His poems have appeared widely in the Pushcart Prize and the Best American Poetry anthologies, and the magazines Paris Review, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and The Sun. His new collection, My Husband Would, will be published by the University of Tampa Press this fall.
Dr. Avery Jenkins is a former award-winning journalist and essayist who took a twenty-five-year break from the writing world to become a chiropractor and acupuncturist. He holds a second-degree black belt in the martial art of aikido and is in his final year of training to become a Daoist priest. Dr. Jenkins lives in northwest Connecticut with his wife and two dogs of uncertain temperament.
Recently named the inaugural poet laureate of Ridgefield, Connecticut, B. Fulton Jennes engages the community in writing, reading, and discussing poetry. Her poems have appeared/will appear in Tupelo Quarterly 20, Connecticut River Journal, Frost Meadow Review, the Connecticut Poetry Anthology 2020, and other publications. Jennes also serves as the poet-in-residence for the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum where she develops poetry programming and events. She advises the Shifting Static Poets, a teen slam-poetry team.
Sarah Darer Littman is the critically acclaimed author of young adult novels including Deepfake, Backlash (winner of the Iowa Teen Award and Grand Canyon Reader Award) and Want to Go Private?. She also writes humorous, middle-grade novels: Taming of the Shoe, Fairest of Them All, Charmed, I’m Sure, and Confessions of a Closet Catholic. Littman teaches in the MFA program at Western Connecticut State University and at the Yale Writers’ Workshop. Visit her online at sarahdarerlittman.com.
Kiran Masroor is a sophomore at Yale University where she’s studying neuroscience under the premed track. On campus, she’s involved with the TEETH Slam Poetry group, as well as Yalies for Pakistan. She loves playing the piano, working with children, and reading Joy Harjo’s works.
A resident of Hartford, Melissa McEwen says Hartford is her muse when writing poetry. Her poem “Slice of Life Sestina,” about a group of Hartford boys, was published in Connecticut River Review and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has also been published in multiple publications such as Rattle, Blue Fifth Review, and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art, to name a few.
Claudia McGhee has dealt in and with words for decades as a software-technical writer, newspaper columnist, freelance editor, eBook producer, poet, essayist, and fiction writer. McGhee’s chapbook of poems, Paperlight, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her technical writing has been translated into six languages and distributed across Europe, South America, and Japan, and now that she is retired, she working to ensure her poems, memoir, and science fiction read properly in American English.
Nancy McMillan of Bethlehem is the award-winning author of March Farm: Season by Season on a Connecticut Family Farm. Her essays and articles have appeared in Connecticut newspapers and magazines. In her writing classes at Arts Escape Inc. in Southbury, she helps students embrace and inhabit their innate creativity. She is currently at work on a novel. Find more at nancymcmillan.com where she blogs about pies, writing, music, and connection.
Jean P. Moore is a novelist, poet, and nonfiction writer. Her award-winning novel, Tilda’s Promise, was published in September of 2018. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals, such as the Harford Courant, The Philadelphia Inquirer, UpStreet, and the SNReview. Her novel, Water on the Moon, published in 2014, won the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Award for contemporary fiction. Her chapbook, Time’s Tyranny, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017.
Steven Ostrowski is a fiction writer, poet, painter, and teacher. His work appears widely in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. He is the author of five published chapbooks—four of poems and one of stories. He and his son, Ben, are authors of a full-length collaboration called Penultimate Human Constellation, published in 2018 by Tolsun Books. His chapbook, After the Tate Modern, won the 2017 Atlantic Road Prize and was published in 2018 by Island Verse Editions. His short story, “Even on Good Nights,” was a finalist for American Short Fiction’s Short(er) Fiction Award and will be published in the fall of 2020. He teaches at Central Connecticut State University.
Makenzie Ozycz is a graduate student at Central Connecticut State University, pursuing a master’s degree in English literature. Her previously published works include two nonfiction CCSU sponsored magazines, Terra Infirma and The Reentry Magazine, as well as a short nonfiction blog published on CCSU’s literary magazine, Blue Muse. Ozycz was also nominated for the Leslie Leeds Poetry Prize in 2020. She hopes to continue her writing career postgraduation.
Aimee Pozorski is professor of English at Central Connecticut State University where she directs the English MA Program and codirects the minor in American studies. She is coexecutive editor of Philip Roth Studies, a peer-reviewed journal published by Purdue University Press.
Kara Molway Russell teaches Shakespeare at Central Connecticut State University. She holds a PhD in Renaissance Literature from the University of Rochester where it snowed steadily for four and a half of the five years she was enrolled there. She is mom to two teenage boys, one of whom recently urged her to get busy doing what she truly loves, and she’s been writing ever since. This is her first poem. Follow her blog at innuendoandirony.com.
Connecticut State University distinguished professor, Vivian Shipley, has taught at Southern Connecticut State University full time since 1969. She was awarded a 2020-21 Connecticut Office of the Arts Artist Fellowship for Poetry. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, her twelfth book, An Archaeology of Days, was published by Negative Capability Press in 2019 and was named the 2020-21 Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist. All of Your Messages Have Been Erased, (2010, SLU) won the 2011 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement, among other accolades.
Amy Sisson currently works as a literacy tutor. She’s always had a passion for writing, but never allotted for the focus and seriousness to the craft. After four years of absence from pursuing her bachelor’s in English, she went back to finish her three remaining classes. One of which was a creative writing course where her excitement towards writing was reignited. She is excited for her future as an English teacher and part-time writer!
Katherine Szpekman writes poetry and memoir from her home in Collinsville, Connecticut. Her work has appeared in Red Eft Review, Sky Island Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review, Chestnut Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Hiram Poetry Review, and Three Line Poetry. She was awarded Honorable Mention in the Connecticut River Review Poetry Contest 2019.
Wendy Tarry was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada but now makes her home on the Connecticut Shoreline. Tarry holds degrees in English and Education from the University of Ottawa and a Master’s in Divinity from Queen’s University. The author of “With a Whisper: The Poetry of Wendy Tarry”, she enjoys working in a local library, assisting with worship at her church and exploring Connecticut with her husband and their two daughters.
Mika Taylor got her MFA at the University of Arizona. She’s been supported by numerous grants and residency awards including the University of Wisconsin, the Ucross Foundation, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Sewanee Writers Conference, and the Wesleyan Writers Conference. She received a 2019 Artistic Excellence Grant from the State of Connecticut. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, Tin House, Ninth Letter, the Kenyon Review, Guernica, and others. Read more at miktaylor.com.
Marina Tinone is a writer based in Connecticut. Their work primarily focuses on language, identity, and voice. They create the things they wish they could have held when they were growing up. You can visit them online at mtinone.com.
Jason Wilkins is a writer currently sequestered in Connecticut.
The Connecticut Literary Festival is an annual celebration of the literary arts hosted at Real Art Ways in Hartford. Join us online this Fall to celebrate the vibrant literary scene in the Nutmeg state.