Writers’ BIOs

—Furkamf Demir

Melissa Anderson writes
almost relentlessly. By turns,
she is a poet, piemaker, neurobiologist, and psychotherapist practicing and residing in the Bay Area for many years, although often still thinks of herself as a peripatetic, living out of a pickup truck acquired while a post-doc in Portland, Oregon. Of the many strange gifts of the pandemic, one has been the opportunity to write in new and varied forms. You can contact her via melissaanderson.com.

—Edo Carvalho

Mary Magagna. Mary writes to honor her mother, whose struggles with dementia socially marginalized her. Of her mother, Magagna reports that she was wise in the ways of the crone, which is to say she was an acute observer of her natural surroundings. Magagna inherited a small portion of her mother’s ability and strives to bring into being what could only be whispered by her mother to herself.

—Veniami N. Kurochin

Lenore Weiss. Lenore’s poetry collections form a trilogy about love, loss, and being mortal. Alexandria Quarterly Press published her prize-winning flash fiction chapbook, Holding on to the Fringes of Love. She is a nonfiction reader for the Mud Season Review and lives very close to Leona Canyon in Oakland, California.

—Angela Roma

Risa Aratyr is a writer and blogger best known for the Celtic fantasy novel, Hunter of the Light, and has been published in many venues. This is her first foray into flash fiction.

—Marjan Blan

Anne Ross has published flash fiction in Kentucky Review, poetry in Berkeley Poetry Review, written copy for advertising agencies and nonprofits, and translated technical manuals for transportation engineers . . . She has recently retired from the corporate world of administrative assistance and is learning what it means to self-motivate and accomplish what she wants.

—Karolina Grabowska

Sandra Wassilie was born in San Francisco but lived most of her life in Alaska. She returned to the Bay Area in 2007, but migrates north annually to visit her extended family, including grandchildren. In 2013, she cofounded the Bay Area Generations Reading Series. Her first book, The Dream That Is Childhood: A Memoir in Verse, was published in 2020. Her poems also appear in a chapbook, Smoke Lifts (2014), and in several literary publications.

—Suzy Hazelwood

Sharon Coleman is a fifth generation Northern Californian with a penchant for languages and their entangled word roots. Her poetry and prose appear in Your Impossible Voice, Faultline, The Ana, Dream Pop Press, White Stag, Rivet, Berkeley Poetry Review. She co-curates the reading series, Lyrics and Dirges, and co-directs the Berkeley Poetry Festival. Her books include Paris Blinks, micro-fiction by Paper Press (2016) and Half Circle, poetry by Finishing Line Press (2013).

—Arthur Yeti

Maureen Fitzgerald came to Berkeley, California in 1974 to visit a friend and became a permanent resident. Originally from Staten Island, New York, she has always been interested in words and language. After years as a sign language interpreter, she wanted to express her own ideas and took a writing class. That class led to poetry. She has had poems published in Milvia Street, Blue Unicorn, Berkeley Times, and Dove Tales.

—Johnny7 Cohen

Janet Guastavino is a fifth-generation San Franciscan and a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she researched and earned a degree in Women’s and Ethnic Studies. Inspired by life circumstances, she has been writing poetry for the past fifteen years and has been published digitally and in hard copy.

—Shashank Kuma

Aliza Zed is a poet and writer living in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in poetry, satire, and speculative fiction.

—Jez Timms

Susan R. Morritt is a sixty-one-year-old writer, visual artist, musician, and former racehorse trainer. Her poems have been published in magazines including Freefall, Pulsar, and Zygote. Her fiction appears in Green’s Magazine, Written Tales, ‘Tis the Season Anthology, and A Coup of Owls. Susan played music for long-term-care dementia patients for many years at the facility where her mother, an Alzheimer’s patient, resided. Susan works part-time with livestock.

—Ron Lach

Sherry Fraser’s poems tend toward the weird with humor, sarcasm, confession, sadness, and love abundant. She credits sex and her boyfriend in helping her make it through these worrisome times. Sherry’s poetry has been published in Chimera, Milvia Street, and The Scribbler. She lives in Point Richmond, California.


Kimi Sugioka is an educator and poet. She earned an MFA from Naropa University and has published two books of poetry, the newest of which is Wile & Wing on Manic D Press. She has been published in various anthologies and is the poet laureate of Alameda, California. She believes that creating community through art is a revolutionary act.

—Remy Gieling

Barbara Berman’s poetry and prose have appeared in Gargoyle, The Village Voice, 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, The Rumpus, The San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. She is the author of THE GENEROSITY OF STARS, a chapbook from Finishing Line Press, and CURRENTS, a full length collection of poetry from The Three Mile Harbor Press.

Carrie Kartman is an actor, writer, and educator, with an MFA in playwriting from San Francisco State University, where she taught in the Creative Writing Department. Her writing has been published in The Anansi Archive, Wingless Dreamer, The San Francisco Review, Curves on a Sidewalk Street, Twins Magazine, and CitySports Magazine. Her plays have been seen on stage in the S.F. Bay Area and Michigan.

—Tadeu Jnr

Evie Groch, Ed.D., is a field supervisor/mentor for new administrators in graduate schools of education. Her opinion pieces, humor, poems, short stories, and memoir vignettes, along with other articles, have been published in the New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Contra Costa Times, in anthologies, and on many online venues. The themes of travel, language, immigration, and justice are special for her since she herself is an immigrant who speaks several languages.

—Meruyert Gonullu