Scott Baker ("Walking with Jacques") lives in Chicago. When not writing poems, he works as a network administrator for a well-known men's entertainment periodical. He is currently directing a video short feature, Pancake Opera, about a mild-mannered psycho who stalks a waitress at a pancake house, and trying to finish writing a play concerning a boxing match between Chiang Kai Shek and Jack Dempsey as viewed through the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Jeffery Beam ("Editor's Note") is Poetry Editor of OBR.
Hannah Bonner ("Six Poems"), nine years old, inspired by her second and third grade teacher, Mrs. Dayle Keener, has been writing poems and stories for several years. She has a younger brother and sister. Hannah lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
James Broughton's ("Hymn to Big Joy" & "What Big Joy Knows" & "Big Joy Kyrie") latest book is Packing Up for Paradise: Selected Poems 1946-1996 ("Black Sparrow Press, 1998"). Poet and filmmaker, among Broughton's other books are a prose confession The Androgyne Journal (1991), a poetics of cinema Making Light of It (1992), a memoir Coming Unbuttoned (1993). A confirmed believer in the amatory, the hilarious, and the unmentionable, Broughton lives in Port Townsend, Washington, with his longtime partner and fellow artist, Joel Singer.
Charles Cave's ("from Rust Belt Romance") Rust Belt Romance, a graphic novel, will be published this year by Sugarlift Press.
Douglas Chambers ("I.13" & "I.25" & "III.15") is a gardener who has written a book called Stonyground (Knopf Canada, 1996) about his place in Bruce County, Ontario, and books on garden history and English literature. He also teaches English at the University of Toronto. Brad Walton (translator) writes operas about Wayne Gretzky and the Marquis de Sade, librettos, and publishes comix about Adam Smith. He is also a classicist and a graduate student in theology at the University of Toronto.
Cid Corman ("6 Poems") is. Of is one of his latest works.
Thomas Rain Crowe ("Spell") is the author of The Laugharne Poems and has also edited an anthology of contemporary Celtic language poetry in translation titled A Celtic Resurgence. Crowe is the publisher of New Native Press in Asheville, North Carolina. An excerpt from his unpublished novel A House of Girls appeared in OBR6.
Michael Estabrook ("5 Snapshots in the Rain") has a new job this year as a Marketing Communications Manager. He says, "Man, going into an office every day is excruciating. The stuffy air, the fluorescent lights, are killing me. Somehow I got to get myself on some boat collecting phytoplankton, or maybe even into the hills of Montana looking for T. Rex bones. Then again, maybe I just should've learned to fix cars like my Daddy did." His poetry appeared in OBR6.
Keith Flynn ("The Power of Movement in Plants" & "Undertow") studied at Mars Hill College and the University of North Carolina at Asheville, winning the Sandburg Prize in 1985. He is lyricist and lead singer for the rock band The Crystal Zoo, which has released two recordings, Swimming Through Lake Eerie (1992), and Pouch (1996). A third recording is forthcoming on the Warhead/Mercury label in 1998, entitled Nervous Splendor. His two collections of poetry are Talking Drum (Urthona, 1991) and The Book of Monsters (Urthona, 1994). He is founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review.
Ricky Garni ("A Little Grandpa Story") is a grocer living in Durham, North Carolina. He once read the poem published in this issue at a local bookstore; upon completing his reading, the audience quietly stared at him, except one woman who said, "Jesus Christ." He is presently working on a plain verse long poem, "words that don't fit into building," illustrated by his son, Linus. OBR editor Jeffery Beam has called him "master of the parenthetical thought."
Larry D. Griffin ("Bacchus with the Boys" & "Seduction") presently serves as Professor of English and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Dyersburg State Community College in Dyersburg, Tennessee. From 1990-1997 he was Chair of the Fine Arts and Communications Studies Division in Midland, Texas. He was born, reared, and educated in Oklahoma. He has one child, a son, Blake.
Damion Michael Higbie ("The Old Man and his Lover") will be receiving his MFA in Creative Writing from Mankato State University this winter. His poetry has appeared in Zuzu's Petals Quarterly, Ink Blue, Mankato Poetry Review, and The Black Bear Review. For over three years he has also been a staff writer for Tempest Magazine, an alternative publication based out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Debra Kaufman's ("Claire on Love" & "The Hidden Passions of Mathematicians") first chapbook, Family of Strangers, was published by Nightshade Press. Her second, Still Life Burning, won the 1996 Kinloch Rivers Memorial Chapbook Competition. Her poems have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Greensboro Review, and Carolina Quarterly, among others. Several of her plays have been produced in North Carolina and California. She works at Duke University Press.
James G. Koch ("Delirious") is the author of Rimbaud and The Homecoming and Other Poems. He lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina. His poems have appeared in OBR2 and OBR3.
Alex McCardell ("It's so Hard to Tell Whether or Not My Cat is Bored") started writing at the age of seven. His first story was tiled "The Mansion." Later, poetry became his major vehicle of expression at the age of 19. He has been published exclusively by Touchstone, a literary journal. He resides in Toulouse, France, for the moment.
Kevin McGowin ("A Cure For Optimism, by Paul Dilsaver" & "David Bowie Sex Dream 1" & "David Bowie Sex Dream 2" & "David Bowie Sex Dream #3") lives and writes in Micanopy, Florida, and teaches English part-time at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has been a regular contributor of poems and stories to this magazine since OBR1.
Thomas Meyer ("& Day" & "from Forestry: The Exhaustion of Possibility" & "Night") was born Valentine's Day 1947 in Seattle, Washington; attended Bard College; and has lived the last thirty years in the North Carolina mountains and the Yorkshire dales. He is the author of several books of poetry. His work as translator includes selections from Old English, Classical Chinese, Sanskrit, and ancient Greek. At Dusk Iridescent (New And Selected Poems 1972-1996) is forthcoming from The Jargon Society. As librettist, Meyer has collaborated with the composer James Sellars on The Turing Opera, a musical tracing of the mathematician Alan Turing's life and work.
Florence Nash's ("Anthems of an Uncut Field, by Danielle Truscott") poetry has appeared in a number of publications and in her book, Crossing Water (Gravity Press, 1996) [reviewed in OBR7]. A 1997 North Carolina Writers Network-Blumenthal Foundation Writer, she lives in Durham, where she is a research editor and writer at Duke University. She has also been a visiting lecturer in the English Department and Talent Identification Program.
C. Earl Nelson ("Fortytwo Dollars and Change" & "Happy" & "For Love" & "And So I Sing to the Old Perpetual Death" & "Primly She Rode Me" & "Summer Come Bloody Me") lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he fights with his ex, fawns over his daughter, operates a taxicab, and occasionally manages to write a bit. Herr Nelson has placed work in various small press ventures both hard cover and on-line, including OBR4. He is a veteran of five space missions and a former Colombian drug lord. He is not currently medicated.
Meredith Pardue ("Three Paintings") lives in Savannah, Georgia.
Jon Powell ("What It Has to do With" & "Love Song" & "Sack, Sesame, Poppy, Camel, Hour" & "You Slighted Me; I Pissed on the Interstate") tells us: "Im a single parent of 2 Xers, one of whom has moved back home w/me; Im learning about the 70s English bands Crass & Rudimentary Peni. I like live rock: recently Ive seen Helium, Swervedriver & the Killer Bees. I am music driven. I havnt written poetry in 5 months. I have a chapbook coming this fall from American Poetry Monthly. Recent publications in APM, & Nerve Bundle Review. I like John Woo films. I drive too fast. My favorite composer is Hildegarde Von Bingham who wrote this beautiful liturgical music 1,000 years ago. Christians get all the cool music. I am looking for a nice Jewish girl about 19 to 39. Most of my poetry has elements from gospels. I am trying to be a better person." His poems also appeared in OBR5.
M. A. Roberts ("Doing W/Out" & "After Sappho" & "Where We Stand" & "Sperm Whales Blowing") was fired from substitute teaching for saying "masturbation" when discussing a work by D. H. Lawrence. After that he taught writing on the U.S.S. Doyle, where "bad" language is allowed. His work has appeared recently in The Asheville Poetry Review, Gray Matter Tapestry, and in the anthology Southern Voices in All Directions (Bellbuckle Press, 1995). He currently lives in Bristol, Virginia. His review of Gay Brewer's poetry collection, Presently a Beast, appeared in OBR6.
Michael Rumaker ("Boston Tea Party" & "For Jeffrey Dahmer") was born in Philadelphia and is a graduate of Black Mountain College and Columbia University. He teaches at City College of New York and is the author of several books, including Gringos & Other Stories (Grove Press, 1967), the recent memoir Robert Duncan in San Francisco, and the soon-to-be-published novel Pagan Days, of which a chapter will appear in OBR later this year.
Laurel Speer's ("Madame Celibate at the STD Clinic") latest publication is a pamphlet of short prose pieces titled Sacks. She is also contributing editor for Small Press Review.
Transplanted from Texas, Nelson Taylor ("Willy Slater's Lane, by Mitch Wieland") lives, works, and writes in New York city. His review of David Borofka's Hints of His Mortality appeared recently in OBR7.
Jonathan Williams ("Seven Metafours"), distinguished publisher of The Jargon Society, spends half the year in the mountains of North Carolina, the other half in the hills of Cumbria, England. He began his writing life at Black Mountain College in the 1950s. Author of innumerable books of poetry, essays, and photographs, Williams has been called a "master of anathema" (The New York Times), "America's Largest Open-Air Museum" (Kenneth Irby), "a kind of polytechnic institute" (Guy Davenport), "the Custodian of Snowflakes" and "the Truffle-Hound of American Poetry" (Hugh Kenner), "our Johnny Appleseed" (R. Buckminster Fuller), and a hybrid of "Scarlett O'Hara, May West, Rev. Jonathan Edwards, Orpheus, Jefferson, Tu Fu, Huck Finn, and Priapus" (Jeffery Beam).