Meet Our Contributors


The Infinite Rust staff would like to express our sincerest appreciation to all of the talented writers and artists who contributed work to our Fall 2018 inaugural issue:


Russ Bickerstaff is a theatre critic and aspiring author living in Milwaukee, WI.

A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills has published six collections of poetry, most recently “Exit, pursued by a bear” and “Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers.”

Vayu Naidu is Royal Literary Fund Fellow at UWL 2018-2019. Her PhD from the University of Leeds was in performance oral traditions. She won the Humanities Teaching Award for her work with Tsunami survivors in 2004. Arts Council England funded Vayu Naidu Intercultural Theatre as an RFO from 2004-2012. Her work includes Radio Drama – BBC 4, Theatre, Storytelling for Contemporary Music, and Ramayana. Sita’s Ascent (Penguin: 2013) was nominated for the Commonwealth Book Award, The Sari of Surya Vilas (Speaking Tiger, Affirm Press: 2017) on the freedom struggle, was featured on ABC’s (Australia book of the week). She is on her third novel.

Jesse Sensibar’s work has appeared in such places as The Tishman Review, Stoneboat Journal, and Waxwing. Jesse’s first full-length work, Blood in the Asphalt, is forthcoming from Tolsun Books. You can find him at

David Sorensen works as a writer and freelance editor. His stories have appeared in Bastion Science Fiction and The Squawk Back, and his plays have been featured in ARTS’ New Works 2016 and Live Arts’ NWOF 2017. He graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2012 and currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he spends his days procrastinating and avoiding eye contact with the baristas at Starbucks.


Mary Fowke is a Canadian Psychotherapist who has been living and working in Lisbon for over 15 years. She holds a BA in English Literature (University of Toronto) and an MA in Comparative Literature (Sorbonne) as well as certification from the Gestalt Experiential Training Institute in Vancouver. She is currently doing a PhD in Anglo-American Studies at the University of Lisbon and is a researcher at CEAUL/ULICES (University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies). She has a particular interest in memoir and memory studies, especially as related to attachment, displacement and nature. She also writes short fiction.

Victor Marsh has been concentrating on life writing – biography, autobiography and memoir – since his retirement from television production work early in 2002. Previously he lived and worked as a modern-day monk, teaching meditation practice through a dozen or so countries in East Asia and the Pacific Rim. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia at the age of 62.

Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician and professional dancer. Her work has most recently appeared in Duende, Chantwood, Aji, and Folio.


Jen Anolik is an educator and writer. Her poems have appeared in Apiary Online, BlazeVox, and The Prompt Literary Magazine. When she’s not writing poetry, she writes curriculum; she has taught and developed curriculum for teens in after-school and enrichment programs focused on gender, sexuality, poetry, art, and mindfulness. A third-generation Holocaust survivor, she also devotes time toward sharing her grandmother’s holocaust story.

Zeina Azzam works as an editor for Arab Center Washington, a DC think tank. As a community activist, she volunteers for organizations that promote Palestinian human rights and civil rights of minorities in Alexandria, Virginia, where she lives. Zeina’s poems have been published in Mizna, Sukoon Magazine, Split This Rock, Heartwood Literary Magazine, Lunch Ticket, The Fourth River, and the edited volumes Gaza Unsilenced (Alareer and El-Haddad, eds.), Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves (Fowler, ed.), The Poeming Pigeon: Love Poems (The Poetry Box), and Write Like You’re Alive (Zoetic Press). She holds an M.A. in Arabic literature.

Sarah Joyce Bersonsage received a doctorate in English from the University of Rochester. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, including Antiphon, About Place, and Boston Accent Lit, and her first chapbook is forthcoming from Bitterzoet Press.

Ace Boggess is author of three books of poetry, most recently I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018) and Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road, 2017), and the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea, 2016). His poetry has appeared in Harvard Review, Rhino, North Dakota Quarterly, and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

Michael Carter’s work has appeared in Ploughshares, Boulevard, Columbia Poetry Review, and Provincetown Arts Magazine among many others. He is a two-time Writers by Writing Tomales Bay Fellow, a Nadya Aisenberg Fellow at the Writer’s Room of Boston and was recently selected as a Summer 2018 Wolf House Resident. He has poems forthcoming from Black Rabbit Review, Ghost City Review and a Nothing Books anthology entitled DARKNESS AND LIGHT. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, he has an MFA from Vermont College and an MSW from Smith College School for Social Work. He is a poet and psychotherapist living in Connecticut.

James Cihlar’s new book, The Shadowgraph, is forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press in 2020. He is the author of the poetry books Rancho Nostalgia (Dream Horse Press, 2013), Undoing (Little Pear Press, 2008), and the poetry chapbooks A Conversation with My Imaginary Daughter (Bloom, 2013),and Metaphysical Bailout (Pudding House, 2010). His writing has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, and Nimrod.

Geraldine Clarkson is a UK poet and artist whose work has appeared widely in print and online journals (including Poetry magazine, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, Ambit, and Riggwelter). She is a former winner of the Poetry London and Ambit poetry competitions, and of the Magma Editors’ Prize and the Poetry Society’s Anne Born Prize. She has three poetry chapbooks: Declare (Shearsman Books, 2016), a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice; Dora Incites the Sea-Scribbler to Lament (smith | doorstop, 2016), a UK Laureate’s Choice; and No. 25 (Shearsman Books, 2018). Her poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Annie Diamond is a Connecticut native living presently in Chicago. She earned her BA in English and creative writing from Barnard College. Her poems are forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Free State Review, Rabid Oak, Juxtaprose, and Dirty Paws Poetry Review, and have appeared previously in Misadventures, Cargoes, and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships by The MacDowell Colony, The Lighthouse Works, and Boston University, where she completed her MFA in 2017.

Lynley Edmeades is a poet, essayist and academic from New Zealand. Her first book of poetry, As the Verb Tenses, was published in 2016 by Otago University Press. She is currently working on her second while on a writing residency in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Massachusetts, Evan Fleischer has written about William Faulkner’s maps for LitHub, Alasdair Gray’s sense of Glasgow for The New Yorker, explored a French translation of Groucho Marx’s memoir in The Paris Review, and is currently working alongside other writers and editors over at Hobart Pulp.

Donna J. Gelagotis Lee is the author of On the Altar of Greece, winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award and recipient of a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award: Notable for Art Category. Her book Intersection on Neptune, winner of the Prize Americana for Poetry 2018, is forthcoming from The Poetry Press of Press Americana. Her poetry has appeared in journals internationally, including The Bitter Oleander, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Feminist Studies, The Massachusetts Review, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. Her website is

A Colorado native, Deanne Gertner holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA from Regis University. Her fiction has appeared in Quaint Magazine and Scintilla while her art criticism has appeared in Daily Serving and Presenting Denver. She serves on the board for Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop, the largest literary center in the Rocky Mountain region.

Angela Graham is a writer and film-maker from Belfast who works in Wales. She completed a short story collection in 2017 (Literature Wales Writer’s Bursary) and is writing a novel about the politics of language (grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland). In 2018 she began submitting poetry for publication, so far accepted by The Bangor Literary Journal; The Open Ear (Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry); The North, and previously by Poetry Wales. The Scottish Referendum was written for performance alongside National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke; Edinburgh’s Makar (laureate), Christine de Luca and Welsh poet, Jasmine Donahaye. Find her at

Ann Howells, of Dallas, Texas, edited Illya’s Honey eighteen years, recently digitally at Books: Under a Lone Star (Village Books Press, 2016) and a full-length collection containing Chesapeake Bay poems will be released in spring (Bowen Press). She also edited an anthology of D/FW poets: Cattlemen & Cadillacs (Dallas Poets Community Press, 2016). Her chapbook, Softly Beating Wings (Blackbead Books, 2017), was published as winner of the William D. Barney Chapbook Contest. Her work appears in small press and university publications here and abroad.

Eric Hunt is a Senior ACS Chemistry Major student at TSU. He has always had an interest in writing and in different languages (even those that don’t exist!) and wanted to submit this work as an exercise in formalism. He hopes that someone can receive the message positively and be inspired to do more for themselves and those around them as they interact with an ever-changing environment.

Austin James is a Visiting Professor at TSU who loves to teach and learn. His formal education includes a BA from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, an MBA from the University of Dallas, and a Master of Fine Arts from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. He believes in students. Professor James is a painter, poet, and professor. He has published several books on poetry and painting through Lawrence and Crane. He ran an art gallery for ten years (2001-2010) in Houston, TX.

Gregory Kimbrell is the author of The Primitive Observatory (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), winner of the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Manticore—Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities, Masque & Spectacle, Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, Alcyone, and elsewhere. He is the events and programs coordinator for Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries. More of his writing, including his magnetic sci-fi/horror haiku, can be found at

Amber Lee is a native Houstonian and proud student of Texas Southern University’s undergraduate degree program. Majoring in English, she is consistently occupied with what the literature of the past and present reveal about the “mind” of society. As a creative writer and an aspiring educator, Amber is passionate about the written and spoken word, with a focus on narratives composed by and about traditionally marginalized peoples worldwide. She is a strong advocate for education and the personal and professional advancement of peoples through increased literacy and creative artistic expression. Future goals include but are not limited to teaching at a university level, creating a non-profit literacy organization, and ending pollution. Amber’s short-term goals all revolve around graduating and navigating the treacherous minefield of student debt.

Kendra Preston Leonard is a poet, lyricist, and librettist based in Texas. Her work centers around things, figures, and places local, mythopoeic, and historical.

Robert Lynn is a writer and attorney from Fauquier County, Virginia. He studied painting and poetry at the University of Mary Washington and law at the University of Virginia.
Cody Mullins is Associate Professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College in Kokomo, Indiana and a PhD Candidate in American Literature at Ball State University. His work can be found in The Southhampton Review, Apogee, and Parentheses. He lives in Noblesville, Indiana.

Shahé Mankerian is the principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena. His manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at the Bibby First Book Competition, the Crab Orchard Poetry Open Competition, the Quercus Review Press Poetry Book Award, and the White Pine Press Poetry Prize. In 2017, three literary journals, Border Crossing, Cahoodaloodaling, and Lunch Ticket nominated Mankerian’s poems for the Pushcart Prize. Antioch University’s literary publication, Lunch Ticket, nominated Mankerian’s poem “Inner City with Father” for the 2017 Best of the Net Anthology. Recently, Shahé received the 2017 Editors’ Prize from MARY: A Journal of New Writing.

Lisa Masé has been writing poetry since childhood. She teaches poetry workshops for Vermont’s Poem City events, co-facilitates a writing group, and has translated the poetry of writers from Italy, France, and the Dominican Republic. Her poems have been published by Open Journal of Arts and Letters, Wander Lost, the Long Island Review, 3 Elements, Zingara Review, River and South, and Silver Needle Press among others.

Vayu Naidu is Royal Literary Fund Fellow at UWL 2018-2019. Her PhD from the University of Leeds was in performance oral traditions. She won the Humanities Teaching Award for her work with Tsunami survivors in 2004. Arts Council England funded Vayu Naidu Intercultural Theatre as an RFO from 2004-2012. Her work includes Radio Drama – BBC 4, Theatre, Storytelling for Contemporary Music, and Ramayana. Sita’s Ascent (Penguin: 2013) was nominated for the Commonwealth Book Award, The Sari of Surya Vilas (Speaking Tiger, Affirm Press: 2017) on the freedom struggle, was featured on ABC’s (Australia book of the week). She is on her third novel.

Christopher Phelps studied physics and philosophy, but Dickinson and the dictionary were his first loves. His poems have appeared in magazines including Boston Review, Colorado Review, The Kenyon Review, and in the anthology Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality. His first chapbook, Tremblem, was published by Pococurante Productions. More information can be found at

Elise Toedt is currently a PhD student at the University of Minnesota in the field of Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on Literacy, Language and Culture. In her poetry and in her research, she is interested in what and who silence protects in communal and institutional spaces, particularly in shoring up the constructions of gender, race, and class. Her poems, short fiction, and non-fiction writing have been published in books and online publications, including Lumina, Teaching Tolerance, Mutuality, and the book Creating a Spiritual Legacy.

Doug Van Hooser’s poetry has appeared in Chariton Review, Split Rock Review, Manhattanville Review, and Poetry Quarterly among other publications. His fiction can be found in Red Earth Review, Crack the Spine, and Light and Dark. Doug is a playwright active at Three Cat Productions and Chicago Dramatists Theatre.

Amy Watkins grew up in central Florida, surrounded by armadillos and palmetto brush and a big, loud, religious family–the kind of upbringing that’s produced generations of southern writers. She married her high school sweetheart, had a baby girl, and earned her MFA in writing from Spalding University. She is the author of Milk & Water (Yellow Flag Press) and the art editor for Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine.

Jessica L. Williams is the author of Media, Performative Identity, and the New American Freak Show. She teaches in the English Department at SUNY College at Old Westbury in New York. Research and teaching interests include multicultural American literature, disability, and popular culture.

John Sibley Williams is the editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies and the author of nine collections, including Disinheritance and Controlled Hallucinations. An eleven-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Regina Yoong is a doctoral student in Literature at Ohio University, Athens. Her field of interest is in 19th century American literature, especially in regards to religion and womanhood. She is Fulbright scholar from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is currently working on her dissertation on Emily Dickinson whilst preparing for her comprehensive exams. Regina is a published poet and is the co-editor for Parlour: A Journal of Literary Criticism and Analysis.


Leamon Green is an artist and professor at Texas Southern University’s Department of Art. His artworks’ content is derived from reflecting on similarities and differences in cultures. Specifically, the imagery reflects the complicated definition of being African American in an increasingly global community. The figures are anonymous portraits of characters or types, who could be family members, either yours or mine. There are clues to identities such as patterns viewed in the clothing or the surrounding space, and historical African or European objects, all placed in ways that support the figures. For the artist, identity is an accumulation of cultures one experiences both directly and indirectly. More of Leamon Green’s work can be found HERE.

Mariah Joyce is an artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. Her work blends elements of the real and the surreal into landscapes that serve as a way for her place herself (find a home) in a world that can often feel alien.

Marios Liolios’ life has contained an abundance of imagination and sentimentality that informs his work, and continually drives him towards creating pieces that are reminiscent of emotionally driven audio compositions. His visualizations contain information that is constantly being churned by his ambition to bring these thoughts into a physical form and experience them. He has always been easily moved by his senses, and he contains a deep desire to create work that is highly personal. He endeavors to create a world that resonates within himself and his audience, and transports viewers to an environment overrun by an aura of emotion and hidden symbolism. Find more of his work at

Melissa Romeo is an artist, educator and collector of trinkets currently working in Portland, OR. Her work is inspired by dreams, global events and local stories. By illustrating objects and ideas in a slightly askew, colorful, and sometimes even uncomfortable way, Melissa hopes to draw attention to the act of perception itself. Which aspects of our personal histories, interpersonal relationships, cultural backgrounds, social constructs and unconscious biases influence our interpretation of what’s before us?