2014 Conference Readers
Friday, Nov. 7th
Allison Joseph lives, writes and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University. Her books include In Every Seam, Imitation of Life, Soul Train, Voice: Poems, and Trace Particles. Editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, she is also the director of the Young Writers Workshop, a summer creative writing workshop for teenaged writers.
Saturday, Nov. 8th
Longtime listeners recognize Jacki Lyden's voice from her frequent work as a substitute host on NPR. As a journalist who has been with NPR since 1979, Lyden regards herself first and foremost as a storyteller and looks for the distinctive human voice in a huge range of national and international stories.
In the last five years, Lyden has reported from diverse locations including Paris, New York, the backstreets of Baghdad, the byways around rural Kentucky and spent time among former prostitutes in Nashville.
Most recently, Lyden focused her reporting on the underground, literally. In partnership with National Geographic, she and photographer Stephen Alvarez explored the catacombs and underground of the City of Light. The report of the expedition aired on Weekend Edition Sunday and was the cover story of the February 2011 National Geographic magazine. Lyden's book, Daughter of the Queen of Sheba, recounts her own experience growing up under the spell of a colorful mother suffering from manic depression. The memoir has been published in 11 foreign editions and is considered a memoir classic by The New York Times. Daughter of the Queen of Sheba has been in process as a film, based upon a script by the A-list writer, Karen Croner. She is working on a sequel to the book which will be about memory and what one can really hold on to in a tumultuous life.
Craig Blais is the author of About Crows (University of Wisconsin Press), a Florida Book Award gold medalist and winner of the 2013 Felix Pollak Prize for Poetry. Craig’s work has appeared in literary magazines such as Antioch Review, Barrow Street, Best New Poets, Hayden's Ferry Review, New Orleans Review, New Welsh Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He holds PhD in English from Florida State University and lives in Tallahassee.
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Thursday Night Readers--The Gloria Sirens
Gloria Siren Susan Lilley’s poetry and nonfiction appear in Poet Lore, The Southern Review, Drunken Boat, The Florida Review, CALYX, Sweet, Slipstream, Pithead Chapel and other journals. She is the 2009 winner of the Rita Dove Poetry Award, and her two chapbooks are Night Windows (winner of Yellow Jacket Press Poetry Contest) and Satellite Beach (Finishing Line Press, 2012). She was voted winner of the best of There Will Be Words reading series in Orlando, Florida in 2013; her solo TWBW chapbook of nonfiction, When We Were Stardust, is out in May of 2014. She lives and teaches in central Florida.
Gloria Siren Katherine Riegel is the author of two books of poetry, What the Mouth Was Made For and Castaway, and a book about mindfulness and self-empowerment, The Manifesto. Her poems and essays have appeared in a variety of journals, including Brevity, Crazyhorse, and The Rumpus. She is co-founder and poetry editor for Sweet: A Literary Confection.
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Lisa Lanser Rose
The Gloria Sirens founder, Lisa Lanser Rose wrote the memoir, For The Love of a Dog, (Harmony Books), and the novel, Body Sharers (Rutgers University Press). She holds an MFA from Penn State. Body Sharers placed among the finalists for the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award for Best First Novel, The Washington Prize for Fiction, and the AWP Intro Awards. Recent work has appeared in Superstition Review, Tampa Review Online, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine: Women Writing Nature, and Ascent Literary Journal. Her essay, “Turnpike Psycho,” won the 2013 Florida Review Editor’s Award.
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Gianna Russo is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Moonflower (Kitsune Books, 2011), and two chap books, Blue Slumber (YellowJacket Press, 2006) and The Companion of Joy (Green Rabbit Press, 2014). Moonflower was awarded a Florida Book Awards bronze medal, Florida Publishers Association Presidents’ Award silver medal, and was an Eric Hofer First Horizons finalist award.
Ms. Russo is founding editor of YellowJacket Press, currently Florida’s only publisher of poetry chapbook manuscripts. She has published poems in Tampa Review, Ekphrasis, Crab Orchard Review, Apalachee Review, Florida Review, Florida Humanities Council Forum, Karamu, The Bloomsbury Review, The Sun, Poet Lore, saw palm, The MacGuffin, and Calyx, among others. Her creative nonfiction appears on the blog The Gloria Sirens and has appeared in the Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times). She teaches at St. Leo University, where she is editor-in-chief of Sandhill Review and director of the Sandhill Writers Retreat.
Gloria Siren Tiffany Razzano is an editor with Tampa Bay Newspapers, a group of weekly
newspapers, La Gaceta, and a blog editor for Creative Loafing, focusing on LGBT issues, events, and arts and entertainment. She’s also currently working on a collection of humorous personal essays
and blogs at Have Vagina, Will Travel. She is the founder, leader, and powerhouse behind Wordier Than Thou, a literary arts organization in Tampa Bay.
Gloria Siren Leslie Salas earned her MFA in Creative Writing from UCF and is a University of Denver Publishing Institute graduate. As an Associate Course Director in the English Department at Full Sail University, she teaches English Composition and Creative Writing. Leslie has presented at local and national conferences and symposiums—most notably at the AWP Annual Conference and Bookfair and FLAC’s Other Words Literary Conference. She also serves as the assistant editor for The Florida Review and the graphic narrative editor for Sweet. She writes in all mediums—fiction, nonfiction, screenplay, and comics—and her work has appeared in Burrow Press’ 15 Views Volume II: Corridor, The Southeast Review, Sweet, and others.