Ann and John Brantingham met in London on a joint study abroad program through Mt. San Antonio College and Rio Hondo College and fell just about immediately in love. They were drawn together by a joint passion for art, literature, the forest, the city, dogs, and each other. They’ve tried to live their lives compassionately, and they believe that compassion is their highest purpose and most noble aspiration. They came closer to their own humanity in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks where they volunteered and lived for nine summers in a van. The time they’ve shared with the volunteers, employees, and friends up in the parks means more to them than they can say. What they hope more than anything is that you disappear into your own natural haven and find out a little more about yourself. They keep discovering who they are again and again.
John Brantingham was Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ first poet laureate. His work has been featured in hundreds of magazines, Writers Almanac and The Best Small Fictions 2016. He has eleven books of poetry and fiction including The L.A. Fiction Anthology (Red Hen Press), Crossing the High Sierra (Cholla Needles Press), and California Continuum: Migrations and Amalgamations (Pelekinesis) co-written with Grant Hier. His newest work is Objects of Curiosity, a series of untitled ekphrastic poems about art featured at the Sasse Museum in Upland California. You can view it here: http://sasseartmuseum.org/. He is currently working on another ekphrastic collection with the Sasse Museum about public art in and around the Inland Empire. He teaches at Mt. San Antonio College. He is a regular contributor to Cultural Weekly.
Gail Butensky is a noted photographer whose work you may recognize from the records in your collection (Big Black, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 and the band Fuck among others), the books Our Band Could Be Your Life, CBGB & OMFUG: 30 Years and Bob Mould's See a Little Light. Or perhaps you saw her work in The San Francisco Guardian, The Village Voice, or The Chicago Reader, cities she chronicled when she lived in each of those major metropolitan areas. In Every Bend, Butensky's work in each of these venues is on display, as are intimate photos the artist shot outside of the music scene that she has documented for decades. Every Bend is a collection of photographs sequenced by Butensky to resemble a road trip with diary entries for each encampment that is presented here. A fascinating journey and a feast for the eyes.
Allen Callaci is the lead singer for the band Refrigerator, an adjunct professor at Mt Sac Community College, and a librarian at the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library where he is the proud co-founder of the library's Star Wars Day—the largest Star Wars library event on the West Coast. He is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in MungBeing, the Poly Post, The Huffington Post, BK Nation, Cinefantastique, and various 'zines in the 90s. His memoir Heart Like a Starfish was released in 2016 on Pelekinesis. He hails from the Inland Empire region of Southern California.
Dennis Callaci was born in Corona, California and has bounced around Southern California his entire life. He runs the record label Shrimper, noted for bringing forth the earliest recordings from Amps For Christ, Woods, Franklin Bruno, Lou Barlow's Sentridoh, The Mountain Goats,and a few hundred other releases over the course of the last thirty years. He is also in the band Refrigerator who have released twelve records over those three decades as well as solo records by Callaci. His first book, 100 Cassettes, was published by Pelekinesis in 2019.
Nikia Chaney is a textual artist and writer. She is the author of a forthcoming memoir Ladybug (Inlandia Institute, 2022), and us mouth (University of Hell Press, 2018), a full length of poetry. She has served as Inlandia Literary Laureate (2016-2018). She teaches and lives in California with her children.
Called “one of the innovators of the short short story” by Publishers Weekly, Peter Cherches has lived his creative life in the literary, music, and performance worlds of New York City and beyond for over four decades, as writer, editor, performance artist, singer, and lyricist. His writing has appeared in scores of magazines, anthologies and websites, including Transatlantic Review, Harper’s, Bomb, North American Review, Fiction International, Fence, Little Star, High Times, Hambone, Semiotext(e), MungBeing, and Poetry 180. Poet Billy Collins wrote, “To Gödel, Escher, and Bach we might consider adding Peter Cherches.” He has published three volumes of short prose with Pelekinesis since 2013: Lift Your Right Arm, Autobiography Without Words, and Whistler’s Mother’s Son.His previous Bamboo Dart Press chapbook, Tracks: Memoirs from a Life with Music, was published in 2021.
Victor Gastelum has been showing his visual art since 1992. Most of his art has consisted of stencil multiples sprayed on aluminum, heavy drawing paper, or holographic card stock. After attending a two-year art program at Los Angeles Trade Tech Community College, Gastelum worked at SST Records for nine years, first as a designer and then as art director. His art has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, as well as in the books, Fucked Up + Photocopied: Instant Art of the Punk Rock Movement, and Ciudad Hibrida - Hybrid City: The Production of Art in “Alien Territory.” Gastelum has collaborated with his long-time friends in the band, Calexico, creating art for many of their albums. He has also collaborated with these visual artists: Chaz Bojorquez, Raymond Pettibon, and Rolo. Hamilton Press published one of Gastelum’s collaborative lithographs as well as an art-book cover. In addition, Self-Help Graphics has published his serigraphs and monoprints. A native Californian, Gastelum lives in Long Beach, California.
Mark Givens is the owner of Pelekinesis, co-owner of Bamboo Dart Press, and a founding member of the indieground band Wckr Spgt. He is the former publisher of MungBeing Magazine, Salmon Bosch, and The Bowl Sheet. He is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), the Academy of American Poets, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and the Inlandia Institute.
Mark Givens is the owner of Pelekinesis, co-owner of Bamboo Dart Press, and a founding member of the indieground band Wckr Spgt. He is the former publisher of MungBeing Magazine, Salmon Bosch, and The Bowl Sheet. He is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), the Academy of American Poets, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and the Inlandia Institute. Joel Huschle was born in 1965 in Robbinsdale, Minnesota and is the youngest of five children. He is the lyricist and singer in the art damage band, Wckr Spgt. He also operates a solo music enterprise (which happens to employ other musicians), Furniture Huschle. He is retired from forensic and crisis mental health after 30 years in the field. He lives with his wife and two dogs in Pomona, California.
Stephanie Barbé Hammer is a 6-time Pushcart Prize nominee in fiction, nonfiction and poetry with work published in The Bellevue Literary Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Pearl, the James Franco Review, Isthmus, Cafe Irreal, and the Gold Man Review. She is the author of the prose poem chapbook SEX WITH BUILDINGS (dancing girl press), the full-length collection HOW FORMAL? (Spout Hill Press), the fabulist novel THE PUPPET TURNERS OF NARROW INTERIOR (Urban Farmhouse Press), the craft of writing magical realism manual, DELICIOUS STRANGENESS (Spout Hill Press), and the novelette RESCUE PLAN (Bamboo Dart Press). Originally from Manhattan, Stephanie lived in Southern California for 30 years. She is managing editor of SHARK REEF Literary Magazine and sits on the advisory board of WRITERS BLOC Los Angeles.
Tim Hatch is a writer and educator living and working in Southern California’s Inland Empire. He earned his MFA at Cal State San Bernardino, and his poetry has appeared in Cholla Needles, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, East Jasmine Review, The Vehicle, MungBeing, and several other journals across the nation. His eBook series, My Bariatric Year, has two volumes currently for sale (with a third volume coming soon) wherever eBooks are sold. As an adjunct professor, he teaches composition at more colleges than you can shake a stick at, and when he’s not doing that, he spends his time with an emotionally fragile Queensland Heeler, an arthritic Beagle, and his wife, Annette, who puts up with his nonsense way more than he deserves.
Bassist Wendy Atkinson and guitarist David Lester are Horde of Two. Atkinson has released three solo experimental bass albums and her writing has previously appeared in MungBeing. Lester is a graphic novelist and the guitarist in the rock duo Mecca Normal. They live in Vancouver, Canada.
Joel Huschle was born in 1965 in Robbinsdale, Minnesota and is the youngest of five children. He is the lyricist and singer in the art damage band, Wckr Spgt. He also operates a solo music enterprise (which happens to employ other musicians), Furniture Huschle. He is retired from forensic and crisis mental health after 30 years in the field. He lives with his wife and two dogs in Pomona, California.
Kendall Johnson grew up in the lemon groves in Southern California, raised by assorted coyotes and bobcats. A former firefighter with military experience, he served as traumatic stress consultant—often in the field—specializing in Incident Command System Class I & II commands. As such, he has lectured in fire houses, training camps, hospitals, emergency service institutes, conferences, government training facilities, universities, here and abroad. Serving on the editorial board of the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, and as Associate Professor at the California State University Long Beach master’s degree program in Emergency Service Administration, he authored a number of professional papers, seven books in the treatment of traumatic stress, school crisis management, and recovery. Recently Dr. Johnson retired from teaching to pursue painting, photography, and writing. In that capacity he has written five literary books of artwork and poetry, and one in art history and his shorter work has appeared in Literary Hub, Chiron Review, Cultural Weekly, Quarks Ediciones Digitales, and was translated into Chinese by Poetry Hall. His collection of memoir stories, Chaos & Ash, was released last June from Pelekinesis. He isn’t sure what he wants to be when he grows up.
Juanita E. Mantz (“JEM”) is a deputy public defender, writer, performer and podcaster, one who believes that stories have the power to change the world. She graduated from UCR in 1999 with a Bachelor's in English Literature and received her J.D. from USC Law in 2002. She is in the low residency MFA creative writing program at The University of New Orleans. Juanita has been with the Law Offices of the Public Defender in Riverside County for over a decade. She specializes in representing incompetent clients under PC Section 1368 and has taken many serious felony cases to trial on the mental health issues. Juanita is an alumni of VONA and The Macondo Writers Workshop and serves on the Board of Directors of the Inlandia Institute. She has been published widely, including in The Acentos Review, Aljazeera, As/Us, Bitch Media, The Dirty Spoon, Entropy, Inlandia, The James Franco Review, MUSE, Riverside Press Enterprise, and the San Bernardino-Singing (anthology), amongst others. She performed in the 2016 cast of Listen to Your Mother, Burbank. She has presented at the UCR Punk Conference, AWP, and Beyond Baroque. She also produced and taught in the ASA 2020 Freedom Course on Combatting Mass Incarceration. On her video "Life of JEM" podcast, she does live interviews with artists, wellness practitioners and writers.
Carol D. Marsh earned her MFA in Nonfiction from Goucher College in 2014. Since then, her writing has won awards from National Indie Book Awards 2017, Sarton Women’s Book Contest 2018, New Millennium Writings 2016, Under the Gum Tree 2018, Solstice Literary Magazine 2020, and Tucson Festival of Books 2021. Her essays have been published in The Vassar Review, Chautauqua Journal, LA Review Best of the Year 2018, and River Teeth, among others. She’s currently working on a researched memoir about being a highly sensitive person (HSP), in which she weaves stories of her life with science, neurology, genetics, and interviews of a diverse cohort of other HSPs.
Ruth Nolan grew up in California’s Mojave Desert and worked as a wildland firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District and also for the U.S. Forest Service, fighting wildfires throughout the western U.S. Her writing is forthcoming in Writing the Golden State: The New Literary Terrain of California (Angel City Press) and has been notably published in Boom, California; McSweeney’s; East Bay Times; Joshua Tree: Where Two Deserts Meet (Wildsam Guide); Los Angeles Fiction: Southland Writing by Southland Writers (Red Hen Press;) and Desert Oracle. Ruth also writes for News from Native California; Inlandia Literary Journeys; KCET Artbound L.A. and KCET Tending Nature. Ruth is Professor of English and creative writing at College of the Desert. She is curator of the humanities project Fire on the Mojave: Stories from the Deserts and Mountains of Inland Southern California, and editor of the critically acclaimed anthology, No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California's Deserts (Heyday.) Ruth was named the inaugural Mojave Desert Literary Laureate in 2021.
Meg Pokrass is the author of five flash fiction collections, an award-winning collection of microfiction, a chapbook of hybrid prose, two flash novellas, and a book of prose poetry. She has received San Francisco's Blue Light Book Award twice. Her work has been published in hundreds of well-regarded literary journals and included in the anthologies New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015) and The Best Small Fictions 2018, 2019. She serves as Founding Co-Editor of Best Microfiction. Meg teaches online flash fiction workshops.
Cati Porter is the author of nine books and chapbooks, including most recently Slow Unraveling of Living Ghosts, a chapbook co-authored with Johnny Bender and with illustrations by Steve “Lu” Lossing. Her work has appeared in So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art, as winner of their annual poetry competition, as well as many others including Rattle, Verse Daily, Salon.com, Contrary, Shark Reef, West Trestle, and Pratik. She lives in Inland Southern California with her family where she directs Inlandia Institute, a literary nonprofit.
Cindy Rinne is a San Bernardino artist and poet who has created fine art for over 40 years. She was Poet in Residence for the Neutra Institute Gallery and Museum, Los Angeles, CA. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art exhibits, and dance performances. Cindy is the author of several books: Today in the Forest with Toti O’Brien (Moonrise Press), silence between drumbeats (Four Feathers Press), Knife Me Split Memories (Cholla Needles Press), Letters Under Rock with Bory Thach, (Elyssar Press), and others. She has participated in several online group exhibitions through LAAA/Gallery825. Cindy had tapestries in “Woven Stories” at MOAH (Lancaster Museum of Art and History) and at RAFFMA at Cal State San Bernardino for “Voices of Ancient Palmyra Resounded.” She participated in “50/50, FIFTY/FIFTY, The Creative Magic of Collaboration” at the Progress Gallery, Pomona, CA. Cindy curated and exhibited at Chaffey Community Museum of Art and the Inland Empire Museum of Art. She exhibited with “Old Broads” curated by Karen Karlsson in several southern California galleries. She has exhibited at the Beatnik Lounge and La Matadora Gallery in Joshua Tree and is represented by Desert Peach Gallery in Yucca Valley, CA.
Robert Scotellaro’s work has been included in W.W. Norton’s Flash Fiction International, Gargoyle, Matter Press, New World Writing, Best Small Fictions 2016, 2017, 2021, Best Microfiction 2020, and elsewhere. He is the author of over fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry and fiction. His latest flash fiction collection, What Are the Chances? (Press 53) was a finalist for The Big Other Book Award. He has, along with James Thomas, co-edited New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, published by W.W. Norton & Co. Robert is one of the founding donors to The
Thomas R. Thomas lives in Long Beach, CA, and publishes the small press Arroyo Seco Press. Publications include Carnival, Chiron Review, and Silver Birch Press. His books are Scorpio, Five Lines, Climbing Eternity, in which the world is turned upside down, the art of invisibility, Star Chasing, The High Cost of Dying, three on a wire, Lambs to the Slaughter, and Schrödinger's Cat.
Romaine Washington, M. Ed. is the author of "Sirens in Her Belly" (2015, Jamii Publications). She is a fellow of The Watering Hole, South Carolina and the Inland Area Writing Project at the University of California Riverside. She is an active member of the poetry community in the Inland Empire. Washington is an educator and a native Californian from San Bernardino.
Author of work in multiple modes, including fiction, plays, poetry, and translation from the German, Peter Wortsman was a fellow of the Fulbright (1973) and Thomas J. Watson Foundations (1974), and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin (2010). His work has garnered a Beard’s Fund Short Story Award and an Independent Publishers Book Award, among other honors.
Lyon Street is Marc’s seventh collection of poems. His most recent earlier collections are, The Snow Dead (Cervena Barva Press, 2020), and La Commedia Sotterranea: Swizzle Felt’s First Folio from the Typewriter Underground (Pelekinesis, 2019). He has recorded two spoken word albums: Night Work and Marker and Parker, crafted and contributed to several immersive theatrical productions including Sirens, Dreams, and a Cat (co-written with D. Lowell Wilder, 2020), and written the text for many short films. He lives by the coast in Northern California.