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.
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. In addition, he has published three limited-edition letterpress artist’s books with Purgatory Pie Press: Colorful Tales, Mondrian-Tac-Toe, and Unfamiliar Tales. In the 1980s, Cherches was a fixture on New York’s downtown music scene. Sonorexia, his collaborative “avant-vaudeville” band with multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp, performed at such venues as 8BC, Darinka, Club 57, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, CBGB, The Mudd Club, and Folk City. They released a cassette, It’s Uncle!, in 1985, now available digitally. In 1984 he also began collaborating with keyboardist and songwriter Lee Feldman, writing original songs and performing monologues with improvised synthesizer soundtracks they called “Movies for the Ears.” They have appeared at a wide range of venues in New York City, including La MaMa, The Knitting Factory, The Cat Club, St. Peter’s Church, Cornelia Street Cafe, The Duplex Cabaret, and The Lone Star. Cherches and Feldman continue to work together to this day. Peter Cherches started performing jazz in 1987, singing his original lyrics to compositions by the likes of Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell with some of the top jazz players from New York’s downtown scene. His first album as a jazz vocalist, Mercerized! Songs of Johnny Mercer, featuring Lee Feldman on piano, was released in 2016.
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), and the craft of writing magical realism manual, DELICIOUS STRANGENESS (Spout Hill 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.