We’re pleased to introduce our current team members:
Editorial & Administrative Staff
Donna Talarico is the founder/publisher and managing editor of Hippocampus Magazine and its annual conference, HippoCamp. She has nearly two decades of experience in marketing, communications, writing and media, and about half of that time has been in higher education, most recently as director of integrated communications at Elizabethtown College (2010-2015) in Pennsylvania.
Now a full-time independent writer and consultant, she speaks at higher education and publishing conferences, writes an adult learner recruiting column for Wiley, and has contributed to Currents (a higher education trade publication), Guardian Higher Education Network, mental_floss, The Los Angeles Times, Games World of Puzzles and others. She authored a chapter in mStoner's Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #Social Media to Raise Money, Build Awareness, Recruit Students, and Get Results. Prior to higher education, Donna had careers in eCommerce and radio. Also, for 11 years, until she relocated, she was a correspondent for a daily paper and alternative weekly in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa. area.
Donna earned an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and, because learning never ends, in 2015 she returned to Wilkes to pursue a master's degree in literary publishing (anticipated completion June 2016). She also has an MBA from Elizabethtown College and a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Wilkes. Donna lives in downtown Lancaster, Pa. with her husband, Kevin Beerman and their cat. She loves road trips, national parks, board games, greasy-spoon diner breakfasts and museums.
Acknowledgments: Thank you to the wonderful Wilkes University community for more than two decades of support. I have many people to thank, including Bonnie Culver, Becky Bradway, Phil Brady, Beverly Donofrio, Jim Warner, Jane Elmes-Crahall, Andrea Frantz, and my creative writing cohort (as well as those from cohorts that came before and after mine). And, thank you to my family and childhood friends, for without you, I would have never been inspired to write a memoir. You just can't make this stuff up.
Kevin Beerman is seasoned music professional with nearly two decades of experience in performing, teaching, writing and producing. He was a staff songwriter for a major label, and, as a multi-instrumentalist, Kevin backed up several recognizable names in country, bluegrass, rock and indie. In 2013, after relocating to central Pennsylvania, Kevin joined Mark DeRose and the Dreadnaught Brigade; as part of this band, he performs at various festivals and venues in the region.
As a songwriter, Kevin has an intimate understanding of what it takes to translate real events into an artistic telling of a story. He serves on the Hippocampus reading panel, researches photography and artwork for stories, and handles several administrative aspects of the magazine.
Carina Sitkus is a writer based in Adams County, PA. Her work has appeared in places like Business Insider, HelloGiggles, and ThoughtCatalog, and she’s a frequent contributor to Medium and MOGUL. Prior to her current work in communications and marketing at Gettysburg College, Carina was a science teacher in Providence, Rhode Island, and a Teach For America corps member. She is the creator of The Curious Cat Project, a website devoted to connecting writers from all over the world (and publishing cute pictures of her cat in the process). Follow Carina on Twitter: @CarinaSitkus.
Angela earned her master of arts degree in creative writing from Wilkes University under the tutelage of authors Kaylie Jones and John Bowers. She lives just below Blue Mountain in a log home with her husband and three cats, and she works in a delightfully quiet office. In her spare time, she indulges in books, films, ice cream, and making art. Visit her website at: www.booksinmystudy.wordpress.
[Angela previously served as a reviewer for Hippocampus for a number of years before moving into the editor role.]
Our columnists contribute regularly to our CRAFT and WRITING LIFE sections. In addition to our regular columnists, we occasionally welcome guest columnists whose bios will be located beneath their stories.
Lisa Ahn's writing has appeared in Quiddity, PANK, Limestone, Prick of the Spindle, Toasted Cheese and Literary Mama, among others. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two spunky daughters, three cats, and a dog who steals everybody's socks.
Abby Norman is a writer and journalist based in New England. Her first book, FLARE, is forthcoming from Nation Books/Perseus. Her essays have appeared on Medium, The Huffington Post, Alternet and have been recommended by Time Magazine and NPR. She is a regular contributor to PBH Network's All That Is Interesting and an editor of The Coffeelicious on Medium. She is represented by Tisse Takagi. Follow her on Twitter @notabbynormal.
Donna Steiner’s writing has been published in literary journals including Fourth Genre, Shenandoah, The Bellingham Review, The Sun, and Stone Canoe. She recently completed a manuscript of linked, place-based essays and is working on a collection of poems. Her essay chapbook, Elements, was released in 2013 by Sweet Publications.
P. Casey Telesk published his first short story, an alternate history tale about the assassination of President Truman, in his elementary school journal at the age of eight. His 1999-2005 anthology of bad breakup poetry has not yet found a home. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he received a bachelor's degree in English literature from The Pennsylvania State University and is a graduate of the Wilkes University M.A./M.F.A. Creative Writing Program. He enjoys writing about modernist literature, the Death of Affect, and the importance of structure in literary craft.
Lori M. Myers is an award-winning writer and Pushcart Prize nominee of creative nonfiction, fiction, essays, and plays. Her work has been seen in more than 45 national and regional magazines, literary journals, and anthologies. Her plays have been produced on seven regional stages, two have been published, and one was a Broadway World Award nominee. Lori has a masters in creative writing from Wilkes University and currently teaches at Dominican College in New York.
Jules Barrueco is an attorney and a writer in New York City. When she’s not hard at work at her day job, she takes night classes at NYU, scours Upper East Side book stores, and writes about everything that happens in between. Her essays have appeared in Cosmopolitan.com and the New York Observer, among other places. Jules lives in Carnegie Hill with her husband and their rescue dog, Tuck Noodle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.julesbarrueco.com.
Melissa Frederick is a writer and blogger from suburban Philadelphia. Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous publications, including Crab Orchard Review, DIAGRAM, Strange Horizons, Mid-American Review, Helen: A Literary Magazine, Moon City Review, and Queen Mob’s Tea House. Her poetry chapbook, She, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. Follow her on Twitter at @msficklereader.
Jessie Keary is a writer and improv comic living in Chicago. She fosters an unhealthy obsession with Russian literature and spends her time loitering in cafes. Her work has appeared in Peaches, Neat, and Silver Birch Press. Follow her on Twitter - @jessiekeary.
MeghanPhillips lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she works at a public library and a historical society, and reads fiction submissions for Third Point Press. You can find her on Twitter @mcarphil.
Hannah Straton is a 2014 graduate of the University of Mary Washington and lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is working on a creative nonfiction book about mental illness. Her essays have appeared in Hippocampus Magazine and in the Kudzu Quarterly Review. Follow her on Twitter @hannahstraton. She’s really cool, promise.
Shannon Fandler is a marketing copywriter who lives and works just outside of Philadelphia. Her professional work has appeared on web browsers near you, and her creative work has appeared in Apiary Magazine, Vela, and Hippocampus (2013 Pushcart Prize nominee).
Pamela Ramos Langley lives in an exurb of So Cal, wearing down the keys of her laptop. Her work has been published in The Santa Fe Literary Review, Literary Orphans, The Writing Disorder, The Story Shack, Hippocampus, Elohi Gaduji, The River Poets Journal, Drunk Monkeys and elsewhere. She’s been twice nominated for Best of the Net, had a most memorable essay at Hippocampus in January ’14, is fiction editor for The Writing Disorder, hosts a blog at langleywrite.com, and hopes that she’s progressing from aspiring to emerging.
Robb is a December 2011 graduate of the Writer's Workshop program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. During his time there he received an Undergraduate Departmental award and an Academic Honoree award along with being the vice president of the Writer's Workshop student group. He was also an attendee of the Juniper Summer Writing Institute in June 2011. He currently sells woman's shoes while preparing himself for further academic adventures. He once had a blog but it became saturated with political postings during the most recent elections and thus not worth mentioning.
Denise Weaver is a freelance writer, proofreader, copyeditor, and a former library director. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in business psychology. With more than 175 articles published in regional magazines, she particularly enjoys writing personality profiles. She loves serving as a copy editor and a reader for Hippocampus Magazine. Denise has placed as a finalist/honorable mention in several memoir contests, and eagerly awaits her first, first-prize award. She lives with her husband and their golden retriever, Murphy O’Malley, in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania.
Lorie Adair is the recipient of Norman Mailer Scholarships and two Arizona Commission on the Arts Creative Writing fellowships for her writing. She was a finalist for the Southwest Writers Award and a semi-finalist for the Dana Award for her fiction. She has written for KJZZ’s occasional series, “I Am Your Child’s Teacher”, published short stories and poetry in the small press and was featured as an emerging artist in Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine. Her first novel, Spider Woman’s Loom was published by Foreverland Press. She lives and teaches in metro-Phoenix.
Alex Barbolish spends most of his time developing a checkered past, so he will have a suitably interesting bio when he is a famous published author. You know—dropping out of Yale to become a mercenary in the Congo, then taking up big game hunting, pearl diving, and bare-knuckled boxing. He hides this behind his mild-mannered alter-ego, a small town boy from Nicholson, Pa. (pop. 700, increasing when there is a livestock auction), who can usually be found at a local fishing hole, in his workshop, or cruising around in his old truck.
Cathy A. E. Bell writes narrative nonfiction and is a member of the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop in Denver. When Cathy is not writing, she’s earning a living at University of Colorado Denver fixing computers and servers (and other geeky things). She has been published or has work forthcoming in The Rumpus, Hippocampus Magazine, and Full Grown People. Say hello on Twitter: @cathyannelaine.
Angie Chatman writes both fiction and creative nonfiction. Her essay, Jazz is the Root, was Hippocampus’s Most Memorable in June, 2013. Other essays have appeared in fwriction: review and elsewhere. Born and raised in Chicago, Angie currently lives outside of Hartford, Connecticut, where she teaches at the University of Hartford and Tunxis Community College. Angie is part of the inaugural class of Kimbilio Fellows for African American fiction. Her MFA is from Queens University in Charlotte and she holds an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT.
MT is a Chicago-based writer and performer who also teaches, directs, and cheers. Her prose and poetry have appeared in literary magazines including Crawdad Literary Journal, After Hours, and Swivel Magazine, and on her story blog, www.midwesternrobot.com. She also tells stories out loud, most notably at This Much is True, Essay Fiesta, That’s All She Wrote, and other live lit venues (that’s what we call them in Chicago).
Patricia Florio, author of My Two Mothers, completed her MFA from Wilkes University January of 2011. Her work can be found online at www.stripedpot.com a travel magazine and www.hugpages.com under the heading of "So you want to cook Italian." Patricia has published several short fiction stories. She's married and lives in the Historic Town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey 50 steps from the ocean with her husband Ralph. She says seeing the ocean every day inspires her work. They are both planning to retire soon and spend time traveling, writing, and playing golf.
Sarah Kilch Gaffney lives in central Maine with her daughter where they have some land and a big garden, as well as cats, dogs, and chickens. She attended Knox College, where she received a B.A. in creative writing & environmental studies and over the years she has done a stint on a backcountry trail crew, worked a couple of seasons with a sea kayak tour company, and spent several years in the conservation/volunteer management fields. She currently works as a program coordinator conducting brain injury advocacy, outreach, and education.
Her nonfiction has appeared widely, including in the Washington Post, Modern Loss, Hippocampus, Role Reboot, Mamalode, and Brain, Child. She loves the woods, lives too far away from the ocean, and finds microbiology and the art of homemade caramels equally fascinating. You can find her work at www.sarahkilchgaffney.com.
Anne B. Henry earned a MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University. She is currently conducting a creative writing workshop for adults in a continuing education program and runs writing workshops for teens. At the 2014 Woodstock Writers Festival, Anne was first runner-up in the Story Slam. Anne is a reader for the online literary magazine, Hippocampus, as well as for the print journal East Meets West, American Writers Review. As she searches for an agent for her memoir, she is also hard at work on her novel, “Truth Be Told,” and a collection of character driven short stories.
Campbell C. Hoffman lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children. Inspired often by family life, she writes about the joy and ache of love and the struggle of holding tight while letting go – that is to say, she writes about life. Her essays have appeared in Brain, Child Magazine, Hippocampus Magazine, and Mamalode. Nothing makes her happier than a walk in the woods, and she is drawn to a campfire exactly like a moth to a flame. She can be found on Twitter @tumbledweeds
Natasha Lvovich is a writer and scholar of second language acquisition and bilingualism. She teaches at CUNY and divides her loyalties between academic and creative writing. She is an author of a collection of autobiographical narratives, The Multilingual Self, and of a number of articles and essays. Her creative nonfiction appeared in academic journals (Life Writing, New Writing, Lifewriting Annual) and literary magazines (Big.City.Lit, WHL Review, Post Road, Paradigm, Nashville Review, Two Bridges). Her piece, Balakovo, was been nominated for 2011 Pushcart Prize.
Anthony J. Mohr was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he continues to live and write. His short stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in, among other places,California Prose Directory, The Christian Science Monitor, Common Ground Review, Compose Journal, Connotation Press, DIAGRAM, Eclectica, Front Porch Journal, Hippocampus, The MacGuffin, Prick of the Spindle, Rappahannock Review, War, Literature & the Arts, Word Riot, ZYZZYVA, and two volumes of Chicken Soup for the Soul. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he is an assistant editor at Fifth Wednesday Journal. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, sailing, travel, and improv theater. He has lived and studied in Europe and South America.
Risa Nye is a San Francisco Bay Area native. Her essays, stories, and articles have appeared in a variety of publications, and she continues to mine her vast experience for more things to write about. She also eavesdrops.Her three children live far away and cannot stop her from mining their experiences too.She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College in California. Some of her writing--including her forays into the world of mixology as Ms.Barstool--and her current blog can be found at www.risanye.com.
Aleithia Stephens works with exchange students in Oklahoma and teaches a reflective journaling course for US students abroad. She abandoned her PhD dissertation in hopes of writing something someone might actually want to read. Her prose has appeared in Zest Literary Journal, Star 82 Review and Expat Lit.
Michael Suppa is an elementary school writing teacher in Ellwood City, Pa. He also has presented professional development programs on writing and portfolio assessment. He received his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Wilkes University under the mentorship of Dr. J. Michael Lennon.
Siona van Dijk is a clinical hypnotherapist and literary dilettante. She enjoys playing curator, and has been on the editorial boards of journals such as Circus, The Amherst Review, and A Further Room. She is working on a Ph.D. in Jungian and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute, exploring the poetic basis of the mind and the role of the unconscious in the literary imagination. Visit her online: www.sionavandijk.com.
Regina Wilson is a lifelong avid writer and reader whose current main project is a TV pilot script set in the 1930s Mississippi Delta. An international affairs professional by day, Regina holds a Master’s degree from Tufts University and has lived and traveled extensively throughout Africa and Europe. She lives with her partner Jay in Washington, DC, where she writes, plays music, and makes hand-thrown pottery.
Cheryl Wright-Watkins has dreamed of being a writer since she began editing her preschool books with crayons. She retired in 2008 after a twenty-five year career as an air traffic controller. In 2010, she was admitted to Vermont College of Fine Arts as a candidate in the MFA in writing program and is on schedule to graduate in January 2013.
After decades of life as an itinerant traveling teacher and sailor, Fran Young has plunked herself down in the "wilds" of the Missouri Ozarks. Still trying her best to settle down and grow some tentative roots in one place for more than two years, she writes to sort out her life's dilemmas (Should I stay or should I go?), particularly the one about "What should I do when I grow up?" In the past few years, Fran has written sporadic nonfiction for a variety of Internet sites and submitted writing to, well....you name it, lots of calls for submissions. (The rejection notices make great wallpaper, by the way.) Currently Fran is branching out into writing fiction, specifically in genres from erotica to Young Adult books. (Yes, she knows that those two genres should NOT share a sentence.) A mother of two far-flung adult children, to whom she desperately wishes she had NOT shared the travel gene, she is also married to the same man (who was once her next-door neighbor) for nearly 30 years. She doesn't know how or why she is so fortunate, but that's another story...
Former Staff Members & Contributing Writers
Angela Ackerman, Amye Archer, Tyler Barton, Pauline Campos, Anne Cledening, Mel Corrigan, Danielle E. Curtis, Austin DeMarco, Thomas DeMary, Mary Dudich, Shiv Dutta, Nathan Evans, K. Justice Fisher, Robert Long Foreman, Misty Gersley, Jim Gray, William Henderson, Mary-Colleen Jenkins, Arina Kharmalova, Kevin Kern, Courtney Leigh, Tara Loder, Rachael Marks (interviewer), Ann Mayhew (reader, reviews editor), Hilary Meyerson (columnist), Kacy Muir (reviewer), Amber Peckham (Reviews), Sarah Pugh (Reviews), Jonathan Rocks (columnist), Robb Steinpres.
Past Editorial Interns
- Susan Abello, BayPath University MFA – Spring 2015
- Ragina Wilson, Elizabethtown College (undergrad) – Spring 2015
- Brighid Flynn, Elizabethtown College (undergrad) – Summer 2014
Hippocampus Magazine (ISSN 2160-2298) publishes monthly. News and other blog posts may be updated between issues. All photos used in stories are by staff, provided as courtesy, or licensed for our use, unless credited otherwise. Inquiries: Write to Hippocampus Magazine, 222 East Walnut Street, Suite #2, Lancaster PA, 17602 or email email@example.com.