We’re pleased to introduce our current team members:
Managing and Section Editors & 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 an independent writer and marketing 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, The Writer, 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 also teaches about branding and digital identity in several graduate creative writing programs.She 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. 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.
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 and its conference, HippoCamp.
Kevin 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 for several years, he performed at various festivals and venues in the region. Today, he's a solo performer.
Carina Sitkus is a writer based in Adams County, PA. Her work has appeared in places like Business Insider, HelloGiggles, and ThoughtCatalog, which published her first book in 2015. 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. Visit her at www.carinasitkus.com or on Twitter: @CarinaSitkus.
Angela earned her master of arts degree in creative writing from Wilkes University under the tutelage of Kaylie Jones and John Bowers. She lives 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.
[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.
Abby Norman is a writer and journalist based in New England. She's currently writing a memoir for Nation Books. Her essays have appeared on Medium, The Independent, The Atlantic (Notes), The Mary Sue, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, The Rumpus, Quartz and have been recommended by Time Magazine and NPR. She's been interviewed by Forbes, Glamour Magazine, Bustle and featured on many podcasts. She's represented by Tisse Takagi. Follow her on Twitter @abbymnorman.
Photo by Jim Dugan.
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 a New York-based 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 overseas, in Canada, and across the US, three are 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.
In addition to our regular reviewers, we occasionally welcome guest reviewers whose bios will be listed within their stories.
Don Clark hails from the windswept hinterlands of northeastern Ohio. He's a full-time student, Navy veteran, and writer. On his off days you'll find him hanging out with his little family and a wiener dog as old as Methuselah. Follow him on Twitter @dmclark35.
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.
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 student in the MFA program at George Mason University. She is working on a full length creative nonfiction project 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.
Susan and her husband, Edgardo, are both artists — they live in a house on the edge of the woods in northern Connecticut. The house used to be filled with children, four of hers and two of his, but they’re all grown up now and so there’s much more time to focus on their architectural rendering business, but also to spoil the dog, take long walks on the trails, paint and write and read for Hippocampus. Susan received her MFA from Bay Path University in creative nonfiction. She has illustrated two books, one of which, a children’s story, she wrote herself.
Whitney Archer is a writer, copyeditor, and librarian who lives in the Virginia exurbs of DC. She lives with her husband and son in a townhome that she is always working to rid of builder grade beige. She works as a school and public librarian in her community and also as a copyeditor and editorial assistant for Literary Mama. Her food memoir, Butter and Pecans: A Four Generation Love Story was self-published in 2014. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, AOL.com, Patrol Magazine, and Salvo Magazine. She can be found online at @whitneyarcher and whitneyarcher.com.
Once a professor of French literature, Mary Donaldson-Evans came down out of the ivory tower in 2011 and hasn't looked back. Her creative work has been published by The New York Times ("Metropolitan Diary"), The Stir@CafeMom, TheLowestoft Chronicle, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Corner Club Quarterly, BoomerLitMag and Faith, Hope and Fiction.
Elane Johnson’s nonfiction and fiction has been anthologized, featured in college creative writing curricula across the United States and internationally, and published in Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Hippocampus, Superstition Review, Sonora Review, The Indianapolis Star, and Current, among other publications. Elane, who is represented by Veronica Park of Corvisiero Literary Agency, holds an MFA (with distinction) in Creative Nonfiction and teaches graduate-level creative writing for Southern New Hampshire University online. She is married to the writer, Stephen Ulrich. Visit her website, Life in the eLane, at elanejohnson.com.
Pamela Ramos Langley lives in an exurb of So Cal where she periodically pecks out stories on her laptop. Her work has been published in The Santa Fe Literary Review, Literary Orphans, The Writing Disorder, MARY: A Journal of New Writing, The Story Shack, Hippocampus Magazine, 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, won the 2014 MARY’s editor’s prize for non-fiction, and was nominated for a Pushcart prize. She suffers from impostor syndrome, and has no current work in progress.
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.
Joan is an American writer currently living in Japan where her work focuses on food, farming and farmers markets with a bit of travel thrown in for good measure. Tales of her various foodly and other adventures can be found at japanfarmersmarkets.com
Wendy Bilen is the author of Finding Josie, a biography-memoir that received multiple honors, including a Next Generation Indie Book Award. A graduate of George Mason University’s MFA program, she was granted a residency by the Ragdale Foundation and an Individual Artist Award by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Her essays have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, storySouth, and Relief. Although originally from the Chicago area, she now lives just outside Washington, D.C., where she teaches at the women’s college of Trinity Washington University. She is completing a biography of Horatio Gates Spafford.
Angie Chatman writes fiction and nonfiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in Blood Orange Review, fwriction: review, and elsewhere. She joined the Hippocampus reading panel after winning the Most Memorable contest in June 2013, for her essay "Jazz is the Root." She is also the Book Reviews Editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal. Born and raised in Chicago, Angie earned her MFA from Queens University in Charlotte. She holds an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT and is assistant communications director at The Chestnut Hill School outside of Boston.
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).
Leta is a creative writing student at the University of North Texas. She has worked for American Literary Review, North Texas Review, and currently runs marketing and social media for American Microreviews and Interviews. She loves a good essay and also her dog, Sammi. You can find her @letarebecca on twitter.
jodi sh. doff is a New York-based writer. Tinged with themes of violence, addiction, and sex, her work has appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine, Drafthorse Literary Journal, The Fix, xoJane, Bust, and Penthouse, and alongside luminaries from Annie Sprinkle to Joyce Carol Oates in anthologies including Bearing Life and Hos, Hookers, Callgirls & Rentboys.
Visit her online at: onlythejodi.com
Partricia Florio was born in Brooklyn, New York. It's also where she worked as a court reporter for 17 years. She studied journalism and graduated from Rutgers with a bachelor's degree. She received her masters and MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University. She has two published memoirs, My Two Mothers and Cucina Amelia, my mothers favorite recipes. She's won two Norman Mailer scholarships, in 2012 and 2014. Her books and short stories can be purchased on amazon.com. Visit her website patriciaflorio.com
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.
Nikki Hardin is the founder and former publisher of Skirt! magazine, a publication for women which is based in Charleston, SC. She is also a writer and editor and currently consults for two start-up publications.
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
A communications and professional writing graduate from Elizabethtown College, Ragina enjoys writing creative short pieces, and poetry. She hopes to take her interests abroad one day - always attempting to show those that information, and even a little humor, is always out there somewhere.
Lois McAffrey Lopez attended Bryn Mawr College as a McBride scholar (program for women of non-traditional age) receiving a degree in cultural anthropology in 2003. Earlier in life, she founded a specialized construction company, which she owned and managed for twenty years. After her Bryn Mawr graduation, she moved into work with non-profit agencies, as well as finding adventure in long distance sailing. She received a master’s degree in creative writing from Wilkes University in 2013, and continues to write and learn all she can about the craft of writing.
Natasha Lvovich is writer and scholar of multilingualism and of literature written in non-native language. Originally from Moscow, Russia, she teaches at City University of New York and divides her loyalties between academic and creative writing. She is 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), anthologies (Lifewriting Annual, Anthology of Imagination & Place) and literary magazines (Post Road, Nashville Review, Two Bridges, bioStories, NDQ, Epiphany, New England Review, and Hippocampus Magazine). One of her essays has been nominated for Pushcart Prize.
Hillary Moses Mohaupt is a writer living outside of Philadelphia.
Anthony J. Mohr was born in Los Angeles, where he continues to live and write. His work has appeared in, among other places, California Prose Directory, The Christian Science Monitor, Common Ground Review, Compose Journal, DIAGRAM, Eclectica, Front Porch Journal, Hippocampus Magazine, The MacGuffin, Prick of the Spindle, 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, 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.
Angelica is a clinician, writer, advocate and creative. Holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Angelica has worked or studied in all of Boston’s major hospitals and actively participates in Boston's thriving creative writing scene. She is currently a Global Health Corps fellow working in health equity communications. Her writing can be found in The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Literary Orphans, The Huntington News, and HalfwayDownTheStairs. Angelica also presented at HippoCamp 2016 on Healing through Storytelling: Crafting Narrative Medicine.
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.
Melissa Walker, a writer, coach, historian, and recovering academic, lives and writes in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Regina Wilson is a writer, reader, potter, and music and film lover. Regina grew up outside of Philadelphia and was raised on jazz, blues, and Irish folk, influences that still hold strong with her today. Regina writes short stories, creative nonfiction, poetry and teleplays. She holds a Master’s degree in international affairs from Tufts University and has lived and traveled extensively throughout Africa and Europe. Regina lives with her husband Jay in Washington, D.C.
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.
Former Staff Members & Contributing Writers
Angela Ackerman, Lisa Ahn, Amye Archer, Alex Barbolish, Tyler Barton, Jules Barrueco, Cathy A.E. Bell, Pauline Campos, Anne Cledening, Mel Corrigan, Danielle E. Curtis, Austin DeMarco, Thomas DeMary, Mary Dudich, Shiv Dutta, Nathan Evans, Shannon Fandler, K. Justice Fisher, Robert Long Foreman, Misty Gersley, Jim Gray, William Henderson, Mary-Colleen Jenkins, Jessie Keary, Arina Kharmalova, Kevin Kern, Courtney Leigh, Tara Loder, Rachael Marks (interviewer), Ann Mayhew (reader, reviews editor), Hilary Meyerson (columnist), Kacy Muir (reviews), Amber Peckham (Reviews), Sarah Pugh (Reviews), Jonathan Rocks (columnist), Robb Steinpres, Aleithia Stephens, Michael Suppa, Fran Young.
Past Editorial Interns
- Susan Abello, BayPath University MFA – Spring 2016
- Nicole Hager, BayPath University MFA – Spring 2017
- Nickia Miller, BayPath University MFA – Spring 2017
- 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.