Issue 4: Hidden Agendas

Nell Bernstein's (In the Shadow of the Prison) writings have appeared in numerous national publications, including Glamour, Health, Legal Affairs, Marie Claire, Mother Jones, Newsday, O: The Oprah Magazine,, Self, Redbook and The Washington Post. She is the coordinator of the San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership. "In the Shadow of the Prison" is adapted from her book, All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated, published by The New Press in October 2005.

Matt Betts (We Conquered the Galaxy and All I Got Were These Feety Pajamas) is a former radio personality and newsperson (for which he has apologized profusely). He facilitates a long-running writers group in Columbus, Ohio called the Naked Wordshop. His poetry and other work appears or will soon appear in Red River Review, Inkburns, elimae, minima, Right Hand Pointing, Sunspinner and the online edition of The Columbus Dispatch. He is currently trying to finish the second draft of his first novel (for which he will apologize later).

Julia Bloch (from "Apartment") earned an M.F.A. in poetry at Mills College and has had work published recently in Five Fingers Review, Mirage/Period(ical), 26: A Journal of Poetry and Poetics, Lodestar Quarterly, and the "new brutalism" anthology Involuntary Vision. She says she lives in San Francisco even though she recently started school again in Philadelphia.

Allison Carter (I Have One Video) lives in Los Angeles, where she is pursuing an MFA in creative writing at the California Institute of the Arts. Her work can be found in 400 Words and 3rd Bed, and her play "Blazer Suitcase Paxil Exhaust or MATH" is currently in development with San Francisco's Boxcar Theatre.

Answering Isaac is the literary debut of Aaron Cooper's middle age, decades after an award-winning career as a high school journalist and several professional publications as a clinical psychologist. He has spent the past two years writing Two Dads, a memoir about parent-child love, loss and reconciliation in the face of homophobia.

Valerie Coulton's (from "The Orange Window") work has appeared recently in Parthenon West Review, 26, and Five Fingers Review. Her book, passing world pictures, was published by Apogee Press in 2003. The Cellar Dreamer is forthcoming from Apogee Press in 2007.

New England-born poet Diana Der-Hovanessian (Hidden Agenda) was Fulbright professor of American poetry in Armenia in 1994 and 1999. She is the author of 22 books of poems and translations that have appeared in Agni, American Scholar, Poetry, and The Nation, among others.

Tom Erikson (Random New York Street Portraits) is an independent photographer who has worked out of San Francisco for over twenty years. He has photographed a lot of things, but earns his living making portraits. Musicians and families are his specialty, though he enjoys working with writers, politicians, entrepreneurs and artists, too.

Katie Flynn (For the Dogs) lives in San Francisco and teaches geography and writing at various local colleges. Her fiction has appeared in The Coe Review, Cranky Literary Journal and Rhapsoidia.

Born in NYC and raised in North Carolina, Sean Hayes (Looped Inside) is the real thing: a songwriter and performer who penetrates your brain and body so deeply that you quickly forget who you are and what you're doing. His songs are beautiful worlds unto themselves. Sean's performances are full sensory experiences – sensual, elastic and thick with rich colors. A gorgeous place to live. He plays at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on January 28th, 2006 to celebrate the release of his latest album, Big Black Hole and the Little Baby Star.

Trevor J. Houser (Oregon) was born in Oregon and lived there for a relatively long time. His writing has appeared in Rosebud and the Columbia Review. He is currently shopping his first novel and has recently finished a second. He now lives in Buenos Aires with his fiancée, where they are debating whether or not to buy an air conditioner.

With ten CD releases of original music, JP Jones (Buildin' on Your Case) is Rhode Island's most prolific independent recording artist. Best known for his folk-influenced songwriting, Jones' recorded work has been compared to that of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Greg Brown. As a performer who's been at it more than 30 years, he's shared bills with a diverse and prominent musical cast that includes Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King and Little Feat (just to name a few). He's played house concerts and civic arenas, outdoor festivals, bars and coffeehouses. He gigs, today, both as a solo artist and with back up band Rite Tite.

Carrie Katz (Still Life, Sealed Letter) is a playwright, poet, and director originally from central New York and currently residing in San Francisco. Eight of her plays have been produced in London (at the Chelsea and Latchmere Theatre/Theatre 503), and her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Fourteen Hills, horse less review, Transfer, Wild Strawberries, and others. Among other things, Carrie teaches creative writing in the vast and overcrowded prison system of California.

Currently living in Manhattan, Matthew Langille ("giraffedress" cover art) has recently renovated his website, . Click to see his new line of t-shirts and prints. He is also developing a new plush toy and will be published in several magazines soon out on newsstands, including He will be in the Square Foot Show at Art Gotham in Chelsea, New York, this February 2006.

Joe Loya (From Hymnals to Hymens) is an essayist, playwright, and contributing editor at Pacific News Service. His opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Washington Post, and other national newspapers. "From Hymnals to Hymens" is adapted from his memoir, The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell, which was released in paperback in October 2005 by HarperCollins.

elena minor's (Time Will Have a Short Introduction) fiction, poetry and commentary has been published in Vox, Segue, Quercus Review, edifice WRECKED, Banyan Review, Chicanovista, Facets and Frontera and she has work forthcoming in 26. She is a past first prize recipient of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for drama.

Michael Scott Moore (The Canvasser) is a novelist and journalist living in Berlin. His first book, Too Much of Nothing, came out in 2003. He's a member of PEN, and works for Spiegel Online. Once upon a time he lived in California.

Chuck Prophet (West Memphis Moon) picked up his sister's guitar and before too long dropped out of college and joined up with country-meets-folk-meets-too much alcohol Americana artists Green On Red. His parents have not been able to hide their disappointment. Although he no longer abuses drugs and alcohol, he still releases digital recordings and makes public appearances under his own name with some regularity to this day.

Lori Romero (The Bear's Cage) currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and her first chapbook, Wall to Wall, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her short story, "Strange Saints," was a semifinalist in the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award. Her poetry and short stories have been published in over fifty journals and anthologies. "The Bear's Cage" originally appeared in James River Poetry Review.

Kim Gek Lin Short's (La La's Guthriecrucian Songbook) work has appeared in Fence and Can We Have Our Ball Back?, among other publications. A medium time ago, she was born in the year of the Tiger. Her father was a ramblin' man, and her mother was a rolling ball of cotton. Kim lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

The Stairwell Sisters (Wish I Was) are a pep-steppin' all-gal stringband from the hills of San Francisco. With a deep and lively repertoire of timeless tunes plus a solid standing of original material, the Stairwell Sisters lay down concerts and square dances for counter-culturalists of every generation. Stephanie Prausnitz (fiddle) and Evie Ladin (banjo) are steeped in the old-time repertoire, bringing tunes with just the right chomp and jive to suit the quintet's dynamic feel. Lisa Berman's unique old-timey dobro adds a grit that walks a line through country and blues. Martha Hawthorne (bass) and Sue Sandlin (guitar) motor the band forward with their lock-step rhythm. All of the sisters sing, and they have a knack for infusing the old music with insatiable energy and soul. The stairwell has never sounded better.

Deidre Woollard (Date-Stamped) is a professional blogger and fiction writer living in Los Angeles. She loves warm weather, novelty chocolate and free wi-fi. She blogs about writing and petty annoyances.

Van Stone (Steve's Going on a Beer Run!) is Palmdale, California's #3 rock band, comprised of twin brothers Randy and Lonnie Van Stone, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, respectively. Glenn Wolfe is on lead bass. He's originally from the Badlands of South Dakota, where he was raised by a pack of feral dogs. On drums: Alex "Mr. Bonze" Patinkov, who immigrated from the former Bulgarian Republic and communicates through the international language of percussion. Finally, Cliff Steinberger's on lead guitar and pyrotechnic duties. FUN FACT: Cliff was the developer of the patented steelwound double-ball-and-string method used in all Steinberger guitars.