The Avalon Literary Review
Summer 2017 Contributors
Scott Blackwell is a former resident of San Francisco and an MFA graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has most recently had poetry published in Iconoclast, Coup D'Etat, The Interpreter’s House, Plainsongs, Coal City Review, Slant, Comstock Review and others. He currently resides in Champaign, Illinois in an old fixer-upper, trying hard to get back to that poetry and novel thing.

Mark Burke’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the North American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Sugar House Review, Nimrod International Journal and many other publications. He is a graduate of the Pacific University MFA program and his work has recently been nominated for a Pushcart prize.

Mike Faran spent his childhood in the UK. After his return to California, he served a four year stint in the USAF and then went on to graduate from Cal State Fullerton. His poetry has appeared in Rattle and The Comstock Review. His work has been influenced by the beat school of poetry. 

Robert Hirschfield is a New York-based poet. His poems and essays have appeared in Salamander, Descant, Offcourse, Pamplemousse, Tablet, The Writer and Sojourners. He is currently at work on a book of poems dealing with the Alzheimer's his mother suffered from at the end of her life. Beneath is a poem from that volume in progress. 

Mark Howard is a retired architectural technician living in Vancouver, Canada.  His story Historical Relations of Biological and Artificial Humans appears in the current online edition of Mobius: A Journal of Social Change (  In his many visits to Berlin he’s encountered all of the same characters as his protagonist (just not on the same subway trip).

Elias Keller grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and earned degrees in Anthropology and Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He has published a chapbook The Art of Destruction (The Head & the Hand Press) and his fiction and non-fiction work has appeared in a variety of magazines. He currently lives in New Orleans and teaches creative writing at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts. To learn more, visit

Eric Larson writes poetry and fiction.  He is also a photographer, musician, husband, and father of two.  He teaches literature and writing near Cleveland, Ohio.

L. Leigh is a Providence College graduate and lives in NYC. Leigh has been published in several literary magazines and journals under a different name, and is working on a first novel. 

Gerald A. McBreen is retired from the U. S. Postal Service, certified by NIA (Newspaper Institute of America) and the coordinator of Striped Water Poets of Auburn, WA. He has been published in anthologies and magazines including Plainsongs, Gargoyle, Crab Creek Review, True Romance. He has won prizes for both his poetry and short fiction. He has been Poet Laureate Pacific Washington since 2009. He says “I try writing something readers will want to read because it elevates their experiences to a level of passion they feel and helps them articulate it in their own words.”

Gloria G. Murray has been published in various journals and anthologies including The Paterson Review, Poet Lore, Bardic Echoes, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Third Wednesday and others. One of her poems won 1st place in the 2014 Anna Davidson Rosenberg award from Poetica Magazine. She is a member of Poets and Writers, Inc. and the recipient of a grant from The Ludwig Vogelstein foundation whose funding enabled her to self-publish her first book In my Mother’s House.

Kate Musso, who lives in Birmingham, Alabama, graduated with a creative writing degree from Harvard College. She has been published in numerous magazines and has won a number of awards, including the Academy of American Poets Prize and the Untermeyer Poetry Prize. Her poem The Tallest of Summer will appear in the Fall 2017 issue of Louisiana Literature.

Andy Roberts, a four time Pushcart Prize nominee, is the author of seven collections of poetry. His latest collection is You Know The Type (Nightballet Press 2017). He lives in Columbus, Ohio where he handles finances for disabled veterans.

Barbara Jean Ruther is the author of two romance novels, The Strawberry Field and Saving Snowflakes in My Pocket. Her book of poetry, Dirt Roads and Places They Take You, is a finalist in The New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. All are available on

A recovering economics professor, Steve Slavin earns a living writing math and economics books. His first short story collection, To the City, with Love, was recently published. And The Great American Economy, comes out in August.

Steve Smith began writing articles for trade journals using his technical background. More recently he has fused this knowledge with his global travelling experiences into a humane streak of short story writing. He has recently been published in Gold Dust Magazine in the UK and is building a collection of short fiction work titled Earthly Matters. He lives in Bristol England.

Wayne Smith is a 57-year-old disabled man who has been a janitor, fast food employee and was a journalism major at Lock Haven University (1977-1979). He used to write articles for Fantagraphics' Amazing Heroes about comic books (1985-1992).  

Mitchell Untch is an emerging writer. Nimrod Intl, Meridian, Poet Lore, North American Review, Chattahoochee Review, Tampa Review and Solo Novo are among some of the most recent journals in which his work has appeared. Mr. Untch lives and works in West Hollywood, CA.

Robert Walicki is the curator of VERSIFY, a monthly reading series in Pittsburgh, PA. His work has appeared in a number of journals including, HEArt, Stone Highway Review, Uppagus, The Kentucky Review, Grasslimb, and on the radio show Prosody. He has published two chapbooks: A Room Full of Trees (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and The Almost Sound of Snow Falling (Night Ballet Press, 2015). He lives in Verona, PA with his wife, Lynne, and two cats.