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Bryan Borland is a Pushcart-nominated poet from Little Rock, Arkansas, and the owner of Sibling Rivalry Press, LLC, a young publishing house whose goal is to develop, promote, and market underground artistic talent – those who don’t quite fit into the mainstream. As a poet, Bryan writes primarily narrative poems that create portraits of moments through words. Whether chronicling old friends and lovers in his “Book of” series (“Book of David,” Book of Cody,” “Book of Dmitri,” etc.) or inviting us into his family through poems like “Sons of Abraham” and “Supper,” Bryan seeks to poetically etch tally marks into the walls of life; to, in essence, prove he’s been here. His first book of poetry, My Life as Adam, is a potent cocktail of family life, religion, and sexuality, the three pillars of Southern life. A second book, The Hanky Code, is a collaboration with poet Stephen S. Mills that will be published by Lethe Press in 2011. In it, Borland and Mills explore the spectrum of modern day homosexuality through the colors of the old handkerchief code, a communication tool used by men in the days before the Internet to attract partners for specific sexual activities. Also in the works is the project closest to Borland’s heart, a book titled Less Fortunate Pirates: Poems from the First Year Without My Father. Through Sibling Rivalry Press, Borland has also worn the editor’s hat, putting together a short collection called Fag Hag – A Scandalous Chapbook of Fabulously-Codependent Poetry as well as Ganymede Unfinished, a tribute to the late John Stahle and his beautiful journal Ganymede that features the work of poets Jee Leong Koh, Jeff Mann, Matthew Hittinger, writers Charlie Vázquez, Perry Brass, and Scott Hess, artist Seth Ruggles Hiler, and photographer Eric Davis, among others. A self-taught poet, Borland has studied the works of Plath, Angelou, and Whitman outside of a formal classroom, though he did earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Hendrix College. He is an advocate for self-publishing, his philosophy adapted from working with John Stahle, who championed the method. He doesn’t mind, and, in fact, embraces being labeled a gay poet. As Philip F. Clark wrote to Borland while editing My Life as Adam, “Someone out there is waiting to read you. Write for yourself, but write for him, too.”
Van K. Brock is author of Lightered: New & Collected Poems (2005), Unspeakable Strangers (poems on the Holocaust, 1995), The Window (1981), a hand-sewn chapbook, The Hard Essential Landscape (!979), & other collections. He was for several decades at Florida State University and was co-director of the writing program. He helped found The Southeast Review (then Sundog), International Quarterly (1993-1999), &, in 1973, Anhinga Press, which he directed for 25 years. In 2000, Anhinga Press dedicated Snakebird: 30 Years of Anhinga Poets to Brock and in 2006 named its Florida Poets Series for Brock. He will be honored in October 2014 at the Anhinga Press 40th anniversary celebration in Tampa, Florida. His poems from Unspeakable Strangers, (“The Hindenburg” and “This Way to the Gas”) wre in the new edition of Charles Fishman’s edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust in 2007.
Little Rock, AR
Nickole Brown grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and Deerfield Beach, Florida. Her books include her debut, Sister, a novel-in-poems published by Red Hen Press in 2007, and Fanny Says, forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2015. She received her MFA from The Vermont College of Fine Arts, studied literature at Oxford University as an English Speaking Union Scholar, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council. She worked at the independent, literary press, Sarabande Books, for ten years, and was the National Publicity Consultant for Arktoi Books and the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. She has taught creative writing at the University of Louisville, Bellarmine University, and the low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Murray State, and currently, she is an Assistant Professor at University of Arkansas at Little Rock and on faculty at the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference. She is also the Editor for the Marie Alexander Series in Prose Poetry at White Pine Press. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs.