Authors

Paula Brancato
Paula Brancato Paula Brancato

Paula Brancato

Paula Brancato

Paula Brancato is an award-winning fiction writer, poet and filmmaker, and is on faculty at the University of Southern California. Paula was a May Swenson and Holland Prize finalist and has won the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize for Poetry, the Brushfire Poet Award, first prize Chester H. Jones Foundation, the Karlovy Vary film festival award, National Screenwriters Award, Pacific Northwest Writers Association and the Organization of Black Screenwriters, SCIFF Family Focus and WINFEMME awards. She has been a Sundance finalist twice. Paula has been published in HSE’s Voice from the Planet, Mudfish, Georgetown Review, Litchfield Review, Southern California Anthology, Rattle, and Natchez Anthology, among others.

Finishing Line Press published her second chapbook Painting Cities in  2010. Poet Ilya Kaminsky selected Paula’s first chapbook, Dar a Luz, for publication by the Pacific Reveiw. Paula has studied with poets Mary Stewart Hammond, Jill Hoffman and Philip Schultz in NY. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and is a graduate of the Los Angeles Film School and Hunter College.

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Tom Dolembo
Tom Dolembo Tom Dolembo

Tom Dolembo

Tom Dolembo

Tom Dolembo, Harvard ’67 English cum laude, MBA ’71, David McCord writing scholar. An excerpt of his novel The Grapes and the Fox appears in HSE’s Above Ground anthology. Tom lives on a farm and bird sanctuary in the village of Kewadin in Northwest Michigan. A native Hoosier born in Michigan City, Indiana, he is the author of numerous tracts, novels, poems, and articles. He can be found near lakes, rivers, streams, and low marshy places often looking for wildlife who are effortlessly avoiding him. His recent writing projects have included an enormous Civil War Trilogy, a shorter book of children’s poems, and filler articles for rural newspapers on raising chickens and astronomy.

His occupation varies with the season and need. Tom is a persistent vehicle driver, farmer, cook, photographer, security consultant for major universities, disaster consultant, former manufacturer of mechanical widgets and complex medical devices, and former due diligence investment company managing director.

 

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Stan Duncan
Stan Duncan Stan Duncan

Stan Duncan

Stan Duncan

Stan G. Duncan (HDS, ‘90) has published a book on human rights in El Salvador, four books on economic development in the Third World, and a collection of devotional writings, plus numerous articles, essays, and National Public Radio commentaries. An excerpt of his first work of fiction—a novella written for his collection of short fiction, The Fire on Poteau Mountain—appears in HSE’s Above Ground. Stan is a Huffington Post blogger and has worked as a protestant pastor, campus minister, college instructor, jazz pianist, and development economist. He has lived in five states and six countries and speaks broken English in three languages. He has three children and four grandchildren.

 

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Charity Shumway
Charity Shumway Charity Shumway

Charity Shumway

Charity Shumway

Charity Shumway’s writing has appeared in HSE’s Above Ground anthology, Glamour, Oregon Coast Magazine, on glamour.com, LadiesHomeJournal.com, FitnessMagazine.com, SocialWorkout.com, Soon Quarterly, and Slice Magazine. She has held jobs as a speechwriter, lawn care expert, night janitor, LSAT tutor, tuxedo shop girl, farm worker, restaurant hostess, and reader for the blind. She grew up in Centerville, Utah and lives in Brooklyn. Charity holds an MFA in creative writing from Oregon State University and a BA in English from Harvard University. She’s a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course and has a certificate in horticulture from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

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Geoffrey Fox
Geoffrey Fox Geoffrey Fox

Geoffrey Fox

Geoffrey Fox

Geoffrey Fox’s story “On a Page from Rilke” appears in HSE’s Above Ground anthology. He has published a novel and many stories including the short-story collection Welcome to My Contri. His nonfiction books include Hispanic Nation: Culture, Politics and the Constructing of Identity (U. Arizona Press); The Land and People of Argentina (HarperCollins); The Land and People of Venezuela (HarperCollins); Working Class Émigrés from Cuba (Ph.D. dissertation and book); and Gabriel García Márquez’s 100 Years of Solitude (Monarch Notes).

Born in Chicago, Geoffrey graduated from Harvard in 1963, and then worked in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America as a community developer and researcher/writer. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology, Northwestern University, 1975, and taught at universities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Since September 2006. He advises his Venezuelan colleague and alter ego Baltasar Lotroyo on his fiction in Spanish and lives in Spain with his compañera, Argentine-born architect Susana.

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Maya Levantini
Maya Levantini Maya Levantini

Maya Levantini

Maya Levantini

Maya Levantini

Maya Levantini was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. She is the author of several short stories and has completed two novel manuscripts, The Naked and the Nude and The Ideology of Love, excerpted in the Above Ground anthology. The novel examines the last year of Nicolae Ceausescu’s reign in Romania through the eyes of a woman drawn into the entrails of a plot to topple the dictator.

After a brief stay in Strasbourg, France she relocated to the United States. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA where she practices the challenging art of daily living.

 

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Alan Swyer
Alan Swyer Alan Swyer

Alan Swyer

Alan Swyer

Alan Swyer

Alan is an award-winning filmmaker whose recent documentaries have dealt with Eastern spirituality in the Western world, the criminal justice system, diabetes, and boxing www.elboxeothemovie.com. His fiction has appeared in Irish, English, German, Indian, and American publications. He teaches screenwriting at Chapman University. He received the Imagen Award (2009) for “Beisbol” — best feature-length documentary; the Golden Microphone Award for “Diabetes: Challenges & Breakthroughs” — best documentary; Multiple festival awards for “Spiritual Revolution.”

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Jonathan Facelli
Jonathan Facelli Jonathan Facelli

Jonathan Facelli

Jonathan Facelli

A native Ohioan, Jonathan Facelli received a BA from Ohio State and a JD from Harvard Law School. He spent a year in Argentina, working as a volunteer in the slums of Buenos Aires and writing in his spare time. His short story, “La Criada’s Guide to Stain Removal” first appeared in HSE’s Above Ground. He is currently putting the finishing touches on a travel memoir, excerpts of which have been published, and is also working on a novel. Since returning from Argentina, Facelli’s work has appeared in the Humanist, Haruah, South American Explorers Magazine, and BiblioFiles, and is slated to appear in the book Global Issues: Local Perspectives.

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Jorge Contreras
Jorge Contreras Jorge Contreras

Jorge Contreras

Jorge Contreras

Jorge Contreras collects and writes about nineteenth-century art and literature. He won the prestigious Pre-Raphaelite Society’s John Pickard Essay Prize for his essay “The Best of the Brethren.”  His story “The Widow Interview” was first published in Above Ground. His regular column “Works and Days” appears in the Review of the Pre-Raphaelite Society, and his short story “The Enduring Specimen” appeared in the May 2009 issue of the Historical Novel Society’s magazine Solander. He also occasionally practices and writes about law.

Jorge was born in New York, grew up in south Florida and Texas, and has since lived in Boston, London, Mexico City and, most recently, Washington, DC.

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Phyllis Mattson
Phyllis Mattson Phyllis Mattson

Phyllis Mattson

Phyllis Mattson

Phyllis Mattson was recognized as an “Achiever in Letters” by the National League of American Pen Women, February, 2006. An excerpt from her memoir, War Orphan in San Francisco: Letters Link a Family Scattered by World War II, appeared in HSE’s Above Ground.

Mattson was a community college teacher of Anthropology and Health Sciences in Silicon Valley. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, received graduate degrees in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin and Public Health from Harvard. She started her career in health research, culminating in a book, Holistic Health in Perspective in 1981, then turned to teaching. In 1989-90 she taught English at Shandong University in China, and in 1994 joined the Peace Corps in Nepal. She has two children and two grandchildren.

 

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RK Marfurt RK Marfurt

RK Marfurt

RK Marfurt

Growing up in a small, historic Swiss town where everyone knew each other’s business, R.K. Marfurt let the stories of its inhabitants, their joys, heartbreaks, quarrels, discontent and dreams fill her heart. They echo in her to this day. However removed her writing might seem from its origin — transformed through new experiences and locations, through education in different countries, through family and work life — early impressions rarely fade, and much living and writing is done in reaction to them. Her stories have appeared in American and Canadian literary journals.

Calling the Dead, the story of medium Eusapia Palladino, is R.K. Marfurt’s first novel. She has always been fascinated by psychics and fortune tellers, their motivations, self-perceptions and views of reality.  That her main character is intricately connected to the academic milieu is no accident either, as R.K. Marfurt has a longstanding interest in academic research, her husband is an academic, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada where she worked as an administrator dealt with academics and their research.

R.K. Marfurt lives with her husband in Ottawa, Canada. She has four children and six grandchildren.

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vic cavalli
Vic Cavalli Vic Cavalli

Vic Cavalli

Vic Cavalli

Born in Vancouver, B.C., Vic Cavalli has been teaching English at the university level since 1987, and Creative Writing at the university level since 2001. His fiction, poetry, photography, and visual art have been published in literary journals in Canada, the United States, England, and Australia. While teaching at Trinity Western University in the Fraser Valley he published his first novel, The Road to Vermilion Lake (NY: Harvard Square Editions, 2017). It’s a novel concerned with exploring the themes of generation and regeneration. His second novel, Then Pure Silence, is currently under consideration by several Canadian publishers.

Cavalli grew up in Vancouver B.C. surrounded by narratives of immigration and the Canadian wilderness, the arts and the trades. His childhood home was filled with music, art, and large house parties. Within this context, he and his father lived for the weekends and summer holidays when they would camp and fish in some of the most beautiful settings imaginable: the rivers and lakes of the Interior of British Columbia, and the Pacific ocean shoreline from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish, and off the eastern shore of Vancouver Island. After fronting some high school bands, Cavalli worked for seven years at manual labor jobs (such as operating machines and driving forklifts in factories, building steel fishing boats, and logging—setting chokers and falling trees). Eventually, an educated friend advised him to enrol in first-year College, adding, “Read some Russian novels.”

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