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UniVerse Staff
Richard Fammerée
Poet, Director/Founder, Editor, Translator

Richard Fammerée is author of Lessons of Water & Thirst, a book of poems recently included in The Poetry Library at The Royal Festival Hall, London. Manfred Gordon (Cambridge University) describes this volume as “sensual and psychological, lush in the tradition of French Symbolism.”

The vision of UniVerse of Poetry was born during two decades of global travel, study, writing, recording and performing. Fammerée dedicates UniVerse to the eternal dialogue of wisdom and prophetic sanity renewed daily by poets internationally.

A pioneer in the renaissance of alternative/contemporary art songs, Fammerée produced and hosted Poetry & Its Music International at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. His poem-songs are “pansophic and visceral in the same breath,” marrying passion and spirituality. He has also composed for select artists including Li-Young Lee, Rachel Webster and Francesco Levato. Three projects have been produced by David Tickle.

Founding director of Pont des Arts Ensemble, his art has been featured on National Public Radio, PBS and ARTÉ, and he is featured with Mark Strand, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Lou Reed on ReVerse. Richard Fammerée has frequently appeared in American and European venues and publications.


Click on the title of each poem below to listen to them in streaming MP3 format.

Green Man
Khora Sfakia

© 2008 Richard Fammerée/Nomadica Music & Poetry, ASCAP

Rachel Webster
Poet, Editor

Rachel Webster is a poet, educator and activist. In 1997, she won both the Academy of American Poets’ Young Poets Prize and the Association of University Women Award, the latter for her implementation of a poetry workshop with homeless and gang-involved teens in Portland, Oregon. From there, Webster moved to Chicago’s Gallery 37, working closely with chair Maggie Daley to extend arts apprenticeships to city teenagers. In 2001, she helped create Words 37, which now offers literary arts programs, after-school and in the summers, to thousands of Chicago teens. Webster collected and edited these young writers’ poems and stories in two anthologies, Alchemy (2001) and Paper Atrium (2004). Rachel’s own poems and articles have been published in many journals, and she is currently finishing two manuscripts of poetry for book-length publication. Rachel teaches at Loyola University, Chicago, and Northwestern University. She is continually inspired by her students, and grateful to her teachers—from her hometown of Madison, Ohio, from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, from Warren Wilson College, in Asheville, North Carolina, and from all communities of poets and lovers of poetry, living and passed. Webster can be reached at rachel@universeofpoetry.org.
Michael Splendoria
Poet, Webmaster

Michael Splendoria is a poet, creative and technical writer, editor and designer, usability and content expert, and the spirited webmaster for UniVerse.

A lover of language and educated in anthropology and world studies, Splendoria is multilingual (Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, learning French) and considers himself a global citizen. He is a cross-cultural maven at heart, an avid student of human diversity, perfectly at home with a cause of international reach such as that at UniVerse. He has also worked extensively to help those in the refugee community from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, and Vietnam.

In his spare time, he enjoys penning inspired homages to his favorite flower.
Francesco Levato
Poet, Artistic Director

Poet and new media artist Francesco Levato is the executive director of The Poetry Center of Chicago. He is the author of Marginal State, a collection of poetry, and his work has been published internationally in journals and anthologies, both in print and online, including The Progressive, XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, Versal, and many others. His poetry-based video artwork has been exhibited in galleries and featured at film festivals in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere.

Click on the title of each video below to watch.

The Knotting of Rope
© 2007 Francesco Levato
Music by Issa Boulos

The Mechanics of Plastic
© 2007 Francesco Levato
Music by Issa Boulos
Bhikshuni Weisbrot
Liaison between the United Nations SRC Society of Writers and UniVerse of Poetry

Bhikshuni Weisbrot is the Vice-President of the United Nations SRC Society of Writers, an organization of writers, poets, journalists, diplomats and supporters of the written arts from within the UN community and affiliated non-governmental organizations. The Society publishes an international literary magazine, Reflections, and sponsors numerous literary events for the UN community and general public. She has worked for the UN since 1989, currently for the HIV/AIDS Practice of the United Nations Development Programme.

As a poet, her work has appeared in literary magazines in the U.S. and in translation for international publication. Her most recent collection, A Sense of Place, won the 2007 Bright Hill Press Chapbook contest.

Weisbrot resides in New York City.
Editorial Board
Joanne Diaz
Parneshia Jones
Judith Valente
Editorial Board Member

Judith Valente is an awarding-winning print and broadcast journalist, poet and essayist. She began her career in journalism at the age of 21 as a staff reporter for The Washington Post. She later joined the staff of The Wall Street Journal, reporting from that paper's Chicago and London bureaus. She was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, first in the public service category as part of a team of reporters at The Dallas Times Herald investigating airline safety in the 1980's. In 1993, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer in the feature writing category for her front page article in The Wall Street Journal, chronicling the story of a religiously conservative father caring for his son dying of AIDS.

For the past eight years, Valente has been a regular contributor to the national PBS-TV news program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. She has won eight broadcast awards for her work. She is also a commentator for National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio where she covers religion, interviews poets and authors, and is a guest essayist. She is also a segment producer for the Hallmark Channel program, “New Morning.”

Valente has won numerous awards for her poetry. In 2004, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver selected her poetry chapbook, “Inventing An Alphabet,” for the national Aldrich Poetry Prize. She was awarded a Jo-Anne Hirshfield Poetry Award in 2005 for her poem “Body & Soul” and an Illinois Arts Council Poetry Award in 2003 for her poem, “Green” She was a finalist in 2004 for the Emily Dickinson Prize from Universities West Press. She has received two artist's grants from the Illinois Arts Council.

Her poems have appeared in TriQuarterly, RHINO, Folio, Ninth Letter, AfterHours, Free Lunch, National Catholic Reporter and the anthologies “Best Catholic Writing of 2004” and “Illinois Poets: Where We Live.” She was a 2006 fellow at the Ragdale Foundation artists' colony in Lake Forest, IL. Her poems often explore the the transcendent in the ordinary, and the mysterious coexistence of life and death.

She is co-editor with Charles Reynard of Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul (Loyola Press/Chicago, 2005), an anthology of poems and essays on finding the sacred in the everyday. Valente and Reynard give readings and presentations based on their book across the country. They lead spiritual retreats on the theme of “Discovering the Sacred In Daily Life,” as well as poetry workshops called “Touching the Sacred Through Poetry.”

Valente is currently at work on a new collection of poems, and a book of poems with photographs by Chicago photographer John Matt Dorn. She is also writing a collection of personal reflections on the theme of journey.

Valente grew up in Bayonne, NJ. She graduated from the Academy of St. Aloysius in Jersey City, NJ, and received a bachelor's degree in English and classical languages from St. Peter's College in Jersey City. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the daughter of Charles Valente, currently of Mobile, AL and the late Theresa Valente. She is married to Illinois Circuit Court Judge Charles Reynard, also a poet. The couple lives in Chicago and Normal, IL.
UniVerse Translators
Maryam Ala Amjadi

Maryam Ala Amjadi, born in 1984 in Tehran, is a young poet, translator and essayist.  Her first book of poems Me, I and Myself written in English, a bilingual edition (with Farsi translation) was published by Tehran Seda Publications in 2003. Ala Amjadi was the winner of the Silver Medal in the 14th National Persian Literature Olympiad (2001) and was awarded Honorary Fellowship in Creative Writing by the International Writers Program (IWP) at University of Iowa, U.S.A. (Fall 2008). She has also won the Second Prize (on Gender issues in Translation) in the A.K. Ramanujan National Paper Reading Competition, University of Baroda, India (January 2009). Her translation of the American poet, Raymond Carver's poetry entitled, Fear of Arriving Early (Aknoon Publications, Tehran 2009) is now available to the Farsi reading world. A Member of the Young Scholars Club in Tehran and World Poets Society (W.P.S), she has also previously worked as a Persian-English News Interpreter at the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA). She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Allameh Tabatabei University of Philosophy and Foreign Languages (2006) and has recently completed her M.A. in English Literature at University of Pune, India. Ala Amjadi’s second book of poems Gypsy Bullets was recently published by Prafullata Publications (India) in January 2010. Her poems, essays and translations are available on Kritya, Muse India, Thanal Online, Literature Northeast, Interpoetry Journal.
Charles Cantalupo

Charles Cantalupo is the author of two book of poems – Light the Lights (Red Sea Press, 2004) and Anima/l Wo/man and Other Spirits (Spectacular Diseases, 1996) – three books of translations of Eritrean poetry – We Have Our Voice (Red Sea Press, 2000), We Invented the Wheel (Red Sea Press, 2002), and Who Needs a Story? (Hdri, 2006) – and books on Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Thomas Hobbes. Cantalupo has written and directed the new documentary, Against All Odds: African Languages and Literatures into the 21st Century (2006), and he has recently completed a memoir, Joining Africa, based on his experiences there since 1985.
Inara Cedrins

Inara Cedrins received her B.A. in Writing from Columbia College in Chicago and her M.A. in Arts Administration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She is multiculturally oriented. Of Latvian descent, she translates poetry and prose from the Latvian into English. Her anthology of contemporary Latvian poetry, written while Latvia was under Soviet occupation, was published by the University of Iowa Press, and she is currently working on a new Baltic anthology.

Cedrins went to the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing in 1998 to study traditional Chinese ink painting on silk, remaining five years to teach at universities including Tsinghua University and Peking University, as well as to the People's Liberation Army and students at the Central Academy of Fine Art, designing the courses and using poetry as a vehicle. Two collections of her poetry were published bilingually by the Foreign Literature Press in Beijing. During the 1999 Chinese New Year break she traveled to India, and returned in 2000, to study the Indian method of painting on silk, and to complete the collection of poetry titled Honey Water in the Harsh Palace, which was to be the third book of the trilogy published by the Foreign Literature press.

In 2003 she went to Nepal to study the technique of thangka painting; wrote a book on Symbols and Gods of Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism in Nepal for Pilgrims Press and coordinated the illustrations by a Tibetan thangka painter and a Newari artist. After the king’s coup d’etat, she relocated to Riga, where she started a literary agency called The Baltic Edge and taught Creative Writing at the University of Latvia. She currently lives in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area.
Tiphaine Chigot

Tiphaine Chigot was born in Paris, France, and holds a degree in American Literature (Universite Michel De Montaigne, Bordeaux). She received a Masters Degree in French Literature with a specialty in 19th century Naturalist Novels. Chigot teaches French Literature and Poetry in the International Baccalaureate Program at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago and is the UniVerse liaison for French speaking countries.

Tiphaine Chigot est native de Paris, France. Elle est titulaire d'une Licence en litterature americaine (Universite Michel De Montaigne, Bordeaux). Elle a recu une "Maitrise es Lettres" avec une specialite pour les romans naturalistes du dix-neuvieme siecle. T. Chigot enseigne la litterature et la poesie francaise dans le programme de Baccalaureat International a Lincoln Park High School, Chicago et elle est la liaison du site UniVerse pour les pays francophones.
Anna Deeny

Anna Deeny Morales was born in Washington, DC, in 1973. The University of California Press published Deeny’s translation of Raúl Zurita’s Purgatorio (1979) in 2009. Dreams for Kurosawa, a selection of Zurita’s most recent poems, is forthcoming from House Press. Deeny has also translated poetry by Mercedes Roffé, Idea Vilariño, and Marosa di Giorgio. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and teaches in the History and Literature Department at Harvard. Deeny is currently translating Zurita’s La vida nueva (1993) and working on a book manuscript about the relationship between poetry and consciousness.
Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander is the author of books of poems, translations, and prose, most recently Eye Against Eye (poems) and the novel As a Friend, both from New Directions. He has edited several anthologies of poems in translation and individual books by Mexican and Latin American writers, most recently Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems of Coral Bracho.
Omer Hadžiselimović

Omer Hadžiselimović, born in 1946, formerly Professor of English at the University of Sarajevo (1972-1994), is now Adjunct Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of several dozen articles, reviews, and translations in the fields of American Studies, English literature, and travel writing. His books include Na vratima Istoka: engleski putnici o Bosni i Hercegovini od 16. do 20. vijeka (Sarajevo, 1989); its English version appeared as At the Gates of the East: British Travel Writers on Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries (Boulder, Colorado/New York, 2001). He is currently working on a study of British travelers in Bosnia in the early twentieth century and co-editing, with Keith Doubt, Duh Bosne (Spirit of Bosnia), a bilingual online journal. His latest article is “Plagiarism between Orientalism and Balkanism: Anthony Rhodes and Bosnia” (East European Quarterly, June, 2007).
Safaa Sheikh Hamad

Safaa Sheikh Hamad is an Iraqi writer and translator. He is a columnist for the Alwatan Moroccan newspaper. He holds a B. A. and a P. G. Diploma in translation from Mosul University, Iraq, and an M. A. in English Literature from Pune University, India. His Arabic translation of Paul Wittek's The Rise of the Ottoman Empire was published in 2010, Syria. His poems and translations were published in Kritya, Poets Against the War, The Sound of Poetry, Ila Magazine and others. His upcoming English poetry collection "Live from Baghdad" is to be released in 2012. He writes in Arabic and English.
Wang Hao
Jeanne Hong Zhang
(Zhang Xiaohong)

Translator, Advisor

Jeanne Hong Zhang (Zhang Xiaohong) is associate professor in comparative literature and deputy director of the Institute of Western Studies at Shenzhen University, People’s Republic of China. She obtained her PhD in 2004 from Leiden University, the Netherlands. She has published two books: The Invention of a Discourse (2004) and Cangshan yehua (2006, Night Talks at the Cang Mountain). She has published in Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, European Review and other distinguished international and Chinese journals, as well as in five books translated from English. She is currently working both as a scholar and as a translator.
Fady Joudah
Poet, Translator

Fady Joudah was born in Austin, Texas, in a Palestinian refugee home. He is a physician of internal medicine and a field member of Doctors Without Borders as well as a poet and translator. His works have appeared in several journals and anthologies. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s most recent poetry is collected in The Butterfly’s Burden from Copper Canyon Press.
Lisa Katz
Philippe Lavie
Samantha Levine
Suzanne Jill Levine

Writer, translator and scholar, Suzanne Jill Levine’s latest translation Mundo Cruel: Stories won the 2014 Lambda Prize for Fiction. Author of The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction, she received the PEN award in 2012 for Jose Donoso’ s The Lizard’s Tale.
Amy Liang (Liang Huichun)

Amy Liang (Liang Huichun) is a Chinese Lecturer at Northeastern Illinois University. Her translations have appeared on the Transparent Languages multi-media web pages and dictionary, and her writing has appeared in Da Gong (Hong Kong), Sing Tao Daily (US), and a variety of media in the People’s Republic of China. She currently translates English-Chinese poetry with American poets and publishes in Sichuan Literature and Rhino magazine.
photo: Txomin Saez
Elizabeth Macklin
Poet, Translator

Elizabeth Macklin is the author of two poetry collections, You’ve Just Been Told and A Woman Kneeling in the Big City. Her translations from the Basque of Kirmen Uribe have appeared in The New Yorker, Circumference, and Open City, and in 2005 she won a PEN Translation Fund grant for Meanwhile Take My Hand.
Ghirmai Negash

Ghirmai Negash is assistant director of the Institute for the African Child, African Studies Program, Ohio University, where he teaches African literature and African languages. Founder-chair of the Department of Eritrean languages and Literatures of the University of Asmara, Eritrea (2001-2005), he is the author of A History of Tigrinya Literature in Eritrea: the Oral and the Written, 1895-1991 (Leiden, 1999).
Zuzanna Olszewska

Zuzanna Olszewska is a PhD student in Social Anthropology at Oxford University, writing a dissertation on 'Poetry and its Social Contexts Among Afghan Refugees in Iran.' She is a graduate of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford and has conducted research and worked with refugees and other marginal populations in a number of countries, including Iran, the UK, India, Nepal, and her native Poland. In her latest projects, she is happy to be combining her interest in studying forced migration with her other love, writing and literature.
Larissa Shmailo
Lina ramona Vitkauskas

Lina ramona Vitkauskas has an MA in Creative Writing from Wright State University and is the author of three poetry books and chapbooks: THE RANGE OF YOUR AMAZING NOTHING (Ravenna Press, 2009); Failed Star Spawns Planet/Star (dancing girl press, 2006); and Shooting Dead Films with Poets (Fractal Edge Press, 2004). Her work has appeared in The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century (Cracked Slab Books, 2007); The Prague Literary Review; Van Gogh's Ear (Paris); The Chicago Review; White Fungus (New Zeland); MiPoesias; Paper Tiger (Australia); In Posse Review Multi-Ethnic Anthology edited by Ilya Kaminsky; and the Lithuanian literary magazines, Lituanus and Bridges. Poet Denise Duhamel has commented that Lina’s poetry, “employs humor and kitsch…the dazzling underside confronts intolerance and terrorism with a wise brilliance.” Her web site is www.linaramona.com.
Board of Directors
Susan Aurinko
President of Board of Directors

Susan Aurinko is President of the Board of UniVerse of Poetry. She is a poet and photographer, and has shown at Rencontres d’Arles, France, and in Marghera Photography, Mestre, and Il Musee Molini, Venice, Italy, as well as in the US. She will show her work from India, at ThinkArt, in Chicago in August 2008, and at Kriti Gallery in Varanasi, India in February 2009.

Aurinko’s work has appeared on several book covers, and four pieces of her work are included in the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s permanent collection. In addition, many of her images hang in private collections in France, Italy, Monaco, the UK, and across the United States. Aurinko’s photography can be seen at www.aurinkophoto.com.

Aurinko is also the Founder/Director of FLATFILEgalleries in Chicago (www.flatfilegalleries.com), which represents over 60 artists and photographers, including Prabir Purkayastha, who is a UniVerse Poetry + New Media photographer, representing India.
Ram Devineni
Board Director

Ram Devineni is the publisher of Rattapallax Press and a film-maker who has had films shown at the Cairo International Film Festival, San Jose Film Festival, Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, etc. and has appeared on television programs in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He was an Eagleton Associate at the Eagleton Institute for Politics at Rutgers University where he studied political theory and campaign management. He has organized several state and federal elections. He also integrates new technologies (e.g., networks, SANs) for Salomon Smith Barney and Citigroup. He also organized the Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry with the United Nations.
Edward Lannan
Bart Lazar
UniVerse Advisors
Kevin Coval

Kevin Coval is the author of everyday people (EM Press, Nov.'08) and slingshots (a hip-hop poetica) (EM Press, Nov. '05), named Book of the Year-finalist by The American Library Association. Coval's poems have appeared in The Spoken Word Revolution and The Spoken Word Revolution: Redux (Source Books) and many other periodicals and journals. Coval writes for The Huffington Post and can be heard regularly on National Public Radio in Chicago.

Coval has performed on four continents in seven countries including The Parliament of the World's Religions in Capetown, South Africa; The African Hip-Hop Festival; Poetry Society of London and four seasons of Russell Simmons' HBO Def Poetry Jam.

Founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Teen Poetry Festival, the largest youth poetry festival in the world, Coval teaches at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago.
Dina Elenbogen

Dina Elenbogen, an award-wining poet and prose writer, is the author of the poetry collection Apples of the Earth (Spuyten Duyvil, 2006.) She just completed a hybrid collection, Houses of Learning: Essays and Four Fictions and has written extensively about Ethiopian immigrants in Israel. Her poetry, essays, and stories have been widely published in magazines such as Prairie Schooner, Calyx, Bellevue Literary Review, Tikkun, The Chicago Reader and anthologies such as Nice Jewish Girls: Growing Up in America (Penguin/Plume), Beyond Lament (Northwestern University Press), Lost on a Map of the World (Peter Lang), Where We Find Ourselves (SUNYPress) and others. She has received two fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council and is recipient of the Miriam Lindberg Israel Poetry for Peace Prize. She has an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writer's Workshop and teaches at the University of Chicago Writer's Studio.
Kristina Findlay

Kristina Findlay has promoted some of Chicago's most significant non-profit arts organizations through media and public relations, events planning and marketing. She has recently completed a master's degree in communication and management. Writing is her trade and her art form, and she practices passionately.

Findlay notes that the mission of UniVerse would be best honored through discussion, and seeks opportunities for exchange with sponsors, members of the media and potential partners. Findlay connects people to our mission by explaining the lively intersection of curiosity, necessary global healing and the universal needs for celebration, teaching and learning.

"We know that now we can communicate more freely and frequently. This takes more responsibility for what, how and why we communicate. UniVerse believes this exchange can inspire peace. And that, to me, is pure, honorable hope."
Chris Green

Chris Green’s poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, Verse, Black Clock, North American Review, RATTLE, 5 AM, Poet Lore, and Poetry East. His book, The Sky Over Walgreens, was published in 2007 by Mayapple Press; his chapbook, Conceptual Animals, was published in 2006 by Sheltering Pines Press. He has been a featured reader and lecturer for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Amnesty International, and National Public Radio.

He has an M.F.A. in Poetry from Bennington College and an M.A in British and American Literature from the University of Utah. He has been an editor for Quarterly West and RHINO. He was Editorial Manager for BearingPoint Inc., one of the largest consulting companies in the world. He has also taught for fifteen years at high schools and colleges across the country; he currently teaches poetry at Loyola University and DePaul University. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the DePaul University Humanities Center.
Kurt Heintz
Larry Jaffe
Erin Lambert

Poet and educator, Erin Lambert is the author of Resolution, forthcoming in November 2008 from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts, Conjunctions, and Mudlark (Posters 44 and 75). She is currently an assistant professor in the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at James Madison University, and teaches in Virginia Commonwealth University’s study abroad program in Peru. Her journals include:

Simone Muench

Simone Muench is the daughter of hippie parents who named her after Nina Simone, who in turn based her name on Simone Signoret. She is a vegetarian southerner and a horror film addict, and has lived in some of Louisiana’s smallest towns, the Ozarks, the West Coast of Australia, and the Rocky Mountains before residing in Chicago. She received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and now directs the Writing Program at Lewis University where she teaches creative writing and film studies, and serves on the Recycling and Environment Committee. She has been a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, the 49th Parallel Award, the Charles Goodnow Award, and the Poetry Center's 9th Annual Juried Reading Award. She is the author of The Air Lost in Breathing (Marianne Moore Prize, Helicon Nine, 2000) and Lampblack & Ash (Kathryn A. Morton Prize, Sarabande, 2005), and her latest chapbooks are Orange Girl (dancing girl press, 2007) and Sonoluminescence co-written with Bill Allegrezza (Dusie Press, 2007). She serves on the advisory boards of Switchback Books and Cracked Slab Books, and is an editor for Sharkforum.
Mike Puican

Mike Puican began his writing career as a performance poet. He was a member of the 1996 Chicago Slam Team. He started to seriously write poetry for the page when he joined Barry Silesky’s poetry workshop 12 years ago. He remains a regular member of that bimonthly workshop. Puican has been published in numerous journals including: Michigan Quarterly Review, The Bloomsbury Review, Third Coast Review and Another Chicago Magazine. He won the 2004 Tia Chucha Press Chapbook Contest for his chapbook, 30 Seconds. He is currently completing his MFA at Warren Wilson College.
Christine Rhein

Christine Rhein is the author of Wild Flight, winner of the Walt McDonald First Book Prize in Poetry (Texas Tech University Press, 2008). Her work has appeared widely in literary journals and has been selected for Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and Best New Poets 2007. A former automotive engineer, Christine is at work on a new manuscript in Brighton, Michigan, where she lives with her husband and two sons. She can be contacted via her website at www.ChristineRhein.com.
Deborah Nodler Rosen

Deborah Nodler Rosen is a poet, editor of RHINO, an award-winning poetry journal, and also a soon-to-be published anthology about HOME written by women around the world. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and is working on a Doctorate in listening and learning as she travels to many countries throughout the world. The awards she has won she attributes to these travels. Awards include: Member of Phi Beta Kappa; Fulbright to India; First Prize in both a California State Poetry Society Contest and an Oregon State Poetry Association Contest; and a listing in Who's Who of American Women.

She has published: a biography, Anwar el-Sadat; text for the history book, A Proud Nation; and poems in the following journals: The Journal at Northwestern University; Third Coast; Where We Live, Illinois Poets; The Spoon River Poetry Review; and many others. She teaches poetry in the public schools through a program called Kids Meet Art because she believes that children who understand that they have the power to create are children who understand that they have the power to create peace. Rosen believes that if she can contribute anything to world peace that will be her greatest achievement.
Diana Twyman

Diana Twyman is an international life sciences consultant, published writer and professional oil and pastel artist. She is an inventor with seven patents to her credit, and was one of 50 women leaders in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the UK interviewed for Regine Birute and Roger Lewin’s article on complexity science entitled, “Third Possibility Leaders: the Invisible Edge Women Have in Complex Organizations”, featuring women who displayed what is called “third possibility leadership”.

Twyman was also asked to be one of ten external reviewers for a primer developed by the National Center for Ethics, department of the Veterans Health Administration in Washington D.C. “Ethical Leadership, Fostering an Ethical Environment and Culture”.

Twyman is the Treasurer of The Poetry Center of Chicago, is a member of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Women Employed and Jobs for Youth. She is working on a memoir, a book of poems and a collection of oil paintings featuring the great dune land beaches of Indiana, the coast of Cape Hataras and the island of Key West.
UniVerse Interns
Samantha Levine
Intern, Editorial Assistant

Samantha Levine is a writer and student from New York. She is beginning her senior year at Northwestern University, where she studies French and Literature. She spent the first half of this year researching Senegalese art and culture in Dakar and Saint-Louis and then continued her studies in Paris, France. She will build on her experiences this summer by working at Amnesty International’s Justice and Accountability Program, and exploring and editing African poetry through UniVerse.
Melissa Dittmann

Melissa Dittmann is an artist, writer and student of world and its cultures who hails from Indiana and recently returned from India (where she studied cultural arts in a South Indian rainforest, the situation of Tibetan refugees in the Himalayas of northern India, and many things in between). This fall, she continues her studies of world cultures and their connection to the arts at Indiana University as a National Merit Scholar. Dittmann has won the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Award in Writing as well as recognition in the Ginza Festival Haiku Contests, and is a featured songwriter and musician on R.A.W. 1, Recorded Art Words, highlighting live performances in Chicago in 2004.
Elizabeth Weber

Elizabeth Weber is an avid reader, writer, and an incipient filmmaker. A native of rural Illinois, she currently studies Radio/TV Broadcasting and English (creative writing) at Lewis University, where she recently received the 2008 Senior Departmental Award for Radio/TV Broadcasting. Weber also plays lead alto and clarinet in the Lewis University Jazz Band. Her poetry and short fiction has recently been published in or is forthcoming from Centrique, Windows, Sein und Werden, and North Central Review.