Make Good Use of Your Sidebar

Use this space for anything from simple blocks of text to powerful widgets, like our Twitter and Flickr widgets. Learn more.

To access Website Management, hit the 'esc' key or use this Login link.

Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.

David Bedsole is a a seminarian in a former life, a doctoral student at Florida State, the husband of Kat, and the father of Nora Claire. He has previously published poetry in Xavier Review and Relief Journal. He recommends that his poem be read while listening to Dylan's Slow Train Coming. Preferably track 2. 

Brandon Bourgeois is a poet, writer and classicist whose work has also appeared in the Cider Press Review. He currently lives in Columbus, OH and is at work on his first novel, "Requiem, Then Revelry".

Sid Branca 
was raised on the shores of the Long Island Sound, but has lived in Chicago since the age of 17 and is slowly replacing her blood with Malört and Lake Michigan water. She is an artist and writer working primarily in performance, video, sound, and poetry. She holds a BA in Performance Studies from the University of Chicago, and is currently working on an MFA in Interdisciplinary Media at Columbia College Chicago. You can learn more about her work at

Jackson Briggs (media director) lives near Houston, Texas with his wife Danielle, an educator. He was raised in Columbus, Ohio and supports the Columbus Crew, so he still has some Midwestern cred. Jackson can't help but return to the works of another Midwesterner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, time and time again. He enjoys basketball, reading, and hammocks.

Devin BustinDevin Bustin lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He is working on a novel about a group of boys at a pentecostal summer camp and finishing a record to appear in November 2012, 

Robert Caletoils by day as the Deputy Assessor of Charleston County, South Carolina. He has worked in this same office for nearly a quarter of a century. By night, he is mostly a husband and father, but also a writer of fiction. He would say more, but he feels that his stories tell it better.

Craig Childs, Jr.has written hundreds of bestselling novels and short stories under a variety of well-known noms de plume, including Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, and Neil Gaiman.  Once, on a lark, he wrote an absolutely horrid trilogy about vampires, werewolves, and high school girls under a feminine pseudonym, Stephanie Myers. Now, he pretty much just lives on a yacht, sleeps a lot, and writes for The Midwesterner. His favorite place to write is on his back porch, sipping a scotch, smoking a cigar, and listening to time slip away into the night.

Sean Dockery writes in his garage while lifting stones, and while in his shop building things. As his name should imply, he is comfortable with paradox, admires the Irish warrior-poet ideal, and does not entertain the Platonic mind/body distinction. He is originally from Edgerton, Ohio. The first shop project he completed was at the age of ten, a minibike tear down and rebuild. 


Daniel Doriani is a pastor, educator, author, editor and family man. He is the writer and editor of several books and Senior Pastor of Central Presbyterian, a congregation in the business, art, and university district of metropolitan St. Louis. He earned a Ph.D. and M.Div. from Westminster Seminary, and an S.T.M. from Yale University, where he was also a research fellow in 1981 and 1995. He and his wife Debbie, an educator and musician, have three daughters, Abigail, Sarah, and Beth.

Benjamin Glass 
has other work appearing in Gulf Coast, 32 PoemsUnsplendid, and The Wallace Stevens Journal.

Joe Haack (Co-Editor)and his wife Josie live in Grandview Heights, Ohio. Joe is a pastor. Josie is an educator - and a superb mother. They have two boys, Jude and Henry. Joe enjoys the open-back banjo, the smell of second-hand pipe smoke, & (mostly the idea of) reading books. Joe shows excitement when simple things are done really well: coffee and songs are two examples. He has the Midwest in his blood stream: he was born in Illinois, raised in Indiana, educated in Ohio, and trained for pastorate in Missouri. Therefore, he thinks interesting topography, large bodies of water, and single-season climates are overrated.    

Owen Heisey presently resides in Worthington, Ohio. After spending four years at Capital University, his days are filled with thoughts about land and empty office buildings. His best summer nights are spent swimming and sailing. His favorite writing position is lying flat on the floor such that he can spread all the books and articles in a huge circle. He finds that this allows for maximum balanced efficiency between arm movement, book shuffling, cross referencing, citing, quoting, synthesizing, and napping. 


Annie Helwig (Assistant Poetry Editor) is a retired high school English teacher who proposes to have read over 100,000 poorly written essays. She has many grandchildren who adore her; in fact, all of them adore her. As the oldest writer for the Midwesterner, she plans to keep an eye on things.


Kirsten Ihns is a 2012 University of Chicago graduate, and will be studying painting/drawing at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in the fall. She spent the last year working in the financial services industry, on the forty ninth floor of a building with 70s granite lengthwise lines.  


Scott Jameshas a lovely wife and four charming kids, though he deserves none of them. He is from Florida but now happily makes his home in Birmingham, Alabama. Scott loves good books and good music, and would be glad to advise you on what qualifies. He is a doctor and, despite much evidence to the contrary, still considers it to be a noble profession. Most of his creative ideas occur to him while sitting in traffic on the drive home from work. Scott loves The Church in general and his church in particular. He visited the Midwest once and found the cornfields to be remarkable.    


Joel Juppif compared to animal, would most resemble an owl.  He writes poetry and song lyrics, usually late at night when his children are sleeping.  He also loves blogging for his personal website and podcasting for Alive365.  After a master’s degree in English, he earned a Master of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  He leads music at churches around Chicagoland and teaches writing and literature classes at a Christian college. His music can be heard via iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. 

Ben Kessler(site design)lives in Bexley, Ohio.  In the most unanticipated of moments, a verse or two is prone to find him.  He unabashedly enjoys good design (especially as it relates to technology), sailing, kayaking, and pretty much anything involving water or mountains - both of which, sadly, tend to be anathema to the midwesterner's landscape.


James Kessler (Editor)lives in Columbus, Ohio in a home full of women and one neutered dog. James is an ordained minister in part because he loves words and their meanings. He prefers gloomy days (Ohio!) over bright, sunny ones because sunny days are without nuance.  James cites Annie Dillard and Frederick Buechner among his literary influences and offers his apologies.  He publishes the Midwesterner because he wants good writing to flourish in a world full of embossed book covers.

Chris Manning 
When not watching Swan Lake, Chris can usually be found typing on his IPad or holding one of his four kids.  Just not all at once. That would be weird, and slightly beneath his otherwise superhuman level of strength, his oldest says. We agree. Chris teaches fourth grade and daydreams that he is good enough to be a left-handed middle reliever for the Chicago Cubs. Like most parents, he hopes his kids aim higher.


Laura Marshall is a reluctant poet and transplant from Northern Virginia, who sometimes finds herself dragged into word art when she can no longer bare the stale sweat of academic prose. Her favorite time to write is the quiet hours of the late night and early morning when the rest of the hectic world sleeps. She misses the Blue Ridge Mountains, but loves that Columbus has nearly enough coffee shops to get her through grad school awake.

Daryl Muranakaholds a MFA from Eastern Washington University. He currently lives in the Boston area after a few years of moving around from Spokane, Washington to Japan to Hawaii and finally to Boston. During that time he worked in the JET Program in Fukui Prefecture in Japan and have traveled to several other countries. His work has appeared in the Ink, Sweat, and Tears, the Poetry Salzburg Poetry ReviewPoetry Nook Magazine, Snail Mail Reviewand the New Plains Review

Isabel Oliveis a poet and musician in Chicago by way of Southern Illinois. She is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago and has worked with Chicago theater companies such as 2nd Story, Manual Cinema, and Court Theatre. She enjoys elaborate baking projects, wandering the Internet, and recording things that sound cool. 

Jonathan Ryanis a novelist, blogger and columnist. He recently published his first novel, earning rave reviews from the Midwest Review of Books, Library Journal and a Time Magazine columnist. Jonathan blogs at The Huffington Post and is a staff writer with Intrepid Magazine. Most recently, he started writing for Christianity Today.  

Kelsey Payne
 writes for the simple joy of writing. She finds solace in still lakes, rainy days, and rich stories. Her favorite poet is William Blake. When she isn't writing, she enjoys listening to audio books and eating sunflower seeds. Kelsey will attend Hope College in the fall of 2013 and plans to teach elementary school in inner-city Chicago.


Emmett Rensinis a playwright, author, and essayist in Chicago, IL. His previous work has appeared in the Huffington Post, USA Today, Salon, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as on stages throughout Chicago as a founding member of First Floor Theater. He is 23 years old. 


Erin Smallreceived an MA in poetry from Miami University, the Midwestern (and original) version.  She lives outside of Cincinnati with her husband Jim, and their three small children.  A former educator, she now spends her days trying to shape her offspring into readers and searching for poetic moments.  She reads eclectically, cooks improvisationally, and gardens erratically.  You can read her thoughts on parenting and gratitude at her oft-neglected blog:

Aaron and Ashley Wilcox love food and love each other. They always look forward to the next time their table is full of food and friends. Ashley is a graphic designer and creative jack of all trades while Aaron spends his days working as a surgery resident. Their dream is to someday have a cafe that offers healthy, creative food to nourish bodies and souls.