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Novus Spring 2023 Contributors


JC Alfier

JC Alfier’s (they/them) most recent book of poetry, The Shadow Field, was published by Louisiana Literature Press (2020). Journal credits include Faultline, New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, Penn Review, Raleigh Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Vassar Review. They are also an artist doing collage and double-exposure work.


Zachary Bos

Zachary Bos studied in the MFA program at Boston University. He was named runner-up in the 2023 Hearst Poetry Prize and has had recent writing Vroom!, Old Moon, and The Muse Journal. He directs the publishing activity of Pen & Anvil Press out of an office above Bonfire Bookshop in North Central Massachusetts.


Cristian Dunn

Cristian Dunn is a junior majoring in Creative and Professional Writing at Cumberland University. Under the tutelage of Sandee Gertz, Cristian’s artistic talents have truly begun to blossom. He was blessed to have Anders Carlson Wee critique his work in a workshop. When Cristian is not spending his time writing, he likes to learn as much as he can about the supernatural aspects of the world, with angels being one of his major interests.



Catherine Ferrell

Cathy Socarras Ferrell is a second-generation Cuban-American poet, writer, and educator from Central Florida. She finds inspiration in walking (anywhere), family, and the Sandhill cranes in her yard. She enjoys playing with form, space, and the sounds of language. Her work can be found online at Poetry Breakfast (upcoming), Red Noise Collective, Quibble.Lit, sinkhole, and Compulsive Reader, and in the scholarly collection, Shakespeare and Latinidad, edited by Trevor Boffone and Carla Della Gotta. Connect with Cathy at

Jonathan Fletcher

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Jonathan Fletcher holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Columbia University School of the Arts. He has been published in Acropolis Journal, The Adroit Journal, Arts Alive San Antonio, The BeZine, BigCityLit, Book of Matches Literary Journal, Catch the Next: Journal of Ideas and Pedagogy, Colossus Press, Curio Cabinet, Door is a Jar, DoubleSpeak, Emerge Literary Journal, Five South, Flora Fiction, FlowerSong Press, fws: a journal of literature & art, Glassworks, Half Hour to Kill, Heimat Review, The Hooghly Review, Hyacinth Review, Infrarrealista Review, The Institutionalized Review, LONE STARS, Midway Journal, The MockingOwl Roost-An Art and Literary Magazine, MONO., Moot Point, The Muse, Naked Cat Publishing, The Nelligan Review, The New Croton Review, New Feathers Anthology, OneBlackBoyLikeThat Review, The Opal, Open Ceilings, Otherwise Engaged Journal: A Literature and Arts Journal, The Phare, Quibble, Rigorous, riverSedge: A Journal of Art and Literature, Route 7 Review, The San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio Living, San Antonio Public Library, Speakeasy, Spoonie Press, Synkroniciti, Tabula Rasa Review, The Thing Itself, TEJASCOVIDO, Unlikely Stories Mark V, Vagabond City Literary Journal, voicemail poems, Voices de la Luna: A Quarterly Literature & Arts Magazine, Waco WordFest, Whale Road Review, Wishbone Words, and Yearling: A Poetry Journal for Working Writers. Additionally, his work has been featured by The League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area and at the Briscoe Western Art Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art. In 2023, his work was also chosen as a finalist for the Plentitudes Prize in Poetry. That same year, his work was also chosen as a finalist for Synkroniciti’s Poetry Prize for its Issue, “Broken.” He has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Additionally, he has served as a Columbia Artist/Teacher for New York City’s iHOPE, a specialized school for students with traumatic brain injuries, as well as a poetry editor for Exchange, Columbia University’s literary magazine for incarcerated writers and artists. In 2023, he won Northwest University Press’s Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Currently, he serves as a Zoeglossia Fellow.

Cal Freeman

Cal Freeman is the music editor of The Museum of Americana: A Literary Review and author of the books Fight Songs (Eyewear 2017) and Poolside at the Dearborn Inn (R&R Press 2022). His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals including Image, The Poetry Review, Verse Daily, Under a Warm Green Linden, North American Review, The Moth, Oxford American, River Styx, and Hippocampus. His poems have been anthologized in The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear 2016), RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music (Michigan State University Press 2020), I Wanna Be Loved By You: Poems On Marilyn Monroe (Milk & Cake Press 2021), What Things Cost: An Anthology for the People (University Press Kentucky 2022), and Beyond the Frame (Diode Editions 2023). He is a recipient of the Devine Poetry Fellowship (judged by Terrance Hayes), winner of Passages North’s Neutrino Prize, and a finalist for the River Styx International Poetry Prize. Born and raised in Detroit, he teaches at Oakland University and serves as Writer-In-Residence with InsideOut Literary Arts Detroit.


Chris Girman

Chris Girman is an associate professor of nonfiction writing at a Mid-Atlantic university, and he’s also an immigration attorney who uber drives during the summer. His books include The Chili Papers and Mucho Macho: Seduction, Desire, and the Homoerotic Lives of Latin Men. His poetry and creative non-fiction have appeared in Salt Hill Journal, Hobart, Dreich, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, American Book Review, The Rumen, Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, and the anthology What I Didn’t Know about Becoming a Teacher.


Shelby Jones

Shelby Jones is a student at Wilson Central High School and is a proud member of the BluePrints Yearbook staff. She is from Mount Juliet, Tennessee, and is planning on attending the University for Creative Careers in Savannah, Georgia.


Korrine Key

Korrine Key is a senior at Cumberland University and will graduate in the spring of 2024. Her major is in Creative Writing with a minor in English. Korrine discovered in high school that she enjoyed writing poetry and has been working to improve her writing since then. She takes part in many other creative activities such as art and music. She participates in Concert, Jazz, Marching band, and Choir. The arts have always been a passion of hers. She has been published in the Novus Literary Arts Journal and is working as an editor for the journal as well.


Michael Lauchlan

Michael Lauchlan has contributed to many publications, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, and Lake Effect. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave., from WSU Press.

Liam Leslie

L. Leslie is an emerging writer and educator born and raised in Wyoming. He is passionate about dynamic language and advocates for intentionality. Words are meant for more, or less, accuracy when describing the strange and wide world we live in—make them live long.

Lana Lowe

Lana is an undergraduate student majoring in English at Cumberland University. She has published one children’s book and two YA novels. Her essay, “Fort Nashborough,” was selected for Volunteer State Community College’s 2022-2023 edition of Best Essays. Lana loves to write, read, and paint. You can follow her @WritingEclipses on nearly all social media and her artwork can be found under #LLoweArts on Instagram.


Leonydes Matis

Leonydes Matis is on track to be a Creative Writing Major. She is in her 2nd semester of her sophomore year. She hopes to write for a living and become an author full-time in the future.

Lynn Marie Moody

Lynn Marie Moody is a junior attending Wilson Central High School who spends much time writing and working to achieve her goals.


Matthew Nisinson

Matthew Nisinson (he/him) lives in Queens, NY with his wife and daughter and their two cats. He has a JD, and a BA in Latin. Each summer he grows chili peppers. By day he is a bureaucrat. His poetry has appeared in Boats Against the Current, en*gendered, Hyacinth Review, and Milk Press, among others.


Thomas Sims

Thomas Sims holds a B.S. in Biology from the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University. He currently teaches sixth grade science and eleventh grade philosophy/literature in Chandler, Arizona. His work has been featured by “Beyond Words,” “An Unexpected Journal,” “In Parenthesis,” and “The GGP Collective.”

Emma Sullivan

Emma Jane Sullivan is a writer and artist living in Springfield, Missouri. She is currently teaching and studying in the Department of English at Missouri State University. She is currently working on a novel. This is her first publication.


Charles Thomas

Charles Thomas lives in Tennessee. Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Poem, San Pedro River Review, Poetry New Zealand, Spoon River Poetry Review, Friends Journal, WorshipWeb of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and Remington Review have published other poems of his. He plans to self-publish a collection.

Travis Thomas

Travis is a writer of short fiction and poetry. He lives in Lebanon, Tn. and works at the Lebanon-Wilson County Public Library. He enjoys crochet and being outdoors. He can be reached at

Angela Townsend

Angela Townsend is the Development Director at Tabby’s Place: a Cat Sanctuary. She graduated from Princeton Seminary and Vassar College. Her work appears or is forthcoming in over 120 literary journals, including Arts & Letters, Chautauqua, Paris Lit Up, The Penn Review, The Razor, Still Point Arts Quarterly,, and The Westchester Review. Angie has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 33 years, laughs with her poet mother every morning, and loves life affectionately.

Alan Tucker

Alan D. Tucker is a native Tennesseean who relays his experience of the world through literary-fictive storytelling. He holds a Master of Arts in English and considers fiction the most authentic way of portraying the human experience. His work has appeared in Avalon Literary Review and Novus Literary Arts Journal.


Evan Morgan Williams

Evan Morgan Williams has published over fifty short stories in literary magazines famous and obscure, including Kenyon Review, ZYZZYVA, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Antioch Review. He has published three collections of short stories: “Thorn,” winner of Chandra Prize at BkMk Press in 2014, “Canyons: Older Stories” self-published in 2018, and “Stories of the New West,” published by Main Street Rag Press in 2021. He holds an MFA, tattered and faded, from the University of Montana in 1991. Williams has retired after 29 years as a Language Arts teacher in Oregon’s toughest middle school.

Nicole Bethune Winters

Nicole Bethune Winters is a poet, writer and multi-faceted artist. Her first collection, brackish, was published by Finishing Line Press, and her work has appeared in Backlash Journal, Wild Roof Journal, and Seaborne Magazine. When she isn’t writing or wheel-throwing, Nicole is likely at the beach, on a trail, climbing, or exploring new landscapes with her dog. She currently resides in Southern California, where she works as a full-time artist from her home studio.

Ashley Wood

Ashley Wood is a sophomore at college and is majoring in Creative and Professional Writing. The first thing you need to know about her is that she is from southern California and loves the beach, hiking, and reading. She started to love reading because when she was younger she had a challenging time reading, which made her parents make her read more to improve her reading skills. It worked–a little too well. Most of her inspirations for her stories appear when she is listening to music, working out, or running.

Art Contributors

Austin Reilly

Austin Reilly (they/he) is a Chicago visual artist who works with pens, oils, acrylics, and digitally. They primarily explore abstraction and figurative abstraction, remaining curious to how a peaceful reconciliation between the two can be presented. Their work has been shown at Esquina Chicago, Southwest Creative Studio, Happy Gallery, and at MANA Contemporary. They regularly publish and distribute zines containing drawings.

Sarah Pierce

Sarah Pierce is a chemist who has fallen in love with art. She enjoys exploring new watercolor and gouache techniques.

David Michael Jackson

David Michael Jackson is a retired Whirlpool product engineer, a mechanical engineer, artist, musician, songwriter, poet, and web publisher who has shown his work at his site,, since 1998 when he and the internet were young. David’s songs are in Spotify and all platforms under the Orchard label. He is originally from Utah and lives in the Nashville area.

Megan Whitfield

Megan Whitfield (b. 1985) is a self-taught representational painter living in Annapolis, Maryland. Her award-winning work has been published in Artists Network Magazine, PleinAir Magazine and Modern Impressionist Magazine and on permanent display at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. In addition to producing highly sought-after fine art, Megan has worked as a cover artist for publishing houses over the last 14 years. Megan has developed a love for coastal scenes, wetlands, and maritime skies, which has been inspired by having lived surrounded by oceans, waterways and seascapes. While she grew up along the banks of the Susquehanna River in Central Pennsylvania, as the spouse of a Naval Officer, she has lived and traveled throughout the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard for the last 17 years. Her paintings reflect a deep understanding of maritime environments and portray emotionally driven scenes of the shorelines of the rivers, harbors, and bays, which serve as the arterial waterways that give life to America. Since she began exhibiting her art in 2021, Megan has been accepted into numerous juried shows and won several awards in international fine art competitions. She is a member of the American Society of Marine Artists, the American Impressionist Society, the Maryland Federation of Art, and the National Oil and Acrylic Painter’s Society. Megan is mentored by Marc R. Hanson, OPA and Ben Bauer.

Kayla Key

Kayla Key is a junior attending Smith County High School in Carthage, TN. Her field of study is currently undecided but has always had a love for music, art, and science. Kayla’s interest in science stemmed from experiments in the sixth grade as well as at home. Drawing has been an outlet since she was eight. First starting out with pencils, then gradually transferring to digital opening up so many possibilities. She is currently working on a digital art portfolio to be completed during her senior year. Creating digital art will always have a special place in her life and when that is not enough, playing Alto Saxophone is second best. She has played the saxophone since the sixth grade as well. Kayla is a member of the Smith County High School Band where she is Drum Major and the only Saxophonist.

James Reade Venable

James Reade Venable was born in Manhattan, New York. He has been published in Black + White Photography, Dodho, F-Stop and many more. He is a 2x London Photo Festival Monthly Competition Winner and was on the Shortlist for the Storytelling category in this years 500px Global Photography Awards and was a finalist for the 2023 Monochromatic Awards by Dodo. He is also an actor and is currently Henry Dorris in the BBC series Hidden Assets. He lives for his wife and daughter. He lives in New York City at the moment.

Kerry Rawlinson

Kerry Rawlinson is a mental nomad who left Zambia decades ago to explore and landed in Canada. Fast forward: she’s still barefoot, tiptoeing through dislocation & belonging. Kerry’s photo-art awards include: Makarelle; Rattle; CAGO Online Gallery. Newer publications: Inscape, Wild Roof Journal, NonBinary Review, Touchstone, Artists Responding…; Sunspot Journal, QueenMob’s Teahouse, Synchronized Chaos, amongst others. Kerry’s also an award-winning poet (Princemere Poetry Prize 2024) & writer (Edinburgh International Flash contest 2020) and volunteer Curator of Kelowna Airport Art Gallery. @kerryrawli

Erika Salvador

Erika Lynet Salvador, born and raised a Filipina, is an incoming first-year at Amherst College. Her visual art, usually using oil, watercolor, and ink, are featured or will soon be featured in the *82Review, the 3Elements Literary Review, the Jet Fuel Review, and the Madison Literary Journal for Literary Criticism. Additionally, she is the cover artist for select issues of the Remington Review and the Haunted Words Press Journal. She also explores film and phone photography from time to time and is an avid reader of free-verse poetry. See her art at @bodeganierika or

Kymberlee Norman

Kymberlee Norman is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores personal growth and the areas of human development in psychology. Her pieces also explore the debate between nature versus nurture in their influence on development. While minoring in psychology, Norman discovered an interest in how growth occurs in unique ways through its four levels: emotional, physical, cognitive, and social. Norman has also worked at a preschool for four years, which is another area part of her interest in growth. The wooden puzzle with an image of a puppy was inspired by the puzzles done with the students there.

Lana Lowe

Lana is an undergraduate student majoring in English at Cumberland University. She has published one children’s book and two YA novels. Her essay, “Fort Nashborough,” was selected for Volunteer State Community College’s 2022-2023 edition of Best Essays. Lana loves to write, read, and paint. You can follow her @WritingEclipses on nearly all social media and her artwork can be found under #LLoweArts on Instagram.

Crystal Shade

Crystal Shade is a talented artist based in Nashville known for her whimsical and playful pottery creations. She manages Gallery 100, a vibrant art collective space that supports local artists and fosters a sense of community. Crystal is also a dedicated member of the board of directors for the 100 Taylor Arts Market, promoting and supporting local artists in Nashville. Inspired by nature, her artwork often features adorable creatures, evoking joy and wonder. Crystal’s artistic journey showcases the power of embracing creativity at any stage in life and contributes to the thriving arts community in Nashville.