Novus Spring 2022 Contributors


Stephen Benz

Stephen Benz has published four books of creative nonfiction, including Topographies and Reading the Signs (both from Etruscan Press). He has also published a book of poems, Americana Motel (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), along with essays in New England Review, Creative Nonfiction, River Teeth, and Best American Travel Writing. He lives in Albuquerque, where he teaches at University of New Mexico. Website:

Morgan Bishop

Morgan is a third-year Creative Writing major at Cumberland University. This is the third time her poems have appeared in the Novus Literary Arts Journal. She enjoys writing as it allows her to express the way she sees the world. Her goal in writing is to expose many new perspectives on life’s details. Although she mainly focuses on Poetry, she also dabbles in Photography and Memoir writing.

Dominic Blanco

Dominic Blanco was born in Miami, Florida, and who now resides and works in Chicago. He is an MFA student at Randolph College. Previously published work appears in The Raw Art Review, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Lunch Break Zine, among others, Aurora (The Allegory Ridge Anthology), among others.

Renee Boyer

Renee Boyer was born and raised in Lebanon, Tennessee. She grew up in a very musically talented family, so she has always been surrounded by creativity and the arts. She first achieved her Associates Degree in Business, then continued in the Arts and recently graduated with a major in Creative Writing and a minor in English. The power of words, whether through music, poetry, or creative nonfiction has always inspired Renee in all that she does.


Nicole Carey

Nicole Carey is a graduating double major in English and Creative Writing. She played volleyball at Cumberland University all four years of her education. she is looking to start her teaching career after college an hopes to continue writing.

CJ Connolly

CJ is a poet and writer living in Nashville, Tennessee with a degree in English and a double minor in creative writing and history. She’s had work published in Aurora: the Allegory Ridge Poetry Anthology, Sinew: Poetry in the Brew’s Poetry Anthology, and the Belmont Literary Journal. And when she’s not writing about women’s lives or taking moody walks in the cold, she’s working with kids as a counselor and writing instructor.


German Dario

German Dario resides in Tempe, Arizona with his wife, two sons, three dogs, a guinea pig, many plants, and sometimes a fish. Recently published work in Novus Literary Arts Journal, Opossum, Gargoyle Magazine, Gyroscope Review, and San Pedro River Review.

Divyank Jain

Divyank Jain is a writer based in Udaipur, India. Although a teacher, he spends much of his time writing. His short stories appeared in anthologies and magazines such as Notions of Living, Notions of Healing, Chariots of Rebellion, Radiate lit. Journal, Litstreamagzime, Activemuse, Together magazine, Yawp Journal, ARC Journal, Star Gazzetta Magazine, Firefly Review, Rhodora Magazine, Flare Journal and others. Currently, he is working on his deb, ut novella.


Dion Farquhar

Dion Farquhar has recent poems in Superpresent, Blind Field, Poesis, Cape Rock: Poetry, Poydras Review, Mortar, Local Nomad, Columbia Poetry Review, moria, Shifter, BlazeVOX, etc. Her third poetry book Don’t Bother is in press at Finishing Line Press, and she has three chapbooks. She works as an exploited adjunct at two universities, but still loves the classroom, and she is active in the University of California Santa Cruz adjunct union, the UC-AFT.

MFC Feeley

MFC Feeley wrote a series of ten stories inspired by the Bill of Rights for Ghost Parachute and has published in Best Micro-Fictions, SmokeLong, Jellyfish Review, Brevity Blog, Liar’s League, and others. She has been nominated for Best Small Fictions, The Pushcart Prize, and has judged for Mash Stories and Scholastic. More at MFC Feeley/Facebook and on Twitter MFC Feeley @FeeleyMfc

Josh Feit

Josh Feit’s poetry has been published in Spillway, Vallum, Change Seven, the Halcyone Literary Review, and High Shelf among other journals. He was a finalist for the 2021 Wolfson Chapbook Poetry Prize and the 2019 Lily Poetry Prize. He was shortlisted for the 2020 Vallum Award for Poetry and won Honorable Mention. His first chapbook, “The Night of Electric Bikes,” is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. He is the speechwriter for Seattle’s regional transit agency.

H.E. Fisher

H.E. Fisher’s poetry appears or is forthcoming in Novus Literary Arts Journal, Whale Road Review, At Length, Unearthed, Indianapolis Review, Miracle Monocle, SWWIM, and Canary, among other publications. H.E. is the editor of (Re) An Ideas Journal. Her first collection, STERILE FIELD (Free Lines Press) and chapbook, JANE ALMOST ALWAYS SMILES (Moonstone Press), are both forthcoming.

Joely Ford

Joely Ford is 20 years old and currently getting her Bachelor’s Degree at Cumberland University in English and Creative Writing. She has been published in Novus Literary Arts Journal and is a writer for the Cumberland Dispatch.

Cal Freeman

Cal Freeman is the author of the books Fight Songs (Eyewear, 2017) and Poolside at the Dearborn Inn (R&R Press, 2022). His writing has appeared in many journals including The Oxford-American, River Styx, Southword, Passages North, and Hippocampus. He currently serves as Writer-In-Residence with Inside Out Literary Arts Detroit and teaches at Oakland University.


Sally Gander

Sally Gander is a writer and Creative Writing teacher. Her work has appeared in Hinterland, Litro, The Lincoln Review and Epoch Press, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has taught on the prestigious Creative Writing program at Bath Spa University, and currently teaches at the Open University and Advanced Studies in England. You can read her blog and more of her published work at Instagram: @sallygander68

Seth Grindstaff

Seth Grindstaff’s poetry is published in journals such as The Baltimore Review and Blue Earth Review, and his collection Keeping Fireflies was selected for Ghost City Press’ 2021 Summer Micro-Chapbook Series. He teaches in Northeast Tennessee where he lives with his sun-loving wife and four children.


Libby Knight

Libby Knight is a Cumberland University student who is pursuing a degree in English. Currently 18 years old, she has lived in Mount Juliet, Tennessee since 2011 but is originally from Kentucky. One can always find her with a good book, making coffee, or spending time with her family or friends.


Tuck Ledbetter

Tuck Ledbetter (he/him) is a third-year student at East Tennessee State University where he studies English and Linguistics. He will be published in The Mockingbird Literary Journal in 2022. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys playing drums for local jazz groups and hiking on the nearby Appalachian Trail.

Bryana Lorenzo

Pushcart Prize nominee Bryana Lorenzo is a Junior at Boone High School in Orlando, Florida, a Junior Editor at Polyphony Lit, and a storyteller at An Insipid Board of Ideas—a storytelling blog and nonprofit dedicated to spreading awareness of social issues through short stories. Her fiction has been featured in Outlander Zine, The Graveyard Zine, Rhodora Magazine, and Le Château Magazine, and is forthcoming in Agapanthus Collective, Pile Press, and The Literary Canteen. She has an essay published with Youth Be Heard. You can find her on Instagram @bryanastarwrites or on Tumblr at

Lorraine Caputo

Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 300 journals on six continents; and 20 collections of poetry – including On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019) and Caribbean Interludes (Origami Poems Project, 2022). She also authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. Her writing has been honored by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2011) and nominated for the Best of the Net. Caputo has done literary readings from Alaska to the Patagonia. She journeys through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. Follow her travels at: or

Kaylee Lowe

Kaylee Lowe is an undergraduate student at Cumberland University. She is a freshman enrolled in Introduction to Creative Writing at Cumberland. She has been writing short stories since she was 14 and is interested in pursuing an English and Creative Writing double major.


Hamilton Matthew Masters

Hamilton Matthew Masters is a photographer and writer in Middle Tennessee. His visual and written work has been seen in journalistic publications around the world and in fine art galleries throughout the United States.

Micah Daniel McCrotty

Micah Daniel McCrotty lives in Knoxville Tennessee with his wife Katherine. His poetry has previously appeared in Louisiana Literature, Storm Cellar, Sycamore Review, and the James Dickey Review among others.

William Rieppe Moore

William Rieppe Moore is from Richland County, South Carolina and moved to Unicoi County, Tennessee in 2012 with his wife, Cherith, where they practice homesteading and animal husbandry. He also enjoys climbing, backpacking, and swimming in the Nolichucky River, experiences that provide the material context of his poems. In May of 2021, he received his MA in English from East Tennessee State University, and in 2019 he began teaching high schoolers. He writes with his field guides and ballad books open, and his primary goal, when he is writing a poem, is to finish the poem. His work has appeared in James Dickey Review, Ligeia, Still: The Journal, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, Vita Brevis, and Tiny Seed Literary Journal. His work is forthcoming in American Diversity Report as well as Voices.


Ashley Polihronakis

Ashely Sofia Polihronakis is a singer-songwriter and storyteller from the Adirondacks living in Nashville, Tennessee. She is currently working on her first novel.


Michele Parker Randall

Michele Parker Randall is the author of Museum of Everyday Life (Kelsay Books 2015) and A Future Unmappable, chapbook (Finishing Line Press 2021). Her poetry can be found in Nimrod International Journal, Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.

Aaron Rudolph

Aaron Rudolph is the author of the poetry collections Sacred Things (Bridge Burner’s, 2002) and The Sombrero Galaxy (Strawberry Hedgehog, 2017). He attended graduate school for creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato and Texas Tech University. He teaches literature and writing at the Early College of Arvada in Colorado.


Molly Smith

Molly Smith is currently a student at Cumberland University, working towards her BA in English and Creative and Imaginative Writing. Born in Northern Illinois, she moved to middle Tennessee in high school and enjoys being a barista, watching movies, and roller skating.

Richard Stimac

Richard Stimac published over thirty poems in Burningword, Clackamas, Faultline, Havik (Second Place 2021 Poetry Contest), Michigan Quarterly Review, Penumbra, Salmon Creek Journal, Wraparound South, and others, along with flash prose in Paperbark, and an article on Willa Cather in The Midwest Quarterly.

Sappho Stanley

Sappho Stanley is a transsexual woman living in East Tennessee with her cat Kevin. She will be attending an MFA Program in the fall of 2022. She has recently completed her Bachelor’s degree in English at East Tennessee State University. You can find her work in Lupercalia, The Mockingbird, Warning Lines, and forthcoming in the lickety~split. Her pronouns are she/her.


Alan Tucker

Alan D. Tucker is a writer who believes his experience of the world worthy of filtration into fictional prose. He seeks not only to tell a story but to greet the reader with the fundamental humanness of all effective art–the intangible writ in English, and by extension, the acquisition of the metaphysical nod of recognition by his reader. Alan has been previously published in the Avalon Literary Review, Spring 2021 edition.

R Gene Turchin

R. Gene Turchin writes short stories in sci-fi, horror, and toe-dipping other genres along with occasional poems. He is currently attempting to finish two science fiction novels and comic book scripts. Recent published works can be found in Oyster River Pages, The Siren’s Call, Sunshine Superhighway Anthology, Cosmic Horror Monthly, and 99 Tiny Terrors Anthology. His website is located at


Summer Vertrees

Summer Vertrees has been an educator for nearly 20 years. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of English at Cumberland University. She can often be found outdoors and loves to plat games and watch movies with her husband and kids.


Kait Walser

Kait Walser is a New York City-based poet and nonprofit copywriter. She holds an M.F.A. from Wilkes University, where she won the 2013 Etruscan Prize. Kait has facilitated workshops, curated, and hosted readings for Union Square Slam and At the Inkwell NYC. She was awarded a 2015 Delaware Highlands Conservancy Artist Residency and a 2020 Brooklyn Poets fellowship. Her work appears online in Poems in the Afterglow, Indolent Books’ 2020 election series, and the print anthology In Absentia: Reflections on the Pandemic (Bicycle Comics, 2020), among others.

Claire Webb

Claire Webb is an undergraduate student at ETSU where she is studying English and Spanish with a Creative Writing minor. She has lived all over the United States, seven states and counting. She loves hiking, drawing, and playing the guitar. Claire’s first published work, a short story called “Briar Forest,” was published in Chattanooga State’s literary journal, The Phoenix, 2019 edition. She has also published her short story, “The Girl Who Flew to the Moon,” and her poem, “A Map of Places I Don’t Know,” in the 2020/2021 edition of The Phoenix.

Katherine Wiles

Katherine Wiles is a senior Creative Writing major at Cumberland who finds her classes to be a great source of inspiration. Her work has been published by Wingless Dreamer, Capsule Stories, and the Stilwater Review.

Grace Willis

Grace Willis studies English Literature at Missouri State University in the Ozarks of Missouri. She has previously published work in Novus Literary Journal as well as Roadrunner Review.


Jonathan Yungkans

Jonathan Yungkans is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer whose work has appeared in MacQueen’s Quinterly, Panoply, Synkroniciti and other publications. His second poetry chapbook, Beneath a Glazed Shimmer, won the 2019 Clockwise Chapbook Prize and was published by Tebor Bach in 2021.


David Zaza

David Zaza lives in New York where he runs a design studio specializing in arts publications. His poetry has been published in print and digital magazines since 1992, including The Quarterly, Medusa’s Laugh and The Perch among others. Recent multidisciplinary projects include The Goldberg Variations, an audio project which presents his recited poetry with piano accompaniment; Before and After, or At The Same Time, a series of one poem and three illustrative fine art drawings; and [unreliable], a poetry/drawing collaboration with visual artist Mark Fox. With Fox, he created two puppet plays: A Criminal’s Story, produced by Saw Theater, Cincinnati; and The Kiss, produced by Franklin Furnace, New York.

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is a translator and writer of poetry and short stories. He writes in four languages and has lived in County Kerry, Ireland for more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He is published in over 170 international publications.

Art Contributors

Erin Laughlin

Erin Laughlin creates paintings and tables accented with gold. She enjoys communicating emotion with color, particularly juxtaposing drama against calm in her colors and movement. Erin’s work has a dimensional quality achieved with various gold mediums and in more recent years, with the difficult medium of resin. She believes the immense beauty of our planet is awe striking, and she also finds that subtle landscapes slip into her compositions.

Edward Lee

Edward Lee is an artist and writer from Ireland. His paintings and photography have been exhibited widely, while his poetry, short stories, non-fiction have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll. He is currently working on two photography collections: ‘Lying Down With The Dead’ and ‘There Is A Beauty In Broken Things’. He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy. His blog/website can be found at

Sarah Pierce

Sarah Pierce was traditionally trained as a chemist. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. She began teaching at Cumberland University in the Fall of 2008. Sarah became a chemist because she loves color. She is passionate about chemistry in art and includes many art based laboratory experiments in her classes. She is most proud of the Chemistry in Art class she developed at Cumberland University.

Aaron Lelito

Aaron Lelito is a visual artist from Buffalo, NY. In his photographic work, he is primarily drawn to the patterns and imagery of nature. His images have been published as cover art in Red Rock Review, Peatsmoke Journal, and The Scriblerus. His work has also appeared in LandLocked Magazine, EcoTheo Review, About Place Journal, and Alluvian. He is editor in chief of the art & literature website Wild Roof Journal. See more of his work on Instagram @runic_ruminations.

Cora Green

Cora Green is an artist living in Nolensville, Tennessee near the city of Nashville. Her art was also featured in the Spring 2021 Digital Edition of Novus and the Fall 2021 Commemorative Print Edition.

Ethan Gorham

Ethan Gotham is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Outside of this, he’s a major cinephile, storm chaser, history buff, linguaphile, and stupid joke enthusiast. After having previously studied at Volunteer State Community College, he is currently an English major at Cumberland University and resides in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Olivia Allen

Olivia Allen is a senior at Cumberland University majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. She was a member of the Small Press editorial team for Novus this current semester.

Leith Fae

Leith Fae recently graduated with a Creative Writing degree from Cumberland University and was part of the Editorial Team for Novus Literary Arts Journal this semester.

Hamilton Matthew Masters

Hamilton Matthew Masters is a photographer and writer in Middle Tennessee. His visual and written work has been seen in journalistic publications around the world and in fine art galleries throughout the United States.

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Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN