duct duct duct DUCTS.ORG Issue 13 | Summer 2004 the webzine of personal stories   duct
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Meet the People Behind the Stories

Ben Aldred


Ben decided one day that he hadn't entirely eliminated his potential for future employment, so he decided to get advanced degrees in uselessness. He is currently working on two useless PhDs in the state of Indiana. He likes tequila.

Aaron Bergeron

Aaron is a writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He's made dozens of appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien -- usually playing an NBC page or wearing some sort of animal costume. Aaron's performed in numerous improv shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City.  You may contact him at Awesomefactory@aol.com.
  James Bewley

James (voice of Strindberg in "Strindberg and Helium") is a writer, performer, and curator living in San Francisco. Since moving to the Bay Area in 1998, he has performed his own work at several local venues including Cafe Du Nord, The Exploratorium, The Lab, Sonoma State University, and Works/San Jose. Bewley has performed in 10 original Killing My Lobster productions including short films and animation projects and has performed at festivals and comedy showcases in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago. He and Erin Bradley regularly perform inappropriate duets as part of their near-monthly pseudo lounge act, The Man/Woman Show.  James received his BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997.  Bewley is the Program Director at the San Francisco art space, New Langton Arts.

Bill Bilodeau


Bill is the editor of a small daily newspaper in New Hampshire. He studied creative writing at Harvard and is currently at work on a novel. He is married... with children.

  Erin Bradley


Erin Bradley (writer, voice of Helium in "Stringberg and Helium") is a writer and performer living in San Francisco. Erin cut her creative teeth while in college in Providence, RI, as a member of the popular sketch comedy troupe Out of Bounds. There she also wrote/directed the play God's TT King before moving to San Francisco in 1999. Since then she has worked as a cast member and head writer with the award-winning comedy-group Killing My Lobster, writing for and starring in 8 original stage productions as well as several short films, including The Second Language and 8+4. Erin makes her big screen debut in the soon-to-be-released independent feature film Welcome Space Brothers. Presently, she performs regularly as the female half of San Francisco's underground cabaret sensation, The Man/Woman Show.  Erin is originally from Duluth, MN, and holds a BA in Biology from Brown University.
  James Braly


James has published his stories in New York Press, told them on NPR and Marketplace, and performed them at Beyond Words: Stories On Stage and The Moth, where he's the exultant winner or bitterly-disappointed first runner-up of all four GrandSLAMs. Currently, he's writing a book of personal essays about the destabilizing effects of a stable relationship, called I Should Be Committed: Life in a Marital Institution.
  C.H. Coleman


C.H. Coleman is a Vermont resident and lives in the wilds of the Upper Connecticut River Valley. When he is not shooting (with a camera) the  people and animals living in the region, he reads and he writes and he works in Alumni Relations for the local college.

  Vivian Conan

Vivian is a free-lance writer living in nyc.  She also works part-time as a Reference Librarian in several public libraries in Westchester.
  Richard Dana

Richard worked on Madison Avenue and in Hollywood before turning to a life of freelance writing. Born in Boston, he holds degrees from Brown and Columbia, and is a PhD candidate at the Red Sox Institute of anticipation and disappointment. He lives in New York City with his black Labrador Retriever, Lucy.
  Paul Data

Paul presently works as faculty adjunct at NYU Steinheil School of Education, Dept. of Music and Performing Arts Professions; W. Side YMCA as aqua aerobics instructor; BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) as teaching artist/workshop musical accompanist.  He is currently authoring a WWII book: "The Life and Times of a Real GI Joe"; and studying Afro-Haitian percussion.
  Rob de Mar

art gallery
Rob has exhibited his sculpture nationally and internationally at venues such as the Aldrich Museum of Art of Contemporary Art in Connecticut, NYLON in London, and Kabinett in Bern, Switzerland.  He is currently represented in New York by Clementine Gallery; please contact the gallery with any further inquiries at www.clementine-gallery.com.
  Mark Dworkin


Mark is a free-lance writer, editor, history educator, and book critic who lives in Toronto. His special interest is in American Old West history, as it relates to lawmen and crime. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, the history of Tombstone, Arizona, and the 'Gunfight at the O. K. Corral. He is currently involved in several projects related to upgrade this area of history, formerly dominated by popularizers and buffs, and bringing it to a standard of professional history.


Mildred Ehrlich

Mildred has been writing poetry since she was a child and has published in college literary journals, including Turning House, the journal of Union Theological Seminary, where she works as the Faculty Secretary and International Student Advisor.  She has taken fiction and non-fiction workshops at the Writer's Voice of the Westside Y in NYC and attended various writing conferences around the country.  She has a Bachelor's degree in Theater and a Master's degree in Teaching ESL.  Her website, www.englishforeverything.com, offers online editing services for native and non-native speakers of English.  She was the development editor for several popular-level physics books by her brother, Robert Ehrlich, including Nine Crazy Ideas in Science/Some of Which May Even Be True.  She has just finished writing a memoir, Beauty through Broken Glass.

Thomas Fast

Thomas, a.k.a. Naked Man, teaches English and Spanish at a private high school in Japan. Originally from small town, Oregon, he studied art history at New York University. He has traveled and lived throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia. His photographs have appeared in articles and magazines, and have been exhibited in Japan. He also makes occasional guest appearances as a DJ at his local coffee house in Okayama City. FYI, his nickname is an homage to the "Hadaka Matsuri" or "Naked Man Festival" that takes place in his Japanese hometown every winter. He himself only rarely appears naked in public, but as a "Hakujin" (white guy) in Japan, Tom draws a lot of attention either way.

Kevin Ford

art gallery
Kevin was born October 15, 1975 in Stamford, Connecticut and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.  He received an MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University in 1999 and a BFA in Painting in 1997.
  Craig Helmholz


Craig (recording engineer/sound designer for "Strindberg and Helium")  is currently a recording engineer at Crescendo Studios of San Francisco where he mixes radio and television commercials along with short films. Craig spends many evenings in his audio lab creating sound effects for a variety of artists, such as Chicago pop-rock faves OK Go and Killing My Lobster - San Francisco's premiere sketch comedy brigade. His favorite sound is a 40 Hz sine wave at 80 dB: "If a sound can make your nose bleed, then you know it's audio gold." Craig is originally from Benicia, CA
  Jenifer Hixson

Jenifer is a writer, photo editor, and producer of The Moth's StorySLAM. She is also an intern at WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show. She likes puppies and dislikes ironing and people who honk in un-life threatening situations. She splits her time between NYC and Asbury Park.

  Paul Hundt

Paul Hundt is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Columbia Law School.  After thirty years in corporate practice, he retired as a vice president, general counsel and secretary of a Fortune 500 company in 1996. Since his retirement, he has spent his time taking courses in math and physics, hiking, bird watching, saltwater fishing, and writing.  He splits his time between Larchmont and Southampton, New York.  He is married to Rosemary MacIsaac  They have two sons, Frederick and Douglas.

Juliann Garey


Juliann Garey lives in Manhattan with her husband Michael and her children Gabriel and Emma. "Secure Sites" is her first story to be published.

Heather Hewett


Heather is a freelance writer who has work published or forthcoming in Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, The Scholar and Feminist Online, and Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers. She is a regular contributor of reviews and articles to The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Women's Review of Books. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and is currently at work on a collection of creative nonfiction essays exploring disability and able-bodiedness. She lives in New York City with her husband and eight-month-old daughter.

Patrick Jacobs

art gallery
Patrick is currently represented by Pierogi 2000 Gallery in Brooklyn NY; please visit their website for further information at www.pierogi2000.com

Robert Jeske

Robert has spent over 40 years championing LGBT civil rights. A founding member of NYC's 'Gay Academic union' in the late 60s, Dr. Jeske also taught NYU's first gay course and continues to teach courses in sex and gender.  Dr. Jeske has also directed over 80 student-acted productions at NYU (many with gay themes such as 'Bent,', 'Equus,' and 'Spring Awakening.')and received the Chancellor's Award for Contribution to the University.  In 1999, Professor Jeske was awarded NYU's highest honor--the Distinguished Teaching Medal.  Robert Jeske has written 2 novels ('Poor Relations--A Tale of Four Brothers' and 'Ambry'), a collection of short stories based on Seurat's paintings and style--from which 'Circus' is taken--and is currently working on the 3rd volume of a reminiscence called 'The Rupert Chronicles.'
  Sarah L. Knowles

Originally from Massachusetts, Sarah is a 22 year-old graduate student pursuing a Master of Science degree in Publication Management  at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.
  Jeffrey Lee

Jeffrey's first full-length poetry book, invisible sister, is due out from Many Mountains Moving Press in May 2004 (www.mmminc.org or www.unco.edu/poetry/jeffrey.lee). He won the 2002 Sow's Ear Poetry Chapbook competition for The Sylf (published 2003), published Strangers in a Homeland (chapbook with Ashland Press, 2001), and won the first Tupelo Press Prize for literary fiction in 2001. He also created identity papers (2002), a full-length dramatic poem with music on CD, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2002 (www.drimala.com). He has published hundreds of poems and stories in Crazyhorse, Many Mountains Moving, Washington Square,  Xconnect, etc. He teaches creative writing at University of Northern Colorado.
  Marge Lurie

Marge lives and works in New York City. She earned her M.F.A. in writing from The New School University, and her B.A. in philosophy from Barnard College. Her fiction can also be found online at www.onelastcarcrash.net.

Paul MacTavish

Paul is a magazine marketing professional in the throes of a painful career crisis. A new father, he dreams of becoming a risk-taking creative role model for his son, but is presently too fond of his generous benefits plan to shake things up. Please give him time.

Benjamin Malcolm


Benjamin Malcolm works both as a freelance writer and teacher in Northern Thailand.  A native of the larger Boston area, he worked for several years in Washington, D.C. before he returned screaming to his Peace Corps roots in Asia.  He currently lives peacefully with his wife Supalak in the northernmost province of Chiang Rai.

Dave Marin

art gallery
Dave is a Brooklyn based artist currently working at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan.  He received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.  Dave has exhibited his work nationally, selected venues include: Buffalo State University, Forum Gallery, Empire Fulton Ferry Park, Cranbrook Art Museum, and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

Corey Mesler


Corey has published prose and/or poetry in Rattle, Canopic Jar, Contrary, Pindeldyboz, Mars Hill Review, Pikeville Review, Arkansas Review, Center, Small Press Review, Jabberwock Review, Orchid, Quick Fiction, Timber Creek Review, Green Egg, Poetry Motel, Raintown Review, Potomac Review, Poetry Super Highway, Big Muddy, Slant, Wilmington Blues, Drought, Rockhurst Review, Wavelength, Lilliput Review, Pearl, Aurorean, Lucid Moon, Heeltap, Sunny Outside, Fish Drum, Into the Teeth of the Wind, Mid-American Poetry Review, Independence Boulevard, Midday Moon, Turnrow,  Now Here Nowhere, Dust, Cherotic Revolutionary, Cotyledon, Buckle &, Iodine, Snakeskin (England), Flashpoint, Freewheelin' (England), Pitchfork, Anthology, Poet Lore, Spillway, The Pegasus Review, Reverb, Kimera, Thema, Kumquat Meringue, Lonzie's Fried Chicken, Both Sides Now, Electric Acorn (Dublin), Razor Wire, Gin Bender, Blue Unicorn, Black Dirt, The Spirit that Moves Us, Wind, Red Rock Review, Art Times, Concrete Wolf, Memphis Magazine, Rhino, Visions International, others.  He has a chapbook of poems, Piecework, from the Wing and a Wheel Press.   He has work in the anthologies Full Court: A Literary Anthology of Basketball (Breakaway Books), Pocket Parenting Poetry Guide (Pudding Press), Intimate Kisses: The Poetry of Sexual Pleasure (New World Press) and Smashing Icons (Curious Rooms).

He recently won the Moonfire Poetry Chapbook Competition and his chapbook, Chin-Chin in Eden, has just been published by Still Waters Press.

One of his short stories was chosen for the 2002 edition of New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, edited by Shannon Ravenel. His novel-in-dialogue, Talk, was published by Livingston Press in 2002. Raves from Lee Smith, Robert Olen Butler, Steve Stern, Debra Spark, Suzanne Kingsbury, Frederick Barthelme and John Grisham.

He's been a book reviewer (for The Commercial Appeal, BookPage, The Memphis Flyer), fiction editor (for Ion Books/raccoon), university press sales rep, grant committee judge (for The Oregon Arts Council), father and son. With his wife he owns Burke's Book Store, one of the country's oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores.


J. B. Miller

essays and humor

J. B. Miller was born in Massachusetts but mostly grew up in London where he learned English and attended a number of strict prep schools that required uniforms and the best behavior. But he recovered and returned to the U.S. where he went to high school a bit (in Massachusetts again) and attended college (NYU - not that it makes much of a difference). He refused to go to graduate school. He did some freelance writing for The New York Times and Salon.com and is the only author of the novel My Life in Action Painting (Grove Press) and the humor collection The Satanic Nurses and Other Literary Parodies (St. Martin's Press), plus a number of plays produced skittishly on the New York stage, including "Bobby Supreme," "White Lies," and "Shirkers."

Jake Novak


Jake is the producer of "In the Money," the fast-paced and humorous news and finance program on CNN anchored by the cranky Jack Cafferty.  Novak is also an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at New York University's College of Arts and Sciences. 

He is a daily contributor to the "Jokes of the Day" segment on the "Shoptalk" web site, and is a weekly contributor to the "Punchlines" column in Newsday. All of his daily musings can be found at http://jakejakeny.blogspot.com.

  Mike Overbeck


Born in Hingham, Massachusetts Mike began his life in the suburbs south of Boston.  While still in college at the Rhode Island School of Design, Mike was travelling to festivals with his film Atlas Gets a Drink.  His next film, Tongues and Taxis won him the Audience Choice award as ResFest 2000, Best of Show at the Kalamazoo Animation Festival and ASIFA East, Honorable Mention at Stuttgart Animation Festival, and screenings in Annecy, Anima Mundi, and Cannes.

Mike stayed in the Boston area to direct and animate webtoons dealing with current events, some of which were aired on FoxNews and MSNBC.  In 2002, he moved to New York and worked as a freelance animator.  His commercial directing debut came in January 2003 when he directed an ad for Pioneer Car Stereo for Complete Pandemonium in San Francisco.  Mike currently lives in Brooklyn.

  Eun-Ha Paek


Eun-Ha Paek (animator/art director of "Strindberg and Helium") is a founding member of the animation and design group Milky Elephant. Her animations have screened at numerous festivals and venues including ResFest, New York Expo of Short Film and Video, comedycentral.com, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Her work has been written about in The Korea Times, Communication Arts, Edesign Magazine and Zoo Magazine.  Born in Seoul, Korea, Eun-Ha moved to Iran and then Thailand before finally settling in the US at age 9. She earned a BFA in Film/Animation/Video at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995, and presently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
  Helen Rafferty

Helen, Brooklyn born and bred, currently resides in beautiful Mamaroneck, NY with her husband and three children. Her essays chronicle suburban family life - the glamour, the excitement, the daily dose of decadence and danger. You might say she has a rich interior life.
  Gloria Cromwell Reina

Gloria is an actress who has had extensive work in theatre, films, and TV. She has been writing for about three years and is currently working on a memoir entitled "Mother and Me."
  Richie Smith


Richie is a writer and a physician and lives in Manhattan with his wife and son. His work has been performed in New York City (Art From the Heart, a performance art piece among other appearances) and published in the UK (Short Story in Breakfast All Day) and Canada (poetry in Poets Podium).  He is currently completing his first collection of poetry and his first novel. He has had multiple publications in scientific journals.
  Aaron Spiewak


Although often fooled by the rocks that he's got, people on Aaron's block tend to be ambivalent to the fact that he's from there. A lifelong New Yorker (except for the time he lived in New Jersey and Minnesota) Aaron currently claims three hundred square feet of Greenwich Village as his very own. In addition to writing and working as a director for a national retail chain, Aaron has taken classes at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater, performed at the People's Improv Theater, and will be shopping his second novel this fall, after his first met an  unfortunate end.
  Rachel Uffner

art gallery
Rachel is one of the many willing participants of the Williamsburg, Brooklyn/ Chelsea art gallery daily diaspora.  She would like to thank the smart and sweet Cindy Moore for asking her to co-curate this issue of the Ducts art gallery.
  Tom Weiser

Tom Weiser is a bird watcher, swing dancer, sailor, t'ai chi practitioner, improvisational singer, and drummer. His chief sources of unemployment are writing and storytelling. He has performed at MassMOCA, both The Moth's main stage and StorySLAM stage, at the Medicine Show Theater, The Blue Word, Beyond Words, and the Living Room Project in Woodstock, NY. His essays have been featured on NPR and in Newsweek. Tom is the founder of Hearsay.
  Jeff Williams

art gallery

Jeff is a San Diego based artist currently working as the Artistic Manager at Sushi Art and Performance Space.  He received his BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and an MFA from Syracuse University.  Selected recent exhibitions include: Spark Contemporary Art Center (Syracuse, NY,) Kingfisher Projects (Brooklyn, NY,) Iron Monkee Gallery (Jersey City, NJ.)
  Richard Willis

memoirs and fiction

Richard is both an actor and a teacher. He grew up on a farm near Marengo, Iowa. As a professor theater for twenty-five years, he taught and directed at Northwestern University, where he received his Ph.D., and at Lewis & Clark College where he chaired the Department of Theatre. He now resides in New York City where he acts in film and on TV and, of course, writes. He is published in New Author's Journal, Words of Wisdom, Red Wheelbarrow, and Phantasmagoria. Richard has taught soap opera technique to actors at the AFTRA workshop, and dramatic literature at the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York. As a member of Actors Equity (AEA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) for the last twenty years he has appeared in film, TV, and regional theater. His roles in feature films include "Drugstore Cowboy," with Matt Dillon, "Cops & Robbers," with Ed Asner, and "The Last Innocent Man," with Ed Harris. For three years he was seen on "One Life to Live" as Asa Buchanan's butler, Nigel. Other recurring soap opera appearances include "All My Children" and "Another World."
  Sayumi Yokouchi

art gallery

Sayumi received her BFA in Metal Arts from CCAC (Oakland, CA) in 1997 and her MFA in Metal Arts from SUNY New Paltz in 1999 and has been steadily exhibiting her sculpture ever since, she has also recently been exhibiting her portable garden sculptures in succesful art exhibitions such as Kageki Metonymics and Blind Pilots, both of which have toured San Francisco and New York City. She has conceptualized and explored the implications of flowers and gardens as signs of problematic beauty that have begun to undergo drastic changes as a result of both human scientific inventions (such as genetic manipulation) and the increasing demands of our consumer culture (mass production.)

Helen Zelon


Helen's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, Brooklyn Bridge and Scientific American: Explorations. A proud booster of her adopted hometown (New York), she is a nonfiction contributor to Totally Brooklyn.



Jonathan Kravetz


Jonathan is best known for his ability to scratch his forehead and squint his eyes simultaneously.  He is a writer, editor and some time trumpet player who spends too much time reading long feature stories on the world wide web.  He is a co-founder of ducts and founder of the New York based reading series, Trumpet Fiction, held each month at KGB Bar in the east village.  He has studied writing with a number of teachers in New York, including Alice Eliot Dark (fiction), the late Fred Hudson (screenwriting) and Alison Estes (children's fiction) and has held a number of odd jobs, including news reporter, taxi cab driver, projectionist and ducts installer (hmmmm).  He currently works as a computer consultant.  He has recently taken up improv comedy classes with the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater of NYC as a way to discover finer and more glorious ways of embarrassing himself on a weekly basis.  You can contact him at editor@ducts.org.

Philip Shane

Philip is a freelance film editor and co-founder of ducts. His programs have appeared on PBS, ABC, Cinemax, Lifetime Television, The Learning Channel, and in theaters and film festivals around the world.  He lives in New York with his wife Julie.

Daniel McCoy

humor editor

Daniel is a freelance writer and actor.  He is a regular contributor to the Brooklyn humor magazine Jest, and his work has appeared in Modern Humorist and on the public radio programs Rewind and Morning Edition. He studies improvisation at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater, and performs with the troupe Robotski. Daniel lives in Brooklyn with his very patient fiancee, and a small, impatient cat.

Anne Mironchik

Anne, although a fine treasurer, is much more renown for her songwriting, which reaches back to capture the classic brilliance of favorite hits by Carole King and Laura Nyro.  She blurs the lines between jazz, country, rock and R&B, weaving melody and rhythm together in masterful ways. Her rich alto voice leads listeners from one genre to another as she explores the struggles, loves, fears and joys of everyday heroes.  When she's not writing great music, Anne is busy crunching numbers for ducts!  Anne's new CD "Find Me" is now available and can be found at www.annemironchik.com. 


Cindy Moore

art gallery editor
Cindy is a Brooklyn based artist, currently working in arts administration in Manhattan.  Selected New York group shows include the Painting Center, Here Art Center and the Elsa Mott Ives Gallery.  Her work has also been exhibited/screened in conjunction with Hallwalls Art Center (Buffalo NY), The Everson Museum (Syracuse NY) and the Museo de Contemporary Arts (Santiago, Chile.)

Kara Murray

Kara hails from Newton, Mass. but currently makes her home in Brooklyn. When not looking for ways to promote the brilliance of ducts, she can be found verifying the factual accuracy of children's nonfiction books - unless it's the weekend, then she does other things.

Jennifer Lauren Pelley


Jennifer is a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City.   She is an actress and director.

Charles Salzberg

essays, criticism and reviews editor

Charles is a New York based freelance writer and teacher. He has published a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction books. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Arts & Leisure section, Redbook, New York Magazine, Travel & Leisure and many others.


Tim Tomlinson

fiction editor
Tim's fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, North American Review, Libido, and elsewhere.  He's published haiku in Modern Haiku, Time Haiku, and Black Bough.  He's an occasional journalist, and a full time teacher, working at both NYU and the New York Writers Workshop. 

Ryan Van Winkle

poetry editor

Ryan  is 24 years old and lives out of a back pack. He has no permanent residence and is a happy freelance writer. He spends as much time naked as humanly possible. E-Mail him at ryan@smaxx.com.




Cody is responsible for directing, designing, and programming the most current phases of the Ducts Web site. Most recently he is working as Art Director for Fitzgerald Brunetti inc. on several design initiatives for Volvo Cars of North America including the well received online program Volvo for life Awards at www.volvoforlifeawards.com. Lately Cody and his wife have started "Made Unique," an independent clothing label. You can reach him at cody@madeunique.net.