Meet the People Behind the Stories

Jeffe Aronson
Jeffe grew up in an almost exclusively Jewish part of 1960’s Chicago, but near the end of high school found the wilderness-and the true course of his life-in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Using his bar-mitzvah money to join an Outward Bound course in Yosemite, he never looked back. He was one of the first paramedics in California, lost his mother to cancer when he was 25, and began his own battle with testicular cancer a year later. Now in his mid-fifties, he remains a Grand Canyon commercial river guide, has founded and directed non-profits, including one that was instrumental in creating access to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon for people with disabilities, and another that restored historic downtown Flagstaff, Arizona. He is active in the Renewable Energy trade. Jeffe’s previous work has been published in magazines and newspapers in both the US and Australia, a list of which is included herein.
Duff Brenna
Duff is a former AWP Best Novel winner, and the recipient of an NEA Fellowship. His third novel, Too Cool, was a New York Times Noteworthy Book. His fourth novel, The Altar of the Body was Book Editor’s Favorite Book of the Year at South Florida Sun-Sentinel. His sixth novel, The Law of Falling Bodies (Hopewell Publications), was published September 2007. His stories, poems and essays have appeared in Agni, The Nebraska Review, The Literary Review, The Madison Review, New Letters and numerous other literary venues.
Dr. Mara Berkley
Mara Berkley has a masters in theatre and used her directing ability to become a psychologist specializing in couples therapy. She has published creative nonfiction based on her work and poetry in several journals. She is proud to have her first fiction published in Ducts. Mara is currently at work on her childrens books: Tobin’s Revels and The Mad River Fiddling Contest.
L Burrow
L. Burrow lives in upstate New York in a small cabin in the middle of the woods. At night, it is dark. He goes to bed early. His work has appeared in First Class, Big Jewel and Struggle.
Brandon Cole
Brandon Cole has written, co-written, produced, or directed five feature films, most recently 13 MOONS, co-written and directed by Alexandre Rockwell, that stars Steve Buscemi, David Proval, Peter Dinklage and Jennifer Beals. His other film credits include MAC and ILLUMINATA, co-written and directed by John Turturro; OK GARAGE, which he wrote and directed, which starred Lili Taylor, John Turturro and Will Patton; and SONS, co-written and directed by Alexandre Rockwell. MAC won the Camera D’Or at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival. OK GARAGE was awarded best screenplay at the 1998 Avignon, France, Film Festival. The Difficult Ones is his second novel.
Vivian Conan
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Vivian is a free-lance writer living in nyc. She also works part-time as a Reference Librarian in several public libraries in Westchester.
Shira Dentz
Shira’s poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in various journals and anthologies including Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Field, American Letters & Commentary, Electronic Poetry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Chelsea, Seneca Review, Salt Hill Journal, Barrow Street, How2, The Journal, Diner, Luna, Cimarron Review, Web del Sol, Big Bridge, Outsider Ink, and can we have our ball back?. She’s the recipient of Poetry Society of America awards, Electronic Poetry Review’s Discovery Award, and Painted Bride Quarterly’s Poetry Prize. Her poetry has aired on National Public Radio and been featured on Poetry Daily. In addition, she has received fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, the Ragdale Foundation, Squaw Valley Writers’ Community, and the MacDowell Arts Colony.
Jeremy Drummond
art gallery
Jeremy Drummond is an artist working primarily in video and print. He is currently living in Philadelphia while enjoying a sabbatical from University of Richmond where he teaches digital art and theory. His work can be seen at
Denise Duhamel
Denise’s most recent book Ka-Ching! is forthcoming from University of Pittsburgh Press. Despite the book’s title, Duhamel is opposed to greed in most of its forms.
Saara Dutton
Saara is on a constant quest for new experiences. Consequently, she has found herself at a Connecticut Furry convention dressed in a kitten costume, hanging out with strippers in Atlanta, signing up for an Imaginary Girlfriend service on the
internet, and getting drunk with Louisiana shrimpers on the bayous of Terrebonne Parish. Stories detailing some of her odd experiences have been published in Salon, The New York Times and Bust magazine. She is happy to share her “Holy Land Bible Theme Park” experience here in Ducts.
Moira Egan
Moira Egan lives in Rome, just off the Pilgrim’s Path between Santa Maria Magggiore and San Giovanni in Laterano. There she spends the off-pilgrim hours becoming acquainted with many varieties of Italian red wine.
Jerry Farrell
Jerry has been contributing humor to Ducts since the Summer 2004 Issue. His first piece, “Praise for Codename: Vengeance” ran under the pseudonym Paul MacTavish, which was a huge mistake considering that a Paul MacTavish of Lansing, Michigan immediately began mailing Mr. Farrell a single steel-tipped bullet each week with a note accusing him of stealing his identity and thoughts. In November of 2006, Mr. MacTavish successfully tracked down Mr. Farrell at a Virginia Artists’ Colony. After surviving eleven gunshot wounds, Mr. Farrell’s street cred as one of the country’s baddest (and most important) webzine humorists is indisputable.
Laura Zinn From
Laura¬† holds an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University and teaches fiction and creative non-fiction at the JCC in Manhattan, and in the Columbia Artists/Teachers program. She is a contributing writer at New Jersey Life & Leisure magazine. A former editor at Business Week, she is the winner of the Clarion Award and the Newspaper Guild’s Page One Award for Labor Reporting. Visit her blog at
Jane Harris
Jane is a brooklyn-based writer whose writing has appeared in various publications including the village voice, time out, new york, artforum, and surface magazine. she teaches art history at the school of visual arts, and is currently at work on a book “After: the role of the copy in western art”
R. Brandon Horner
Brandon wrote “Conservation” while studying fiction at Drew University with Robert Ready and Scott Hightower. He teaches English at Rumson Country Day, a K-8 school in New Jersey. When he’s not teaching or writing stories, he coaches the soccer and baseball teams, and fly fishes off Sandy Hook.
Sandra Hurtes
Sandra is a writer and teacher. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Poets & Writers and numerous other print and on-line publications. She’s in the process of reworking her memoir, RESCUE, into linked essays. Her fiction is in Quality Women’s Fiction and Women in Judaism. She has taught creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania and Hunter College, and Freshman Composition at John Jay College.
Michael G. Kesler
Michael Kesler is a chemical engineer, PhD, a graduate of MIT and NYU, and has had a distinguished career working for major oil companies, e.g., Exxon and Mobil. In 1979, he founded, and was for 28 years the president of, a consulting firm that specialized in software development and applications to the petroleum refining industry. He has published numerous articles in professional journals, as well as some poetry.
Natalie Lucas
Personal essays
Natasha recently completed an MA at the University of Chicago and now lives in York, England. An aspiring journalist as well as fiction writer, she works for the Press Association and enjoys doing bizarre pieces of performance art in her spare time.
Dimitris Lyacos
Dimitris Lyacos was born in Athens in 1966. His trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: Exit, Nyctivoe, The First Death) has been translated into English, Spanish, Italian and German and has been performed extensively across Europe and the USA. A sound and sculpture installation of Nyctivoe opened in London and toured Europe in 2004-2005. A contemporary dance performance based on the same book is currently showing in Greece. Dimitris Lyacos will be lecturing on his work at Ruskin School, University of Oxford..
Benjamin Malcolm
Benjamin Malcolm focuses mainly on intercultural themes in his writing, and has been at various times a weekly newspaper journalist, Peace Corps volunteer, Thai university professor, semester abroad leader, refugee camp volunteer, “international development associate,” and freelance writer. He has lived over six years in Thailand and in four out of the six states in New England. His work has appeared in the Thai national newspaper the Nation; U.S. and Thai-based periodicals including Bates Magazine, Thailand Magazine, Chiang Mai Citylife, Tropical Living, Lifestyle + Travel; and the online publications and He now lives with his wife Supalak in Washington, D.C.
Rob Matthews
art gallery
Rob Matthews is a Philadelphia based artist. You can see more of his work at
Tatyana Mishel
Tatyana is a writer and weekend athlete who shares her Seattle home with a very famous Hollywood actor and her jaunty imagination. In her off time she options off her poems for big- screen adaptations. You can visit her at: or
Kathryn Mockler
art gallery
Kathryn Mockler has a MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and a BA in Honors English and Creative Writing from Concordia University. Her poetry and fiction have been published in Canadian and international literary journals. She has had three short films produced and has co-directed two video series: The Reluctant Narrator and Reindeer in the Mountains. She teaches writing at the University of Western Ontario and Ontario College of Art and Design.
David Poolman
art gallery
David Poolman is a MFA graduate from the University of Windsor, and a graduate of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Working in video, print media, and installation, Poolman has exhibited in art galleries and screened in festivals both nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include shows at Museum London (Canada), University of Waterloo (Canada), Stride Gallery (Canada), University of Toronto Art Gallery (Canada), Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery (Canada), University of Lethbridge (Canada) with exhibitions upcoming at Eyelevel Gallery (Canada), and the Art Gallery of Windsor (Canada). Poolman lives in Toronto and teaches at Sheridan College.
Romy Ruukel
Romy is an Estonian born writer currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a member of the radical performance collective 30/70 and of the anarchist collective bookstore Bound Together. Her work has appeared in Appalachee Review and Bayou magazine. Romy Ruukel is an Estonian-born writer currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She bakes a lot of cupcakes, which is either one of her biggest vices or virtues, depending on whom you ask.
Carly Sachs
Carly makes one hell of a Manhattan! When she’s not bartending, she studies Talmud, among other things. Her first book of poems, the steam sequence won the 2006 Washington Writers’ Publishing House book prize. She is the editor of the why and later, an anthology of poems that women have written about rape and sexual assault (deep cleveland press 2007). She is currently an Arts Fellow at The Drisha Institute in New York City.
Carl Schinasi
Carl Schinasi, a native New Yorker, has taught at several colleges. He presently teaches at Miles College, a historically black college, in Birmingham, AL. Recent works have appeared in Slow Trains, Southern Hum, Lit Up Magazine and in the book, Baseball/Literature/Culture. He was recently honored by being asked to deliver the keynote address at the pre-Ramadan banquet at Masjidul Qu’ran in Birmingham, AL.
Vinoad Senguttuvan
Vinoad “Vinny” Senguttuvan works at an animation studio. His stories have been published in SoMa Literary Review, Pequin and Johnny America. He blogs at and he is working on building an audio literary journal,
J.D. Smith
J.D. Smith was awarded a 2007 Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his first children’s book, The Best Mariachi in the World, was published in bilingual, Spanish and English editions in October of 2008. He is working on sloth and has a hard time dealing with how well others avoid envy.
Coree Spencer
Coree Spencer has lived in New York City for almost twenty years and has taken time off from her great acting career to write. At least you don’t need current head shots or movement class in order to write short stories.
Sunsh Stein
Sunsh lives in New York City, but has one foot out the door. She’s a freelance writer with a master’s degree in journalism and a day job as a patient advocate. She was recently called an “advanced hippie.”
Shorsha Sullivan
Translator Shorsha Sullivan was born in Dublin in 1932. He studied Classics at Leeds and has spent most of his working life in England. He has a special interest in Modern Greek theatre and poetry. He reminds us that the Greek word for sloth is acedia.
Erich Sysak
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Erich is the author of Dog Catcher (Monsoon 2005), a novel that explores the hostile sub-culture of organized greyhound racing in Central Florida. He teaches at Webster University in Cha am, Thailand.
Erin Thurlow
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Erin Thurlow is an artist currently living in Toronto, Ontario.
Malerie Yolen-Cohen
personal essays
Malerie is a Stamford, CT, based freelance writer. She contributes regularly to several regional magazines and writes a monthly column for the Stamford Advocate.
Sharon Thomson
Sharon is Director of a retreat center in Cornwall on Hudson, NY, where she tries to find a little peace now and then and some time for her writing. She has published poetry and non-fiction in a variety of journals and anthologies including The Louisville Review, Poetry,, and Many Lights in Many Windows (Milkweed Editions). A chapbook of her poetry was published by Pudding House Publications as part of their Greatest Hits series. She has an MFA in creative non-fiction from Spalding University.
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.
Philip Shane
designer emeritus
Philip is a freelance film editor and co-founder of 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.
Kat Rodies
Managing Editor
Kat is a nurse practitioner, medical writer, and short fiction enthusiast who has been called the ideal person to have with you in a POW camp.
Gail Eisenberg
humor editor/contributor
Gail is a delightful combination of comedy and tragedy. A former writer/producer in Comedy Central’s on-air promotions department, she’s a freelance copywriter, journalist, and co-author of A Mother Loss Workbook (HarperCollins). Her work has appeared in Time Out New York, The Daily News, and Newsday, as well as on-air on Comedy Central and HBO. She has also written copy for theatrical entertainment companies. For the last decade, she has contributed concept and copy to ad agency SJI, for clients like HBO, A&E, IFC, PBS, and CBS. She is co-writer and co-star of Cat Eisenberg, Dog Eisenberg, launching soon on LOGO.
Sharon Gurwitz
Sharon’s careers as psychology professor, banker, and management consultant all come in handy for managing the business side of ducts. When she’s not working on a consulting project or writing her novel, she enjoys going to the theater, ballet, and classical music concerts.
Val Kacik
assistant fiction editor
Born in Laredo, Texas, shipped almost immediately to the isle of Trinidad and Tobago, only to be dropped – most say on his head – in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania three years later, and all this before reading James Tate and Charles Bukowski. Not to mention, which he does his best not to, studying with Tim Tomlinson. The truth has no choice but to turn to fiction.
Amy Lemmon
poetry editor
Amy is the author of the poetry collections Fine Motor (Sow’s Ear Poetry Press, 2008) and Saint Nobody (Red Hen Press, 2009). Her poems and essays have appeared in Rolling Stone, Verse, Prairie Schooner, New letters, Barrow Street, Cincinnati Review and other magazines. Selections from ABBA: The Poems, a sequence written in collaboration with Denise Duhamel, appear in several literary magazines, and online at Amy is poetry editor and an Associate Professor in the English and Speech Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Anne Mironchik
Anne, although a fine treasurer, is much more renowned 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
Cindy Stockton Moore
art gallery editor
Cindy Stockton Moore is a Philadelphia-based painter. Outside of the studio, she works as adjunct professor of art and theory. Her writing on art has appeared in New York Arts Magazine, NY Sun, in addition to on-line and university publications. A listing of her current exhibitions can be found at:
Elizabeth Rosen
Essays and profiles editor
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Elizabeth is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Muhlenberg College. In previous incarnations, she has also been a writer for Nickelodeon, an associate producer for the news, and the editor of two academic journals. She has published her nonfiction and fiction in various publications.
Charles Salzberg
memoir 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.
Aronna Aronna has a genuine love of nature and people that translates through her work. She has been drawing since a very early age. Finding a wonderful way to express her interpretation of the world around her. In recent years, she has devoted herself to her young children, husband and her art. Specializing in book illustrations, portraits and prints, she balances her passion for her family with her passion for her work. Aronna is a very opinionated person and is grateful for the gift to be able to express her opinions through her art.
Kiran Chandra Artist Kiran Chandra lives and creates in Brooklyn, NY and Kolkata India. Her work often interrogates the space between image and word. She dances in the groove between James Brown and Bappi-da. She can talk baseball but can be poetic about cricket. Her antipodes are always in transit.
Bethany Resch Bethany currently resides in Cleveland,OH.She is constantly inspired by traveling,music,nature and film. Often you’ll find her cooking up some kind of strange kind of creative concoction whether it will be a collage, painting or a photograph!
Steve Tarantino Steve attended FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology ) in New York for Illustration. He graduated in 1991 with a BFA in Illustration.