Meet the People Behind the Stories

Fred J. Abrahams
Fred has lived a pretty uneventful life for your average holocaust evader. Arriving in NYC from Germany just before WWII he attended New York’s Stuyvesant High School and the University of Pennsylvania and was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. Following a career in advertising and as a freelance writer he became a TV infomercial producer. In 2000 an interlude of open heart surgery inspired him to write his memoirs. Among other memories he tells about the abstract expressionist painters of the Chelsea school, 15 minutes of fame on a TV Quiz show, sex, drugs and Studio 54. He is an avid skier and photographer and now lives in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Derek Alger
Derek Alger is a freelance writer, who also is the managing editor of PIF Magazine, an online literary journal.
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.
Kemeny Babineau
Kemeny Babineau lives outside Brantford Ontario with his wife and two daughters. He also edits an independent literary wag called The New Chief Tongue that appears courtesy of Laurel Reed Books. Babineau is not the author of his latest poetry collection VDB Wordlist, which is published by BookThug.
Heather Bell
Heather Bell (nee Schimel) has recent publications in Neon, Rattle, Diet Soap and the Columbia Review, among others. She has also released two books of poetry, one available from Verve Bath Press, “Nothing Unrequited Here” and has a chapbook “Facts Of Combat...” published by Paperhero Press. Heather dedicates all her writing to JNB because without him, she never would have written any of it down.
Lola Belle
Miss Lola Belle is a globetrotting bartender with a penchant for megaphones and microphones. She was working on her memoirs, entitled “Flapping My Gums Made My Teeth Crooked,” but writing Facebook status updates takes up most of her day.

C.B. Bernard
C.B. Bernard lives in Maine. He can be found at
Lorna Knowles Blake
Lorna Knowles Blake’s poems have recently appeared in Barrow Street, The Cortland Review and The Hudson Review. Her first collection, Permanent Address, won the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize and was published by the Ashland Poetry Press in May of 2008. She lives and works in New York City and Cape Cod.
George Bowering
George Bowering was born in Penticton, British Columbia, in 1935. Recognized as one of his country’s most prolific writers of poetry, short stories, and novels with over forty titles, he served as Canada’s first Poet Laureate from 2002-2004 and received the Governor General’s Award. He has taught at the University of Calgary, University of Western Ontario, and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His latest collection of poems is Burning Water (New Star Books, 2007).
Dustin Brookshire
Dustin Brookshire is a poet and activist living in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the founder of Limp Wrist and Project Verse. His work has been published in Subtle Tea, Ocho, ouroboros review, and qarrtsiluni.
Ajani Burrell
Some of Ajani Burrell’s fiction has appeared in Passages North, The Saint Ann’s Review,and Fiction Weekly, and is forthcoming in The Raven Chronicles.

Joana D’Arezzo
Joana D’Arezzo was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. After graduating college, she taught ESL to teenagers in Brazil before moving to San Francisco, CA where she got her MFA in writing from CCA. She’s currently living in São Paulo, working on a dystopian novel and a collection of short stories.

Benjamin Dancer
Benjamin teaches English at Jefferson County Open School in Lakewood, Colorado. “My First Elk” is an excerpt from his novel Fidelity, other excerpts of which were published in Fast Forward Vol. 1 & 2, decomP, and G Twenty-Two Literary Journal, among others.
Lauren Elise Daniels
Lauren Elise Daniels is the prose editor for IP/Glass House Books, an independent Australian literary press. A freelance writer with a 22-year track record, she also teaches creative writing at TAFE and the University of Queensland. After receiving her BA in Creative Writing in ’92, she spent her formative years with Ziff-Davis Publishing in Boston. In ’99, she completed her masters thesis, Crossing Sakonnet—a memoir, attained her MFA with Emerson College then moved to Australia. Her work has appeared in commercial, academic and literary sources such as The Sakonnet Times, The Courier-Mail, Fairfield University’s The Sound and The Newport Review.
Bob Eckstein
Bob Eckstein is the author of “The History of the Snowman” More of his cartoons can be seen at

George G. Farrell
George G. Farrell was a New York-based writer and corporate communications executive for the Manufacturers Hanover Corporation. A World War II Marine Corps veteran and father of eight children, George was born in 1925 and passed away in 2008. His piece in this issue, “Don’t Do Anything Foolish – I Have a Note,” was originally sold to Fawcett Publications’ TRUE Magazine in 1974 for the then lucrative fee of $500. Unfortunately, TRUE Magazine folded shortly after payment was made, so the piece never ran. Its appearance in Ducts represents its first publication
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.
Becki Fuller
art gallery
Becki Fuller is a Brooklyn based documentary photographer. Her passion for street art and graffiti takes her all around the five boroughs of New York searching for beauty and inspiration in the urban landscape. She is a strong advocate for people taking back public space from corporate America and making it their own once again.
Stefania Fumo
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Stefania is an Italian writer, journalist, filmmaker, and translator living in NYC since the early 90s, when she covered US news for European magazines, radio, and a daily newspaper. She has translated several novels, and her first short film was screened at festivals in Greece, Romania, the UK, Uruguay, and the US. She is currently in pre-production on her second short film. Her erotic fiction has appeared in Allspice magazine.
Christie Grotheim
An award-winning graphic designer and copywriter, Christie Grotheim is now in the process of publishing a series of humorous autobiographical essays whose subjects range from her kidnapping in South America to her condom-eating dog. She runs a creative office share in the East Village and is in business for herself ( Her design work and copywriting have been featured in publications including Graphis, Communication Arts, How Magazine, and Print’s Design Annuals and has been exhibited in national competition.
Christina Holzhauser
Christina was raised in a town of 85 along the Missouri river. She’s worked as a ranch hand on a dude ranch in California, a pee collector at a nuclear plant, a histology technician, an archaeologist, and an expert hiking boot fitter in Texas. While living in a cabin with no running water in Fairbanks, Alaska, she earned her MFA in Nonfiction as well as the right to say she’s put on her coat to use the outhouse in the middle of the night. She currently lives in Missouri with her wife and four cats. When she’s not doing archaeology, she teaches English at local universities.
Jacob Kalish
Jacob Kalish is a freelance journalist and humorist whose work has appeared in Details, Maxim, Stuff, New York Press, Spin, Blender, Men’s Fitness, Poets and Writers, and Playboy, among other publications. His humor book Santa vs. Satan: The Official Compendium Of Imaginary Fights was published by Three Rivers Press. He was an editorial Assistant at Details Magazine from 1999-2000 and hasn’t had a regular job since then, except for sporadic soul-crushing work as a high school substitute teacher. He hopes he can avoid offices until he dies, which, considering his high blood pressure and triglyceride levels, he might be able to accomplish fairly easily.
Jack Lechner
Jack Lechner has been involved in the production and development of dozens of movies, including The Crying Game, Good Will Hunting, and The Full Monty. He is based at Washington Square Films, where he develops projects for film and television. He was an executive producer on the Oscar-winning documentary The Fog Of War; the Emmy-nominated Left Of The Dial for HBO; Parking Lot for Trio; Very Young Girls and Naked On The Inside for Showtime; and the upcoming Smile ‘Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story. He also co-produced the pilot of the Emmy-winning AMC series Mad Men. Jack’s picture book Mary Had A Little Lamp was published in 2008. He is writing lyrics for the musical The Kid, which will premiere off-Broadway in 2010. He is an adjunct professor at NYU.
Dan Lopez
Dan Lopez holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. He has been an associate artist in residence at the Atlantic Center for the arts, and his fiction has most recently appeared in Prick of the Spindle.
Moura McGovern
Moura McGovern’s work has appeared in journals such as the Chattahoochee Review, and her novel is under review at Penguin. She has an MFA from Penn State, where she also teaches writing.
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.
Adam Moorad
Adam Moorad’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Underground Voices, decomP, Yellow Mama and Farmhouse Magazine’s Best of Anthology, among others. He is also a contributor to the Nashville Scene and the Huffington Post. He currently lives in Brooklyn and works in publishing.
Stephen Muret
Stephen Muret lives and writes in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Leslie Nipkow
Leslie Nipkow came to NY with dreams of a career on the Broadway musical stage, but ended up in roles like: Nurse, Cop, CSI, Demolition Worker, Female Officer, and Erica Kane’s prison guard on All My Children. The latter inspired her one-woman show, Guarding Erica, published in Talk to Me: Monologue Plays (Vintage Books). She now cobbles together the life of an unlikely hyphenate: essayist-TV writer-actor. Her essay “A Long Day’s Journey Into Lip Gloss” appeared in the New York Times City section; “Mantooth” is featured on; and “(Mis)Reading the Signs” ran in the Sunday New York Post. She is currently working on Guarding Erica, a memoir in parts about her life as actor, writer, bartender, mistress, Weight Watcher, personal assistant, and accidental soapwriter.
Hoang Pham
art gallery
Hoang Pham was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States in 1982. Her work takes on forms of drawing, print media, and installation and deals with phenomena surrounding nature, travel, memory, and its temporal representations. Concurrently her work explores the imperfect, and contradictory nature of what is perceived as natural and balanced, with reference to plant and body. Her work has been exhibited within the United States and Canada. She currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.
David Poolman
art gallery
David Poolman was born in Wallaceburg, Ontario. He is an 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. Poolman is a professor of Drawing and Performance at Sheridan College.
Andrea Rothman
Andrea Rothman is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, where she received her PhD in molecular biology in 1997. A few years ago, she left academia to pursue a career in writing. She currently lives in Great Neck, NY, with her husband and four-year old twins.
Sarah Schwartz
Sarah Schwartz is a second-year graduate student in the Creative Writing program at Fordham University who likes to write about her mother. Born and raised in New York City, she has recently relocated to South Orange, New Jersey.
Johnathan Smit
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Jonathan is an actor, playwright and fiction writer–not necessarily in that order. He has written two full-length plays and is working on a third. He is also working on a collection of short stories. He divides his time, somewhat erratically, between Brooklyn, New York and Austin, Texas. He is very happily married to the art historian Ann Reynolds.  
Garrett Socol
Garrett Socol’s fiction has been published in The Barcelona Review, 3: AM Magazine, Hobart, Pequin, Paradigm, Ascent Aspirations, Hiss Quarterly, Ghoti, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, JMWW Journal, and Perigee. His plays have been produced at the Berkshire Theatre Festival and the Pasadena Playhouse. He created and produced numerous cable television shows including Talk Soup, The Gossip Show, and the “101” Countdown series on E!.
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.”
Cindy Stockton Moore
art gallery
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:
Matt Sullivan
Matt Sullivan is a writer whose work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Black Book, The Onion, Salon and New York and on his parents’ fridge.
Erich Sysak
Erich R. Sysak grew up in Florida and New Orleans, but now lives part of the year in the northeast of Thailand. He works a small mango farm, reads and writes crime novels and teaches. His novels, Dog Catcher and Stage IV, are both available through Monsoon Books, Singapore. You can visit his website at:
Marilyn L. Taylor
Marilyn L. Taylor is the Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin for 2009 and 2010. Her award-winning poems have appeared in Poetry, American Scholar, Measure, and many other journals and anthologies; her second full-length poetry collection, titled Subject to Change, was nominated for the Poets Prize in 2005. She is currently a Contributing Editor for The Writer magazine, where her articles on craft appear bi-monthly.
Curtis Tompkins
Curtis Tompkins lives and writes in the Allegheny Highlands of western Maryland. His prose, poetry, and reviews have appeared in The Broadkill Review, Prick of the Spindle, Plain Spoke, Review Revue and others.
Richard Willis
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Richard grew up on a farm near Marengo, Iowa. He is both an actor and a teacher. After receiving his Ph.D. at Northwestern University, he taught and directed there for three years, and later at Lewis & Clark College where he was chairman of the Department of Theatre. He has been active as a member of Actor’s Equity, the Screen Actor’s Guild, and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists for over twenty years. He is published in New Author’s Journal, Words of Wisdom, Red Wheelbarrow, Phantasmagoria, and Iconoclast. He and his wife, Linda Barry, live in New York City.
Prudence Wright Holmes
Prudence Wright Holmes is an actor and writer. She has appeared on Broadway with Meryl Streep in Happy End, with Maggie Smith in Lettuce and Lovage, with George C Scott in Inherit the Wind, and most recently in the Tony Award-winning musical The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center and on the first National Tour. Off-Broadway, she was in the original casts of Godspell and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You. She has performed at many regional theatres and on numerous prime-time television shows. She also had featured roles in the films Sister Act I and II, The Exorcist II, Kingpin, and In Dreams. She is the author of the books Voices of Thinking Jewish Women, Monologue Mastery, and the solo play Bexley, Oh!, which she performed to very positive reviews at the New York Theatre Workshop in April of 2003. She frequently reads her work at KGB Red Room, The Living Room, and the Cornelia Street Café in New York City.
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.
Chris Frost Chris Frost, handbag designer maximus/junk store aficianado, spends much of his time daydreaming of Brandy Alexanders and the old New York. His illustrations have appeared in Santa vs. Satan: The Official Compendium Of Imaginary Fights, published by Three Rivers Press. He lives in Bushwick, though he was once voted best-dressed man in Williamsburg.
Jenah Pelley Jenah is currently pursuing a career in film. Through Ducts, her love of paint and pencil is still thriving.
Kat Rodies (photography) Kat Rodies enjoys urban photo safaris with her Nikon SLR and trusty border collie assistant, Cassie.
Philip Shane (photography) Philip Shane is the Co-Founder and original Designer of Ducts, and an award-winning documentary film producer and editor in New York.
Steve Tarantino
Steve attended FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology ) in New York for Illustration. He graduated in 1991 with a BFA in Illustration.
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.
Kat Rodies
Managing Editor
Kat is neither managing nor an editor. Discuss.
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 editor
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.