Meet the People Behind the Stories

Fred Abrahams
In 1937, when he was three, Fred and his family fled from Germany to the US, and settled in NYC. After college, he served in the US Army. Upon returning to New York, he went into advertising in New York, eventually founding his own agency. He currently lives in Brattleboro, VT where he spends the winter skiing and the rest of the year traveling, writing his memoirs, and taking pictures. His photos are currently in a show of Vermont photographers at the Vermont Welcome Center.
Robert Allen
Roberta is an author, artist, and teacher. She is the author of two story collections, Certain People , and The Traveling Women, both praised by The New York Times Book Review; a novella-in-stories,The Daughter. praised by the Voice Literary Supplement; a novel, The Dreaming Girl, praised by the Village Voice; and the travel memoir, Amazon Dream , praised by The L.A. Reader, and a selection of The Quality Paperback Book Club. She is on the faculty of New School University, has taught in the writing program at Columbia University, and in private workshops since 1991. She is also a visual artist who has exhibited worldwide, with work in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. More than one hundred-and-fifty of Roberta Allen’s stories have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Open City, Bomb, Chelsea, Epoch, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Brooklyn Rail. In 1998, Roberta Allen was a Tennessee Williams Fellow in Fiction. She has traveled alone for decades to such places as the Peruvian Amazon, Indonesia, Belize, Nicaraqua, Costa Rica, and, most recently, Panama. She divides her time between Woodstock, New York, and Manhattan.
Chris Awalt
Chris wrote his last published piece in 1991, a “My Turn” column in Newsweek for which he was awarded his 15 minutes, doing radio and television interviews across the nation, and even receiving an invitation to appear on The Jenny Jones Show and a similar talk-fight show in the UK. He expects the same reaction from publication of his poem here. He is a part-time carpenter living in New Jersey.
Nicholas Bhasin
Nicholas is a writer living in Sydney, Australia.
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.
Jacqueline Bishop
Jacqueline, originally from Jamaica, lives in New York. She is the author of Fauna, a collection of poems; My Mother Who Is Me: Life Stories from Jamaican Women in New York; the forthcoming novel, The River’s Song; and is the founding editor of Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters. She teaches at New York University.
Debois Buhl

art gallery
Nanna graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark, MFA (2006). She is currently artist in residence at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and accepted for The Whitney Independent Study Program (2008-09). She works with film, video, drawing, photography and sound. Her artistic practice focuses on the role of narratives and the writing of history in constructing identities, individual as well as national. Her work is shown internationally and she is co-editor of the book “VIEW – Feminist Strategies in Danish Visual Art” (2004).
Susan Buttenwieser
Susan’s fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in Failbetter, Epiphany, Storyglossia and other publications. She has received several fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and teaches writing workshops at organizations for underserved communities.
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.
Sharon Dolin
Sharon was known in college as “Pineapple” (due to her last name) in as well as “Pound Cake” because of the thesis she wrote on Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos. Winner of the AWP 2007 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry for her poetry book Burn and Dodge (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008), she is the author of three previous books of poems: Realm of the Possible, Serious Pink, and Heart Work. She is Poet-in-Residence at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts. She also teaches poetry workshops at the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
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.
Bob Eckstein
Bob is a writer/cartoonist who lives in NYC. A sneak peek at his new book, The History of the Snowman; From the Ice Age to the Flea Market can be seen at
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.
Martha Fenton
Martha is a freelance writer and under-published novelist, living in Portland, Maine. A recovering advertising copywriter, she has yet to fully shake that monkey from her back. Her writing has been anthologized in Triple Tree Publishing’s MOTAseries and the Himalayan Institute’s Spirit on the Move. Excerpts from her first novel, Alice Underground, can be viewed on her laptop. When not whipping off headlines, she is either procrastinating or hard at work on her second novel, Thank You, Jerry.
Jane Flett
Jane lives in Edinburgh, where she writes poems and stories that she occasionally reads aloud to people. She is also a philosopher, gin drinker, and cellist. Reviewers say her writing is like a cold can of lager on a hot day, with 13.5% extra free. You can find Jane in the Chelsea Hotel, or find her words in Johnny America, The Golden Hour and Neon. Talk to her:
Mike Hein
art gallery
Mike Hein is a sculptor based in Brooklyn. He received his MFA from Syracuse University and from there he completed a three year post as a sculpture professor at NASCAD University in Halifax, Canada.
He has shown in both US and Canada, with an upcoming show at the University of Mississippi Museum. He enjoys the pleasure of whiskey and melting plastic.
Greg Heinemann
Greg is a former teacher who continues to coach high school football in the Midwest.
Scott Hightower
Scott would like to see the U.S. re-focus resources from the Death Penalty to public support for sanctuaries for butterflies, songbirds, horses, and retired elephants. He is the author of three books of poetry. He is also the recipient of a 2008 Willis Barnstone Translation Prize and a contributing editor to The Journal.
Ernest Hilbert
While associates know him as a dandy with a penchant for rare books, Italian leather, and precise language, Ernest Hilbert is also the editor of the Contemporary Poetry Review. His poetry has appeared in Fence, The New Republic, Volt, The New Criterion, American Poetry Review, and The American Scholar. He works as an antiquarian book dealer in Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife, a classical archaeologist.
Angela Himsel
Angela Himsel’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Jewish Week, Forward and elsewhere. She is currently working on a novel.
Jared Keel
Known as “Flash” as a teenager, for the extraordinary speed with which he managed his daily affairs, Jared Keel was later dubbed ‘Bring-‘em-Back-Alive Keel.” He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and is a student in the MFA program in creative writing at New School University.
David Kirby
David was known as ‘”Dynamite” in high school and, for about a week in college, “Popcorn.” He teaches at Florida State University, and his House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award.
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 Burlington, Vermont.
Saira McLaren
art gallery
Saira is painter living between Brooklyn and Toronto Canada. She studied at the Ontario College of Art & Design then completed a residency at the Drake and is part of their permanent collection. She was awarded the Curry’s prize for painting in 2003 and has an upcoming show at the University of Mississippi Museum. This summer Mclaren plans to go down with the ship.
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
Kristine Ong Muslim
More than six hundred poems and stories by Kristine Ong Muslim have been published or are forthcoming in over two hundred journals and magazines worldwide. Her work has recently appeared in Blue Fifth Review, Dog Versus Sandwich, Farrago’s Wainscot, Frigg Magazine, Grasslimb, GUD Magazine, and Pank.
Alison Pelegrin
Shame and scandal hailed down upon Alison Pelegrin’s all-girl catholic high school when she earned the nickname “Cherry Girl” (she was one of a pair–fill in the rest of the blanks yourself). She’s an NEA fellow and the author of, most recently, Big Muddy River of Stars (University of Akron Press, 2007), and lives in south Louisiana where she is a real for true trash-talking, grudge-holding, eighth-generation “Ragin’ Cajun.”
Jessica Piazza
Jessica was known as JP in her college years, when she was ultra-incognito for semi-shady reasons. Since then, her fabulous friends have blessed her with many nicknames including “Standby,” “Sidepiece,” “Brooklyn” and “J3P0,” but never, ever “Jessie.” She’s pursuing a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing at USC and, as for her poems, lately they’ve been in (or will be in) Indiana Review, No Tell Motel, Pebble Lake Review and Coconut.
Thomas Pryor
Thomas’s stories burrow through Manhattan’s Yorkville neighborhood during the 1960s. His work has appeared in the New York Times, A Prairie Home Companion, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood and Underground Voices Magazine. Thomas is working on a collection of short stories entitled: Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts. You may contact him at
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.
Elizabeth Urello
Unlike many writers, Elizabeth Urello lives in Brooklyn. Visit her at
Amanda Yskamp
Poet and fiction writer Amanda Yskamp has published work in such magazines as Threepenny Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Georgia Review, and Caketrain. Amanda received the Oboh Prize and was nominated for a Pushcart. She lives with poet Douglas Larsen and their two children on the 10-year flood plain of the Russian River, where she teaches correspondence courses and writes articles for the local free paper.
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.
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.
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 Lemon
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 is a Brooklyn-based painter in a constant state of optimistic upheaval. Outside of the studio, she spends her time shuffling from college to college as an adjunct art professor. Her work was most recently exhibited at A.I.R Gallery in Chelsea and at Kunsfort in Vijfhuizen, The Netherlands. Her writing on art has appeared in New York Arts Magazine, NY Sun, in addition to on-line publications.
Kat Rodies
assistant editor
Kat Rodies 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.
Elizabeth Rosen
Essays and profiles editor
Elizabeth is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette 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.
Jason Boucher Jason is a full-time graphic design student at Bucks County Community College. After earning his associates in the spring of 2009 he hopes to obtain a full-time graphic design job while attending school for his bachelor degree.
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.
Steve Tarantino Steve attended FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology ) in New York for Illustration. He graduated in 1991 with a BFA in Illustration.
Hayley Rosado is a double English and Math major in the class of 2009 at Lafayette College. Caroline Richardson is a sophomore at Lafayette College, majoring in Biochemistry. Eric Henney is a freshman at Lafayette College, majoring in English.

Jayne Miller is a sophomore and an English major at Lafayette College.