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Winter 2016: Contributors

Contributors Section Artworkfor - Winter 2016 Issue


Burky Achilles was raised on the south shore of Kauai and received her Master’s Degree in Writing Fiction from Portland State University in 2002. Her poem ʻAʻā was published in the summer 2014 issue of VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions. In 2015, Burky’s poetry was selected as the first-place winner in the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards. From May - September 2015, she taught English as a Second Language in a government school in Amnat Charoen, Thailand. She is working on a memoir contrasting her Thai experience with her early years on Kauai.

Pamela Russell Bejerano is a writer and multicultural educator who lives in Portland, Ore. Pamela has published a poem and has won several local flash fiction contests. She has lived abroad several times and weaves multicultural issues and the strength of women throughout her writing.

Susan Blackaby is a Portland children’s book author and winner of the 2011 Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. Dabbling across genres in children’s literature is familiar ground; exploring beyond those boundaries is both uncharted and poorly marked.

Katherine Boyer, M.A., is an author and speaker. She holds a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. She has been published in Inspire Me Today, New Connexion, Street Roots, The Willamette Writer and Portland Family magazine. Her inspiration comes from the natural world around us and living within the context of family. Her book, Mending the Net, outlines methods to heal self even if you grew up in a dysfunctional family. www.katherineboyer.net

While teaching high school English, Kris Demien started a literary magazine, published yearbooks, appeared in musicals, directed plays and edited conference booklets. Now retired, she enjoys parsing sentences, playing with puppies, waging peace and hunting the unexpected poem.

Leora Marialicia González is the daughter of Cuban immigrants. Raised in Miami, her mother’s tales of life on the farm were her bedtime stories. She moved to Portland, Ore. in 2013 after a number of unforeseen events drew her here. Leora is a midwife and faculty member at Birthingway College of Midwifery, an ordained minister and a palliative care nurse. Her passions include the Mountain Dulcimer, dancing, meditation, hiking, laying in her hammock, horses, painting, writing haiku and, most dearly, loving and being loved by the many amazing people in her life. She is currently working on a memoir.

Born and raised in Sherwood, and now living in Portland, Sara Graves recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Counseling. She has seen creative writing work wonders in the lives of her clients, as well as her own. Writing runs in her family and she is happy to carry on the tradition. Sara writes poetry as well as occasional short fiction, drawing inspiration from her love of people-watching. Aside from writing, Sara enjoys classic films, good food, and exploring everything Portland has to offer.

Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo’s poetry was recently published in Fourteen Hills, Poet Lore and lockjaw and is forthcoming from Think and Sugar Hill Review. Elizabeth received her MFA from the University of Oregon and lives in Portland, where she is a teacher and group facilitator. Read more at www.elizabethharlanferlo.com.

Suzy Harris has taken workshops with Claudia Savage and Kim Stafford. She has previously been published in Voicecatcher.

Erin Iwata is a writer, doula, mother to men and elementary teacher on permanent hiatus. She loves how writing connects us and thrives on the bright edges of human experience. She lives with her husband and three boys in a little house on the rolling hills of Ridgefield, Wash. overlooking the Columbia River. Erin escapes overseas with her family whenever she is able. She participates in the poetry community in Vancouver and Portland.

Rebecca Jamieson has always loved to work with her hands. She was raised by a baker and a carpenter in a house on the edge of a forest, where she was read to every day until she was old enough to read to herself. Rebecca now uses her hands to make poetry, music, chocolate chip cookies and whatever else delights her.

A long-time lover of words, Tanya Jarvik uses them frequently, with what she hopes is great panache: in poems and essays, in letters and emails, on her blog and on the phone, at literary readings and live story-telling events, and in conversations over coffee, or tea, or cocktails or kale-banana-matcha-sriracha shakes — really, she's not that picky. She lives with her family in an ecovillage in Northeast Portland.

Tricia Knoll is a Portland poet. Her work appears in numerous journals and anthologies. A chapbook, Urban Wild, is out from Finishing Line Press. Ocean's Laughter - poetry about Manzanita, Oregon, came out from Aldrich Press in January, 2016. Reviews and more information at www.triciaknoll.com

Suzanne LaGrande is an artist, poet and magic-spell maker. For more, art and poetry visit www.suzannelagrande.com

Joan Maiers works with writers of all ages and hosts the Peregrine Literary Series. Her work has appeared in VoiceCatcher 1, Calyx, Blooming in the Shade and other publications. She is completing her full-length manuscript, Specific Gravity.

After forty years in the business and academic worlds, Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, Ore., where she gardens, writes and plays with creative friends. Since the only poem she wrote in high school was red-penciled “extremely maudlin,” she is still amazed she continues to write. Her poems have appeared in a variety of publications including Persimmon Tree, Stirring, Naugatuck River Review and Antiphon. Her second collection, The Way a Woman Knows, was released in February 2015 by The Poetry Box®, Portland, Ore. (www.thewayawomanknows.com). From 2011–2014, Carolyn served as president of the board of VoiceCatcher.

Cynthia McGean is a Portland-based writer and educator with a background in theater and social services. Her writing has appeared in Kaleidotrope, The Saturday Evening Post and The Oregon English Journal and received awards from Writer’s Digest, the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, the Kay Snow Awards, the Oregon Writer’s Colony, the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the National Audio Theatre Festival, the Mark Time Awards and the Ogle Awards. Her stage and audio scripts have been produced at theaters throughout the country. To learn more, visit her website at www.cynthiamcgean.com.

Elizabeth McLagan’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in journals including The Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, 32 Poems, Beloit Poetry Journal, Third Coast, Hunger Mountain, Southeast Review, Willow Springs, Zone 3, and on the website Verse Daily. The autumn 2009 issue of The Bitter Oleander featured her poems and an interview. Poems have won an AWP Intro award, the Frances Locke Memorial Award and the Bellingham Review’s 49th Parallel Award. Her collection of poems, In the White Room, was published in 2013. A founding editor of Calyx, she lives in Portland.

Ann Sihler is a freelance writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. Her essays and poetry have been published in Cirque, The American Journal of Nursing, Nervy Girl! and Out of Line. When she is not writing she enjoys hiking, traveling the city by bicycle and observing nature — both close-up in her garden and out in the big world. You can read more at www.annsihler.com.

Ann Sinclair is a poet, weaver and retired social worker who lives in Portland. Her poetry has been published in VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, Verseweavers, The Oregonian and The Widows' Handbook. She is a member of the Atheneum class of 2016 at the Attic Institute.

Elizabeth Stoessl's poetry has appeared in two previous issues of VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, and one of her poems was chosen for the anthology She Holds the Face of the World: Ten Years of VoiceCatcher. Her work has been published in many journals and anthologies, most recently in the journals Measure, Naugatuck River Review and Blotterature and the anthologies Siblings: Our First Macrocosm (Wising up Press) and Creatures of Habitat (Main Street Rag).

Alida Thacher is the co-founder of PDX Writers, which offers writing workshops, retreats, and editorial services. She’s a certified facilitator in the Amherst Writers and Artists Method (AWA). She's published 8 children's books, as well as several short stories and non-fiction pieces. She was an award-winning television producer and multimedia producer. She lives in Portland and is currently working on a young adult historical novel set in Portland in 1905.

Wendy Thompson is a poet, educator, hiker, kayaker, singer and all around ARTivist — employing the arts for transformation and healing. She performs her award-winning poetry in venues around Portland and has been published in a variety of local anthologies including Arnazella, Chrysalis Journal, Poet’s Ink, Synapse, Song of Ourselves, VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions and Spoleto 2000. A dedicated arts educator, she was a founding faculty member of the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and is currently adjunct faculty at the University of Portland and director of Springwater Studio.

Stacey Vallas holds a Ph.D. in English and has taught at Reed College and Portland State University. She has published essays in Arizona Quarterly and The Oregonian and is currently a member of the Poets Studio at the Attic Institute. She lives and works as a teacher and tutor in Portland.

Desiree Wright started writing at age 6: handmade books of horse names, rhyming poetry and short stories. She paused her story telling to entertain locals in Tonga with her bad accent and refusal to do karaoke. She is mother to two super-cool, non-biological humans, three dogs, a flock of chickens and one naughty cat. She never finished her graduate degree and has no regrets. She recently renewed her vow to say “I am a writer” without any explanation.

Melineh Yemenidjian lives with her husband in Portland. She has been a lifelong poet and is taking her first steps towards publishing her work. She is very excited to see where this journey will take her.


Clare Carpenter is the proprietor of Tiger Food Press in the neighborhood of St. Johns, located smack-dab between the Willamette and Columbia Rivers in Portland, Ore. Her work is heavily influenced by place and how our landscape is imbued with personal histories. Using letterpress as a tool for printmaking and illustration, her work blends traditional and contemporary print methods and shows an appreciation of the natural world she enjoys exploring. At Tiger Food Press, Carpenter specializes in working with clients on custom illustrations and print, as well as working with other artists and writers on collaborative publishing projects.

Alison Foshee received a Bachelor’s Degree with a Fine Arts emphasis from Occidental College and an MFA in Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has shown in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York and Tokyo. In addition, Foshee's work has appeared in many publications including Art in America, Sculpture Magazine and The Los Angeles Times.

Tamar Hammer was born in Afula, Israel and grew up in Israel. She earned her BFA in the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. In 2004 she immigrated to the US with her spouse and their son. Since 2013 she has been living in Portland, Ore.

Annamieka Hopps Davidson lives in Portland, Oregon USA. Her lush layered acrylic paintings depict the flora and fauna of her native temperate rainforests, with imaginary details and vibrant colors woven in. She earned a Bachelor's in Fine Arts from the University of Oregon in 2007. In addition to her studio art practice in Portland, she teaches retreats and workshops on the coast and in the mountains, encouraging her students to get their hands into the creative process and embrace their wild wonder. Annamieka can be found online at www.annamieka.com, on Instagram as @AnnamiekaArt, and on Facebook under /AnnamiekaArt.

Young Voices

Sara Barkouli is currently a sophomore at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland. She enjoys writing, theatre, art and music. Sara can usually be found playing the ukulele, laughing with friends or on stage.

Elie Doubleday is a senior at Oregon Episcopal School. Aside from being an avid reader and writer, she is a member of her school's theater department as both an actor and a stagehand, as well as is an aspiring artist. She enjoys working with children and is a tutor and an art camp counselor.

Raimy Khalife Hamdan is a sophomore in high school in Portland, Oregon. She's a language enthusiast and autumn-lover. Since she was little, she's loved reading and found it easiest to express herself through her writing.

Isabel Lickey is a student currently attending Grant High School. She loves writing, gardening and sketching.

Alli Rodenbaugh is a high school senior at Roosevelt High School in Portland Ore. She loves writing and coloring. She also enjoys playing with her autistic twin sisters. Alli plans to go to college to become a neonatal intensive care nurse. She wants to "help the people that can't help themselves." While writing these pieces, Allison was going through rough patches in her family life: the struggle of figuring out which way to go, life or death.

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Celebrating nature, home and the cycles of life – twenty poets light the winter night.


Six stories use magic to explore loss, grief and healing.


With imagery of flora and fauna, four artists animate the winter landscape.

Young Voices

Five young women dig deep to each speak their individual truth .


From emerging to established writers – meet the women behind our eighth issue’s voices and visions.

Table of Contents Button


        Northwest Equinox by Kris Demien

        Gradations of Gray by Wendy Thompson

        With Gladness by Sara Graves

        Home by Leora Marialicia González

        For a Grade School Classmate by Joan Maiers

        Canning Factory Road by Elizabeth Stoessl

        To Make a Prairie by Carolyn Martin

        At Home by Suzy Harris

        Family Disagreement by Tricia Knoll

        The Bullfrogs by Katherine Boyer

        Cows by Rebecca Jamieson

        Lesson by Stacey Vallas

        Stardust by Erin Iwata

        Perspective by Carolyn Martin

        Lacrosse Season by Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo

        The Tangled Path by Suzanne LaGrande

        Matched Set by Tanya Jarvik

        False Bus Stop by Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo

        Last Visit by Erin Iwata

        October Walk with My Mother by Ann Sinclair

        First Rothko Exercise by Elizabeth McLagan

        Fractions by Susan Blackaby

        Tea by Melineh Yemenidjian

        Return by Stacey Vallas


        Scarab Man by Cynthia McGean

        Planetary Influences by Alida Thacher

        Bone of the Past by Burky Achilles

        Teachings: A Buddhist Ghost Story by Ann Sihler

        Wrangler by Desiree Wright

        A Nicaraguan Spring by Pamela Russell Bejerano


        Into the Wonder by Annamieka Hopps Davidson

        Deep Blue Meditation by Annamieka Hopps Davidson

        Weave Me Into the Sea by Annamieka Hopps Davidson

        Crassula 2 by Alison Foshee

        Crassula 5 by Alison Foshee

        Crassula 6 by Alison Foshee

        Warm Autumn by Tamar Hammer

        Girl with Conch by Tamar Hammer

        With Her Dog by Tamar Hammer


        Love Beyond Loss by Isabel Lickey

        Submerged by Raimy Khalife Hamdan

        Which Way? by Alli Rodenbaugh

        To Autumn by Sara Barkouli

        The Storm by Elie Doubleday