Eric McHenry is a fifth-generation Topekan and a graduate of Topeka High School. He attended Beloit College, and then did graduate work at Boston University where he earned his MA in creative writing. McHenry's poems have been featured in many publications, including, The Harvard Review, Slate, and Poetry Northwest, whose editors named McHenry winner of the Theodore Roethke Prize for best poems published in the magazine in 2010. His criticism appears in The New York Times Book Review and Salon. He is a winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize, and Potscrubber Lullabies won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He currently lives in Lawrence and teaches creative writing at Washburn University of Topeka. In April 2015 he was announced as the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Kansas.
Bob Sommer is the author of two novels, Where the Wind Blew (Wessex, 2008) and A Great Fullness (Fomite, 2016). His recent essays and stories have appeared in Emrys Journal, Rathalla Review, New Plains Review, O-Dark-Thirty, Red Earth Review, and The Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers. He is the Director of Development for the Sierra Club in Kansas and a lecturer at the University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth. His blog is Uncommon Hours.
Shawn Pavey has delivered newspapers, mowed lawns, bagged groceries, cut meat, laid sewer pipe, bussed tables, washed dishes, roofed houses, crunched numbers, rented cars, worked in hotels, worn an apron at Kinko’s, and been paid to write everything from résumés to music reviews. Currently, he earns a living as a Technical Recruiter in Mission, KS where he lives with his fiancée and three worthless but adorable cats. He is the author of Talking to Shadows (Main Street Rag Press, 2008) and Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6 (2015, Spartan Press), Co-founder and former Associate Editor of The Main Street Rag Literary Journal, and a former board member and officer of The Writers Place, a Kansas City-based literary non-profit. His poems, essays, and journalism appear in a variety of national and regional publications. He’s hosted poetry readings in bars, coffee shops, haunted houses, bookstores, libraries, front porches, seedy motel rooms, and abandoned warehouses. A graduate of the University of North Carolina’s Undergraduate Honors Creative Writing Program, he likes his Tom Waits loud, his bourbon single barrel, and his basketball Carolina Blue.