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Per Contra Contributors Winter 2007 - 2008

Astrid Cabral is a leading poet and environmentalist from the Amazonian region of Brazil. She is the translator of Thoreau’s Walden into Portuguese. Recent collections of her poetry include The Anteroom, Gazing Through Water, and Cage. Her poems have appeared in Pleiades, Runes, Sirena, Amazonian Literary Review, and will soon be appearing in Cincinnati Review, Confrontation, Calque, Dirty Goat, Evansville Review, Osiris, and Poetry East. Host Publications will be bringing out Cage, her poetry collection of Amazonian animals, real and imagined, in April, 2008.

Kelly Cherry Kelly Cherry’s new book, published in October, is Hazard and Prospect: New and Selected Poems (LSU Press).  She is currently working on a new collection of short stories.  She lives with her husband, fiction writer Burke Davis III, on a small farm in Virginia.

Odi Gonzales Born in Cusco, Peru, in 1962, Odi Gonzales is a Peruvian poet who writes in Quechua and in Spanish. In Peru, he studied Industrial Engineering and Literature. In the United States he has done Masters and PhD. work in Latin American Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a specialist in Quechua Oral Tradition and has worked as an researcher and translator of Quechua myths, legends, rituals, and oral literature for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the National Foreign Language Center, and National Geographic Television in Washington D.C.

Odi Gonzales is the author of five collections of poems: La Escuela de Cusco/the School of Cusco (2005), Tunupa: El Libro de las Sirenas/Tunupa: The Book of the Sirens (2002), Almas en Pena/Souls in Pain (1998), Valle Sagrado/Sacred Valley (1993), and Juego de Ninos/The Children’s Game (1988). He has also published a book of Spanish translations of the poems of the Quechua poet Andres Alencastre, Taki Parwa/22: Poemas de Kilku Warak’a (2000) and Vírgenes Urbanas/City Virgins, texts in Spanish, Quechua and English that accompany the photographic exhibition of Peruvian artist Ana de Orbegoso. (2006).

In 1992, Gonzales won Peru’s Cesar Vallejo National Poetry Prize, el Premio Nacional de Poesia Cesar Vallejo, from El Comercio, one of Peru’s leading daily newspapers, and the Prize in Poetry from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos de Lima.

Odi Gonzales has participated in various festivals, such as the International Book Fair of Guadalajara 2005—in which Peru was the Honored Guest-. In 2006, he participated in the International Poetry Festival of Medellín, Colombia, and in the Second Languages of America Poetry Festival sponsored by the UNAM of Mexico. Also in 2006, he participated in the International Bookfair of Guadalajara, to which he was invited by the Indigenous Language Institute of the Autonomous University of Mexico. In January of 2007, he visited Quito, for the Ritual of the Word, Intercultural Poetry Festival, organized by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Eduaction and Culture.

Currently, Gonzales resides in Peru and is working on his doctoral thesis.

Fernando Iturburu is a poet, fiction writer, and critic from Guayaquil. He teaches  Spanish at Plattsburgh State College in New York. His collections of poetry include Maitines y laúdes, Vastagos, El camino tomado and Contra sí mesmo. Other work includes a collection of stories about a detective, El cholo cepeda, investigador privado, a book of personal essays or cronicas, and a collection of cultural criticism. He is currently working on an anthology of contemporary Ecuadorian poetry, The Ocean and the Forest, with his colleague and co-translator Alexis Levitin.

Liesl Jobson is a Johannesburg writer, musician and photographer. Her writing is forthcoming in Chimurenga, New Contrast, The Rambler Magazine, Letters to the World, a poetry anthology from Red Hen Press, White Ink, a poetry anthology from Demeter Press, and CRUX: A Conversation in Words and Images - South Africa to South USA, from the US Social Forum. Her first collection of poems, View from an Escalator received a Community Publishing Project grant from the National Library of South Africa’s Centre for the Book and will be published in 2008. Her collection of prose poems and flash fiction 100 Papers, which received the Ernst van Heerden Creative Writing Award from the University of the Witwatersrand, will be published by Botsotso Press in 2008.

Nance Knauer clings to the belief that she will complete her MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University soon.  A finalist for the Minneapolis Loft Mentor Series in 2004, she has been published both online and in print, including FRiGG Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly and Ink Pot.

Donald Kuspit - Click here for Biographical Sketch.

Wayne Lewis is the editor of several small publications in Memphis, Tennessee, including Key Magazine of Memphis.  Besides short fiction he also writes poetry, plays the harmonica and runs – once upon a time competitively.  He has a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in Creative Writing, both from the University of Memphis.  He also has a daughter at Boston University, a son at Rhode Island School of Design and two collies shedding hair all over the house.

Lynn Levin is a writer, poet, and translator. Her translations of Peruvian poets and writers have appeared in Gowanus, Painted Bride Quarterly, and other places.  Her essay, “How to Eat a Pet: A Gastronomic Adventure in the Andes,” was named a Notable Essay of 2006 by the series Best American Essays. Lynn Levin is the author of two collections of poems, Imaginarium (2005) and A Few Questions about Paradise (2000), both published by Loonfeather Press. Imaginarium was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s 2005 Book of the Year Award.

Lynn Levin’s poems have appeared in Per Contra, Boulevard, Hunger Mountain, 5 AM, Cimarron Review, Margie, Nerve Cowboy, Word Riot, Mannequin Envy, The Poetry Miscellany, Nebraska Review, The North American Review, The Comstock Review, Mad Poets Review, Paterson Literary Review, One Trick Pony, on Garrison Keillor’s radio show, The Writer’s Almanac, and other places. She has received seven Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry. Lynn Levin teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and at Drexel University, where she is also executive producer of the TV show, The Drexel InterView.

Alexis Levitin - Click here for Biographical Sketch.

Kuzhali Manickavel lives in a small temple town on the coast of South India. Her work can be found at Subtropics, Salt Flats Annual, Quick Fiction, Caketrain and Gambara.

Eduardo Moran (Guayaquil, 1957) The poetry of Morán is irreverent, casual and ironic. His subject matter may be perceived as pedestrian, but his surrealistic approach forces the reader to see the ordinary in a new light. At times, an aggressive voice speaks of social injustice, at other times a detached, seemingly objective tone accompanies a fragmented vision of the quotidian.  His books are Muchacho majadero (Guayaquil, 1979), No pudimos mirarla de manera distinta (Zacatecas, 1985), Los lugares maliciosos (1998).

Daniel Post was raised in Tampa, Florida. He received his BA from The University of Florida and his MFA from The University of Southern California.  His stories have been published or are forthcoming in Gentle Strength Quarterly, Seneca and Big Moon. He was recently the featured author in the New Short Fiction Series at the Beverly Hills Library.  He has received the Condon Smith Undergraduate Prize for Fiction and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Antonio Preciado, born in Esmeraldas in 1941, is the leading Ecuadorian black poet.  Bedoya, currently the Minister of Culture for his country, is a politically committed contributor to multiculturalism in Ecuador literature. His work reinvents the heritage of poor decimeros (popular oral black poets) and contributes a sympathetic view tofurther support the ideas of avant-garde, social thinkers and leaders such as Aimé Cesaire, Franz Fanon, Malcom X, and Martin Luther King.  His books are: Poetry: Jolgorio (Quito, 1961), Más acá de los muertos (Quito, 1966), Tal como somos (Quito, 1969), De sol a sol (Bogotá, 1979), Poema húmedo (La Habana,1981), Espantapájaros (La Habana, 1982), De ahora en adelante (Quito, 1993).Anthologies: Lírica ecuatoriana contemporánea (Bogotá, 1979), Poesía viva del Ecuador (Quito, 1990), La palabra perdurable (Quito, 1991).

Augusto Rodiguez, born in 1979, is one of Ecuador´s youngest writers. He has published four collections of poetry in the last seven years. Fernando Cazón Vera has praised his work for its frank confrontation with the problems and dilemmas of the new generation. He lived and studied in Chile for a decade and considers that country a key influence on his poetry. Along with being a major voice of the younger generation, Rodríguez has played a role in promoting cultural awareness in high school readers as a member of the cultural club Buseta de Papel, which has had an enormous impact on the literary life of Guayaquil.  His books are Ausencia (1999), Mientras ella mata mosquitos (2004), Animales salvajes (2005), La bestia que me habita (2005).

Gary Sledge is Features Editor at Readers Digest.  He has worked with many well-known writers such as Bill Moyers, Alex Haley, Chris Bohjalian,  Suzanne Chazin and essayist and poet Kathleen Norris.  Before coming to the Digest, he was Editorial Director at Revell Publishing, and one of the founders of Wynwood Press, which published John Grisham’s first novel, “A Time to Kill.”  He collaborated with his wife Linda on two award-winning historical novels published by Bantam Books.  In college his first poetry teacher was Gary Snyder.  Sledge’s poetry has appeared in Christian Century, Chronogram, and Bedford Magazine.  

David Slavitt - Click here for Biographical Sketch.

Chika Unigwe has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize (2004), the Million Writers Award (2005), the Equiano Prize (2006), won the BBC Short Story Competition (2004) and a Commonwealth Short Story award. She has also won awards for her fiction in Dutch. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Wasafiri, Drum Voices Revue, Eclectica, Voices, and Moving Worlds. Her new novel has been published in Dutch by Meulenhoff/Manteau at the end of 2007 and in English as Fata Morgana by Jonathan Cape at the beginning of 2009. Italian edition of Fata Morgana will be published next year by Neri Pozza.  She lives in Turnhout, Belgium where she is also a city councillor. Her website is

Lesley C. Weston lives and works in New York City. Her stories have appeared  or are forthcoming in Per Contra, Smokelong Quarterly, GUD Magazine, The Green Muse, UR Paranormal, Duck & Herring Co. Field Guide, Ars Medica, Night Train and The Pisgah Review. “Infinity,” from her novel in short stories, was awarded Special Mention in Salt Flats Annual’s 2007 Emerging Writer’s Competition.






Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas.