Steven Wittenberg Gordon, Chief Executive Editor

Steven Wittenberg Gordon, MD is the founder and Chief Executive Editor of Songs of Eretz Poetry Review.  He served as the e-zine's first Editor-in-Chief until June 28, 2022.  He occasionally publishes under his Hebrew name, Shlomo ben Moshe HaLevi. 

A decorated former United States Air Force flight surgeon, Dr. Gordon holds a BA from Amherst College and an MD from Albany Medical College.  Since first hitting the literary scene in 2012 and in addition to regular appearances in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, Dr. Gordon has had dozens of poems and several short stories published in various mainstream and speculative venues  


Dr. Gordon is originally from upstate New York, but his heart belongs to Kansas where he raised his children, owns a home, and buried his dog.  He serves a diverse immigrant population in his private solo concierge medical practice.

Terri Lynn Cummings, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Terri Lynn Cummings was a member of the Frequent Contributor ranks from January 1, 2017, until her promotion to Assistant Editor, October 11, 2018.  She was further promoted to Associate Editor on December 4, 2020, and to Editor-in-Chief on June 28, 2022. 

Cummings studied poetry, fiction, and non-fiction at Creative Writing Institute and holds a B.S. in Sociology/Anthropology from Oklahoma State University. She continues to explore social and cultural humanity, while she and her husband travel the world.

Village Books Press published Cummings’ poetry collections, Tales to the Wind, in 2016, and An Element Apart, in 2017. Woodvale Press published her third collection, When Distant Hours Call, in 2019. She was a 2015-2019 Woody Guthrie Poet and enjoys co-hosting a monthly poetry series/open mic “Full Circle Poetry” in Oklahoma City. She has presented her work at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference, Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, and Howlers & Yawpers Creativity Symposium.

Cummings’ work is found in numerous anthologies. In addition, her poetry has appeared in Oklahoma Humanities Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, Pasatiempo/The New Mexican, Contemporary Rural Social Work Journal, Eclectica Magazine, and other fine publications.


Charles A. Swanson, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Charles A. Swanson was a member of the Frequent Contributor ranks from October 16, 2018 until he was promoted to Assistant Editor on November 1, 2021.  He was further promoted to Associate Editor on June 28, 2022.  


He is a graduate of the MFA program of Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and teaches dual enrollment English in a new Academy for Engineering and Technology, serving the Southside region of Virginia.  He also pastors a small church, Melville Avenue Baptist, in Danville. 

Swanson’s poetry and short fiction have appeared in Virginia Writing, Wildlife in North

Carolina, ALCAlines, Appalachian Heritage, Appalachian Journal, Confluence, Pegasus, The English Journal, Now & Then, The Peacock Journal, Ascent Literary Magazine, Zingara Poetry Review, and elsewhere.  He has published a poetry collection, After the Garden (MotesBooks), and a poetry chapbook, “Farm Life and Legend” (Finishing Line Press).

Clayton Spencer, Associate Editor

Clayton Spencer is a poet and a worker from Southeastern Kentucky. He earned his BA in English from the University of Kentucky and currently lives in Columbus, OH. His poems have appeared in Still: The Journal, Appalachian Heritage, inksounds, and elsewhere. He is a contributor to Woodwasp by Painted Door Press and can be found on Instagram, @bald.gif. 

A Note about Our Frequent Contributors:   

Frequent Contributor status is bestowed upon a select few up-and-coming poets handpicked by the Editor-in-Chief.  Membership in this exclusive group is by invitation only.  Featured Frequent Contributor status is granted to certain Frequent Contributors by the Editor-in-Chief on an issue-by-issue basis to recognize extraordinary contributions to Songs of Eretz or on a permanent basis to recognize extraordinary contributions to Songs of Eretz and the world of poetry.

John C. Mannone

John C. Mannone, a charter member of Frequent Contributors to Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, has poems in Windhover, North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. He won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest in poetry (2020). He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and was the celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His full-length collections are Disabled Monsters (Linnet's Wings Press, 2015), Flux Lines (Linnet's Wings Press, 2022), Sacred Flute (Iris Press, 2023), Song of the Mountains (Middle Creek Publishing, 2023). He also has three chapbooks of poetry. An Assistant Professor of Physics and Chemistry at Alice Lloyd Collete, John lives in southeast Kentucky near the Hindman Settlement School.

Karla Linn Merrifield

Frequent contributor Karla Linn Merrifield has a new full-length poetry collection titled My Body the Guitar, inspired by guitars, guitarists, and their music, and was published by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series, a press in Rochester, NY, USA. It’s destined to be a fat book, one with three parts.  In “Part I, Mere Mortal,” we follow Karla’s learning curve in poems largely spoken to her guitar in a series of “√Čtudes.” In “Part II, Local Heroes,” she honors the master guitarists in her inner circle: teachers, lovers, friends, online git pals, glancing encounters, her deceased brother. In “Part III, “Great Gods,” readers encounter Karla’s idiosyncratic pantheon of immortals. Including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Tom Waits. Joni Mitchell, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Mark Knopfler, and many more.
The book is available from Amazon ($22); signed copies are available from Karla (also $22)—just email her at klmerrifield@yahoo.com for details.

Visit her website at https://KLMerrifield.WPengine.com; Tweet @LinnMerrifield; Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/KarlaLinnMerrifield.  Karla joined the Frequent Contributor ranks on December 12, 2018.

Visit her website at https://KLMerrifield.WPengine.com; Tweet @LinnMerrifield; Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/KarlaLinnMerrifield.  Karla joined the Frequent Contributor ranks on December 12, 2018.

Vivian Finley Nida

Vivian Finley Nida holds a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Secondary Education from Oklahoma State University and has studied fiction and poetry at the University of Central Oklahoma.  She is a Teacher/Consultant with the Oklahoma Writing Project, a University of Oklahoma Mark Allen Everett Poetry Series poet, a Woody Guthrie poet, and serves on the advisory committee of Oklahoma City University’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature.  She is a retired English and Creative Writing teacher.

Vivian’s work has appeared in Conclave:  The Trickster’s Song, River Poet’s Journal, Dragon Poet Review, Illya’s Honey, Oklahoma English Journal, Oklahoma Writing Project Centennial Anthology, and other fine publications.  In addition, she has presented her poetry at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival.  She is the author of a book of poetry, From Circus Town USA (Village Books Press), the title of which comes from the nickname of her hometown, Hugo, Oklahoma, which is home to the Endangered Ark Elephant Sanctuary and winter headquarters for several circuses.   

Vivian joined the Frequent Contributor ranks on October 16, 2018.  She lives with her husband in Oklahoma City.

Howard F. Stein

Howard F. Stein, PhD is the Poet Laureate of the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology, as well as The Psychohistory Forum. In addition, he is a psychoanalytic, organizational, medical, and applied anthropologist, psychohistorian, organizational consultant, and medical educator. He retired in 2012 after spending nearly thirty-five years in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, where he became an advocate of rural medicine and rural health. 


In addition to features in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, Dr. Stein has 11 published poetry collections to his name as well as hundreds of published papers, chapters, and books.  His most recent poetry collection, co-authored with Seth Allcorn, is Whiteboardings (2023). The link to his Amazon.com Author Page is https://www.amazon.com/Howard-F.-Stein/e/B001HCZ62C/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0.  Dr. Stein has been a Frequent Contributor since January 1, 2018.

Tyson West

Tyson West joined the FC ranks on March 14, 2020. His poetry collection Home-Canned Forbidden Fruit is available from Gribble Press.  He works in real estate in Eastern Washington.


Past Frequent Contributors:

Anne Carly Abad Charter Member, January 1, 2016, to August 31, 2016.
Ross Balcom Charter Member, January 1, 2016, to November 16, 2020.
Sylvia Cavanaugh October 19, 2018, to December 15, 2019.
Jason Artemus Gordon, our first Art Editor, March 2, 2018, to June 28, 2022.
Yoni Hammer-Kossoy January 1, 2018, to November 30, 2018.
Gene Hodge January 1, 2018, to March 27, 2021.
Sierra July Charter Member, January 1, 2016, to November 23, 2018.
Tricia Knoll Charter Member, January 1, 2016, to November 18, 2016.
Mary Soon Lee Charter Member, January 1, 2016, to December 7, 2018.
Lauren McBride Charter Member, January 1, 2016, to December 14, 2018.
David Pring-Mill Charter Member, January 1, 2016, to October 27, 2017.
John Reinhart Charter Member, January 1, 2016, to December 13, 2017.  In addition, John covered for another FC March 4, 2019, to October 26, 2019.
James Frederick William Rowe Charter Member, January 1, 2016, to August 21, 2021.  He served as Associate Editor October 6, 2018 to December 4, 2020.   
Aparna Sanyal January 1, 2018, to December 21, 2018.
Kaitlyn Vaughn (nee Frazier) Charter Member January 1, 2016, to May 18, 2016.  In addition, she covered for another FC from December 25, 2017, to July 2, 2018.
Alessio Zanelli January 1, 2018, to December 19, 2020.

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