Steven Wittenberg Gordon, Editor & Preliminary Contest Judge

Poet, writer, physician, and gentleman songster, Steven Wittenberg Gordon was raised in the dairy country of upstate New York. He received his BA from Amherst College and his MD from Albany Medical College and then completed a family practice residency in Wisconsin. After practicing medicine for several years in various locations, he volunteered for service with the United States Air Force and had many memorable adventures as a flight surgeon. Dr. Gordon resides in Kansas with his human family and a poorly trained Airedale terrier (Lana the Poetry Dog, pictured). Now semi-retired, he keeps up his medical skills by performing screens on applicants to the armed forces at the Kansas City Military Entrance Processing Station (Freedom's Front Door) when the station is shorthanded.  In addition to occasional appearances in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, his poetry has been published in:  Apex, Asimov's, Eternal Haunted Summer, Hospital Drive, Mirror Dance, New Myths, Poetry Pacific, Scifaikuest, Silverblade, Star*Line & other Science Fiction Poetry Association venues.  Learn more about him and his publication history at http://www.StevesofGrass.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter @SongsofEretz or email him at SWGordonMD@gmail.com or friend "Steven Wittenberg Gordon" on Facebook.

A Note about Our Frequent Contributors:  Frequent Contributor status is bestowed upon a select few up-and-coming poets handpicked by the editor.  Membership in this exclusive group is by invitation only.

Ross Balcom, Frequent Contributor
Ross Balcom lives in the former constitutional republic of the United States. His poems have appeared in Beyond Centauri, inkscrawl, Poetry Midwest, Spectral Realms, Star*Line, and other publications. In addition to poetry, his interests include parapsychology, hypnosis, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Terri Lynn Cummings, Frequent Contributor (On a Leave of Absence Since December 2017)
Terri Lynn 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’ first poetry collection, Tales to the Wind, in 2016. She was a 2015 and 2016 Woody Guthrie Poet and enjoys hosting the monthly poetry series/open mic “Oklahoma Voices” 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 was recently anthologized in Blood & Thunder:  Musings on the Art of Medicine. In addition, her poetry has appeared in: Oklahoma Humanities Magazine, Contemporary Rural Social Work Journal, Eclectica Magazine, Dragon Poet Review, Red River ReviewIllya’s Honey, and other fine publications. 

Sierra July, Frequent Contributor

Sierra is a University of Florida graduate, writer, and poet. Her fiction has appeared in Belladonna Publishing's Strange Little Girls anthology and on T. Gene Davis's Speculative Blog, among other places, and is forthcoming in Third Flatiron Publishing's Keystone Chronicles anthology and in Sanguine's Press's Transitions & Awakenings anthology. In addition to Songs of Eretz, her poetry has appeared in Eyes to the Telescope, Star*Line, and Page & Spine, and has been featured in The Society of Classical Poets. To follow her progress, check out her website:talestotellinpassing.blogspot.com.

Mary Soon Lee, Frequent Contributor
A transplanted Londoner of Chinese and Irish descent, Mary Soon Lee has lived in Pittsburgh for over twenty years. She has an MA in mathematics from Cambridge University and an MSc in Astronautics and space engineering from Cranfield University, neither of which is strictly necessary for her work-in-progress, an epic fantasy in verse. The start of this epic, Crowned: The Sign of the Dragon: Book 1, was published by Dark Renaissance Books in 2015 http://www.amazon.com/CROWNED-Sign-Dragon-Book-1/dp/1937128741/. The opening poem, “Interregnum,” won the 2014 Rhysling Award for Best Long Poem. She has a husband, two children, two cats, an antiquated website at www.marysoonlee.com and a second website (for her epic fantasy) at www.thesignofthedragon.com.

John C. Mannone, Frequent Contributor
John C. Mannone has work in Blue Fifth Review, Peacock Journal, Gyroscope Review, New England Journal of Medicine, Baltimore Review, Pedestal, and Pirene’s Fountain. He’s the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Jean Ritchie Fellowship for Appalachian literature. Other accomplishments include two Weymouth residencies; three poetry collections—Apocalypse (Alban Lake Publishing), Disabled Monsters (Linnet’s Wings Press) featured at the 2016 Southern Festival of Books, Flux Lines (Celtic Cat Publishing)—and the Joy Margrave Award in creative nonfiction (2015, 2017). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex, Silver Blade, and Liquid Imagination, and serves as president of the Chattanooga Writers’ Guild. He’s a professor of physics and lives in East Tennessee. See the Art of Poetry, http://jcmannone.wordpress.com.

Lauren McBride, Frequent Contributor

Lauren McBride finds inspiration in faith, nature, science, and membership in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA). Her poetry has appeared recently in the Aurorean, Kaleidotrope, Star*Line, The Heron's Nest, and tinywords, and she has been nominated for the SFPA's Rhysling and Dwarf Stars Awards.  Time permitting, she enjoys swimming, gardening, baking, reading, writing, and knitting scarves for troops. She shares a love of laughter and the ocean with her husband and two grown children. 

James Frederick William Rowe, Frequent Contributor
James Frederick William Rowe is a Rhysling-nominated poet and author out of Brooklyn, New York.  When he is not writing verses and crafting yarns, Rowe is employed as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the City University of New York, is pursuing a Ph.D. in the same subject, and works a variety of freelance positions.  In the last few years, he has cut out a substantial niche in the speculative poetry front, having seen over thirty poems published internationally in such markets as: Big Pulp, Songs of Eretz, Tales of the Talisman, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (where he is also an editor), Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and Bete Noire. His efforts also include a growing number of poems suiting the literary audience. His works have been described as having a, "...style that is bold, imaginative, crisp, and refreshingly simple, yet profound."  Visit him at http://jamesfwrowe.wordpress.com.

Past Frequent Contributors:
Charter Member
 Anne Carly Abad was a Frequent Contributor from January 1, 2016 to August 31, 2016.  Enjoy her poetry here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/search?q=anne+carly+abad.
Charter Member Kaitlyn Frazier was a Frequent Contributor from January 1, 2016 to May 18, 2016.  Enjoy her poetry here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/search?q=kaitlyn+frazier.
Charter Member Tricia Knoll was a Frequent Contributor from January 1, 2016 to November 18, 2016.  Enjoy her poetry here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/search?q=tricia+knoll.
Charter Member David Pring-Mill was a Frequent Contributor from January 1, 2016 to October 27, 2017.  Enjoy his poetry here:  http://www.songsoferetz.com/search?q=David+Pring-Mill.
Charter Member John Reinhart was a Frequent Contributor from January 1, 2016 to December 13, 2017.  Enjoy his poetry here:  http://www.songsoferetz.com/search?q=John+Reinhart.

Past & Current Contest Judges:

Note: Our Editor, Steven Wittenberg Gordon, MD (see above for his bio), served as the judge for our first annual contest, which awarded a $500 honorarium in 2015.

Carol Hamilton, Judge for Our Second Annual Contest, which awarded a $1,000 honorarium in 2016:
Former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma Carol Hamilton was the Songs of Eretz Poet of the Month for August 2015 and served as the guest judge for the 2016 Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest, which ran from September 1 to October 15, 2015.  Her Songs of Eretz poetry may be enjoyed here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/search?q=carol+hamilton.
Ms. Hamilton is a writer and former educator and storyteller from Enid, Oklahoma. She has a BS from Phillips University and an MA in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. She taught elementary school in North Haven, Connecticut, Indianapolis, Indiana, and on Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.  For the last twelve years of her public school career, she helped develop and taught in the elementary gifted program for Mid-Del Schools at the Academic Center for Enrichment. She was three times selected as Teacher of the Year for her schools and was Teacher of the Year for Mid-Del Schools in 1982.

Ms. Hamilton went on to teach in the English Department at Rose State College for ten years and for seven years on the graduate faculty of the Creative Studies Division of the English Department at the University of Central Oklahoma. She has served as a translator at a pediatric clinic for twenty-one years and travels as a translator for medical teams working in Spanish speaking countries.  She received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2007 and was chosen for the Midwest City High School Wall of Fame in 1996. She served as Poet Laureate for the 50th Anniversary of Midwest City and Tinker Air Force Base. 

As a writer, Ms. Hamilton has won: a Southwest Book Award, an Oklahoma Book Award, Cherubim Award, Pegasus Award, Chiron Review Chapbook Award, David Ray Poetry Prize, the Byline Literary Awards for both short story and poetry, and the Warren Keith Poetry Prize. She has published seventeen books of poetry, legends, and children's novels. 

Ms. Hamilton has been featured poet in: Voices International, Piecework, Chiron Review, Potpourri, Westview, Drury's Gazette, Newsletter Inago, and PrisaPoetry. Additional poetry, short stories, and articles of hers have appeared in numerous prestigious magazines and journals including: Commonweal, The Christian Science Monitor, Sojourners, Greensboro Review, Roanoke Review, Tulane Review, Hawaii Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, South Carolina Review, ReVista Interamericana, Horizontes, Pinyon, Southern Poetry Review, Potpourri, and others. She has recent and upcoming work in Louisiana Review, Boston Literary Review, Hubbub, Blue Unicorn, Hash, Broad River Review, Caveat Lector, Sow’s Ear Poetry, Flint Hills Review, Bluestem, Main Street Rag, I-70 Review, U.S.1 Worksheet, Reed, Cold Mountain Review and others.  To find out more about Carol Hamilton, go to http://www.carolhamilton.org.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, PhD, Judge for Our Third Annual Contest, which awarded a $1,000 honorarium in 2017:
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg was the 2009-2013 Poet Laureate of Kansas and is a long-time transformative language artist.  She was the Songs of Eretz Poet of the Month for August 2016 http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2016/08/special-feature-inscription-by-caryn.html.  Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College (where she teaches) and facilitator of Brave Voice workshops, she values social and personal transformation through the spoken, written, and sung word.

She is the author of more than a dozen books including many poetry collections and an award-winning writing guide and has edited anthologies by people living with serious illnesses and by low-income women. Her poetry and prose have been published in dozens of literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. Her blog, “Everyday Magic,” focuses on finding greater meaning and joy in life, and she regularly writes for the Huffington Post.

As a beloved workshop facilitator with extensive experience she has led workshops for over sixteen years for adults in transition, people living with physical or mental illness, intergenerational groups, the Kansas City Latino community, teens and children, and multi-cultural communities. She also offers writing and singing workshops and performances with singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt through their business, Brave Voice. The songs Caryn and Kelley co-write are performed by Kelley and her band in the United States and Europe. With her husband, Ken Lassman, Caryn also leads group process, better meetings, facilitation, and related workshops for community groups, businesses, and institutions.

Caryn was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up there as well as in Manalapan, New Jersey until she headed west to study journalism at the University of Missouri (where she earned a history degree instead). She continued west on I-70 to Kansas City and then Lawrence, Kansas. Caryn received her Ph.D. and MA from the University of Kansas (poetry, women’s studies, mythology) and she is certified or extensively trained in grassroots organizing from the Midwest Academy, poetry therapy from the National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy, and group process and facilitation from the bioregional movement. She is the recipient of a Kansas Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the Rocky Mountain National Park artist-in-residence, the City of Lawrence Phoenix Award, and other honors. She is also a yoga teacher with 200 hours training and is certified in Curvy Yoga.

Caryn lives in the country just south of Lawrence, Kansas with her husband and their family. Find out more about Caryn at her website: http://carynmirriamgoldberg.comhttp://www.goddard.edu/people/caryn-mirriam-goldberg/, and http://bravevoice.com.

Eric McHenry, Judge for Our Fourth Annual Contest, which will award a $1,000 honorarium in 2018:
Former Kansas Poet Laureate Eric McHenry is the Guest Judge for our Fourth Annual Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest.  The winner will be awarded a one thousand dollar honorarium and will be announced in early 2018.  As a run-up to the official contest opening, one of McHenry's poems was featured in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review from August 16 through August 31.  As a special treat, a Guest Artist, J. Artemus Gordon, provided original illustrations to accompany each poem.  

McHenry was the Poet Laureate of Kansas from May 2015 through May 2017 and teaches English at Washburn University in Topeka. Waywiser Press published McHenry’s newest book of poems, Odd Evening, in 2016. His previous collections include Potscrubber Lullabies, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2007, and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a children’s book illustrated by Nicholas Garland. He also edited and introduced Peggy of the Flint Hills, a memoir by Zula Bennington Greene.

McHenry’s poems have appeared in: The New Republic, Yale Review, Cincinnati Review, Field, Poetry International, Gulf Coast, Poetry Daily, and Poetry Northwest from whom he received the 2010 Theodore Roethke Prize. His poetry criticism has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Slate, and other publications. 

McHenry lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and two children. For information about his books, visit https://waywiser-press.com/eric-mchenry/. 

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