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Artist Bios – February 2012

Sara Abbott is the product of an overscheduled childhood, thus thrives on chaos. During the first 720 minutes of her day, she plays zookeeper to her child-size clones or teaches college English. The remaining minutes are for her own personal chaos of half-finished poetry collections, short stories, and handmade books. Oh yeah, somehow amid it all she managed to finish her MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore.

Holly Suzanne (Beckman-Filbert) is a mixed media artist originally from the Pacific Northwest. Currently, she calls Wichita, Kansas her home and she works out of a studio with her writer/artist husband, and together they form Ekphrastix Arts. Holly’s fascination with the visual world started at an early age, as she watched her mother paint with oils in their living room. By her late teens this interest grew formally as she devoured as many art classes as she could, while earning degrees in Elementary Education and Marriage and Family Therapy. Versed in the concepts of systemic theory, Holly has used expressive therapies with individuals and couples as a catalyst to change. In more recent years, Holly has had the space to immerse herself in a daily practice of art making. Blurring figuration and abstraction her work plays with the coexistence between that which can be deciphered and named and that which is tenuous, ambiguous, and unclear. Balance is an ever-recurring theme-grief and beauty being two sides of the same stone in perpetual motion. Thus her style reflects a combination of impulse and restraint and is driven by a passion for immediacy, breath, movement, relationship, and fluidity.

Dayna Carpenter is a watercolor aficionado inspired by the rolling hills and vast skyscapes of her home state of Maine.  She is a graduate of the University of Maine, and has had her work displayed in a variety of locales, including the Maine College of Art, The University of Maine, Island Artisans Gallery, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland.

Marlayna Demond graduated from UMBC in the spring of 2011 and since has been trying to figure out what comes next. Photography has been her passion since she was a kid, following in her mother’s footsteps, but ultimately she is just happy to create in some way or another. She has been a Marylander her whole life, but loves to travel the US and abroad, and has been especially inspired by her study abroad experience to Paris, France. When it comes to photography, she finds herself most often drawn to understanding and connecting to people through more documentary/journalistic approaches. Other than that, she also loves to read a good book and play ultimate frisbee! You can see more of her work at

Brian Fitzgerald is a Graphic Designer / Production Artist by trade. Recently he started doing random art projects on the side in order to improve his craft and is becoming more obsessed everyday. The paintings submitted to The Light Ekphrastic are among some of his very first works using canvas and paint. Brian currently lives in Chicago with his fiance, two cats and his curly hair.

Born in Windsor, Ontario in 1960, Gregory Gunn grew up in towns throughout Ontario before moving to London in 1970. A graduate of Fanshawe College as an electronics technician. Writing for over thirty years, he is most passionate about poetry. Other interests include music, astronomy, philosophy, photography, foreign languages, and gardening. To date, Mr. Gunn has had poems published in Inscribed Magazine, Green’s Magazine, The Toronto Quarterly, Yes, Poetry, Wordletting Magazine, Songs for Every Race, Ditch Magazine, One Earth, Ascent Aspirations, Aim Magazine, Psychopoetica, and Cyclamens and Swords. Also published are five collections of his selected poetry.

Eleanor Lewis’ poems have been published in Poet Lore, Maryland Poetry Review, Shattered Wig Review, and other publications. She lives in Baltimore.

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1982 and raised in Houston, Texas, Steven Leyva is an MFA candidate from the University of Baltimore. He’s lived in Baltimore city and taught high school English there since 2008. Poems from his upcoming manuscript, Low Parish, have appeared a number of publications including Welter, The Light Ekphrastic, and Cobalt. Steven has organized numerous small, periodic poetry readings such as the annual Kick Assonance reading in Brooklyn, New York, now in its second year.

Wendilee Heath O’Brien: Quaker roots and life in Downeast Maine are my guiding rhythms. While my work in regards to mediums and styles is diverse, my vision is focused. Burrowed in Quaker thought and practices wedded to a deep reverence for nature, paintings have a Query questioning human convention. Intertwined with this orientation is the work and way of life I internalized while living in Asia.

Jackie Regales teaches English at Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, MD, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Her ekphrastic poem, “Strange Fruit: To Sing A Song We Cannot Know” is part of the audio tour for the permanent collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Julieta Rivarola was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to Baltimore, Maryland at an early age when her father took a job at Johns Hopkins. She’s not only bilingual, but bi-cultural, which adds to her many quirks. She loves taking candid photographs of animals, kids and landscapes with any type of camera, which in her household are plenty. She now lives with her husband Jake and dog Wilco in the quiet neighbourhood of Roland Park in Baltimore, where she’s always outside with a camera at hand.

Carol A. Stephen is Canadian poet originally from Toronto, now living in Carleton Place, Ontario, near Ottawa. Her poems have appeared in Ottawa journals, a number of collaborative chapbooks, on the League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Month and in The Ontario Poetry Society’s Verse Afire. Carol is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has shared her poems at Ottawa reading series: Tree Reading Series, Dusty Owl Reading Series, and Sasquatch. Carol is the author of Above the Hum of Yellow Jackets, a poetry chapbook released in September, 2011. Honourable Mentions for Poetry : Invisible, published in Arborealis anthology, 2008, Ontario Poetry Society; Tea Leaves, CAA 2008 National Capital Writing Contest; Traffic on Highway 7, CAA 2011 National Capital Writing Contest; The Walking-Off Place in the End-Time, VERSeFest Poetry for the End of the World Contest, January 2012. (Finalist) “Poems begin with words and phrases dancing in my head. Poetry for me is all about that dance!” –Carol A. Stephen

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