Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Black Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003).  He is also an ex-con, ex-husband, ex-reporter and ex-law student.  His writing has appeared in River Styx, Mid-American Review, Rattle, Atlanta Review, Southern Humanities Review, Cold Mountain Review and previous issues of J Journal.  He has received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.  He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

Jacobia Dahm was born in Germany and received an MA in Comparative Literature, English, and Film History from the Gutenberg University in Mainz. After a career in academia and in publishing, Jacobia studied documentary photography and photojournalism at The International Center of Photography in New York. She is the recipient of the Lisette Model Scholarship, and the Rita K Hillman Award for Excellence, and a participant in the 66th Missouri Photo Workshop. A documentary photographer with a focus on vulnerable people and places, Jacobia’s work on the journey families take to see relatives and friends in prisons in upstate New York was published by The New York Times in November 2014.

Jason Ellis is currently serving a life sentence in Arizona’s Department of Correction. Hours after lights-out is his first published poem.  His inspiration is found in the pursuit of doing more with life than time.  He credits writing and his loved-ones’ support with instilling purpose in him and creating a freedom within that not even prison can deny.

Michael Graves is the author of the full-length collections of poems, Adam and Cain (Black Buzzard, 2006) and In Fragility (Black Buzzard, 2011) and two chapbooks, Illegal Border Crosser (Cervana Barva, 2008) and Outside St. Jude’s (R. E. M. Press, 1990). He is widely published in literary journals and magazines.

Sabrina Jaszi is a recent graduate of the MFA program of the University of Florida, currently living in Champaign-Urbana. Her fiction has appeared in the New Ohio Review

Thomas Bart Kropp is a sensei in Kenpo karate and has won numerous tournament awards.  His work has appeared in Muscle and Fitness, Woodworker’s Journal, and Outdoor Life.  He is a student of the legal system and is currently finishing a novel entitled Violent Crimes.

Erik La Prade has a BA and an MA from City College.  Some of his writing has appeared in Art in America, Artcritical and J Journal.  His recent chapbook Movie Logic was published by Poets Wear Prada in 2013.  

Michael McGuire’s story collection (The Ice Forest, Marlboro Press, distributed by Northwestern University Press) was named one of the “Best Books of the Year” by Publisher’s Weekly. His work has appeared in The Kenyon ReviewThe Paris ReviewHudson Review, New Directions in Prose & Poetry and other publications. His plays have been produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival, and the Mark Taper Forum of Los Angeles, and are published by Broadway Play Publishing.

Rebekah Orton earned both bachelors and masters degrees from Brigham Young University where she won awards in

Mark Parlette lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he writes and teaches online as an adjunct professor. In 2010, he received an MFA from the University of Virginia, and he has since transitioned from writing poetry to writing short fiction. Cecilia is his first published story.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013).  For more information, free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

Jane St. Clair grew up in Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University. She has been a staff member at “Sesame Street,” and a reporter/photographer for several newspapers, including the Louisville Courier-Journal. She is the author of 21 children’s books and a novel. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines like Rosebud, Red Rock Review, descant, Clockwatch Review and Thema as well as various anthologies. She now lives in Arizona.

Jennifer Sears’ fiction has been published in journals including Ninth Letter, Fence, So to Speak, BarrelhouseSequestrum, The Journal of the Center for Mennonite Writing and Fiction International, and is forthcoming in Witness Magazine. She has received awards from the Millay Colony for Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Money for Women Fund, and George Mason University.  After many years of teaching yoga and dance, she teaches English at New York City College of Technology.

Ryan Elliott Smith is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program in fiction where he was a teaching fellow. He is finishing up a novel titled The Midwesterner and writing short stories for a collection called Fly Over This: Stories About the New Midwesterner. He and his wife, Allison, and chihuahua, Gertrude, live in Manhattan. 

Matthew J. Spireng’s most recent book of poems is What Focus Is (2011, Word Press). His book Out of Body won the 2004 Bluestem Poetry Award and was published in 2006 by Bluestem Press at Emporia State University. He is also the author of five chapbooks. He retired in early 2014 after a long career at a daily newspaper, first as a reporter covering police and courts for many years before becoming an editor.

Ben Terry has been serving life without parole in Missouri since 2006 and writing in earnest almost as long.  He writes, “After being tried for murder in a self-defense case, I sadly discovered all that stand before the law are surely liars, but only when the things we say cannot be used against us by the law.  That said, I’d like to point out that Pancakes are the real victim here.  And if we’re to believe Bobby McGee that ‘Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose’ then the system must be working.”

Steven Volynets was born in Ukraine and raised in Brooklyn. His fiction, essays, and translations appeared in The New York Observer, Moment Magazine, Asymptote Journal, Origins, Writing Tomorrow, Per Contra, HTMLGIANT, Read Russia, Works & Days Quarterly, and Construction Literary Magazine, among others. He spent two years as a writer at PC Magazine, covering everything from cars and gadgets to energy policy. His reporting earned nominations for numerous awards, including the Annual Jesse H. Neal Award.

Brian Phillip Whalen received his MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University and currently teaches at the University at Albany where he is completing his PhD in English.  His fiction and poetry appear or are forthcoming in Beecher’s, Blueline, The Chattahoochee Review, Chautauqua, Cream City Review, Cutbank, Lalitamba, Mid-American Review, Pank, and Rhino.  He lives in upstate New York with his wife.

Fred Yannantuono’s book A Boilermaker for the Lady was published by NYQ Books in 2009. To Idi Amin I’m a Idiot—And Other Palindromes is due out in 2015, followed by a second book of poems, I Hate to Second-Guess Myself, or do I? He was recently Featured Poet in Light Quarterly.


FALL 2015

Fiction by Diya Abdo, Cara Bayles, Stephanie Dickinson, Paul Hadella, Joe Jarboe, Donald Edem Quist, Alison Ruth

Poems by Austin Alexis, Byron Case, Courtney Lamar Charleston, Jessica Greenbaum, Brad Johnson, Don Kimball, Thom Schramm, Hasanthika Sirisena, Judith Skillman, Jack Vian, Catherine Wald, JJ Amaworo Wilson, Paula Yup

Nonfiction by Lyle May

BookTalk: The Number of Missing by Adam Berlin
March 25, 2015

Conference Room, 9th fl.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

In the months after 9/11, David and Mel meet to drink, give each other comfort and reminisce about Paul—Mel’s husband and David’s best friend. The memories are not all good for David. Before Paul died, the two friends fought, brutally questioning each other’s lives. Fueled by anger and grief and too much alcohol, David stumbles through the city while holding onto a silent promise he’s made to a dead friend: he will wait for Mel to fall so he can catch her. Like the best post-war novels, where catastrophe is not an easy catalyst for plot, where characters go on living but not really, is about New York during a time when the city seemed dead. 

*All book talks are free and open to the public. 
Refreshments will be served.


J Journal
Department of English
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 West 59th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10019