132 Ruth Lera is a mindfulness meditation teacher, energy healer, writer, and boreal forest loiterer. She lives in the Hamlet of Mt. Lorne (near Whitehorse, Yukon) and inspired to write constantly. She loves the sense of connection this brings. Ruth and her family ventured on a two week kayak trip to Harriman Fjord in the summer of 2015. You can find out more about Ruth at her website www.ruthlera.com Steven Levi is a well-established poet and writer in Alaska. He has published a dozen books of poetry and has more than 80 books in print or on Kindle. He concentrates on using history as a guide to the future. As a history instructor, his motivating principle is that “History is not the story of the past, it is the study of the future.” His poems and writing reflect that point of view. His most recent book Walrus With A Gold Tooth creative nonfiction look at the history of downtown Anchorage from the Second World War to the Earthquake. Carmen Maldonado lives and writes in Eagle River, AK. David McElroy I live in Anchorage and work in the Arctic as a pilot. Poems of mine have appeared in previous issues of Cirque and other journals as well as in my book Making It Simple. My wife Edith Barrowclough and I travel frequently in Alaska and the wider world. Ron McFarland teaches literature & creative writing at the University of Idaho. His most recent book is Appropriating Hemingway: Using Him as a Fictional Character. Next summer his biography of Lt. Col. Edward J. Steptoe (1815-1865) will be published by McFarland & Co. (no relation). “Guitar” Gil Menendez is a musician living in Seattle, Washington. Gil currently plays solo guitar arrangements of the 20th century American songbook and also performs duo with sax or harmonica and in The Gil Menendez Trio with bass and drums. He has appeared in big bands; the Portage Bay Big Band, The Port Townsend Jazz Festival Big Band, the Fairly Honest Jazz Band and has entertained throughout the Pacific NW for 25 years. He is an avid numismatist with an interest in coinage from ancient to modern times. A nine-time Pushcart Prize nominee and National Park Artist-inResidence, Karla Linn Merrifield has had 500+ poems appear in dozens of publications. She has eleven books to her credit, the newest of which is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada, a sequel to Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry. She is Assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye, a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, the Florida State Poetry Society and TallGrass Writers Guild. Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at http://karlalinn.blogspot.com Nahaan is of Łingít, Iñupiaq, and Paiute tribes. His work reflects his teachings and cultural background. He teaches the Tlingit language and song, and is the spokesperson for Náakw Dancers, a group which he started in Seattle, Washington in order to perpetuate the rich expressions of the Pacific Northwest’s Indigenous population. He focuses on the aspects of community empowerment and self-mastery through the methods of Indigenization decolonization and activism. Leonard Neufeldt was born and raised in the immigrant hamlet of Yarrow, British Columbia and has recently retired to Gig Harbor, Washington with his spouse, Mera. He is the author or editor of seventeen books, seven of them volumes of his poetry. His latest poetry collection, Painting Over Sketches of Anatolia, was issued in 2015 by Signature Editions (Winnipeg, Manitoba). A new collection, Trees Partly of Wood, is nearing completion. His poetry has appeared in numerous major literary magazines and journals throughout the U.S. and Canada.
CIRQUE June Olson grew up along the California coast between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Monterey Peninsula. She spent her formative years in Santa Cruz County and was influenced by the surfing and skateboarding culture there. She received an A.A. (Studio Art) at Monterey Peninsula College and a B.F.A. (Painting ) from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she won the Porter College Alumni Award for the Advancement of Art on campus at UCSC. June moved to the Northwest in the early 90s and currently lives there with her family. As a child, she was influenced artistically by her Japanese mother who painted traditional sumi-e and her Swedish American father, who painted with watercolor. June works primarily in oil on canvas or linen. She also enjoys printmaking and drawing. Strong color has always and continues to be present in June Olson’s work. Monica O’Keefe has always been drawn to the outdoors, to wild scenery and the quiet of natural places, where she notices subjects to interpret in paintings. She is intrigued by variations in scale from tiny to vast. She has been experimenting with using various acrylic mediums along with hand-cut self-made stamps and stencils to apply color and texture and create interesting patterns in her work. Timothy Pilgrim, Bellingham, WA, has over 260 acceptances by dozens of journals and is co-author of Bellingham Poems (2014). Pilgrim’s new poetry collection Mapping Water is forthcoming from Flying Trout Press. His work can be found at timothypilgrim.org Peter Porco, a former reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, lives and writes in Anchorage. His trip to Adak in the Aleutian Islands in June 2015 for research was funded by a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Cassandra Rankin and her husband proudly call Alaska home, where they raise their four children on a crazy little farm which boasts an ever-changing clump of animals and 4-H projects. She is the author of Annie Spruce, The Dog That Didn’t Die, is a contributor to Cirque, and won first place in the Inspirational category for Writer’s Digest’s 2014 international writing competition. She writes down the days at her blog, thiscrazylittlefarm.com, and is currently at work on her second book-length project. Diane Ray wrote a newspaper column and has published in The Women’s Studies Quarterly, Drash, Common Dreams, and Veterans for Peace. She writes poetry, plays, and is at work on a novel. Day job: psychologist. Joe Reno is a well-known Ballard artist who has never stopped loving the Northwest. His work can be seen at William Wikstrom Gallery in Seattle and a large mural can be seen at Ballard High School. His work has appeared in Cirque and in The Pacific Northwest Landscape: A Painted History. Matthew Campbell Roberts lives in Washington State and divides his time between the Methow Valley and South Puget Sound where he continues to fish for sea-run cutthroat and salmon on the fly. He has won regional awards for his poetry, and his work appears in Cirque, StringTown, Adirondack Review, The Cortland Review, and others. He is working on his first volume of poems. Brenda Roper spent over 20 years in Alaska before moving too many miles from the ocean. She is a visual artist and occasional poet who runs errands for other people including walking dogs large and small. She currently resides in the high desert of northern New Mexico and is about to embark on a big adventure. Check-out her blog/work at www. brendaroper.com