Lissa Bloomer, lives in Radford in an old Victorian monster of a house with her three little kids and her husband. She is a potter, kayaker, gardener, a writer and researcher of women's and gender issues, and has been teaching writing at tech for 18 years. She has been writing stories and nature journals since she was 4, so we can't call her a new writer; but instead, prefers to be called an emerging voice-- an essayist, poet, and children's book author, who's topics range from the politics of febreeze to women in physics. Her activism comes from her anger of the treatment of our environment and women -- and the humor in noticing the smallest of these things.
Katie Fallon, an Instructor in the English Department at Virginia Tech, writes primarily creative nonfiction with an emphasis on wildlife, nature, and the environment. Her essays and memoir pieces have recently appeared in the literary journals Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Appalachian Heritage, Ecotone, and elsewhere. She is involved with several local and regional environmental organizations, and she serves on the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to 'restoring injured and orphaned birds of prey to the wild while inspiring environmental understanding through education for the benefit of all living things.' Katie's first word was 'bird,' and thirty years later, she's still obsessed with them.
Aileen Murphy got her BA in creative writing from Oklahoma State University and her MFA from Colorado State University. She is currently the Assistant Director of Creative Writing at Virginia Tech, where she teaches creative writing. She has published poetry in Midland Review, New Voices, Galley Sail Review, Ambergris, and Weird Sisters. She believes that the word "activist" describes other people, although as the youngest of seven daughters, and as a "recovering catholic" it is sometimes an appropriate synonym for "feminism."
Beth Wellington graduated from William and Mary with a B.S. in Psychology. She started writing and publishing poetry in her late twenties, after attending the writers' workshop at the Roanoke Women's Resource Center with Dara Wier. She's attended the Hindman Settlement School Writers' Workshop and is a member of the Southern Appalachian Writer's Cooperative. She studied with both Fred Chappell and Bill Stafford at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and has given workshops and/or readings in Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Utah, Michigan, Massachusetts, Vermont, Kentucky, West Virginia and, of course, Virginia. In 2006, Katie and Beth met while attending the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition's Mountaintop Removal Writers' Tour. She's had recent poems published in Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Coal: A Poetry Anthology, Appalachian Heritage and Verbal Events.