Simmons B. Buntin is the founding editor of A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments. With a master's degree in urban and regional planning, he is--logically--a Web producer in Tucson, Arizona. He has published in Southern Humanities Review, Sou'wester, Bulletin of Science, Technology, Society, and others, and is a recipient of the Colorado Artist's Fellowship for Poetry. His first book of poetry, Riverfall, will be published by Ireland's Salmon Press in fall 2003.

Rick Carnes is the president of the Songwriters' Guild of America and a professional songwriter for 23 years, has written for Sony Music International, Elektra Asylum Music, and Peer Music International. He also has been a recording artist for Warner Brothers, MCA, and Elektra Asylum Records. He has written hit songs performed by such recording artists as Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Pam Tillis, and Alabama. He currently lives in Nashville where he is a staff songwriter for Peer Music International. In addition to his work as a songwriter, he has recently begun teaching poetry workshops and was on the 2002 faculty of the Florida Suncoast Writers' Conference. He will be teaching next year, in February, at the Whidbey Island Writers' Conference.

AnnMarie Eldon, born Sparkbrook, Birmingham, England, grew up in a terrace of "2 up 2 down" back-to-backs which inspired her nom de plume. In previous incarnations, she's been psychotherapist, corporate wizardatrix, wife, and mother. In recent years, she's divided her sense of irony between U.K. and U.S. homes; since September 2001 juggling various children, dogs and hormones, and settling for a picture-postcard Thames market town.

Christopher T. George was born in Liverpool, England, in 1948. He is now a U.S. citizen and a 34-year resident of Baltimore, Maryland, where he lives with his wife Donna and two cats, Mamie and Leonard, near the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus. Chris works full-time as a medical editor in Washington, D.C. He has been writing and publishing poetry since he attended Loyola College, Baltimore, and studied with Sister Maura Eichner at the College of Notre Dame, as well as with poets Elliot Coleman and Marion Buchman. His poems have appeared in numerous publications in the United States and Great Britain, including Poet Lore, Bogg, Smoke, Lite, Pudding, and Maryland Poetry Review. He is also a published historian and a lyricist for a new musical written with French composer Erik Sitbon, "Jack--The Musical," about Jack the Ripper. Chris believes a poem can be written about any subject and that the mission of poets should be to entertain, to enlighten, and to humanize the world. He is Associate Editor at Desert Moon Review.

Gilgun never grew up. He's Peter Pan. He still remembers how happy he was on that Island of Lost Boys. He's still a boy though he's 66 going on 67. Of course he's a gay boy. He published a gay novel, Music I Never Dreamed Of (Amethyst Press, 1989) which was nominated for a Lammy as the best gay novel that year. It was also nominated by the American Library Association/Gay & Lesbian Task Force. Gilgun was a college teacher for 39 years because he loved it and because, no matter how old he got, his students stayed 18, which is the age he is in his heart. He has also published other books: Everything That Has Been Shall Be Again: The Reincarnation Fables of John Gilgun (Bieler Press 1981) and The Dooley Poem (Robin Price 1991). He found a student with a talent for book design, Mike Swope, and asked him to use those talents by producing two more of his books--From the Inside and Your Buddy Misses You (Three Phase Press, 1991 and 1995). Palmer Hall of Pecan Grove Press in San Antonio is about to publish Gilgun's sixth book, In the Zone: The Moby Dick Poems of John Gilgun. Between books, Gilgun publishes in magazines, hundreds of them. He's also all over the Web. He lives in Saint Joseph, Missouri but that doesn't bother him anymore. He's just so happy, you wouldn't believe it. Trust me. I know. I'm him.

Helen Gordon is 22 and lives in South London. She can be contacted at

Nancy Henry is a Pushcart Prize nominee and author of two collections of poetry, Brie Fly and Anything Can Happen. She is an editor of the recently published anthology of Maine poems, A Sense of Place. Nancy's work has appeared in dozens of publications in the US and UK including Southern Humanities Review, Atlanta Review, St. Anthony Messenger, Poetry International, The Oxford Review, Spoon River Review, Cafe Review and the GSU Review. Nancy has worked as an attorney advocate for abused children and as a teacher for developmentally disabled and head-injured teens.

Anne Higgins is a native of West Chester, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg, Maryland; The Johns Hopkins University, and Washington Theological Union. She teaches Freshman Seminar and works in Campus Ministry at Mount Saint Mary's College, Emmitsburg. Her book of poetry, At the Year's Elbow, was published by Mellen Poetry Press, Lewiston NY, in 2000.

Sharon Kourous spent this summer enjoying a new granddaughter; a newer grandson she has yet to see also arrived a few weeks ago. She also spent a lot of time sifting through her past, gathering documentation and trying to figure out what jobs she held when, as she prepares to retire from teaching. She remembers the various thresholds--first job, first child, first trials of single parenthood, the Ah-Ha! freedom of the empty nest--and looks forward to retirement as the next very welcome change. She hopes to be able to concentrate on writing and plans to travel. She will step out of the schoolhouse door with great satisfaction, leaving years of lesson plans and piles of used red pens behind her. She finds with astonishment she has shared her love of literature with somewhere in the range of 3,000 high school and/or college kids. She does the math and wonders what all that means. She has greatly enjoyed helping with this issue of Melic. The inbox spam was an education in itself: she had no idea so many sex toys existed, or that penile insecurity was so widespread! It is always a privilege to read poetry submissions. The very active community of writers is encouraging and heart-warming.

C.E. Laine is a writer and a student pilot. In the past, she's been a magician's assistant, a baker, an "extra" in a few movies, and a soldier. She enjoys making lists on sticky notes when she isn't writing poems. Her work has appeared in Poems Niederngasse, Free Zone Quarterly, The White Shoe Irregular, Friction Magazine, 2River View (writing as Christine Lennon), Kota Press, Absinthe, Stirring (writing as Kit Sullivan), Clean Sheets, Erosha, Beauty for Ashes, and Pierian Springs, among many others. Her first book of poetry is called Allegory (ISBN: 0-595-22462-8) and will be available at Her second book, The Weight of Dust, will be published later this year.

Mercedes Lawry: I was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and have lived in Seattle over twenty years. I've been publishing poetry for thirty years in journals such as Switched-on Gutenberg, Poetry, Rhino, Fine Madness and Seattle Review. I've also published a few short stories as well as poems and stories for children. I'm Director of Media & Public Relations at Bastyr University - the nation's leading institution in the natural health sciences.

Jennifer Liddy: Currently, the Japanese Ministry of Education employs me. I work in a small village named Asahi Mura where I am the only English teacher for six elementary schools and one junior high school. My short stories and poetry have been published in the States and in Argentina in such magazines as the Portland Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Coe Review, Owen Webster Review, The Pedestal Magazine,, the Amethyst Review, Onionhead, Another Sun, Celtic Review, George's Nexus and others. My articles on Japan and Japanese culture can be found at Big Diakon, Freezerbox, Heights, and Feminina. I have translated Argentine poets, such as Fernando Olszanski, into English. I co-authored an English-Italian grammar book called Verbi Inglesi. In 1997, I was invited to attend the Southern Women's Writer conference and spent a month at Bennington College's writer's workshop. I have a M.Ed. in Curriculum in Development for Secondary and Upper Elementary Schools and am pursuing an MFA in Non-Fiction from the University of New Orleans' low residency program. Before I relocated to Japan, I was a multicultural writer and editor for Chicago Public Schools (K-12). I worked on a publication series called Arab Heritage Resource Guide for Teachers and Students (K-12).

When dining out, Mitchell Metz tends to order seafood. He can bench press twice his weight and recite the capitals of every nation on the planet. Often he is tired, especially after a large meal. His son, according to sibling reports, currently sits naked in the wading pool drinking from a sandbox bucket, so he has to go. Mitchell's work appears or is pending in about sixty publications, including The William and Mary Review, Southern Poetry Review, and the e-zines Eye Dialect and Eclectica.

Farida Mihoub: Born and still living in Paris, France, 45 years old, mother of three. French is my mother tongue and English a passion. I am presently working as editorial assistant for a bilingual medical journal. I have been published in numerous e-zines and print issues which include Words on a Wire, GLria Mundi Press, Pedestal Magazine, The Red Lamp, Write On!, ESC Magazine, and Reflections. I also write children's stories.

Scott Murphy: I live in the heart of the city of Denver, and earn my living designing and programming computers for a manufacturer of greenhouse controls. A long time ago, I studied creative writing at the University of Colorado with Peter Michaelson, Bill Matthews, Dick Hugo, and Alan Dugan. It took years to realize how lucky I was. I've been fortunate to find publication on and off the net, but no venue has been more generous than Melic. I take the view that while it is Very Hard Work to actually write a poem, if I sit still, sometimes one will draw near and allow itself to be written down.

Sherry Saye enjoys living and writing in Colorado. Her background is in Secondary English Education, academic research, and editing. When she's not out hiking with her family, she volunteers in the public school system and also works on native landscaping efforts at approximately 7,500 ft. high--the deer, grasshoppers, and porcupines are winning. Publications include Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Colorado Springs Independent, The Best of Terrain, Conspire, The Best of Melic, and Poetrynow.

Tobias Seamon's work has appeared or will be forthcoming in 3rd Bed, The Absinthe Literary Review, The Adirondack Review, Cutbank, McSweeney's, and The Paumanok Review. He contributes frequently to the writing site 0(zero), and co-edits Whalelane, an online journal of writing and the arts. Mr. Seamon lives in Albany, NY, and can be contacted at

Diane Wakoski, who was born in Southern California and educated at UC, Berkeley, lived and began her poetry career in New York City from 1960-1973. She has earned her living as a book store clerk, a junior high school teacher in Manhattan, a library story-teller, a Visiting Writer and, for ten years on-the-road, by giving poetry readings on college campuses. Since 1975, she has been Poet In Residence at Michigan State University, where she continues to teach as a University Distinguished Professor. Her work has been published in more than 20 collections and many slim volumes of poetry since her first book, Coins & Coffins, was published by Hawk's Well Press in 1962. Her selected poems, Emerald Ice, won the William Carlos Williams prize for the Poetry Society of America in 1989. In recent years, she has been working on an epic poem of The West using the Medea myth and simple allusions to the ideas posed by quantum theory, called The Archaeology of Movies and Books, of which four volumes have now been completed.

Teresa White: A Seattle native now living in eastern Washington, Teresa has been writing poetry since her early teens. During the past three years she's had over 160 poems published in 50 online and print journals including Artemis Journal, Rattle, Snow Monkey, Grasslimb, Adirondack Review, Blue Moon Review, Conspire, Rose & Thorn, Small Spiral Notebook, Stirring, and In Posse Review. She is the author of one book of poems, In What Furnace, available through

—COVER ART: Creation of the Birds; Remedios Varo, 1958.—