Niche No. 5

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ALISON SILVERGLAD is a writer and teacher residing in Northern Massachusetts. She holds an MFA from the University of New Hampshire and is currently writing a children’s book about pet sitting.

ANYA SPARKS lives and works in California.

CHRISTINE KENDALL is a writer living in Philadelphia. She has attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and studied children’s literature at the Southampton Writers’ Conference. Christine was named a semi-finalist in the 2014 River Styx Micro-Fiction Contest. She is currently working on a novel and a collection of short stories. Be sure to download and read her micro Finishing Up, and check out her interview with Niche.

DR. GERARD SARNAT received his education at Harvard and Stanford. He established and staffed clinics for the disenfranchised, has been a CEO of healthcare organizations, and was a Stanford professor. Gerard and his wife of forty-five years have three children and two grandchildren with more on the way, and live in the room above their oldest daughter’s garage. Gerry is the author of three critically acclaimed collections: Homeless Chronicles from Abraham to n (2010), Disputes (2012), and 17s (2014) in which each poem, stanza or line has 17 syllables. ForHuffington Post reviews, future reading dates including Stanford on January 21 and more, visit His books are available at select bookstores and on Amazon. Gerard is currently featured as Songs of Eretz Poetry Review’s Poet of the Week with one of his poems appearing daily Dr. Sarnat is the second poet ever to be so honored.

JESSE SENSIBAR is a veteran of the war on drugs. He was raised on the south side of Chicago in the 1970s and 80s and hit the mean streets of that city as soon as he was old enough to run. For the last quarter of a century he has made his home in the high country desert southwest in the border town of Flagstaff Arizona where he works as a writer, truck driver, English teacher, wild land firefighter, and pool hall bouncer.

AGASTYA MA’II quit his job to travel and write. He completed a creative writing mentorship through the University of British Columbia and is currently a Fiction Reader for Cactus Heart Press. His work is published/forthcoming in eFiction, theEEEL and other riotous homes. He especially loves the individual aromas of pine and coffee, but loathes faulty coffee cup caps (he has come across too many of poor construction). Sometimes, he can be seen yelling at the hot Guatemalan roast, trickling onto the skin of his metacarpals on the streets of New York City.

MIKE COLE was born in Fresno, California (1948) and graduated from Fresno State College (1971). Over a sporadic 45 year publication history, Mike’s poems have appeared in Antioch Review, Laurel Review, Midland Review, Blast Furnace, Red Savina Review, and other magazines, and in the anthology Highway 99, by Heyday Press. He lives in the Sierra Nevada Foothills near Yosemite National Park. 

TIM JURNEY was born in 1993 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated this spring from Kenyon College in Ohio, and would love to tell you about the in-between over coffee sometime. His poetry, nominated for a Pushcart Prize and recipient of the John Crowe Ransom award, has been published in Stone Highway Review, Agave, The Unrorean, Dark Matter Journal and The Monongahela Review, among others. Be sure to download his poem “Bonespace,” and be sure to read his interview with Niche.

DANIEL SUNDAHL is Kirk Professor in American Studies and English at Hillsdale College where has taught for thirty-two years. He is married to Ellen, thirty-nine years; they have one well behaved German Shepherd dog and three less well-behaved mackerel cats. In April they will take up residence in Greenville, South Carolina.

JEAN KIM is a physician and writer who currently works and lives in the DC Metro area. She received her M.A. in Nonfiction Writing at Johns Hopkins and has also been a nonfiction fellow at the Writers’ Institute at the Graduate Center of CUNY. She blogs for Psychology Today and has work published or forthcoming in The Rumpus, The Manifest-Station, The Daily Beast, Bethesda Magazine, Little Patuxent Review, Storyscape JournalStar82 Review, and more. Download and read her poem Thinking About a Female Neurologist’s Drowning and be sure to check out her interview with Niche.

JULIE ASCARRUNZ lives in Lafayette, CO where she teaches English as a Second Language, Language Arts, and Newspaper at Centaurus High School. She is a member of The Gamuts, a longstanding workshop group in East Boulder County and sings with the Colorado Repertory Singers. Her two sons are in college studying music and biology. She lives with three cats, two dogs, and the ghost of a box turtle named Galapago.

JAHLA SEPPANEN was born and raised off the grid in Madrid, New Mexico. She received her BA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Last year she completed her first novel. Jahla enjoys Puerto Rican rum and listening to the Ramones. Her stories have been published in Fourteen Hills, The Bookends Review, Used Gravitrons, and Turk’s Head Review. Download and read her short story Alien Girls and be sure to check out her interview with Niche.

NINA SKAYA has worked as an acquisitions editor at an academic press, manufactured her own clothing line, and published many nonfiction pieces in Music Alive!, a music education magazine. She has a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, a bachelors degree in philosophy from Princeton, and plays oboe in several chamber music groups in her spare time. This is her first published short story.

NICOLAS POYNTER is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Oklahoma City University. His fiction has appeared in many literary journals, including North American Review and Fiction Fix. Additionally, his short story “Loma Prieta Blues” won the 2013 Vuong Prize for fiction. After dropping out of high school, Nicolas became a chemist and now teaches physics in Oklahoma City. Download and read his short story Gringo Town and be sure to check out his interview with Niche.

J.E. ROBINSON’s essay “A Voice Somewhat Familiar” appeared in Niche previously, accompanied by an interview posted July 2, 2014. He is the author of Skip Macalester and of The Day Rider and Other Stories: A Collection. May 2015 saw his play in one act set during the Harlem Renaissance, Spades, in produced in New York City. Currently, he writes comedies.

MELISSA VALENTINE is a writer and acquisitions editor living in Oakland, California. She received her MFA in nonfiction from Mills College. Melissa is currently a Fellow at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Her work has appeared in Sassafras, Blackberry, and Friends Journal. She is currently at work completing her memoir, The Names of All the Flowers. Download and read her creative non-fiction piece The Spared and be sure to check out her interview with Niche.

ARIEL HAFEMAN studies writing as a graduate student at Mount Mary University. Works have been published in Typehouse, Inscape, and Arches, among others.

CLINTON INMAN was born in Walton-on-Thames, England, graduated from San Diego State University, and has been an educator most of his life. He is currently a high school teacher, and is planning on retiring at the end of the year) in Tampa Bay where he lives with his wife, Elba.

SAMANTHA D. HARDCASTLE is an artist and a writer living in southern California where she is pursuing her M.A. in English. She received her B.A. in Mass Communication/Journalism with a minor in Art. Her work has been published in Christian Woman Magazine, The Good Women Project and literary art journals. She’s also a contributing writer for Faithlife Women and Believe. com. She currently works at a café in Chino, CA where some of her artwork is displayed.

CHRYSTAL BERCHE dabbles, a lot, and somewhere in those dabbles blossoms ideas that take shape into images. Many of her current pieces of artwork start out as three minute gesture drawings and eventually get paired with still life photography and a lot of playing in photo shop. She loves to take pictures, especially out in the woods, where she can sit on a rock or a log and wait quietly, jotting notes for stories until something happens by. A free spirit, Chrystal digs in dirt, dances in rain and chases storms, all at the whims of her muses.

SARA CATLETT is an artist from Auburn, California. She attended Oxbow Art School in Napa, California, where she gained experience in studio art and production. She is currently working towards her Masters in Art History in hopes of becoming an art teacher and a free-lance studio artist.

THOMAS GILLASPY is a Northern Californian photographer with an interest in urban minimalism. His work has been featured in numerous magazines including the literary journals Switchback, DMQ Review and Citron Review.

HOLLY DAY was born in Hereford, Texas, “The Town Without a Toothache.” She and her family currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches writing classes at the Loft Literary Center. Her needle points and bead work have recently appeared on the covers of The Grey Sparrow Journal, QWERTY Magazine, and Kiki Magazine.

PEARL A. HODGES is a Pacific Northwest artist with a love of the surreal, sublime, human, and inhuman. She works with watercolor, clay, fabric, pencil, acrylic, and most anything else that seems interesting. More of her work is viewable at her website:

Read review of Niche No. 5 at The Review Review.

Read interview with Managing Editor at Smile Politely.