Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Contributor Bios


Eleanor Leonne Bennett is an internationally award winning photographer and visual artist. She is the CIWEM Young Environmental Photographer of The Year 2013 and has also won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography and The National Trust, to name but a few. Eleanor’s photography has been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, The British Journal of Psychiatry, Life Force Magazine, British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and as the cover of books and magazines extensively throughout the world. Her art is globally exhibited, having shown work in New York, Paris, London, Rome, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Copenhagen, Washington, Canada, Spain, Japan, and Australia, amongst many other locations. She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010. In 2012 her work received coverage on ABC Television.

Paul Bilger is an experimental photographer and film-maker. His work has been featured in literary journals, Brevity, quarrtsiluni, and SmokeLong Quarterly, and as cover art for the musical collectives Dead Voices on Air, Autistici and Brian. He teaches Philosophy for Penn State University and Chatham University. He lives in Pittsburgh.

Robert Boucheron is an architect in Charlottesville, Virginia. His stories, essays and reviews appear in Bangalore Review, Fiction International, New Haven Review, Poydras Review, Short Fiction, and other magazines.

Aimee Bungard lives in rural Southwestern Pennsylvania with her husband, 3 kids and 2 mutts. She derives inspiration from her herb gardens and woodlands. She studied at Montserrat College of Art. You can find more of her current work at

Danqi Cai was born in Nanchang, China in 1996 and raised in Shenzhen, China. She is currently a BA candidate at University of Virginia, majoring in Studio Art and concentrating on printmaking.

Cassandra Carter is a graduate student at Oklahoma City University’s Red Earth MFA. She is a member of the Cherokee Nation living in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Her work is forthcoming in The Quotable, Razor Literary Magazine, and Peculiar Mormyrid.

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of over twenty books of poetry. Her awards include two Yaddo residencies, a Hawthornden Castle Fellowship, and a Visiting Artist Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome, as well as grants from the Whiting Foundation and Harvard University’s Kittredge Fund. Her poems and essays appear in The Gettysburg Review, New American Writing, The Mid-American Review, The Iowa Review, The Columbia Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. She is currently working toward both a Ph.D. in Literature at SUNY-Buffalo and an MFA. in Poetry at New York University.

Emari DiGiorgio is a recipient of two Vermont Studio Center Residencies, a Sundress Academy of the Arts Residency, a Rivendell Artist Colony Percy Writers Fellowship, and a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Poetry Fellowship. Her first manuscript The Things a Body Might Become is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in July 2017. She teaches writing at Stockton University and is a visiting Poet-in-the-Schools through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Dodge Foundation.

Born on April 29th, on a night as dark as its mustache, in 1992, right at the beginning of the Bosnian War, Omar Esparza was raised in Houston, TX, where Omar had an odd, religiously-oppressive childhood. It turned away from ascetic ideals upon repudiating Schopenhauer and embracing Nietzsche in high school. Omar Esparza, abandoning its upbringing in pursuit of its own Truth (or lack thereof), pursued an undergraduate career at St. John’s College, where it double-majored in Philosophy and the History of Mathematics and Science. It is currently pursuing a PhD in psychiatry, though it also hopes to continue developing its writing career throughout its life. Currently its identifies as non-gender and hopes to promote non-gender-based sexuality through its literature. In its free time, Omar enjoys reading subversive literature, surpassing Balzac in coffee-intake, approaching absolute knowledge, limiting its life-expectancy, composing music, deconstructing subjectivity, and quiet sunsets.

Thomas Gillaspy  is a northern California photographer with an interest in urban minimalism. His photography has been featured in numerous magazines including the literary journals Compose, DMQ Review, and Citron Review.

Patricia Heim is a retired psychotherapist who divides her time between Main Line, Philadelphia, where she writes with the Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio; and Oxford, Maryland, where she lives with her husband and their Golden Retriever, writes with the Eastern Shore Writer’s Association, and also paints. Patricia‘s essays have been published in R.KV.R.Y Quarterly Literary Journal (nominated for the Pushcart Prize), Apiary Magazine, Dos Passos Review, Evening Street Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Portland Review, SN Review, Westview, Moon City Review, and others.

“Pégué Village” is excerpted from Toubab, Rachel Hoffman’s unpublished memoir of west Africa. She wrote the book as an anti-dissertation in art history, which she’d earlier completed for a PhD. For the memoir – now evolved to 300 pages – Rachel was awarded a residency later this year at on l’ile Saint-Louis, Senegal, where she hopes to work out a truce with the manuscript and move on. Rachel’s debut novel, Packer and Jack, was published in 2013.

Nazifa Islam grew up in Novi, Michigan. Her poetry and paintings have appeared in Anomalous Press, Flashquake, The Fat City Review, and Kindred Magazine, among other publications, and her debut poetry collection Searching for a Pulse (2013) was released by Whitepoint Press. She earned her MFA at Oregon State University.

Britt Leach was an actor for thirty-odd years and at the end of that career started writing. He co-published, co-edited and wrote for Country Connections, a nationally distributed, award-winning magazine nurtured in the mountains north of Los Angeles. He also wrote and published two websites: Impertinent Information and Veritas—Any Day Now, featuring his satire, poetry and essays toward memoir. He was recently published in River Teeth. That essay was chosen as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2015.

Growing up near Coney Island influenced artist and writer Scott Lewis. The Amusement Park once new and bright, grown creaky and run down. Scott is fascinated by what lays beneath the shiny and seemingly happy and takes this approach in creating the subjects in his paintings and stories. He says, “I want to expose what my characters are thinking, their urges, disappointments and how they see themselves.” He lives in New Jersey, and his solo exhibits have included PhilaMOCA, The Chocolate Factory, Buzzer Thirty, Jungle Science, Index Art and the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. See and read more at

Madison McClure is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a double major in Marketing and Studio Arts. Her piece, “Pride,” was made to demonstrate the idea of pride, both the good and the bad.

Melissa Atkinson Mercer is the author of the chapbooks Storm Was Her Voice (forthcoming, Dancing Girl Press, 2016) and After the Miracle Season, which will be published by ELJ Publications in 2017 as part of their Esperanza Editions, a series focusing on mental health awareness. Her work has also been published or is forthcoming in Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal and Rust+Moth. She has an MFA from West Virginia University and currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina between a cemetery and a trout stream.

Triin Paja is an Estonian living in a small village in rural Estonia. She writes by fields, riverbeds, various cities, countries, dreams, in English and Estonian.

Alison Reed’s Pushcart-nominated poetry has appeared most recently in Cutbank, Incite Insight Magazine, Ocho, and Matter. She is Assistant Professor of English at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she has begun work on her first poetry manuscript, Dreaming Teeth for the Dead.

Shannah Rose of Cape May, NJ, is a fourth-year undergraduate student with a double major in art history and studio art at the University of Virginia. Following graduation, she will work in Toulouse, France as a teaching assistant with the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), sponsored by the French Ministry of Education. After attending graduate school, she intends to pursue a career in either curatorial museum work or art therapy.

Rajendra Shepherd is a writer, journalist and artist who works at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. His published works include La haine de la diablesse, The Ambassadors’ Wives, Of Thosalus born, and the audio story Emily’s Keeper. His novel-in-progress was shortlisted by Myriad Editions in 2015. His short story collection We’ll always have tea & other stories is available on Amazon.

Terrell Jamal Terry’s poems have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, West Branch, Washington Square, Green Mountains Review, The Volta, Juked, cream city review, and elsewhere. His first collection, Aroma Truce, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2017.

Gale Thompson is the author of Soldier On (Tupelo Press) and two chapbooks: If You’re a Bear, I’m a Bear (H_NGM_N) and Expeditions to the Polar Seas (Sixth Finch). Her work may be found in places like Gulf Coast, Guernica, Denver Quarterly, Volt, Sixth Finch, The Volta, and the Colorado Review. She is the founding editor of Jellyfish Magazine, and lives, writes, and teaches in Athens, GA.

James Valvis has placed poems or stories in Ploughshares, River Styx, Arts & Letters, UCity Review, Southern Indiana Review, The Sun, and many others. His poetry was featured in Verse Daily. His fiction was chosen for Sundress Best of the Net. He is a recent finalist for the Asimov’s Readers’ awards. A former US Army soldier, he lives near Seattle.

Internationally collected artist Richard Vyse has shown at galleries in Manhattan and Honolulu. He has studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and taught at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. His art had been featured in Art of Man magazine 19, Noisy Rain magazine Winter 2015 and Mascular magazine 15UK. His art is in the Leslie+Lohman museum in New York City. Visit

Qinglan Wang is a multilingual writer, artist, and teacher originally from Hawaii. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2012), her work has been featured in Bone Bouquet, ROAR Magazine, Crack the Spine, and other places.

Dianne M. Williams is a speculative fiction writer from Lawrence, Kansas. You can follow her on Twitter @diannethewriter.