Contributors Issue #8 (2023)

Raymond Anganes grew up surrounded by a family with a love for the inner workings of nature and technology alike. A graduate of Middlesex Community College, he now works as a lab tech, working on genetic analysis.  As an avid outdoorsman, he takes inspiration from long treks out into nature, as well as from old science fiction and historical nonfiction that he reads in his free time. Most of his stories revolve around space, skulking cryptids in the wilderness, arcane rituals, or all of the above.

Stephan Anstey is a father, grandfather, husband, poet, and artist focused on spiritual exploration and the celebration of the individual. He is a graduate of Middlesex Community College and works in the bookstore on the Bedford Campus. His work explores themes of love, family, faith, philosophy, and every individual’s endless war against an increasingly invasive society. Anstey’s art is primarily a combination of poetry, digital art, sketching, and painting. He lives an idyllic life with his beautiful and beloved bride Ellen in a big golden house full of hope on a little hill in a small corner of the beautiful and historic mill city of Lowell, Massachusetts.

Beck Babcock is a visual artist who primarily specializes in drawing, knitting, and sewing. They enjoy experimenting with different styles and mediums to get their messages across. Beck is also a Studio Arts student at Middlesex Community College. When not working on assignments or personal projects, they also enjoy hiking, cycling, and reading about mythology.

Cayleigh Baillargeon is a student and poet from Lowell, Massachusetts. She took a long break from writing but started again while attending Middlesex Community College during the pandemic. She is currently pursuing degrees in American Studies and History at UMass Lowell and often incorporates those studies into her work, which often focus on themes of social justice, colonialism, immigration, and failures of the American Dream. She spends most of her time outside of school hanging out with her loyal dog Walter and taking as many road trips to historical sites as they can fit in.

Tariq Brathwaite is a student at Middlesex Community College in Lowell and Bedford where he has been on the path of finding his dreams, which led him to the Creative Writing Concentration and his goal of creating stories. In his stories, he creates superheroes who live in worlds where they fight against evil. He hopes to inspire readers to discover their own morality and good will. He has lived in Lowell all of his life but soon wants to explore other sites where great writers came to be. 

Kenneth Brown is an Middlesex Community College alum with an Engineering Technology Associate of Science degree and a passion for art. He has been drawing since he was little but has taken very few courses in painting and art. The few courses he has taken were in high school where he learned the basics of drawing and painting, and in his free time while at MCC, learning from online tutorials on how to work with 3D graphics and video games in Unreal Engine. Despite the few courses he has taken, he is always practicing in his spare time by sketching, drawing, and painting for family and for personal amusement, slowly improving his skill as an artist. He is currently a production coordinator at Fujifilm Recording Media in Bedford and does art in his spare time.

Talia Burns was born and raised in Lowell and has always been artistic. As a busy mother of two, her creativity has been on the back burner for the last couple of years. With some more free time on her hands at this point in her life, her art is starting to flourish once again. Her purpose is to create, and she plans to dive in and get involved with the local art community in Lowell.

Anthony N.N.E Carvahlo (he/him/his) is the pseudonym of twenty year old Middlesex Community College student Neal Ferrera, who lives outside of Boston. He uses poetry to explore his experiences suffering from anxiety and depression. Aside from writing, Anthony loves learning about history and exploring analog horror.

Robert Castagna is a photographer based out of Medford and a 2021 Massachusetts Cultural Council Photography Fellow and 2021 Artist Resource Trust Grant recipient for Borderlands, his book on the U.S./Mexican borderlands. His photographs are part of the permanent collection of the Boston Public Library and the Art Complex Museum. He was also a recipient of a Cambridge Arts Council Grant for his project teaching photography to senior citizens. A graduate of Middlesex Community College, he is currently studying Creative Writing at UMass Boston where he has had poems published in Writ Large and The Watermark, UMass Boston literary and arts journals.

Katie Durant is a Massachusetts writer, former English Professor and Editor-In-Chief of the Dead River Review, and the Communications and Operations Manager of the Boston-based nonprofit Resilient Sisterhood Project. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MFA from Bennington College. Katie has published work in The Citron Review, The James Franco Review, The Voices Project, The Middlesex Review, Bennington Review, and Dead River Review. Katie is working on a memoir exploring the depths of her family’s dysfunctions. 

Brian Egan is a Creative Writing major at Middlesex Community College hailing from Dracut, Massachusetts. He primarily writes short horror fiction and poetry, and he plans on publishing collections of his works very soon. He has two dogs, a garden, and a love for horror and all things writing as well.

J.M. Grenier is a writer and part-time faculty member in the Humanities and Business Divisions at Middlesex Community College who also happens to be an alum and can (just about) drive a vehicle that uses a manual transmission.

Susan Hutchinson currently teaches and advises at Middlesex Community College. Her first creative writing efforts, laced in red ink by her profoundly skilled and inspiring middle school English teacher, Mrs. Amy Lapham, set the scene for a life reveling in letters, literature, and lyricism. Susan has a Bachelor’s of Science in Management, Organizational Behavior, and Marketing from Babson College and a Master’s in Education from Wheelock College. She lives in a rural New England town rich in Colonial history, architecture, and pastoral settings. Her greatest joys are her daughter and grandchildren, creative writing, and gardening.

Dody James

Bridget Landers is 25 years old, and she is a blond-haired, blue-eyed, asexual-gay, autistic college student who doesn’t allow stereotypes to bring her down. She is also half-Dutch on her mother’s side and doesn’t like small monkeys.

Dana Shahar Meyer‘s poetry has been published in Massachusetts’ Best Emerging Poets, Dead River Review & other local magazines, and in four self-published children’s literature collections. She has won spoken word poetry titles, including the 2019 Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival’s MCC Poetry Contest. After Middlesex Community College, she transferred to Fitchburg State U. where she earned her BA in 2020 and her M.Ed. in 2021. She is a fourth-grade teacher in Belmont, striving to instill a love of poetry & creative writing in her students.

Ariadna Muñoz is a twenty-five-year-old, Mexican American poet and visual artist. The nature of her work is sacrilegious; it merges religious trauma, womanhood, and philosophy through a decolonial lens. She operates under an alias online, where she publishes short films and visual diaries containing her poems. She is pursuing a Creative Writing degree and currently resides in Massachusetts.

Deklan O’Connor is a student at Carroll University in the Animal Behavior and Ethology Program. An alumnus of Middlesex Community College, Deklan has been published previously in Dead River Review, as well as in Burgundy Balloon. Deklan writes nonfiction poetry and long-form essays, with the occasional fiction piece. They hope to continue to submit and be published in many more journals and magazines.

Lexi Perry is a Creative Writing student from Lowell. She is graduating from Middlesex Community College this semester and transferring to UMass Lowell in the fall 2023. Her work has been published in Venture Literary Magazine, Dead River Review – Issue #7, and in the 2023 La Guagua Poetry Anthology: The Path Belongs to Us. She is a frequent gatherer at the Lowell Poetry Wheel’s Untitled Open Mic and the Haverhill River Bards’ Poetry Series.

Amelia Rubin is in her second year at Middlesex Community College. She wrote “the masks we wear” after class on the first day of her Psychology of Personality class when her professor said, “Having a personality is just having a mask.” Her poems are often inspired by phrases she hears from other people or just random statements that get stuck in her head. She started writing poetry in sophomore year of high school to help deconstruct her feelings. Truth be told, she actually hated writing poetry until sophomore year when she realized she was genuinely good at it (unless you ask her to do a rhyme scheme; she’s still bad at those.) Aside from writing poetry, her other hobbies include drawing, painting clothes, and crocheting.

Claudio Sanchez is a student at Middlesex Community College. He is a contributor and editor of the Dead River Review.

C.S. Scarrow is in his second year at Middlesex Community College working on a degree in Creative Writing. He spends most of his time dreaming about writing, but when he does occasionally write, he uses his ADHD to help him burst out his pessimistic critiques of the world using the most grotesque imagery imaginable. In real life, he has been described as a “himbo,” and to this day still has no idea what that means.

Olivia Steen is currently attending Middlesex Community College, majoring in Creative Writing. She spends her time writing, working at a bookstore, or daydreaming. She primarily writes poetry while dabbling in different types of creative writing. She hopes to write her own poetry book one day.

Donna Tarrant has been writing poetry since age 17. She is now in my 60s. She enjoys writing poems having to do with nature, emotion, intellect, religion, and personal  experiences. She lives in Lowell and completed a Certificate in Office Administration at Middlesex Community College in 2001. She returned to MCC a few years later to continue in the Liberal Studies program where she is also taking law courses. She likes traveling, going out with friends, and being an usherette at Merrimack  Repertory Theatre. She took two acting classes at MCC and played a part in MCC’s production of Medea in 2001. She has worked with children as an aide and a substitute teacher. She is also a lector in church, and sings in church as well. She took a service learning course at MCC and volunteered at the Lowell Association for the Blind as part of that class. She is the author of a book of poems entitled Precious Gems, available on Amazon. Her goal is to obtain a degree in Liberal Studies and a Certificate in Paralegal.

k.r. taylor is currently a Radiologic Technology student at Middlesex Community College, but she has never left her passion for writing behind. Her poetry has appeared in multiple journals, including The Weight Journal, Teen Ink, and Dead River Review, and she is now an editor of Dead River Review. It is well known among her peers that her poetry steers clear of the uncomfortable, and instead, it drives right into it.

Lizzy Waite

Jared Waugh is twenty-two years old and (almost!) a life-long resident of Massachusetts, currently in his fourth year at Middlesex Community College. He is working towards earning an Associate Degree with a Creative Writing Concentration and enjoys exploring themes of science fiction, science fantasy, creative nonfiction, and found family. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking, hiking, and making lists of TV Shows that he should watch and books that he should read but likely won’t get around to for a while due to his commitments to academia. He is a firm believer that both comics and animation are mediums, not genres, and is an avid fan of both.

Samantha Weisberg received her MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. She has been teaching English Literature and Creative Writing for over 11 years. Samantha works at Middlesex Community College as an adjunct professor. Her favorite genres to read and write include Creative Nonfiction, Magical Realism, and Confessional Poetry. Her favorite classes to teach include Mythology, Poetry, and World Literature.



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