Erica Eller

Biographical Evidence

Herself (b. August, 1983 - )

The following is a case study of the literary development of Erica Eller, penname Herself.


November, 1984: Learns to sign her name with an X.


August, 1989: Eats an embarrassing love letter she wrote instead of mailing it or throwing it away. Tears the pages into bite-size pieces and swallows them one by one. After having swallowed the complete letter, she recites an epitaph for her deceased letter in the mirror.


July, 1993: Returns her deceased Great Aunt Agnes’ overdue library books, found stashed behind some boxes of Harlequin Romance subscription paperbacks. Subsequently begs library to remove the fines associated with her family name. The library refuses.


September, 1995: For the first time of many, lights a copy of The Odyssey on fire and leaves it on her librarian’s doorstep.


December, 1999: Buries the only copy of her first written novel manuscript entitled "A Scatological Peach" in her backyard in order to give it a false death. Informs the police of the missing manuscript and offers a ransom of $500 for anyone who can find it. The only thing dug up by the police in her backyard is a coffin filled to the brim with moldy peach-pits. The coffin is taken away and eventually donated to the local historical society to be accepted as part of their curio collection.


January-February 2000: Writes her second novel entitled "Running Backwards in 21 Ways" in reverse, from finish to start, without interruption, for the duration of 21 days.


August, 2001: Learns the art of book-binding and subsequently binds each of her family members’ bibles shut.


September, 2001: Writes her famous manifesto, a political diatribe against the cult of genius entitled "Why I Fucking Hate Writing."


October, 2001: Begins writing weekly hate mail to her local historical society in order to make a stand against the domination of fact over fiction.


June, 2006: Devises a plot structure involving two naïve audience members of Verdi’s opera Simon Boccanegra who get wrapped up in a backstage tragedy that parallels what is happening on-stage. This plot is the basis of a work in progress entitled "Audience, the Greatest Tragedy."


February, 2008: Begins a fictional memoir charting many of her botched suicide attempts that were designed to replicate historically famous and successful suicide attempts. The serial continuity of this memoir is derived from the author’s addiction to repeating history.


June, 2009: Combats the domination of the Literary Canon by researching each author on the list of Nobel-Prize Winners for Literature and pairing them with their pulp-fiction-author-doppelganger. Posts her findings by writing the names in the format X=Y inside of every T.S. Eliot book-sleeve in the library.


April, 2010: In search of truth, she reinserts her name into every fictional character she has ever written about who is based off of herself and finds her archive of stories limited to a cast of one: Herself. Thus, re-names herself the only suitable penname: Herself.

Erica Eller is a writer, drummer, and artist based in San Francisco. When not reading, she writes and vice-versa. When not listening, she talks and vice versa. When not eating she sleeps and vice versa. Etc. Etc.


Jimmy Miracle

Jimmy Miracle grew up in Florida and received his B.A. in art from Belhaven College. Since moving to Brooklyn in 2006, he has shown his work at the Rockaway Art Center in Queens, the Shore Institute of Contemporary Art Museum, New York Center for Art and Media, Sugar, HKJB, the Pigeon Wing, Nurture Art, Storefront, and recently had his first solo show at All Things Project in Greenwich Village. He has received a Vermont Studio Fellowship and has been written about by James Panero in The New Criterion's 'Gallery Chronicle'.


Jennifer H. Fortin

from Mined Muzzle Velocity

(click images for larger view.)

Jennifer H. Fortin lives and loves in Brooklyn. Her chapbook If Made Into a Law (Dancing Girl Press) is forthcoming. She lived in a small Bulgarian town, one hour by bus from the Black Sea, for 27 months while serving in the Peace Corps. With three other poets, she founded and edits the online poetry journal LEVELER (


Hollis Brown Thornton

permanent marker on paper

acrylic on canvas

The View of the Other World
ink jet, permanent marker on paper

Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe
oil on canvas

Dealing with themes of memory and perception, Hollis Brown Thornton uses modern cultural artifacts ranging from family photos to pop culture imagery in order to illustrate the modern relevance of these things from the past. In the acrylic paintings, pigment transfers, and marker drawings, the use of erase face, limbo lines, outdated media, and wallpaper patterns all play key roles in uniting the fleeting present to a lingering past. Thornton currently works in a warehouse studio in Aiken, South Carolina.


Miguel Sabogal

Miguel Sabogal is an independent filmmaker living in Baltimore, Maryland. He holds both a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins University and a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in video from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work focuses on the relationship between narrative exposition and the physical qualities of the film medium itself. Narrative concepts are explored through parsing of traditional storytelling elements while the exploratory use of camera errors highlight the boundaries at which the filming apparatus reliably and unreliably renders light into image. He was most recently awarded the 2010 Creative Alliance Movie Makers fellowship towards completion of a short form narrative film.


Bryan Coffelt


Every time he thinks about his holes, he goes a little blind. He feels like he is not a free enough man and there just aren’t enough hazy girls on these corners to completely reduce him. He thinks hard for an answer. He thinks about the give of a slot machine’s handle. He thinks of a well-tied knot. He thinks, “What a sidewinder, that west coast.” He thinks of the marbled women, the ones from his shinier days. He thinks how thumbtacks cannot support a fraction of the soul’s theft.

When she bent her neck she looked like a just-bled pig hanging from a new moon. She rolled and quivered and noted the passing lane. She reached for her throat like, “Revenge!” She kept thinking of moving a cursor across a blank document one space at a time. But she tried her best to will herself to clot.

She goes to school, she fingerpaints the universe, she responds to stimuli, she fits her responses in her lunch box, she talks like “I am embarrassed of this lunch box,” she twinkles and thinks of what a gaping asshole the future is. She does karate on a classmate, she goes home, she does karate on the darkness.

Dear diary, sometimes I feel like there is a rapist camping inside me. Sometimes, during the day, my toes clench and I see the desert. And then I get extremely hungry. Last week I ate ten Big Macs, puked, then jerked off like four times. What the fuck? Maybe it just means I’m more optimistic that I thought. Dad is damn near fired, I guess. He just sits around and drinks Coor’s. He kind of gestures at the TV once in a while, but not really. It’s the World Series, diary, and I’m horny as fuck.

We could all jump together or something. On the count of whatever. It doesn’t matter.
“Right now my Ts look like running gingerbread men.”
“Shut up and let’s think about this a little bit.”
“I’m just saying. They do.”
“I never learned this way. My folks were very against this sort of thing.”
“It’s easy as fuck. See those rocks? They just kind of turn you to slush.”
“But what about the sun? People? Love? Sex? Scratching a dog’s head? Hamburgers? Silence? Quality time? Sanctions against Iran? Triumph? The itchiness of wool?”
“I don’t know. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

Bryan Coffelt lives in Portland, Oregon where he is pursuing an MA in Writing & Book Publishing. He blogs at


Steven Riddle

Steven Riddle graduated from the Maryland Instituted College of Art and is an MFA candidate at Towson University. His most recent work explores ideas of misperceptions and misrepresentations of nature. He enjoys gardening and collect rocks.


Tim Horvath


Our talking is a kudzu of carotids in which we lose our marbles. Hours later they tumble out as we are snoring, awakening us one at a time, hard little tumors we flick underneath one another. By morning we lie like border states whose boundaries are rivers, anomalously straight, canals funded by nature.

When I get nervous near you it's like a utility forms and hits a whole town with its too much. Everyone goes shed 'n' attic and unearths devices: those they need, those they never use, those borrowed and never returned, those they wish they'd borrowed and could thus return, those they don't recognize, those whose uses they can't fathom, those double-barreled ones which lend skulls cold spots, those too flimsy to withstand unearthing, those which served as stunt doubles for other devices once, in their heyday, those they don't really need. But want. Among them: electric utensils, rodent rotators, epilepsy-inducers, oars, spooling agents, laminators, pompadour replicators, run-on detectors, vaginal dredgers, mechanical fins, metronomic innards, palate-ticklers, religious spatulae, hissiphones. Those that look burnt but not flammable. Those that come off synthetic yet overripe. Those for pulling, for turning, for penetrating, for twisting and more. Thanks, we say, blushing, thanks. What they do with them is done, and then they are put gently back into their slots, slid onto the hooks and rafters, and eventually I can meet your gaze once more.

Next year starts my stint as anthropologist on that island where relationships and existential quandaries are thrashed out in small talk, and any mention of the weather or the pop diva‟s latest gown makes the strongest crack with weeping.

Even the tolls adjust on our approach. You catch them trembling and think it a trick of light. Whatever we hand over, coughed and culled from cushiony crevasses, is always “exact” and “change,” and still you clamp down, silent as mile markers, on one bald coin.

Whatever else we are, we are surely a beard that has convinced its owner to stop shaving. How long? No longer do we even notice the Unabomber comparisons, the razors orphaned in the snarl.

Tim Horvath is the author of Circulation, published by sunnyoutside press, and stories in Conjunctions, Fiction, Puerto del Sol, Sleepingfish, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing at Chester College of New England and Grub Street in Boston.


Katja Mater

Dancing to: ‘....So’ by Soft Cell (T=3:49)

Dancing to: ‘Here it goes Again’ by Ok GO (T=2:59)

Dancing to: ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ by new order (T=4:21)



Katja Materʼs work originates from a meta-perspective and generally confronts the possibilities and impossibilities of photography. Rather than documenting frozen moments in time, she records the numerous ways we can look at and think about photographic images. She turns the medium on itself, and in doing so, disturbs its status of accuracy. Instead of looking through photography as a more or less transparent medium, Materʼs intention is to make viewers look at photography. By visualizing areas in which technique yields images different from human perception, she shows the intangible character of the medium, using photography as a creating rather than a documenting medium. Katja Mater lives and works in Amsterdam, NL.


Scott Churchman

In Philadelphia, in a haunted house from 1750, Scott Churchman wrote and recorded an album. Like the house, the album echoed of voices from a collective, forgotten past alongside the chill of eerie, lo-fi sounds from creaking guitars, haunting piano notes and a lonely upright bass. The spirits of the house, ghosts of Leonard Cohen and Black Sabbath, crept within the creases of sound and once mixed with the intimate themes of paranoia, restriction and revelation become the basis for the albums songs - a slate as empty and interpretive as it is lush and full.

Churchman's album was made with the help of his closest friends from bands like Ape School, Folklore, Charlotte Littlehales, Hermit Thrushes and a handful of others.

Scott Churchman leaves it up to fresh ears to find original meaning in the album, it's home and the rooms and spaces where it was recorded. Some ghosts may still linger, but they somehow become one. . . leaving the front door wide open for new guests to breathe. The album Thirteen is available from Single Girl, Married Girl Records.


Ron. Lavalette

Payday In Grinsville

Oh, I guess I could have done
anything. The agency lets you
try things out for up to thirty days.
I considered being “The Time Fairy”;
did broken watches for a while
and that was cool, but the nights
were pretty slow; not a lot of stops
to make, but I had to lug the things
around in a big sack. And people
expected cash for alarm clocks and
sundials and such. My back ached.
So I settled for teeth. Teeth is cool.
It’s only kids that want anything
for them, and they don’t much care
how much you leave. It’s magic,
they think, like payday in Grinsville.
Yeah, all things considered, teeth
is a pretty good gig. And I get to
keep all the teeth, which at least
I can do something with: they take
a nice coat of bright enamel paint,
and string up into nifty necklaces;
the tourists gobble them up.

Ron. Lavalette lives in the very northeastern corner of Vermont, land of the fur-bearing lake trout and the bi-lingual stop sign, barely a snowball's throw from the Canadian border. He's been published fairly widely both in print and online. A reasonable sample of his published work can be found at his website: Eggs Over Tokyo. Ron. blogs fairly regularly at Scrambled, Not Fried.


Anastasia Cazabon

Anastasia Cazabon is a photographer from Cambridge, MA. She is a graduate of New England School of Photography and Massachusetts College of Art. Anastasia is co-founder of the photography collective The Exposure Project.


Matthew Orr

Critique of an Excerpt of My Father’s Portfolio

Geoffrey, if I can offer a critique it is this: while your work is of course well-executed and displays great potential, what I keep seeing is this notion, a suggestion in what you do, as if implicit to each design, that something is happening. A connection is there whether I want one or not. Comparatively, when we compare this to something else, say, Uncle Bill’s work, or even Grandma Shirley’s recent retrospective in the attic, the exact opposite occurs. In them, I see the distinct possibility that nothing is happening. No connection is there except chance and accident. Then again, these are different people, your relatives. Uncle Bill always says, “See the big picture,” and I sense an indifferent, documentarian quality to the way Grandma Shirley smokes alone in the evening. Regarding the neighborhood as an old camera on the porch with its f-stop thrown open. Nothing to see except chance and accidents. My personal opinion is that she finds the idea of nothing far more compelling than the idea of something. Which is not to necessarily say that she is a proponent of nothing, or believes that nothing is the answer to everything. I just think she likes to leave the idea of nothing as a very real possibility.

Have you heard of Anne Marshall? She writes textbooks on photography and is married to your brother. In the revised edition of her Picture This series (DoubleImage Press, Cement City, OH), she ends each chapter with a series of questions. Originally, I had thought they were meant to be rhetorical, though recently I discovered an answer key just behind the index. Chapter Nine, “Matters of Perspective” goes as follows:

Think of it as an act of photography. Can a zoom lens really take a picture without a subject? When looking at a cluttered and unfocused snapshot of some drunken family reunion in the high heat of summer, is it possible that the photographer clicked his camera when no one was looking? His finger pushing the button as a fly buzzed about him and he had thought to scratch his nose? (Marshall 66)

Matthew Orr was born in Ossineke, Michigan. His work has previously appeared in Unsaid, Smalls and Xylem. He is concerned primarily with fiction writing and running long distances.


Allison Manch

Allison Manch is a photographer and educator based in Seattle, WA.


Wah Nails

Wah Nails is a Badass Nail salon based in London, UK.


Amira Hanafi

from Identity Theft

As an ideal woman, I am a man. My shimmies are punctuated with a little pouch of fat just above my pubic hair. I have a high salary working with the subaltern; I close on a house but choose to stay in the motel. I buy a stack of black ties at WalMart and also purchase a dog. Of course the dog barks. I am thinking of jiggling breasts, the way a woman’s shoulders flick when she dances. I hire an Asian to teach me how to be fortunate. He asks me to repeat my sentence and I say, I want you, I want you, over and over again. Still thinking of the hips and toes, hips and toes. My head is stuck between the bed and the dresser and I am singing, There will be a brown baby, there will be a brown baby, bring the baby out in the sun. He hangs me out the window so everyone knows.

Amira Hanafi is an artist and writer using variable methods of research and collection to produce documentary objects. She recently returned from a four-month drift in Cairo, Egypt, where she collaboratively produced a collection of material that will be the basis for her first solo exhibition at Spoke Chicago in September of this year. She is the author of Minced English, Trinities, and Forgery (forthcoming from Green Lantern Press, 2011/12). Her work has recently been published in American Letters & Commentary, Requited, and Matrix New Feminisms. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Mara Skujeniece

(Click images for larger view.)

Mara Skujeniece is the founder of Studio Skujeniece, through which she designs furniture and interior goods. Mara is based in Amsterdam and currently teaches at Design Academy Eindhoven.


Tyler Gobble

What I Know About The Ocean

His jaw swallowed six buses of children,
his eyes watching them from beneath
peel themselves from the leather seats,
no seatbelts, just early summer heat.
He shook them down like terrible
pills, these inner city youth who
had never seen the ocean, each leaning
their heads over the edge of the old pier.
My dad said, no ocean until I’m grown,
but he told me stories about the pier, about
the creatures hanging out in the deep, how
he swam each day with a giant spear, waiting
for one of those sea bullies to open its mouth.
He remembered the salty air like a death fog.
He said men died to build this pier, the sons
of men who died to form this city,
those men the sons of the sailors
who landed on that shore before our family
began. He also told me how he met my mom
at the ice cream stand at the end of
the pier, how they walked the length
of it, before sneaking off into the sandy
shadows to create me next to the jellyfish
that washed up on the shore each night.
These kids were looking for the daytime
jellyfish, dolphins jumping like happy alive kids,
flounders with their eyes all sideways,
until monster-mouth came up, the teachers screaming,
we didn’t teach them about you for a reason.
It was as if the children were candles atop some cake
for an old guy, 146 of them in all, blown out in a single
breath. The last story my father told was about these kids
before he went for his daily swim, only his giant spear
washing ashore. Each day since, I dive from the end
of the pier, starting deeper than my father, going further
over the edge than those kids, searching for the jellyfish
that saw my conception, looking for the shark that
swallowed the children, hoping something hidden
under all that blue will let me stab it for opening
its big mouth.

Tyler Gobble is currently studying at Ball State University. Tyler is an intern at The Collagist and will soon be joining the staff of The Broken Plate. His poems or reviews have been published by or are forthcoming from Otoliths, Breadcrumbs Scab, Mad Swirl, among other places.


Seth Alverson


35" x 30"
Oil on Canvas

Tits in a Window
28" x 34"
Oil on Canvas

Seth Alverson is based in Houston, TX and recently received his MFA in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University.



Winks is a musical project by Chase O'Hara and Adam Lempel, supported by Friends Records. O'Hara and Lempel are from Baltimore and perform in In Every Room and Weekends, respectively. Listen to Winks while you dig pebbles out of your shoes after a balmy hike. For a full download of their albums, check out:


Christine Hamm

What Happens When I Try to Write

My horse is eating my head. He started off with my hair. I guess I can understand that, since my hair is blond and pretty dry in the summer, so it probably looks like hay. You wouldn't think that horses could bite so hard, as they normally munch on grass, but their teeth are enormous -- not very sharp, but quite hard. The horse jaw can exert pressures of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch. I made that entirely up. Horse teeth, however, are the size of dominos, and look like thick brown curved dominos, but hurt more than dominos ever could, even if they were thrown quite hard at you from a near distance. Horses' teeth grow indefinitely and have to be filed down with a large metal file. This process is called "floating". I did not make this up. I, on the other hand, grind my own teeth very hard at night. Sometimes I wake up with tiny bits of teeth on my tongue. They don't taste like anything -- I spit them out in the sink. Every time I meet a dentist, he becomes very depressed. He often starts to tell me about the country where he came from, how he misses the weather. He inevitably avoids looking in my mouth. He opens my jaws with those rubbery gloved hands, then stares out the window, shaking his head and sighing theatrically. I was surprised when my horse tore off my ear, but since then I haven't felt many emotions. From where I lie on the floor of his stall, I can hear his noisy chewing and crunching, and watch his hind hooves shuffle and tip. Sometimes he swats at a fly with his tail. I find the swish of his tail comforting, regular. It sounds a little like a broom, as if someone were sweeping the stall next to us.

Christine Hamm is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Drew University and an MFA student at New England College. She won the MiPoesias First Annual Chapbook Competition with her manuscript, Children Having Trouble with Meat. Her poetry has been published in The Adirondack Review, Pebble Lake Review, Lodestar Quarterly, Poetry Midwest, Rattle, and many others. She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and she teaches English at CUNY. The Transparent Dinner, her book of poems, was published by Mayapple Press in 2006 and her second book, Saints & Cannibals, came out this spring. Christine was a runner-up to the Poet Laureate of Queens.


Rachel Bone




Rachel Bone was born in Keene, NH and has lived in Baltimore, MD for six years where she paints, draws and runs a one-woman screen-printed apparel line called Red Prairie Press. She was trained in printmaking at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY.