In The Brutal Issue (December 2017), “everyone” was…





Charles Joseph Albert is a physicist and owner of a metallurgy shop in San Jose, California, where he lives with his wife and three boys. In the wee hours when only the Google Maps van and NSA employees are still awake, Charles writes. His poems and fiction have appeared recently in Quarterday, Chicago Literati, 300 Days of Sun, Abstract Jam, Literary Hatchet and Here Comes Everyone.


DANDU ALEXANDRU – Portrait with Landscape

Dandu AlexanDru is a young independent artist.



ALINE ALAGEM (and ELAD SARIG) – Red Painting

Aline Alagem is an artist based in Tel Aviv/ Berlin, focusing on painting and painting installations that include moving images and painted objects. Since her recent completion of the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien’s residency program in Berlin, she is dividing her time between her studio in Berlin and in Tel Aviv. Alagem’s works are exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide.




Walburga Appleseed likes her chocolate dark, her wine rich, and her fiction short. She has been published both online and in print, and won the Winchester festival prize for flash fiction in 2016. In a parallel existence, she also writes for children.




Jeffrey is originally from Silver City, New Mexico in the USA and received his MFA from New Mexico State University, where he studied with Antonya Nelson, Robert Boswell, Chris Bachelder and Kevin McIlvoy. After a stint as a food writer, Jeffrey now heads the creative writing program at the Community College of Denver. He lives in Lafayette, Colorado.



Sharon Black is from Scotland but now lives in the south of France. Her collection To Know Bedrock is published by Pindrop Press. The Art of Egg appeared with Two Ravens Press in 2015.




Maroula Blades is an Afro-British poet/writer living in Berlin. The winner of The Caribbean Writer 2014 Flash Fiction Competition and Erbacce Prize 2012, her first poetry collection Blood Orange is published by Erbacce-press. Works have been published in Volume Magazine, Theories of HER anthology, Thrice, Kaleidoscope, Trespass, Words with Jam, Blackberry. She has also been published by The Latin Heritage Foundation, Peepal Tree and in other anthologies and magazines. Maroula’s poetry/music programme has been presented on several stages in Germany. Her debut EP-album Word Pulse is released by Havavision Records (UK).



Marc Brightside is an author of poetry and realist fiction for adults, currently living in Croydon, South London. He is twenty-three years old, of Scottish/English heritage and holds a Master’s degree in Creative and Critical Writing. Marc first discovered an interest in poetry under the tuition of Julian Stannard and has since contributed to magazines and anthologies across the UK, worked as an editor of poetry and prose for the Litmus 2016 project, conducted workshops at the University of Winchester and recently placed top ten in The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition.


R. T. CASTLEBERRY – The Deaths Offscreen

R.T. Castleberry is a widely published poet and social critic. He was a co-founder of the Flying Dutchman Writers Troupe, co-editor/publisher of the poetry magazine Curbside Review, an assistant editor for Lily Poetry Review and Ardent. His work has appeared most recently in Roanoke Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Comstock Review, Green Mountains Review, The Alembic, Paterson Literary Review, Silk Road and Argestes. He was a finalist for the 2008 Arts & Letters/Rumi Prize for Poetry. His chapbook Arriving at the Riverside was published by Finishing Line Press in January, 2010. An e-book, Dialogue and Appetite, was published by Right Hand Pointing in May 2011.


SHAWNA COLE – A Recipe for Disaster

By day, Shawna Cole is a curriculum developer at a language school and career college in Vancouver, Canada. By night, she is at the mercy of characters who dream of escaping the depths of her mind to find themselves on the pages of her stories. She’s been told that her genre of choice is speculative fiction, but truthfully, she writes whatever her characters demand.



Daniel Roy Connelly was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize and winner of the 2015 Cuirt New Writing Prize for poetry. His pamphlet, Donkey see, Donkey do was published by Eyewear in June 2017. His first collection, Extravagant Stranger: A Memoir, will be published by Little Island Press in July 2017. He is a professor of creative writing, English and theatre at John Cabot University and The American University of Rome. 



KELL CONNOR – Love, the Hundred-Handed Phantom

Kell Connor lives in Nebraska. Recent work has appeared in Verse, Columbia Poetry Review, Bennington Review, and Flag + Void.


ROBERT COWAN – Fabulous Dostoevsky Confessions: The Mouse and the Stove

Robert Cowan is the author of The Indo-German Identification and his essays have appeared in a number of journals, magazines, and anthologies. Robert’s creative non-fiction, short fiction, and poetry have appeared in Bayou, Flatbush Review, Green Spot Blue, Mayday, Skidrow Penthouse, and Word Riot. And he lives in Brooklyn, NY.

LUCÍA DAMACEIA – Hostile Designs

Lucía Damacela’s literary work has been published in more than ten countries, in over thirty journals and collections such as Sharkpack, Slippery Elm, Into the Void, Bunbury, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Poems to Keep Anthology. One of her poems won the Wisehouse International Poetry Award 2016. A bilingual English-Spanish writer, Lucía blogs at and tweets as @lucyda.

Lucia’s poem ‘Hostile Designs’ is from her upcoming book, Liquid Sunset,
to be published in England by Alexander and Brook.

GARY DUEHR – Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket

Gary Duehr has taught poetry and writing for institutions including Boston University, Lesley University and Tufts University. His MFA is from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. In 2001 he received an NEA Poetry Fellowship, and he has also received grants and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the LEF Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Journals in which his poems have appeared include Agni, American Literary Review, Chiron Review, Cottonwood, Hawaii Review, Hotel Amerika, Iowa Review, North American Review, and Southern Poetry Review. His books of poetry include In Passing (Grisaille Press, 2011), THE BIG BOOK OF WHY (Cobble Hill Books, 2008), Winter Light (Four Way Books, 1999) and Where Everyone Is Going To (St. Andrews College Press, 1999).



Two young artists from Greece, Eirini Kirgussiou and Stella Angelidou, are working in a variety of different media. They have exhibited their work in many exhibitions and events in Athens and Berlin. Less than a year ago they met on a new ground where they created a new body: Eggs and Legs. Since then it is a team with superpowers. Crocodile teeth. Non-existent liver. They are mouths. They scream inside your mouth.




Piety Exley is a high school senior in rural Upstate New York. Writing is her ultimate passion, and she hopes to continue pursuing it in college and career – along with her search for the ultimate road trip snack.

ANDY FARR – Ideal Home

Over the past four years, Andy Farr’s work has focused on different aspects of conflict, initially as part of a project to make the WW1 Centenary relevant to the current cohort of teenagers []. Subsequently, during his MA, Andy has looked at both physical and mental conflict.


CATHERINE FEARNS – Metal Mama: Reclaiming Brutality

Catherine Fearns is a writer based in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a contributor to Broken Amp magazine and also writes a blog about metal and motherhood. She has published several short stories and is working on her first novel.



Kristin Garth is a poet/novelist from Pensacola, Florida. She’s previously published poetry in Anti-Heroin Chic, Quail Bell Magazine and the No Other Tribute anthology. She’s currently writing a lot of sonnets and writing a novel entitled The Meadow.


JOHN GROCHALSKI – Upon Telling my American Co-Workers that Irish Cops Don’t Carry Guns

John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and the novels The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where the garbage can smell like roses if you wish on it hard enough.


Stephan Groß studied visual arts and mathematics at the University of Bremen with Frieder Nake, among others. His films have been shown at the ZKM (Karlsruhe), FACT (Liverpool), and at the International Short Film Festival (Hamburg). Based in Berlin, Stephan is teaming up with the neurologist Dr Martin Groß in Oldenburg, for music and sound art pieces realised at Zeche Zollverein (Essen) and the Municipal Gallery (Bremen).



Stephanie L. Harper lives in Hillsboro, Oregon, with her husband, two teen children, and a dwindling geriatric menagerie. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin — Madison with an M.A. in German Literature, Harper is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poems have appeared in Slippery Elm Literary Journal, Rattle, TulipTree Publications, Ground Fresh Thursday, and others.



SCOTT HUTCHISON – Boys Always Fighting

Scott Hutchison’s previous work has appeared in Poet Lore, The Georgia Review, and The Southern Review. New work is forthcoming in The Atlanta Review, The Carolina Quarterly and in Tar River Poetry.



Genevieve Kersten lives in Los Angeles. She is a poet and professional semi-finalist.


HAGEN KLENNERT – Chant of a War Pimp

Hagen grew up in East Berlin and Moscow, and now lives and works in Berlin.

1979-84: taught and worked as a stage painter
1985: escaped from East to West-Germany, stayed in the Ruhr Area.
1986: started freelance work as an artist in Hamburg; first book illustrations and solo exhibitions
1991: returned to Berlin
This artist’s work includes poster and print media designs, animationsand projections. He has done work in the context of theatre and music for, among others: Volksbühne Berlin, Bonn Opera, Maison des Arts Paris, Theater Aachen, European Centre for the Arts Dresden-Hellerau and Ensemble Modern Frankfurt/Main.



NEIL KROLICKI – Fan Favourite

Neil Krolicki is a Bram Stoker Award nominated writer who dispatches odd fictional nuggets from Denver, Colorado. His stories have appeared in Chuck Palahniuk’s anthology: Burnt Tongues, ThugLit, Shotgun Honey and Nailed Magazine. His noir comic 120 Doses is available now on Comixology.





A description of ‘25FT’: “photographs appropriated from Israeli army surveillance cameras that monitor activity along the separation wall with Palestine. The work simulates the position of the soldier controlling the camera, focusing only on animals and the landscape in the occupied West Bank. The appearance of these animals throw the border, its function and what it stands for, into question for both the soldier who survey it, and the viewer in front of the work. Man is absent, yet his presence is visible through the tracking movement of the camera, military radio exchange, the fence and signs of urban structures, of which their inhabitant remains questioned.”


BEATRIZ LEDESMA – Falling Out of Grace

Beatriz Ledesema is a native of Buenos Aires (Argentina), a visual artist, an educator, and a psychotherapist. Having achieved a master’s degree in fine arts and in art therapy from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1988), she obtained additional art training from Helen Oh (traditional oil painting), from Carol Dolan (egg tempera painting), and printmaking (etching) under the guidance of Audrey Niffenegger. Beatriz’s interest in the practical applications of psychoanalysis and art for healing motivated her to obtain a doctoral degree (2009) focusing on the use of art-making in clinical treatment of adults. She is an active member of the Chicago artists scene as a professional painter, curator, educator, writer and lecturer.

Her arts practice is mostly engaged in the exploration of the unconscious meaning, its transmission and subjectivity, the spiritual and the mystical – depicting realistic imagery placed in a dreamlike composition using strong, bold and vibrant colours as an expression of her Latin American roots and to denote emotions.



WES LEE – Daily Walk

Originally from the UK, Wes Lee now lives in New Zealand. Her latest collection Body, Remember was launched in June 2017 by Eyewear Publishing in London as part of the Lorgnette Series of pamphlets. Her poems have appeared in The London Magazine, Poetry London, Magma, New Writing Scotland, The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016, and many other journals and anthologies.




“Born illegitimate in the sixties, I went from a nun’s house to another house of women, who looked after me until I went to live on a farm. On the farm I looked after a litter of runts until the boss took them away to be killed. From then on I played in the nearby woods with make-believe people. When I left school I worked at a trouser-press in a wig of piss, putting creases in old men’s trousers. The boss didn’t like me arriving late because of what happened the night before so I left. Repeat this for the next few jobs I did, which included selling bicycles and driving a fork truck. After a while I gave up and made children instead. This was a happy time. And then I kept falling over so I had a lie down. When I finally got back up, I went and read some books. This again was a happy time. Then I worked as a talker about books. This was happy until it turned out my boss was a machine that couldn’t process naughty words, so once again I left. Regardless, I don’t think I’m difficult. My first book is called Billy and the Devil. It’s about an alcoholic. My second book is called The Gospel According to Johnny Bender, and it’s about lots of things. Both will be out in paperback from Hi Vis Press soon.

I live in a Derbyshire village.”


ADAM LOCK – The Shadow Play of Animal Coupling

Adam Lock has been writing for three years, having discovered a great interest in using the short story form to tackle big ideas. He wakes far too early in the morning, to write in his hometown of Wolverhampton, UK. More of his published stories can be found on his site: He’s also active on Twitter: @dazedcharacter.


MATTIE MALLERNEE – Cracked at the Seams

Mattie Mallernee currently works and resides in Gilbert, Arizona. She enjoys travelling to a variety of destinations as part of her passion to explore and create new works of art. She is a photographer, fine artist, entrepreneur, small business owner, and philanthropist. As an emerging artist, her work has been exhibited with Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach (California), Method Art Gallery in Scottsdale (Arizona), Arterie Fine Arts in Naperville (Illinois) and in Los Angeles(California) at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts. Mattie is scheduled to show at the Limner Gallery in Hudson, NY in the beginning of 2015. She has currently an ongoing representation with Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale. It is her aspiration to have her work on display for collection at a variety of fine art galleries throughout the country.



Caitlin Doyle-Markwick is a writer, performer and activist from Sydney. She has been published in Cordite, Otoliths and Overland. Caitlin was shortlisted for the 2016 Victoria University Short Story Prize and has forthcoming work in Antipodes.



Regina Baeza Martinez is a sixteen-year-old Mexican poet living in Vancouver, Canada. She has published works in The Good Man Project, The Cadaverine, and The Claremont Review.


JOHN MASON – The Spaces Between

David Mason is a Coventry poet whose poetry book Signposts was recently published by CannonPoets Birmingham. He has appeared at open mic events in Coventry, Warwickshire and Birmingham.



Nicholas McGaughey is a Welsh actor. He has had work in five magazines and been shortlisted in five competitions.


JESSICA MEHTA – To Grin Macabre

Jessica (Tyner) Mehta is a Cherokee poet and novelist. She’s the author of four collections of poetry including Secret-Telling Bones, Orygun, What Makes an Always, and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo, as well as the novel The Wrong Kind of Indian. She’s been awarded numerous poet-in-residencies posts, including positions at Hosking Houses Trust and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon (England), Paris Lit Up in France, and the Acequira Madre House in Santa Fe, NM. Jessica is the owner of multi-award-winning writing services business, MehtaFor, and is the founder of the Get it Ohm! karma yoga movement.

Visit Jessica’s author site at


BENJAMIN MUELLER – Normal Evening: A Horror Poem

Benjamin Mueller’s poems have appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, 42 Opus, Euphony, Chronogram Magazine, and From the Finger Lakes: A Poetry Anthology. He lives in Ithaca, New York where he teaches high school English and special education.


JON MYCROFT – The Platform

Jon Mycroft is a creative writing tutor at the University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham, who specialises in short fiction. He lives and writes in Leamington Spa.





Nick Norton’s 2016 book AKA: A Genealogy of the Saddle, commissioned by Book Works, is described by the filmmaker Patrick Keiller as ‘A joy to read. Nick Norton’s wonderful book brings a headlong, associative sensibility to the literature of landscape. I wish there were more books like it.’

Previous prose has been published in Fictive DreamThe Honest UlstermanBrittle StarVignette ReviewThe Periodical, and elsewhere.

 YIGAL PARDO – Flaming Flower

Yigal Pardo specialises in landscape art photography and studio art photography. Born in Jerusalem, Yigal has a degree in professional photography, and has been working as a freelance photographer for museums, galleries and curators in New York, Tel Aviv and Herzliya. The one thing in photography which interests this artist the most is testing boundaries, and finding basic and fundamental characteristics that separate different areas and subjects, both on a visual and philosophical level. Yigal aims to bring the audience into a surreal world of free imagination…



Tanya Pengelly is a PhD student at the University of Birmingham. She is working on her first novel, a literary epic about male friendship. Tanya struggles writing short things, so gives herself a pat on the back for this story.

LAURA POTTS – Kitchen, Sinister

Laura Potts is twenty-one years old and lives in West Yorkshire, England. She has twice been named a London Foyle Young Poet of the Year and Young Writer. In 2013 she became an Arts Council Northern Voices poet and Lieder Poet at the University of Leeds. Her poems have appeared in Seamus Heaney’s Agenda, The Yorker and The Interpreter’s House. Having studied at The University of Cape Town and worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura has recently become Agenda’s Young T.S. Eliot Poet and been shortlisted for a Charter-Oak Award for Best Historical Fiction in Colorado. This year, Laura became one of The Poetry Business’ New Poets and a BBC New Voice for 2017.


ADAM QUE – 10.57PM

Adam Que is a writer from Jersey City, New Jersey. He has competed as an amateur mixed martial artist. After he stopped fighting and working to be a professional fighter, Adam instead started to share his writing. His work has appeared in The New Engagement, Slink Chunk Press and The Machinery.


 CHRISTINE RHEIN – A Surgeon Writes from Aleppo

Christine Rhein is the author of Wild Flight, a winner of the Walt McDonald First Book Prize in Poetry (Texas Tech University Press). Her poems have appeared widely in literary journals and have been selected for Poetry Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, Best New Poets 2007, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017. A former automotive engineer, she lives in Brighton, Michigan, USA. Christine’s poems explore the subjects of love and family, science and technology, history and current events.



BELINDA RIMMER – Blue and Orange

Belinda has poems in magazines, including Brittle Star, Dream Catcher, ARTEMISpoetry, Obsessed with Pipework and Sarasvati. Online publication includes Cloud Poetry, Picaroon, Ground, Writers Against Prejudice and Amaryllis. Some of her poems are also in anthologies. She recently came second in her first Poetry Slam and won The Poetry in Motion Competition as part of Cheltenham Poetry Festival.


MICHAEL SCHECHER – Born in the Brutal Oven

Michael Schecher is a 31-year-old Master Plumber from New Jersey who mainly writes poetry for his own personal pleasure. He’s pretty sure he’s not as angry as his poem makes him seem.



Michael Skau is an emeritus professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA. My collection of poems Me & God was published by Wayne State College Press in 2014, and he was named Winner of the 2013 William Kloefkorn Award for Excellence in Poetry. His chapbook After the Bomb is scheduled to be published by WordTech Editions in July 2017.


SAMUEL SMITH – Brutality

Sam Smith is a former Creative Writing and Scriptwriting student, and has previously dabbled in both community radio broadcasting and stand-up comedy. His preferred genres of writing are sci-fi, horror and comedy. His stories aim to make you laugh and think, and he enjoys experimenting with convention to create offbeat scenarios and characters. His work has been featured in Maudlin House, Lit Cat, Two Words For and Visitant Lit.



Ryan Stovall is a former US Army medic. Currently finishing his English degree, he and his family live near Bangor, Maine.



Born in 1987 in Lavelanet, France, Anne Cecile graduated with a Master in Business Administration from the Florida Gulf Coast University in 2010 and with a Master in Art History from Christie’s Education NYC in 2013. She was enrolled in evening art classes of clay sculpture, human anatomy and welding sculpture where she got fundamental knowledge. In 2013 she stayed at the Fundacion Pablo Atchugarry where she learnt how to cut marble, which became her favorite material. Later, she decides to entirely dedicate her life to her artistic practice and open her studio in the Pyrenean Mountains in Southwest France.



Marc Swan is a retired vocational rehabilitation counsellor. His poems have recently been published or forthcoming in Scrivener Creative Review, Sanskrit, The Antigonish Review, Mudfish, Gargoyle, Clover and Nuclear Impact Anthology, among others. His third collection, Simple Distraction, was published by Tall-Lighthouse (London, UK). He lives with his wife in Portland, Maine.



Jamie Thrasivoulou has been performing poetry since 2008. His debut collection ‘The Best of a Bad Situation’ is available through Silhouette Press. His work is honest, raw, passionately class-bound and politically aware. He has recently been commissioned to write material for the award-winning social photographer Jim Mortram’s ‘Small Town Inertia’ project. He has appeared alongside Helen Mort, JB Barrington, John Agard and many other great poets. He is the host of Word Wise – Derby’s premier spoken word and poetry event. His live performances are renowned for being bombastic, highly energetic and thoroughly entertaining.



BEN WEISE – Death Exalted

Raised in Germany and the United States, Ben Weise worked a number of jobs, including sailing in the Merchant Marine, teaching prep school English and Humanities, and writing advertising copy, before getting an MA in German literature at Middlebury College. He then moved back to Germany, where he remained for eight years teaching translation and Business English. In between semesters, he travelled widely, often sharing the table with people whose personal stories and kindness left him humbled. Back in the States, he taught academic writing at Rutgers University for fifteen years, during which he earned a graduate degree in TESOL.


Andrew Wildermuth is a U.S. poet currently living in Colonia Roma, Mexico City. His work has appeared in Avatar, Amaranth, Bay Weekly, and is forthcoming in Into The Void magazine of Dublin, Ireland. You may contact him at



Stella’s work has been widely published both in print and online magazines and journals. These include, Obsessed With Pipework, The High Window, Raum, Prole, Ink Sweat & Tears, and many others. Her poems have also been included in several anthologies including, The Very Best of 52, three drops from a cauldron, and the Clear Poetry Anthology. She lives in France, and has an MA in creative writing.