By conservative estimates, there are currently enough wrongfully convicted people in prison in the United States to fill a football stadium.
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Poe Ballantine dreams of dropping pianos from great heights and preserving that glorious final chord for the Stravinsky Museum, but instead he sits before a rainy window with a grilled bacon-and-swiss on rye and brushes the caraway seeds from his shirt. He lives in Chadron, Nebraska.
Ellen Bass’s most recent book of poetry is Mules of Love (BOA Editions). She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches writing in some of the most gorgeous places on the planet: Big Sur, Majorca, Pozos, Cortes Island, and Tuscany.
Steve Fellner is an assistant professor of English at SUNY Brockport. His essays have appeared in Northwest Review, North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Quarterly West, among others. He lives in Brockport, New York.
Kaui Hart Hemmings is the author of House of Thieves (Penguin Press), a collection of stories. Her fiction has appeared in StoryQuarterly and Zoetrope: All-Story. She lives in San Francisco.
Stuart Kestenbaum is the author of two books of poems: Pilgrimage (Coyote Love Press) and House of Thanksgiving (Deerbrook Editions). He lives in Deer Isle, Maine.
Steve Kowit refused to fight in the Vietnam War and is active in the struggle for Palestinian rights. His most recent collection of poetry is The Dumbbell Nebula (Heyday Books). He teaches at Southwestern College and lives in Potrero, California.
Tim McKee works for a social-justice foundation and is the author of No More Strangers Now: Young Voices from a New South Africa (DK Publishing). He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and their six-month-old son, Rio. He is happy if he makes his son laugh at least once a day.
Lee Rossi is a poet and the father of would-be magician and former astronomy buff Leo, age six, and Ethel Merman sound-alike Evie, age three. Trying to keep ahead of two young children is like trying to outrun an avalanche, he says. He lives in Los Angeles.
Sparrow’s essay in this issue is from his unpublished book about running for president, which he describes as a cross between Lenin’s “What Is to Be Done?” and the Farmers’ Almanac. He lives in Phoenicia, New York, with his wife, Violet, and his daughter, Sylvia.
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the novel Torch (Houghton Mifflin). Her work appeared in Best New American Voices 2003 (Harvest Books) and Best American Essays 2003 (Houghton Mifflin). She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children.
Tom Becker lives in Orange City, Iowa, and recently completed a series of portraits of northwest Iowa farmers.
Maureen Beitler is a photographer and nurse living and working in New York City.
Timothy Byars is a photographer who lives in Lafayette, California.
Andy Charnas lives and takes photographs in San Francisco.
Leslie Close is a photographer who lives in Eugene, Oregon. She is currently working on a master’s thesis about women who are getting out of prison.
Eric Dillenberger has been taking photographs for forty years. He lives in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Dianne Duenzl is a photographer living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Jennifer Esperanza lives with her husband and two children in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Sara Goldenthal is a photographer who currently makes her living as an artist’s model in Portland, Maine. She also sings with a jazz trio and is working on a book of cat drawings.
Carlos Gustavo used to be a commercial and fashion photographer in New York City, but now prefers to take photographs that capture the character of his new home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Michele A. Hubbs is a freelance photographer who specializes in portraits of families, children, and pregnancy. She lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she’s writing a mystery novel.
Jon Hughes is a photographer, author, and playwright who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Matt Nighswander is a photographer who spent six years as an international photo editor at the Associated Press and ten years playing in a band you’ve never heard of. He lives in Chicago.
Julie Philips is working toward a BA in photography and doing her thesis on the history of the piñata. She also collects doorknobs from around the world. She lives in Studio City, California.
Michael Roche quit his corporate job after his father’s death and returned to doing the things he enjoys, namely taking black-and-white photographs and teaching aikido to children. He lives in Fredericksburg, Texas.
Arthur Sawyers’s photographs have been published in Aperture and Contemporary Photographer. Early in his career he was chosen by LIFE as one of the ten best photographers in America. He lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and died in April 2003.
Jennifer Zahigian is a photographer, massage therapist, and holistic health practitioner. She lives in Oakland, California.
Helen M. Stummer lives in Metuchen, New Jersey, and has spent thirty years photographing the lives of poor people in New York, New Jersey, Maine, Guatemala, and France. She took this month’s cover photograph in a dilapidated Newark apartment building that was in extreme disrepair and was eventually demolished. The two boys were playing in a vacant apartment next to their own.
Editorial & Photo
Rachel J. Elliott