Julie Greenwood, whose artwork appears with the story titled "Elephant," provides an artist's statement below. See more of her work at www.JulieGreenwoodsArt.etsy.com
     I have been working as a colored pencil artist for nearly thirty years. I originally developed a line of nature jewelry created with colored pencil on wood. This work honed my drawing skills, my wood sculpting experience guided my ideas of form, and nature motivated me to work larger.
     My primary technique as a colored pencil artist involves drawing on colored papers and boards with a light layering of multiple colors which creates a soft texture, and a vibrant saturated color. I also use colored pencil sticks when creating a looser, less stylized work. This spontaneity and experimentation with sticks provides an important aspect to all my work.
     My work is a celebration of the variety of animal life; a tribute to nature's ability to awe and awaken within each of us our biological connection and spiritual need of the natural world. They are little reminders to appreciate all animals in their uniqueness, not only because of our concern for nature's well-being and balance, but also for our own well-being and balance.

Howard Bray, who lives in Washington DC, was a reporter on daily newspapers in St. Louis, Louisville, and elsewhere. His articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Progressive and The Nation, among other magazines. He is the author of The Pillars of The Post (Norton, 1980). A native of Albany, New York, he has a BA degree from Washington University and has taught at several universities.

Allora Campbell grew up as the oldest of ten homeschooled children on her family's horse farm. She received her BA in English from SUNY Geneseo and recently graduated from SUNY Brockport's Creative Writing MA Program. Allora currently teaches at SUNY Brockport and freelances for the Livingston County News. In her free time, Allora works on restoring her family's 19th century home in Western New York, manages their retirement farm for handicapped horses, and works on a novel. This is her first published story. allora.campbell@gmail.com

Laura Farmer is a graduate of the Syracuse MFA program and her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Camas, The Kenyon Review, and other journals. She is Writing Studio Director at Cornell College and also writes weekly book reviews for The Cedar Rapids Gazette. farmer9@gmail.com

Holly Hendin is a psychiatrist working in Phoenix. In her poetry she tries to catch and elaborate on those moments that otherwise would slip by quietly. She hopes that in her poetry she is able to explore the spaces between the stitches of existence. Her poetry can be found in The Front Range Review, Ginosko, The George Washington Review, Crack the Spine, and Schuylkill Valley Journal. holly.poetry@gmail.com

Translator, scholar, and poet, Lynn Hoggard has published five books and hundreds of articles, poems, and reviews. She teaches French, English, and Humanities at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and is a past president of the American Literary Translators Association. In her view, poetry clarifies and distills meanings that are already implicit in things. lynn.hoggard@mwsu.edu

Christopher Michel has an MFA from Syracuse University, and received a Fulbright in 2006 to translate poetry in the Republic of Georgia. His work has been published in Stone Canoe, Barrow Street, Cavalier Literary Couture, and Free Lunch. He currently lives in New York, in Brooklyn's secret Chinatown, and is a stay-at-home dad. christopher.j.michel@gmail.com

Irene O'Garden's poetry has found its way to the Off-Broadway stage (Women On Fire), into hardcover (Fat Girl), into prizewinning children's books, and into many literary journals and anthologies. She won a 2012 Pushcart Prize for her essay "Glad To Be Human," now in e-form from Untreed Reads. She has received other awards, fellowships and residencies for her writing, as well as annual listings in Who's Who in America and Who's Who of American Women. ireneogarden.com

Laurie L. Patton is the author of two books of poems, Fire's Goal: Poems from a Hindu Year (White Cloud Press, 2003) and Angel's Task: Poems in Biblical Time (Station Hill Press, 2011). She is author or editor of eight books on Indian mythology and religion, and translator of the Indian classical text, The Bhagavad Gita for Penguin Classics Series (2008). She is Durden Professor of Religion at Duke University. lpatton@zmailonline.com

Cynthia Sample earned an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College and a PhD in finance from the University of Texas at Dallas. Her stories are forthcoming or have appeared in Sleet, Wichita Falls Literature and Art Review, Between the Lines, and Love After 70. cynthiacsample@gmail.com

Raised in Oklahoma, Anna Weaver lives in North Carolina with her two daughters. She's an active member of the Triangle's Living Poetry community and frequent reader at local open mics. Her poems have appeared in Star*Line, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Utter, and most recently as in the May issue of The Postcard Press. notanna96@me.com