Volume 12 Contributor Bios

Expanding the Canon (Spring 2021)

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in AscentReedPoet LoreChiron ReviewCardiff ReviewPoem, Adirondack Review, Florida ReviewSlantNeboArkansas ReviewSouth Dakota ReviewRoanoke Review and many other journals in a dozen countries. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo NickelThe Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives. Gale has taught university English courses in the US and China, and currently teaches at Arab American University, Palestine.

Alma Alloro is a Berlin-based artist originally from Tel Aviv. Her works often have a dual existence in digital media and hand-crafted formats, exploring the possibilities and limitations of handmade objects in our digitally-oriented world. She received her MFA from Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany and participated in the Goldrausch artist project. Alloro has shown her works in solo exhibitions at TRANSFER, NYC ; The Store, Dresden and at Alpha Nova, Berlin as well as in group exhibitions and festivals internationally.

M. Rachael Arauz  is a Boston-based art historian and independent curator of modern and contemporary art, with research interests across all media, especially under-recognized artists, movements, and materials. She has organized exhibitions and contributed to museum catalogues in the United States, Mexico, and France. She was co-curator of the 2019 exhibition In the Vanguard: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 1950-1969 for the Portland Museum of Art, Maine.

Kylie Banyard is an artist and educator based in Bendigo, Victoria, at La Trobe University Visual Arts. Her painting and installation practice investigates alternate models for living and learning. Banyard has recently explored and brought to a new audience the radical pedagogies of American mid-20th century art school Black Mountain College. Those pedagogies are based in practices of care for others, the development of the whole person, and care for community and environment.

Philip Blocklyn has worked as a publisher’s sales representative, antiquarian bookseller, librarian, archivist, and historical society director. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he maintains interests in library history, print culture, and the open air.

Alvis Dunn is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina Asheville where he teaches Latin American History, North Carolina History, Humanities, and Geography. He was born and raised in rural Chatham County, North Carolina, the son of farmers and hardware store owners. Guatemala is his second home and his most recent work there has been exploring the lives of Estadounidenses, like him, who have also come to love that country.

Onicas Gaddis works on canvas, paper, and wood, using primarily acrylics. His brilliantly colored abstract works are characterized by somewhat haunting images of faces and figures, restless, gestural lines, and layers with semi-hidden landscapes. A desire to be near his children brought him to North Carolina where he paints and exhibits in the River Arts District.

Isabella Ginor, former Soviet/Russian affairs specialist for Israel’s newspaper of record Haaretz is an associate fellow of the Truman Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in Soviet military and intelligence history.

Quỳnh Lâm is a multi-disciplinary artist with an architecture background working in performance, installation, video, and conceptual work. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a recipient of the 2019 Art Future Prize in Taiwan, a presenter at the international conference ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 11. She also is a Riedel fellow at Ragdale Foundation in Illinois and an artist fellow at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences in Georgia. Her research interests include historical wartime, reconstructed memories, and displaced identities.

Her work has been exhibited at The Factory Contemporary Arts Center (Ho Chi Minh City), Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery & Stamford Arts Center (Singapore), Art Formosa (Taiwan), Vincom Center for Contemporary Art – VCCA (Hanoi), Gallery ONKAF (New Dehli), IoDeposito (Treviso), Museum of Contemporary Art Nashville – MOCAN, the East Tennessee Foundation (Knoxville), Mana Contemporary (New Jersey/Chicago/Miami) in partnership with CADAF (The Contemporary and Digital Art Fair) as well as several other cities in the U.S. Her artbooks have been accessioned to several libraries, e.g. the MoMA, Yamamoto Gendai, Bay Library, Salon Saigon, Dia Project, UCLA library, UTK John C. Hodges Library (Special Collections), and other art hubs.

Quỳnh Lâm is based between Vietnam and the United States. She is here in the American South as a cultural ambassador regarding the Fulbright mission for the goal to improve intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy, and intercultural competence between the people of the United States and other countries.

Margaret Lee is retired as Assistant Professor of Humanities at Tulsa Community College in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Poet and scholar, Margaret earned a B.A. in History from Seattle University, Seattle, WA; an M.Div. from Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa, OK; and a Th.D. from the Melbourne College of Divinity, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Her poetry chapbooks, Someone Else’s Earth, and Sagebrush Songs, are forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her academic research and publications focus on the ancient Greek language and the history and culture of the ancient world.

Steve Locke was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He received his M.F.A. in 2001 from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and attended Skowhegan in 2002. He has had residencies with the City of Boston (2018), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (2016), and The MacDowell Colony (2015). He has received grants from Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and Art Matters Foundation. He has had solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

Locke has done projects with ForFreedoms, Kickstarter, the Boston Public Library, the Gardner Museum, and P.S. Satellites/Prospect IV in New Orleans and has had gallery exhibitions with yours mine & ours, Samsøñ, Gallery Kayafas, and Mendes Wood. His work has been reviewed in ARTFORUM, Art in America, Art New England, JUXTAPOZ, The Boston Globe, and The New Yorker. Currently a Professor at Pratt Institute, Steve is a painter whose work lives at the intersections of portraiture, identity, and modernism. He uses painting’s ability to direct the gaze to help us look critically and unflinchingly at our shared history. His work can be seen at www.stevelocke.com

Poet & interviewer Paul E Nelson founded SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival. Paul earned a B.A. in Communications from Columbia College and an M.A. in Organic Poetry from Lesley University. Since1993, SPLAB has produced hundreds of poetry events & 600 hours of interview programming with legendary poets & whole systems activists. Paul’s books include A Time Before Slaughter/Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia (2020), American Prophets (interviews 1994-2012) (2018), American Sentences (2015), A Time Before Slaughter (2009), and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (2013). Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia (2015), 56 Days of August: Poetry Postcards (2017), Samthology: A Tribute to Sam Hamill (2019), and Make it True meets Medusario(2019), he was awarded a residency at The Lake, from the Morris Graves Foundation in Loleta, CA. He has published work in Golden Handcuffs Review, Zen Monster, Hambone, and elsewhere and won the 2014 Robin Blaser Award from The Capilano Review. The Literary Executor for the late poet Sam Hamill, Paul is engaged in a 20-year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia and lives in Rainier Beach, in the Cascadia bioregion’s Cedar River watershed.

David Peifer is a professor of mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. His mathematical research is in topology. He became interested in Black Mountain College when he learned that Max Dehn, a famous German mathematician (who had done foundational work in topology), had taught at BMC. Since that time, Peifer’s research has included writing about BMC. For the last decade, he has served on the board of the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.

Gideon Remez, former head of foreign news at Voice of Israel radio, is an associate fellow of the Truman Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in Soviet military and intelligence history.

David Silver is an associate professor of environmental studies and urban agriculture at the University of San Francisco. He is active in the field of Black Mountain College studies and leads an on-site farm tour at the annual ReViewing Black Mountain College conference. His forthcoming book is titled The Farm at Black Mountain College.

Artists Liz Williams (Southern Equality Studios Manager) and Al Murray (Director of Relationships and Special Projects at Campaign for Southern Equality) are part of Southern Equality Studios, a project of the Campaign for Southern Equality that explores how the arts can be a catalyst and force in achieving lived and legal LGBTQ equality across the South. Since the launch of CSE in 2011, they have worked at the intersections of personal narrative and political organizing, working with LGBTQ people and families to share the stories of their lives, whether through the written word, film, or photography. In the words of the artists, “We’ve seen the power that storytelling has had on changing hearts and minds here in the South and nationwide, and it’s a vital tool as we continue our work to build a South where all are free and affirmed to live as their authentic selves. Art and storytelling have long played a powerful and central role in movements for social justice, and we’re honored to be a part of that long legacy in our region.”


Thomas Edward Frank is University Professor and Associate Dean for Continuing Studies in the Graduate School of Wake Forest University. He teaches and writes about American communities of ideals, particularly liberal arts colleges and utopian movements, as well as the conservation of the natural and built landscapes that tell the stories of how American culture developed.

Carissa Pfeiffer is the Development Manager at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, NC. She holds an MS in Library and Information Science + an Advanced Certificate in Archives from Pratt Institute.

Kate Averett is a writer and curator based in Asheville, North Carolina, where she serves as Outreach Manager at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. She also manages Hysterics, a blog and podcast highlighting stories about gender, disability, and chronic and mental illness. She received her MA in Art History from UNC Chapel Hill in 2017.