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Greatest Blog Hits: Notes on Contributors

July 4, 2007

The blog form is now ten years old. How better to celebrate that anniversary, we thought, than with a “Greatest Blog Hits” issue? For this theme, we reversed our usual prohibition against previously blogged material and asked for nothing but previously blogged material. And because our interest was in exhuming great posts that otherwise would continue to languish deep in blog archives, we required all submissions to have been blogged at least one year ago. Read the editors’ complete description here.

Many of the following notes are excerpted from the About pages on the writers’ respective blogs. We hope you’ll follow the links, and treat this page as a portal to some of the best writing on the ‘net.

Ivy Alvarez (Ivy is here) is the author of Mortal. In 2006, she was awarded a grant by the Australia Council for the Arts to write poems for her second manuscript. Her poems appear in journals and anthologies worldwide and online, including once before at qarrtsiluni, in the Come Outside issue. She also contributed a couple of interviews for the Science as Poetry theme.

Amba (Annie Gottlieb, Ambivablog) is a longtime New Yorker and lifelong graphomane currently staying in Chapel Hill, NC, taking care of her neurologically ill husband, copyediting for a living, and getting out and about in the blogosphere.

Anne-Mieke was born in a small village in the Netherlands, but in writing she feels more comfortable with using English. She has found that it is easier for her to write on beauty and intimacy when there is a distance between her and the words. Currently blogless and working in the field of arts education, she aims to become a professional photographer.

Rachel Barenblat (Velveteen Rabbi) is a student in the Aleph rabbinic program. Her most recent collection of poems is chaplainbook (laupe house press, 2006). The Tex-Mex food of her childhood, early music, and the television show Veronica Mars are a few of her favorite things. Rachel is qarrtsiluni’s most prolific contributor, with ten pieces in the magazine to date.

Will Buckingham (thinkBuddha.org; personal website) recently completed a PhD in philosophy at Staffordshire University, and is currently in Bulgaria, researching his second novel and reading Spinoza for pleasure. His first novel, Cargo Fever, was published earlier this year by Tindal Street Press.

Maciej Cegłowski’s long-running blog Idle Words carries the delightful inscription, “Brevity is for the weak.” Maciej describes himself as a painter and computer guy living in San Francisco, who emigrated from Poland to the United States at the age of six. Read more about him here.

Chris Clarke (Creek Running North): “Born of woman in a small town in New York State, near a lake smote into the earth by a Pleistocene glacier, and a couple miles from the largest buckwheat mill in the US.” Read the rest of his entertaining autobiographical sketch here.

Richard Lawrence Cohen (RLC) is an Austin, Texas-based fiction writer. He was raised in the Bronx and has also lived in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Last year, he published a collection of posts from the first incarnation of his blog entitled Only What Is.

Teju Cole is the author of Every Day is for the Thief, published by Cassava Republic Press. He lives in Brooklyn. His work also appeared in the Ekphrasis, Education and Short Shorts issues.

Dale (mole) has taught medieval English poetry, chopped vegetables, and written software for a living; currently he maintains a database for a non-profit, and is finishing his last quarter in massage school. He is a Buddhist, in the Tibetan tradition, and lives with his wife and his two nearly grown children in Portland, Oregon. Dale has been a frequent contributor to qarrtsiluni since its inception.

Natalie d’Arbeloff (Blaugustine) is a multi-national artist and writer living in London. Together with her cartoon alter ego Augustine she illustrates deep but not heavy thoughts, autobiographies, and interviews hard-to-get celebrities such as Van Gogh, George W. Bush and God. Her latest book is The God Interviews, which first appeared as a comic strip on her blog. Previous books and limited editions are shown on her website.

Lorianne DiSabato (Hoarded Ordinaries) often describes herself as “spiritually promiscuous.” Her PhD dissertation was on spirituality of place in 19th and 20th century nature writing, and she teaches literature and writing at Keene State College and Southern New Hampshire University. She’s also a Zen teacher and a creativity and dissertation coach. Her work has appeared in qarrtsiluni three times before, and she served as editor, with Tom Montag, of the Finding Home issue.

Jean (this too) lives in London where she works as a university administrator and freelance editor and translator. A couple of years ago she began to rediscover a long-lost creative impulse through the inspiration of writers and photographers met online. She is a qarrtsiluni regular, with previous contributions appearing in the Ekphrasis, Come Outside, First Time, and Short Shorts issues.

Dick Jones (Patteran Pages), a drama teacher and musician, has been writing seriously for the past 20 years. His poems and short stories have been published in a wide range of magazines, both on- and offline, and he is currently preparing a selection of poetry for submission to publishers. This was his fifth appearance in qarrtsiluni.

Leslee (3rd House Journal) is a Boston-area writer and instructional designer in the medical and high tech industries. She writes poetry only sporadically, but posts journal snippets and photos to her blog regularly, as a compulsive twitch. Her work also appeared in the Change and Continuity and Short Shorts issues.

Tom Montag (The Middlewesterner) has been a regular qarrtsiluni contributor from the beginning, and has twice volunteered to guest-edit (Finding Home and First Time). His newest nonfiction titles are Peter’s Story, a memoir co-authored with Peter Pizzino, and The Idea of the Local, which includes an essay first published at qarrtsiluni, as well as his complete account of “Riding with the Local Used Cow Dealer,” from which we published an excerpt in this issue.

Edith Oberly blogs at Bitterroot and Bergamot, named for “wildflowers native to my two homes, Montana and Wisconsin.” Since she began blogging in April 2005, her focus has been on communicating the value of “heart-places,” as she calls them: natural areas in need of protection. A photo of hers appeared earlier, in the First Time issue.

Koranteng Ofosu-Amaah (Koranteng’s Toli) hails from Ghana, by way of France and England, and describes himself as a technologist, omnivorous reader, sometime writer and music lover. He has collected the best from his first year and a half of blogging in an online Book of Toli (see here for a definition of “toli”).

Parmanu (Parmanu) is an Indian who has been living in Germany for the past six years. Through writing and photography, he likes to explore the expatriate experience, among other themes.

Finnish-Canadian artist Marja-Leena Rathje (website) has been contributing to qarrtsiluni since the first issue. Her printworks have been exhibited throughout Canada and internationally. She lives and works in Vancouver.

SJ (I, Asshole) lives in Seattle. “My degree, with my name misspelled on it and everything, says that I am a librarian. I am a stay-at-home tyrant to my minions right now, but I am also looking for freelance writing work,” she writes. The rest of her online bio is a fairly gripping story in its own right.

Jarrett Walker (Creature of the Shade) writes, “I’m a consultant in city planning (public transportation mainly) but also have a PhD in a humanities field. … For five years, I was the men’s fiction editor at Blithe House Quarterly, an online magazine of literary gay and lesbian fiction. … I moved from North America to Australia in 2006 but retain a foot on both sides of the Pond, despite the obvious strain to the thigh muscles involved.” A piece by Walker also appeared in the Change and Continuity issue.

zeladoniac (Drawing the Motmot) is the nom de blog of Debbie Cotter Kaspari, a professional wildlife artist based in Oklahoma.

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Categories: Greatest Blog Hits
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