Creatures of Habitat


Out of stock

A Main Street Rag Anthology

edited by

Alice Osborn

ISBN: 978-1-59948-513-3, ~250 pages, cover price: $14.95

Projected Release date: March, 2015

Out of Stock



Our home can house our greatest triumphs and tragedies. Is buying a home still part of the American Dream—or was it always a fantasy fueled by someone else’s desires? Why are so much of our identities tied up to where we live and how big or little our house is? Because these questions nag at me and have become a theme in my previously published work, for this anthology I chose the theme of homes and houses and selected authors who possess a keen eye.

Home is where we love, fight, and endure each other. Where we renovate or tear down—who doesn’t wish we could switch out our life as quickly as we can repaint our walls? Our home can be our largest investment and our biggest mistake. Our home can haunt us. Many times what happens inside is vastly different from what the outside world sees. As you will find in the details of these diverse stories, poems and essays from these talented authors all around the country, home is one of the most universal elements of storytelling. There’s the longing for home from someone who doesn’t have one, to the boundaries of protecting one’s home and property from outside forces, to the loss and loneliness of leaving our home or having our children leaving us.

Home is also tied to place and community. “Where are you from?” is asked by strangers who want to get acquainted. Usually first memoires occur on our stairs, in our basements or bedrooms. Our childhood home may be our safest cocoon or our greatest fear—is it the place we return to or are escaping from in our dreams?

Absorb and connect with these authors and their diverse voices. Welcome the memorable characters and their driveways, gardens, porches, attics and kitchens into your space. After all, home is who we are because everyone has to live somewhere.

Jane Andrews, Raleigh, NC

Jane Andrews has a BA in English from NC State University. Andrews teaches writing and poetry courses through Duke Continuing Education. She is Nonfiction Editor at The Main Street Rag, and Chair of the Writing Curriculum Committee at OLLI at Duke. Andrews’ fiction, essays, memoir and poetry have appeared in Prime Number Magazine, Red Clay Review, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Verdad Magazine, Kindred, The News and Observer, and other publications. She is a past board member of Carolina Wren Press and the NC Poetry Society. Andrews is a freelance writing instructor, workshop facilitator, and book editor.


Pam Baggett, Cedar Grove, NC

Her poems appear in The Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Sow’s Ear, the 2014 Kakalak anthology, the Barefoot Muse Press anthology Forgetting Home: Poems About Alzheimers, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina. A freelance writer and life-long horticulturalist, she is the author/photographer of the garden book ¡Tropicalismo! Spice Up Your Garden with Cannas, Bananas, and 93 Other Eye-Catching Tropical Plants. Adolescence, rock and roll, the deaths of beloved friends and relatives, and her mother’s advancing dementia are themes she currently explores in the sun-filled writing studio she built with a friend a few years ago.


June Frankland Baker, Richland, WA


Jessica Barksdale, Somewhere, Cyberspace

Jessica Barksdale is the author of thirteen traditionally published novels, including Her Daughter’s Eyes and When You Believe. Her latest, How to Bake a Man, was published October 2014 by Ghostwoods Books. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming in Compose, Salt Hill Journal, The Coachella Review, Carve Magazine, Storyacious, Mason’s Road, and So to Speak. She is a Professor of English at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California and teaches online novel writing for UCLA Extension.


 Arthur Carey, Fremont, CA

Arthur Carey is a former newspaper reporter, editor, and journalism instructor who lives in the San Francisco Bay area. He is a member of the California Writers Club. His fiction has appeared in print and Internet publications, including Pedestal, Funny Times, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Eclectic Flash, Writers’ Journal, Whortleberry Press, Suspense, and Clever Magazine. His short stories, novel, and a novella, are available on


 Gayle Compton, Virgie, KY

Gayle Compton, a hillbilly from Eastern Kentucky, lives up the creek from where Randall McCoy is buried, and attended college on the hill where “Cotton Top” Mounts was hanged.  With deep affection, he tells the story of Appalachia’s common people, allowing them to speak, without apology, in their own colorful language.  His prize-winning stories, poems and essays have been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Kentucky Anthology: Two Hundred Years of Writing in the Blue Grass State, Sow’s Ear, Appalachian Heritage, New Southerner, and The Blue Collar Review. His finished poetry and short story collections are seeking a publisher bold enough to confront the Appalachian stereotype.


Beth Copeland, Gibson, NC


 J.D. Cortese, Durham, NC J.D.

Cortese is a scientist and educator by training, and a writer out of a passion to communicate. He taught at the University of North Carolina (UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC) and chaired sciences at Durham Technical Community College (Durham, NC). He has also written regularly for a widely-read science newspaper, THE SCIENTIST, served as at large editor for the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS Educator), and as reviewer for McGraw-Hill and Prentice Hall. He writes Science Fiction stories and has recently completed a space-epic novel. But having lived abroad in Argentina and China and also traveled all over the world, earthly places sometimes appear in his writing. Above all habitats, he and his itinerant wife love North Carolina and have been long-time residents of Durham, although his two children (Duke and UNC graduates) remain closer to New York.


Jackie Craven, Schenectady, NY

Jackie Craven has poems published or forthcoming in The Asheville Poetry Review, Chautauqua, The Fourth River, Nimrod International Journal, Pembroke Magazine, Quiddity, Stone Canoe Journal, Water~Stone Review, and other journals. After completing her Doctor of Arts in Writing from the University at Albany, she worked for many years as a journalist covering architecture, design, and cultural travel for various publications. Her nonfiction books are The Healthy Home and The Stress-Free Home (Rockport Publishers). Jackie now divides her time between Florida and upstate New York, where she fixes old houses and rents to interesting people who feed her muse. Visit her at


Paul C. Dalmas, Berkeley, CA

Emerging writer that he imagines himself to be, Paul C. Dalmas spends too much time polishing a hip and eccentric bio to use if he is published. You know: a boyhood selling newspapers on rough city streets, teen years earning minimum wage in the oppressively hot kitchen of a greasy diner, and an adult life working as a boilermaker, helping the poor in Africa, and traveling to Rangiroa, Rajasthan and Rio. In fact, he is a retired high school English teacher who lives in a California suburb and tells his friends he is writing a memoir about a life-defining summer job he once had at Disneyland.


William Derge, Montgomery Village, MD

William Derge’s poems have appeared in Negative Capability, The Bridge, Artful Dodge, Bellingham Review, and many other publications.  He is the winner of the $1000 2010 Knightsbridge Prize judged by Donald Hall and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is a winner of the Rainmaker Award judged by Marge Piercy.   He has received honorable mentions in contests sponsored by The Bridge, Sow’s Ear, and New Millennium, among others.  He has been awarded a grant by the Maryland State Arts Council. His work has appeared in several anthologies of Washington poets:  Hungry as We Are and Winners.  

Christine Eskilson, Charlestown, MA

Christine Eskilson is an attorney whose writing has received honorable mentions in the 2012 Al Blanchard Short Crime Fiction Contest and the 2012 Women’s National Book Association First Annual Writing Contest.  Her short stories have appeared in Blood Moon (2013) and Rogue Wave (2015), anthologies of New England crime fiction, and in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable (September 2014).


Deborah Finklestein, Arlington, MA

Deborah Finkelstein has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and is the editor of Like One, an anthology that raises money for survivors of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Her poetry has been published in anthologies, newspapers and magazines in nine countries. Recent publications include Lummox, Ibbetson Street, and Cradle Songs. She also writes plays, and teaches creative writing.


Elaine Ford, Harpswell, ME

Elaine Ford’s five novels include Missed Connections, set in Somerville, Massachusetts, and Monkey Bay, set in rural Maine. Her story collection The American Wife won the 2007 Michigan Literary Fiction Award and was published by University of Michigan Press. For her writing Ford has received a Guggenheim fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants. She recently completed God’s Red Clay, a novel set in 19th-century Alabama and Mississippi. New short fiction appears in Chariton Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, The Flexible Persona, and Arkansas Review. Ford’s website is


E.A. Fow, Brooklyn, NY

E.A. Fow was born and raised in New Zealand but has lived in Brooklyn, NY for the past twenty years.  She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College, CUNY and teaches writing and literature at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. Her academic work concerns inclusive approaches to Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. Fictionwise, her work ranges from fairytale and the surreal to literary fiction concerning the post-colonial South Pacific. Her work appears in various print and online anthologies and journals including Penduline, Sensitive Skin Magazine, and Cartography from Imagination and Place Press. Links to stories and her bibliography can be found  at

Alisa A. Gaston-Linn, Loveland, CO

Alisa A. Gaston-Linn’s work has appeared in The Sun, The Montreal Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Fiction 365, The Faircloth Review, Rocky Mountain Parent, Black Hearts Magazine, and other publications. She also has an essay in the anthology Untold Stories: Life, Love and Reproduction published by Sea Change. Alisa spent several years as a technical/web writer and editor for the U.S. Antarctic Program and spent three austral summer seasons working in Antarctica. She has taught creative writing to youth at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers, and has volunteered as a creative writing facilitator for the Boys and Girls Club, and Urban Peak Teen Shelter. She is currently working on a novel.


Carol Gloor, Savanna, IL

Carol  L. Gloor is a semi-retired attorney, writing for forty years, mostly poetry.  Her work has appeared in many online and print journals, most recently in the anthology  In Transit, by Border Town Press, the journal East on Central, and in the online journal Front Porch Review.  She has upcoming work  in the online journal TwoCities Review and in the print journal Kerf.  Her poetry chapbook, Assisted Living, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013, and was the winner of the publisher’s Starting Gate Award.

Rafael Jesús González, Berkeley, CA

Prof. Emeritus of literature and creative writing, was born (10/10/35) and raised biculturally/bilingually in El Paso, Texas/Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, and taught at University of Oregon, Western State Collage of Colorado, Central Washington State University, University of Texas El Paso (Visiting Professor of Philosophy), and Laney College, Oakland, California where he founded the Dept. of Mexican & Latin-American Studies, Nominated thrice for a Pushcart price, he was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English and Annenberg CPB for his writing in 2003. In 2009 he was honored by the City of Berkeley for his writing, art, teaching, activism for social justice & peace, and received the 2012 Dragonfly Press Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement. His latest book is La Musa lunática/The Lunatic Muse and his work may be read at


Meredith Davies Hadaway, Chestertown, MD

Poet and teacher of ecopoetry, Meredith Davies Hadaway is the author of Fishing Secrets of the Dead, The River is a Reason, and At the Narrows (all from Word Poetry). Her poems have recently appeared in Salamander, poemmemoirstory, and New Ohio Review and are forthcoming in Green Writers Press Magazine. She was the 2013-14 Rose O’Neill Writer-in-Residence at Washington College and a contributor at the inaugural Bread Loaf Orion Environmental Writers Conference.


Pauletta Hansel, Cincinnati, OH

Pauletta Hansel is author of four poetry collections, including The Lives We Live in Houses and What I Did There.  Her fifth, Tangle, is forthcoming from Wind Publications. Her work has or will appear in Atlanta Review, Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Heritage, Now & Then, Kudzu, Talisman, Postcards Poems and Prose, Still: The Journal, Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia, The Notebook and American Life in Poetry, among others. She is co-editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. Pauletta is a graduate of The Queens University of Charlotte MFA program.


Tom Miller Juvik, Port Orchard, WA

Tom Miller Juvik is a graduate of the University of Washington writing program and began to work with his mentor, novelist Jack Cady. His short fiction has appeared in such publications as Passager, Glimmer Train, Shadowgraph Magazine, and Bryant Literary Review.  He is a recipient of the Hackney Literary Award, Writers’ Digest Grand Prize, and the 2014 Stone Canoe Writer’s Prize for Veterans. His new novel The Unspoken Everything is currently seeking a publisher. In a previous life, he wrote for Comedy Central’s “Almost Live” and taught high school social studies.  And yes, the neighborhood where he lives happens to have covenants.


Ellen E. Keim, Columbus, OH

Ellen Keim is a Midwestern writer whose work has appeared in online and print magazines, journals, and anthologies. Her specialties are essays and creative nonfiction about topics as diverse as Islam, the importance of “place,” and feminism. She is also the creator of the blog Femagination and is working on an historical novel and a memoir.


Jim Landwehr, Waukesha, WI

Jim Landwehr enjoys writing creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. His first book, Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir was published by eLectio Publishing in June of 2014. His poetry collection, Written Life, will be released by eLectio in March of 2015. He has non-fiction stories published in Neutrons/Protons, Zest Literary Journal, Parody Magazine, Boundary Waters Journal, Forge Journal and MidWest Outdoors Magazine. His poetry has been featured in Verse Wisconsin, Torrid Literature Journal, Echoes Poetry Journal, Wisconsin People and Ideas Magazine, Off the Coast Poetry Journal, and many others. Jim lives and works in Waukesha, Wisconsin with his wife Donna, and their two children. Jim’s day job that keeps the lights on and the creditors at bay, is as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst for Waukesha County.


Sandra Sidman Larson, Minnetonka, MN

Sandra’s chapbooks Whistling Girls and Cackling Hens and Over a Threshold of Roots were published by Pudding House Publications of Columbus Ohio, and many of her poems have appeared in journals, on-line sites, anthologies and other venues around the country such as The Atlanta Review, Gray Sparrow; New Verse News; Earth Daughters; River Poets Journal; Chaminade Literary Review; Jane’s Stories II: Anthology of Midwestern Women, edited by Glenda Vailey-Mershon, Wild Dove Press; and What Have You Lost?, edited by Naomi Shihob Nye, William Morrow & Press.

She has been writing poetry since she walked through the doors of The Loft Literary Center of Minneapolis in the mid 1980’s.  A story-teller at heart, the narrative lyric fits her approach to writing poetry best. She often quotes James Tate when asked about writing poetry. “Poetry is a fleeting thing and anyone is lucky who can touch it.”  .


Dawn Leas, Shavertown, PA

Dawn Leas’s work has appeared in Literary Mama, Southern Women’s Review, San Pedro River Review, The Pedestal Magazine and elsewhere. Her chapbook, I Know When to Keep Quiet, (Finishing Line Press) is available in print and Kindle versions. A collection of her poems is included in Everyday Escape Poems (SwanDive Publishing). She’s the associate director of the Wilkes University M.A./M.F.A. Creative Writing programs, and a contributing editor at Poets’ Quarterly, TheThePoetry, and CityLitRag.


Raymond Luczak, Minneapolis, MN

Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 16 books, the latest titles being From Heart into Art: Interviews with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Artists and How to Kill Poetry. His novel Men with Their Hands won first place in the Project: QueerLit Contest 2006. He can be found online at


Mary E. Martin, Rock Hill, SC

Mary E. Martin’s poetry has been published in journals such as Kansas Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Southern Poetry Review, MainStreet Rag, and most recently, JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association. Martin’s first collection, The Luminous Disarray, was published in 1998.  She has received three Regional Artist Grants from the Art & Science Council in Charlotte, NC.


Lenard D. Moore, Mount Olive, NC


 Mary Elizabeth Pope, Boston, MA

Mary Elizabeth Pope is Professor of English at Emmanuel College.  She is the author of Divining Venus: Stories (Waywiser Press, 2013).  Her short stories and essays have appeared in literary magazines such as Florida Review, Bellingham Review, Ascent, Passages North and others.


Wanda S. Praisner, Bedminster, NJ

Wanda S. Praisner, a recipient of fellowships from the NJ State Council on the Arts, Dodge Foundation, The Provincetown Fine Arts Center, and VCCA, has won the Egan Award, Princemere Prize, Kudzu Competition, and First Prize in Poetry at the College of NJ Writers’ Conference. A seven-time Pushcart nominee, she appears in Atlanta Review, Lullwater Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her latest book is Sometimes When Something Is Singing (Antrim House, 2014). She is a resident poet for the state.


Tom Quinn, Warrington, PA

Husband to one and father of two, Tom Quinn has the good fortune of having a long relationship with Main Street Rag Publications with numerous poems appearing in The Main Street Rag and short fiction appearing in the Coming Home Anthology.  A healthcare professional who is lover of great literature and junk food, he spends an inordinate amount of time hiking the Pennsylvania backwoods … wondering


Renee Ruderman, Denver, CO

Renée Ruderman, an associate professor of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado, has two published books, Poems from the Rooms Below (Permanence Press, San Diego, CA, 1995) and Certain Losses, a chapbook (Main Street Rag, Charlotte, NC, 2004). She has won prizes for her poems, and some of them have appeared in The Bellingham Review, I-70 Review, Borderlands, and the Raleigh Review. Renée taught at Universität Siegen, Germany during a sabbatical in 2009, and she recently (2013) taught a poetry workshop at Palacky University in the Czech Republic.​


Rikki Santer, Columbus, OH

Rikki Santer teaches literature, writing, and film studies and is an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in numerous publications including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, Margie, Asphodel, Alabama Literary Review, Potomac Review, The Adirondack Review, Grimm and The Main Street Rag. Two of her published poetry collections have explored place: Front Nine (the Hopewell earthworks of Newark, Ohio) and Kahiki Redux (the late Kahiki Supper Club of Columbus, Ohio). Clothesline Logic, was published by Pudding House as finalist in their national chapbook competition, and her latest collection, Fishing for Rabbits, was recently published by Kattywompus Press.


Elizabeth Stoessl, Portland, OR

Elizabeth Stoessl lives and writes in Portland, Oregon, after many years on the East Coast and a long career with the Arlington, Virginia, Public Library. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently Measure, Naugatuck River Review, Persimmon Tree and VoiceCatcher. She was a recipient of a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.


Bob Strother, Greenville, SC

Award-winning author and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee Bob Strother has had over eighty short stories appear in a number of literary journals and magazines. His collection, Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, was released in 2011, and his novel, Shug’sPlace in 2013, both through Main Street Rag Publishing Company. His short story “Doughnut Walk” was adapted for a short film in 2014. Strother is also a contributing author for Southern Writers Magazine.


Brian Behr Valentine, Flat Rock, IL

Brian Behr Valentine, formerly an engineer in the package printing industry, then an international award winning winemaker, is now a consultant in the Midwest.  He spends his time verbally fencing with his wife––an improvisational comedienne––wrestling his dogs, and teasing his cats.  In addition, he walks across the road to the family farm, has deep talks with his mother, and helps his father split wood, render lard, make sausage, collect maple syrup and skin catfish.


Eric A. Weil, Elizabeth City, NC

Eric A. Weil teaches English at Elizabeth City State University.  His poems have won several awards from the North Carolina Poetry Society and have appeared in Poetry, The Greensboro Review, Dead Mule, Iodine, Silk Road, Wild Goose Poetry Review, and other journals.  Three of his one-act plays have been produced.  He also writes quarterly book reviews for The Main Street Rag.


Laurelyn Whitt, Minnedosa, Manitoba, Canada

Laurelyn Whitt’s poems have appeared in various, primarily North American, journals including Nimrod International, The Tampa Review, Puerto Del Sol, The Malahat Review, PRISM International, Rattle, Descant and The Fiddlehead. The author of four award-winning poetry collections, her most recent book, Tether (Seraphim Editions: Woodstock, Ontario) won the 2013 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. She lives in Minnedosa, Manitoba.


E.G. Willy, Walnut Creek, CA

Willy is a West Coast writer.  His stories have appeared in journals, anthologies, and magazines in the US, Great Britain, and Canada.  His spoken word pieces have aired on public and college radio shows around the country.  He writes principally in English but has been known to publish pieces in Spanish when he his taken by the spirit of a misspent youth.

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