Four Chambers <3’s its dedicated and hardworking staff of volunteers, all of whom are graciously sacrificing their finite time and energy to help build a stronger literary community.
Please note that while all staff members have titles and clearly love both dogs and / or cats, all titles are made up and certain staff members are neither dogs nor cats. Thanks!
Founder and Editor in Chief
Director of Events and Programming
Director of Art and Design
Nikita Boyer / Mackenzie Brennan / Mark Broeske / Charles Brownson / Max Dinet / Katie Hae Leo / Heather Hoyt / Nadine Lockhart / Erin Lorandos / Paul Mosier / Kevin Newell / Leah Newsom / David Nicol / Elizabeth Pickens / Michelle Salcido / Lorissa Sapien / David Sargent / Xeni Schiller / L. Cat Harrington Scofield / Kathy West / Christopher Winterberg
Hi. My name is Jake Friedman. This is a picture of me wearing a peacoat at the Grand Canyon and eating an apple. It is the first and only peacoat I have ever purchased (to date). It was something of a life long dream. As for the apple, I eat them every day. For the most part I am eating regularly every day. I have a B.A. / double major in Philosophy and English with various academic accolades in tow that I don’t like to talk about. I run a writing group / moderate for the Central Phoenix Writing Workshop; I read for Hayden’s Ferry Review for a year; etc etc. This is what I do in my spare time.
I’m Kelsey Pinckney and I smile a lot. Probably because I have a lot to smile about. I’ve moved around a bit in the past few years, but I think it’s safe to say that Phoenix, and Four Chambers, have captured my heart, so I’ll be staying here for a while. I L-O-V-E meeting new people, so please say hi to me if you see me. Seriously. Tell me who your favorite fictional character is and what you ate for breakfast. It’ll be a delightful conversation, I’m sure. My accomplishments are minimal, but I’ll tell you that I can crochet pretty much anything you want, I have an adorable and ornery cat named Truman (Capote), my living room has no matching furniture but still manages to be charming and cozy, and I have pretty bad taste in music when left to my own devices. Regardless, I’ll probably try to make you a mix CD.
Jared Duran is a writer and veritable man about town. He holds a BA in English, Creative Writing from ASU (well, sometimes. At other times it sits in a stack of papers on his desk). His work has appeared in Up the River, The Suisun Valley Review, and others (really, it has). In addition to Editing and Eventing (believe it or not, this was used as a verb. On NPR, too—I know, right?) for Four Chambers, Jared enjoys spending time with his lady, playing guitar, and being smothered by cats.
Daniel Schwartz is a writer from Washington, DC. He has an MFA from the University of British Columbia and is a former Executive Editor of PRISM international. He has been published in Stylus (UMD) and Joyland. He moved to Phoenix in 2014 and is excited to be here.
Isaac Caruso is the Creative Director for Four Chambers and also a working artist in the Phoenix Community. His work has been featured locally at monOrchid, through public art programs such as Tempe Public Art, Scottsdale Public Art, as well as INFLUX, and hung on a national level in the Don S. Ripley Hall of the Smithsonian. At 25 he’s seen the Phoenix art scene grow over the years and is proud to be a part of it today.
Elyse Arring: percolator, fomenter, writer, artist, design enthusiast, dog and chicken lover, reader, closet mathematician, fixer of broken things and amateur handyman, sorry excuse for a housewife, appreciator of beauty in all its forms. MFA in poetry; taught writing for university and community college English, Business, and Humanities departments; published in poetry, prose, and pedagogical fora; doesn’t plan to grow up.
Rosemarie Dombrowski (RD) holds a BA in Anthropology, a PhD in American Literature, and is a Lecturer of English on ASU’s Downtown campus. She co-hosts the Phoenix Poetry Series, is the editor of the undergraduate writing journal of the Downtown campus, is the creative co-director for the We Are Downtown project, and is a co-organizer of CollabX (a partnership focused on bringing collaborative, multi-genre art performances to the community).
Her scholarly obsessions include confession (in all its myriad forms), post-punk feminism, and the broaching of sexual taboos in literature, art, and society. Accordingly, she created the Lady Gaga literature class for ASU and will be teaching a class on Poetic Anarchy in the fall. To her credit (or demise), she loves big American cars and even bigger fashion statements.
Jia Oak Bakeris the author of a chapbook, Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City (Dancing Girl Press). She is the recipient of a 2015 grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and is a literary teaching artist for the City of Phoenix. She has been awarded residencies from the Wurlitzer Foundation and from Hedgebrook. Jia earned a MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches at Paradise Valley Community College
Hi! I’m Mackenzie Brennan (that’s me in the picture). I found Four Chambers Press as a homesick Arizonan studying in Rhode Island. I’m a feminist, an occasional and terrified slam poet, and a Scorpio (though I don’t put much stock in the last classification). I have a BFA in Creative Writing and a minor in Political Science. After writing and performing for the magazine’s chapbook this year, I feel so honored to be working towards compiling another one of their amazing products!
I’ll be reading submissions until I defect to New York for law school in the fall. I’ll be back in a few years to enjoy and contribute to this state’s thriving art scene, and hopefully use my degree to help improve Arizona’s political image.
Mark Broeske is an MFA graduate from the exotic University of British Columbia whose poems and stories have earned him a Pushcart Prize nomination and publication in Berkeley Fiction Review, Southern California Review, The Interpreter’s House and elsewhere. He has an Arizona-centered collection of short fiction in search of a publisher (if you know anyone interested in that kind of thing). After teaching high school for 10 years, he now moonlights at Glendale Community College, but most days are spent adventuring with his young daughter. He eschews parenting blogs and Pinterest in favor of sorting through the slush pile and attempting to reach his own word count goals. He can yo-yo competitively.
Charles Brownson grew up in South Dakota and lived through the tumultuous years of the late sixties in Oregon and the Bay area, where he studied creative writing and theater and supported himself in part as a hardware store clerk. He published twenty-two stories between 1972 and 1986, as well as a story cycle (Ancestors, Jump River Press: 1982) and a crime novel (In Uz, Noumenon: 1985). Since then he has devoted himself to making artists books, handmade and using materials and processes entirely his own, including design, printing, paper, artwork, and binding. From 1972 he worked as an academic librarian and wrote six more novels, originally as texts for his artists books and now published in print on demand editions under his imprint Ocotillo Arts. Professionally, he has written the definitive bibliography of the English language translations of the works of Théophile Gautier, and a study of the detective genre: The Figure of the Detective (McFarland, 2014), as well as numerous articles on the acquisition of books for academic libraries. Now retired, he occasionally teaches creative writing and writes a blog https://ocotilloarts.com/blog. He lives in Tempe, Arizona.
Max Dinet was born and raised in Syracuse, NY before he was uprooted in the Winter of 1997 and transplanted to the heat of Phoenix. Fast forward a bit, and Max graduated from Arizona State University in 2012 with a degree in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry. Max has been writing poetry since he was a little kid, and his first poem was about dinosaurs, which is awesome. He has subsequently been published a couple times, first with Four Chambers (before he worked for them) and in the Welter Journal at the University of Baltimore. He loves to read and write poetry and is honored to be a part of the growing Phoenix literary community. In his spare time, Max brews and drinks beer, cooks classic Chinese food, and spends time with his wife, dog, and two cats.
Heather Hoyt teaches a variety of college-level English literature & writing classes. She is an experienced editor & manuscript reviewer for literary journals, academic publishers, and writing contests. She thoroughly enjoys working with writers as they develop their craft & pursue their creative goals.
Katie Hae Leo is a writer and performer based in Phoenix by way of Minnesota. Her essays, poems, and play excerpts have been published in such journals as Water~Stone Review, Kartika Review, Line Break, 60 Seconds to Shine: Monologues for Men, and Wordgathering. Her produced plays include Four Destinies and adaptations of the children’s books Baseball Saved Us and A Single Shard. Her one-woman show N/A debuted in Philadelphia and was remounted in Saint Paul. For more on Katie, please visit www.katiehaeleo.com.
Originally from Wisconsin, Erin Lorandos is a librarian in the Phoenix area and has been writing poetry for over 15 years. She loves trying new styles, but primarily her poetry comes as free verse. This past April, Erin participated in the Found Poetry Review’s PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts) Project, and is also contributing to the FAVIT project on Found Poetry Frontiers
Paul Mosier doesn’t ordinarily look as annoyed as he does in his bio pic, but he probably has a good reason, such as your lack of familiarity with his funny, sad, sweet and strange novel Breakfast At Tuli’s, which is available on Amazon and at cooler Phoenix retailers, and which has a Facebook page where work on two subsequent novels appears. His life is an odyssey of missteps and horrible miscalculations, but somehow he is happily married with two adorable daughters. He is a native of Phoenix and has some sort of day job.
Kevin Newell had a typical upbringing in Wisconsin—raised on a dairy farm, public school, “Go Badgers,” etc.—but after receiving two degrees in music, he has based himself far from the Great Lakes, here in the Valley of the Sun. Newell is an opera singer, working with houses across the country, and teaches voice privately in Phoenix. He is also a writer and composer, and devotes his extra creative energies mostly to libretti (the lyrics of operas and musicals).
Leah Newsom writes short stories. She is currently working on her bachelors in creative writing at Arizona State University. She is an Arizona native, born at the hospital just down the street from her home in the Coronado Historic District. As a barista at a local coffee shop, she is often heavily caffeinated. Her cat’s names are Penelope and Bella Pants.
David Nicol is a former contract killer who was employed by British Intelligence for over two decades. Following many surgeries to alter his appearance, he arrived in the United States during the mid-1980’s, with a new face and identity. He enjoys music, films, ballroom dancing, and is currently working on building a 1/64 scale diorama of the Battle of Jutland (05/31-06/01/1916), the last great naval conflict to feature the might Dreadnought class of battleships.
OR: James David Nicol writes commercial fiction. Following a childhood in Scotland, and several years playing guitar in rock bands in London, he arrived in the United States during the mid-1980’s. A ferocious devourer of all media, a proud father, and a deliriously happy husband, Mr. Nicol has also written a novel, “Mac and June: Love in the Time of Oil,” which is currently available on Amazon.
As a reader for Four Chambers, Elizabeth Pickens is fulfilling a lifelong dream of reading the slush pile for a publisher. She loves to read and does so every chance she gets. She also writes short stories and a blog detailing her fitness journey toward returning to ballet dance at DiabeticDancerDreams.blogspot.com. Please do check it out! You can also find her website for her other love, flute instruction at fluteteacher.net. She teaches an active flute studio and performs as principal flute with Phoenix college community orchestra.
Bonjour! I’m Lorissa Sapien, that’s a picture of me about to consume more pizza than I should. I enjoy reading at a slow pace and I talk during movies. Naturally, I’ve been writing and working on the same novel for the past six years. Currently, I’m working on my Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. I started a blog two years ago but forgot my password and I’m too lazy to look it up. I once climbed the top of Mt. Everest before deciding that mountain climbing wasn’t for me. I used to work for a paper company before it was purchased by another company that specialized in printers, they made a tv documentary about it. I like doing everything that has the word “extreme” in it, extreme pillow fighting, extreme whale watching, extreme jousting etc. I attended braiding camp and helped pick grapes for cheap wine. One time when I was younger I discovered I had telekinetic powers and used them against my tiny troll father and bingo loving mother, my teacher adopted me later on that year. Also, none of this is true.
David Sargent was born in Ann Arbor, MI. At the age of ten, he moved to Tempe, AZ where he attended public school before joining the army. After receiving an honorable discharge, he moved around jobs in his twenties working as a camera repair technician as well as working on-air as part of a two man radio morning show in East Washington State. After many years in college, he graduated from ASU’s Barrett Honors College with a B.A. in English and a writing certificate. He then went on to earn an M.A. in Communication Studies and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education from ASU. These days he teaches reading classes at a junior high school in Phoenix while balancing the daily life of being married with children.
Xenia is an identical triplet, currently finishing her first book about life as an identical triplet. She hopes you will read the book her sisters don’t want you to read. (She guesses they should have been nicer then, huh?) And then Xenia wants you to say you liked it. Hell, who knows – you maybe even loved it.
When not in pursuit of subjective truth, Xenia collects rescue dogs and rejection letters. Some of her best friends are Schnauzers.
L. Cat Harrington Scofield grew up on the cold mean streets of Minneapolis in the state of Ten Thousand Lakes. Schooled on the shores of Lake Minnetonka and the banks if the Mississippi River she was digitally nicknamed L.Cat and learned how to live by her words, pen and paper, writing script longhand which she still practices. After enduring countless cold harsh winters she moved her sons to the warmer climate if Arizona. She languished in the world of briefs and legalese for many years. But on a recent hot summer eve she was lured into the den of Four Chambers in downtown Phoenix. This eclectic band of writers and editors peruse the most prolific prose and poetry publishing for all to read!
Christopher Winterberg is a new author. He has not been published in any reviews, quarterlies, journals, periodicals, or elsewhere. He has never won a young writers award, middle-aged writers award, or an old writers award. Never having been labeled as one of the most famous writers of any generation, era, or century, he has received zero literary awards. He does, however, look forward to those in the future, if warranted. You can find out more about Christopher at chriswinterberg.com.
Christopher has not appeared at any book events, festivals, conferences, or even book signings. Okay, maybe one. He looks forward to more in the future, as well. He is, however, a member of a writing group, which he attends sporadically. He is not internationally or nationally known. His first book has recently been published.
If you’re daring and wish to, you may contact Christopher Winterberg either through a post on his website, or at firstname.lastname@example.org