Contributors and Competition Winners 

The anthology includes a combination of invited contributions and pieces contributed in answer to our open call for submissions.

  • Competition Winners
  • Invited Contributors
  • Contributos' Bios

Competition Winners!

Congratulations to these winners of our open competition, submissions read with authors' names masked. We received over two hundred submissions, and were touched by many more than we could include in the book. We are grateful to everyone who responded!

Competition winners will receive two copies of the anthology and all entrants receive one copy in Summer 2012.

Maureen Adams
Anne Alden
Nancy Alexander
Roslyn Appleby
Talitha Arnold
Pamela Balluck
Jill Baumgaertner
Catherine Bianco
Kaitlyn Boatright
Brenda Bonnett
Sue Chenette
Elizabeth Clancy
John Cosgrove
Donna Curtin
Renée D'Aoust
Lisa Dordal
Sloane Drayson-Knigge
Simon Peter Eggertsen
Eufemia Fantetti
Clarissa Green

Plynn Gutman
Rob Hillerby
Gwendolyn Jeun
Phyllis Hickney Larsen
Lisa Lebduska
Lois Lorimer
Pavneesh Madan
Patricia Anne McGoldrick
Kristen Messenger
Alison Norwich
Rebecca O'Connor
Sandra Pettman
Linda Pierce
Elaine Schmid
Daniel Tardona
Jeff Thomason
Conor Tripp
Malcolm Weir
Mark Willett
Paul Woods

 

Invited Contributors

We are grateful to the generosity of these authors in allowing us to include their work.

 Laura Boss
Lorna Crozier
Mark Doty
Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Leslie Heywood
Kathryn Kirkpatrick
Patrick Lane
Gardner McFall

Jananne O'Connell
Molly Peacock
Erika Ritter
David Schuman
Timea Szell
Hilde Weisert
Marjory Wentworth

 

Contributors' Bios

Maureen Adams

Maureen Adams, EdD. is a licensed clinical psychologist and an adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco. A former English teacher at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, she combined her interest in psychology and literature with a lifelong love of dogs in Shaggy Muses: The Dogs Who Inspired Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edith Wharton and Emily Brontë (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011).
Dogs have been a constant support for my creative life; the sound of their snores provides a soothing and familiar background as I write.  

Anne Alden

I am a Clinical Psychologist, cartoonist and illustrator. My dissertation was an analysis of 100 years of New Yorker dog cartoons. A shorter version was published as a chapter in the book: What Are the Animals to Us? Approaches from Science, Religion, Folklore, Literature, and Art (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2007). Pets have provided endless amusement and inspira­tion for my writing and drawing. Sadly, my beloved dog Cricket died last year but I have recently adopted a tiny new muse named Hayley.  

Nancy Alexander

Fascination with, and love of, animals has been a lifelong reality for me. From infancy onward, animals and wildlife have found their way into my life and heart, enlarging my awareness of each species' uniqueness, but also deepening my understanding of human nature. As a practicing psychotherapist in Columbia, MD, with two children and four grandchildren, the empathy and intuitive connection I have with the animal world has informed and enlarged my awareness and sensitivity to the human world. That acute interest, love and keen observation have impacted my ability to incorporate these various experiences so that my 'animal stories' can be vibrant re-enactments for the reader. With a deep love and appreciation, I want to thank all the animals who have shared my life and my heart.

Roslyn Appleby

Dr. Roslyn Appleby is a senior lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney. Roslyn has published extensively in the field of language, gender and identity, and is the author of ELT, Gender and International Development: Myths of Progress in a Neocolonial World (2010, Multilingual Matters). She also has a keen interest in post-humanism and human-animal communication.
Sista, my beloved companion animal, passed away earlier this year. Her influence on my writing has been enriching, strange and at times unpredictable. She had a keen sense of what was most important in life, and often dragged me away from the computer for a walk in the fresh air.

Talitha Arnold

Talitha Arnold is the Senior Minister of the United Church of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A graduate of Yale Divinity School and a native of Arizona, she writes frequently on faith and environmental issues, as well as other topics. She is currently working on a book, Desert Faith in a Time of Global Warming. As a child, she liked to give her cats names like Catapult, Catastrophe, and Catamaran. Currently, along with her dog Bella, she has a cat named Hey-Zeus.

Pamela Balluck

Pamela Balluck teaches writing at the University of Utah. Her fiction, twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has appeared in the Western Humanities Review as winner of the Competition for Utah Writers, The Southeast Review as finalist in The World's Best Short Short Story Contest, Quarter After Eight as genre-blurring Prose Contest semi-finalist, Square Lake, the Jabberwock Review, Night Train, the Avery Anthology, flash fiction as prose poem in Barrow Street, and fiction is forthcoming in the Robert Olen Butler Prize Stories anthology, and in Freight Stories.
Pets put my protagonists in their place.

Jill Baumgaertner

Jill Pelaez Baumgaertner is the author of four books of poems: Leaving Eden (White Eagle Coffee Store Press); Namings (Franciscan University Press), Finding Cuba (Chimney Hill Press) and My Father's Bones (Finishing Line Press). She is poetry editor of The Christian Century and Professor of English and Dean of Humanities and Theological Studies at Wheaton College in Illinois. From her dogs she has learned patience, the beauty of a schedule, the sheer delight of close observation, and a sense of humor, all of which have served her well in her writing. All of her dogs have learned to sneeze on command, and her current dogs, Luther and Katie, fall into "dead dog" when they hear Martin Luther's last words, "We are beggars."

Catherine Bianco

Catherine Bianco has always loved animals and words. One of her earliest childhood memories is of a neighbour's brown cocker spaniel. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia with three cats and two dogs.

Kaitlyn Boatright

Kaitlyn Boatright studies at The University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine as a member of the class of 2013. She majors in small animal medicine and hopes to own her own clinic in the future. This is Kaitlyn's first publication and was written as part of an undergraduate senior project for a creative writing minor at Hiram College.
For as long as I can remember, animals have been a source of comfort and inspiration - from the dogs who sat at my feet as I wrote, to the kittens who force me into breaks as I worked. It is these animals who have inspired me to become a veterinarian and continue to lead me to write about the beauty of the human-animal bond.

Brenda Bonnett

A three-time graduate from the University of Guelph (BSc, DVM, PhD) and faculty member at the Ontario Veterinary College from 1987 to 2004, Brenda is a veterinary epidemiologist who continues to educate and do research internationally. Starting in 1979, experiences in private practice, working with both large and companion animals, laid the basis for a longtime fascination with people, animals and their interactions - interactions that are both phenomenally complex and sweetly simple. Where would we...what would we... be without them?

Laura Boss

Laura Boss was a first prize winner of PSA's Gordon Barber Poetry Contest. Founder and Editor of Lips, she is also the recipient of three NJSCA Poetry Fellowships Her books include Reports from the Front ( CCC) and Flashlight (Guernica). Her poems have been published in The New York Times.

Sue Chenette

Sue Chenette is a poet and classical pianist who grew up in northern Wisconsin and has made her home in Toronto since 1972. She is the author of Slender Human Weight, Guernica Editions, 2009. Her second full-length collection, The Bones of His Being, will be published by Guernica early in 2012.
I watch from the window as my cats make their rounds in the backyard. They sniff, pause, prowl the green edge of the flower bed in their cat-rhythms. They are go-betweens, earth-ambassadors, keeping me connected to the mysteries that only cats know

Elizabeth Clancy

Elizabeth A. Clancy has worked with companion animals for twenty years in both humane society and veterinary hospital settings. For several years, she taught a veterinary ethics course to veterinary technology students. Elizabeth earned a M.S. degree in Animals and Public Policy from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and a B.A. in English from New York University. Her areas of interest and study include companion animal demographics, the role of animals in the community and veterinary oncology. Her previous publications include Companion Animal Demographics in the USA: A Historical Perspective (State of the Animals 2003; with AN Rowan). She resides in New York City, where observing dogs navigating city life with tenacity, joy and grace is a daily source of inspiration.

John Cosgrove

John Cosgrove is retired from a 31-year career teaching high school science, mostly Physics, a little chemistry and some earth science. His curiosity about the natural world and an ensuing sense of wonder energized his teaching of Physics and now flavors his writing and his spirituality.  He likes to explore the common ground between the scientist and the poet.
"Writing about my pets focuses and preserves my memories and observations of them. Writing also creates a means of sharing these with others."

Lorna Crozier

Lorna Crozier has received the Governal General's, the Canadian Authors' Association, and two Pat Lowther Awards for poetry. A Distinguished Professor at the University of Victoria, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada, she has published 15 books of poetry, the latest called Small Mechanics, and a memoir, Small Beneath the Sky. She has received two honourary doctorates for her contribution to Canadian literature. Her poems have been translated into several languages, including a book-length translation in French and another in Spanish, and she has read in every continent, except Antarctica.  She lives on Vancouver Island with Patrick Lane, two turtles, many fish and two fine cats.

Donna Curtin

Donna Curtin practices veterinary medicine in Bruce County, Ontario, close to her rural hobby farm where she lives with her husband and two children. A mixed animal practitioner, she obtains career satisfaction through improving the health of the family pet, constantly acquiring new skills and relishing every emergency from late night C-sections to cut horses. In her personal life, she strives to find the balance between leading a simple country life of four-wheeling, hanging out the endless laundry and battling to get her two children off to school, hockey, dance and baseball while coaxing them to eat a more balanced diet than chocolate chip cookies. As a compliment to her veterinary career, she aspires to become a published novelist; she has a scientific publication in the Canadian Veterinary Journal, writes veterinary related articles for local newspapers and is currently working on her novel and a series of short stories related to her experience as a veterinarian. Animals play a large part in Dr. Curtin's writing as within her world, animals, just as often as people, play important characters.

Renée D'Aoust

Etruscan Press published Renée E. D'Aoust's narrative nonfiction book Body of a Dancer (2011). When not writing about dance, D'Aoust's favorite subject remains her Plott hound Truffle, whose life story is available on the web: "#267 Truffle the Hound" at "Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard)". D'Aoust is a dog-mutt nut and takes copious photographs of other people's dogs because all dogs make her life brighter and better. "If Sappho Owned a Dog" was originally published in the literary journal Rhino, 2011. Website: www.reneedaoust.com/.

Lisa Dordal

Lisa Dordal holds a Master of Divinity and a Master of Fine Arts, both from Vanderbilt University. Her poetry has appeared in the anthology Milk and Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry as well as in the journals Southern Women's Review, St. Sebastian Review, and Cave Wall. She and her partner currently have two retired greyhounds, Chelsy, the inspiration for her poem "Envy," and Ladybug, the inspiration for her poem "Guide Dog." "Disinheritance" was inspired by Brindi, who passed away in 2010 at fourteen. Although her dogs often serve as inspiration for her poetry, there are just as many times when they serve as barriers, as when they lay their heads down on top of her computer keyboard and look up at her with eyes that can only mean one thing: "For goodness sake, stop writing and WALK ME!"

Mark Doty

Mark Doty's Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008.  His eight books of poems include School of the Arts, Source, and My Alexandria. He has also published four volumes of nonfiction prose:  Still Life with Oysters and Lemon, Heaven's Coast, Firebird and Dog Years, which was a New York Times bestseller in 2007.
Doty's poems  have appeared in many magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, The London Review of Books, Ploughshares, Poetry, and The New Yorker.  Widely anthologized, his poems appear in The Norton Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry and many other collections. Doty's work has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, two Lambda Literary Awards, and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. He is the only American poet to have received the T.S. Eliot Prize in the U.K., and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill and Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sloane Drayson-Knigge

Dr. Sloane Drayson-Knigge offers a variety of courses in Holocaust Studies in the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies of Drew University including "Holocaust Theatre: Resistance, Response, Remembrance" and "Aesthetic Persuasions and Kultur in Nazi Germany."  With long-time experience in the performing arts before her life 'in the academy,' she enjoys partnering the theoretical work of colleagues with theatre toward new pedagogical adventures. An award-winning playwright, she is currently writing an audience participation comedy on aging, "Are We There Yet, Are We there Yet"?
Sweet Pea [The Pea] had a ghastly infection in her left eye when her litter was rescued. Her eye was removed - it just looks closed in a sagacious sort of way. Seeing her everyday reminds me that symmetry is highly over-rated and that being askew can be a special gift. As with Skooter and her many feline predecessors (and several Great Pyrenees) who rang our doorbell and welcomed themselves in, each has contributed to the solitude of writing, whether by their unannounced antics or the calming rudder of purrs.

Simon Peter Eggertsen

Simon Peter Eggertsen was born in Kansas, raised in Utah, schooled in Virginia and England, now lives in Montreal. He has degrees in literature, language and law. His pedigree in poetry is recent. His verses have been or will be published in Nimrod, Vallum (Canada), Atlanta Review, New Millennium Writings, Dialogue and elsewhere. He has been a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry (Nimrod, 2009), awarded an International Publishing Prize (Atlanta Review, 2009), won the Founders' Circle Award (Soundings Review, 2010), and had two poems longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize (Ireland, 2011).
I was never much for dogs. As a young man, I raised pigeons, first fantails and bluebar tumblers, show pigeons, then later those that race. My memory of dogs is limited, as none of them, with little wonder, lasted long at our house, except Minnie, a miniature Dachshund, who stayed around through much of my teen years. My father's signature when he came home evenings was to whistle the initial phrase of Rachmaninoff's Second, la la  la la-di-dah, and then kick the dog if he could find him. My sisters, being musical, wrote a song about it that sounded uncannily like Katie Parry's song "I Kissed a Girl" would decades later. "I Kicked the Dog!" That is how I could recognize the sadness of the canted howl mentioned in this poem. The dog poem actually bit me one of those evenings in Bucharest. Must have thought I was my father. Payback for other dogs.

Eufemia Fantetti

Eufemia Fantetti graduated from The Writer's Studio at SFU and is currently working on an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. Her writing has been published in Event, Beyond Crazy, Contemporary Canada and eye wuz here. Figaro Amadeus Fantetti, her beloved cat/editor/companion of many years and subject of this piece, is dearly missed. 

Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions). Her latest book is What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980-2009 (Guernica Editions, 2010), and she has a book forthcoming in September, 2012, The Place I Call Home (New York Quarterly Books).  She is the Founder /Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. She is also Director of the Creative Writing Program and Professor of Poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY. She has published fourteen books of poetry, including The Weather of Old Seasons (Cross-Cultural Communications), Where I Come From, Things My Mother Told Me, and Italian Women in Black Dresses (Guernica Editions). With her daughter, Jennifer, she is co-editor of four anthologies: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing Up Ethnic in America (Penguin/Putnam) and Italian-American Writers on New Jersey (Rutgers).

Clarissa Green

Clarissa P. Green's poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction examine the interface between time, memory and relationships. Therapist, university teacher and graduate of Simon Fraser University's Writer's Studio, she won the 2009 Vancouver International Writer's Festival contest for fiction. Her work has appeared in Geist and the anthologies Making a Difference, Silences, and Untying the Apron: Daughters Remember Mothers of the 1950s. Her current manuscript explores relationship changes as parents age and die. Clarissa always has an animal. Or two. Her current muse is "Shoo Shoo," a black cat who - eighteen years ago - waited months on Clarissa's back porch until she was let in. "Shoo Shoo" sits, listens, and approves all writing projects.

Plynn Gutman

Plynn Gutman, MFA in Creative Writing, facilitates holistic retreats around the world. Her writing has appeared in numerous literary journals over the past eight years, the most recent being a poem, Lucius, about one of her beloved cats. Plynn's memoir about her maternal grandmother, The Work of Her Hands: A Prairie Woman's Life in Remembrances and Recipes, launched in October 2010 with Canadian publisher Wolsak and Wynn. The natural world, with its glorious host of creatures, offers a constant source of pleasure and creative inspiration to this author.

Leslie Heywood

Leslie Heywood is Professor of English and Creative Writing at SUNY-Binghamton, where she regularly teaches Animal Studies. She is the author of Pretty Good for a Girl: A Memoir (Free Press/Simon & Schuster). She has published two books of poetry, The Proving Grounds (Red Hen Press) and Natural Selection (Louisiana Literature Press). Lost Arts, her third poetry book, is forthcoming Fall 2012. Her poems "Telescope" and "Don't Eat the Tuna" were nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has also published widely on the subject of women's sports. She lives in upstate New York, where she currently resides with her husband and two daughters.

Rob Hillerby

Rob Hillerby is a mixed practice veterinarian currently working in New Hamburg, Ontario. He has always enjoyed the arts, as well as the sciences, and spent many years working as a professional actor before veterinary school. His piece was written during his second year at the Ontario Veterinary College as an expression of the uncertainty felt by a student veterinarian exploring a new skill set. Rob lives with his wife, Emma, two cats and a dog.

Gwendolyn Jeun

Gwendolyn Jeun is a small animal veterinarian, just trying to live her yoga. An OVC 1997 grad, she works with some really wonderful animals, clients, staff, and colleagues. She loves her husband, yoga, camping, cooking and baking artisanal bread. Gwen blogs about her experiences at the website http://downwarddogdvm.com/. She's still looking for her next canine companion.

Kathryn Kirkpatrick

Kathryn Kirkpatrick teaches poetry, Irish studies, and environmental literature at Appalachian State University.  Her class, Representing Animals, explores the uses humans make of animals as cultural symbols and the various consequences for animals, both positive and negative, of anthropomorphizing them. She is the author of five poetry collections, The Body's Horizon (1996), Beyond Reason (2004), Out of the Garden (2007), Unaccountable Weather (2011), and Our Held Animal Breath (forthcoming 2012). 
Her website is kathrynkirkpatrickpoetry.wordpress.com.

Patrick Lane

Patrick Lane has authored more than twenty-five books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children's poetry. He has received most of Canada's top literary awards, including the Governor-General's Award, The Canadian Author's Association Award, the B.C. Book Prize, several National Magazine Awards, and a number of senior grants and fellowships from The Canada Council for the Arts. Today, his writing appears in all major Canadian anthologies of English literature. He has also been recognized for his gardening skills, and the half-acre he tends has been featured in the "Recreating Eden" television film series. His most recent book of non-fiction, There Is A Season - A Memoir In A Garden, won the inaugural prize for The British Columbia Award For Canadian Non-Fiction and was short-listed for The Charles Taylor Prize, The Pearson Prize, and the The Hubert Evans Prize for Non-fiction. His recent poetry collection, Go Leaving Strange, has been nominated for The Dorothy Livesay Prize. His memoir, retitled What the Stones Remember, was issued by Shambhala Press (Trumpeter Books) in the US. His Selected Poems came out in 2011, followed by The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane in 2012. 
Lane's work has been published in a number of countries, including England, France, the Czech Republic, Italy, China, Japan, Chile, Colombia, Netherlands, Brazil, and Russia. He is an Associate Professor at The University of Victoria. He lives near Victoria, British Columbia, with his wife, the poet Lorna Crozier.

Phyllis Hickney Larsen

Dr. Larsen grew up on Massachusetts farms in the 1920s and early 1930s. There her friends were farm animals, dogs, and a large toad. In warm weather it would come out of a cellar window to take a shower that she poured down from the kitchen. One morning her mother rushed to the cellar window and killed a bulging snake, but Phyllis' friend had already died.
As a zoology undergraduate, Phyllis Hickney became fascinated by the structure and function of creatures. To get a grip on malfunction, she traveled to Kansas and studied veterinary medicine. Except for occasional veterinary papers, primarily on goats, she has not written for publication.
But over the years, animals have crept into her many writings for her children, Girl Scout trainers, veterinary practitioners and historians, bilingual teachers of children from Mexico, and, from 1984-1987, for her own students of oral and spoken English in China. Now, animals abound in her personal poems and essays harvested from memories of at least 85 years.

Lisa Lebduska

Lisa Lebduska directs the College Writing Program at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where she and her students enjoy watching the antics of Cowduck on Peacock Pond. Her recent publications include essays in Writing on the Edge and Inside Higher Ed. For her, companion animals and writing offer similar risks and comforts, teaching her that furballs can manifest themselves as prose, and that revising one's opinion can improve not only texts but a friendship with the neighbor's howling Bassett-mix.

Lois Lorimer

Lois Lorimer is a poet, actor, teacher and dog owner. Her poetry chapbook, Between the Houses, was published by Maclean Dubois in Edinburgh in 2010. Her poems have appeared in literary journals including Arc, Hart House Review and Literary Review of Canada, as well as in the anthologies The Bright Well (Leaf Press: 2012), and Connectivism (Variety Crossing: 2012). She lives in Toronto where her family rescued an abandoned dog during a cold winter ten years ago. Sophie the dog also rescued the family, providing emotional support and companionship, and delighting the children as they grew up. Now empty nesters with an aging dog, Lois and her husband Mark marvel at the enrich­ment to their lives that Sophie has provided as they care for her in her decline with the help of their vet.

Pavneesh Madan

Dr. Pavneesh Madan is a second-generation veterinarian who grew up on a farm seeing his father work with all species of animals. That experience was enough to persuade him to become a veterinarian as well. After completing his DVM and MVSc from College of Veterinary Sciences, Hisar, India, he came to Canada to pursue doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia. He completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Western Ontario and later joined Ontario Veterinary College as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences. He is currently involved in DVM teaching and biomedical research and has special interest in working with animals requiring critical and emergency care.

Gardner McFall

Gardner McFall is the author of The Pilot's Daughter and Russian Tortoise (poems), two children's books, and the opera libretto Amelia, with music by Daron Hagen; Amelia premiered at Seattle Opera in May 2010. Ms. McFall lives in New York City and teaches ar Hunter College.

Patricia Anne McGoldrick

Patricia Anne McGoldrick is a Kitchener, Ontario writer whose poetry, essays and reviews have been published in print anthologies plus numerous titles online at Christian Science Monitor, WM Review Connection and Chapter and Verse.
Growing up in rural southwestern Ontario, animals - big and small - were always part of my life, leaving me with many happy childhood memories. In some ways, I have shared some thoughts about companion animals in guest posts at the WM Pet Connection, "Pets Storied in Media" and "Book Your Pet!" Website: http://www.patricia-anne-mcgoldrick.com/.

Kristen Messenger

As a freshman veterinary student, Dr. Messenger looked forward to finishing school and becoming a general practitioner. A series of fortunate events, including a dropped pedicle during her second year surgery lab, led her to pursue a career in veterinary anesthesiology. Currently she is developing her skills in research as a graduate student in pharmacology at North Carolina State University. Dr. Messenger is the second veterinarian in her family, following in her father's footsteps. The short story, "Campbell Creek,"  is based on a true story that her dad (Bob) shared with her. Her most recent publication is entitled "Intravenous and sublingual buprenorphine in horses: pharmacokinetics and influence of sampling site." Besides working with animals, she enjoys riding endurance horses, hiking, and cooking. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her Corgi, "Hazelnut," and Tibetan spaniel, "Sammy Davis."

Alison Norwich

Alison Norwich is a 2011 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, currently living and working in Toronto. She adopted her dog Doug during her second year of veterinary school. He inspires her to work, to write, to run, and most importantly, to relax.

Jananne O'Connell

Jananne O'Connell is a practicing small animal veterinarian in Cary, NC. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Veterinary Public Health degrees, as well as a good deal of inspiration for writing, from North Carolina State University. She is entertained daily by the antics of a troupe of four fabulous felines: Milli Vanilli, Annabelle, Mr. Peterson, and Adelaide Twinklepig.
Editors' note: Jananne was a student in one of our first Veterinary Medicine and Literature classes.

Rebecca O'Connor

Rebecca K. O'Connor is the author of the award-winning memoir Lift published by Red Hen Press and the best-selling A Parrot for Life: Raising and Training the Perfect Parrot Companion published by TFH. She has published essays and short stories in South Dakota Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Los Angeles Times Magazine, West, divide, The Coachella Review, Phantom Seed and Prime Number Magazine. Her novel, Falcon's Return was a Holt Medallion Finalist for best first novel and she has published numerous reference books on the natural world.
Whether it is to give a science-based lecture, write a serious how-to book or craft deeply personal prose, the foundation of everything in my life is a love for animals. I hopes that my life's work will help people understand the animals (including other humans) that surround them, and relish their relationships.

Molly Peacock

Molly Peacock is a poet, essayist and creative nonfiction writer who makes her home in Toronto with her husband and two calico cats, Emma and Lucy. Her latest work of nonfiction is the best-selling The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72.  Her most recent collection of poems is The Second Blush.  One of the creators of New York's Poetry in Motion program, she co-edited Poetry In Motion: One Hundred Poems From the Subways and Buses.  She serves as a Faculty Mentor at the Spalding University Brief Residency MFA Program and as the Series Editor of The Best Canadian Poetry in English.

Sandra Pettman

Sandra Pettman is a graduate of the University of British Columbia's MFA in Creative Writing program, and SFU's The Writer's Studio. She grew up in the Okanagan Valley with dogs, cats and horses, and misses them now. She continues to draw on their generosity, spontaneity and attentiveness in her writing. At work on her first collection of poetry, Sandra earns a living as a freelance writer and social worker in Vancouver. Her poems have appeared in several literary journals, most recently Matrix, Prairie Fire and Event.

Linda Pierce

As a child in Washington, DC, I roamed a patch of woods behind our apartment-complex with an energetic spaniel. The fates - and marriage to a geologist - brought me to the foothills of Colorado, where we lived 35 years, raising three children and a menagerie of animals. We then moved north to Montana. Dogs have been important family members throughout our lives.
My dogs, past and present, have been my eyes, ears, and especially, nose for making discoveries in the woods! Mica's role as a therapy dog is a huge resource also, for she and I visit the hospital, nursing homes, and schools to volunteer.

Erika Ritter

Erika Ritter is a novelist, playwright, essayist, creative non-fiction writer and broadcaster. Her published works include "Automatic Pilot", a Chalmers Award-winning play; three collections of essays: Urban Scrawl, Ritter in Residence, and The Great Big Book of Guys: Alphabetical Encounters with Men; a novel, The Hidden Life of Humans; and a non-fiction book of journalistic and philosophical investigation, The Dog by the Cradle, The Serpent Beneath: Some Paradoxes of Human-Animal Relationships, shortlisted for the Writers Trust Non-Fiction prize in 2009. On CBC Radio, over three decades, she hosted and guest-hosted numerous current affairs, arts, drama and music programs.
Ritter has also been a newspaper and magazine columnist and a writer of short fiction. Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, she now lives in Toronto, where her interests include drawing, cycling, animal advocacy, and collecting Slinkies.

Elaine Schmid

Elaine Schmid is currently the program director at a non-profit agency serving at-risk youth in Duluth, Minnesota. She is also completing her Master's of Education at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She loves to spend time hiking, doing yoga, volunteering in the community, and playing with her pet rabbit, Tayser. Her volunteer work includes work at an animal shelter where she teaches the importance of caring for companion animals. Companion animals have always provided comfort and companionship to Elaine, from the smallest dwarf hamster to larger dogs like Sammy.

David Schuman

David Schuman's fiction has appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, Missouri Review, Conjunctions and other magazines and anthologies. Originally from New Jersey, he now lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter and teaches creative writing at Washington University.

Timea Szell

Timea Szell teaches in the English Department of Barnard College in New York City. She teaches an interdisciplinary first-year seminar, "Animals in Text and Society," and the senior seminar, "Humans & Other Animals: Metamorphoses & Blurred Identities." Her short fiction has appeared in a number of periodicals, including The Southern Review.

Daniel Tardona

Born and raised in New York City, Dan has been with the National Park Service for over 24 years. Prior to becoming a ranger, Dan worked as a psychologist in Michigan, New Jersey and New York. He holds S.Psy. S. and MA degrees in psychology and has done post graduate work in paleontology and anthropology. His main research interests are in human-animal interactions, interpretation of natural and cultural resources and visitor behavior. Dan also enjoys writing nature poetry and has published a number of poems in various literary journals. Dan has long been a dog lover, but about 18 years ago began to adopt stray cats that people abandoned in the parks where he has worked (as many as five at one point). He now loves his cat companions just as much as any canine friend he has ever known.

Jeff Thomason

I am now the course coordinator for the first-year DVM course in Comparative Mammalian Anatomy, having been in the anatomy teaching team since 1992. Since 1985, I have been the guardian-servant of at least 6 cats. The poem is my first attempt at writing about students or cats in a non-professional context. Interacting with enthusiastic first-year students is one of the joys of teaching for me, while the companionship of cats has helped my sanity during the more intense times of teaching semesters. I hope neither species takes affront at the light-hearted comparison.

Conor Tripp

Conor Tripp is a graduate of St. Mary's University, as well as the University of Northern British Columbia where he completed his master's thesis titled "Evaluation of Public Participatory GIS Tool: A Public Planning Case Study" which has been recently published as a monograph. Up to this point, Conor's reactions to his writing experiences have closely paralleled the animal characteristics of his quiet and not-so-quiet animal companions: namely barking, growling, sleeping, and panting.

Malcolm Weir

I am an OVC 1990 graduate, and have spent most of my working career looking after small animals. I am currently working on my Master of Public Health degree at the University of Guelph, and am planning a switch from private practice into government or industrial work. I have had several journal publications, but this is my first non-scientific work to be published. I did, however, previously work part-time as a stand-up comedian in Saskatchewan (where they were obviously starved for entertainment).
Animals are great "fodder" for a writer, but it's their owners that make for the best stories. Better to write about them, or they'll drive you nuts first - your choice.

Hilde Weisert

Hilde is a co-editor of this anthology. See "About the Editors" [link] for her bio.

Marjory Wentworth

Marjory Wentworth's poems have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize four times. Her books of poetry include Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle, and What the Water Gives Me. Her award winning book Shackles, is a children's story. Taking a Stand, The Evolution of Human Rights by Juan Mendez with Marjory Wentworth was published in September 2011. She is the Poet Laureate of South Carolina. She teaches at The Art Institute of Charleston and Roper St. Francis Hospital. Website: www.marjorywentworth.net.

Mark Willett

I earned my DVM degree from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. Prior to obtaining my DVM, I worked as a research assistant for various wildlife projects, including mountain goats in Olympic National Park, desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert, and birds of paradise in Papua, New Guinea. I also worked as an environmental educator, teaching children about all the inhabitants of a large animal park in the San Francisco Bay area, and wrote The Whale Trainers Handbook.
As a veterinarian, animals have affected me quite deeply and have been the inspiration for my writing. I see creatures with amazing and complex personalities, and I get to see the bonds that form between these animals and their owners and caretakers. I feel privileged to bear witness to the human-animal bond.

Paul Woods

I am a Professor of Oncology in the Department of Clinical Studies at the Ontario Veterinary College and co-Director of the University of Guelph Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation (ICCI). Following graduation from OVC, I practiced in a veterinary clinic in Owen Sound. Subsequently, I completed a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine and Master of Science in Veterinary Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and achieved Board certification in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine. Later I completed a Medical Oncology Fellowship at Colorado State University and achieved Board certification in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Oncology. Before returning to OVC, I was on the faculty at Oklahoma State University. My parents and I share the companionship of a Burmese cat!