Cerridwen Aker edits Duende’s nonfiction. She grew up in coastal Maine, but has spent the last several years traveling and sailing. Her creative nonfiction and poetry are influenced by her adventures, her family, and the natural world. Her current project is a collection of narratives exploring the transgenerational trauma experienced in her maternal line. Some of her favorite writers include Bhanu Kapil, Milan Kundera, Mary Oliver, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Anne Lamott. Cerridwen currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she bartends at a corner pub. She’s known for making a Lemon Drop martini that will curl your toes.
Denise Blike is a fiction staff member at Duende. She was born on Oahu, Hawaii and currently lives in Orange County, California. As a reader, she likes unreliable narrators, lavish descriptions of setting, and guilty, irredeemable characters. Some of her favorite writers include Charlotte Brontë, Daniel Handler, Jennifer Egan, and Shirley Jackson. Denise is a cast member at Disneyland and spends every May and June defending “It’s a Small World” from the legions of high school students who roam the parks at 2 a.m. during Grad Nites.
Amy Cain is managing co-editor at Duende. She is from Portland, Maine, and now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is especially inspired by the work of Audre Lorde, Eileen Myles, James Baldwin, and Jeanette Winterson. When the weather is nice, she likes to walk around with her Doberman, Santiago.
Wendy Call is the Faculty Advisor for Duende. Before she joined the Goddard BFA faculty in 2013, she served as Writer in Residence for twenty institutions, including national parks, colleges, a historical archive and a public hospital. Her current literary projects are supported by 4Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives and works as a writer, editor, educator and translator in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, where she’s grateful to be within walking distance of life’s essentials: an old-growth forest, brewpub, pho shop, farmers’ market, and public library.
Although Kristopher R. Castiglia currently lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania, he is originally from Phillipsburg, New Jersey, where he received his Associate in Fine Arts at Warren County Community College. While pursuing his AFA he studied poetic works from Walt Whitman through James Wright. He first became inspired by the art of literature and the music of language through studying the stylistic evocations of Allen Ginsberg, and the genre-defying writings of William S. Burroughs. His main focus is experimental forms that traverse both fiction and poetry. Aside from writing, he specializes as a videographer for Memories Unlimited Videos.
Erric Emerson co-edits Duende’s poetry. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is originally from central New Jersey. His primary genre is poetry, especially visual and surrealistic forms. He also avidly writes science fiction and horror short stories. Currently he is writing a poetry collection and a novel. His poetry has been featured in Collage Literary Journal and Neon Magazine. His favorite writers are Walter M. Miller Jr., H.G. Wells, Sylvia Plath, and Zachary Schomburg. He is sometimes known as a walking library, as he carries an absurd number of books with him at all times.
Jodi Johnson is an artist, peace marcher (through Central America in the mid-80’s) and writer. Her favorite writers include Harper Lee, Mary Oliver, Terry Tempest Williams, Peter Matthiessen, Louise Erdrich, and Toni Morrison. She’s a Yooper (from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) but has lived for decades in Minnesota. She avidly gardens and loves learning-- especially about literature, mythology and anthropology. She is working on a novel which will be completed by August. Her second stone sculpture was accepted into a juried art exhibition in which only one in ten entries was accepted.
Ah-Keisha McCants is senior editor at Duende. Her bi-coastal NYC/LA upbringing prepared her well for being married with kids in the city-burbs of PA. A poet, filmmaker, playwright, and songwriter, Ah-Keisha has written for television, film, and recording artists Olu Dara and Cassandra Wilson. She’s inspired by the work of Lorraine Hansberry, Bertolt Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Toni Morrison, and Amiri Baraka. She has been featured in Source Magazine, Village Voice, Backstage and the Courier Post. Ah-Keisha enjoys mini adventures with her kids, pointed discourse, laughter, and proudly boasts she’s never had a cavity.
From Fawn McManigal’s career as an airtanker pilot grew an inextinguishable desire to write. She co-edits Duende’s nonfiction and her narrative essays have appeared in High Desert Journal, Aviation for Women, and online at Verbsap. Publications also include a number of articles in consumer magazines. Since falling for Franz Kafka, and so many others of similar tradition, Fawn has devoted herself to writing short fantastical tales. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and graduates in spring. Until then she breathes into a paper bag and awaits word from a number of MFA programs. The other day she bought a stuffed bunny—for solace.
Jørn Otte co-edits Duende's fiction. He is the son of a Danish father and an Appalachian mother with Greek grandparents and a spiritual connection to Nicaragua. The father of two amazing children, he is married to his best friend, Kimberly, and they live in the mountains of West Virginia. He has written numerous short stories and poems, and is currently at work on a novel, a memoir, and losing 20 pounds. His favorite writers include Wallace Stegner, Mary Oliver, Annie Dillard, Kurt Vonnegut, Matthew Quick, and Jeannette Walls—generally any author's work that makes him feel alive. He is a helluva chess player, coaches soccer like nobody's business, and is a professional hugger of both trees and people.
Cameron Price is Duende’s design and visual art editor. He is a poet born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He recently relocated to Ann Arbor, MI with his partner. Two of his most beloved poets are Muriel Rukeyser and Louise Glück. Cameron loves trail running and is hella good at making grilled cheese sandwiches. His experimental film work and poetry can be found in Small Po[r]tions, Humble Pie, and the the forthcoming summer edition of Six Fold.
Jeric Smith co-edits Duende's poetry. His family is from Chalan Pago and Dededo, Guahan. He currently lives in Seattle, WA. Recently, he's been reading verse from Eduardo C. Corral, Craig Santos Perez, Richard Siken, Pablo Neruda, and Sharon Olds. He writes poetry to reclaim, recreate, and record his histories. He was a finalist for Passages North's Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize and has a piece forthcoming in The Good Men Project. He loves working with children and sings when nobody's around. He is currently at work on a chapbook of poems.
Kori Waring co-edits Duende’s fiction and created our logo and masthead art. She is a fiction writer currently living in her hometown of Media, Pennsylvania. She is a total nerd about stories, and her favorite writers include Vladimir Nabokov, George Saunders, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, and David Foster Wallace (though for what it's worth she is personally embarrassed by the fact that all those people are straight, white men). Her favorite color is yellow; her favorite tree is the sycamore; she is an avid doodler; and since seventh grade she has had the compulsive habit of folding into paper cranes just about anything that will hold still long enough.
Kate Weiss is co-managing editor of Duende. She has traveled to many countries and has family all over the world, but home has never drifted far from the Ohio River. She writes fiction for middle graders because she learned to love reading at eight and believes many of the best stories are written for children. Her favorite authors are Rachel Carson and E.B White. You can usually find Kate with a tote bag full of books and a knitting project. She is a bookseller by profession and believes one cannot own too many books. She lives with her husband, Michael, and their dog, Perl, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Lauren Wingate is a nonfiction staff member at Duende. She lives in Oakland, California, where she teaches preschool and yoga. She enjoys running with her dog, Bella, shopping at farmers' markets, and riding her bike around the Bay Area. She is currently enjoying a love affair with Magical Realism, so spends much of her time writing about the magic of yoga and the ways that memory can live in the body.