Staff & Editors // ISSUE 5


Christina Gerard is Duende’s Managing Editor. She currently lives in El Paso, Illinois. By day, she works as a case manager assisting those diagnosed with mental illness; by night, she writes. Pulling from her personal experiences, Christina writes primarily nonfiction. Highlighting trauma, feminine sexuality, familial relationships, mental illness, identity, and the everyday intersection and evolution of these topics, is her passion and purpose. When she isn’t studying, she dedicates her spare time to her first book-length project, delves into divination, and dreams, dreams, dreams. 


Odin Halvorson is Duende's Managing Editor. He is a writer, poet, and filmmaker, based in California's incomparible Bay Area, where he works as the director of the Pacific Zen Institute's Audio­/Video department. He focuses his artistic efforts around self­-betterment and awareness, and strives to affect a positive change in the way society perceives the importance of art. To this end, he blends politics, philosophy, and optimism for the future into his work, ever aiming for a day when the goal of "bettering oneself and all of humanity" becomes the common baseline for our social lives. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, "Hart Unedited" (2014) and "Wist" (2015), both of which are available on Amazon. You can keep up to date with him on his website.


Anita Olivia Koester is Duende's Poetry Editor and Book Review Editor. She is a Chicago poet and the author of the chapbooks Marco Polo (Hermeneutic Chaos Press) and Apples or Pomegranates forthcoming with Porkbelly Press as well as Arrow Songs hich was a winner of Paper Nautilus' Vella Chapbook Contest. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Vinyl, Tahoma Literary Review, CALYX Journal, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and elsewhere. Her poems have been nominated for Best New Poets and a Pushcart Prize, and won the Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Award as well as the First Night Evanston Poetry Contest. She is the recipient of the Bread Loaf Returning Contributors Award and her writing has been supported by Vermont Studio Center, Art Farm, and SAFTA. Anita is also an artist and photographer, her work is published or forthcoming in SKY+SEA Anthology, Paris Lit Up, Photographer Forum’s Best of Photography 2016 and elsewhere. Visit her online here.


Brittany Long is Duende’s Nonfiction, Hybrid, and Social Media Editor. She currently lives on the coast of Central New Jersey. Most of her days are spent managing fiction writing groups and creating content for YouTube. Writing fiction, predominantly Young Adult, Brittany focuses on creating characters that she wished were available when growing up. Her YouTube content focuses mainly within the gaming and geek online culture. Previously she was a staff writer for Her Campus at Rider University before moving on to Goddard College. Outside of school and YouTube, Brittany spends most of her time on her Young Adult novel and walking along the beach. 


Katherine Michalak is Duende’s Senior Editor and lives in Boulder, Colorado. At age seventeen, she had a personal essay published in the Christian Science Monitor, and at twenty, she worked as a staff interviewer for the Crestone Eagle. After a ten-year hiatus in which she pursued music and mathematics, she recently returned to writing, exploring memoir and contemplative nonfiction. Before joining the Duende team, she was student editor for Plains Paradox Literary Journal. She was recently published in Concho River Review. In her free time she enjoys rock climbing, moonlit hikes, and other outdoor adventures.


Lacey Pruitt-Thomas is Duende's Fiction Editor. She was born in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, but was quickly transplanted to Texas. She grew up as an “Army brat” moving approximately every six months for the first twelve years of her life. After high school she moved to Western New York where she raised her family and worked in accounting for thirty-plus years. When she turned fifty, she return to college and received an Associates of Arts & Sciences in Liberal Arts from her local community college. A happy accident led her to attend Goddard College in Vermont where she is currently working of her BFA in Creative Writing.


M.A. Vizsolyi is the faculty advisor for Duende. He is the author of The Lamp with Wings: Love Sonnets, (HarperPerennial) winner of the National Poetry Series, selected by Ilya Kaminsky. He has two new books forthcoming, Crispin (Monk Books) and The Common Index of Poetic Lines (Paratext). He is also the author of the chapbooks, Notes on Melancholia (Monk Books) and The Case of Jane: A Verse Play (500places press), which was produced for Performa 13 and broadcast on National Public Radio. Vizsolyi’s work can be found in numerous journals, including The New Orleans ReviewNarrativeCrazyhorseCream City ReviewThe JournalPleiadesThe Burnside ReviewHarpur PalateNinth LetterPloughshares, and Gulf Coast. He is also a collaborative artist and performs occasionally, with past performances at various locations in Brooklyn, Houston, and SUNY Binghamton. He lives in Brooklyn.


photographs by Karen Werner