Current Editors | Editors Emeriti | Roles and Responsibilities | About the Editors

Current Editors

Michael Ashley
Jay Dougherty
Scott Douglas
Roger Fizzerton
Maggie Flannigan-Wilkie
Eliot Jacobson
Tiko Lewis
Bethany Lim
Maria Mazzenga
Lance Rocks
Trish Saunders
Rick Stansberger
Lavonne Westbrooks
Jenn Zed

Editors Emeriti

William Antcliff
Lynn Doiron
Eric Elshtain
Lawrence Gladeview
Cheryl Leverette
Larry Jordon
Sue Lozynskyj
Milner Place
Casey Quinn
Tom Riordan
Desiree Wright

Roles and Responsibilities

PoetryCircle’s editors volunteer their services to ensure that the quality of work featured on PoetryCircle remains high. It’s a tough job, requiring people who are themselves good writers and who are also able to evaluate, critique, and nurture the work of other writers, both experienced and up-and-coming. Here are a few of the more obvious tasks that PoetryCircle’s editors perform:

  • read work submitted to the forum’s Submit Your Poetry and Submit Your Prose boards (and elsewhere on the forum) and move work they deem meritorious to the Editors’ Picks board
  • select work from around the forum to feature in the “featured work” box atop the forum and inside of individual boards
  • select work from Editors’ Picks to appear on PoetryCircle’s front page
  • solicit (and edit) manuscripts to appear in the PoetryCircle Showcase
  • create and monitor occasional contests and challenges
  • make suggestions and contributions to improve the forum and the site

You’ll see PoetryCircle’s editors at work on a daily basis in the PoetryCircle Forum.

About the Editors

Michael Ashley lives in the north of England with his partner and a small menagerie of animals, and he’s rapidly flying head-first into midlife crisis. When he is not writing, he works as a manager in a multinational corporation (it pays the bills), but writing is his real passion.

Ashley says, “I enjoy joy a wide range of poetic work and styles,from formal metrical form to outlaw style free verse. For me the most important thing about a poem is the way it opens its arms out to the reader, how it lets the reader connect and interact, great poetry reaches inside you and rips the strings out! It can leave you befuddled, dazed, confused, flabbergasted, but never cold!
I have taken a lot from Poetrycircle over the years, the community on this site has really supported me and helped develop my writing, now I suppose it’s payback time!”

Ashley’s work has appeared in a number of ezines and journals, including Redfez, Gutter Eloquence, Rusty Truck, Carnival Lit Mag, and in PoetryCircle.

Lynn Doiron graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with a B.A. in English, Creative Writing. As a student at Sac State, she won the Dominic J. Bazzenella Award for her entries in the fiction and expository prose categories. Her prose and poetry have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies. After several years of tunnel vision wholly unconnected with writing, Lynn was asked to edit a novel for an unpublished friend. Words drew her in (or drew her out) and she once again picked up her pen in 2004. Since then, she has seldom set it aside, completing one novel, starting a second, and in the midst of working on memoir–she writes everyday. hand wording, Lynn’s first book of poetry is expected to be in hand by July, 2006.

Lynn has worked as an editor on The American River Literary Review, and in close association with Constance Warloe, editor of two anthologies of letters written to our mothers and fathers, (Pocket Books, and Story Line Press).

Lynn’s other interests are all things garden, all things hand-worked–from wire art to textile art, oil painting and beadwork

Jay Dougherty attended universities in the United States and Germany. He has taught literature and writing at six universities and one international high school, most recently at American University in Washington, D.C. In the 1980s he created, edited, and published two literary journals in the paper-based world: Clock Radio and Ten Million Flies Can’t Be Wrong. Featured in those journals were well-known poets and fiction writers, including Charles Bukowski, Tom Clark, Gerald Locklin, R. Evan Pitts, Douglas Goodwin, and many others. Among Jay’s publications are literary essays on Bukowski, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and D.H. Lawrence; well over a thousand articles on technology, written for newspapers around the world; poems, short stories, book reviews, and interviews with contemporary authors. In addition to his other pursuits, he has worked in the technology industry and in government for over 20 years.

Scott Douglas began writing in grade school but let it slide when he discovered music. The interactive nature of the internet attracted him to writing once again as an adult.

Roger Fizzerton has always been fascinated by the possibilities and nuances of language, and took up poetry in 2011,  as an alternative to talking co-workers to death.  After working in IT for twenty-five years, he is now studying English and Creative Writing at Salford University with a view to teaching creative writing.

Poetically he doesn’t give a jot for tradition or “me too’s,” except to the extent that they support  results.  His core artistic beliefs are that almost any effect is a valid effect, except boredom,  and that if you are not failing frequently you are probably not trying hard enough.

In his own work he is especially interested in authentic vernacular, dialogue, and character,  in stripping the sheath of familiarity from the world, of portraying nebulous mental states such as love, confusion, and alienation, and exploring the outer edges of meaning, comprehension, and the bizarre.

Larry Jordan lives in South Carolina, born to alcoholics, reads, has been an editor at PoetryCircle since 2006. He’s working a third carreer as an executive director for a nonprofit organization. He reads.

Cheryl Leverette lives in Tennessee near her daughter and grandchildren, enjoying the presence of each one and realizing the joy of family as she grows older. They are, to her, the most important parts of life (and then comes writing).  She majored in English at the University of Central Arkansas, minored in Psychology.  Leverette says, “I just like the way language works, always fascinated.  Feel the same way about any type of  communication—the internet is an ever-increasing mystery.”

Eliot Thomas Jacobson got his name because the last book his mother was reading before she went into labor was The Waste Land. The first novel he ever read was The Metamorphosis, by Kafka, at his mother’s suggestion. That pretty much doomed Eliot to a lifetime of loving poetry and existentialism. Eliot views himself as much more of a critic than a writer. As Eliot says, not every food critic can cook.

Eliot has a Ph.D. in mathematics. He was a professor of mathematics and computer science for 25 years before retiring from academia in 2009. From 2005 to 2017 Eliot had a consulting business providing services to the casino industry. He has three books about casino table games and recently sold his blog that contains more than 300 articles on various ways to beat casino games.

These days Eliot spends his time hiking with his dog Rosie, docenting at the Zoo, playing Irish and other traditional music, performing in theater and opera, studying martial arts, reading and writing poetry, and writing about himself in the third person. This may seem like a balanced lifestyle to some, but to Eliot it feels pretty manic.

tiko lewis says:

i am the middle child
of a preacher and a prude.
my profession is IT, and
i’m glad to work inside.
i started writing poetry
in ’08, and joined PoetryCircle
in ’09.

i think poetry is physical,
concrete.  that is to say,
when writing, if i can
touch it, i can use it.
i like economy and surprise.

outside of poetry, i enjoy
cooking, cigars, strip clubs,
golf, and gran marnier(neat…
with two limes).

everything else, i try to ignore,
or just resolve to work it out

Bethany Lim has been writing on and off for more years than she can count. She is happy to be here on PoetryCircle and looks forward to editing, as well as writing and contributing.

Maria Mazzenga has been teaching history, library and information science, and research and writing in the Washington, D.C., area for 15 years. She holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history with a concentration in Irish literature from Catholic University and has been writing and publishing poetry for the past thirty years.

Lance Rocks has a background in theater, advertising, and marketing. He and his partner, Lori, live and work in Newport Beach, California (USA). Lance surfs in summer, while Lori sails in Newport Bay. Their bird, Blueboy, is a well-respected parakeet.

Trish Saunders grew up in Seattle and moved to Los Angeles after college in a fruitless pursuit of glamour. She returned to the northwest after she found herself wearing dark glasses indoors, taking three-hour lunches, and calling everyone “babe.”

She worked as a journalist and a tech writer at Microsoft before moving to Hawaii, where she now lives. She enjoys spying on rare birds and cataloging odd species of tourists. She is happy to be an editor on PoetryCircle.

When Rick Stansberger was  16, he discovered Tennyson’s “The Eagle” and said to himself, “I wanna write like that!”  He and his Muse have had a wild ride.  He lives between the desert and the mountains in a place a tourist once called “barely America.”

Jenn Zed lives on the outskirts of Bath, England, with her cat. She is a freelance layout proofreader and design advisor who contracts to an advertising agency which works primarily in women’s cosmetics and toiletries. Jenn studied art, art history, and design at Bath and Cambridge universities, eventually graduating with a master’s degree in art and design from the latter.

For the next 20 years or so, Jenn moved around Europe and parts of the Middle East and North Africa in no particular direction or order. She wrote and drew as she traveled and built up a large collection of works, which were mostly disposed of some years ago. Since then, she has acquired a permanent residence, a studio, and a far more routine life in which she can work, both for profit and pleasure, and built up her art portfolio once more.

Jenn’s long-term plan is to move to Japan and study the arts of Japanese pottery, traditional Japanese painting, and calligraphy, while also studying Shinto philosophy and folk traditions in Japan—and learn to speak the language properly.