About Our Team
Hippocampus Magazine is a completely volunteer-run, reader-supported, and editor-subsidized publication fueled by a love for telling true stories. Here’s a look at the various roles (and you can see staff bios a bit farther down the page):
Meet Our Team
You can use the category filters below to sort by roles; you can also click on staff members’ images to reveal their full bio and, if provided, links off to their social profiles or websites. We’re in the process of updating image sizes and dimensions so that the grid is more balanced.
Donna Talarico is the founder of Hippocampus Magazine and Books and its annual conference, HippoCamp. While Hippocampus is a full-time effort in itself, her *actual* job is as an independent writer and marketing consultant; in 2015 she took a leap of faith and left the daily grind for a more flexible (and frugal) life in order to nurture and grow these passion projects, while still making ends meet.
Donna has more than two decades of experience in marketing, communications, writing and media, and about half of that time has been in higher education, most recently as director of integrated communications at Elizabethtown College (2010-2015) in Pennsylvania. She speaks at higher education and publishing conferences, writes an adult learner recruiting column for Wiley, and has contributed to Currents (a higher education trade publication), Guardian Higher Education Network, The Writer, mental_floss, Games World of Puzzles, and others. Her creative nonfiction appears in The Superstition Review, The Los Angeles Review, The Los Angeles Times, and Wanderlust Journal.
Donna teaches or has taught about branding and digital identity in several graduate creative writing programs, including Wilkes University and Rosemont College, as well as at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (2010), and, later, she returned to Wilkes to pursue a master’s in literary publishing (2016). She also has an MBA from Elizabethtown College and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Wilkes.
She lives Lancaster, Pa. with her husband, Kevin Beerman and their cat. She loves road trips, national parks, board games, greasy-spoon diner breakfasts, and museums.
Rae Pagliarulo works as a nonprofit fundraising consultant in her lifelong home of Philadelphia. Her essays, poems, and articles have appeared in Full Grown People, bedfellows, Hippocampus, The Manifest-Station, r.kv.r.y. quarterly, the Brevity Blog, and numerous others. Her work is anthologized in The Best of Philadelphia Stories: 10th Anniversary Edition. She is the 2014 recipient of the Sandy Crimmins National Poetry Prize, a 2019 Best of the Net nominee, and a graduate of Rosemont College’s MFA program.
Steph Auteri has written for the Atlantic, the Guardian, Pacific Standard, VICE, and other publications. Her more literary work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Creative Nonfiction, Under the Gum Tree, and elsewhere. She is the author of A Dirty Word and the founder of Guerrilla Sex Ed.
Wendy Fontaine’s work has appeared in dozens of literary journals and magazines including Pithead Chapel, Hippocampus Magazine, Longridge Review, Creative Nonfiction’s Sunday Reads, Sweet Lit and Yemassee. She has received nonfiction prizes from Identity Theory, Hunger Mountain and Tiferet Journal, as well as nominations to the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net anthologies. A native New Englander, she currently resides in southern California with her daughter and husband.
Jenn Hall lives and writes in Jersey. Her essays and fiction have been published in HAD, Entropy, Pidgeonholes, The Maine Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Paste, and others. She was a notable in Best American Food Writing 2019, and once spent several years writing about oyster farmers and those who make a living by the sea. Though driven to meander, she has come to learn that the best stories are hidden in plain sight. Follow along at jennhallwrites.com.
Vicki Mayk is a memoirist, nonfiction writer and magazine editor who has enjoyed a 40-year career in journalism and public relations. Her nonfiction book, Growing Up On the Gridiron: Football, Friendship, and the Tragic Life of Owen Thomas (Beacon Press) was published in September 2020. Her creative nonfiction has been published in Hippocampus Magazine, Literary Mama, The Manifest-Station and in the anthology Air, published by Books by Hippocampus. She’s been the editor of three university magazines, most recently at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and now freelances and teaches adult writing workshops. Connect with her at vickimayk.com.
Lara Lillibridge is the author of Mama, Mama, Only Mama (Skyhorse, 2019), Girlish: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home (Skyhorse, 2018) and co-editor of the anthology, Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility (Cynren Press, 2019). In 2019 she judged creative nonfiction for AWP’s Intro Journal Project and currently serves as a mentor for their Writer to Writer program. She also writes for children under the name L.B. Lillibridge.
Carina Sitkus is the director of communications at Lehigh University. Her work has appeared in Inside Higher Ed, Business Insider, PANK, Thought Catalog, and others. Carina was previously the director of content strategy and magazine editor at Gettysburg College and, before then, a science teacher.
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Kristen Paulson-Nguyen is a graduate of GrubStreet’s Memoir and Essay Incubators and has taught courses in flash and the memoir proposal. She edits the Writing Life column for Hippocampus. Through her service Title Doctor, she has titled 17 works of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, a craft book, a memoir-in-essays, and The Writer’s 2021 contest-winning essay. She is querying her memoir
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Lorie Adair is the recipient of several Norman Mailer scholarships, and Arizona Commission on the Arts Creative Writing fellowships. Her novel, Spider Woman’s Loom was a finalist for the Southwest Writers Award and a semi-finalist for the Dana Award. She has published fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry in literary magazines and the small press. She has been featured as an emerging artist in Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine, and Esquire Magazine for her advocacy work for the prevention of teen suicide. She has an MFA from Antioch University, L.A. and lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Morgan Baker is an award-winning writer and professor at Emerson College. Her memoir Emptying the Nest: Getting Better at Goodbyes (Ten16 Press) is about identity, change, and mental health. Other work is featured in The New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe Magazine, Motherwell, The Brevity Blog, Talking Writing, The Bark, Cognoscenti, among many regional and national publications. She is managing editor of The Bucket. She is the mother of two adult daughters, and lives with her husband and two dogs in Cambridge, where she also quilts and bakes.
As a songwriter, Kevin has an intimate understanding of what it takes to translate real events into an artistic telling of a story. He serves on the Hippocampus reading panel, researches photography and artwork for stories, and handles several administrative aspects of the magazine and its conference, HippoCamp. Kevin is a seasoned music professional with nearly two decades of experience in performing, teaching, writing and producing. He was a staff songwriter for a major label, and, as a multi-instrumentalist, Kevin backed up several recognizable names in rock, country, bluegrass, and indie. Today, he’s the drummer for Jon Smith’s Voyages, an original ’70s band influenced by Queen and Bowie, performing at various festivals and venues throughout the region. Kevin has a corporate communications degree from Elizabethtown College.
Willa Bell is a queer writer from central Pennsylvania. Their work can be found in the anthology Night Sweats of the Sprit from Maitri Poetry Press. When not writing, reading voraciously, or skulking in thrift shops, they can be found with their dogs on less-traveled paths in the woods.
Amy Braziller is a former punk rocker, sometimes banjo twanging foodie, and current Professor of English at Red Rocks Community College, located just outside Denver, Colorado. Publications include Hippocampus, Brevity Nonfiction Blog, Front Porch, Entropy, Split Rock Review. Amy is working on a hybrid memoir related to coming out and her punk rock days in NYC. She can be found at amybraziller.com and @asbraziller on Instagram.
Connor Buckmaster is a queer nonfiction writer, musician, and teacher living in New Jersey. His writings have appeared in places such as The New York Times, Iō Literary Magazine, and Glassworks Literary Magazine. He is currently an adjunct professor teaching writing at Rowan University.
Carole Duff is a veteran teacher, serious flutist, avid naturalist, and writer of creative nonfiction. She posts weekly to her long-standing blog Notes from Vanaprastha, and has written for Brevity blog, Mockingbird, Streetlight Magazine, The Perennial Gen now The Sage Forum, for which she is a regular contributor, and other publications. Carole lives in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband, writer K.A. Kenny, and two, large overly-friendly dogs.
Pietra Dunmore is a New Jersey-based creative. She is a dual-degree graduate of Rosemont College, with an MFA in Creative Writing and a MA in Publishing. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia Stories, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly, The Nasiona, Penumbra Online, and Causeway Lit. Her short story will be anthologized in The Best Short Stories of Philadelphia, by Toho Publishing. Read more about her at www.pietradunmore.net.
Amy is a writer and Live Lit performer, producer and arts educator based in Chicago. Her work has been seen onstage throughout Chicago including Links Hall, Write Club Chicago, Fillet of Solo, and MissSpoken. Published work includes The Coachella Review and Mulberry Literary. Amy is a Ragdale alumnus and the second runner up in the 2023 Daisy Pettles Women’s Writing Contest.
Andrea Eschen’s writing examines family history to better understand and shape the present. She focuses on historical narrative and personal essays. She recently moved from Washington, DC, to Madrid, Spain, to immerse herself in a different culture, perfect her language ability, write almost as much as she’d like, and be close to big mountains. One of her essays has appeared in a parenting anthology, and another in Months to Years.
Angela L. Eckhart
Angela earned her M.A. in creative writing from Wilkes University. She’s edited two books for local authors and worked as an adjunct writing professional at her local community college for two semesters. She has completed a novel, is currently working on a memoir, and has been reviewing books for Hippocampus magazine since 2011, where she previously served as Book Reviews Editor for several years. She’s a staple volunteer at HippoCamp, and she’ll be participating in the Belize Writer’s Conference, as well as her bi-annual writing retreats.
Amy Fish is a writer of true stories, some of which are funny. She is the author of “I Wanted Fries with That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need” (NWL 2019) and “The ART of Complaining Effectively” (Avmor 2015). Amy is currently doing her MFA at Kings’ College in Halifax, Canada. She is the Ombudsperson at Concordia University in Montreal, where she lives with her husband and kids.
Sarah Evans is an Oregon writer who has been published in Mom Egg Review and on the Brevity Nonfiction Blog and the River Teeth Beautiful Things blog. She has an MFA in nonfiction writing from Pacific University. Read more about her at www.sarahevanswriter.com.
Sarah Kilch Gaffney
Sarah Kilch Gaffney is a writer, brain injury advocate, and homemade caramel aficionado. She lives in Maine and you can find her work at www.sarahkilchgaffney.com
Jessica Gilkison lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She is editor of the ALL Review at Arts+Literature Laboratory. Jessica has a piece in The Walls Between Us: Essays In Search Of Truth. She is in a one-year memoir program through Catapult.
Rachael J. Hughes
Rachael J. Hughes is a writer and educator in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. She is the author of Us Girls: My Life Without a Uterus, and a part-time professor of writing and communications at Alvernia University. She earned her MA/MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She is “stuck in the 90s,” and has an obsessive love of Pearl Jam. She loves poetry, true narratives, locally roasted coffee, and cats. She currently writes and resides in a partially earth-sheltered house with her husband and four cats. The cats helped her write this work.
Faith Kelleher Gaddie
Faith Kelleher Gaddie writes, knits, and gardens in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her partner and pets. If it’s warm enough to grip the handlebars, she can be found exploring rail trails from the stoker seat of a tandem bicycle.
Lillie Gardner writes prose and screenplays. She studied creative writing at New York University and has been published in Quail Bell Magazine, the Delmarva Review, PANK Magazine and more. She reviews books for EcoLit Books and writes for Feminist Book Club. As a screenwriter, Lillie was a recent Winner at Austin Film Festival and Catalyst Story Institute. When she’s not writing, she’s usually practicing piano or taking her cat Ava Gardner for a walk. Learn more at lilliegardner.com or follow @lilliegardner on social media.
Ariel M. Goldenthal
Ariel M. Goldenthal is an assistant professor of English at George Mason University. Her work has appeared in Tiny Molecules, Emerge Literary Journal, MoonPark Review, and others. Follow her on Twitter @arielgoldenthal or read more at arielgoldenthal.com.
Katie Haegele is a writer and longtime zine maker from Philadelphia. She has published three books of creative nonfiction with Microcosm Publishing, and keeps a blog called Indicative Mood. Her most recent book, Spiritbox, is a collection of poetic memes.
After a career in advertising and a move from Toronto to Los Angeles, Wendy earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University. She is a writer, editor, grant writer, and volunteer writing mentor with WriteGirl, a writing and mentoring organization that empowers teen girls. Wendy received the Tiferet Prize for Creative Nonfiction and her writing has appeared in various publications including Lunch Ticket Special, Two Hawks Quarterly, and Dog Eyes Magazine. Her current projects include a collection of essays and a book collaboration.
An MFA graduate of Rosemont College, Abigail Lalonde is a writer and a mother. Her work has been featured in Sanitarium Magazine, Pretty Owl Poetry, Crack the Spine, Memoir Mixtapes, HerKind Collective, and Yellow Chair Review. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter, and three cats. Her spirit animal is a combination of a goth teenager and Holly Golightly (from the book, not the movie. Don’t be silly).
Lina Lau is a mother, creative nonfiction writer, and green tea drinker in Toronto, Canada. Her work can be found in X-R-A-Y Lit Mag, The Citron Review, Prairie Fire, Emerge Literary Journal, carte blanche, and others. She writes during the in-between moments of parenthood.
Leslie Lindsay is a writer/creative based outside Chicago. Her essays, interviews, and photography have been published in many literary journals, including Hippocampus, Ruminate, The Millions, and The Rumpus. Her book, Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech was released in audio by Penguin Random House in 2021. She is a book ambassador, influencer, and active on Instagram.
Brooke Knisley is a disabled writer whose work has appeared in Vulture, HuffPost, McSweeney’s, and others. She is working on a memoir about trauma and its damage.
Natasha Lvovich is a writer and scholar of multilingualism and creativity. Originally from Moscow, Russia, she teaches at City University of New York and divides her loyalties between academic and creative writing. She is an author of a collection of autobiographical narratives The Multilingual Self and her list of creative nonfiction and essays is steadily growing. Her work appeared in journals (Life Writing, New Writing), anthologies (Lifewriting Annual, Anthology of Imagination & Place) and literary magazines (Post Road, Nashville Review, Two Bridges, bioStories, NDQ, Epiphany, New England Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Jewish Fiction); one of her CNF pieces has been nominated for Pushcart Prize. Natasha Lvovich is editor-in-chief of Journal of Literary Multiliingualism published by Brill.
Laurel Miram is a Midwestern essayist and short fiction writer. Her work appears in SmokeLong Quarterly, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, and the Eastern Iowa Review, among other publications. She is a reader for The Lascaux Review and Witness Magazine, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best American Essays, Best of the Net, and the PEN/Dau Short Story Prize.
Laurel Miram’s work appears in SmokeLong Quarterly, Eastern Iowa Review, and OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, among other publications. She is a reader for The Lascaux Review and Witness Magazine. Her short prose has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best American Essays, and the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.
Anthony J. Mohr
Anthony J. Mohr served twenty-seven years as a judge on the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, and now sits there part-time. In January 2021, he became a fellow at the Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. His memoir, Every Other Weekend—Coming of Age With Two Different Dads (Koehler) was published in 2023. A five-time Pushcart nominee, Mohr’s work has appeared in, among other places, The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, DIAGRAM, Hippocampus Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, Superstition Review, War, Literature & the Arts, and ZYZZYVA. Once upon a time he performed with the L.A. Connection, an improv comedy theater.
Anita lives in Boston and is pursuing her passion in communications and higher education. She earned her BA in public relations from Penn State. You will probably find her at a concert, drinking iced coffee (even in the frigid winter) or reading while eating doughnuts. Follow her on Twitter @anita_nham. She won’t spam your timeline.
Melissa Oliveira’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares Solos, Agni, Pleiades, Calyx and others. Her previous work has garnered a Best American Essays Notable listing, a Best of the Net nomination and an honorable mention from Glimmer Train Stories. Her reviews have appeared in The Kenyon Review Online, Brevity, The Rumpus and more. Melissa currently lives in Berlin, Germany, where she is working on a novel-in-stories about the divided city.
Grace Quantock is a writer and psychotherapeutic counselor. She writes narrative non-fiction at the intersection of creative arts, social justice and marginalised bodies. She was awarded the Francis Reckett Award and is a London Library Emerging Writer 2021. Grace has been published in The Guardian, The Metro and The Fabian Review; she has also appeared in The New Yorker Online, The Observer and The Times. A member of The Welsh Agenda editorial group, the magazine of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, she lives in Wales, U.K and is passionate about emerging essay forms, therapeutic writing and journaling.
Marsh Rose is a freelance writer, psychotherapist, and college educator. Her short stories have appeared in Hippocampus, Cosmopolitan Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, Salon.Com and other publications. Her second novel, Escape Routes, was published by Sunbury Press in March 2021. Marsh lives in northern California with her greyhound, Adin.
Lauren Sieben is a writer based in Milwaukee. Her essays and reporting have appeared in the Washington Post, Human Parts, Midwest Living, Belt Magazine, The Guardian, and other places. Her work is anthologized in “The Milwaukee Anthology” by Belt Publishing. She is also an alumna of the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop in literary nonfiction.
Ashley Supinski has an MFA with a focus on young adult fiction from the Maslow Family Graduate Creative Writing Program at Wilkes University. She works as an adjunct English professor in eastern Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in psychology at Southern New Hampshire University and is a mental health advocate.
Elijah Tomaszewski (Eli Aharon) received his MFA from Rosemont College and his BA from Susquehanna University. In addition to reading for Hippocampus and assisting in HippoCamp programming, he contributes to Philadelphia Stories and Under the Gum Tree through contest coordinating and website help. His work has been featured in Soft Cartel, Isacoustic, Bright Sleep, Easy Street, and Jet Fuel Review, among others, and his current works in progress include an essay collection and a novel series set in coastal North Carolina. Despite living in Philadelphia, he has no cheesesteak recommendations due to keeping kosher.
Tessa Torgeson is a writer and social worker in Denver. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Brevity Blog, The Coachella Review, Rkvry Quarterly, and The Fix, among others. She is a former contributor to Fear No Lit. Her writing often shines a light on recovery, harm reduction, and mental health care. She lives in Denver with her significant other and their dog, Linus and cat, Luna. You can find her on Twitter @tessa_tito.
Sage Tyrtle’s work is available or upcoming in New Delta Review, The Offing, and Apex among others. Her words have been featured on NPR, CBC, and PBS and she’s been nominated three times for Pushcart, once for Best American Short Stories. She runs a low cost online writing workshop collective.
Denise Weaver, a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, is a freelance writer and former library director. Her love of sharing food and stories, a penchant for photography and research, and the need to be outdoors enjoying nature serve as inspiration for her writing. Denise has more than 250 nonfiction articles published in local and regional magazines, as well as essays and a short story in the Mindful Writers Retreat anthology series. She is currently delving into the world of food memoir. She once, temporarily, conquered her fear of public performance and sang on-stage at Carnegie Hall.
Anri Wheeler is a multiracial writer, antiracist educator, and mother to three strong daughters. Her memoir-in-progress is about race, class, motherhood, and tearing open the boxes into which we’re asked to reduce ourselves. More at anriwheeler.com.
After a alter-life in Boston, Aisha Wiley now lives in the Philadelphia area. She writes humor, flash, poetry, and the lyric essay. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Centifictionist, 50 Give or Take and 121 Words. She was a semi-finalist for the 2023 Sandy Crimmins National Prize in Poetry with Philadelphia Stories. She is now experimenting with mashup storytelling forms.
Christina Socorro Yovovich
Christina Socorro Yovovich lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her son and husband. Her nonfiction has appeared in Mutha Magazine, Cagibi, The Hunger, and elsewhere. She is working on a memoir of her mental illness and parenting.
(MASTHEAD LAST UPDATED APRIL 30, 2023)