Editorial Team Release

VoiceCatcher is thrilled to announce the dates for the next open submission period. Send us your wild and wonderful work from February 20th through March 31st, 2017. Our team of creative and passionate editors is ready to see your words and artistic visions. Let us introduce you to our editorial staff for the Spring issue:


Managing Editor

Jennifer Kemnitz is an herbalist and a great defender of plant life; she can be roused at any moment to an impassioned discussion of its innate intelligence. Her work has most recently appeared in Cirque, Rain, and the Kerf, and has been anthologized by Poetry on the Lake, among others. Jennifer’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and translated into German.



Assistant Managing Editor

Desiree Wright started writing for survival at age six – handmade books of horse names, rhyming poetry, and short stories. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

She grew up in So Cal and has lived in West Virginia, Indiana, and the Kingdom of Tonga. Fifteen years ago she found her way to the Pacific Northwest. She is ever grateful for a place to call home on indigenous lands.

Desiree takes a seat at the Pinewood Table each week to bleed, sweat, and laugh her stories into existence. Afraid of becoming the woman who dies and leaves all of her writing in cardboard boxes underneath a dusty desk, she has started to send her work into the world. Her first published piece was in the Winter 2016 edition of VoiceCatcher. Her poetry currently moves through the Vancouver area on a C-trans bus, thanks to the Poetry Moves project.

Desiree almost finished a double Master’s degree in Cultural Survival and Cultural Anthropology. She is a non-biological mother. She says “I am a writer” without explanation. She is finally able to live her life, no regret-style.

Poetry Editors

Suzanne Sigafoos is the author of Held In The Weave (Finishing Line). Her work has appeared in The Oregonian, VoiceCatcher, Bellingham Review, and Windfall: A Journal of Poetry of Place. Most recently, her poem, Thanksgiving, 2016 – A Monochord appears at Indolent Books’ Transition:  Poems in the Aftermath, an online series created in response to the election.


Juleen Johnson is a co-founder of Soundings: An Evening of Word and Sound. Johnson has been invited to read at: BuzzPoems, Ink Noise Review, Open Door Enjambment, Penduline Poetry Series and Word Warriors in Portland, OR. She won first place in the Voices Poetics Poetry Contest. Her poems have been published in publications, including Cirque: A Literary Journal, Nervous Breakdown, Rust and Moth, The Round, and other journals. Johnson currently writes and creates art in Portland, OR.


Mercedes Munoz is a licensed Special Education teacher for Portland Public Schools. As an avid performance poet with an emphasis on social justice, Munoz has garnered attention as an invited slam guest for the Oregon Senate, The Skanner ́s Annual MLK Breakfast, and Imago Dei ́s ̈Saving Justice ̈ artist event and panel. Locally, Mercedes has facilitated student writing workshops in classrooms throughout the Portland Metro Area. She holds a BA in English and Masters in Special Education from Portland State University. Outside of education and writing, Munoz ́s passions include cooking, mentoring youth and women, as well as devouring books.


Prose Editors

Michele Ford is a current graduate student in the Book Publishing program at Portland State University. As an undergraduate at Pacific University, she worked as Managing Editor for The Silk Road Review and freelanced for Forest Avenue Press. She currently lives in Portland and posts embarrassing pictures of her cat on Twitter.



Nikki Schulak writes and performs comedy about bodies and relationships. Her work has been published in numerous journals and websites, most recently at Full Grown People and forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction this spring. Her essay “On Not Seeing Whales” (Bellevue Literary Review) was chosen as a Notable Selection in Best American Essays 2013. Nikki’s latest tattoo is an ampersand because she wants to have her cake and eat it, too.



Michelle Fredette is the co-host of the Plonk reading series and the book podcast, “Go Away, I’m Reading.” She’s currently working on a novel set in the world of roller derby.


Art Editor

Sarah Fagan received a BA from Stonehill College in North Easton, MA in 2007, relocating to Portland, OR shortly thereafter. She became imbued in the Northwest art scene as an artist and teacher, eventually receiving a post-baccalaureate certificate in painting and printmaking from the Oregon College of Art and Craft. Sarah spent the last year back in New England on a twelve-month artist residency in Concord, MA, and currently splits her time between Portland and the east coast. She is represented by galleries across the U.S. More at www.sarahfagan.com.


Young Voices

Suzy Harris was born and raised in Indiana and has lived her adult life in Portland as a teacher, parent, lawyer, spouse, friend, and writer of poems. She has studied with Claudia Savage and has been published in VoiceCatcher.





Kate Ristau is the author of the middle grade series, Clockbreakers, and the young adult series, Shadow Girl. In her ideal world, magic and myth combine to create memorable stories with unforgettable characters. Until she finds that world, she’ll live in a house in Oregon, where they found a sword behind the water heater and fairies in the backyard. You can find her online at Kateristau.com.

First Blog Post – Jessica Mehta

Ladies, I’m so excited to join you as the president of the board for VoiceCatcher! Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll post a couple of “mini-blogs” to introduce myself. For this first post, I’ll share four things about myself, and if you’re comfortable I’d love anyone who’s up for it to do the same. However, first a disclaimer: I’m a poet. A narrative poet. A confessional, narrative poet. In other words, in writing at least, I tend to be very transparent and forthcoming. In a post like this, I consider that a good thing! After all, who wants to know what my favorite book is when you can read about the time a bullet ant attacked me in a jungle five minutes before 108 sun salutations at sunrise?

(Btw, my favorite book is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Just saying.)

  1. I once had a picnic with a dead man, and yes, it was as lovely as it sounds. Okay, that’s a few lines of one of my poems, but it’s true. I’ve lived in numerous countries (the UK, Costa Rica and South Korea) and traveled to many more, but my favorite (so far) was Prague in the Czech Republic. I think it’s because it was the first place overseas I traveled alone, and because the city looks like a fairy tale. Like any good writer/book nerd, I took a bus to the O Cemetery, picked up picnic supplies at a farmer’s market on the way, and had a picnic with Kafka. It remains one of my best memories of Europe. Oh, and my favorite Kafka like is the final sentence from The Trial: “Like a dog.” You can find out more about my books, publishing, etc. at jessicatynermehta.com.
  2. I love to karaoke. I mean, I really, really love to karaoke. But I can’t sing, so I rap. My favorites are Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and Kanye West. I will say yes to karaoke anytime, anywhere, but I prefer big crowds. I’m in constant mourning for Boiler Room in downtown, which was my favorite karaoke joint for well over a decade. In fact, it was the first place I ever karaoked.
  3. I married the other kind of Indian. I’m half Cherokee and half white, and my husband is from Mumbai. My relationship with him is the foundation for my novel, The Wrong Kind of Indian, which I had to publish as fiction (uhm, it’s 100% true) and under a pen name. Although his family has accepted me, he’s Jain (the most conservative sect of Hinduism) and the first in his family to not have an arranged marriage. To make things even more interesting, he’s the eldest of his generation which comes with a slew of responsibilities—for both him and me. But who wants the easy stuff? I’ve included one of the photos from our wedding just for fun, and because it’s nearly our one-year anniversary.
  4.  I never thought I’d be one of those people. I spent a year living in Costa Rica, and spent some of that time getting my yoga teaching certification. When I got back to the US, I founded the Get it Ohm! karmic yoga movement, offering free classes to those who don’t have access to traditional yoga studios and/or don’t feel comfortable in such environments. You can check out more at my yoga site, getitohm.com, where I also maintain a wellness blog. I’m also a former marathon runner, and now I’m working on hypertrophy via an intense weight training schedule, and I’m getting into outdoor cycling while gearing up for spring races. As a child, I couldn’t tell you what a calorie was and I put on 100 pounds in college. My interest in well-being and fitness was seriously delayed, but I’m making up for lost time.

That’s my four things. What are yours?

Jessica Mehta on 2016

I’ve heard a lot of comments and seen a lot of memes on the terrible-ness of 2016. (And, yes, of course in many ways I agree … but then again, horrible things happen every year). That’s not what this post is about.


For me, personally and professionally, a wealth of great things happened in 2016. Actually, it was the best year of my life (so far). As we veer into the New Year, and many of us desperate to leave 2016 behind us, I’d like to share a few favorite moments of the past year.


2016 was the year …


… I got married. It was that kind of insane love we’re all looking for. Along with the good stuff, marriage, there was the fun stuff like an elaborate Indian wedding in Mumbai and a sweet courthouse wedding in Portland complete with a pedicab ride and a secret extra ceremony at Voodoo Doughnut.


… We built and bought a house. A little parceled off piece of old dairy farm land became ours, and six months later a custom home appeared. Working with an architect to draft a unique home, an incredible builder, and getting to know the city officials very well was a big part of 2016 for us. My husband’s surprise homecoming gift to me was radiant floor heating in the master bath, which I fell in love with years ago when I lived in South Korea.


… My first novel was picked up and published. I already had two books of poetry and one non-fiction book under my belt, but having a novel (okay, a memoir) published is scary in a brand new way.


… My third book of poetry was published. Orygun is a slim collection with a gorgeous cover. I’m so grateful for having such a thoughtful, artistic poetry publisher.


… I got my first (three!) writing residencies. I was accepted as the writer-in-residence at three locations including the Hosking Houses Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust also in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and the WISC residency in Santa Fe, NM. Already, 2017 is gearing up to be a travel-filled year!


… My in-laws came to visit for the first time. They spent five weeks with us, and for both of them it was their first time out of India. I’ve never made so much chai in my life, and now I’m told I can do it better than my husband.


… I did my first bookstore reading. You’d think after three books I’d have done this before! However, my first reading was at Berl’s Poetry Bookshop in Brooklyn. I got a glam Brooklyn had to commemorate it.


… I saw Niagara Falls. I’ve lived in a lot of countries and traveled to many more, but the boat ride to Niagara Falls was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever had.


… I got my first working artist grant. I know I’m a working artist, and that I’m very lucky to make a living solely from my craft. However, actually getting that career grant for artists from the Oregon Arts Commission was a sweet dose of validation.


Those are just a few of my 2016 highlights. What are yours?


(Oh, and as a bonus? January 20th, also known as Inauguration Day and what will surely be the day of mass protests, is also our first wedding anniversary. We’ll be doing what we can to instill celebration into that date.)

Introducing VoiceCatcher’s incoming president, Jessica Mehta!

Jessica (Tyner) Mehta, born and raised in Oregon and a member of the Cherokee Nation, is the author of the forthcoming novel The Wrong Kind of Indian by Wyatt-MacKenzie Press. She’s also the author of three collections of poetry by Tayen Lane Publishing including Orygun, What Makes an Always (an Eric Hoffer Book Award honorable mention), and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo as well as the business book 100 Ways to Make 100k with Your English Degree, which has been featured on numerous podcasts including JenningsWire and World Outsourcing Solutions.


Jessica founded MehtaFor (www.mehtafor.com), a writing services company, in 2012 which serves a variety of clients including Fortune 500 enterprises and major media outlets. MehtaFor received two national bronze awards for Startup of the Year in 2015. Jessica offers complimentary writing services to Native American students and non-profits based in the Pacific Northwest and/or serving Native communities. She also offers the MehtaFor Trainee program which teaches new writers how to pursue a lucrative writing career.


She received her master’s degree in writing from Portland State University in 2007, and established The Jessica Tyner Scholarship Fund in 2013. It’s the only scholarship exclusively for Native Americans pursuing an advanced degree in writing or a related field. Jessica was awarded a Writers in the Schools (WITS) residency from the Oregon Literary Arts Council in 2015-16.


An in-demand speaker, she has been featured at the Mt. Hood Cherokees summit, was the keynote speaker for Metro (Portland’s regional government organization) at the “Lunch & Lean with Jessica Mehta: Native American Heritage Month” event, has read at Wordstock, and taught workshops at the Oregon Writing Festival and International Guild of Women Writers summer conference series. She hosts Sauvignon Tongued Devils, a spoken word night at Devil’s Den Wine Bar in the Alberta Arts District. She’s served as the writer-in-residence for the Hosking Houses Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK and the poet-in-residence for the Stratford Poetry Festival. 


Jessica is also a registered yoga instructor and teaches power vinyasa and weight lifting at Balance 365 Fitness in Hillsboro, Oregon. She founded the Get it Ohm! karmic yoga and strength movement (www.getitohm.com), which offers free classes to groups that don’t have access to traditional yoga studios and/or don’t feel comfortable in such environments. 


We look forward to having Jessica’s leadership and passion for our local writing community on the VoiceCatcher board. Stay tuned for more announcement about our 2017 leadership and editorial team. We hope to meet you at a VoiceCatcher event in 2017! 

We’re Extending the Submission Deadline!

Let’s face it!  As women, we lead busy lives.  And sometimes that means we put other’s needs before our own desires — like sitting down to focus on our own writing.  We get it! We’ve all been there.  That’s why we decided to extend the deadline for submissions to our upcoming Summer issue of VoiceCatcher:  a journal of women’s voices and visions.

Ladies, you have until Sunday, May 22 to submit up to three poems, one prose piece or artwork for consideration.  You can click HERE for all the details.

Happy writing!  We can’t wait to read your work.


Meet the Editors Who Will Shape the Winter 2015 Issue of VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions!

With the opening of the submission window on September 1, 2014, VoiceCatcher is proud to announce the editors who will read and select prose, poetry and art for the next issue. They are eager to receive your work and appreciate submissions that follow the guidelines, some of which have changed since the last edition.

The journal appears on Duotrope and Poets & Writers, and editors nominate for the annual Pushcart Prize. The first five issues have already attracted almost 20,000 first-time visitors.

The Winter 2015 Editorial Team

Burky Achilles, Poetry Co-Editor
Burky, a poet appearing in the Summer 2014 journal issue, is on sabbatical from her fitness coaching business. She began a spontaneous eruption of poetry in January 2014 following the deaths of her mother and mother-in-law in 2013. Burky was raised on the south shore of Kauai and received her Masters in Writing in Fiction from Portland State University in 2002. In 2000 she was awarded a Literary Arts Fellowship and honored to be a Summer Fishtrap Fellow. Her non-fiction has appeared in the Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul series.

Shawn Aveningo, Journal Designer and Administrator
A poet first appearing in the Summer 2014 issue, Shawn is a globally published poet whose work has appeared in more than 60 literary journals and anthologies, as well as four solo collections. When she’s not using the right side of her brain to write poetry for her patrons of ThePoetryBox™, she enjoys donning her geek hat to create custom websites. She’s a proud mother of three and recently moved to the Portland area to share in the creative life with her best friend and soul-mate.  Find her at The Red Shoe Poet.

Kris Demien, Young Voices Editor
Kris returns to VoiceCatcher in this position. She has been known to go as far as free-falling 10,000 feet from a perfectly fine airplane to encourage a student to conquer the fear of making a speech. She is as likely to be found on an outdoor adventure with her grandkids as she is behind a keyboard. Her life-long fascination with story has inspired her search for new ones told by others wherever she goes. When home alone, she finds the stories she created for herself along the way.

Sarah FaganSarah Fagan, Art Editor
Returning as art editor for her second issue, Sarah received a BA in Fine Arts and English Literature from Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts. She worked as an editor for a New England arts magazine before relocating to Portland, Oregon in 2009. Here she decided to concentrate on making her own artwork by attending a certificate program at the Oregon College of Art and Craft where she studied bookbinding and painting. In Portland, Sarah has developed a curriculum of arts classes that she teaches to children at schools, libraries and other venues. When not teaching, she is painting – her forté is the contemporary still life. Visit her website here.

Michelle FredetteMichelle Fredette, Prose Co-Editor
Michelle returns for her second stint as prose co-editor. She discovered literary journals during high school, sitting on the floor of her mom’s cube at Writer’s Digest. Since then, she’s been able to indulge her love for literary magazines, and short fiction in particular, as a reader for Ploughshares and Black Warrior Review, and as fiction editor for Oxford Magazine and New Orleans Review. Her writing includes short stories and the occasional non-fiction piece. She attends the Pinewood Table writing group where she chips away at a novel about the roller derby.

Carolyn Martin, Ph.D., Managing Editor 
Carolyn is finishing her fifth year as VoiceCatcher’s president of the board of directors, and this is her fifth stint as the journal’s managing editor. She is blissfully retired in Clackamas, Oregon, where she gardens, writes, and plays with creative colleagues. She is also an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in publications such as StirringNaugatuck River Review, Persimmon Tree, Ekphrastia Gone Wild and Becoming: What Makes a Woman.

Tiah Lindner Raphael, Poetry Co-Editor
Tiah served as a guest prose co-editor for the Summer 2014 issue and is now using her poetic talents in the role of poetry co-editor. Born and raised amid the fields of dry land wheat territory, Tiah credits the landscape of rural eastern Oregon for instilling in her a great love for the timeworn, the forgotten and the haunted. When Tiah isn’t working as a professional writer and corporate communicator, she enjoys obscure-plant cultivation for her garden, portrait photography and anything that is handmade, homegrown or vintage. Her poetry has appeared in CutBank Literary Magazine, the Winter 2014 issue of VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, the anthology Forty Years of CutBank, and Just Now: Twenty New Portland Poets. Visit her online at Passage House.

Pattie Palmer-Baker, Poetry Co-Editor
A guest poetry co-editor for the Summer 2014 issue, Pattie’s back on the poetry team for this edition. An artist as well as a poet, she enhances her artwork with poetry in calligraphic form. Because so many people respond more strongly to the words than the images, she recently participated in workshops taught by several local well-known poets. To her surprise, she soon discovered her motivation to write poems surpassed her desire to create visual artwork. Recently, she started submitting her poems to journals and her work has appeared in Analeka, VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, and Elohi Gadugi. Her poem “50,000 Bumblebees Die” is part of the “Unnatural Acts” exhibit at Artists’ Milepost Gallery 5. She has earned a 2014 Pushcart nomination from VoiceCatcher.

Helen Sinoradzki, Ph.D., Prose Co-Editor
After serving as copy line editor for two issues, Helen is taking on the role of prose co-editor. She moved to Portland 15 years ago and plans to stay for the rest of her life. She has been a bookseller at various independent bookstores for 20 years. Before that, she taught English at Ithaca College and the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, and worked as a technical writer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. With the help of the amazing writers at Pinewood Table, she completed a memoir, Thursday’s Child, and is searching for a publisher. She has published narrative nonfiction and short stories, most recently in the print edition of Crack the Spine.

Cindy Stewart-Rinier, Poetry Co-Editor
A poetry co-editor for the Winter 2014 edition, Cindy returns to the poetry team for this issue. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Her poetry has appeared in publications such as CALYX, The Smoking Poet, Crab Creek Review, Ascent and VoiceCatcher. Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize: in 2011 by Crab Creek Review and in 2013 by VoiceCatcher. A pre-kindergarten teacher by day, she also teaches evening poetry writing workshops for the Mountain Writers Series, of which she is a board member. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her younger son, her husband of 31 years, and a bandy-legged pit bull.


We’re Live! New Issue of VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions!

The fifth issue of VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions is here!

Congratulations to the editorial team: Sarah Fagan, Michelle Fredette, Carolyn Martin, Emily Pittman Newberry, Pattie Palmer-Baker, Donna Prinzmetal, Tina Lindner Raphael, Helen Sinoradzki and Wendy Thompson – and to our dynamic designer, Deb Scott – for a rich and enriching Summer 2014 issue.

This issue features the work of 14 poets, six prose writers, five artists and five “young voices” – many of them new to the VoiceCatcher community.

Browse, read, enjoy and share our journal with your family, friends and colleagues. And, if you want to warm the heart of an author or artist, leave a comment in the space below their selections. They would love knowing you took the time to hear their voices and see their visions!

VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions is live!

VoiceCatcher is proud to announce the launch of our first online literary/art journal.

Congratulations to Co-Editors Ginger Duncan, Lisa Maier, Helen Puciloski and Celina Wigle; to designers Deb Scott and Ginger Duncan; and to the 28 authors and artists whose inspiring work fills this issue.

Don’t miss our “Young Voices” section. Youth Editor Joanna Rose is leading our commitment to connect, inspire and empower emerging women writers, 18-years-old and younger. We are pleased to give voice to these talented young women.

Visit VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions and let us know what you think. Stay tuned for an announcement about our next submission window.