Mud Flat Verse (an anthology) Writers and Their Works

Judith Bouffiou

Judith is an OLOL (opinionated little old lady), THC (technologically handicapped antique born in the dark ages).

Judith is 90.6 years old and was born in the rural area of Mid-Western Wisconsin. She moved to Western Washington with her parents when she was 11-12 years old. This was a spiritual “coming home” experience for Judith as she knew (even as a pre-teen) that she did not fit the culture of rural Wisconsin.
Judith has lived her life (and death) experiences in Western Washington.

Judith was born with an insatiable curiosity……which still works its Magic in her life.

Jack Butler

Jack Butler was born in Alligator, Mississippi and is the son of a Southern Baptist preacher. He was himself an ordained minister but has not worked in that capacity since he was a very young man.

He is a poet, novelist and essayist. His novel Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Other novels include Jujitsu For Christ, Nightshade (a vampire-on-Mars tale), and Dreamer. Hawk Gumbo and Other Stories is a collection of his short fiction.

His poems have been published in The New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Atlantic Monthly, Hellas, The Mississippi Review, The New Orleans Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest and many other publications. His poetry books are The Kid Who Wanted to be a SpacemanBroken Hallelujah: New and Selected Poems, and West of Hollywood, and he’s published a cookbook called Jack’s Skillet.

Mud Flat Press published Jack’s Practicing Zen Without a Licence, and Christmas on a Distant Planet — which was illustrated by Gabi Clayton.

He now lives in Eureka, California. Meet Jack Butler.

Gabi Clayton

Gabi Clayton is a seventy-one-year-old visual artist, graphic and website designer. She is proudly a “red diaper baby,” born in New York City, raised on picket lines by her Communist German Jewish refugee film editor father and her socialist feminist social worker mother. She came of age in San Francisco in the late 1960s.

Gabi worked on the Everything for Everybody newspaper in NYC in the early 1970s, then was co-editor/publisher of Persons newspaper and magazine in Hattiesburg, MS and then Mississippi Arts & Letters, a statewide literary and arts magazine.

She studied at the University of Southern Mississippi, then at The Evergreen State College where she got a Batchelor of Arts degree with a focus on drawing and painting, filmmaking, and animation. She then got a Master of Arts in counseling psychology from St. Martin’s College. She retired as a counselor in 2022.

Gabi is co-publisher, editor, designer, and co-owner of Mud Flat Press. She is the digital publication manager for Oly Arts magazine.

She has been a lifelong activist for peace, social justice, civil rights, and for LGBTQ rights. She is a nontheist Quaker, a PFLAG member, and a pescatarian. Her pronouns are she/her.

“In an Empty Green Room” – in memory of her father and younger son – is the only poem Gabi has written in more than half a century. 

Her website is

Jay and Bonnie Curlin

Poet Johnny Wink refers to Jay and Bonnie Curlin as The Jay and Bonnie Show. Reared in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Jay, the poet, and Bonnie, the artist, were married in 1987 and have seven children.

Bonnie recently retired as Coordinator of Gifted Education for the North Little Rock School District, and Jay is an English professor at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

David Dooley

David Dooley’s The Long Conversation, recently published by Red Hen Press, gathers together two Story Line Press volumes: The Volcano Inside, winner of the initial Nicholas Roerich Prize, and The Revenge by Love, which includes the sequence “O’Keeffe and Stieglitz.” His third book, The Zen Garden, won the Yellowglen Prize.

His poems, essays, and critical reviews have been published in such journals as The Hudson Review, Prairie Schooner, Confrontation, Kenwood Poetry Review, and ZYZZYVA. His work has been anthologized in To Read Poetry, To Read Literature, and The Best Poetry of the Year, among other collections.

In addition to giving numerous poetry readings, he is a cabaret singer whose show Revenge of the Baritones was heard in New York in fall 2023.

Lynne Ellis

Lynne Ellis (she/they) writes in pen. Their words appear in Poetry Northwest,the North American Review, The Shore, and many other beloved journals and anthologies. Awarded the Perkoff Prize from the Missouri Review and the Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize, she believes every poem is a collaboration. More on Instagram @stagehandpoet. Lynne serves on the editorial board at Nimrod International Journal and is co-editor at Papeachu Press, supporting the voices of women and nonbinary creators.

Larry Johnson

Poetry editor, Mississippi Arts & Letters 1984-1985; published in New Orleans Review, The Iowa Review, Chronicals, Town Creek Poetry, Texas Quarterly, and Poetry Northwest.

Published books include Veins and Alloy (David Roberts Books, 2009 and 2014).

Larry Johnson was born in Natchez, Mississippi in 1945 and grew up in Jackson. He attended Mississippi College for his BA and earned his MA and MFA degrees from the University of Arkansas. He has taught at Alma College, the University of New Orleans, North Carolina State University, and Louisburg College. He lives in Pomona, California.

Paul Lubenkov

Paul Lubenkov has had experience in a wide range of occupations: grinder in an iron foundry, university instructor, benefits analyst, technology sales executive, national account manager, corporate leasing director, and business banking vice president. He recently taught at Morton College, travels for readings, and strongly believes that having multiple careers allows you to live multiple lives.

Lubenkov’s work has recently been published in The Sierra Nevada Review, The Stillwater Review, The Outrider Review, River Poets Journal, The Tule Review, Burningword Literary Journal, The Coe Review, Smeuse, Contemporary American Voices, Where the Mind Dwells: Contemplation, Soundings East, Best Poets of 2016, Panoplyzine, Falling Star Magazine, Snapdragon, Griffel, Fresh Ink, and The Journal of Undiscovered Poets.

Lubenkov’s manuscript Tap Dancing on the Razor’s Edgea collection of poems has been accepted for publication and has been released. His manuscript Songs Along Cermak Road was selected as a finalist for the Iowa Review Award for fiction.

Anne Nayer

Anne Nayer, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands — A Renaissance woman: psychotherapist, writer, painter, musician, and puppeteer, she is a native New Yorker who has lived in the Caribbean for the past 35 years and has spent her life weaving together the threads of healing and art.

Over the past few years, she has been posting poetic memoir vignettes on Facebook. Mud Flat Press’s Alec Clayton, co-editor of this volume, read her vignettes—which are uncategorizable but beautifully written—and asked if he could publish them in our story anthology Mud Flat Shorts (mostly fiction), and immediately thought of her again when MFP started looking for poets to contribute to this collection.

 Max Nolan

Max lives in the shadows and likes it that way. She has been turning to poetry off and on, mostly off, for decades. Being struck by deep grief was the inroad to poetry, initially. What choice words could help to understand and possibly transform such feelings into something livable? She likes poetry layered with complex flavors and musicality.

James O’Barr

photo by Penny Millar, PhotoVoyage

James O’Barr has been a some-time writer for quite some time. While holding down a diversity of day jobs on this or that coast, he’s found reason to write in a generosity of genres, including radio scripts, play scripts, newspaper articles, film and theatre reviews, songs, stories, and poetry. A late-comer to Olympia, Washington, he has written for Works In Progress and OLY ARTS, and was a member of Keith Eisner’s Beautiful Lies, Beautiful Truths writers workshop.

O’Barr’s short story, “Best Teaching” was published in Mud Flat Shorts (mostly fiction).

Kathleen O’Shaunessy

Kathleen O’Shaunessy grew up in a matriarchal household in Buffalo, NY, the only child of a single, unmarried mother. Though she attended Catholic elementary school, high school and college, she rejected Catholicism at age 14. As a psychology graduate student in the mid-sixties, she became more socially and politically conscious. Her Quaker roots began then when she was married under the care of a Quaker Meeting. After completing her doctorate, she taught at Earlham College, William James College (Grand Valley State University) and The Evergreen State College.

Kathleen has been a clinical psychologist and mediator in private practice in Olympia, Washington for more than forty years. During this time, she and her partner were co-owners of Oyster Bay Farm, a diversified, organic forty-acre farm on Totton Inlet.

When not wearing her professional or farming hat, she enjoys spending time in nature, traveling, hiking, biking, birding, floral arranging, and playing Scrabble. She is a peace and social justice activist and is involved in several humanitarian projects in Uganda. While she does not consider herself a writer or poet, she occasionally takes to pen and paper, not to her computer.

Dan Pens

Dan Pens was imprisoned from 1981-2011. The first 25 years of his life was a train wreck which crashed into and damaged the lives of others. The State of Washington sentenced him to 30 years as punishment. But Dan treated that time as a gift – 24/7/365 of nothing but time – and he used it to improve and educate himself while also reaching out to educate, encourage and support others.

Prison can be hell on earth, or it can be a monastery, university, and mutual aid society. It’s a choice. He now lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife Heather, their roommate Sharon, and Ruby the rescue dog.

Lennée Reid

Lennée Reid is a Creole, queer, disabled, poet, author, performance poet, multimedia artist, activist, healer, and single mom and survivor on the spectrum, who doesn’t like labels. She is trying to make sense of it all and find peace.

Lennée is the founder of Awareni Culture Gathering and Olympia Witches March – a social justice protestival showcasing people from all paths for the purpose of raising consciousness and healing through anti racist decolonizing cultural exchange and creative arts. She speaks about universally spiritual and social justice issues including race, feminism, poverty, ethical and sustainable smudging and the environment.

They are published many places including her chapbooks, Universal State of Mind and Qi Woo Mojo Juju. Lennée’s spoken word albums, The Second Coming of Matriarchy, Crazy Thunder Medicine, and Awareni are available at

Lennée is featured in “Artist’s Among Us”, “Dabbing with Washington Artists”, and “Lean In Olympia”. They are touring with UnityHenge, a social justice black light art installation that has shown at Luminata and numerous festivals. They had a poem in a mural in Tacoma, Washington with SpaceWorks.

Follow @lenneereid and #TheQueenMystic online, and visit, for more information.

Steve Schalchlin

Singer-songwriter Steve Schalchlin is a New York based Texan writing life-affirming, brutally honest, sly and clever, gospel-inflected songs performed on theater stages, in symphony halls, cabarets, churches and synagogues across the world. 

Most well-known for “The Last Session,” his Off-Broadway musicals written with partner, Jim Brochu. (NY Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, L.A. Drama Critics Circle winner, Best Musical & Score, GLAAD winner). “The Big Voice: God or Merman?” (LA Ovation Best Musical), his Mass (“Miss Appassionata”) and concert song cycle for peace “New World Waking,” which debuted at Davies Symphony Hall with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Winner of’s Editor’s Choice Songwriter of the Year for 2015, his AIDS education concerts have played such institutions as Harvard University, Stanford, Penn State and the American Jewish University in L.A.

He is renowned as the first AIDS blogger. He is proud to have played John Lennon’s Imagine piano and has dedicated his life to the healing power of music.

Jes Simmons

A second-generation English professor, poet, and jazz drummer in Virgina who cherishes rhythm and syncopation, her poems, stories, and essays have appeared in College English, Cormac McCarthy Journal, Cornfed Angel, The James Dickey Newsletter, Magnolia State The Quarterly Review, Mississippi Quarterly, River City Review, Mississippi Arts & Letters, and Sojourners, as well as in the anthologies Mud Flat Shorts (mostly fiction), Margaret Atwood: Reflection and Reality, Mississippi Writers: Reflections of Childhood and Youth, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol. II: Mississippi.

Suzanne Simons

Why poetry? Poetry helps center and unite us by illustrating our shared human condition, while honoring our differences. Writing poetry can be a spiritual practice, a way to make sense of the natural and supernatural world, and have a voice in it. It’s as close as we can get to touching God, poet Jimmy Santiago Baca wrote.

Suzanne Simons is faculty emerita at The Evergreen State College, where she taught poetry, community studies, Middle East studies, and journalism. She has facilitated workshops for the Olympia Poetry Network and the Washington Corrections Center, and was instrumental in establishing the city of Olympia, Washington’s poet laureate position. Her work can be seen in stone at a local skateboard park, was exhibited at Olympia Arts Walk and the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph, Oregon. Her poetry has also appeared in I Sing the Salmon Home anthology edited by Washington poet laureate Rena Priest, Western Friend, Cirque, Passager, and Aethlon: The Journal of Sports Literature.

Johnny Wink

Johnny Wink is the son of a sailor man.

Born in New London, Connecticut, he did most of his growing up in Gulfport, Mississippi. He pursued and finally caught an M.A. and a Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. He’s now been a teacher of English and Latin at Ouachita Baptist University for fifty years.

If he could take the work of but one writer to the proverbial desert island with him, that writer would be Charles Dickens.

Johnny has published two volumes of poetry, Haunting the Winerunner (Parkhurst 1982) and Seven Ways to Prune a Grapefruit (Papaveria Press 2014). His inclinations are in the direction of the surrealistic, although he continues to hope to grow in skill as a poet until he blossoms into another Jack Butler. Odds are against it, but Wink continues to live in Hope (or, to be precise, about fifty miles norther of there).

Johnny Wink published poems in The Kansas Quarterly, Lucille, Stone Drum, The Windless Orchard, Mississippi Arts & Letters.

Ricker Winsor

Ricker Winsor attended Northfield Mount Hermon School, Brown University, where he studied English, and The Rhode Island School of Design where he received BFA and MFA degrees. He has worked as a photojournalist, as a cabinetmaker, as a teacher, and as an exhibiting landscape painter. He performed professionally for thirty years as a Delta blues musician – guitar and vocal. He has published two books of poetry with Mud Flat Press: Tik Tok and Poetry, as well as several books of his art and his life story.

Ricker is an expatriate living in Surabaya, Indonesia with his Chinese Indonesian wife, Jovita and two dogs, Sniper and Nana. He paints, draws in ink and charcoal, and writes. He also plays chess. Meet Ricker Winsor.

See more about Mud Flat Verse (an anthology) here.