Issue 11 Contributors

Andrew Valencia

Andrew Valencia is currently attending Stanford University.  A native of the Central San Joaquin Valley, California, he has worked as a journalist, English teacher in South Korea, radio show interviewer, student peer mentor, and office assistant.  His fiction has appeared in the Stanford literary magazine Leland Quarterly.

Christine Meade

Christine Meade lives in San Francisco and is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing.  Originally from Boston, she has worked as a reporter and teaches yoga and Pilates when not reading or writing.

Ken Rodgers

Ken Rodgers lives and writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry in Boise, Idaho. He and his wife, Betty, tend to be migrants if not vagrants. Ken teaches creative writing workshops on ground and online. Ken has an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of San Francisco (2000) where he had a hell of a good time. See more about Ken at

Chris Carosi
Chris Carosi is from Pittsburgh.  He is currently studying at the University of San Francisco for an MFA degree in Poetry.  He would like to dedicate "The Lonely Freedom" to his classmates and teachers.

Stephen Maurer
Stephen Maurer has practiced and written about psychoanalysis for over 20 years, most recently from a Lacanian perspective. Desire to immerse himself in poetry prompted partial retirement from Seattle to a small college town. He has published poetry in Boston Lit. Magazine, Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, Tiger's Eye, Darkling, Blueprint Review, Desert Voices, and Switchback (March 2010). He is a grandfather, and has a lifelong discipline as a classical clarinetist and outdoorsman. He lives with his wife Elizabeth (Chief Reader and Critic) and their dog Sombra.  Stephen can be reached at

Maureen Alsop
Maureen Alsop is the author of two full collections of poetry, Apparition Wren (Main Street Rag) and The Diction of Moths (Ghost Road Press, pending). She is also the author of several chapbooks, most recently Luminal Equation in the collection Narwhal (Cannibal Press), the dream and the dream you spoke (Spire Press).  She is the winner of Harpur Palate's Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry and The Bitter Oleander’s Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award. Her more recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals including Blackbird, AGNI, Tampa Review, Action Yes, Pank, Whiskey Island, qarrtsiluni, 42 Opus, and Drunken Boat.

Mark Boccard
Mark Boccard is a poet and musician living in Oakland. "The Moor Dances," which appears in issue 11 of Switchback, is part of a book-length project involving the translation of music from Stravinsky's ballet, Petrushka, into text. Mark is currently finishing an MFA in Poetry at Mills College.

Katharyn M. Browne

Katharyn M. Browne lives, reads, and writes in the Bay Area.  She is currently finishing her MFA at USF.  

Dunstan Christopher

Born in Detroit, Dunstan Christopher currently resides in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, where he wakes every morning to gaze wistfully at the Hollywood sign. His first chapbook, Motives, is being published this spring by the g.e. collective in collaboration with Poetry Flash. More of his writing, music, and visual work can be found at Catastrophic Imagination.

Tray Drumhann

Tray Drumhann is a mixed media artist and photographer living and working in the southern United States. Tray Drumhann has exhibited his work in galleries throughout the world including exhibitions at the the Contemporary Art Center in London and the Bruckner Art Gallery gallery in New York. Notable publications featuring Drumhann's work include: The Pinch Journal, Tiferet and Sein Und Werden.

Artist's Statement:

Tray Drumhann's work explores the inter-dependency of the tangible upon the intangible; the product upon the process. Creating a work of art is the intangible process; a very personal intimate event of communication experienced by the artist alone. The finished work is the product, the tangible. A public statement, shared by both the artist and the viewer. Although the process seems able to stand alone on it's own merit, the product depends upon the process. In actuality the process also depends upon the product to give it meaning.

Manda Frederick

Manda Frederick is a small-town Midwestern girl who made her way to Washington state to pursue her MFA in creative nonfiction at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. When she isn't essaying or writing to pen pals, she writes weekly poetry reviews for, a nonprofit group that diffuses poetry through the Northwest. She currently studies literature and teaches at Western Washington University where she also works for the Bellingham Review. 


Mark Gozonsky

Mark Gozonsky lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.  He has recently published fiction in Two Hawks Quarterly, and launched

Martha Grover
Martha Grover attends the California College of Arts in the Creative Writing Master's Program. Her work has appeared in Eye-Rhyme, The Raven Chronicles and 400 Words. She has been publishing the zine Somnambulist for five years.

Surya Kalsi

I have previously published poetry.  I am currently an MFA aspiring novelist at USF.  My work blends style with substance, shining a light on the dark places of the human heart. 

Artist's Statement:

Caribbean.  August 2009.  Under a blazing sun, I veered away from the tourist shops finding myself in the city.  Hunting.   Turning down a sun drenched street I discovered a conversation in stone--dilapidated courtyards with pockmarked limestone, rusted wrought iron gates protecting nothing but weeds sprouting from cracked tiles.  It was St. Thomas: colloquial, uncompromising, processed by the salt heavy air, hurricanes and time.  Colors leapt.  Walls crimson and violet, loden and mustard, glutinous paint shredded by seasons.  It was St. Thomas.  Ruined.  Neglected.  Time worn and heavy with the memory of its past.  Yet beautiful in its decay.  

Calder Lorenz
Calder Lorenz currently works at  St. Anthony’s Dining Room in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District.  In December 2009 he finished his MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco and is in the process of completing his first novel. 

In the fall of 2009, two pieces of his flash fiction and an interview were published on the California literature site, Curly Red Stories.

Susan Green

Susan Green is a Chicago native with a B.A. in Philosophy from Stanford and little else.  This is her first publication.

Chris Malcomb

Chris Malcomb's essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Teachers & Writers, Common Ground, and The Sun. He currently teaches Mindfulness & Creative Writing workshops in Berkeley, CA. 

Jason Nemec

Jason Nemec’s poetry has appeared in Meridian, Rattle, Controlled Burn, Nimrod, on the web at Verse Daily and storySouth, and in various other publications.  He is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cincinnati, where he is at work on a novel. “Apala” is his first published story.  

Jami Proctor-Xu
Jami Proctor-Xu is a poet, translator, mother, and scholar. She lives in Beijing, where she is a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Eric Rawson

Eric Rawson lives in Los Angeles.  His book The Hummingbird Hour will be published in 2010.

Cedar Sigo
Cedar Sigo is 32 years old and moved to San Francisco in 1999. His books include Goodnight Nurse, Thank you Letters, two editions of Selected Writings (UDP) Expensive Magic, and most recently a book of drawings, Portraits. Stranger In Town is forthcoming from City Lights Books in Fall 2010. 

Jennifer Skogen

Jennifer Skogen is a recent graduate from University of San Francisco's MFA in Writing Program and lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.  She currently splits her time between thinking deep, serious thoughts about poetry, and reading too many YA fantasy novels.

Adam Strauss

Adam Strauss has poems out in Fact-Simile and Fence, and will soon be a featured Artist on the Tusculum Review website.  "Atomic Gardening" is from a manuscript titled Braided Sand.

Wendy Sumner-Winter
Wendy Sumner-Winter was a chef, restaurant owner, legal assistant, nanny, art gallery owner, bartender, fundraiser, dancer and singer - all before the age of thirty, at which time she decided to try out school for a while. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pinch, Word Riot, Fertile Ground, The Missouri Review, and Fourth Genre. She lives, writes and teaches in Memphis with her family of two red-headed humans and two silly dogs.

Andrew Topel
Andrew Topel has often been brief.

Artist's Statement:
process vs. product - process is what intrigues me - at times i can envision the final product, but i much prefer to be surprised by the outcome & get immersed in different paths of exploration.  it's interesting that the word versus is used here - i don't see them opposed to each other.

Christopher Woods
Christopher Woods is a writer, photographer and teacher.  He lives in Houston and in Chappell Hill, Texas. His work has appeared recently in Glasgow Review, Litchfield Review and Narrative Magazine. His books include a prose collection, Under a Riverbed Sky, and a book of stage monologues for actors, Heart Speak. He shares an online gallery with his wife Linda at Moonbird Hill Arts.

Artist's Statement:
What often interests me is the mysterious nature of landscapes and architecture. Much of my work is from a rural area in southeast Texas that was home to slaves,
 plantations and even a Union soldier POW camp. I keep this in my mind as I take photographs. Landscapes and old buildings have long memories. I try to capture the spirit of those memories. I think of it as a kind of duty.

ali lanzetta
ali lanzetta is a linguistic, visual and musical artist, living in San Francisco. She holds a BA in Studio Art, an MA in English, and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing, at San Francisco State University. ali's work has appeared in Transfer, Hunger Mountain and Verse, and her writing, music and book art have been featured at various creative venues around the city. ali was born with the sun in Scorpio. she is enamored with giraffes, whose hearts are over two feet long. to read more of ali's work, please visit her online writing space, makeshift whimsy.



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