The Smoking Poet

The Editors

Puttin' On the Dog: TSP Celebrates 5
The Winners' Circle
A Good Cause
Kalamazoo and Beyond
Talking to David Small
Talking to Derick Burleson
The Poetry of Derick Burleson
The Art of Sniedze Rungis
Talking to Kip Kreiling
NonFiction II
Fiction II
Poetry II
Cigar Lounge
Andris' Blue Note
Zinta Reviews - Prose
Zinta Reviews - Poetry
Jeanette Reviews
Kate Reviews
Links and Resources
Submission Guidelines
Marketing, Advertising and Donations
The Editors
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Zinta Aistarsfounder and editor-in-chief of The Smoking Poet, is the published author of three books and currently at work on a novel, Closed Doors Open. She is a publications editor and writer for a health care organization in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was an editor and writer for LuxEsto, the Kalamazoo College alumni magazine for seven years prior to that. She is a regularly contributing writer to Southwest Michigan's Second Wave. Her work also appears on many ezines — including Xelas MagazineGently Read Literature, Amsterdam Scriptum, Boston Literary Magazine, Cezanne's Carrot, Outsider InkGhoti Fish, Menda City Review, Megaera Magazine, T-Zero, Fiction Attic, Saucy Vox, Ash Canyon Review, ThothWeb, Flash Me Magazine, Spoiled Ink, Her Circle Ezine, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, The Redbridge Review, River Walk Journal, Flashquake, milk magazineWord Riot, Burning Wordinsolent rudder, Bobbing Around, coilMagazine, Poems Niederngasse, The Paper, Poetry Life & Times, QuietPoly Writers Magazine, and many others. 

Read more of Zinta's work on her Web site. Or, tweet Zinta on Twitter.


Jeanette Lee is TSP’s intern and co-editor for the summer issue. She is a recent graduate from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her work has appeared in Driftwood, The Cauldron, The Passage, The Smoking Poet, and Identity Theory. Jeanette is taking a year to participate in WWOOF, an international sustainable and organic farming program, before attending graduate school in the fall of 2011 for an MFA in creative writing.



Paula Lemar is the non-fiction  and "A Good Cause" editor for The Smoking Poet. She is a recent graduate from Augustana Collge with a BA in English and a minor in philosophy. While participating in editing the summer issue of TSP, Paula is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Greater Minnesota. Along with working on TSP, she will be a reader for The Minnetonka Review. Previous to this experience, she has edited Venture, Augustana College’s artistic and literary magazine. In her spare time, Paula does book reviews of her recent reads on her blog.



Kate Lutes is TSP's intern and co-editor for the fall issue. Kate has recently graduated from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with a double major in English literature and French. Her senior thesis (which she's looking to publish) explores concepts of child empowerment in the "Alice in Wonderland" series. Although she has just recently gotten back into writing, she has always been an avid reader, with a particular preference for poetry and short stories. Currently, she is taking a year off to experience life outside of academia (!) and to prepare to dive right back (!) to pursue a PhD in English in the hopes of becoming a professor.



Mick Parson’s first collection of short stories, Living Broke, will be available at the end of June. He is also the author of two previously published collections of poetry, Fragments of Unidentifiable Form and Lines From Another Book of Common Prayer. His work has appeared online at The Smoking Poet, in The American Mythville Review, The Dispatch Litareview, The Licking River Review, and featured online at He has been a small press publisher, literary editor, a teacher, a janitor, a file clerk, a cashier, and many other things he is trying to forget.

Mick’s favorite cigar is a Rocky Patel Vintage 92 Junior, and when he can’t get those, he enjoys smoking Picasso or Lino or Davidoff mini cigarillos. He also loves strong coffee and hot peppers, and has, in the past, eaten raw red serrano peppers and (on a different occasion) raw jalapenos on a dare to get out of paying his bar tab.



Andris Silis, our music editor, is a graduate of the Jazeps Vitols Academy of Music in Latvia with degrees in double bass and music composition. He has played the double bass in the orchestra, “Riga,” in Latvia, and was principle double bassist in the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in Houghton, Michigan (Keweenaw Peninsula). He has played in countless jazz ensembles in Latvia and the United States. In 1980, he was the guitarist in the Latvian rock group, Zodiak, whose recording, Disco Alliance, sold more than 20,000,000 copies in the Soviet Union, and is still being sold today. Among Andris’ many compositions are “Symphony for Orchestra,” “Variations and Sonata for Piano,” “Duet for Double Bass and Cello,” “Miniatures for Piano,” and many others. Andris lives in Ventspils, Latvia.



Joannie Kervran Stangeland is poetry editor for The Smoking Poet. In addition to The Smoking Poet, Joannie Kervran Stangeland’s poetry has appeared in  Valparaiso Poetry Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, Horticulture, CHEST, Raven Chronicles, Crab Creek Review, The Chaffin Journal, and other publications—as well as on Seattle-area (Washington) busses. Joannie is the author of two poetry chapbooks—A Steady Longing for Flight, which won the Floating Bridge Press chapbook award, and Weathered Steps. Her work also appears in the Rose Alley Press anthology Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range. Joannie also hosts an online video series, “A Writer’s Guide to Microsoft Office.”


Kevin Morgan Watson, our honorary judge for The Smoking Poet’s Third Annual Short Story contest, is founding publisher and editor of Press 53, a small literary publishing company in Winston-Salem, NC. Literate Yourself! Kevin has been dropping hints that he may be on the lookout for writers to publish at Press 53 among those winning entries coming in to our contest ...


Press 53 is a small independent publisher of literary fiction, poetry, and nonfiction that was founded in October 2005. Kevin Morgan Watson is the founder, owner and fiction editor. Tom Lombardo is poetry editor. Press 53 is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and publishes full-length books by both new and established writers. In addition to finding and showcasing new writers and new books, Press 53 also has a fondness for bringing back great books that are out of print, which are re-issued under the Press 53 Classics imprint.



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