Spring-Summer 2010




Photo of sawtooth sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus) by LeAnn Spencer. Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved.

Photo of sunset by Jason Sturner. Copyright © 2010.
All rights reserved.

Spring/Summer 2010 - Contributing Editors and Artists

Editor and publisher

LeAnn Spencer, the founder of A Prairie Journal, is a lifelong journalist and co-editor of the women's nature journal Seeding the Snow. She worked for nearly three decades at the Chicago Tribune as an editor and writer, where her stories still appear on occasion. Since 2003, she has been a regular contributor to Chicago Wilderness Magazine, a private publishing consultant, a member of the editing team for the Fifth Wednesday Journal, and instructor of nature writing at the Morton Arboretum. LeAnn’s love for the natural world stems to her childhood on an Indiana farm where she first learned to identify birds and discovered the joys of walking in the woods. She has a Master’s of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Chicago, a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University, and holds a naturalist certificate from the Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois.


Lisa J. Cihlar lives in southern Wisconsin.  She has poems published or upcoming in The Pedestal Magazine, Frogpond, Qarrtsiluni, elimae, and other places.  She was nominated in 2008 for a Pushcart Prize.  One of her poems appears in the 2010 Wisconsin Poet's Calendar.

Tasha Cotter's poetry has been featured in a variety of print and online journals including Hanging Loose Press, Fogged Clarity, and Sleet. She lives in Colorado Springs where she is at work on a novel. To learn more about Tasha's work visit her online at www.tashacotter.com.

Leah H Hebner is a writer and graduate student at the University of South Dakota. Originally from northeastern South Dakota, she holds a B.A. from Augustana College and an M.A. from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She spends her non-writing hours working for a non-profit agency in Sioux Falls.

Daisy Hickman grew up in Pierre, South Dakota, and recently moved back to Brookings, South Dakota, from Indianapolis. She has published poetry in the Vermillion Literary Project Magazine, Fine Lines Journal (and forthcoming), and Pasque Petals (forthcoming). Daisy has a master's degree in sociology from Iowa State University and is a frequent contributor to Advancing Philanthropy (having spent many years working with nonprofit organizations). Her blog can be found at ww.dazydaywriter.com.

Anne Houle has been taking pictures for more than twenty-five years, primarily of her seven nieces and nephews.  Though she always loved being outside, she found a deeper connection to nature in her backyard, observing and listening to song birds while digging in the dirt alongside squirrels and other animals.  She considers these birds and animals as owners of the land, though she is responsible for the monthly mortgage payments.  Inspired by the young Girl Scouts in her family, she enrolled in and recently completed the Naturalist Certificate program at the Morton Arboretum. She plans on pursuing certificates in the Ornithology and Nature Photography programs. Her other interests include traveling, bicycling, reading, genealogy, and keeping up with those nieces and nephews. Anne lives and works in the western suburbs of Chicago. Her website is www.annehoule.com.

Rick Marlatt holds B.A. degrees in English and philosophy, an M.A. in creative writing from the University of Nebraska, and is pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of California Riverside at Palm Desert. Marlatt’s most recent publications include New York Quarterly, Pedestal Magazine, Plainsong Review, and Prairie Poetry.

Wilda Morris, workshop chairperson of Poets & Patrons of Chicago, learned to love nature from her Uncle Norman, who took her boating on a small lake and walking in fields and under the stars. She is a winner of the College of DuPage 2009 Prairie Poetry Award. Her monthly poetry challenge can be found at wildamorris.blogspot.com

Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He is a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society and has published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007. He resides in Wheaton, Illinois, and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Please visit his blog at www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

Don Thackrey was raised on farms and ranches in the Nebraska Sandhills and still considers the prairie as his home, although he now lives in Dexter, Michigan, where he is retired from teaching and administering at the University of Michigan.  He has published a book on Emily Dickinson; his verse has appeared in many journals and anthologies.

Julie Wakeman-Linn edits The Potomac Review, blogs at www.potomacreview.blogspot.com, and manages the creative writing program at Montgomery College. Much of her writing draws on her years spent in central Africa. Her first novel, Chasing the Leopard, was a finalist for the 2008 Bellwether Prize. This story is a return to her Great Northern Plains roots. Recent work is in Santa Clara Review and forthcoming in Grey Sparrow Journal. Her story, "Fancy Man," is forthcoming in Rosebud in August 2010. Her master’s degree in writing is from the John Hopkins University/D.C. program. Julie's personal website is www.juliewakemanlinn.com.