Author Bios 2017 Vol. 1

Ray Bennett is an ELL/EAP instructor and accredited language teacher educator at York University’s English Language Institute in Toronto. His English language instruction activities have put him in touch with immigrants, international students, and professional groups; and he has conducted language teacher professional development workshops in Mexico, Sri Lanka, China, Mongolia, and the Palestinian Territories (West Bank).  A one-time singer/songwriter, it was Ray’s transition to freelance journalism and later to the composition of short fiction, vignettes, and poems that brought him to the English language education field – initially to provide a means of support to further his writing habit as a foreigner outside of Canada.  One thing led to another, and the means became an end. 

Kat Bryk is teacher in Saskatchewan, Canada.  Kat has taught almost every grade from Kindergarten to adults. After attaining her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Second Language Acquisition, Kat moved into teaching ESL.  She lives with her husband and two children.

Mary J. Breen lives in Peterborough Ontario Canada where, among other things, she teaches memoir writing. She is a retired ESL and literacy teacher, and the author of two books about women’s health. Her fiction, articles, and memoir pieces have appeared in national newspapers, essay collections, travel magazines, health journals, and literary magazines and she was a regular contributor to The Toast.

Alton Melvar M Dapanas is a poet, essayist, editor, translator, cultural worker, and anthologist from the (south of the) southern Philippines. He is the general editor of Bukambibig Poetry Folio of Spoken Word Philippines, associate editor of Mindanao Odysseys: Anthology of Travel Essays, co-editor of Libulan: Binisaya Anthology of Queer Literature, and essay/nonfiction editor of Bulawan Literary Zine of Northern Mindanao. He has been published in 7 countries on 3 continents, and is author of two forthcoming books – The Cartograhies of Our Skin, a lyric essay collection, and An Archipelago of Napes and Nipples, a prose poem collection. He spearheads a local writers collective of poets, fictionists, essayists, and playwrights—the Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC). He lives with two cats and is so in love.

Carol Ann George, PhD is Professor of Education at Lincoln University, the first Historically Black College in the U.S. With a background in linguistics, she holds an M.Ed. and PhD in Foreign and Second Language Education from SUNY Buffalo. With a specialty in TESOL, she has taught languages and trained teachers while serving in administration, and consulted for corporations as a binational/bicultural workplace trainer. Her career spans 38 years of mentoring second language learners (ELL), Spanish speakers, adult learners, and minority students, focusing on their language, academic and lifelong success. Currently, she is writing a Spanish language book, “Sandwich Spanish: Bundling Spanish for Fluency and Culture” and presenting podcasts for learning Spanish and English. [<]

Jessica Goodfellow’s books are Mendeleev’s Mandala (2015) and The Insomniac’s Weather Report (2014). Her work has been featured in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, Motionpoems, and on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac. She has been awarded the Chad Walsh Poetry Prize from the Beloit Poetry Journal. This summer she was an artist-in-residence at Denali National Park and Preserve, where she completed work on Whiteout, a book about her uncle’s death on Denali, which is forthcoming from the University of Alaska Press in summer 2017. Visit her website at:

Hardy Jones is a two-time Pushcart Nominee and the author of the novel Every Bitter Thing (Black Lawrence Press, 2010) and the memoir People of the Good God (Mongrel Empire Press, 2015). His creative nonfiction has won two grants. His short stories were anthologized in the 2009 Dogzplot Flash Fiction Anthology, The Best of Clapboard House Literary Journal, Southern Gothic: New Tales of the South, and Summer Shorts II. He is the co-founder and Executive Editor of the online journal Cybersoleil (, and he is the Flash Fiction Editor for Sugar Mule ( His website is and he is on Twitter @HardyJonesWrite. He holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Memphis and a Ph, D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is pursuing another graduate degree in Education from the University of New Orleans. He teaches Advanced Placement English at Edna Karr High School for Delgado Community College. Hardy splits his time between New Orleans, Louisiana and Si Sa Ket Province Thailand.

Natthinee Khot-asa Jones is a country girl from the Thai side of the Thai-Cambodian border. She grew up speaking Cambodian, Thai, and Laotian. In 2000, she graduated from Sophon Business School in Thailand, and later attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Auburn University. Her short story Puppy Love was published in the Thai anthology High School Love in 2007. Her memoir Wal-Mart Girl was published in 2008 by Nokhook publishing; in 2015, an excerpt of the English translation, My Talking Dic, was in Issue Two of Red Truck Review.  Her novel The Heart of Time was also published by Nokhook in 2008. She is co-founder and webmaster for Cybersoleil online journal ( She is pursuing a degree at the University of New Orleans. 

Marc Kaufman grew up in Monticello, New York. His work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, TYO Mag, and is forthcoming from F(r)iction Online.  He earned an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and recently took over as organizer for the literary series, Four Stories Japan. He is an assistant professor in the Department of English Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo, where he teaches writing and serves as the faculty editor for the student journal Angles.  

Chris Mares left the UK thirty two years ago to teach English in Japan. He never went back.  Currently he is teaching ESL at the University of Maine. He has been a travel writer, course book writer, ESL blogger, and teacher trainer. He is currently immersed in the ‘Richard’ project, a collection of over 150 stories that he uses in the classroom.  He has found that in the end, it is stories that hold us together.

Jessica Fast Michel currently teaches English for Academic Purposes at Virginia International University. In 2016, she completed her M.A. in Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Prior to that, she worked as a JET in Akita, Japan for three years. You can read more of her writing on her blog:

Rachael Pettus was born in London and currently lives on an organic small-holding in Cyprus with her Cypriot husband and their children.  She is a free-lance TEFL teacher with students who are Russian, Cypriot, Syrian and Iraqi. She speaks fluent English, amusing Greek, and struggles with Russian and Arabic.

Paul Rossiter lived in Kuwait in 1980-1981, before the Palestinians were expelled. Since then he has lived in Japan. After retiring from the University of Tokyo in 2012, he founded Isobar Press, dedicated to publishing English-language poetry from Japan; the press has so far published nineteen books by fifteen different authors. His own most recent books are From the Japanese (2013), World Without (2015), Seeing Sights (2016) and Temporary Measures (forthcoming 2017), all from Isobar Press. Website:

Kristian Wingo is an ESL instructor at the University of Missouri. He holds a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language, which he earned after spending time teaching English in South Korea. He is also a freelance writer and has a personal blog about teaching English at