Author Bios: 2017 – Vol. 2

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, Descant, Adirondack Review, Ottawa Arts Review, Worcester Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Arkansas Review, Carolina Quarterly, Poem, South Dakota Review, Santa Barbara Review, Sequential Art Narrative in Education, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). He has taught tertiary level English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.

Gaby Bedetti was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and is a long time professor at Eastern Kentucky University, where she co-teaches Page-to-Stage: Imagining the Military Experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Iowa, co-founding its Museum of Art Bulletin. When she is not helping her students write, produce plays, or edit their literary and arts journal, she enjoys singing, hiking, and photography. She wishes for all people what she sang to her children while changing their diapers: ‘Happy trails to you, until we meet again. Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then. . . .’

Jennifer Bell is an Associate Professor of ESL at Delaware County Community College in Pennsylvania. With her M.A. in TESOL from West Virginia University and diverse teaching experience since 2002, she shows her students how to “Love Greater Philadelphia,” overcome cross-cultural challenges, and develop their linguistic skills. 


Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia.  Her first collection, Unloosed, and her second, Tides & Currents, are both available from Kelsay Books. (



Amy Crofford lives in Nairobi, Kenya. She has lived on three continents and in seven countries. Her eight books range from a middle-grade historical fiction (A Rifle for Reed) to a lighthearted book on the difficulties of learning a second language (The Tower of Babel was a Bad Idea). She loves proverbs and can usually find one for every occasion.


Tom Czaban lives in the Czech Republic and teaches at the University of South Bohemia. He is the author of The 7 Mindsets of Highly Effective Teachers (available on Amazon) and regularly posts articles at


Sharon Hartle, originally from West Yorkshire, currently works  at the Università degli Studi di Verona where she has taught since 1997 in the university language centre. Her professional interests  include learner autonomy, discourse analysis, and in particular the application of a corpus driven lexical dimension to advanced level teaching as well as e-learning and learning by means of social media. She is presently involved in developing materials and methodologies for wiki based teaching to provide a social constructivist platform as a back up to learning.

Suzanne Kamata first came to Japan on the JET Program in 1988. Since then, she has been teaching English to Japanese students of all ages. She is the author of two novels, including most recently, Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible (2013, GemmaMedia) which was awarded the Grand Prize in the Paris Book Festival Competition, and an International Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. She is also the editor of three anthologies, including The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan (1997, Stone Bridge Press). She lives in Tokushima Prefecture. For more information go to

Nataliya Kharchenko is originally from Ukraine. She immigrated to Canada in 2008.  She has been teaching EFL/ESL since 2002 in Ukraine and Canada. Nataliya is a doctoral student in Education at the University of Manitoba, and she also teaches English for academic purposes at the English Language Centre. Her research interests include multilingualism, language acquisition and heritage language maintenance.  She lives in Winnipeg with her husband and their 3-year-old multilingual daughter.

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.

Jen Ramos is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Iowa.  She is currently on the faculty of the English Language Institute at the University of Florida. Jen has worked in the ESL/EFL field for over 17 years, during which time she has lived in Venezuela, Portugal, Spain, and most recently in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as part of her Fulbright Scholar grant. Jen has published several travel essays and book reviews.  She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and two children.

Alex Shishin is an award-winning and anthologized fiction and non-fiction writer widely published in print and online.  Shishin’s non-fiction includes the travel memoir “Rossiya: Voices from the Brezhnev Era.” His “Nippon 2357: A Utopian Ecological Tale” and other ebooks are published by Smashwords.  He is a university professor in Kansai.


Shizhou Yang obtained his M.Ed from Mercer University, USA and Ph.D from La Trobe University, Australia. He is fascinated with narrative practice and the interactions between identity and L2 writing, with one monograph through Routledge and one article on these topics. SSLW is one of his favorite conferences so far. From July 2014 to July 2015, Shizhou was a visiting scholar at Purdue University, sponsored by China Scholarship Council and hosted by Professor Tony Silva, where he researched L2 writers’ agency.