Learn about the authors and artists whose works appear in Stories of Music, Volume 1.

Stories of Music Vol 1 Book Cover
Buy Stories of Music: Volume 1

Ata Mohammad Adnan is a doctor by profession, and a photographer out of passion. He is a street photographer who loves to photograph people around his hometown in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and in all the places he travels with his beloved camera. He has won national and international awards including 1st Place, Bangladesh in the National Awards as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Follow Adnan’s work at www.facebook.com/aadnansphotography.

Anna Alferova is a Moscow-based photographer whose work is often inspired by music and has been featured in several local exhibits. She graduated from Moscow State University where she studied the history of photography. Learn more about her work at www.alferovaphotography.com.

Benjamin Allmon is an Australia-based freelance journalist and professional musician with a monthly music-related column, “Lyricbuster,” in Punchnel’s Magazine. His debut book, Foot Notes, is a chronicle of his 600-mile trek to promote his 2006 album, and is due out through Odyssey Books mid 2016. A certified audio engineer of twenty years, a member of the ASA, APRA, TAXI, and the QWC, Allmon is a graduate of the Morris Journalism Academy. In his spare time, he pens songs about pigs so that his three-year-old son can make oinking noises.


Featured Songs from Stories of Music: Volume 1


Craig Baker is a Tucson-based writer whose work has appeared in various local publications including The Desert Leaf, Tucson Weekly, and Zócalo Magazine, as well as in national forums like Movoto.com and MentalFloss.com. Baker also works in public relations and dabbles in fiction from his home office.

Chinmoy Biswas is a school teacher by profession, but is also passionate about photography through which he captures nature and people. Based in India, Biswas regularly participates in photography salons and competitions. He has won numerous awards both nationally and internationally, including the Salon International Photo-phylles (France) 2014 UPI Silver medal and the Sille Sanat Sarayi International Salon (Turkey) FIAP Gold medal in 2015.

Karina Borowicz is the author of Proof (2014), winner of the Codhill Poetry Award. Her début poetry volume, The Bees Are Waiting (2012), won the Marick Press Poetry Prize and the Eric Hoffer Award, and it was named a Must Read by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

Brut CarnIollus is a visual artist and photographer from Slovenia who creates photographic digital collages executed as original large format digital UV prints. His work is exhibited and awarded worldwide. See more of his work at www.carniollus.com.

Bill Cushing has published poems in Avocet, Brownstone Review, Penumbra, genius & madness, the Onion River Review, the SynergistSpectrum, and the Sabal Palm Review. Cushing teaches English classes at both Mount San Antonio and East Los Angeles colleges.

Bhaskar Das is a surgeon by profession and an award-winning photographer based in Chandannagar, India. His work has earned him the Gold Medal-Portrait in the Egypt International Photo Contest in 2014, honorable mention for his photo story, “Circus” as part of IPA’s Lucie Awards in 2012, and inclusion in the best 50 images in Shoot the Frame’s “Shoot the Face” contest in 2014. His photography has also been published in BLUR Magazine, and more than 200 of his works have been accepted in national and international salons of photography.

Alland Dharmawan is an award-winning photographer from Indonesia whose work has been published by UNESCO Bangkok, Voice of America, WEXAS Travel, Bangkok Post, The Nation, Thousand Islands Daily, Radar Malang, and Radar Jember. He has explored the genres of portrait, landscape, food, macro, and culture photography, and has exhibited in Indonesia as well as internationally. In 2012, he participated in the “Indonesia” photo exhibition in Jakarta, which was exclusive for the President and the Ministers of the Republic of Indonesia. In 2013, his works were exhibited at Bangkok Art & Cultural Center in Thailand and at Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest in Australia. In 2014, his work won the Jury Prize from the 36th FIAP Youth Print Biennial (Germany). Follow Dharmawan on Instagram at @allanddharmawan and www.allanddharmawan.com.

Annette Di Giosia became a member of the cello section of the San Antonio Symphony in the fall of 1966. She soon married her stand partner, Giovanni, and the two shared their gifts and talents with the San Antonio Symphony for forty-seven years. They also played Principal and Assistant Principal with the San Antonio Opera. While her husband passed away in 2013, Di Giosia continues to play and share her gift by teaching and playing with the Symphony of the Hills and the Mid-Texas Symphony.

Darrin DuFord has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Travel, Gastronomica, Roads & Kingdoms, PerceptiveTravel.com, and Transitions Abroad, among others. His work was recently anthologized in Adventures of a Lifetime: Travel Tales from Around the World, released in January 2015 by World Traveler Press. Follow him on Twitter at @darrinduford.

Maria Edible is a writer and photographer currently living in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a retired competitive eater and a former tattoo model. Her work has been published in the New York Post, Narratively, Zombie Guide Magazine, and Flash Fiction Magazine. Find her on Instagram at @maria_edible and on Twitter at @mariaedible.

Patricia J. Esposito is author of Beside the Darker Shore and has published numerous works in anthologies and magazines, including Main Street Rag’s Crossing Lines, Annapurna’s Clarify, Scarlet Literary Magazine, Rose and Thorn, Karamu, Not One of Us, and Midnight Street, with work forthcoming in Cohesion Press’s Blurring the Lines. Esposito has received honorable mentions in “year’s best” collections and is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Peter Gerstenzang is a humorist and freelance journalist who writes about dogs and popular culture, particularly music and film. He is a frequent blogger for Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, The Huffington Post, and other sites. He also directs music videos and recently completed his fourth video, “Another Sun is Setting” for the band Sad About Girls. Gerstenzang graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in fine arts.

Steve Givens is a writer of children’s books, journalism, poetry, songs, and spiritual essays. A long-time university administrator, he currently serves as associate vice chancellor and chief of staff in the Office of the Chancellor at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. As a composer, performer, and writer, his words and music have been used in concert, on stage, and in many video and audio productions, including two Emmy Award-winning PBS documentaries on the Gateway Arch and the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. His current music collaborations are with the Mo Bottom Project, which seeks to capture the history, landscape, and spirit of the St. Louis-area Mississippi and Missouri River valleys. Two of his children’s books, The Violin Lesson and the Cross Street Band (New Canaan Publishing) and A Dream That Pulls You Through (unpublished) carry themes of the healing and community-building power of music.

Nancy Gustafson has published poetry, short fiction, and memoirs. She lives with her husband, Jan, in Huntsville, Texas. She may be found in the kitchen, the garden, at the sewing machine or, most often, writing at her desk.

Ken Hamberg composes and produces music, and writes reviews and editorial content for the web out of the home he shares with his wife, teenaged son, and bizarre canine creature in New York City. A professional musician for more than 35 years, his recent output includes music for television and radio spots, scores for industrial videos, and some high-profile dance remixes with the legendary DJ/producer, Mark Kamins. For more information about Surrender, visit the band’s website at www.surrendertunes.com.

Evelyn Hampton grew up on a farm in Colts Neck and in rural Tinton Falls, New Jersey, where she acquired a great appreciation and reverence for the peaceful beauty of nature and the comfort of small- town living in an era of bygone simplicity. She is inspired to take pen to paper by everyday living and the restorative power of music, poetry, and human connections. Hampton has published poems and essays in the Monmouth Review, and participated in the Long Branch Poetry Festival. She has served as a featured reader and conducted poetry workshops for the Monmouth County public library system.

Karen Paul Holmes has a master’s degree in Music History from the University of Michigan and has taught music appreciation at the college level. She’s now a freelance writer and poet. She authored a full-length poetry collection, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014), and her other publishing credits include Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Town Creek Poetry, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and The Southern Poetry Anthology Volume V: Georgia (Texas Review Press). Holmes received an Elizabeth George Foundation grant for poetry. To support fellow writers, she originated and hosts a critique group in Atlanta and Writers’ Night Out in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Robert William Iveniuk is a Toronto-based author, screenwriter, and columnist. His short-fiction has been featured in Schlock Magazine, two volumes of The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes anthologies, and the Long Hidden anthology published by Crossed Genres Publications. His nonfiction articles have been featured on BlogTO and in Archenemy Magazine and Urban Fantasy Magazine.

Aleksandr Kuznetcov is a professional musician from Russia who graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In addition to his passion for music he also enjoys photography, particularly photographing other musicians because he understands them very well. Through his photography, Kuznetcov tries to reflect the internal state of his subjects.

Lapis is the result of worlds colliding and heading together in a new direction. Pushing the edge of cultural hybridity, their sound is informed by the traditional music of South Asia, Dub, Hip Hop, and Electronic Music. Lapis is composed of sitarist Mohamed Assani, vocalist and electronic musician, Rup Sidhu, and percussionist, Curtis Andrews. They are known for their love of improvisation and original compositions with unexpected sonic pairings such as wave drums and sitars, freestyle rap and mridangam, mbira, and beat boxing.

Having been classically trained in both Western and Hindustani music, Assani brings unique compositions and a sophisticated melodic sensibility to the group. Sidhu releases raw expression and refined aesthetics through electronics, beat boxing, and rapping. To round out the sounds of Lapis, Andrews shares his dynamic grooves and rhythms from South India and West Africa. Think of them like a 7-layer dip of intercontinental music—you never know what you’ll get next but you just keep reaching for more. Lapis is based in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. Learn more about Lapis at www.lapismusic.com.

Richard LeBlond is a retired biologist living in North Carolina. He has been writing about life experiences, travel to Europe and North Africa in the 1970s, and more recent adventures in eastern Canada and the US West. His essays and photographs have appeared in several US and international journals.

Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards, who have been performing for over a decade, resonate with lovers of Americana, old country, and harmony singing, commanding crafted melodies and poignant, introspective lyrics, backing them with delicate arrangements on ukulele, clarinet, penny whistle, guitar, and banjo. They are respected for an authentic, heartfelt approach to their craft by audiences across the eastern US. Fred Knittel of WXPN in Philadelphia noted, “The best part of their performance is the undeniable chemistry Mark and Raianne have together; they play with a comfortability and trust that can only come with years of partnership. They allow enough space in their musical bond for us to settle in and witness some serious songwriting and playing.” Learn more about Mandeville and Richards at www.markmandeville.com.

In addition to writing and performing, Mandeville and Richards founded an organization called The Massachusetts Walking Tour, which functions as a nonprofit to support arts and culture in the small towns of their home state. Each summer since 2010, a string of concerts are arranged in collaboration with local arts councils, school systems, town parks and recreation, and a variety of cultural groups to highlight the town’s respective commitment to the arts. Mandeville, Richards, and chosen bands of talented folks from the northeast walk, laden with heavy packs and instruments, to each concert where they perform a folk music program alongside local artists, poets, and musicians. Learn more at www.masswalkingtour.org.

Jerin Micheal is a press and editorial photo_grapher currently studying at Falmouth University in the South West Coast of England. At age eighteen, he has already won the prestigious NME’s Under 18 Music Photographer of the Year and he has also exhibited his work at the Louvre in Paris. His subjects vary from world renowned musicians to deep-sea fishermen. No matter what he turns his lens to, he is enthralled by the story. When he isn’t shooting, he enjoys good coffee and bad films. See more of Micheal’s work at www.jerinmichealphotography.com.

Ben Murray is an Alberta-based writer, car-free vegan, and occasional sax player/drummer whose debut volume of poetry, What We’re Left With, was published by Brindle & Glass. His idols include Keith Jarrett, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Paul Watson, Woody Allen, P.K. Page, and Ian McEwan. Way back in the day, Murray once traded fours with Lew Tabackin, but is pretty sure Tabackin got the raw end of that particular trade! His fiction and poetry has been published in many journals and periodicals, and he was long-listed for the 2011 Best Canadian Poetry in English and the CBC Canada Writes 2012 Creative Non-Fiction Prize. He won the 2011 Jerry Jazz Short-Fiction Prize.

Tracie Renee Amirante Padal is a librarian at a busy public library in suburban Chicago, and she knows firsthand that words and music can bring people together, open doors to hope, and enrich the soul. A former teen music critic at the Daily Herald newspaper, Tracie’s short stories and poems have won contests (sponsored by Scholastic, Seventeen, USA Weekend, Xerox/DocuWorld, the Northwest Cultural Council, Highland Park Poetry, and the Tallgrass Writers Guild) and have been published in magazines (The Bark), anthologies (In Our Own Words: a Generation Defining Itself and Embers and Flames), and literary journals (Apocalypse, The Claremont Review, JUMP, The Louisville Review, Moon Journal, and the Oyez Review). Most recently, Padal earned Featured Reader status at the 2015 Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago and also headlined a reading at Powell’s Bookstore. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Aaron Parrett is a writer, musician, and teacher in Montana. He has written various essays and a dozen short stories that have appeared in places like The Massachusetts Review, Open Spaces, Wild Blue Yonder, The Wisconsin Review, and Janus Head. You can also read some of his latest work in his book, LITERARY BUTTE: A History in Novels and Film. Learn more about Parrett at www.aaronparrett.org.

Julia Price is a flutist, composer, and electric sound designer who develops her craft through a sound lens of jazz, classical, world, electronic, improvisation, science, philosophy, and multi-medium collaboration. Based in North Carolina, she has performed and collaborated with Reggie Workman, Andrea E. Woods Valdés, Voices—Chapel Hill, Code f.a.d. Company, David Boykin, the Joe Robinson Quintet, Greg Osby, Nicole Mitchell, and many other artists, musicians, collectives, peers, and professionals. Learn more about Price at www.juliaprice.org.

Vinesh Rajpaul is a PhD student at the University of Oxford. While he researches astrophysics, he is also a passionate (obsessive) photographer. He grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, a city he considers to be the most beautiful in the world; and he also enjoys the beauty of Oxford: both cities are paradises for a photographer! Rajpaul’s other life passion is music—he plays the piano, has found solace in music, and met his now wife at a piano recital in Oxford.

Debra Raver is a singer-songwriter and former US Fulbright fellow to Lithuania. She earned an MA in ethnomusicology from Indiana University in 2014, where she furthered her childhood dream to “write all about Lithuania someday” and the musical legacy of her mother’s homeland. Raver recently purchased a creative arts studio in Wyoming, her native state, to seed her next song and story project.

Stephanie Reitano is a writer, poet, artist, and lover of music. Her poetry has been featured in several anthologies throughout the years. Currently, Stephanie is a freelance writer, who also publishes poetry online at www.hellopoetry.com under the pen name PrttyBrd.

David Roberts is a photographer and teacher based in Yorkshire, England. At university, he studied traditional film-based photography. Though having embraced digital techniques, his heart is still in the darkroom! He has a passion for travel photography and images from his travels have been featured in The Guardian, The Independent, and The Telegraph newspapers. Follow David’s work at www.facebook.com/moonstonephotographic and www.moonstonephotographic.com.

Ruth Sabath Rosenthal is a New York poet, well published in literary journals and poetry anthologies throughout the US, and also internationally. In October 2006, her poem “on yet another birthday” was nominated for a Pushcart prize. She has five books of poetry available for purchase on Amazon.com: Facing Home (a chapbook); Facing Home and Beyond; little, but by no means small; Gone, but Not Easily Forgotten; and Food: Nature vs. Nurture. Learn more about her work at www.newyorkcitypoet.com.

Kenneth Salzmann is a writer and poet whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, and literary journals, as well as such anthologies as Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents (Gelles-Cole Literary Enterprises), a Finalist (Anthology) in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude (Holy Cow! Press); Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers (Codhill Press); and The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home (Holy Cow! Press). He lives in Woodstock, New York, and Ajijic, Mexico, with his wife, editor Sandi Gelles-Cole. Learn more about Salzmann at www.kensalzmann.com.

Amanda Schreier is a Maryland-based freelance culture and travel writer who can’t help but wander into small towns, war zones, diners, and haunted insane asylums. She has a master’s degree in journalism and international affairs from Columbia University. Follow Schreier on Twitter at @BackroadsRamblr.

Bar Scott is a singer, songwriter, and writer who has recorded seven albums of original songs, and has published one book. Scott engineers, records, and edits most of her vocals and piano in her home studio, but leans on Dave Cook for the heavy studio lifting. Some of her favorite gigs have been in living rooms, but she has also sung at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City, Tarrytown Music Hall, Saturday Night Ramble with Levon Helm, the Beacon Theater with Phoebe Snow and Beth Nielsen Chapman, and one of the most powerful, in the pit at Ground Zero with Delores Holmes. Scott and Holmes (of Springsteen fame) sang Scott’s “Grace” with Holmes’s sisters for rescue workers who only days before had finished their difficult work there. Scott spent most of her professional life in Woodstock, New York, and now resides in rural Colorado. Learn more about Scott at www.barscott.com.

Lynn L. Shattuck is a columnist for the elephant journal and mom.me. Her work has also appeared in Brain, Child; The Mid; Scary Mommy; and Purple Clover; and two recently published anthologies, Clash of the Couples and SMITH: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor. Shattuck blogs at www.thelightwillfindyou.com.

Nolan Stevens is a  South African, award-winning  artist,  and a freelance journalist  who  has  written  for  publications  such  as One  Small  Seed  Magazine,  jhblive.com,  and  FUNK  Magazine,  to  name  a  few.  His  art  has  been  a  part  of  numerous group  exhibitions,  the  highlight  of  which  being  the  “South  African  Voices–A  New  Generation  of  Printmakers” group exhibition held at Washington DC’s Washington Print Gallery.

Heidi Swedberg has been making connections through music—between cultures and generations—for the past fifteen years. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches and plays an instrument that makes people smile: a ukulele. Twenty years working as an actor in the entertainment industry (a few seasons in the cast of Seinfeld was her most notable gig) led Swedberg to the realization that those two things, entertainment and industry, were antithetical to what she wanted to do—engagement and empowerment were lacking. The gift of children helped her find her path of meaningful work, and she now teaches and performs for all ages on small stages. Learn more about Swedberg’s music atwww.sukeyjumpmusic.com.

Jari Thymian has written poetry that has appeared in a variety of publications including Matrix, Ekphrasis, Ken*Again, Memoir (and), The Pedestal Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, FRiGG, Alehouse, Pirene’s Fountain, Margie, Flutter Poetry Journal, Prune Juice, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and American Tanka. Thymian’s poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook, The Meaning of Barns, was published by Finishing Line Press.

Jamie Virostko is a storyteller, writer, and theatre artist based in Venice, California. Her original play, The Outskirts of Paradise, received its world premiere in LA in 2007. More recently Virostko published a collection of her favorite personal stories entitled, Tiny Sagas of a Former Girl Scout.

Anna Wall is an art teacher for elementary students and loves inspiring children to use their artistic talents as a way to express themselves and learn coping skills. She is also a philanthropist who helps her daughter raise money for Children’s Hospital Colorado through their nonprofit, Art by Adelyn, and is helping her other daughter start a nonprofit for dance scholarships. She previously worked in the publishing industry, and as a research assistant for a group of scientists at NIST and NASA, helping them prepare their research for publication. Wall graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a minor in psychology. She resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and three children, ages nine, seven, and four.

Carlo Zamora is a photographer and operations manager of an import/export company in the Philippines. His photography has won many awards including 3rd Place, Philippines National Award, Sony World Photography Awards (2014); 1st Place Portrait Photographer of the Year at Maybank Photo Awards in Malaysia (2013); 2nd Place Portrait Photographer of the Year from Imaging Resources (2008); and 2nd Place Digital Camera World Portrait Photographer of the Year (2007).