Chuck Acheson is a graduate student and teaching assistant for the Department of English at the University of Florida, where he studies in the Comics and Visual Rhetoric program. Chuck holds Bachelor’s degrees in History and Communications from Tennessee Tech and completed his Master’s degree in English there in 2014. From 2014-2015, he served as an adjunct faculty member in the English department of TTU.


UtS-16-Staff-photo-Suellen-AlfredSuellen Alfred is Professor Emerita of English Education at Tennessee Technological University and has been with Under the Sun since 2011. For ten years she edited the Tennessee English Journal with Linda Null. Recently she served with Linda Null as the editor of the “Personal Reading” column of the English Journal. She is the co-author with Betty Roe and Sandy Smith of Teaching with Stories: Yours, Mine, and Theirs. She also co-edited with Maggie Vaughn Southern Voices in Every Direction, a collection of works of emerging writers. In 2015, she published a collection of personal stories entitled From the Mountains to the River: Mostly True Stories Worth the Tellin’ together with Joyce Milligan Tatum and a collection of poems entitled Branches. Both titles are available on Amazon.com. Suellen Alfred lives in Cookeville, Tennessee.


Melissa Ballard took nearly three gap years (although she was not, at the time, familiar with the term) before starting college. She has since worked as a speech-language pathologist and a college instructor. Melissa has written essays for Compose Journal, Full Grown People, Gravel, and other publications.






Ralph Bowden has worked as a boat builder, electrical engineer in the aerospace industry, history professor, home builder and remodeler, alternative energy consultant, technical writer, and instructional designer. He writes novels for fun.





UtS-16-Author-photo-BradleyCindy Bradley, a Southern California native, lives and writes in Fresno, CA, where she recently received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Fresno State. She is currently working on her memoir titled Death, Driveways and California Dreams. Her essays have appeared in 45th Parallel, Minerva Rising, and San Joaquin Review.




UtS-16-Author-photo-BrunkRobert S. Brunk’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Gettysburg Review, Witness, Chatauqua, The North Dakota Quarterly, and other publications. He is also the editor of two volumes of May We All Remember Well: A Journal of the History and Cultures of Western North Carolina. His essay, “A Samuel Beckett Song,” published by the Michigan Quarterly Review, Fall 2013, was selected as a Notable essay for Best American Essays 2014. His essay, “Selling Everything,” published by the Iowa Review, Spring 2014, was selected as a Notable essay for Best American Essays 2015. He resides in Asheville, North Carolina.


Uts-16-Author-photo-Renae-D'AoustRenée E. D’Aoust is the author of Body of a Dancer (Etruscan Press), a Foreword Reviews “Book of the Year” finalist. Forthcoming and recent publications include Brevity, Essay Daily, Los Angeles Review of Books, Ragazine, Rain Taxi, Sweet: A Literary Confection, and Trestle Creek Review. She has received three Pushcart nominations and six “Notable” mentions in Best American Essays. D’Aoust lives in southern Switzerland and teaches online at North Idaho College and Casper College. She is an AWP “Writer to Writer” mentor and the Managing Editor of Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. Please follow her @idahobuzzy and visit www.reneedaoust.com.


Uts-16-Author-photo-DuttaShiv Dutta’s personal essays have appeared in Tin House, River & South Review, The Evansville Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Hippocampus Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, Epiphany, The Evergreen Review, Silk Road Review, Pilgrimage, Front Porch, and other journals. He has also produced forty-five technical papers and two technical books. One of his personal essays was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Links to some of his essays can be found on his website at shivdutta.com.


Uts-16-Author-photo-Telaina-EriksenTelaina Eriksen is an assistant professor in creative writing at Michigan State University. Her writing has appeared in The Fem, The Good Men Project, Role Reboot, ARS Medica, Hospital Drive, Marco Polo Quarterly, The Truth About the Fact, poemmemoirstory, the poetry anthology Mother Is a Verb, and in other online and print publications. She was an artist in residence in 2013 for the Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology in East Jordan, Michigan. She holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles.


Uts-16-Author-photo-GilesErika Reich Giles has been writing memoir and essays since completing nonfiction and fiction certificate programs at the University of Washington several years ago. She has received literary nonfiction awards from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and Crab Orchard Review. She has also been published in Clackamas Literary Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Ascent, Clockhouse Review, and in two anthologies. She lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon.


UtS-16-Author-photo-GraceyMike Gracey, a graduate of Amherst College, teaches English at Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. His essays have appeared in The Green Mountains Review Online, in The Briar Cliff Review and Dogwood as contest finalists, and in Ninth Letter as the winner of the 2015 Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction. He lives with his family in Newburyport, Massachusetts.




Michelle Shappell Harris writes from Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she and her family landed after nineteen years overseas in France and Gabon, Africa. Her essays have appeared at Eclectica Magazine, Mothers Always Write, Under the Gum Tree, Ascent, and Midwest Review. She holds an MFA from Ashland University in creative non-fiction and is working on a memoir tentatively titled Arrival.







Merritt Ireland is a mixed-media artist and a poet-of-possibility.










Michael L. Johnson is still a retired professor of English from the University of Kansas now living in Santa Fe. He spends a good deal of time doing mathematics, his first intellectual love, but he also writes reviews of books concerned with various aspects of Western American culture for several historical journals as well as essays and, everyday without fail, poetry.



UtS-16-Author-photo-JonesCynthia Jones is a non-fiction writer who lives in Seattle with her husband, Paul Lawrence, and her six-pound Affenpinscher, Poirot. Cynthia is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch Los Angeles. She is working on her first book, a memoir, about growing up in the nuclear industry near the Hanford site in Richland, Washington. When she is not writing about “Nuclear Bombs in the Backyard,” she practices appellate law in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.




John E. Keats’ essays and stories have appeared in Atticus Review, Cleaver Magazine, Midway Journal, Extract(s), Under the Sun, River Teeth, Relief, and Roux. He has an M.A. in English from Boston College. He lives in Massachusetts. Murky, self-absorbed tweets happen here @JohnEKeats.




UtS-16-Author-photo-Lang-preferredJennifer Lang is a freelance writer. She has been published in the South Loop Review, Indian River Review, and Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women, among others. Occasionally, she contributes to the Wall Street Journal’s Expat column. This July, she received an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she is not fussing with, fretting over, and fixating on every word in her upcoming memoir, she is usually on a yoga mat, her effort
to tame her crazy mind.


UtS-16-Author-photo-LivatinoMel Livatino’s essays have appeared numerous times in Under the Sun, The Sewanee Review, Notre Dame Magazine, Portland Magazine, Writing on the Edge, River Teeth, and elsewhere. In the last decade seven of his essays, including three from Under the Sun, have been named Notable Essays of the Year by Robert Atwan’s Best American Essays annual.



UtS-16-Author-photo-Sandra-MillerSandra Miller has had erratic publications of poetry and essays in JAMA, Pulse, and Miller’s Pond. She runs a workshop in reflective writing for physicians, and has presented that project nationally with the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Recently retired from a career in family medicine teaching (Clinical Assistant Professor, Banner University of Arizona College of Medicine), she enjoys the metaphor of living in Phoenix and rising from her own ashes. She pretends to be writing a novel, and her latest obsessive hobby is volcanology.


UtS-16-Author-photo-SchaperHilary Schaper lives and writes in Los Angeles. Her essays have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and earned Honorable Mention in New Letters’ nonfiction contest. Her nonfiction has appeared in Hotel Amerika, Masque and Spectacle, Shadowbox, Shark Reef, SLAB (Sound and Literary Art Book), and other journals. Her craft essay, “Lessons from a Vine,” appears in the Spring issue of RWW Soundings, the publication of the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University from which she earned an MFA. She was a writer-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center. Her essay, “Vinescape,” was a finalist in Prime Number Magazine’s nonfiction contest. In a former life, she practiced law.


UtS-16-Author-photo-Natalie-TaylorNatalie Taylor hails from the piney-woods of deep east Texas. Natalie Taylor currently lives in a cabin in Fairbanks, Alaska, with her boyfriend and Husky. When she’s not frolicking through the taiga with her dog, she teaches English at the university and coordinates literary events for Fairbanks Arts Association. However, since she believes in exposing herself to different climate extremes every few years, she’ll soon be descending on the desert of Las Cruces, New Mexico, to begin her PhD work in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. Natalie’s a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks MFA program, and her work can also be found in
Sediments Literary-Arts Journal and Prick of the Spindle.


UtS-16-Author-photo-D-ThompsonDeborah Thompson works as an associate professor of English at Colorado State University and has published numerous articles of literary criticism and creative nonfiction. Some of her most recent creative nonfiction credits include Alimentum, Alligator Juniper, The Bellingham Review Online, Calyx, Creative Nonfiction, The Chattahoochee Review, Fourth Genre, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Passages North, and Under the Sun. In addition, she is the winner of The Missouri Review’s 2008 Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize in creative nonfiction, the 2008 Florida Review editor’s prize in nonfiction, the 2010 Southeast Review nonfiction contest, the 2011 winner of the Briar Cliff nonfiction contest, and the 2010 Iowa Review contest in the nonfiction category. The latter essay, “Mishti Kukur,” was awarded a Pushcart Prize.


UtS-16-Author-photo-VernonBill Vernon served in the United States Marine Corps, studied English literature, and then taught it. Writing is his therapy, along with exercising outdoors, and doing international folk dances. Five Star Mysteries published his novel Old Town in 2005, and his poems, stories and nonfiction have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Recent nonfiction publications include pieces in Indiana Voice Journal, The Magnolia Review, Star 82 Review, Drylandlit, Scarlet Leaf Review, Apeiron Review, Sweatpants & Coffee, The Write City Magazine, and Heartbeat Literary Journal. He plays Uncle Sam in Dayton, Ohio’s annual spring festival, “A World A’Fair.”


UtS-16-Author-photo-WileyMelissa Wiley is a freelance writer living in Chicago. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in DIAGRAM, Superstition Review, Prick of the Spindle, Tin House Open Bar, Stirring: A Literary Collection, PANK, Poydras Review, Gravel, Pinball, Eclectica Magazine, Gone Lawn, Split Lip Magazine, Menacing Hedge, Specter, Lowestoft Chronicle, Midway Journal, Pithead Chapel, Great Lakes Review, and pioneertown. She also serves as assistant editor for Sundog Lit.