Press Profiles - Meet the Writer

Press Profiles a place we like to showcase artists who have worked with us in one way or another. Whether it be contributing to one of our anthology opportunities or hiring us to help breathe life into their literary works. Here you will learn a little more about the artist and where you can find more of their work. Many of them have been published elsewhere in magazines, print anthologies, online publications, reviews, and more.

Many publishers ask for literary work that is unpublished and they require exclusive rights to said work. This is not so with Quillkeepers Press, LLC. We encourage all writers to do their best to get their work into as many hands as possible. As writers ourselves, we understand how hard the publishing market can be. Therefor, we encourage previously published work (so long as the previous publisher allows it) submissions for our anthologies.

If you are interested in contributing to one of our anthologies, you can check out our opportunities here.

If you have previously worked with us and would like to be featured here with Press Profiles, please contact us.

Nicole Haswell

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Nicole, and I’m from El Paso, Texas. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s an awesome city in far west Texas right on the border of Mexico and New Mexico. It’s a really unique and beautiful city that I’m proud to have grown up in. I am half Hispanic, so the culture is something my family is very rich in. I’m a huge Bookworm, hence my IG handle. I actually collect antique and rare text books. I just love how they smell, and how historically books were a gift that held such value that they were treasured and often passed down. I love seeing the dedications in the covers. I live with my fiancé and my hairy westie dog whom I love immensely! They both bring love, laughter and light to my life every single day. When I’m not writing, I love to cook, bake, read, and explore new places.


Who or what inspires your writing?

My inspiration is primarily my life and experiences, but the reason I began publishing and putting work into the world was because of my Grandma Vivian. She was an amazing human being who wrote inspirational poetry and published work based on her life and belief in a higher power. She authored several books, ran a store, ran a dairy farm, ran a school, loved, lived, hoped, and created an extraordinary family. Her spirit was truly one of a kind. My subject matter focuses more on mental health, social issues, relationships, and deep emotional situations. I believe in the honesty of those things and put it out there as transparently as I can. I’m an organic writer, so every piece is something I’ve felt deeply. I’m not a prompt writer or one that would be considered a creative writer. Poetry has been my diary since I was probably around 13 years old. It saved me. It was a safe place to let my anger, frustration, sadness, depression and anxiety out. It was the medium by which I could feel normal, when, as an empath I felt anything but.


What are your writing goals for 2021?

For 2021, I’d really love to see some of my work published in other places. Anthologies, magazines, etc. It was such a rewarding experience to publish my own collections, but it’s something entirely different for outside publications to see your work and recognize its impact and value. I was able to get a taste of that by being featured in Qullkeepers’ anthologies as well as one from Ink Gladiators, but I’d be so happy to expound on that and see how far that can go. I’d also like to explore more of who I am now. I’ve come so far in my own healing and growth, my mind set is different, and I think there are things I haven’t unearthed in myself that can be reflected in my work.


What are your hobbies outside of writing?

I really love photography! I enjoy taking pictures of unique places and capturing different things on my travels. It’s something I’d really like to do more of. I also love to travel and see new places.


Previous publishing plug:

You can purchase my books on Amazon.com throughly the link in my IG bio. I am the author of three of my own collections. They are: “A Shadowfall Redemption”, “Dark Butterfly: Chaos in Poetry”, and “Onward, Bright Arrow”. I was also featured in “Soon A New Day” by Quillkeeper’s Press and “The Fall and Rise of Chimeras” by Ink Gladiators Press. You can find me on instagram @bookwormpoet


Anchal Singh

Tell us a little about yourself:

Anchal Singh is a blogger, writer and poetess who reflects different aspects of life through her writings. She was born and brought up in India in a joint family. She believes that be it anything, either you should give it all, or you shouldn't care at all. There's nothing in between. She says, you cannot change your life, but you can change the way you live and that will surely change your life. Her motto is to do something for the mankind and humanity. During her free time, she likes to cook, make paintings and mostly find new hobbies and skills to learn. She wants to express her feelings through her words

"I am currently 16 years old. To date, I have worked in 27+ anthology books,3 e-books, various International magazines and 2 Indian magazines.

I have also represented India in Nigeria, Africa as a world change maker during the covid-19 pandemic. Only 3 people were selected and i was the youngest and only Indian citizen to represent India. I had also been a part of various organisations/NGO such as Akanksha Charitable Trust,Taare Zameen Foundation, Muskaan dreams and Ivolunteer. And, with the help of these organisations I worked for the betterment of society.

I want to contribute to this world as much as I can. I want to be engaged in social work, I was part of various NGO's, which is working for betterment of environment and education. And the happiness and contentment which I've got from there, is unexplainable through words. Also, I am a quick learner and I do believe in learning from my mistakes so that I can never repeat them"


How would you classify your writing style?

As a writer, I don't have a specific topic which is the only one I write about, I do write on the topics what I like to, what I believe in, not to please someone and fake it out. As, I said earlier that I want to make my readers feel the words and depth of the sentence, I cannot be so polite and write only good things and it gives you nothing but only false hopes and promises. If you ask me something, there are chances you may think I am rude or arrogant but there's nothing like that. I give you honest answer. ? I write ever directly from my heart. I write because I want to pen down my emotions through my words. I write what I feel, and how I have dealt with something. I write for you, I write for the world and I write to make an impact in someone's life.


Describe your writing process:

My ultimate goal is to always be realistic as much as possible. I want to make connection with my readers, I want them to feel every word. I want to show the world the beauty that appears in my mind through a sentence. The reason is that I write, not for myself, but for my people, my readers who devote their time to read my work. And, in this process; I make sure that every one who reads me, understands me right in the first reading and no one should feel the need to reach out for a dictionary.


What would you like to be remembered for?

I would like to be remembered as a good human being, a person who makes everyone smile even when a person is going through a very tough phase. I want to be remembered as a person who always spreads love and happiness everywhere. Because I think our world has turned into an emotionless place and we are gradually behaving like bots and machines. And I think this can be done not by taking things from our people, our nature but by giving others a reason to feel good about themselves. Spread love, positivity and happiness because it is getting rare. Be kind to each other.


Where can readers find more of your work?

You can connect me on instagram: @anchal.singh18.

Lisa Owens

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Lisa and I’m an emerging poet from St. Louis, Missouri. I’m happiest when curled up in the wee hours of the morning with a steamy cup of coffee as I work on a new poem, surrounded by trees, birdsong and crisp air as I walk my 8 miles a day, immersed in other cultures (particularly British/Irish/Scottish), enjoying good conversation with friends and a Guinness in a lively pub or snuggled on the couch with my littles at the end of a long day.

Who are your literary heroes?

I love the works of Mary Oliver, Deborah Harkness (All Souls Series) and Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love). Connection to nature, self and superb imagery writing style is what draws me to these writers and inspires me in my own work.

What would you like to be remembered for? (doesn't have to be literary based)

I would like to be remembered for being an authentic and kind person. For always striving to reach for my dreams while inspiring others to pursue their own. In a literary sense, I would like to be remembered for creating works that inspire, instill strength or empower a reader.

What advice would you give to a new writer?

It sounds so simple but my advice would be to write every day. This can be easier said than done but once it becomes a routine the ideas and words begin to flow. Also, don’t be discouraged by rejections. Believe that your work is worthy, it just has to find the right home. Lastly, keep your writing goals in mind - write them down, make a vision board, anything to help you keep focused on those goals and keep pushing onward.

Where can readers find you (Social accounts, blogs, websites, etc.)?

Instagram at @lisa.marie_81.

R.H. Alexander

Tell us a little about yourself:

I have been writing poetry most all my life, with a long hiatus while I wrote fiction, edited a newspaper and was a manufacturer's representative while doing my part to provide for my family. There is a four generation legacy of poets and educators in my family tree, so you might say I didn't have a choice. I have spent a lot of my lifetime in the wild and by that proxy have compiled a pretty good layman's knowledge of the wild things and their world and they have colored and inspired a lot of my work.


When did you start writing? How do you think your writing has evolved?

I wrote my first poems when I was six. In a tote somewhere buried in a bunch of family keepsake papers, I think they still exist. One grandmother was a poet, another a teacher in a rural one room schoolhouse. One grandfather was a well known Texas raconteur and my maternal great grandfather wrote verse as well. So you might say I had no choice in the matter. I think my writing has evolved considerably, particularly in the last ten years or so, and intensively in the last 6 since retiring from the workaday world. I have had so much more time to read and study, to discover great poets I had not crossed paths with, to study craft and get past the idea that poems were built of sacred stones that shouldn't be touched because they land mortared in place. So wrong! Hearing Carolyn Fourche talk about cutting lines of a poem apart and shuffling those pieces around to help them find their message just stunned me. I mean she printed them and then scissored them into single strips of one line each and mixed them about to find the better fit. To tell the story correctly. it made me realize nothing is sacred and the message is probably never intact when the words first come, like they often would to Ruth Stone. So that allowed me a ton of leeway to experiment. Also, believe it or not, getting away from pen and paper. However romantic and more visceral that method is and much as I hate to admit it, using the laptop and getting comfortable with Word has really helped me in refining and editing and "shuffling the lines." But the pen has not been retired. My work has benefited from the practice of automatic writing. I use my non-dominant left hand and try not to guide the pen on the paper. Gibberish many times but often enough, some surprising kernels of poems. You become a bit like a child first learning to write, spending so much mental energy just trying to physically form the letters into words that it frees the brain to unpack and gather up thoughts not previously connecting through the conscious mind. You are using a side of, or at least a part of, your brain not usually driving the creative process.


If you could travel anywhere in the world for a writer’s retreat, where would you go?

Paris or London. Budapest or Prague. I have a place in the far northern reaches of the midwestern U.S. that is miles from anything. The nighttime ambient light is starshine. If it's overcast, a darkness that sticks to everything (to paraphrase Tom Hennen.) I do write well in that wilderness often enough, but mostly I read. The quiet there is more intense and calming than any library I've ever been in. But in retreat I would want to be among people, among strangers, in the noise and the color of a world class city. If nothing more than to be able to eavesdrop on folks conversing in a language I don't speak and cannot understand, to hear the inherent beauty and music in it.


What helps you through writer’s block?

Ah the pain of it! I used to get so angry and feel so empty when blocked. But now I go to my known points of inspiration. And I don't dally. I go straight to the poets that I love and their poems I have not yet read. I need to be surprised. Shaken maybe. At the very least, by the last line, changed. I need to hear universal truths about our humanism written in a new way. Or connect disparate ideas to form a new one. I can read Lucille Clifton or Mary Oliver, Ruth Stone or Aida Limon or W.S, Merwin or Ted Kooser or WIlliam Stafford and be twisted back onto the right path. I might start with old favorites but then search out a piece of theirs I have not ever laid eyes on. It shakes something loose, then. And Maria Popova is such a brilliant scholar! Has she read everything? If I am seriously jammed up, her weekly email/newsletter (it's called Brain PIckings) will land in my inbox just in time and something in it always seems to break the impasse for me. If you don't subscribe yet, do so immediately. It is priceless, it's free and it is magnificent. Beautifully written, it's a weekly bibliography built within a wonderful Popova discourse featuring concisely linked directives to a cohesive theme that always leads me towards new ways to look at the truth about being human and the gifts this earth gives to us. Read every word and linger over every illustration and be re-inspired.


Please list your previous publications and where people can find more of your work: (Social handles, blogs, website)

I have been anthologized in Witches' N Pink-In Which Poetry Breathes Life- National Poetry Writing Month 2020, Train River Publishing Volume Number 04, Summer 2020, The Eve Poetry Group Online Edition May 2020, The Passengers Journal- November 2020, Poets Unlimited Monthly- December 2020, Raw Earth Ink- Creation and the Cosmos Winter 2021 and The Quillkeepers Press- Soon a New Day- Spring 2021,among others. I am really excited to announce my latest chapbook manuscript has been accepted for publication and will be available through the usual outlets within the next 12 months. Which of course means a website is in the works. Pretty excited about that one! You can also find my work on Instagram @R.H._Alexander.

Enoch Black

Tell us a little about yourself:

I am a mythopoeic poet. I love weaving mythology and storytelling into my poetry, particularly around darkling, erotic, and nature themes. I am a book dragon and carry at least one book with me every where I go because they are my treasure. I enjoy learning languages and have a horrible case of wanderlust that keeps me traveling as often and as far as I can. I love Nature and interact it with mostly through hiking, kayaking, and scuba diving. I am also a proud cat dad.


Describe your writing process:

My writing process varies depending on form of writing I am pursuing in the moment. Working on one of my novels is not the same process as writing poetry. In regards to poetry though, I almost always begin with a topic and a story I want to tell about it. From there I choose a form I believe will best relay the story I want to share. Only then do I begin the actual writing process.


Some writers love the editing process, while others forgo it. What does your editing process look like?

Again, this process varies according to the type of writing I am doing. As it pertains to poetry, I proof read repeatedly! I proof read for grammar, but also to ensure I am following the forms correctly in regards to the syllables, the meter, and more.


What are some valuable lessons you've learned about writing?

I could go on and on about this topic so I will only choose one lesson I have learned. To borrow a phrase from Joseph Campbell, "Follow your bliss." If the writing you are pursing, like anything else in life, brings you joy, then do it. If it does not, write something that does.


Where can readers find more of your work?

My Instagram is the following: https://www.instagram.com/stormdragonpoetry/. I also run a poets society dedicated to helping poets stretch and challenge themselves. You can find the Mythos Poets Society at https://www.instagram.com/mythospoetssociety/ and the website: https://www.mythospoetssociety.org/.

Malvika R.

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Malvika, and I'm from India. I am an engineering student who writes in her free time. I am an avid reader and tend to spend a lot of my time reading books ranging from novels, prose and fanfiction. I spend my time scouring through moodboards on tumblr and then wondering where all my time has gone. I write as a form of expression because it is what comes easiest to me.


Who or what inspires your writing?

My writing is generally inspired by stories and characters that I make up inside my head, real life traits of people and events also tends to bleed into my writing. Poetry and prose was not something that I initially wrote a lot, I just happened to stumble my way into it. A lot of my inspiration also comes from poets I have read, like Sylvia Plath, her words have stuck with me for years. Ramona Meisel is another poet who has played a huge role in my love for poetry and prose.


What are your hobbies outside of writing?

Outside of writing, my hobbies would include reading. During the pandemic the time I've spent reading has increased exponentially. I also like to paint whenever I feel inspired. I'd like to consider cooking as another hobby. I spend a lot of time listening to music and watching numerous TV shows as an escape mechanism.

What would you like to be remembered for? (Doesn't have to be literary based)

I'd like to be remembered for being a decent human being, someone you can relate happy memories to, someone who made a small difference. I'd also like to be remembered for my words, if my words can make people feel, I think that would bring me satisfaction.

Where can readers find you (Social accounts, blogs, websites, etc.)?

You can find me on instagram @etchedinbloodandstardust

Lisa Molina

Tell us a little about yourself:

Other than stories I wrote as a child, I began my creative writing journey at the University of Texas at Austin, where I studied under the novelist/poet Zulfikar Ghose. He was a fantastic professor and mentor, and really influenced how I look at literature, and he also liked and very much encouraged my writing.


That was 33 years ago.


Between then and now, I have married, taught high school English and Theatre Arts, served as Associate Publisher of a local monthly family magazine, had a son and a daughter, and I’ve been working with students with special needs since 2000. My son, the eldest, battled cancer 3 times between the ages of 3 and 13, culminating in cord blood transplant from an unknown donor, an experience that has profoundly impacted my entire family.


A few years ago, I threw myself back into reading classic literature in my free time. Tolstoy, Dickens, Camus, Fitzgerald, George Eliot, Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc, as well as acclaimed modern works.


This led me to bingeing on the works, letters, journals, and biographies of Virginia Woolf, Shirley Jackson, and Sylvia Plath. I was stunned at how these women were all able to write such masterpieces while living in patriarchal times and societies, while also coping with mental illness, marriages, and families. From these women, I began to feel this massive wave of inspiration to write about my own life experiences, both external and internal, as they had in their lives.


In the past 7 months, I have written over 100 poems, participated in 2 month-long online poetry retreats, had over 50 works, (mostly poetry) accepted for publication in print and online journals or anthologies, and have re-connected with my now-retired Professor Ghose, who, unbeknownst to me until recently, socialized with Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes while they were all in London.


The macro and micro of life experiences really fascinates me, and I love it when I can discover simultaneous connections of the “infinite and infinitesimal.” I also tend to write about human struggles and existential questions, and the theme of dying and rebirth, using imagery from nature, mythology, stories from my life, and various characters, both real and fictional. Ekphrastic poetry is a lot of fun for me to write as well, since I love visual art..



What are your writing goals for 2021?

In 2021, I would really like to improve my writing by reading more of the great poets. Elizabeth Bishop, Hart Crane, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens, and John Ashbery are at the top of my list.


I’d also like to continue “finding my voice” in my writing, while exploring new journals and magazines. I’m so happy that some of my poems have found their home in Quillkeepers Press!


Finally, even though the process of writing is rewarding in and of itself, I would be lying if I said continuing to have my work published isn’t also a goal this year. Being a former theater person, I know the power of the communal experience of art. For me, knowing that others are reading my poems creates a special relationship between writer and reader, and to me, art has always been about a relationship between the artist and the audience.



What are some valuable lessons you have learned about writing?


An editor once asked if I minded cutting the final line of a poem, and I have found that I could completely delete the finals lines or even stanzas of most of my poems, and it makes them stronger. Poetry doesn’t have to end neatly tied with a bow. I’ve also learned that I write best when I “get out of my head” and let the words flow organically. I’m less self- conscious and the words and images come more from the subconscious. Of course, I go back to edit, but this usually gets my creative juices flowing.



Favorite word(s) and definition(s)?


"Thank you for asking! After looking to all the formal definitions, I now know why I use these words so often. They are very “juicy” and perfectly capture much of what I want to communicate."


Womb:

1. Uterus

2. A cavity or space that resembles a womb in containing and enveloping.

3. A place where something is generated. 4. The interior of anything.


Wave:

1. A disturbance on the surface of a liquid body, such as a sea or lake, in the form of a moving ridge or swell.

2. Any surging or progressing movement.

3. To move freely back and forth or up and down.

4. To curve alternately in opposite directions.

5. A swell, surge, or rush, as of a feeling.

6. An outward curve, undulation.

7. An act or instance of waving.



Least favorite word(s) and definition(s)?


I can’t think of a word that I really dislike- maybe when people refer to others who are educated and artistic as “elitist” in a derogatory way.



Most overused word(s) and definition(s)?


Probably I and You, since I tend to write from first person point of view.

Other overused words are:

Womb, waves, pulsating, universe, and resurrection.



Tell us about your previous publications and where people can find more of your work: (Social handles, blogs, website)


Where to find my works:

My writing blog: lisalitgeek.wordpress.com

Instagram: @lisabookgeek

Twitter @lisabmolina1

(Some publications my work can be found:

Quillkeepers Press

Beyond Words Magazine,

Trouvaille Review,

The Ekphrastic Review, The Tiny Seed,

The Poet’s Christmas and Faith Anthologies,

Neologism Poetry Journal,

Amethyst Review,

Speaking Cat podcast, Ancient Paths,

OVERTHINK zine)


Rhian Brooke

Tell us a little about yourself:

I’m a poet and spoken word artist from Suffolk in the UK. I have been writing poetry since I was about 7 years old but it’s only been in the last 2-3 years that I’ve taken it a bit more seriously and started sharing my work. I’m married to Simon and we have a dog called Betty and two cats Allen and Sugar. I love clubbing and am a bit of a party girl (even at 40). My favourite film is Pulp Fiction. I read The Secret Garden most years around Springtime. I love anything by Irvine Welsh. The last book I read was Pure by Rose Cartwright and I am obsessed with jokes about cheese.


How would you classify your writing style?

My style is incredibly eclectic. I’m inspired by anyone from Victoria Wood and Spike Milligan to old school hip hop artists to Keats and Sylvia Plath, so one minute I could be writing a silly micro about bruises and the next, a long intricate piece about social injustice. I love wordplay and storytelling so my favourite pieces of mine incorporate both. I’m currently working on a spoken word album of poetry to music and am really enjoying playing around with cadence and rhythm. The album is quite serious but I often write comedic observational poetry too.


What helps you through writers block?

I find reading really helps me with writer’s block. However, I think the best advice I’ve ever been given for when you’re really stuck is to just write a stream of consciousness or describe the moment you are in, the sounds, the smells, the feelings etc it usually dislodges the block and lets words start to flow again. Taking a step away from the piece you’re working on and starting something new is enough to take the pressure off sometimes and enable you to go back to it with a clearer head. I’m not particularly strict with when I write. I tend to get manic phases, where my mind is racing with lines and wordplay and then phases of nothing. It doesn’t worry me too much anymore and I just trust that it will come back.


What do you consider your literary strengths and weaknesses?

I think my forte is spoken word. I studied Performing Arts and I think performing my poetry comes quite naturally to me and it’s definitely when I get the best response. I would say my weaknesses are using form and structure correctly, mainly because I’m not very good at sticking to rules. I tend to let my work flow freely and see what comes, which is also probably why I don’t really have a specific style. I’m pretty impatient too so I’m not very good at editing and improving my work. Once it’s done, it’s done and I don’t often revisit, which I should probably do a bit more.


Where can readers find more of your work?

I am on Instagram as @rhianbrookepoetry and the linktr.ee in my bio has links to other projects and podcasts I’ve been involved in. You can also find me on YouTube as Rhian Brooke Poetry.

Soyini Alexander

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Soyini Alexander, I am from Jamaica. I am a college student. I started writing poetry from the age of twelve. I also enjoy writing fiction. I like spending time with my family members as it is always filled with laughter. Writing allows me to empty my thoughts and helps me to better express myself.


Who or what inspires your writing?

I can not pinpoint a specific person or thing that inspires my writing. It is just something I love to do. When I observe something that stands out in nature, interactions between people, prominent issues within society and if someone tells me a story about themselves, I turn those observations and situations into poetry and prose.


What are your writing goals for 2021?

My aim is to complete a novel that I started writing. Writing the novel has certainly been an educational as well as challenging experience, but very much enjoyed. I also plan to display more of my poetry on my Instagram pages. I wish to learn more about writing poetry and prose to become a better writer.

What are your hobbies outside of writing?

Outside of writing my hobbies are photography, watching movies, drawing and painting. I mostly take pictures of nature, sunsets are my favorite scenes to capture. My favorite genre of movie is romantic comedy. Painting and drawing to me are like poetry and prose, it’s a means of expression. Drawing and painting always leaves me feeling comforted.

Where can readers find you (Social accounts, blogs, websites, etc.)?

My Instagram is the following:

@_voice_it_ poetry_

@_simpli_city_