Gulf Coast Poets
Biographies of Contest Winners

Von Bourland has been a member of the Panhandle Professional Writers Club and the Hi-Plains Poetry Society for several years.  A published writer, she is a native of Snyder, Texas, and writes poetry, non-fiction, nostalgia, fiction, and Science Fiction.

RJ Clarken has been published in Mobius, Asinine Poetry, Sol Magazine, and Trellis Magazine, among others.  She is Editor of Goldfinch, the literary journal of Women Who Write, a not-for-profit women's writing collective, and she is the author of Mugging for the Camera, a quirky humorous book of poetry.

Kay L. Cox is a retired art and family therapist and teacher, a native Texan, and is a visual artist and poet.  She leads creative workshops in the US and abroad, and is a member of the Poetry Society of Texas - Gulf Coast Poets, Women in the Visual and Literary Arts, and the Galveston Art League.  Her work has been widely published.

Margo Davis was recognized as a juried finalist in last year's Houston Poetry Fest, and Austin's International Poetry Festival.  Margo holds a degree in Creative Writing from UNO.  Her work has appeared in New Orleans Review, Ellipsis, Maple Leaf Rag, and Passages North.

K.B. Eckhardt wonders if readers really want poets to be stripped of mystery in these sketches.  To comply, Eckhardt reveals that he/she is in possession of at least one graduate degree, more than a single publication credit, and evidence attesting to the existence of said being.

Debi Fairchildís passion is writing all types of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. She loves to read and escape to watch movies, and enjoys what she does.  Her work has been published in magazines, newsletters, and in newspapers such as the Pasadena Citizen and the Houston Chronicle.  She has entered several of the Gulf Coast Poets monthly competitions, and often reads her poetry at the Seabrook Coffee Oasis, and the Webster Barnes & Noble Poetry Reading Series and Open Mic.  She is a member of Sol Magazineís Poetry Works Workshop group, and the Gulf Coast Poets Critique Group.  Debi is the 2008-2009 Recording Secretary of the Gulf Coast Poets.  She lives in Pasadena.

Mona Follis is a mechanical designer, painter, essayist and poet.  She also designs and sews quilt art, and writes occasional companion poems that echo the quilt, finding the correlation between visual and written art a matter of interwoven expressionism and impressionism.

Mary Ann Goodwin is indulging her childhood love of poetry and fiction after recently retiring from the aerospace industry. She belongs to SCBWI and is concentrating on childrenís fiction. She enjoys meeting fellow writers of both genres. Born in Georgia, she earned a BS from UH and two MSís from UHCL.

Ivy Kaminsky is a photographer, writer, editor and, most recently, fledgling poet living in the Clear Lake Area.  Originally from Golden, Colorado, she arrived in Texas to attend Rice University in 1975 and never left.  She has a degree in Psychology from Rice, has worked as a secretary, computer technician, and freelance photographer.  Her photographs and articles have been published in the Houston Chronicle and High Technology Careers magazine.

Erica Lehrer is a poet, award-winning journalist and founding member of Net Poets Society (NetPoSo), a group of poets from Houston, Texas. A graduate of Princeton University (BA, English) and N.Y.U. School of Law, Ms. Lehrer has studied at InPrint, Inc. with poet Dave Parsons and novelist Farnoosh Moshiri.

Penelope McFadin works as a Project Technician for the City of Houston and currently lives in beautiful Clear Lake Shores.  She spends most her free time working on The Elissa in Galveston, fixing her sailboat, reading, writing, star gazing when the time allows and sailing when at all possible.

Carol Dee Meeks was appointed 2004-2005, 2005-2006, New Mexico Senior Poet Laureate of Amy Kitchener's Angels Without Wings Foundation.  She placed two poems in the 73rd Writer's Digest top 100. She has three Honorable Mentions at Bylines, and holds memberships in Bards of a Feather, High Prairie Poets, NMSPS, and NFSPS.  For more information about this poet, please visit her website:

Denise Amodeo Miller is a poet, writer and teacher living near Buffalo, NY.  She is a member of The Buffalo Writers Meetup.  Her award winning poetry appears in Sol Magazine, Trees of Surprise, and soon others will be published in two new anthologies.  For more information, please go to:

Poet and musician, Joel Ontiberoz is a native Houstonian.  A Certified API Inspector in the Chemical and Refinery Industry for over 14 years, he recently returned to the Houston area.  While a resident of Galveston, his work was selected for Tidelines I and II, which was published by the Rosenberg Library, and sponsored by the Galveston Artist's Guild and Coalition of Writers.  He continues his appreciation of art through writing poetry, and through playing the harmonica (blues, jazz, folk, and country.)

Jeanette Oestermyer has been writing poetry for 30 years.  Her poems have been published, among others, in Candlelight Poetry Journal, Feelings, and Broken Streets.  She studied poetry at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and when a resident in Roswell, NM, she taught poetry.  She now lives in Rochester, Indiana with her husband and two cats.

Richard H. Peake resides in Galveston but spends his summers in Virginia.  He first wrote and published poetry as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia.  A father and grandfather, he has been an active amateur naturalist since his teens.

Deseree Marie Probasco is a graduate of Princeton University.  She lives and writes in Conroe with her husband and her almost four-year-old daughter.  Her poems have appeared in Swirl Magazine and TimeSlice:  Houston Poetry 2005.

Publisher, poet, writer, Kate Sangerís poetry has appeared in That Thing You Do, and is in upcoming issues of Star*Line and Beginnings.  Her fiction has appeared in RevolutionSF, Aphelion, Lost in the Dark, Anotherealm, Bewildering Stories, the Agitator, Death Bus, and Baen's Universe.   Her nonfiction has been published in Words Words Words E-Zine and Texas Magazine.  She is publisher and editor of a small press, From the Asylum (, an e-zine of speculative fiction and poetry.   She is a member of Bay Area Writers League, Broad Universe, Science Fiction Poetry Association, and Romance Writers of America.  She has a BS in Information Technology, and a Masterís of Liberal Arts, and is working on an MA in English Literature. She teaches English at Alvin Community College, College of the Mainland, and Kaplan University.  She is a founding member of the Gulf Coast Poets.

Sandi Stromberg is a magazine feature writer and poet whose poems have appeared in TimeSlice Houston Poetry 2005, Sol Magazine, Houston Poetry Fest anthologies 2004 and 2005, Illya's Honey, NEWN, and Curbside Review, among others.  her translations of Dutch poetry have been published in the United States and Luxembourg.  She placed second in the 2006 Dallas Poets Community National open Poetry Competition.

Rebecca Hatcher Travis won the 2006 First Book Award for Poetry for her book, Picked Apart the Bones, scheduled for release in early 2008 by the Native Writersí Circle of the Americas.  A citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, she often writes of nature and her native heritage.  Her work appears in anthologies and literary journals, including the 2008 Texas Poetry Calendar, and the Chickasaw Times.

William Turner has been a geologist since 1961 and resided and worked in Houston for the past 23 years.  He has been writing poetry for most of that time for his own edification.  From 1961 to 1964 he was on the faculty of the University of Kentucky and again from 1969 to 1975.  While he is a lover of the earth, his current interests include the study of C.G. Jungís writings and the art, literature and history of the western world.