Issue 485 | Contributors | The Sun Magazine


May 2016


Poe Ballantine has developed a new system of self-defense he calls “kiss fu,” which unlike its counterpart, kung fu, renders one’s opponent helpless through a series of wild moves and repeated kisses. He is the author of the memoir Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere and lives in Chadron, Nebraska, with his wife, Cristina, his son, Tom, and his notoriously slow dog, Lightnin’.


John Brehm’s latest book of poems is Help Is on the Way, and he is currently editing an anthology called The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy. He lives in Portland, Oregon.


Gabriel Heller lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he’s working on a novel about kids growing up in Seattle and getting into trouble. His writing has appeared in Witness, The Stranger, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading.


Tony Hoagland’s newest book of poems is called Application for Release from the Dream. He’d like to rent a cottage near water in the autumn and is open to suggestions. He lives in Houston, Texas.


Stephen Levine was an author and teacher best known for the book Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying, which he coauthored with his wife, Ondrea. He helped popularize Buddhist meditation in the West and offered counseling to the terminally ill. He died this year.


Mark Leviton still owns the 1965 Gibson guitar he used to perform all eighteen minutes of Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.” He lives in Nevada City, California, where he is a volunteer community-radio broadcaster.


Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry. Her other books include Lucky Wreck, This Big Fake World, and Sharks in the Rivers. She teaches in the Queens University of Charlotte low-residency MFA program and splits her time between Lexington, Kentucky, and Sonoma, California.


S.J. Miller is the pseudonym of a writer who lives in Sydney, Australia, with three dogs and a cat. Someone told her that reading aloud was good for the brain, so each evening after dinner she reads to her pets. They are halfway through the collected works of Richard Yates.


Alan Michael Parker lives with his wife in Davidson, North Carolina, where he is a professor at Davidson College. He also teaches in the University of Tampa MFA program. His fifteenth book, a collection of poems titled The Ladder, will appear from Tupelo Press in June. Online too often, he can be found at



Rita Bernstein began taking photos after a career as a civil-rights lawyer. She lives and works in Philadelphia and New York, but spends her summers at a family cottage in rural Pennsylvania.


Christina Cavallaro lives in San Francisco, where she works as a marketing and creative director.


Gina Easley lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the staff photographer for Full Grown People, an online magazine about adulthood, “the other awkward age.”


Samina Farooq is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Her images have been used by the BBC, National Geographic, and Smithsonian Magazine.


Michael Galinsky is a filmmaker, photographer, and musician living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


David Penner is a classically trained oboist whose photos have been featured in F-Stop Magazine, Positive Magazine, and LensCulture. He lives in New York City.


Susan Rae Tannenbaum is a wedding photographer who lives in New York City and teaches yoga.


Julie van der Wekken lives on a quarter acre in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, two sons, and a flock of chickens.


On The Cover

Kim Turner-Smith is a Florida-based photographer and mother of two. Her work has been exhibited in St. Petersburg, Florida; St. Louis, Missouri; and New York City. The photograph on the cover is of her daughter.

image © Michael Galinsky

Editor and Publisher
Sy Safransky

Managing Editor 
Carol Ann Fitzgerald

Senior Editor
Andrew Snee

Art Director
Robert Graham

Digital-Media Director
David Mahaffey

Manuscript Editor
Colleen Donfield

Assistant Editor
Luc Saunders

Editorial Associate
& Photo Editor

Rachel J. Elliott

Editorial Assistant
Derek Askey

Seth Mirsky

Associate Publisher
Krista Bremer

Business Manager
Rob Bowers

Circulation & Events

Molly House

Office Manager
Holly McKinney

With Help From
Manuscript Reading
Marianne Erhardt
Dave Hart
Paula Jolin
Gillian Kendall

Erica Berkeley

What Do You Think? Has something we published moved you? Fired you up? Did we miss the mark? We'd love to hear about it. Send Us A Letter