Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty
Spring 2016
Danielle Barnhart
Danielle is a writer, editor, and professor in New York. An intersectional feminist and mother of one, she spends her time washing paint out of brushes, dismantling the patriarchy, and searching the shoreline for sea glass and fresh metaphors. She is on a secret mission to befriend the two crows that often visit her sideyard.

Babette Cieskowski
Babette’s a bee, not a butterfly. She enjoys music with soul, hibiscus tea, and watching Kyler and Fernando (her one-eyed cat) fight to the death. She’s currently earning an MFA in poetry at Ohio State University and hopes Ray continues to pull her from oncoming traffic.

Flower Conroy
Green (as a color and possible smell), Pee Wee Herman and eyeballs as well, lemon on watermelon and animals with legs, fins or wings—these are a few of Flower’s favorite things. She is the author of three chapbooks: "Escape to Nowhere," "The Awful Suicidal Swans," and "Facts About Snakes & Hearts." She is concurrently writing this and eating a banana.

David Formanek
Art-damaged autobiographer stumbles blindly backwards into the future, able only to glimpse with only relative clarity the past, from a location on the eastern Rhode Island shore. You might have fun here:

Elizabeth Forsythe
Elizabeth is in her final year of the MFA program at Columbia College Chicago, where she is an editor for the Columbia Poetry Review. At 25, she is in the middle of an existential meltdown. To combat this quarter-life crisis, Elizabeth spends most of her free time crying over One Direction, because that makes total sense. She lives in Chicago with her cat, Alice.

Jessica Goodfellow
Jessica spends an inordinate amount of time balancing her son’s lizard’s need to be warm throughout the winters of Japan with the electric bill and a desire to live ecologically. In the little time left over, Jessica is planning for an artist’s residency at Denali National Park and Preserve this summer, all the while wondering who will stress over the lizard while she’s away.

Maggie Graber
Maggie is a writer from the Midwest. She holds an MFA from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in Jet Fuel Review, Duende, GlitterMOB, Atticus Review, Stirring: A Literary Collection, the Button Poetry blog, and others. A former radio DJ and farmhand, she is currently an environmental educator on the Cahaba River in Alabama.
Kathleen Kirk
Kathleen has been here before! But not, she hopes, as a poisonous plant. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life, and she blogs eight days a week, often on a Random Coinciday, at Wait! I Have a Blog?!

Michael Robins
Like you, Michael was born and, like you and everything, Michael will die. It’s a terrible predicament really, but what’s the alternative? Perhaps there’s comfort believing death as the same sweet emptiness that existed before you were born. For more information (books, events, photos of literary graves) visit

Val Dering Rojas
Val is a Los Angeles based poet and artist who has also studied Addiction and Recovery Counseling and Psychology. She is the author of the chapbook TEN (Dancing Girl Press, 2014) and a Pushcart nominee. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in Referential Magazine, Naugatuck River Review, BurntDistrict, Pirene’s Fountain and Right Hand Pointing among others. When not writing, Val can be found busking poems near the beaches of Venice.

Nicole Rollender
Nicole is a once-and-always ghost hunter who’s more comfortable in a cemetery than at a cocktail party making small talk. She’s the author of four poetry chapbooks, and she’s delighted that her first full-length collection, Louder Than Everything You Love (ELJ Publications), is now alive in the world. Encounter Nicole and more of her haunted work in cyber space (preferably at night) at

Kryssa Schemmerling
As a young child growing up in West Hollywood, California, Kryssa recalls being asked out on a date by the actor who played the Munchkin mayor in The Wizard of Oz. At the time she wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. Kryssa now lives in New York City where she make films in addition to writing poems. Her poetry has been published in The Cortland Review, Mudlark, and Big City Lit, among other journals. Her first chapbook, Iris In, a collection of poems about movies, will be published this year by Broadstone Books.

Tim Staley
Tim was born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1975. He completed a Poetry MFA from New Mexico State University in 2004. He serves as publisher of Grandma Moses Press. His debut poetry collection, Lost On My Own Street, was published by Pski’s Porch. His newest chapbook, The Most Honest Syllable Is Shhh, is forthcoming from Night Ballet Press. He lives with his wife and daughter in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Find him online at

Helen Wickes
Helen grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. She now lives in Oakland, California, where she practiced psychotherapy for many years. Her four books of poetry are In Search of Landscape, 2007 from Sixteen Rivers Press, Dowser’s Apprentice and Moon over Zabriskie, both in 2014 from Glass Lyre Press, and World as You Left It, 2015, Sixteen Rivers Press.

Susan Medyn
Susan has been making fantastical watercolors for over 35 years. She is inspired by her love of color, a sense of playfulness and a passion for painting. She is currently exhibiting at Galerie Spirale in Belgium, and has exhibited at L’space 30 and Chateaux de Beauregard in Belgium, Dreem St Gallery on the Côte D’Azur, France, and in Bogota, Columbia. She was a featured artist in Monaco in 2015. She has been invited to exhibit in the 9 th Annual Festival D’Art Naif in Katowice, Poland in June 2016 as well as the North River Arts Society, the Attleboro Arts Museum, and via South Coast Artists Open Studio Tours in 2016. One of her works was recently acquired by the Musée International D’Art Naif in Canada. Visit her website at