Meet the Writers

We’re so honored to introduce the readers for our inaugural Womxn at Red Door 104 Words & Art Series.


Erica Trabold

Erica Trabold’s debut essay collection, Five Plots, was chosen by John D’Agata as the inaugural winner of the Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize in 2018, published by Seneca Review Books, and awarded a 2019 Nebraska Book Award for nonfiction. Her lyric essays appear in Brevity, The Rumpus, Passages North, The Collagist, South Dakota Review, Seneca Review, Essay Daily, and elsewhere. A graduate of Oregon State University’s MFA program and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Erica lives in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Sweet Briar College.

Patsy Asuncion

Patsy Asuncion’s first poetry collection, Cut on the Bias 2016, and her second, awaiting publication, reflect her world slant as a bi-racial child raised by an immigrant father. Patsy promotes diversity through: presentations east to west coasts; publications including New York Times, Cutthroat and Artemis journals, Prevention and Tuck magazines, voxpoetica and New Verse News online; her open mic (16,000 YouTube views) and community initiatives. Learn more about Patsy here.


Margaret Mackinnon

Margaret Mackinnon’s work has appeared in many journals, including Poetry, Image, Alaska Quarterly Review, Los Angeles Review, and The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review. Her first book, The Invented Child, received the 2011 Gerald Cable Book Award and the 2014 Literary Award in Poetry from the Library of Virginia. Naming the Natural World, a chapbook, was published by The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review in 2018. She lives in Richmond, VA. Learn more about Margaret here.

Allison Pugh

Allison Pugh is a writer from North Central West Virginia, now residing in Chesapeake, Virginia. She earned her MFA from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2015 and is a fiction editor for Heartwood, a literary magazine in association with WVWC. Her work has appeared in Hinterland Magazine.

Jes Simmons

Jes Simmons is the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at Longwood University. In June 1997, Jes underwent sex-confirmation surgery in Montreal after losing a career as a tenured associate professor of English at a private liberal arts university in Ohio. Jes went from getting chalk dust on his tweed jacket as a male associate professor of English to getting butter on her blouse taking tickets and selling concessions at a single-screen movie theater. After decades of working minimum-wage jobs, Jes found academe again at Longwood University, where she mentors LGBT students. Her poems have appeared in Anathema Review, James Dickey, Newsletter, Magnolia State Quarterly Review, Mississippi Poetry Journal, Natchez Trace Literary Review, Nebo, New Letters Review, New Poets Review, River City Review, and others.Her poems have also appeared in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mississippi Writers: An Anthology, and in Mississippi Writers: Reflections of Childhood and Youth.

Lesley Wheeler will publish two books in the spring of 2020: The State She’s In, her fifth poetry collection, and Unbecoming, her first novel. Her essay collection, Poetry’s Possible Worlds, is forthcoming in 2021. Recent and forthcoming poems and essays appear in The Common, Crab Orchard Review, Ecotone, Massachusetts Review, and other journals. Poetry Editor of Shenandoah, she lives in Virginia.

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