Issue #3 Contributors


Khalisa Rae 

Khalisa Rae published her first book Real Girls Have Real Problems, in 2012.  Her recent work has been seen in Dirty Chai, Tishman Review, Obsidian, Glass Poetry, Homology Lit among others. She is a finalist in the Furious Flower Gwendolyn Brooks Prize and a winner of the Fem Lit Magazine Contest. She is staff editor and reader both: Carve Magazine and Kissing Dynamite. She founded and co-directs the feminist Athenian Press in NC. Her full- length poetry book, entitled Outside the Canon is forthcoming from Red Hen 2021.

Matthew Mitchell  

Matthew Mitchell is an intersex Northeast Ohio writer trying to make his work as beautiful and wondrous as Vince Carter’s 360-Windmill dunk in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. Meet him at your local coffee shop (not Starbucks, because the aforementioned poet’s partner’s family owns a coffee shop and the aforementioned poet refuses to cross enemy lines) if you want to talk about how Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” is the quintessential pop banger. His work appears in, or is forthcoming to, journals like BARNHOUSEDrunk MonkeysThe Indianapolis ReviewBarren Magazine, and others.

Leslie Joy Ahenda

Leslie Joy Ahenda is a Canadian poet studying at the University of Victoria. She is an editorial intern on the Malahat Review poetry board, and is a recipient of the Philip Pickering Award for Poetry and the Haig-Brown Award for Conservation Writing. Her poetry has been published in Nōd Magazine, Honey & Lime, and Poetry is Dead. Find her on Twitter @leslieahenda.

Preston Smith 

Preston Smith is a senior at Bowling Green State University where he studies English Literature. Preston has interned with Mid-American Review and is currently the managing editor of Prairie Margins. He can be found on Twitter (and Instagram!) @psm_writes, tweeting about his cats, Helios and Misty, and his love for fairy tales. He has poems published in “The Castle” (Royal Rose) and forthcoming in Catfish CreekPink Plastic House a tiny journal, and Nightingale & Sparrow.

Ashlyn Sharp 

Ashlyn Sharp is an undergraduate student of Creative Writing at Utah State University, where she interns with Sink Hollow Literary Journal. In 2018, she was named a finalist for the Swenson Legacy Poetry Contest, and has work appearing in Whale Road Review, Honey and Lime Lit, Rose Quartz Magazine, and Rose Royal. Follow her on Twitter @ashjenn6.


Alexis Ames

Alexis first picked up a pen when she was eleven years old and hasn’t put it down since. Science fiction is her preferred genre–more specifically, exploring the intersection of humanity and artificial intelligence. In her spare time, she runs, hikes, reads, and dreams up ways to make characters sad. She can be found on Twitter as @alexis_writes1, and you can find her other writing at

Cass Francis 

Cass Francis is from Waxahachie, Texas and attends the Arkansas Writers MFA Program. Her poetry and prose has been published or is forthcoming in From Sac, The Ginger Collect, Drunk Monkeys, and elsewhere. Find her on Twitter @WriterCFrancis.

Chris Wright 

Chris is a writer from Northern Ireland. His short fiction has featured in several publications, such as The Wellington Street Review, The Bangor Literary Journal, The Belfast Telegraph, and Sirens Call. Recently, his work has been long-listed for Reflex Fiction’s International Flash Fiction Competition and has been performed at the St Patrick’s Festival in Armagh. Chris is a Politics Graduate from Queens University, Belfast and is currently working on his second novel. You can find Chris on Twitter: @_ChrisWrites


Jenna Velez 

Jenna Velez is a queer Latinx poet from suburban Philadelphia. Her work has been featured in over a dozen literary journals and magazines. Jenna is currently the curator of “The Northern Bruja’s Grimoire” column at Pussy Magic and “By Death, She Lives” blog at Rhythm & Bones Press. She tweets @northernbruja and posts on Instagram @jennamv555. You can read all of her published poetry at

Gina Harlow 

Gina Harlow lives in a cozy empty nest in the hills of Austin, Texas with her husband and granddogger. She has written for Hearst King Features and her essays have been published in the Austin American Statesman, the Alamo Bay Writers’ Workshop Anthology, The RavensPerch, and Narratively. She is currently working on a memoir about her time with a young untrained paint mare.

C Kubasta 

C. Kubasta writes poetry, prose & hybrid forms. Her favorite rejection (so far) noted that one editor loved her work, and the other hated it.  She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, and the full-length collections,All Beautiful & Useless(BlazeVOX), Of Covenants (Whitepoint Press), and the novella Girling (Brain Mill Press). Her novel This Business of the Flesh is newly out from Apprentice House. She teaches literature, writing & cultural studies, is active with the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and works with Brain Mill Press. Find her at com. Follow her @CKubastathePoet.


Chi Illochi 

Chi Ilochi is an 19 year old aspiring writer, poet, journalist, stylist, and designer from Pittsburgh, PA. Being Chi is a multi-talented artist, many of her works have been published in different online magazines, websites, and social medias for creatives. In all Chi does, her main goal is to inspire, to connect, and to free those intrigued and captivated by her artistic mind. Chi is a well-rounded individual with very few limitations in the creative scene. Chi lives in passion, dedication, inspiration, light, and grace. You can find Chi Ilochi on Instagram and Twitter @Igbohippie_

Frankie Spring 

Frankie Spring is a nonbinary poet, artist, and zine maker studying English at Indiana University South Bend. In their free time, they print poetry and art zines and host DIY poetry shows in and around their hometown. Frankie’s poetry has appeared in Soft Cartel, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Brave Voices Magazine. They tweet @popemodernist.

A poem by Mary Bone

Cities of Light


I paint cities of light.

Inspiration is found

As neon lights reflect on

The wet streets

Below my window.

My paintbrush colors

A rainy sidewalk

On a dismal day.


About the poet:

Mary Bone has been writing short stories and poetry since the age of twelve. Her poems have been published at Oklahoma Today Magazine, Kritya, The Homestead Review, The Song Is, Duane’s Poetree Blogspot, Spillwords, The Writing Disorder, PPP Ezine, The Conclusion Magazine and forthcoming poetry from Digging Through The Fat/Digging, January 25th Issue and the March/April issue of Creative Expressions.


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A poem by Annalise Grey


Ugly is a jagged word that cuts your love in half 

it crushes against your teeth, too big and ill-defined 


If only you’d see how it fumbles about in terror of mirrors 

how it snakes around your tongue to strangle all kindness 


Then perhaps you’d take a sword to your vocabulary 

slicing away the brambles of your hate 


You’d clear away the debris of your wasted thoughts 

and leave a path for me 


About The Poet:

Annalise Grey is a Pennsylvania native, dreamer, explorer.  She writes because she likes talking to the voices in her head.  Her work has been featured in Tiny House Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic Literary Magazine, and Microfiction Monday.


Issue #2

Introducing… Our Editors!

Introducing… Our Contributors!

Letter From The Editor


Burn by Amber Aspinall

Stadium Of Old Rage Rizzalyn Bernarte

Emily by Christine Brooks

When my gynecologist tells me I may be infertile by Alexandra Corinth

When You Tell Me to Smile by Jennifer Criss

Apophenia by Wanda Deglane

Movement by Carla Ferreira

Layers by Kristin Lafollette

2 poems by Will Long

The Gift by Robert Okaji

War Paint by Paige Poe

I Ate This by Chi Sherman

footsteps, the sound of leaves cracking by Frankie Spring

5 micropoems by Jackie Weisenfelder

Dimmed Self-Subtleties Are My Gateway To Self-Acceptance by Madeleine Corley


Creative Non-Fiction

DIARY ENTRY: HEAVEN by Constance Bougie

Braless by Jase Brown

Going Up by Erin Davenport

The Beginning by Ellen Maloney

I’ll Take the One in Black by Sam Rose


The Citrus Thief by Steve Carr

Blackberry Picking by Leah Francis

The Long Walk Home by Jenny Darmody


Fabrice Poussin


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Mason Pippenger


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Letter From The Editor In Chief // Issue #2

Dear Readers,

As always, I want to keep my letter short and sweet so you can enjoy the work of the issue #2 contributors sooner rather than later.

First of all, I want to say thank you to my fellow Brave Voices editors, the literary community in general, issue #1 and issue #2 contributors, our readers, and all of my people (you should know who you are by now).

This issue, like the previous one, features poems, essays, short stories, and artwork from contributors of all backgrounds. These contributors have written and created some incredibly personal, vulnerable,  and powerful work that I hope you all will enjoy.

One last note: be brave. Write the things that hurt. Write the things that make you beam with joy. Do the things that scare the hell out of you. Dream big and don’t apologize. Take up space. Love yourself and other people. It’s worth it; I promise.


Audrey Bowers, EIC