Holly Apperson was born in Clearwater and has called Pinellas County home ever since. Everywhere else is for adventures. She began studying her craft in high school and has continued to learn by trial and error ever since. Holly uses a Nikon to capture her love of nature, but she is always eager to explore new subject matter. Her work has been published in promotional advertisements, a corporate calendar, and included in the book A Brief History of Safety Harbor, Florida. She has also won contests for her work.
Walt Belcher is a former TV critic and feature writer for The Tampa Tribune for nearly 35 years. He taught writing for mass communications at The University of Tampa. After nearly 35 years in Hillsborough County Walt and his wife Debbie moved to downtown Safety Harbor to enjoy the art, music and culture the area has to offer. Still writing daily for pleasure, he also spends time with five grandkids and his two sons and their families.
As a woman of color, Amy Bryant’s life has been shaped by a multicultural mosaic, spanning Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Her memoir, You CAN Go Home Again: Reflections of a Nubian Daughter, is a collection of vignettes to honor the richness of a heritage that defines her unique American experience. A retired psychotherapist, Amy currently blogs for Safety Harbor Connect.
Gregory Byrd’s prose has appeared in the St. Petersburg Times, Good Old Boat, American Motorcyclist and elsewhere. His poems have appeared widely in journals in the United States and abroad. His latest book of poems is Salt and Iron (Snake Nation, 2014). Among his awards are a Creative Pinellas Rapid Returns Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship to Albania, and a Pushcart Prize Nomination. He teaches writing and humanities at St. Petersburg College.
A Florida native and retiree, Patricia Daharsh writes haiku and records memories of her childhood travels throughout the eastern U.S. with migrant parents. Non-fiction has appeared in Pinesong, The Seven Hills Review and Cuirve River VII. In 2009 and 2015 Pat’s entries placed First in the ukiaHaiku International competition. Additional prose and haiku entries have been finalists in national and international contests. She is working on a memoir.
Bruce Duncan has worn many hats over the years: architect, real estate developer, primary parent, urban planner, and, always, photographer. Bruce has taken classes at the Provincetown Arts Center, and his work has been recognized at the Indian Rocks
Beach Art Center and the Tarpon Springs Art Contest. While he seeks interesting structural details, animals, and street photography, he loves experimenting with his photos to make the hidden visible.
The managing editor of Odet, Warren Firschein is the author of Out of Synch and the coauthor of A Brief History of Safety Harbor, Florida. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he served as an editor of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review, and Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, he is a long-time attorney for the Federal Communications Commission. He lives in Safety Harbor, Florida, with his wife and two daughters.
Michelle Glans is a twelfth-grade student in the Creative Writing and Visual Arts departments at Miami Arts Charter School. She has been published in Creative Communications and the Young American Poetry Digest, and has won two gold keys in Scholastics Art and Writing as well as three silver keys. She lives in Miami with her parents.
A former advertising art director and graphic artist, Carrie Font Granato now fulfills her creative needs through writing prose. She is currently at work on two light romance novels, which draw upon her Cuban heritage. When not creating, she can be found teaching karate, practicing yoga, and enjoying nature along Florida’s Gulf Coast. She is the art director and an editor of Odet.
Daniela Gutierrez lives in Miami with her mom and her sister. She attends Miami Arts Charter under the Creative Writing branch. When she grows up, she hopes to combine her passion for history and writing.
After 42 years in education, Lennie Hay now uses her life-long love of language and her energy to write poetry. She draws on her love of music, family history, foreign travel, and the sound of the surf washing up on the beach of Indian Shores, where she now lives with her husband Bruce Duncan, as subjects for her poetry. Recently Lennie entered the low-residency MFA program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY.
Maureen Jenkins is a playwright and poet. She is part of the Poetry Circle at OLLI at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Suncoast Playwrights and Pinellas Writers. She lives in Largo, FL and Pittsburgh, PA.
Jeff Jeter is a Florida native and former member of the FFA, NRA and American Mensa. Jeff holds a full-time job and barbecues when he can. His interests include responsible parenthood, malty ales and sketching caricatures during staff meetings. His work has been published in Solo Novo and The Sandhill Review.
Jen Karetnick is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, including American Sentencing (Winter Goose Publications, May 2016) and The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016), as well as four poetry chapbooks. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Negative Capability, One, Painted Bride Quarterly, Prairie Schooner Review, Spillway and Verse Daily. She works as the Creative Writing Director for Miami Arts Charter School and as a freelance dining critic, lifestyle journalist and cookbook author.
Katherine Kennedy is a teacher, writer and college advisor. She holds graduate degrees in Education from American University and Harvard University. She lives with her husband and three children in their adopted hometown of Sarasota, Florida.
Ariana Kepner (illustrations) graduated from USF with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology. She lives in Safety Harbor and enjoys a wide range of subjects, often discovered through books. In her spare time she draws, paints and creates whimsical creatures in paper maché. A previous illustration was included in A Brief History of Safety Harbor, Florida.
Wendy Keppley, a Florida native, counseled troubled teens and taught college courses for high school honor students. She enjoys family, playing with her grandsons, and living in the woods near Tampa. Wendy also loves writing, kayaking, reading, yoga, exploring waterfalls, and oneirology.
After years as an IT professional, P. R. King is currently focused on writing fiction. Her current project is a mystery novel which, coincidentally, takes place in a condo community on Florida’s Gulf coast. She has completed a Middle Grade novel based on her childhood experience of living in Libya. She’s an avid reader, currently obsessed with the Harry Bosch series. She is impatient and stubborn which she blames on her moon being stuck in Capricorn.
Darla Klein has previously published poetry in Friends Journal, Melting Trees Review, and in Tulip Trees Review as recipient of an Honorable Mention in their Stories That Need to Be Told Contest. She lives in Clearwater and is inspired by both sunny beach days and ferocious thunderstorms. If she’s not journaling on her patio, she might be seen performing at an open mic, off in the woods camping, or in silent retreat.
Deborah Klein has been a resident of Safety Harbor for several years. She is a blogger and a poet and was awarded best local poet for 2016 by Creative Loafing. She is a member of the Safety Harbor Writers & Poets as well as the Safety Harbor Art and Music Collective. Deborah shares her little home with two cats and a vortex somewhere in the kitchen. She has a daughter who lives in San Francisco.
Romeo Lemay was born in Quebec, Canada and passed away at the age of 89 in Palm Harbor, Florida. At a young age, Romeo was a Cub Reporter for LeDroit, a French newspaper. He joined General Motors of Canada in 1946 and retired at 58 with 37 years of service as Lead Hand in the Master Mechanic Division of the Precision Tool Grinding Division. While at G.M. he was co-editor for the 199 News for the UAW plant union and others affiliated in the area. Romeo had been encouraged by family and friends to write down his stories, and fortunately, he did. His self-published book, Facts Fiction, Fantasies and Foolishness has allowed for his humor and wit to live on. While he is greatly missed by his friends and family, a scholarship allows them to introduce him to others through an annual writing contest in his name.
Andrea McBride relocated to the Tampa area from Ohio in 2009. She discovered a love for poetry after joining the Writers’ Circle from Saint Leo University in San Antonio, Florida. She has had poems published in several journals including Alba, A Handful of Stones, River Poets, and the Sandhill Review.
Cameron Hunt McNabb is an assistant professor of English at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL and a fourth-generation Florida native. Her work focuses on her home state and has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as the Tampa Review Online, Steel Toe Review, Neutrons Protons, Creative Loafing, and Deep South.
Marcia Jaron Morley is a former journalist and visiting instructor in English at Purdue University. She was the recipient of several poetry and prose awards while at Purdue and has had work published in magazines and newspapers. A transplanted Hoosier, she loves living in beautiful Florida, which inspires her poetry and fiction. Marcia resides in Clearwater with her husband, Jack.
A closet poet for many years, Louise Moses recently entered the world of submissions where she enjoys occasional encouragement. A theoretical mathematician by training, she was born in Ohio, lives in Florida, and aspires to live in Paris.
Kaitlin Murphy-Knudsen is a writer, editor and writing coach who lives in Safety Harbor, Florida. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler and other national publications. She also ghostwrites for individuals and non-profit organizations, and she has taught writing at The University of Tampa, American University, Buffalo State College, and secondary schools in the United States and Japan. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s in Secondary English Education from New York University.
Katherine Nichols was born in Miami and attended Miami Arts Charter School where she double majored in Photography and Creative Writing. She enjoys writing poetry and non-fiction. Katherine received a National Gold Medal in Scholastic Art and Writing and she was published in the Susquehanna Journal. In addition to her arts, she loves traveling and meeting new people.
Dianne Persall is a 27-year resident of the Tampa Bay area and a slow but enthusiastic triathlete. She is a member of the Story Circle Creative Writing Group and has been published in the last three Safety Harbor Story Circle Annual chapbooks.
After majoring in Literature at Yale, Brooks Peters worked as a freelance writer and editor in New York, contributing to Architectural Digest, Opera News, Metropolitan Home, OUT, Quest, and Vanity Fair. Since moving to Florida he has pursued a new passion: poetry. In 2016 he won first prize in Creative Loafing’s Poetry contest.
Carlos Rolon (known to his friends as Chino), has been writing spoken word since 1975. As he puts it, he cut his poetic teeth at the place called the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in NYC. The cafe was founded by writer and poet Miguel Algarin in 1973. It started and created a new movement called Nuyorican Poetry. Chino is now a resident of Tampa and continues to perform spoken word at open mics throughout the tri-city area.
Laurie Ross, fine art photographer, lives, plays and works in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. Locally renowned for her 2013 book, Shop Dogs: A Photo Essay of Dogs That Go To Work. Laurie brings nearly 30 years of experience to her work, which also includes events such as parties, smaller weddings, portraits, and other intimate occasions that allow her freedom to express her artistic vision.
Born in England, Camilla Shoosmith emigrated to Florida as a child, spending much of her childhood in the sunshine. She is a graduate of Boca Ciega High School and has a Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of South Florida. She is currently studying Secondary Science Education at St. Petersburg College. In her free time, you can find her with her husband and her daughter, or of course, writing.
Elisa Silverstein is an 11th grade student from Miami. She is currently taking creative writing in school and she enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and songs.
Noah Snitzer is a Junior in Miami Arts Charter school. He has won multiple awards, including two gold keys for poetry and flash-fiction in Scholastics, and a national silver medal. In his free time, he reads, enjoys the warm shores of Miami, and watches funny animal videos.
Jason Swierk lives in Safety Harbor and is proud to be part of the city’s vibrant writing and arts community. He is currently seeking representation for his novel and is pursuing journals for his shorter works.
Vivian Taylor, PhD, finished her first novel on New Year’s Eve then watched
fireworks over water. Poet, theorist, editor, writer, freelancer. Taylor’s bylines appear in Tributary, Saw Palm, Journal of Critical Animal Studies, German Cinema: A Critical Filmography to 1945, etc., and her uncredited oeuvre is broader and as diverse.
Jaclyn Telfair graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Animal Biology. Since 2006, she has worked as a government scientist in Tampa. When not in the laboratory, she spends her time writing, drawing, or making wine. The hours spent running on Florida trails helps fuel her imagination.
Elyse Thomas is an 8th grade writer from the creative writing department in Miami Arts Charter School. She has been published three times so far in several poetry anthologies and participated in Piano Slam 8 by performing in the Adrienne Arsht Center. Elyse continues to write and work on her craft. She hopes to gain more opportunities to elevate and present her writing in the near future.
Terrie Dahl Thomas is from Warren, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Edinboro University with a degree in Geography with a focus in Environmental Planning. Her family moved to Safety Harbor in 1983 and Terrie joined them in 1991. Terrie loves capturing the beauty of nature through both photography and Gyotaku, the ancient Japanese art of fish rubbing. Terrie's photography has been featured on NOAA’s World Ocean Day's photography challenges and also in the book, A Brief History of Safety Harbor, Florida. Terrie’s favorite thing to do is explore outdoors with her husband Chip and daughter Fairl, camera in hand.
Cheryl A. Van Beek is grateful to be published in the first issue of Odet and also to have had poems published with Creative Writing Ink, Sandhill Review, River Poets Journal and many others. She has also written for a local newspaper. She lives with her wonderful husband and their two cats in Florida, “The Land of Flowers.”
Alaina Virgilio is a local freelance photographer residing near the historic town of Tarpon Springs. She is 27 years old and likes a good book, coffee, and getting behind her camera. She uses her skills to create images that evoke both emotion and wonder. A creative outlet to break through the mundane.
Resie Waechter is a St. Pete native who is currently studying English and History at the University of South Florida. She loves finding hidden gems in the city, and exploring everything Florida has to offer.
Janet Watson, who was born in Ohio, has called Florida home for many years, and currently resides in Pasco County. Her poetry has been published in anthologies and literary journals, and in her book Eyes Open, Listening. She is Youth and Student Contest Chair for the Florida State Poets Association and is president of New River Poets, a local chapter of that organization.
William L. Willard, Sr. has been writing for and about traditional Americans for over 40 years. Born in New York City in 1946, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1964 and was assigned to Hickam AFB, Hawaii, where he met Sue Ann Davis. They married in 1969 and still are. The Willards have lived in Tampa Bay since 1985.