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Home DUCTS.ORG Issue 12 | Winter 2003 the webzine of personal stories
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Meet the People Behind the Stories




Dom, one of four brothers, was born in the Bronx, New York in 1940 of first generation Italian-American parents. He attended PS 95, then Fordham Prep, and finally Fordham College, where he specialized in tippling and eking out what was then called "the gentleman C." Nevertheless, he managed to go on to earn an M.A. and a Ph.D. (in medieval English literature) from Fordham. He is now a professor at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry. In 1980, Dom added general contractor to his resume, more or less in imitation of his idol, Geoffrey Chaucer who, for a time, had charge of construction and maintenance projects for Richard II. Having no royalty to serve, Dom has built and remodeled castles for the aristocracy of Westchester, N.Y. A few years ago, despite his best efforts, Dom's poetic urge reemerged-metastasized as a desire to write memoir. "The Store" is a symptom of that disease.




Susie studies English and creative writing at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. She will be graduating in May and will need a job. Please send suggestions to susan.armitage@oberlin.edu.




Lorraine, 44, is a full-time journalist whose feature stories have appeared nationally. Her book Life Touches Life: A Mother's Story of Stillbirth and Healing will be released by NewSage Press in April 2004. Her plays - Tyler, Monroe and Jackson - have been published by The History Project. Lorraine, who has a master's degree from Fordham University, lives in New Jersey with her husband Bill. She is now at work on a book of essays.




Crystal freelances in TV and film production. Technically, that means she is unemployed. She would love to be a paid writer, but she would love even more to have health insurance. With or without dental. She's not picky.




Aaron is a writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He's made dozens of appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien -- usually playing an NBC page or wearing some sort of animal costume. Aaron's performed in numerous improv shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City.You may contact him at Awesomefactory@aol.com.




Maggie writes about what it is to be her a, "woman at the center of the world with nothing but a headache and a tube of crusted black mascara." But she hopes that her words reach those who are like her. E-mail: mberrizi@aol.com




Bill is the editor of a small daily newspaper in New Hampshire. He studied creative writing at Harvard and is currently at work on a novel. He is married... with children.




Fiona was born in Istanbul and grew up in Brooklyn. After a variety of careers; including booking clown parties, assisting neurosurgeons, training dogs and analyzing schizophrenics in asylums; Fiona was drawn towards the world of fiction. She has worked in literary agencies and editorial departments of Random House and Penguin. Currently she is writing her debut novel. She has performed her writing in venues including Telephone Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Knitting Factory, KGB, and Bowery Poetry Club. She lives in New York City with her husband Dave, and two bunnies.




Jennifer is a writer and editor of both fact and fiction. She resides in Hell's Kitchen (not Clinton!), New York. She has published work in City Writers Review and Coelacanth Magazine, and is working on a collection of short stories.




Cynthia is a retired specialty food and confectionery broker, living in Westchester county, New York. She was born in England in 1933 and came to the United States in 1957. She is delighted to be embarking on a writing career in 2003.




Mildred has been writing poetry since she was a child and has published in college literary journals, including Turning House, the journal of Union Theological Seminary, where she works as the Faculty Secretary and International Student Advisor. She has taken fiction and non-fiction workshops at the Writer's Voice of the Westside Y in NYC and attended various writing conferences around the country. She has a Bachelor's degree in Theater and a Master's degree in Teaching ESL. Her website, www.englishforeverything.com, offers online editing services for native and non-native speakers of English. She was the development editor for several popular-level physics books by her brother, Robert Ehrlich, including Nine Crazy Ideas in Science/Some of Which May Even Be True∑ She has just finished writing a memoir, Beauty through Broken Glass.




Thomas, a.k.a. Naked Man, is teaching English and Spanish to junior high and high school students in Japan. He studied art history at New York University and has traveled and lived throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia. His photographs have appeared in articles and magazines, and have been exhibited in Japan. He also makes guest appearances as a DJ at his local coffee house in Okayama City.



art gallery

Abby is a sculptor living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work deals with social structures and identity. These ideas are translated visually through materials and technical process. Abby received a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and a MFA from Syracuse University.




Kevin is an improviser who performs regularly at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre with the house team FILTH. Additionally, Kevin has an unhealthy obsession with stories about time travel. In his free time he doodles on scraps of paper and then occasionally redraws them on clean paper. Some of this can be found on www.platypuscomics.com



art gallery

Jeremiah currently resides in Williamsport PA. Education includes: PA Governor's School for the Arts, Tyler School of Art of Temple Univ, Syracuse Univ. Hobbies include drawing, painting, listening to music, and frequenting bars (sober.) His turn-ons are excited people, free pool, late night walks, and lots to look at. Turn offs: pessimism and discussions about politics or religion. His favorite foods are dim sum, sushi, and peanut butter and jelly. Contact Jeremiah at: passengerpop@hotmail.com




Born in 1962, Craig Kelley grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, went to the University of Rochester on a NROTC scholarship and then served in the Marine Corps for four and a half years, seeing such faraway places as the Southern California desert, the Philippines and Malaysia. During these travels, he became interested in environmental issues. Less than four weeks after resigning his Marine Corps commission, Craig was knocking on doors for Greenpeace. Craig attended Boston College Law School, where he graduated cum laude in 1993 and earned the Susan B. Desmaris award for Public Service Achievement and Leadership. Following law school, Craig became an environmental consultant, married Hope Kelley and now raises two boys in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is active in local politics. Visit his website at www.CraigKelley.Org




Patricia was born in Seattle. Having earned a living as a writer and teacher of writing for over 15 years, Kinney has been a journalist, columnist, screenwriter, photographer, playwright, comedienne and editor. Kinney studied writing and literature at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and is currently obtaining her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles. The mother of six boys (two are writers) recently relocated to Portland, Oregon, where she knows two people. Kinney has been published in The Sun , Hipmama , Bellowing Ark , Poetry Motel , Poetry Magazine , Steam Ticket , Slightly West and various other journals and anthologies. Kinney is editor and publisher of 4th Street , a poetry bi-monthly.




Born in South Africa, Sheila Kohler currently resides in New York City. Her novels include The House on R Street, Cracks, and Children of Pithiviers. Her collection, One Girl:  A Novel in Stories , won the 1998 Willa Cather Fiction Prize.  Stories from Another World appeared in October 2003. 




Benjamin is a freelance writer based in Thailand. A former Thailand Peace Corps volunteer, he now lives and works in the northern town of Mae Hong Son, near the Burmese border.




Katrina is a graduate Broadcast Journalism student at New York University. She also has a degree in acting from NYU. Over the last few years, Katrina has directed a number of off-off Broadway plays and recently completed a feature length documentary about her hometown, entitled "Homecoming."


Laura Emily


Laura is recently retired from her job as a Business Systems Analyst at a major U.S. Corporation. She now divides her time between working as a Reference Librarian in a public library and writing her memoir, Losing the Atmosphere.


William A.


Will is gigantic. Dogs and kids enjoy his company. Cats wonder what they ever did to deserve the cold shoulder. Sharks don't have to wonder.



art gallery

Pablo was born in 1972 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and lives and paints in Brooklyn. Recent exhibitions of Ramella's work include "Wrapped in Society's Cloak" and "Savage Love" at Signal 66 in Washington, D.C. and "Andrew Andrew Present Viewer's Choice" at Cynthia Broan Gallery in New York City. In the latter show, Ramella exhibited New Neighbors, a painting that depicts a heated argument between a naked Ramella and a female version of the artist. Gallery visitor and U.S. Presidential candidate Reverend Al Sharpton amusingly singled out this painting as something he could "relate to". Ramella's work has been reviewed in The Washington Post, Art News and Flash Art. He received the New York Foundation for the Arts Artist's Fellowship in 2001 and a Morris Louis Fellowship in 1993. A collection of Ramella's work on paper may also be viewed at the Flat Files in Pierogi 2000, Brooklyn, New York.




Elliot, who resides in New York City, writes about classical music, books, and ideas.



J. Ward


J. Ward Regan has a Ph.D. in Labor and Cultural History from SUNY Stony Brook. He teaches history and philosophy at New York University, Pratt Institute of Art and Design and Bard collage. He is part of the New York Council for the Humanities Speakers in the Humanities Program. He has worked in off-Broadway theater and independent film in New York for over a decade, and currently speaks and performs in and around NYC.




Philippe has attended school, lived and worked in Manhattan 24 years and in only two apartments. He scaled the corporate ladder, producing everything from Japanese television commercials to investment bank Web sites, until he jumped off. He is currently drawing down his retirement fund and working on short stories and a novel.




Catherine lives with her family in Ontario. They live on a hot air balloon flight path, and own a dog.




Helen's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, Brooklyn Bridge and Scientific American: Explorations. A proud booster of her adopted hometown (New York), she is a nonfiction contributor to Totally Brooklyn.







Jonathan is best known for his ability to scratch his forehead and squint his eyes simultaneously. He is a writer, editor and some time trumpet player who spends too much time reading long feature stories on the world wide web. He is a co-founder of ducts and founder of the New York based reading series, Trumpet Fiction, held each month at KGB Bar in the east village. He has studied writing with a number of teachers in New York, including Alice Eliot Dark (fiction), the late Fred Hudson (screenwriting) and Alison Estes (children's fiction) and has held a number of odd jobs, including news reporter, taxi cab driver, projectionist and ducts installer (hmmmm). He currently works as a computer consultant. He has recently taken up improv comedy classes with the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater of NYC as a way to discover finer and more glorious ways of embarrassing himself on a weekly basis. You can contact him at editor@ducts.org.



Philip is a freelance film editor and co-founder of ducts. His programs have appeared on PBS, ABC, Cinemax, Lifetime Television, The Learning Channel, and in theaters and film festivals around the world. He lives in New York with his wife Julie.



humor editor

Laura is a science editor about town, most recently at the medical website Praxis.md. She has studied improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and has collaborated on two short films by Please Stop Stealing My Bike Productions.




humor editor &

Daniel is a freelance writer and actor whose work has appeared in Modern Humorist and been performed on the NPR programs Rewind and Morning Edition. He is currently studying improvisation at the UCB theater and performs frequently with the improv troupe Robotski . He lives in Brooklyn. Email Daniel at dkirk78@yahoo.com.




Anna is a singer, comedian, and entertainer extraordinaire. She originally hails from Yakima, „The Palm Springs of Washington State,š but makes New York City her home now. She has studied with the American Comedy Institute, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and Wickham Vocal Studios. She directs, writes for, and performs with her „Contagious Sketch Comedyš group HERPES (Hilariously Entertaining Ruckus Promoting Existential Self-realization) and performs stand-up throughout the city. She is currently putting together a one-woman Cabaret Show that will headline at the Port Authority A,C,E soon.




Anne, although a fine treasurer, is much more renowned for her songwriting, which reaches back to capture the classic brilliance of favorite hits by Carole King and Laura Nyro. She blurs the lines between jazz, country, rock and R&B, weaving melody and rhythm together in masterful ways. Her rich alto voice leads listeners from one genre to another as she explores the struggles, loves, fears and joys of everyday heroes. When she's not writing great music, Anne is busy crunching numbers for ducts! Anne's new CD " Find Me " is now available and can be found at www.annemironchik.com.





Cody is responsible for directing, designing, and programming the most current phases of the Ducts Web site. Most recently he is working as Art Director for Fitzgerald Brunetti inc. on several design initiatives for Volvo Cars of North America including the well received online program Volvo for life Awards at www.volvoforlifeawards.com. When not fast at work designing the next layout for Ducts, Cody can be found in his Brooklyn studio working on paintings. He has exhibited in Texas, Michigan, New York, and Connecticut. As a designer, he has worked on Web sites, national print campaigns, packaging, identity and branding systems, interior and textile design. Lately Cody and his wife have started „Made Unique,š an independent clothing label. You can find him at cody@madeunqiue.net.



art gallery

Cindy is a Brooklyn based artist, currently working in arts administration in Manhattan. Selected New York group shows include the Painting Center, Here Art Center and the Elsa Mott Ives Gallery. Her work has also been exhibited/screened in conjunction with Hallwalls Art Center (Buffalo NY), The Everson Museum (Syracuse NY) and the Museo de Contemporary Arts (Santiago, Chile.)


Jennifer Lauren


Jennifer is a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is an actress and director.



essays, criticism and reviews editor

fiction contributor

Charles is a New York based freelance writer and teacher. He has published a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction books. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Arts & Leisure section, Redbook, New York Magazine, Travel & Leisure and many others.



fiction editor

Tim's fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, North American Review, Libido, and elsewhere. He's published haiku in Modern Haiku, Time Haiku, and Black Bough. He's an occasional journalist, and a full time teacher, working at both NYU and the New York Writers Workshop.


Ryan Van

poetry editor

Ryan is 24 years old and lives out of a backpack. He has no permanent residence and is a happy freelance writer. He spends as much time naked as humanly possible. E-Mail him at ryan@smaxx.com.