Our Beloved Staff

Dr. Justine Dymond: Fiction Editor,
Scholarly Publications Editor

Justine Dymond received her M.F.A. in Fiction from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her story "The Emigrant," drawn from her experiences teaching in a French prison, won The Briar Cliff Review fiction prize, was published there, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently working on a novel based on "The Emigrant." Her fiction has also appeared in Pleiades, womenwriters.net, Allegheny Review and Radio Transcript Newspaper, and her poetry has appeared in Cimarron Review. Since she is addicted to school, she recently finished her Ph.D. in 20th century American literature at UMass, specializing in women’s and ethnic literatures. Her dissertation focused on three women writers—Jessie Redmon Fauset, Mourning Dove (a.k.a. Christine Quintasket), and Meridel Le Sueur—whose underread novels, she argued, hover on the margins of the modernist literary movement and yet experiment with form and genre in interesting ways.

When she’s not writing, reading, or teaching, she devotes her free time to prison justice activism. She also loves eating and is lucky to have a partner who loves to cook, a match made in the kitchen. They live at the foot of the Mount Holyoke Range in western Massachusetts where there are miles and miles of hiking trails that eventually hook up with the Appalachian Trail. Someday Justine will hike the Appalachian Trail, someday, not today, not tomorrow, but someday.

Favorite fiction writers: Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Edith Wharton, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sandra Cisneros, Leslie Marmon Silko, Melanie Rae Thon, Sherman Alexie (especially his short stories and his movie "Smoke Signals"—you gotta see it!), Toni Morrison, Kamila Shamsie, and Gayl Jones. (Justine is in the middle of reading Jones’s Mosquito; it is magnificent, it is a tour-de-force of writing, it is the next Ulysses, no exaggeration.)

Favorite poets: Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Wislawa Szymborska, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Medbh McGuckian, Lynn Emmanuel, Saul Williams, and Li-Young Lee, especially his poem "Persimmon." Poets she knows, whose work she loves: Herman Fong, Agha Shahid Ali, Martín Espada, and Jim Daniels, men whose love for language is palpable.

From J.D.:

No matter what the genre, I relish writing that presses against the boundaries of form, and that uses language in such a fresh and finely chiseled way that you can taste and feel it. Like Emily Dickinson, I want to "feel the top of my head lift off."

Justine is also a charter member of Women Writers' Editorial Board, launched Winter 2001.

With Women Writers since: Summer 2000

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