The Writers & Editors for The US Review of Books
The US Review of Books cultivates professional book reviewing talent, which is one of the many reasons why the US Review is different than other on-line publications. Spread across the United States, each reviewer adds a unique voice, while writing to the strict guidelines beneath our publication masthead. Below you'll find information on many of our reviewers and editors.
Over the years, we've had many fine writers work for us. Visit our former former reviewer hall of fame.
Melayna Alicea started her professional writing career upon her first publication in Odradek Journal in 2021. Melayna writes for Yellow Scene Magazine in Boulder, CO, the US Review of Books, and a number of blogs. She is a lover of books and is excited to be working on publishing her very first novel. Outside of writing and reading, Melayna enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors with her husband and children.
Carol Anderson, D.Min., ACSW, LMSW, is a retired Clinical Social Worker, Clinical Director, Program Developer, and Adjunct Professor of Social Work. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree (spirituality) and is the author of Where All Our Journeys End: Searching for the Beloved in Everyday Life, which has been praised for its depth of prose and beauty of poetry. A voracious reader and writer, she is currently working on her second book, The Soul of Social Work Practice: Embracing Spirituality. She has also written professionally regarding mental health and addiction issues. She is an ongoing volunteer and politically active in the LGBTQ community. Dr. Anderson is a Marquis Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who of America scholar.
Toby Berry is a freelance writer and author of Northwest Flatwater Paddling guidebook. She earned her BS in biology at the Univ of Oregon, where she also studied technical writing and literature. She has been a professional laboratory genetic technologist and writer for decades. Her freelance work includes book reviews, as well as health, medical, and travel articles primarily for the Oregonian, Portland Business Journal, Canoe and Kayak magazine, and several travel and parenting publications. She lives with her spouse and dogs in the rural town of Boring, OR.
Mari Carlson currently divides her time between WI, MN and DC. When not reading and reviewing, she practices, teaches, and performs violin and viola—Jazz, rock, classical, folk—you name it and she'll join in!
Carolyn Davis is a librarian, an editor, and author of more than fifty publications and presentations, including a textbook for ABC-CLIO Publishers, How to Write Persuasively Today. As a researcher/librarian, she has lived and worked in six countries, including two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica—the fifth wheelchair-user to have been accepted. Her passions include doing what she can for the physical environment and advocacy for other-than-human animals. Currently a freelance editor and copyeditor, recently for Chiron Publications. She has completed an environmental, conflict-resolution-based young adult book, entitled Eban and the Dolphins, and is writing the second book in the series.
Priscilla Estes is a former medical editor, copy writer, and award-winning freelance journalist. Her most recent book, 50 Day Hikes in New Jersey, was published in 2019 by the non-profit Appalachian Mountain Club. Several unpublished novels lurk in her closet, including one fully developed manuscript. She plays gongs for healing and relaxation and teaches yoga. The mountains of Western North Carolina are home and provide the bliss of hiking and trail work. She enjoys current events and working for The U.S. Review of Books.
Peter M. Fitzpatrick spent three years studying Theater at S.I.U., concentrating on playwriting and criticism until a major health crisis struck. He changed his major to Philosophy, receiving a B.A. from Bradley University—Phi Kappa Phi—in that discipline. Postgraduate work in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Illinois led to announcing for NPR. Love of words, concepts, and artistic expression has permeated it all. He has published poems and several short stories, and is now working on a longer form.
Gretchen Hansen holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts and several Professional Writing certificates from University of Washington. She has spent the last twenty five years managing social work programs, for which wrote several in-house manuals, reports, and countless grants. Her first publication is an E-manual that became available on-line in 2021. Currently, she is providing consultation to small, local art businesses by writing business plans and general messaging. Ancient History and Art are her passions, but she is curious about everything.
Amanda Hanson is a freelance writer, translator, and book reviewer. She has an MFA in Screenwriting and Playwriting. During her spare time, she likes to go to the movies and the beach.
Mark Heisey is a librarian in a rural town in Oklahoma. He has worked as an editor, English teacher, and selector for a state book award list. When he has time, he likes to read, play games, travel, and, occasionally, work with his hands. He holds a B.A. in literature.
Boze Herrington is an award-winning poet, novelist, and culture writer whose work has appeared in the Guardian, the Atlantic, Nerdist, and Lit Hub. At any given time, he would like to be reading a mystery or a book of fairy-tales in an alcove of a university library in a big city.
Joyce Jacobo is a freelance writer with an MA in Literature & Writing Studies. Her work has appeared in anthologies such the San Diego Poetry Annual and Reading Harbor's Seeking Human Kindness, alongside university publications like Bravura and Oh, Cat. In addition, she has recently launched The Literary Serenity Archives, as a place to gather feel-good pieces and encourage other writers to make their voices heard.
Michelle Jacobs is a librarian and a freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Master of Arts in Linguistics, and a Master of Science in Education-Library Science. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers on topics ranging from parenting, travel, pop culture, and family. As a librarian, she spends a lot of time fostering a love of reading and recommending books to teenagers and adults.
Kat Kennedy is a former teacher of English literature and composition. She works part-time as a freelance writer to pursue her photography and art hobbies. Her poetry has won numerous awards and her novella, Flamingo Funeral, was short-listed in the Faulkner Wisdom Competition. She writes about the South, music, and whatever happens to cross her mind on the blog, Tea Cakes and Whiskey. She lives in Mobile, AL with her husband, Randy and too many flying critters to count.
Jonah Meyer is a poet, writer, and editor based in North Carolina. He holds a Bachelors in Cultural Anthropology and Masters in Library and Information Systems. His creative work has appeared in more than fifty publications. Jonah serves as poetry editor for Mud Season Review, Twin Bird Review, Random Sample, and Voicemail Poems; copy editor for Under the Gum Tree; poetry reader with Okay Donkey and The Maine Review; and feature writer for Heavy Feather. Other interests include playing guitar, banjo, and piano; shooting street photography; and studying Buddhist philosophy.
Sarah Poulette has worked as a copywriter, technical writer, editor, and college English instructor. She earned her B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from Colgate University and her M.A. in English Literature from Boston College. When she isn't writing, reading, or writing about reading, Sarah enjoys cooking, gardening, and hiking around upstate New York with her husband and their two children.
Michael Radon started his professional writing career in 2010, and has been reviewing books with The U.S. Review of Books nearly the entire time in addition to reviewing electronics, crowdfunding projects, and music. He has participated in community writing events such as NaNoWriMo both individually and by helping out other local writers.
Kate Robinson promises to always dance with absurdity and paradox. She began her literary career writing bad poetry at age ten. After working as a grocery clerk, nursing assistant and home health aide, city bus driver, museum aide, a variety of office assistant positions, and K-12 substitute teacher, all while studying (BA 1999, MA 2010) and raising a family, scribbling looked like a suitable diversion. Now she whacks words amidst the mystical saguaro forests of the Sonoran Desert.
Barbara Bamberger Scott is a freelance writer, editor, book reviewer, and author/co-author of several nonfiction books. She has lived, worked, and traveled in Botswana, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, India, England, and Spain. She has won several writing prizes, is a songwriter/musician, and writes articles for Homestead.org. Since 2005, she has hosted an international writing competition, A Woman's Write, to highlight and reward the work of creative women.
Mihir Shah has been a freelance writer since 2006, producing articles and book reviews for various publications on topics ranging from sports, world literature, and art history to cinema, fiction, and poetry. He holds a Master’s in Educational Counseling and has experience in web development, but in his free time, he is drawn to the written word and his novelist aspirations.
Dylan Ward holds a BA in Film and is a fiction writer and screenwriter. His writing includes short stories, screenplays, essays and reviews. He is currently at work on his first novel.
Nicole Yurcaba is a Ukrainian-American poet and essayist. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Atlanta Review, The Lindenwood Review, Whiskey Island, Raven Chronicles, Appalachian Heritage, North of Oxford, and many other online and print journals. Nicole holds an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. Her poetry collection Triskaidekaphobia is forthcoming from the UK press Black Spring Group in 2022. She teaches poetry workshops for Southern New Hampshire University and works as a high school career counselor for Blue Ridge Community College.
Philip Zozarro is a great lover of books, reading between 10-15 a month. Books are a journey worth undertaking whether to the past in history or to worlds unknown in fiction. He reads history, biographies/memoirs, true crime, humor, mystery/thrillers, and historical fiction.
Deb Mavin (Managing Editor) has multiple degrees, including one in fine arts writing. Her many freelance publishing credits include several ghostwritten books. She is a diver, space enthusiast (how she first met the US Review's Senior Editor), and public activist. As the Managing Editor of The US Review of Books, she works to maintain both a broadening readership and the publication's consistently high standards.
John E. Roper (Editor) first started writing professionally in the 1980s while earning his degree in English Literature. Although his work appeared mainly in newspapers such as The Sedona Times and The Arizona Republic, he also wrote for a pioneering digital platform called Infoview. He then took a twenty-year sabbatical to live, teach, and travel in Africa, Asia, and Europe. In 2008, he returned to the U.S. and freelancing, with his articles and reviews being published on USAToday.com, Hotels.com, Salon.com, Breakpoint.org, and many other websites, including The US Review of Books. His play, When I Was Five, has been produced in three countries.
Max Durant (Web Editor) is an IT professional with fifteen years experience on various platforms. He can build a decent website faster than you can bake soufflé. He harasses the staff by saying that the proper pronunciation of WiFi is "We-Fee." An avid reader, he thinks creative writing is worthwhile at all costs. He joined The US Review of Books to "keep us writers grounded in reality." No one is immune to Max's scrutinous humor, which will eventually reach your doorstep. Among his favorite quotes is Flaubert's "To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost."
Christopher Klim (Senior Editor) is the author of the story collection, True Surrealism, the novel Idiot!, and several other books. He was the Executive Editor of Best New Writing from 2007 to 2014. He currently serves as the Chair of the Eric Hoffer Book Award and led the effort to restore Hoffer's books to print. At The US Review of Books, he hopes to expose readers to great new books, see that freelance writers get paid for their work, and provide all authors with access to professional reviews and cost-effective promotion.
Former Reviewer Hall of Fame
Donna A. Ford has spent twenty-plus years in the corporate world as a technical writer. Ford’s own miracle call as a writer is given in Miracle of the Call, her third independently published book. Two of her books recommended by the U.S. Review of Books. Ford lives in New England and enjoys reading biographies and giving them to her nine grandchildren.
Jennifer Hartman is a published writer, editor, and book reviewer. She holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Jennifer currently writes children's books and is pursuing publication for a series focused on her life raising chickens on her farm in rural North Carolina.
Joe Kilgore is an award-winning writer of novels, novellas, short stories and screenplays. Prior to writing fiction, Joe was a creative director with international advertising agency, Ogilvy, where he wrote and produced television and radio commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, and Internet content. Now the author of six novels and a collection of short stories, Joe lives and writes in Austin, Texas with his wife, an accomplished artist, their French bulldog, two cats, and various squirrel, deer, armadillos, and more who simply wander by.
Jordana Landsman is an award-winning author, poet, reader, and working mom of three. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California and holds a Master’s Degree in English.
Brittany Smith holds a B.S in Communications and is pursuing a graduate degree. She has been a freelance writer in both the sports and academic realms. She's working on a sports comedy show pilot, as well as a work of fiction.
Gabriella Tutino holds a BA in Creative Writing and is a freelance writer. She has written book, comic, and movie reviews, and her articles have covered local NYC events, news, and cultural trends. She is currently working on short stories and her travel blog.