Natalie Baldino is an 18-year-old philosophy student, writer, and musician from the Chicagoland area. She was a 2010 winner of the NCTE Writing Award and was recently published in the literary magazine Up the Staircase Quarterly. Her writing consists of primarily poetry and personal narrative. Her inspiration comes from philosophy, personal experience, and existential crises. Contact at nbaldino@knox.edu


Malkaya Bell is aiming for everything, and all at once. Contact at brunettebell@gmail.com

Tirzah Ben-Abu is a hairstylist and makeup artist studying at Pivot Point Beauty School in Chicago, IL. She has an affinity for charcoal, oil paints, hairspray, and face paint. Contact at tirzahbenabu@gmail.com

Aviva Bloom is a 21-year-old currently in her senior year at  Stern College for Women in New York City. Once a Studio Arts major, Aviva has taken her love for the arts to the classroom and is now planning to be an elementary school teacher! Aviva finds time to stay centered by teaching yoga classes, making watercolor paintings and taking bubble baths. Contact at avivaruns@yahoo.com

Sara Brande is currently a college student in Boston reading words and writing letters. She has a fascination with the nature of language and language of nature. Her hobbies include reading Allen Ginsberg to her roommates and looking at the sky. Contact at bestmindsgeneration@gmail.com

Allison Buckner is a 21-year-old perpetual senior double majoring in Women’s Studies and Creative Writing. She has no idea what she’s meant to do with her life, but will probably do a bit more than her morals would allow for a well paying job. Allison currently wastes her life away at school and working close to full time as a hostess (yeah, a hostess). Her hobbies include napping, going to concerts, wishing she could teleport to fabulous places around the world, and eating anything cheese flavored. Contact at allison9034@yahoo.com

Christopher Defossez is a future vagrant studying music at Brandeis University. He amuses himself by writing stories, and hopes he can perhaps amuse you, too. Contact at cdefo@brandeis.edu

Emily Duggan is a writer perpetually walking through a curtain a la a person walking through a curtain. A slam poet and recluse, she resides currently in Massachusetts. She used to be afraid of herself, and maybe still is. She loves Tegan & Sara but sleeps with men, and will speak in French during ordinary conversations. She absorbs life from the inside out. Contact at eduggan@brandeis.edu

Dianna Dragonetti is a sad and woefully jaded 17-year-old from suburban PA. She enjoys reading Eastern European literature (Kafka, Goethe, Bulgakov), heatedly discussing existentialism and feminism, making portraits in conte, and singing classically. She also frequently writes prose and poetry; literature is so dear to her that she will likely pursue its study in college. Contact at ddragonetti@msn.com

Kevi Gerstein is studying biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Though her scholarly love is science, she has a passion for photography, filmmaking, graphic design and drawing. Her photographs have been featured in The Red Shoes literary magazine and she volunteers her photography skills for Chicagoland non-profit organizations. Contact at gerstein.kevi@gmail.com

Esther Gutkovsky is an economics student who should really be dancing and criticizing music; economics seems to be the economical route, however. She breathes nature, but will deny it if asked. She is prone to corny jokes and sarcasm, making lists, emotional outbursts both controlled and otherwise, and tends to smile immediately when smiled at. Fortunately, she believes that flowers are aware of the people around them; unfortunately, she tends towards mockery (of everything), the reason yet unknown. Contact at egutkovsky@gmail.com

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May Haley lives in the attic room of a house which she only leaves to visit the cinema, library and post office. She likes incense and maps. One of her bad habits is eating desserts before or instead of a meal, but she doesn’t think it’s that bad, really. Contact at mayblushes@gmail.com

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Oscar Hallas is a 19-year-old from Brooklyn, NY, and a first-year at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. He has not been previously published. He writes poetry, plays, and screenplays, drawing inspiration from his observations about his life and experiences. Contact atbefore.hyperion@gmail.com

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Rebecca Kramer is a pre-med student in NYC at an oppressively religious school. She drinks beer and enjoys sunsets, but thinks sunrises are better. Rebecca kicks ass and takes names. Contact at kramersouth@gmail.com

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Riley Lalumendre is a 21-year-old writer of poetry and prose from Northern Illinois whose main influences are Charles Bukowski, Bret Easton Ellis, Jack Kerouac, and The Tao Te Ching. He’s recently been published in the online magazine Haggard and Halloo. Riley is a supporter of feminism, humanism, and alcoholism. Contact at rlalumendre@gmail.com

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Sima Lichtschein, a rambunctious youngster, is known for her poignant improvisational songwriting and noteworthy horticultural skills. She lives in NY and enjoys casual strolls through the city’s parks, taking pleasure in the small things in life – children. She longs to be a world-traveler but is lacking financial resources to facilitate this. Donations welcome. Contact at sima830@gmail.com

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Perel Lubel is a 23-year-old painter, writer and explorer. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Clinical Art Therapy at a tiny school in the woods. She has a slight obsession with quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt and thinks art was made to be touched, not just seen. Contact at priliyogurt@gmail.com

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Hilary McCreery is a Program Manager at the literary arts non-profit organization PEN Center USA. She attended Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, graduating in 2009 with a B.A. in Art History and English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Her work has been featured in Halfway Down the Stairs, Otherside Magazine and The Contra Costa Times. She currently resides in Los Angeles. Contact at hilary_mccreery@pitzer.edu

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Jimmy McDermott is a pre-service English teacher at Illinois State University. Rather than aiming to uncover any sort of universal or social “truths,” he writes mainly to amuse himself and others. Any profound moments or revelations are purely coincidental. When not in school or writing, he enjoys camping, disc golf, biking, playing music, and the cartoon show Adventure Time.  Jimmy also enjoys drinking… often. You’re welcome to join him. Contact at jpmcder@gmail.com

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Ferrin McGinness is a student at the University of Illinois. She is studying psychology formally, but would be just as happy dedicating her life to photography, writing, and art. Contact at ferrinhm@hotmail.com

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Amber Patrick isn’t in school right now, much to the dismay of her family. In fact, she’s ever-so-slowly working on a Bachelor’s due to a couple changes in major. She’s not apologetic for this slow progression, however, because it has allowed her to find her real passion in the world of music journalism. Now she’s bumping shoulders with bands from all over the country, as well as some international acts, and in the process, learning quite a bit about herself along the way. She cites Estlin & Sylvia as her major influences. She hails from a suburb outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Contact at aterrrormusical@gmail.com

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Aviva Press is a lover of the fine arts and the next big thing in hair, makeup and fashion. From walking down the runway to working behind the scenes, beauty is her passion. She posses versitility which is expressed by her ever changing haircolor that transitions whenever her roots grow in. She is currently studying cosmetology in Evanston, IL. Contact at pressaviva@gmail.com 

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Lorena Quintana is a psychology student at Illinois State University. She enjoys time with her family, friends, wonderful boyfriend, and puppy Napolean. She loves 80’s rock and discussing the complexities and beauties of life. Contact at lorena_quintana_75@yahoo.com

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Ry Rynne is a 19-year-old Psychology & Women’s and Gender Studies student. They enjoy talking in third person, sleeping, lesbians, quietly mocking people, and cats. Contact at arynne@luc.edu

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Evie Saphire-Bernstein is a recent college graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago. She enjoys writing, singing, and dancing in the rain. Her main goal in life is to become a fairy godmother who lives in a treehouse, and her two main role models are Doctor Seuss and Edna Saint Vincent Millay. She often gets lost in used bookstores, and between the 19th and 20th century. Contact at evie.saphire@gmail.com

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Eliana Siegal is a student and a photographer; a bookworm and a music addict. She wants to save the world and would probably rather be reading. She likes people who can make her think as well as make her laugh. When she puts her mind to something, she is unstoppable. She enjoys hugs, being in on the joke, dancing regularly, and sociology. Contact at elianasieg@yahoo.com

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Landon Stark is a student currently majoring in Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago.  He plans to grow as a writer while exploring poetry, fiction, and journalism, as well as children’s stories.  Landon’s writings have been inspired by many authors including Bret Easton Ellis, Shel Silverstein, Richard Fariña, and Flannery O’Conner. Contact at lstark2@live.olivet.edu

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Donna Vatnick is a first-year student at Brandeis University. She is currently studying neuroscience, Spanish, nature, language, friendships, relationships, and spiritual spaceships. Contact at dvatnick@brandeis.edu

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Ender Waters is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer who has been telling stories for as long as he can remember. He began writing almost as soon as he learned to read, and will probably continue to do so until he dies, since he isn’t very good at anything else other than taking pictures, and everyone knows the real money is in short story writing. Right? Contact at ender.waters@gmail.com

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Mirelle Weingarten is a writer, photographer, and sometimes-artist living in Chicago. She used to feel both confined and unsteady until she became enlightened and, in the process, dyed her hair red. After finding herself in Paris, she lost herself again in London until the Bahamas brought her true self back. She is a theater major who enjoys kick ass music, tattoos, and expensive beauty products. She is missing nothing in her life except her magic necklace and the top of her pinky. Contact at mirellefw@gmail.com

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Lior Zwanziger is a 20-year-old child student living in Chicago, studying things that sound impressive and are in fact (impressively boring). She enjoys putting on cold contacts, reading Roald Dahl, and the satisfaction of drawing a funny stick figure comic. Contact at lior.zwanz@gmail.com

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  1. […] Jimmy McDermott, Contributor […]

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LANDFILLS is a grassroots literary, arts and culture online collective based in Chicago. All work is original, except the featured images that accompany text posts (which are blatantly stolen from tumblr.com). Complaints should be directed to Po via Twitter.
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