Our Staff

Nora Balboa is a senior Psychology and English double major from South Elgin, Illinois.  She enjoys creative fiction and nonfiction writing, with a healthy dose of literary analysis thrown in every once in a while.  Some of her favorite authors include Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, and anyone else who makes dinosaurs and libraries come to life.

Jessica Banks is a senior at Drake University with majors in Journalism & Mass Communication and Writing, and a minor in Spanish. She enjoys writing all sorts of fiction, particularly plays and short stories. Her (current) favorite book is Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, which she enjoys for its honesty and accuracy when portraying the difficulties of civilians in World War II.

Kenzie Busekist is a senior Magazine Media and English double major. She has dabbled in many types of writing but her favorite is personal essay. Most of her favorite novels fall into the teen romance and science fiction categories.

Bailee Cofer is a senior from Overland Park, Kansas. In the spring of 2018 she’ll graduate from Drake University with a Public Relations and Writing double major. She enjoys creative nonfiction writing most of all. Her personal essay “The Weight of Being a Long Distance Runner” was published in Periphery in 2017 and also won the Undergraduate Payton Prize at Drake University. Recently, she’s developed an interest in creative flash nonfiction— a difficult genre to write in, but her current favorite genre to read. Her all-time favorite authors and books are much less sophisticated than her field of study lets on. Her favorite book is Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, and she owns the entire collection of Western novels written from 1903-1939 by her favorite author, Zane Grey.

Madison Glennie is a senior majoring in English and in Law, Politics, & Society, with a concentration in Women’s & Gender Studies. She is from Clearwater, Florida. She enjoys writing personal essays, poetry, and literary criticism. She employs a feminist lens in her analytical writing, which particularly concentrates on the roles of gender and power; for example, she has written about law’s relationship to gender and race in the past and present, as well as what we can do about continuing injustices. Her personal writings often relate to popular culture and its effects on her life. Some of her favorite books are Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water, Andrea Gibson’s The Madness Vase, Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?, Tarfia Faizullah’s Seam, and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. She finds herself drawn to reading stories where individuals discuss their personal lives in interesting, exposing ways. She also has a soft spot for young adult fiction since it always feels uniquely honest.

Kate Gorden is a senior with majors in English and Rhetoric, Media, & Social Change and a concentration in Women’s & Gender Studies. She is from Fargo, North Dakota. Most of her writing is for her life in academia, and as a result she has written analytical essays; these essays are primarily about literature and/or politics, per her areas of study. She does, however, write a lot of poetry and occasionally a short story as well. Her favorite writer is Kurt Vonnegut because his work is emotional and absurd, two traits that she wants her writing to have. She also loves the poetry of John Keats—she’d be lying if she said that she’s not a R/romantic—and Sylvia Plath, both her poetry and The Bell Jar.

Once a quiet student in rural Nebraska that couldn’t stop reading, Abi Grimminger is now a senior studying English and Law, Politics, & Society, with a minor in Spanish. She loves almost everything she reads, but her favorite book is probably Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith. In her poetry, Smith thoughtfully and playfully raises questions about faith and science. While she enjoys writing and reading poetry, she finds herself writing academic essays most often at Drake. Also, she is a tutor in the Writing Workshop.

Autumn Meyer is a senior Writing and Digital Media Production student at Drake University. For school, she writes whatever people tell her she needs to write—analysis of poetry, films, books, or copy for websites and social media. Left to her own devices, she writes short form creative nonfiction: anything from autobiographical tidbits to critical analysis of the latest TV show she’s watched. Her primary inspiration is Chuck Klosterman, because he is hilarious, profound in non-conventional ways, and concerned with the things everyone else ignores. In her heart she also holds a special place for F. Scott Fitzgerald, L. M. Montgomery, Leslie Jamison, and her buddy Ernest Hemingway.

Madeline Miller is a senior Law, Politics, & Society and English double major with a Politics minor, and a student in Drake’s Honors Program. Originally from Waterloo, Wisconsin, her typical writing is focused on analysis, both literary and sociolegal. Her favorite books are typically suspense fiction (think murder mysteries) but she also enjoys nonfiction, like Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City. As a music enthusiast, she appreciates poetry in the form of lyrics.

Sydney Moore is a senior studying English and Law, Politics, & Society, with a minor in Rhetoric, Media, & Social Change and a concentration in Women’s & Gender Studies. When she isn’t reading new case law or talking about feminist theory she is often found writing nonfiction essays about family, race, and femininity in America.

Caitlyn Morehouse is a senior with Business Studies and Writing majors from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  She enjoys writing fiction and nonfiction essays and stories, including the occasional research paper on the supernatural in literature.  Her favorite authors, including Terry Goodkind, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Lisa Kleypas, allow her to experience magic, romance, and adventure.

Olive Riley is a senior studying English, Radio-Television Producing, and Political Science. She is from a small town called Sartell, located smack dab in the middle of Minnesota. She enjoys writing creative nonfiction pieces and has a conflicted relationship with analytical essays. As of late her favorite writers are Rupi Kaur and Mariko Tamaki because she’s experimenting with non-traditional writing styles and is constantly inspired by these two.

Cali Tonnesen is a senior from Madison, Wisconsin double majoring in Psychology and English with concentrations in Human Resources and Leadership. She has a wide range of experience in writing through her majors and enjoys writing personal essays as well as research papers. Her favorite genre is Scottish Literature, which she studied while abroad at the University of Edinburgh. Some of her favorite authors in this genre include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Robert Burns.

Anna Walters is a  senior English and Finance double major, originally from Peoria, Illinois. She enjoys creative nonfiction as well as writing analytical and scholarly essays. One of her favorite writers is Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short, because he is able to combine two of her greatest passions in his work: nonfiction writing and financial and economic analysis. Her all-time favorite novel is Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann because of how provocative and controversial it was for the time, truly iconic.

Rachel Wermager is a senior Magazine Journalism and English double major. She was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. The kind of writing she finds herself doing most often is journalistic features. She loves to tell other people’s stories—to give a voice to those that need to be heard, or explore social issues that are important to people. She enjoys writing stories that push boundaries, and she prides herself in always being open-minded to others’ experiences in a way that makes them feel comfortable in telling her their stories.

Giovanna Zavell is a senior at Drake University double majoring in Magazine Journalism and English. Born and raised in a suburb just outside of Chicago, eight miles to be exact, she finds it totally acceptable to say she is from Chicago, unlike those who live hours outside of the city. Zavell enjoys journalism and nonfiction writing, but is especially interested in how culture and identities shape the world around us.