MEA Staff

Daniel Buckman served as a rifleman in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne throughout the 1980s. Upon discharge, he took a BA and MA in American Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has worked as an English instructor at City College, crime journalist at USDC-Chicago, market researcher, and freelance writer. He has published four novels: Water in the Darkness (Akashic), The Names of Rivers (Akashic/Picador USA), Morning Dark (Saint Martin’s Press/Picador USA), and Because the Rain (Saint Martin’s Press/Picador USA). He currently lives and works in Chicago.STBioSean F. Tyler is a prior service US Army Sergeant in the Infantry as well as a Captain (Med. Ret.) in the Medical Service Corps, with a BS in Exercise Science from the University of Tampa. Sean served during one combat deployment with the 1st Battalion 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division from October 2006-December 2007. Following medical retirement 2013 Sean had a short stint in the sales industry, but felt his talents and passion could be used elsewhere. In this redirection Sean chose to focus his attention on his fellow veterans working for and volunteering with multiple veteran focused non-profit organizations including Military Experience and the Arts. In his free time Sean writes poetry and short fiction, performs slam poetry, and is learning to play the guitar.

MEA Staff

Brian Mockenhaupt has written extensively about the wars and veterans’ issues for The Atlantic, Esquire, Reader’s Digest and Outside magazines, which has included several reporting trips to Afghanistan and Iraq. He served in the Army from 2002 to 2005 and did two Iraq tours as an infantryman with the 10th Mountain Division. Prior to the Army, he worked as a newspaper reporter in Providence, Rhode Island, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and holds an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College.

SkiStaffPhotoTravis L. Switalski Sr. is a former Sergeant First Class in the US Army infantry and is an Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran with multiple combat tours. He currently works as a Disabled Veterans Case Manager for the Washington State Employment Security Department, helping disabled veterans find meaningful and long lasting employment. Travis is currently working on a series of short fiction stories about his experiences in combat, and currently resides in Chewelah, Washington where he continues to help veterans.

MEA Staff

Amira Pierce was born in Beirut, Lebanon and grew up as a foreign service brat between Northern Virginia and her father’s postings in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. She received her MFA in fiction from Virginia Commonwealth University, and currently she teaches in the Expository Writing Program at NYU-Poly in Brooklyn and is a fiction editor for Her short fiction has received various honors and appeared in publications including Cream City Review, Asian American Literary Review, Makeout Creek, and She is at work on a novel.

JMEA Staffason Poudrier is an Iraqi Freedom veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He is a writer, lecturer, workshop leader, instructor, and is the director of events for Military Experience & the Arts and recently directed the second national Military Experience & the Arts (MEA2) symposium at Cameron University in Lawton. He is currently an instructor with the Office of Teaching and Learning at Cameron University and is the faculty adviser for Student Veterans of America and Circle K International. He is also an award winning author and his poems have recently appeared in World Literature Today and Blue Streak. Jason Poudrier has authored two poetry collections, Red Fields (Mongrel Empire Press, 2012) and the chapbook, In the Rubble at Our Feet (Rose Rock Press, 2011). He is currently working on his first novel, Greatest of all Time as an MFA student at Oklahoma City University.

Stanfill EditedJoseph Stanfill served 14 years in the active army as a combat engineer, and is a veteran of OIF, OEF, & Kosovo. Joseph  has dedicated himself to helping fellow veterans work their way through the myriad mental health issues surrounding combat, sexual assault, and transitioning. His passion is helping veterans to rediscover themselves following trauma, and recognizing the growth and strength obtained through their journey. Joseph’s research interests include psychotherapy, substance abuse, and the military family. He holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California, with a concentration in mental health and military social work. He is currently a psychotherapist working in the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Joseph is married and blessed with two children. His hobbies include hunting, sports, and napping.

Pam profile 1 bnw copyPamela Hart is writer in residence at the Katonah Museum of Art where she teaches and manages an arts-in-education program called Thinking Through the Arts. Her manuscript, Mothers Over Nangarhar, was selected by Rowan Ricardo Phillips as winner of the 2017 Kathryn A. Morton prize in poetry and will be published by Sarabande Books. She received the Brian Turner Literary Arts prize for poetry. She was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship in 2013. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals including the Southern Humanities Review, Bellevue Literary Review and Drunken Boat. Toadlily Press published her chapbook, The End of the Body. She is poetry editor and mentor for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project.