Our Team

San Joaquin Review Online’s Spring 2019 Team


Project Manager


Venita Blackburn

Venita Blackburn is the author of  Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, winner of the Prairie Schooner book prize for fiction in 2016 and the PEN America Los Angeles literary prize for fiction in 2018. Her works have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Paris Review, The Spectacle, Los Angeles Review of Books Print Quarterly Journal, American Short Fiction, the Georgia Review, and others. In 2018 she earned a place as a finalist for the PEN/Bingham award for debut fiction as well as finalist for the NYPL Young Lions award. Her home town is Compton, California, and she is an Assistant Professor of creative writing at California State University, Fresno.  Twitter: @venitablackburn


Poetry Editors


Rodolfo Avelar

Rodolfo Avelar is a student and poet based in Fresno, CA. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Minor in Creative Writing at Fresno State where he is an undergrad assistant to the Creative Writing Program. His poetry is forthcoming in the Chicanx Writers and Artists Association’s journal, Flies Cockroaches, and Poets. When he isn’t focused on schoolwork or writing, he can be found playing video games, watching too much TV, and eating grapes. Twitter/IG: @brujeau


Leslie A. Grenier

Leslie A. Grenier, is in her last semester at Fresno State University. Her poems draw from life experiences, travel, historical, nature and literature basis themes. She’s had one short story published in the Fresno City College Rams Tail and received an honorable mention certificate. Her poetry pieces as of now are unpublished. She’s sent submissions to San Joaquin Review and Miscellany Journal in Charleston South Carolina. In both cases, she neither received an e-mail to inform her of her poems being accepted for publication. She’s hoping that her opportunity will come through to become a published Poetry author.


Kirk Alvaro Lua

Kirk Alvaro Lua’s work has appeared in The Acentos Review, A Sharp Piece of Awesome Literary Magazine, Pilgrimage Press, and Toyon Literary Magazine. He is from Madera, California. He attended Humboldt State where he earned his BA and a Spanish minor. He is currently attending Fresno State and is in the MFA Program for Poetry. His first teachers of poetry were his parents and his second was Barbara Brinson Curiel. He has a cat and her name is Zucchini.


Flash Fiction Editors


Elizabeth Bolanos

Elizabeth Bolanos is currently in the process of earning her MFA from Fresno State’s Creative Writing program with an Emphasis in Publishing & Editing. She is also Vice President of the San Joaquin Literary Association, illustrator and columnist of La Voz de Aztlan, and an Editorial Intern of The Normal School Literary Magazine. When she is not busy doing homework or extra curricular involvement she is reading on a divan with the ghost of her feline friend Midnight.


Aaliyah Green

Originally from Kentucky, Aaliyah Green is currently receiving her MFA at Fresno State University. She lives in a small writing shack with her partner and fur babies.


William Christensen

Will Christensen is a graduate student at Fresno State's MFA program. He finds it difficult to write an author bio when his dogs won't stop barking at that seeping red spot on the wall. He lives in Central Valley except when he lives inside his own head.


Lee Lee

Lee Lee is currently an undergraduate studying English at Fresno State. She has been an avid reader since grade school, but she only recently discovered her passion for writing short stories. She also enjoys gaming on Sundays, laughing with (or at) her sisters, and screeching along to her favorite songs.


Ernesto Reyes

Ernesto Reyes is currently an undergraduate at Fresno State where he is studying English literature and creative writing. His stories have been published in the San Joaquin Review, Flies Cockroaches & Poets, Subtle Fiction, the Acentos Review, and Brilliant Flash Fiction. He was the runner-up for the 2017 William Saroyan Writing Contest, and he is working on a collection of interconnected short stories. He lives in Fresno, CA, with his family.


Juliann M. Angel

Juliann M. Angel is a print journalism student at CSU Fresno with a creative writing minor and writes a myriad of flash fiction short stories in the mystery/thriller genre and is in the process of penning two original novels while pursuing her B.A.


Fiction Editors


Caleigh Camara

Caleigh Camara is an undergraduate at Fresno State pursuing a career in English and Creative Writing. Like many writers, Caleigh draws inspiration from the memories of her childhood and the areas surrounding her home, often adding creative and fantastical spins to them. Her goal after college is to enter the publishing industry as an editor for fiction novels -- and maybe write a book or two herself.


Patrick D. Hogan

Patrick D. Hogan is the author of numerous short stories, two of which were published in The San Joaquin Review. When he isn't writing stories, he is writing music. He currently lives in the mountains of Central California.


Yia Lee

Yia Lee was born and raised in California’s Central Valley. Currently she is enrolled in Fresno State University’s MFA program. She has not any nice, shiny literary awards, contest prizes, or fellowships to her name--but she does enjoy sampling her failed kitchen experiments, in the belief that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.


Nou Her

Nou Her is a Hmong American writer studying Fiction at Fresno State. She currently tutors elementary school kids while also working as a student assistant to Fresno State’s Creative Writing office. She enjoys the ever warm Fresno, CA sun and snuggling under blankets on cold nights.


Alexandre Habib

Alex Habib is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Fresno State. He enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction with a philosophical emphasis. He is currently working on his first novel and hopefully first trilogy. His short story Hell of a Time: Chapter II was published in Spectrum by the Young Writer's Conference. When not writing, Alex can be found kickboxing, telling himself that he should be writing, or distracting himself with his cat.


Elio Eduardo Gallardo

Influenced by unconventional literary authors such as William Milligan Sloane III, Elio is an emerging ‘Weird Fiction‘ writer and undergraduate student at Fresno State whose dark writing style can best be described as Edgar Allan Poe meets sci-fi. He attributes his curiosity to his cat, Luna, who sits on his lap watching his every keystroke.


Manivone Sayasone

Manivone Sayasone is a second-year fiction candidate in Fresno State’s M.F.A program in creative writing. She is a writing consultant and an editorial intern for The Normal School. Her fiction has been published in the Merced River Literary Review and her artwork has been featured in Zhinegeist. For leisure, she draws, plays videogames, and goes out for walks all while imagining a life without having to worry about imminent deadlines.


Creative Non-Fiction Editors


Carolina Mata

Carolina Mata is a budding writer, English tutor, and student at California State University, Fresno working toward an MFA. She has been published in a few small journals throughout California, but strives to continue her career in Fiction and Nonfiction. When she is not writing, she enjoys road trips and binge watching documentaries.


Christina Tran

Christina Tran is a part of the editorial team for The Collegian, Fresno State’s weekly campus newspaper. She currently lives in her hometown, Fresno, California with her parents and two dogs. Following her passion, she hopes to eventually pursue a future career as a literary editor or publisher.


Maria Ibarra-Deniz

Maria Ibarra-Deniz is a Chicana writer and Central Valley native. She is currently studying at California State University, Fresno while pursuing her BA in English and minor in Deaf Studies. When she is not writing she is probably reading, sipping coffee too quickly or laughing with her loved ones.

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Hunter Gibson

Hunter Gibson is an undergraduate at California State University, Fresno. She will be obtaining her bachelors degree in English Education in the spring of 2019. After this she hopes begin the credential program at Fresno State in the fall of 2019 so that she can start her high school English teaching career.