Jose was born & raised on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen (where his photo studio still is today) and not in the days when it was all Irish & Puerto Ricans dance/fighting in the streets, but when the streets were flooded with crack, prostitution and other nefarious shit in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. As a teen, the Nuyorican Poets Café became a 2nd home to him. Somehow he managed to bartend his way around NYC, eventually becoming a photo assistant to two pretty big photographers and found his way around the world.
Jose’s always been a believer of creating your own destiny (where applicable) and that sometimes, adversity can be the greatest of teachers. An autodidact in poetry, he was able to attend NYU, walking away with a Bachelor’s with focuses in creative writing and commercial photography, working his way through college on some ol’ Good Will Hunting shit…
Nowadays, Jose spends his being time married to the girl he knew he was going to marry in the 1st grade, cooking, taking photos of shit that pays him to, injuring himself in off-roading accidents… writing… and looking for his poetic voice, which he somehow seems to have misplaced.
George Held, who taught at Queens College for 37 years, publishes regularly both online and in print, in such journals as Confrontation, Notre Dame Review, City Lit Rag, House Organ, Natural Bridge, Stoneboat Review, String Poet, and Xanadu. His work has been included in three dozen anthologies and has received eight Pushcart Prize nominations, and Garrison Keillor read one of Held’s poems on A Writer’s Almanac. His recent books include Neighbors 3: The Water Critters (2015), animal poems for children, illustrated by Joung Un Kim, and Culling: New & Selected Nature Poems (2014), which Kirkus Reviews calls “strong,…a closely observed collection on nature and environmentalism.” https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/george-held/culling-held/
NYC musician Peg Simone has released three full-length CD’s and three EP’s on her own Catdolls label as well as the critically acclaimed Secrets From The Storm on Radium/Table of the Elements, a mash of dark blues and storytelling. Peg’s follow up release from 2012 – Witch Tree Road – is a solo album she wrote, engineered and produced, as well as created stop-motion animation videos for two of the tracks which can be viewed on her Vimeo page.
At the end of 2013, Peg finished recording and mastering, Love Was Here, an album of singular versions of songs ranging from 1920’s blues artists such as Geeshie Wiley and Elvie Thomas to Blondie and all points in between.
From the Spring of 2013 – Spring of 2014, Peg had a weekly series called “Sunday Songs’ in which she wrote, recorded and posted new material every Sunday that was posted to her SoundCloud page. The month of January 2014 featured a series of short stories she wrote in the spirit of a radio drama. These stories were self-released in the Spring of 2014 in an illustrated, limited edition hard cover booklet with companion download codes titled “Behind Uncle Bernie’s Bar”.
In addition to her solo work, Peg has her own full band and also plays guitar in Jonathan Kane’s February.
The author has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. She has written for The New York Press and is the author of the blog When You Stop Digging (whenyoustopdigging.wordpress.com). She lives in Sunnyside.