Meet the Collective
All art provided by Christina Ortiz <3
Stephen Furlong is a writer who is currently living outside Kansas City, Missouri with his wife and cat. He is the author of the chapbook What Loss Taught Me (Nostrovia! Press, 2018) and currently serves as an adjunct instructor in the English Department at Metropolitan Community College - Longview. He can be found on Twitter @StephenJFurlong.
Christopher Morgan is a Lebanese American poet and editor who grew up in Detroit, the Bible Belt of Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where he currently lives with his wife and baby. The Founding Editor of the Garden Party Collective, his prose poems have been performed as short plays, illustrated as posters, and can be found most recently at Gargoyle and Bennington Review. He loves the woods, designing games, and happy hour margaritas.
Laura Villareal is the author of Girl’s Guide to Leaving (University of Wisconsin Press, 2022) and The Cartography of Sleep (Nostrovia! Press, 2018). Her writing has been supported by fellowships from the Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, National Book Critics Circle, and the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, AGNI, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. To read some of her work visit https://www.lauravillareal.com/.
Christa Vander Wyst is a poet and essayist hailing from Wisconsin. She is the author of Meditations from My Childhood Bedroom (Garden Party Collective 2023) and currently works as a ghostwriter. She can be found online at https://vanderwystportfolio.godaddysites.com/.
Bob Sykora is the author of the chapbook I Was Talking About Love–You Are Talking About Geography (Nostrovia! Press, 2016). A graduate of the UMass Boston MFA program, he lives in Kansas City, teaches at community college, and co-hosts The Line Break podcast. He can be found online at bobsykora.com and @bob_sykora_.
Christina Ortiz is an artist originally from Austin, Texas, who graduated with a BM in Music Education from Texas State University and a MM in Vocal Performance from George Mason University. Christina currently resides in Northern Virginia with her fiancé and two cats, Chicken Strip and Texas Toast, where she teaches private voice and piano lessons, and enjoys making artwork in a variety of mediums in her spare time.
mónica teresa ortiz is a poet born, raised, and based in Texas. Their most recent chapbook, Have You Ever Dreamed of Flamingos? was published by the Garden Party Collective. Other publications include muted blood (Black Radish 2018), autobiography of a semiromantic anarchist, (Host Publications 2019), The Brooklyn Rail, Scalawag, and Fence.
Leah Mueller's work appears in Rattle, NonBinary Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Citron Review, The Spectacle, New Flash Fiction Review, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, etc. She is a 2022 nominee for both Pushcart and Best of the Net. Leah's flash piece, "Land of Eternal Thirst" appears in the 2022 edition of Best Small Fictions. Her two newest books are The Failure of Photography (Garden Party Press, 2023) and Widow's Fire (Alien Buddha Press, 2023).
Christa Vander Wyst
We at the GPC were absolutely heartbroken to learn the news of Christa's passing (Jan. 24th 2024). She was a beautiful light in our group, and to her friends and family, and we're all still processing her tragic loss. It's simply unreal.
While we're still struggling to make sense of things, we've been talking about how we can best honor her--mental health was always an important subject for Christa, and she was already planning to host a contest soon through our collective.
As such, we at the GPC will be starting a yearly contest in tribute to Christa and her legacy. Full details will come later this year, but for now we extend our deepest condolences to the Vander Wyst family and everyone that Christa touched.