James Jay – President
James Jay has worked as a bartender, a wild land firefighter, book seller, surveyor, and furniture mover. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona where he has taught poetry at the jail, the public schools, and the university. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. He received a MFA from The University of Montana and a MA in Literature from Northern Arizona University. Currently, he is a writer for FlagLive, writing the Bartender Wisdom bi-monthly column.
He owns a bar, Uptown Pubhouse, with his wife, the musician Alyson Jay, and they have two sons and three dogs of varying mutt types (pit mix, boxer mix, a coyote mix from parts unknown), who all think they’re very fast.
In 2010 he received the Arizona Daily Sun’s People’s Choice Award for best author. In 2011 he received the Viola Award in Literature. His latest collection of poems, The Journeymen, was nominated for a PEN Western States Award, a Before Columbus Foundation Award, and poems from the book have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. James Jay’s poetry has appeared in Strange Machine, Alligator Juniper, Crab Creek Review, Cutbank and numerous other journals and magazines. His short stories and essays have been featured in Carbon 14, The View from Here; his interviews of award winning writers such as Mark Gibbons, Dennis Greig, and Ron Chernow have appeared in various newspapers. His poetry was selected for the New Poets of the American West anthology.
From 2006 to 2010 he served as the Executive Director of the Northern Arizona Book Festival. Currently, he is the NABF President.
Jesse Sensibar has worked in a window shade factory and as a shade tree mechanic, as a heavy equipment operator, strip club bouncer, private investigator, repossession agent, and as a truck driver. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona where he opened the town’s first tattoo shop, drove tow trucks for 20 years in the tall pines, and most recently taught English in the University Writing Program at Northern Arizona University where he was also the Editor-At-Large for Thin Air Magazine. His poems and prose have recently begun to see the light of day in various publications, both in print and on line. He was the co-editor of The Narrow Chimney Reader: Volume I published by Uptown Press in 2014. He received an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English from Northern Arizona University. Currently he is the judge for the 10TH annual Jim Simmerman Poetry Prize and the co-host of the Narrow Chimney Reading Series.
He owns as small commercial real estate management company, R66R Commercial Properties, as well as a small towing company. He also drives snowplows for the City of Flagstaff in the winter and water tankers on forest fires in the southwest during the spring and summer months on contract with the United States Forest Service. Occasionally you can also find him in downtown Flagstaff working the door at Uptown Pubhouse on busy evenings making sure that everyone is having an enjoyable night. He lives in the forest on the outskirts of town in an old house he shares with a large wood burning stove, two close friends; and a few cats, elk, and some gophers.
In 2013 his ten-minute play Dead Man’s Lunch was a winner at the Northern Arizona Playwriting Showcase. In 2015 he and co-founder James Jay won the Viola Award in Storytelling for the Narrow Chimney Reading Series. Presently he is working on his own writing and also finds the time to serve as Executive Director of the 2016 Northern Arizona Book Festival.
Stacy MurisonStacy Murison has written nonfiction, poetry, and fiction most of her life, but has spent the past 21 years trying to be something other than a writer. Her dream of being able to read and write for a living came true when she was accepted into NAU’s MFA program and met her buddy, Jesse, who thought she should hang around more with Other Writers and even read her work out-loud. Thanks to Nicole, Jesse, James, and the Narrow Chimney family, Stacy is now fully integrated into the Flagstaff writing community and is proud to be a member of the re-invigorated Northern Arizona Book Festival.
James Jay – President
Jesse Sensibar – Treasurer
Bonnie Estes – Secretary