Frances Ruhlen McConnel is a poet and writer of short stories and creative nonfiction. She is retired from teaching in the Creative Writing Department at the University of California, Riverside. She lives in Claremont, California, and her old stomping grounds include Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Anchorage, and Seattle, where she attended the University of Washington. She has published two books of poetry, Gathering Light and The Direction of Longing (from Bellowing Ark Press), and has edited a collection of West Coast Women’s Poetry, One Step Closer.┬áHer chapbook of haiku and other short poems, White Birches, Black Water, was published in 2005 by the Alaskan fine arts letterpress, Bucket of Type Printery. Presently, she coaches a writing workshop at Pilgrim Place, “our local retirement community mostly for people with religious careers—a fascinating group,” she says. She also co-chairs a committee that produces the Claremont Public Library’s Fourth Sunday Poetry Reading Series, now blessed with a Poets & Writers grant. And she is at work on a new manuscript, Eve Swims the Side-Stroke.