Rachael Z. Ikins
Born and raised in the Fingerlakes region of CNY Rachael published her first poem and sold her first artwork at the age of 14 under the guidance of supportive teachers. She received a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University in 1982. As well, under the guidance of another professor, she applied for the MFA Creative writing program at Syracuse University jurying in on the strength of her portfolio of poetry.
Rachael has published in countless journals both physical and online through the years. She has won eight prizes for excellence in poetry through the National League of American Penwomen, the oldest organization for women artists and writers in the US. She is currently Vice President of her chapter and credentialed into the Penwomen in both arts and letters. 2008 her first chapbook released by Foothills Publications, "Sideshow in the Woods." She continued to have acceptances in both poetry and short fiction. She also founded and moderated a poetry open mic and featured poet event twice monthly in a sushi restaurant in CNY for two years.
Her next chapbook, "Transplanted" was published by Finishing Line press in 2008. This was followed by another Foothills Publication, "Renovations" 2010. She wrote articles and was interviewed extensively for various bloggers and journals at this time. Receiving encouragement from the Colgate Writers' Conference fellowships she received in poetry and young adult fantasy, Rachael published her first novel, "The Complete Tales from the Edge of the Woods", 2013 (Icarus Aloft an imprint of SLM Bookworks). The book contains two prize winning chapters that were adapted for short stories and was nominated for a 2013 CNY Book Award through the Downtown Writers Center, a division of the YMCA arts programs in Syracuse, NY this month. She has given five readings from the Tales this year so far and has at least three scheduled for next year. Rachael has created the cover art for all of her books. When she is not working on writing, she is creating art in multi media and exhibiting from CNY to NH and online through The Gallery in Georgetown, KY. She has won several prizes for art. Rachael won a 3rd prize for the Dancing a Poetry Contest and Festival 2011 in San Francisco. A second performance event showcased her work as well this past month when an OK college in whose student journal she has published many times worked with their theater and music departments to do a performance of the strongest works in the past five years' of journals for Humanities and Diversity month. Rachael's work was among those chosen and performed. Her artwork is currently hanging in the Syracuse area in five gallery shows, one of them a one woman invitational which featured a reading from the Complete Tales.
This past spring Rachael submitted poetry, short fiction, and non fiction to http://atthewrteplaceattherightime.org. Her non fiction was a finalist. In between whether she is submitting artwork for illustrations or cover art or writing in multiple media and genres, Rachael participates in local author events, mentors young poets and encourages beginning writers.