The Artistic/Managerial Staff

Allen B. Ruch is the Editorial Director and chief content provider for The Modern Word. He is also the creator and current editor for the sites on Borges, Eco, García Márquez, and Joyce. He founded The Modern Word in 1995 as the Libyrinth, working on it during his spare time as a chemistry teacher and freelance Web designer. In 1998 he moved to New York City, where he worked for a spell at Columbia University as Creative Director of TC Innovations. He is now Director of Science Curriculum at Kaplan K12 Learning Services. Allen has the improbable nickname of “The Quail,” and authored a terribly self-indulgent biographical essay which you may read by clicking the “Editor’s Bio” button to your left. He lives in Brooklyn with a possessed parrot named Loki, and fondly wishes he could add Herman Melville to the Libyrinth.

Dr Larry Daw, Contributing Editor. Larry Daw began his long academic career by receiving an Honors Bachelor’s Degree in English, and went on to receive the following advanced graduate degrees: a Master’s Degree and a PhD in English. Larry Daw also has the additional qualification conferred by a Bachelor’s degree in Education. He has taught for ten years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario, has given a number of conference papers, and has numerous publication credits in the field of postmodernist literature specifically concerned with the works of Thomas Pynchon and the concepts of technological hierarchies and systems theory. After leaving the University, he began to write fiction and has completed four novels and a collection of short stories. In conjunction with Herb Bayley, he founded a groundbreaking company called Lemnischatological Interosculations. Their comprehensive catalogue, The HerbLaurium, documents over 50 of their works in all media. Larry now works as a professional Web designer specializing in computer graphics. He maintains several Pynchon-related sites, including the renowned Complete Illustrated Summary of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, and The Modern Word’s own Spermatikos Logos.

Erik Ketzan, Contributing Editor. Erik is interested in languages and literature and is responsible for updating the many areas of The Modern Word, a thankless task for which he will certainly not be thanked here. Erik has interviewed Zak Smith and Geoffrey Brock for The Modern Word, founded the Queen Loana Annotation Wiki, its successor site, Umberto Eco Wiki, and is Co-architect of Tim Ware's excellent In 2007, Erik published a legal study of machine translation, Rebuilding Babel: Copyright and the Future of Machine Translation Online. As of November 2011, Erik is involved in a number of international digital humanities projects and is a researcher at the Institut für Deutsche Sprache. Follow erikannotations on Twitter Follow Erik on Facebook Follow Erik on Quora Follow Erik on Avvo Follow Erik on LinkedIn

Dr Tim Conley, Contributing Editor. Tim is Postdoctoral Fellow at the State University of New York at Albany and the author of Joyces Mistakes: Problems of Intention, Irony, and Interpretation. He is books editor at the online journal paperplates, and greatly dislikes writing these biographical notes. He will reveal, however, that he has a dog named Kepler. Author of several Scriptorium pages, he is also editor of Apmonia, the Samuel Beckett site. (Homepage: Tim Conley)

Jeff Nowak, Contributing Editor. Jeff Nowak lives in Chicago, Illinois, and is a student at Loyola University. Although he is currently pursuing an English major and a journalism minor, he has no idea what to do with either. However, since he scribbles poetry and is a big fan of Henry David Thoreau, he’s already given himself up for lost and nurses in his spare time a quiet obsession with Old English. He maintains Das Schloss, The Modern Word’s Franz Kafka site.

Richard Behrens, Staff Writer & Assistant Editor. Richard is a native New Yorker whose fiction, poetry and film criticism has appeared in Parabola, Blue Light Red Light, Forbidden Lines, Chakra and Bogus Review. He has also been published in such on-line publications as InterText, Planet Magazine, Dark Planet, Aphelion and Road of Shadows. Richard lives in denial in New Jersey with his three cats Leopold, Stephen and Molly and his impossibly large book collection which keeps following him wherever he goes.

Dr Michael Cisco, Columnist. Michael Cisco is the author of The Divinity Student, which received the International Horror Guild’s award for Best First Novel of 1999, as well as The Tyrant (2004), and a number of other forthcoming novels. He’s just finished his PhD at New York University. (Homepage: Prosthetic Libido)

Emmet Cole, Columnist. Emmet Cole is a journalist and writer from Ireland. His work has appeared in Red Herring, The Irish Times, and BookView Ireland. He co-authored a comedy play, The Indestructible Sandwich with Mid-Day columnist, Rohit Gupta, and is currently working on a novel. (Homepage:

Blair Mahoney, Staff Writer. Blair Mahoney was born and raised in New Zealand and currently resides in Melbourne, Australia where he abandoned a PhD at the University of Melbourne on recent Indian fiction in order to be able to read more. He became enamoured of postmodern fiction at university, particularly the work of John Barth, Robert Coover, Paul Auster and Salman Rushdie. He is convinced of the hypertextuality of everyday life, writes about himself in the third person and interrupts himself a lot.

Ismo Santala, Staff Writer. Born whilst Jacques Tati celebrated his final birthday, Ismo Santala is currently studying English Philology at the University of Tampere, Finland. (Homepage: Ismo Santala)

Bob Williams, Staff Writer. A long-time contributor to the online Joyce community, Bob Williams is retired and lives in a small town with his wife, dogs and a cat. He has been collecting books all his life, and has done freelance writing, mostly on classical music. His principal interests are James Joyce, Jane Austen and Homer. He is also a book reviewer for The Compusive Reader.

Dr David Keffer, Staff Writer. Dr. Keffer is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Inspired by Dr. John Prausnitz’s article “Chemical Engineering and the other Humanities” (Chemical Engineering Education, Volume 32, Number 1, Winter 1998), Dr. Keffer has attempted to incorporate nontraditional elements of science and engineering, as they appear in art, theater, literature, and music, into the otherwise technically rigorous curricula of his undergraduate engineering students. In dealing with literature, he frequently directs students to the fictional writings of Kobo Abé (M.D.) and Primo Levi (Chemistry).

Alan DeNiro, Sideshow Editor & Writer. Alan’s stories have appeared in One Story, Fence, Trampoline, Polyphony, 3rd Bed, Santa Monica Review, and elsewhere. He is a regular contributor to Rain Taxi, and co-edits the Rabid Transit series of chapbooks.

Barth Anderson, Sideshow Writer. Barth’s short stories and articles have appeared in venues ranging from Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and Mojo Conjure Stories to The Cooperative Business Journal, Rain Taxi, and Seattle’s alternative weekly The Stranger. His short stories have been honorably mentioned in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthology and nominated for the Spectrum Award.

Christopher Barzak, Sideshow Writer. Christopher has published stories in a variety of magazines and anthologies including Nerve, Realms of Fantasy, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Strange Horizons, The Vestal Review, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Descant, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, and Ideomancer. He lives in Youngstown, Ohio, but will soon be moving to Japan. Recently he has completed a novel called One For Sorrow.

Kristin Livdahl, Sideshow Writer. Kristin’s work has appeared in the zines Say... and Flytrap and in Minnesota Crossroads, a street newspaper she founded. For the last ten years, she has been working with people who are homeless in Minneapolis.

Christopher Gross, Copy Editor and Research Associate. Chris earned a BA in history and political science from Penn State and an MA in history from George Washington University. Currently he works for Gelman Library at GWU and is also a research assistant for several published authors. Chris lives in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC, where he is secretly at work translating Finnegans Wake into classical Nahuatl.

Literary Advisory Board

The Modern Word’s Literary Advisory Board of distinguished professionals – academics, librarians, publishers, etc. – who champion the best of 20th century fiction in their daily activities and affiliations, determine the criteria by which writers are added to the existing roster of authors and also identify those most deserving of inclusion on the site as it expands. You may read their individual biographies here.

Board of Directors

Since 16 June 1999, The Modern Word has been guided by a board of directors representing the initial investors in the site. The President and CEO of The Modern Word is Stanley Goldstein, a CPA and Merchant Banker, who became the first investor to convert the site from a hobby to a business. An avid Joycean, Goldstein is also the President of the American Friends of James Joyce. Shortly thereafter he inducted two other investment-banking groups to add to the capital base of the site, Meriwether Capital lead by George D. O’Neill and HRE Holdings, LLC where Michael Wainstein was the lead investor. Board members include Mr. O’Neill, Mr. Goldstein, Allen B. Ruch, Robert DiYanni, Manuel Rubio, who was part of the team that founded Go2Net, and Elaine Conway, head of the New York Division of Woman’s Affairs, Office of the Governor.