Team Agape

Ryanne McLaren Molinari

Prose Editor

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Ryanne McLaren Molinari graduated summa cum laude from Biola University in 2019 with a B.M. in piano performance and a minor in organ. In 2018, Ryanne was named Biola Conservatory’s “Presser Undergraduate Music Scholar,” one of the highest honors awarded by American music programs. At Biola, Ryanne also studied literature in the Torrey Honors College and was appointed to “The Order of Peter and Paul” in recognition of her academic achievements. In December of 2020, Ryanne received her Master of Letters with distinction in “Theology and the Arts” from the University of St. Andrew’s, Scotland. While at St. Andrew’s, Ryanne served as organ scholar at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and was employed as a collaborative pianist by the Laidlaw Music Centre. Passionate about interdisciplinary studies, Ryanne’s master’s thesis considered the relationship between music and theology by exploring how private musical practice may serve as spiritual formation.

Ryanne was recently married to Billy Molinari, who shares her love of theology, distance running, and British mysteries. The two now live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and represent the classic “pastor and pianist” duo as they seek to promote biblical teaching and beautiful worship. Ryanne currently works as a collaborative pianist and continues to publish both academic and creative writing through various online journals, including her personal site, ABookishCharm.com. She loves working with fellow Christian creatives and plans to further her studies in music, literature, and theology.


Zaher Alajlani

Prose Editor

Zaher Alajlani is a Syrian short-story author, researcher, and translator living between Romania and Greece. His stories and articles have appeared in various publications, including Revista Echinox, Active Muse, Bandit Fiction, The Journal of Romanian Literary Studies, and Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory.

He is a prose editor for Agape Review, a prose submission reader for Bandit Fiction, and a proofreader for the peer-reviewed Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory. He holds a BA in English Literature and Language from Damascus University; an MA in English Culture, Literature, and Ideology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; and an MA in Communication from the University of Indianapolis. Zaher is now a Ph.D. candidate in literature at Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca and speaks English, Arabic, Romanian, and Greek.


Kendra Thompson

Prose Editor

Kendra Thompson lives in Northwest Iowa with her husband, two young children, and a goofy yellow lab named McCain. She has several published articles in Think Christian magazine, poetry selections in the SPECTRA anthology of Salt Lake Community College, the poem ‘Neighbor’ was accepted for the Poet’s Choice book Close Friends and Relatives, and one of her poems about pregnancy was included in the Body Love 4 All zine as well. 

A flash nonfiction essay and two poems about life during COVID quarantine are featured in the Midwest Writing Center’s disaster anthology titled These Interesting Times, which will include an audio portion to appear on public radio in the near future. You can find more of Kendra’s writing on her personal blog, at www.crylaughsnort.wordpress.com


Matthew Nies

Prose Editor

Matthew Nies is the author of the poetry book Sunset Dreams (Wipf & Stock, 2019). His work has also appeared or is forthcoming in a number of literary journals and anthologies. 

Nies grew up on a farm in rural North Dakota, experiences and lessons from which he draws on still. He attended the University of Jamestown where he studied writing under North Dakota Poet Laureate and award-winning author Larry Woiwode. Nies currently lives with his wife and three children in the Washington, D.C. area.


Tabitha N. Munyoki

Diversity Editor

Dr. Tabitha N. Munyoki is a Kenyan medical doctor currently working with the Centre of Excellence HIV Management (COEHM) as an eMTCT (Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission) lead in Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya. She is a graduate of the University Of Nairobi’s College of Health Sciences and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health in the same institution.

Her love affair with poetry started early in life. She uses her words to inspire and to share cross-cutting issues on mental health, Christianity, and how these two interact. She has published poetry in a recently published anthology, medpoetry: healing words and Agape Review. She is a Christian, a Bible study leader, mental health advocate and bibliophile. Dr. Tabitha lives in Nairobi with her husband and two children.


Patrice M. Wilson

Poetry Editor

Born Catholic in Newark NJ, raised in Catholic schools in NJ and NC, Patrice M. Wilson has a PhD in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She had received her MA in English there, with a poetry thesis called “Between the Silence,”and her BA in English at the University of Maryland, College Park. She had worked as a teacher in High School in the Community in New Haven, CT while attending Yale University for a time, and later at Adult Basic Education in the City of New Haven.

She was editor of the very fine Hawaii Pacific Review for 16 years while teaching at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu. She has three chapbooks of poetry with Finishing Line Press, and one full-length poetry collection with Christian publisher eLectio Publishing. Her poems have been published in several literary journals, and have received recognition and honors from the Academy of American Poets UH Competition and other contests. She has read her poems at universities, bookstores, and other venues in Maryland, Washington DC, and Honolulu, including the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Potomac Riverside USA Bicentennial Celebration, and as a lead-in for poet Lucille Clifton at UMD-Eastern Shore. Dr. Wilson recently spent five years studying to be a contemplative nun in the cloistered Carmelite monastery in Kaneohe, HI. She is now a retired professor living in Mililani, Oahu, HI.


Mary Harwell Sayler

Poetry Editor

Mary Harwell Sayler began reading the Bible & writing poems in childhood & never stopped! Eventually, she placed over 2,500 poems, prayers, articles, devotionals, & children’s stories in magazines, journals, and anthologies & church curriculum for various denominational and non-denominational publishers. After placing dozens of books in all genres with Christian, educational, & indie publishers, Mary decided to self-publish paperbacks & e-books for poets, writers, & general readers. Her books include the Poetry Dictionary for Children and For Fun and the Poet’s Guide to Poetry. With the advent of the Internet, Mary began blogging about poetry on the Poetry Editor & Poetry blog and about writing & biblical topics In a Christian Writer’s Life.

She founded the FB group Christian Poets and Writers. Besides that and her Author’s Page, Mary also maintains the Facebook page for her church in NE Florida and leads a unique Bible group each week that features insightful discussions. A lover of the Body of Christ in all its parts and a lifelong student of the Bible, Mary reviews new editions on the Bible Reviewer blog. She then collected Bible prayers and published the Book of Bible Prayers followed by Kneeling on the Promises of God. She also collected and selected poems from her previously published works for the book, A Gathering of Poems.


Christal Cooper

Poetry Editor

Christal Ann Rice Cooper identifies herself as a Jesus-Loving and Gospel-Relying Person. She is a newspaper writer, feature stories writer, poet, fiction writer, photographer, and painter. She has a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and completed all of her poetry and fiction workshops required for her Master’s in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry. She has been writing for newspapers and specialty newspapers (newspapers published bi-weekly or monthly and geared more toward feature stories instead of news stories) for over 25 years.

So far, the papers she has written for are: The Daily Sun, The Wizard’s Review, The Guild Gazette, Calliope, Muses, The KernelThe ColonnadeThe Peacock’s Feet, Contrails, Wichitalk, The Old Town GazetteThe White Buffalo GazetteKansas MagazineReflections of You JournalReflections of You Newsletter for Poets and WritersThe PatriotJade Dragon OnlineThe Altus TimesFaithTrust newsletter Working Together, The Belleville News DemocratSou’westerRiver Bluff Reviewthe 91st Air Refueling Squadron News, and The Asian American Times. She’s also had her interviews, poetry and short stories published in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines: First Anthology: Hera The Light of Women Poets From All Over the World; Abbey; Artemis Journal; Autumn Sky Poetry Daily; Conversations At The Wartime Café: A Decade of War 2001–2011; First Literary Review East; The Gem; The Good News Journal; Jade Dragon Online; The Literati; Muses; The Peacock’s Feet; Reflections of You Journal; River Bluff Review; Ruminations: An International Journal of Humanities and Social Science; Sou’wester; Times of Singing Literary Magazine; and Working Together: A Newsletter of Faith Trust Institute. The Christal Ann Rice Cooper Website is an inclusive and non-profit website acknowledging ALL voices, ALL individuals, ALL political views, ALL philosophies, ALL religions. In October 2011, River King Press published her first poetry collection titled Gone Sane.

She and her husband Wayne, who retired from the Air Force after 25 years of service, and their sons Nicholas and Caleb and their two cats Nation and Alaska reside in their dream home they christened White Oaks in the St. Louis area.


Justine Johnston Hemmestad

Interviews & Prose Editor

Justine Johnston Hemmestad has a published novella called Truth be Told, and a published novel called Visions of a Dream, and she is included in seventeen anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries and Into the Glen, Into the Light

She also has stories published in several magazines, including The Nonbinary Review and Kaleidoscope. In total, she has been writing for twenty-five years. She earned her Master’s Degree in English Literature from Northern Arizona University in 2020, despite a car accident thirty years earlier in which she sustained a severe brain injury. She also has seven children and two grandchildren.


Katie Sampias

Interviews Editor

Katie Sampias lives in Brisbane, Australia, her hometown, with her American husband and three children — two girls and one boy. She has enjoyed creative writing since primary school and when she was 12 years old, won a trip to Vanuatu through her local paper for it. 

She has a contemplative and experiential faith, in which she finds peace and meaning, and has always been interested in the lives of women in different historical periods. She is combining her faith and love of writing a series of historical fiction pieces based on the gospels from the point of view of women. These pieces you can find on her website whitewaves.net .

In her professional life, she has worked as a lawyer and in marketing and communications and has lived in three different countries — Australia, the Republic of Ireland and the United States of America. 


Ana Stjelja

Interviews Editor

Ana Stjelja is a poet, writer, translator, journalist, researcher and editor. She published more than 30 books of different literary genres. She is published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Slovenian, Farsi, Chinese, Arabic, Azerbaijani, and Greek. In 2012, she obtained her PhD (on the life and work of the Serbian woman writer Jelena J. Dimitrijević).

She is the Editor-in-chief of the Alia Mundi magazine for cultural diversity, online literary magazine Enheduana and Poetryzine, an online magazine for poetry in English. In 2018, she established the Association Alia Mundi for promoting cultural diversity. She is also a regular collaborator of The Poet Magazine from England, conducting interviews with contemporary world poets. She is the Asia and Europe Direction Editor of the Canadian Humanity Magazine. Also, she is the advisor and deputy editor of Chinese literary magazines.

She is a member of the Association of Writers of Serbia, the Association of Literary Translators of Serbia, the Association of Journalists of Serbia and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).


Katharine Armbrester

Book Reviewer

Katharine Armbrester is currently in the MFA Creative Writing program at the Mississippi University for Women.

She is a devotee of Flannery O’Connor and Margaret Atwood and intends to be an equally disconcerting playwright. She thinks Alabama needs one.


Natasha Nsemiwe

Book Reviewer

Natasha Nsemiwe is a Zambian poet and writer whose work has appeared on Spillwords.com, Agape Review and others. Besides being a writer by passion, she is a clinician by profession. She is a Christian who believes in using her craft for the expansion of God’s kingdom, encouragement and enlightenment of others.

She is currently serving as an assistant project coordinator for Writers Space Africa-Zambia, an organization whose vision is to empower local authors.