ISSUE 19 SNEAK PEEK
Some People Are Colorblind
by Kate MacLam
but others just can’t see
all the grey in the world
they will tell you the tinman
is white or maybe black i will
tell you he is silver and searching
for his heart or at least a stopwatch
to tell him how fast it would beat
if he could ever look the man
he loves in the eyes or touch
his flexing muscle we all know
love is a social construct
we all know love
is a run in a pair of fishnet stockings imagine
rocky horror the way god intended everything
bleak until frank’s arrival i want
a movie that goes the other way
everything in color until the trouble starts
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by Michael Metivier
There’s a bullet hole in the only sign
for miles, just over the brook from our house
across a narrow bridge. We live close
enough that in the winter we can see its red
reflected through the desaturated woods
and maybe a car or two per hour inching
up to it. Now in the season’s dregs
from the same window I witness
a pair of grouse huddled in a tree,
I track the brook’s rush in relation
to rain falling high on the mountain towns,
I’m impatient for the ferns
and the bloodroot that seem impossible
when everything once soft has been brittle
for so long, and yes, I think about the hole
someone blasted, the shell tumbling
into a snow drift and the bullet catching
the old bones of a pollarded willow. Then I admit
to my shame there must be some pleasure
in firing a gun into the night, even just once,
and at what better target
than something telling me to stop.
Terms of Agreement
by Mary Biddinger
The man who described himself as a contemporary American novelist
in his biography for the Nextdoor neighbors forum hasn’t mowed a blade
of his lawn since May, but who cares about that when there are costeffective
generics to assess, easements to criticize, balking about frontage
which makes nobody else recall nights in the Winchester Mall overflow
lot, the one never used because there were never crowds. Oh, the fronting
executed there. I briefly showed a class a snapshot of some jeans noted
in a poem (I once owned a pair) and my evaluations shuddered. However
we soon moved on to discussing fates of wild horses, which banished
all memories of distressed denim. The woman who typed “HI” in response
to the heated discussion of chipmunk proliferation, or the headstrong
babysitter who uploaded a pic of herself eating two ice cream cones at once:
instantly forgotten. None of them knew I was surrounded by couch
cushions, regarding a sepia portrait of a cherished ex like it was newfound
currency. Back then I had a vague notion that fifteen years later we
would be separated by amateur divorces and lactose intolerance and miles.
Warmed by the heat of our respective pit bulls, we would hang on to
imaginary lockets while reading (again) Cold Mountain, like it was secretly
the story of us. But the real story was why the intersection of Rhoades
and Maple was flooding. Perhaps the new mini strip mall, or illegal dumping,
which is how you described it when I dropped my big salad and ghosted
contrary to the terms of our agreement, which were written in gross cursive.
Sometimes I yearn to fill out the rest of my bio, but right now it’s mostly
symbols: a wave, a skull, a shark, a daisy that might look nice behind an ear.
Self Portrait as Dog Breed Description
by Eileen Cleary
Bred from Irish stock with others bled in.
Thin coat of sunlit hair
with red highlights, often redder
in summer. Scared of loud noises,
sensitive to house plants. Do not leave
food out, will eat even if already fed.
Without early socialization, expect odd behaviors.
Can be left alone for long periods but enjoys company.
A quiet breed. Not prone to biting.
Good with children and other dogs.
Week Three with Fourth Graders & Teaching Poetry
by Gary Dop
They fidget, 25 half-formed widgets, forced
to fit the machinery of my manic mini-lecture
on metaphor—all her fun tricks and figurative friends.
“What animal are you?” and “What do you feel like?”
I ask them to write on their wide-rule pages. Then—
no idea why—I mention Wordsworth’s “Ode to Duty.”
I say to fourth graders: “Ode to Duty.” I say, “Duty.”
For a moment, the sudden silence misleads. I think
maybe they know the poem, their teacher, barely 22
and sitting in the back, eyes on her phone,
taught them the Romantics. Then the truth
in chuckles, giggles, and full gaffas
as I hear repetition of “duty.” The teacher,
Ms. Boots, looks up, glad to see the kids engaged,
no idea what I’ve stepped in. All at once,
I know what must be done. I repeat: “Ode. To. Duty.”
They laugh. I’m killing it. I say, “The Duty of a poet,
as far as I’m concerned, is never to stink.”
Half of them, wide-eyed, glance back at the teacher,
the others hold their sides. “Sometimes,” I say,
“my duty brings great joy. Sometimes my duty
brings sorrow.” I point to the kid in the front
and say, “Give me a metaphor, Jackson.”
He grins: “My duty is like that funky
fire cracker smell: pop, pop, stink cloud.”
I say, “Brilliant simile!” Ms Boots, who’s heard
too much, says, “That’s enough, Jackson.
We’ll have no more—” I interrupt. “That’s right,
boys and girls, no more similes!
Time for metaphor. Jackson, your duty
is not like a funky fire cracker smell—”
A kid in the back shouts, “Pop, Pop, Stink Cloud.”
Ms Boots says, “Enough. You aren’t animals.”
I say, “No, Ms. Boots, today, they are.
They’re animals learning to growl and claw
and fly.” Another kid says, “and to duty.”
I correct: “‘Ode to Duty,’ that’s Wordsworth.
And, take Layla here, she’ll tell you.
Layla, what are you?” Layla looks at Ms Boots,
back at me, out the window at the wind
and light—she scans the scribbled lines
on her page and closes her eyes. The room’s silent,
awaiting some new duty riff.
But before she speaks, her eyes
press out several quiet tears.
None of us know anything. Layla
pushes her hands into her hair,
and says, “I’m a dragonfly, a globe skimmer—
I don’t want to go home
or to be here. I am above the river
gliding free in every wind,
where I see things
only dragonflies see.
My whole head is an eye.”
by Andrew Hemmert
In the library basement bathroom
a plate-shaped absence cut through
the blue polymer stall divider.
The blue of the stall divider was faded, streaked
with transparent stains, and the hole abrasive
at its edges. Abrasive to the eye.
I didn’t touch it, at that time
having no idea why there would be such an opening
between the stalls—and once I realized
what it was, no idea how whoever cut the hole
did so in secret, without anyone noticing.
Soon after, the library covered it up
with a sheet of metal. Which seems to me, now,
like someone nailing shut the covers
of a book, so what was passed through,
and then refused passage, was less flesh
than knowledge, then knowledge made secret,
a secret like something whispered
by one boy to another at a sleepover—two hands
cupped around an ear, two sleeping bags
rolled out in a basement, a pull-cord bulb dangling overhead,
waiting to be touched and turned to light.
Things Are Not Going Well Between You and Julianna
by Emma Cairns Watson
But at the restaurant that year it gets a little less dark every day.
Women start coming in and giving you the outsides of their mouths
on paper, and terracotta cotton, and the leaves of horse
chestnuts. What are you going to do with all these kisses?
There’s a plant sad old gardeners call lady of the night. It’s yellow,
the flower, and gets mopey in full sunlight like Julianna does and dies.
But during a summer sundown: you should see her open.
Your father was sleeping with a woman down the road who kept ladies
in her beds. It was a father-daughter thing, going to this affair. Your mama liked it.
You’d be given front-row dirt to watch the nightly miracle. Don’t move, don’t come
looking. In the time it took the flowers to remember
to be yellow eyes and stare, like you, at girls at twilight
he could be in and out. And the garden was so quiet
and smelled like black soil and mama’s whitest wine and
in school that year you learned about Babylon, its hanging gardens and its whores
and thought, in future, (though there were other reasons too, and better ones)
I don’t think I’ll have much to do with men.
You could take those animal print patterns: the spot and stripe
and dapple of women’s mouths, red against old flat and press
them into a book of the way other people want you; call it mouths you haven’t kissed
for her sake. Still she won’t like it, your offering, thin sacrifice
of beeswax and mica, will go up in votive smoke. Up in your father’s house nothing
makes as much sense as this yellow bonfire she’s making now of love for you,
heat that roasts and opens bad hearts like the skirts of sepals,
something that knows how to last the day.
Letter to M, far from the idyllic shore
by Kathryn Smith
Yesterday, I was pummeled by grief before I knew
what was happening. Judith Butler says that’s
how grief happens: one sets out with a project in mind
and finds oneself foiled, exhausted, unable
to proceed. I don’t even know who Judith Butler is,
but somehow she knows me. She knows I
am not special. Everyone hurts all the time. Then
this morning, the pain and the blood. In college
I read an article (by a man, no doubt) that said
Sylvia Plath wasn’t depressed; she just had PMS.
It made me want to stick my head in an oven.
These days I want to crawl into bed and cry
myself to sleep in the middle of the afternoon.
It’s not so bad. Give me a shoreline brimming
with dead crabs, and I’ll get over it. I’m no expert—
just another person made of lead who has sometimes
confused sadness for desire. The time I thought
I would change my life completely, J held on
and wouldn’t let go. And the second time. The third.
Over and over in inertia’s clutches. It’s so boring, I know.
I’m toeing the edge of my past like a kelp-thick shore
teeming with flies. Not even seagulls want crabs
once they’re dead. They know what’s hollow.
I love the shells and how they fragment, though I know
they were killed by toxins and rising ocean temperatures
and the cold science of overabundance. Look how the end
of that word is dance—a dance on the graves of all
the dead ocean-dwellers. Every day I learn how to kill whales
more quickly. Now that’s a thing to grieve. It was so long ago
that I wanted to die. Lifetimes, really. I’ve locked away my secrets
and thrown them in an ocean. Maybe that’s why I live so far
from the shore, but every chance I get, I stare it down.
The New Lake
by Mark Leahy
It is not natural, it is essential.
It is essentially a ditch
for storm-water runoff
to prevent flooding,
ringed with willows
to combat erosion,
stocked with a diversity of fish
to eat the feces of other animals.
The arriving snakehead bird
cannot believe its luck
I chase it on my lunch break,
its knife beak bound
in discarded fishing line,
tripping over its wide feet,
but faster than me.
I ask a stranger from the hospital
across the street for help
but he doesn’t understand,
shakes his bandaged head
as it hobbles starving toward
what it believes to be
the safety of the water.
Tomorrow, I will come back and watch
a woman teach the wood stork how to beg for scraps,
and I will watch a heron swallow a duckling whole,
like spun sugar plucked from the reeds,
and the snakehead bird will sleep
between the dead, wet leaves,
and I will have been of no particular use
to any of them.
Lessons in Dentistry
by Rita Feinstein
You told me not to cry,
but I cried as my pink
saliva filled the sink.
You told me your brother
dug a snow shelter
after the same surgery—
the melted water in his ear
hardened to an icicle overnight
and punctured the drum.
You told me, This is how
we earn respect: Walk it off.
Sleep it off. Suck it up.
This is your family creed:
a year’s worth of lamb meat
frozen in the basement,
a brush hog, an orchard,
and a shotgun. Willpower
over pain. Willpower
as a potent anesthetic,
whiting out nerves as teeth
are mined from the bone.
Anesthetic as willpower,
because not everyone can
brick up their pain in an igloo.
When a bone is broken,
a new snowfall of cells
rushes to patch the crack.
When a tooth breaks,
it cannot heal itself.
I always thought the teeth
were the strongest bones.
Now you’re telling me
that teeth aren’t bones at all.
Allison Adair's work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry (2018), Iron Horse Literary Review, Kenyon Review, North American Review, Pleiades, Subtropics, among other journals; and has received the Pushcart Prize (2019), the Florida Review Editors’ Award, the Orlando Prize, and first place in the Fineline Competition from Mid-American Review. Originally from central Pennsylvania, she now lives in Boston, where she teaches at Boston College and Grub Street.
Vidhu Aggarwal's poetry and multimedia practices engage with world-building, video, and graphic media, and draw mythic schemas from popular culture and ancient texts. Her poetry book The Trouble with Humpadori (2016) imagines a cosmic mythological space for marginalized transnational subjects. Poems from Humpadori were listed as the top 25 from Boston Review in 2016 and appeared on Sundress Publications Best Poetry of 2016 list. Avatara, a chapbook from Portable @ Yo-Yo Labs Press, is situated in a post-apocalyptic gaming world where A.I.’s play at being gods. A Djerassi resident and Kundiman fellow, she teaches at Rollins College.
Dana Alsamsam is the author of a chapbook, (in)habit (tenderness, lit press, 2018), and her poems are published or forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, Gigantic Sequins, Poetry East, Tinderbox Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, Fugue, The Boiler Journal, Salamander, BOOTH, and others. She was a Lambda Writer’s Retreat Fellow in the 2018 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. A Chicago native, Dana is currently an MFA candidate and a teacher at Emerson College.
Amy M. Alvarez holds an MFA in creative writing from the Stonecoast Program at USM. Her poetry has been published in Black Renaissance Noire, The Wide Shore: A Journal of Global Women’s Poetry, The New Guard Review, and Stonecoast Lines. Amy currently teaches at West Virginia University.
Deborah Bacharach is the author of After I Stop Lying (Cherry Grove Collections, 2015). Her work has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Crab Orchard Review, Vallum, Poet Lore, among many others. She is an editor, teacher, and tutor in Seattle. Find out more about her at DeborahBacharach.com.
Devon Balwit’s most recent collection is titled A Brief Way to Identify a Body (Ursus Americanus Press). Her individual poems can be found in Sugar House Review, Jet Fuel, The Worcester Review, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Apt (long-form issue), Tule Review, Grist, Rattle, among others.
John Belk is an assistant professor of English at Southern Utah University, where he directs the writing program. His poetry has recently appeared in Crosswinds, Cathexis Northwest, Cheat River Review, Arkansas Review, Wraparound South, among others. His work has been selected as a finalist for the Autumn House Rising Writer Contest, the Cathexis Chapbook Contest, the Autumn House Poetry Prize, the Comstock Writers Group Chapbook Contest, and as a semifinalist for the Vassar Miller Award.
Eric Berlin lives in Baldwinsville, NY. His poems won the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, Bradford on Avon Poetry Prize, National Poetry Prize, and The Ledge Poetry Prize. His poems appear in The Poetry Review, Hunger Mountain, The Rialto, among others. His interviews have featured in American Poetry Review and The Hopkins Review. He teaches online through The Poetry School.
Erica Bernheim is currently an associate professor of English at Florida Southern College, where she also directs the creative writing program and directs its reading series. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM; The Missouri Review, and Denver Quarterly; her first full-length collection, The Mimic Sea, was published by 42 Miles Press (Indiana University South Bend).
Mary Biddinger is the author of five full-length poetry collections, including Small Enterprise and The Czar. She lives in Akron, OH, where she teaches poetry and literature and edits the Akron Series in Poetry. Biddinger’s first collection of prose poems, Partial Genius, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2019.
John Blair’s Playful Song Called Beautiful was the 2015 winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize and was published by the University of Iowa Press.
Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-three books including, most recently, Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997–2015 (E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018), and Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse Press, 2018). Five books are forthcoming including Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave). Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.
Gaylord Brewer is a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, where he founded and for more than 20 years edited the journal Poems & Plays. His most recent books are the cookbook-memoir The Poet’s Guide to Food, Drink, & Desire (Stephen F. Austin, 2015) and a tenth collection of poetry, The Feral Condition (Negative Capability, 2018). His next book of poems, Worship the Pig, is forthcoming from Red Hen in June, 2020.
Polly Buckingham’s collection The Expense of a View won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction (2016); her chapbook A Year of Silence won the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award (2014); and she was the recipient of a 2014 Washington State Artists Trust fellowship. Her work appears in The Gettysburg Review, The Threepenny Review, PoetryDaily, Hanging Loose, Witness, North American Review, The Poetry Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Tampa Review, and elsewhere. Polly is the founding editor of StringTown Press. She teaches creative writing at Eastern Washington University and is the editor of Willow Springs magazine.
Mark Burke’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the North American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Stoneboat Review, Nimrod International Journal, and others. His work has recently been nominated for a Pushcart prize.
Rob Carney is the author of five books, most recently The Book of Sharks (Black Lawrence Press 2018), and three more forthcoming: Facts and Figures (poetry), Call and Response (poetry), and Accidental Gardens (creative non-fiction). His work has appeared previously in Sugar House Review issues 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, and 16. He was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award in 2016, and the winner of the Robinson Jeffers Award for Poetry in 2014. He lives in Salt Lake City.
Shannon Castleton is a recent graduate of Warren Wilson’s low-residency MFA program and has published poems in journals such as The Cortland Review, FOLIO, and Tar River Poetry. She was also a finalist in a contest Naomi Shihab-Nye judged for The Red Wheelbarrow.
Grant Clauser lives in Hatfield, PA, and is the author of four books: The Magician’s Handbook, Reckless Constellations, Necessary Myths, and The Trouble with Rivers. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Cortland Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, and others. He also writes about electronics, teaches poetry at random places, and chases fish with a stick.
Eileen Cleary earned an MFA at Lesley University and a second at Solstice. She is twice a Pushcart nominee and has work published or upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, J Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, West Texas Literary Review, and Main Street Rag. She manages the Lily Poetry Salon and edits the Lily Poetry Review. Her first full-length manuscript, Child Ward of the Commonwealth, was published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company.
Abigail Kirby Conklin lives in New York City, where she works in education and curriculum development. Her poetry can be found in The Lampeter Review, Flumes Literary Journal, K’in Literary Journal, and Curlew Quarterly. She drinks startling amounts of coffee.
Weston Cutter is from Minnesota, has had work recently in Ploughshares and The Southern Review, and runs Haven Watch Co.
Darren C. Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including Hotel Amerika, Diode, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and Colorado Review. He is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Two Towns Over (March 2018), which was selected as the winner of the Louise Bogan Award by Trio House Press. Darren is the managing editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living and writing in Columbus, OH with his wife and children.
Shira Dentz is the author of five books and two chapbooks, most recently how do i net thee (Salmon Poetry, 2018) and the sun a blazing zero (Lavender Ink/Diálogos, 2019). Her writing appears in many journals, including Poetry, American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, New American Writing, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, and NPR. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets’ Prize, Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem Award, and Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award. Interviews with her have
appeared in journals, including Ploughshares, The Rumpus, and OmniVerse. A graduate of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, she holds a PhD from the University of Utah, and is special features editor at Tarpaulin Sky and teaches in upstate NY.
Emma DePanise’s poems are forthcoming or have appeared recently in journals, such as Puerto del Sol, Plume Poetry, Superstition Review, Potomac Review, Nimrod International Journal, and elsewhere. She is the 2018 winner of the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. Emma currently teaches and study writing in Salisbury, MD.
Gary Dop is the director of the new low-residency MFA program at Randolph College, where he is an English professor, poet, playwright, and short story writer. His work appears regularly in publications such as the Georgia Review, Washington Post, North American Review, AGNI, Sugar House Review, and Prairie Schooner. His first book of poetry is Father, Child, Water (Red Hen Press, 2015). GaryDop.com
Sean Thomas Dougherty is the author or editor of 15 books, including The Second O of Sorrow and All You Ask for is Longing: Poems 1994–2014, both published by BOA Editions. His awards include a Fulbright lectureship to the Balkans and two PA Council for the Arts Fellowships. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, North American Review, and The New York Times. He lives in Erie, PA with the poet Lisa Akus and their two daughters, where he works for the Barber National Institute on Autism.
Merrill Oliver Douglas has published poems in Crab Creek Review, South 85 Journal, IthacaLit, Baltimore Review, Barrow Street, Tar River Poetry, Stone Canoe, among other journals. She lives near Binghamton, NY, within walking distance of Pennsylvania, where she makes her living as a freelance writer.
Poems by Alice Duggan have appeared or are forthcoming in Sleet Magazine, Water~Stone Review, Poetry East, Tar River Poetry, Alaska Quarterly Review, and other journals; also in a chapbook, A Brittle Thing, from Green Fuse Press and an anthology, Home, from Holy Cow! Press. She’s interested in dailiness, now and in previous generations; in colloquial language, timbre of voices, backwaters of life.
Steven Duong is a Vietnamese American poet from San Diego, CA and a student at Grinnell College in Iowa. He has received an Academy of American Poets University and College Prize and his poems are featured or forthcoming in poets.org, Crab Creek Review, Pacifica Literary Review, among others.
Judson Evans is a full-time instructor of liberal arts at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music and teaches courses on utopian societies, ancient Greek literature, and Japanese poetry. He has been involved in a wide range of collaborative experiments with composers, choreographers, and other poets. He was a member of Off the Park Press Writers’ Collective, N.Y.C., and has poems in the three anthologies the press has published in response to contemporary painters. He was recently chosen as an Academy of American Poets’ emerging poet by John Yau, and won the Philip Booth Prize from Salt Hill Review. His poems have appeared most recently in Volt; 1913: a journal of forms; Cutbank; and Laurel Review.
Rita Feinstein is the author of Life on Dodge, a poetry chapbook from Brain Mill Press. Her stories and poems have appeared in The Cossack Review, Permafrost, Five on the Fifth, and Grist, among other publications. She received her MFA from Oregon State University.
Bradley J. Fest is assistant professor of English at Hartwick College. He is the author of two books of poetry, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015) and The Shape of Things (Salò, 2017), along with a number of essays on contemporary literature and culture. He blogs at The Hyperarchival Parallax (BradleyJFest.com).
Blood Vinyls (Anhinga Press) is Yolanda J. Franklin’s debut poetry collection that Roxane Gay insists is a “must-must-must read.” A two-time Fulbright Scholar Award Finalist (2018 & 2019), Franklin is also a Cave Canem and Callaloo Fellow.
Jessica Goodfellow’s books are Whiteout, Mendeleev’s Mandala, and The Insomniac’s Weather Report. She was a writer-in-residence at Denali National Park and Preserve. Her work has appeared in Threepenny Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Awl, The Southern Review, Motionpoems, Best New Poets, and Best American Poetry 2018.
Abigail Goodhart is currently pursuing her MFA at Western Michigan University and draws inspiration from living in the Midwest. When not writing, she plays the brutal, brutal sport of roller derby.
Jeremy Gregersen is a graduate of the Universities of Utah (BA), Michigan (MFA), and Oregon (MA). His work has appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Cimarron Review, Poet Lore, Juked, Cortland Review, The Maine Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. He lives in Las Vegas, NV with his wife and son, and works as head of school at The Meadows School.
Ben Gunsberg is an associate professor of English at Utah State University. He earned an MFA from the University of Alabama and a PhD from the University of Michigan. His poems appear in numerous literary magazines, including CutBank, DIAGRAM, and The South Carolina Review. The author of the poetry collection Welcome, Dangerous Life and the chapbook Rhapsodies with Portraits, Ben lives in Logan, UT, and online at BenGunsberg.com.
Jeff Hardin is the author of five collections of poetry: Fall Sanctuary (Nicholas Roerich Prize); Notes for a Praise Book (Jacar Press Book Award); Restoring the Narrative (Donald Justice Prize); Small Revolution; and No Other Kind of World (X. J. Kennedy Prize). The New Republic, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Southwest Review, North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, Poetry Northwest, Hotel Amerika, and Southern Poetry Review have published his poems. He teaches at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN.
Andrew Hemmert is a sixth-generation Floridian living in Kalamazoo, MI. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Greensboro Review, Hunger Mountain, North American Review, Poet Lore, Poetry Northwest, and Prairie Schooner. He earned his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and currently serves as an assistant editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal.
David Huddle is the author of nine poetry collections, six short story collections, five novels, a novella, and a collection of essays titled The Writing Habit. He won the 2012 Library of Virginia Award for Fiction for Nothing Can Make Me Do This and the 2013 Pen New England Award for Poetry for Blacksnake at the Family Reunion. Huddle’s most recent books are Hazel, a novel, published by Tupelo Press in June 2019, and My Surly Heart, published by LSU Press in October 2019. Originally from Ivanhoe, VA, Huddle has lived in Vermont for nearly fifty years.
Katherine Indermaur is the author of the chapbook Pulse (Ghost City Press, 2018). Her writing has appeared in Alpinist, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, CALAMITY, Muse/A Journal, Poetry South, Voicemail Poems, and elsewhere. A Colorado State University MFA graduate, where she won the 2018 Academy of American Poets Prize, she was the managing editor for Colorado Review from 2017 to May 2019.
Alexis Ivy is a 2018 recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Poetry. Her first poetry collection, Romance with Small-Time Crooks, was published in 2013 by BlazeVOX [book]. Her second collection, Taking the Homeless Census won the 2018 Editors Prize at Saturnalia Books and is forthcoming in 2020. She is a street outreach advocate working with the homeless and living in her hometown, Boston.
Sonja Johanson has recent work appearing in Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, and Poet Lore. Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine. Follow her at SonjaJohanson.net.
Christine Jones holds her MFA from Lesley University and is founder/chief-editor of Poems2Go, a national public poetry project. Her most recent poetry can be found or is forthcoming at 32 poems, Salamander, Crab Creek Review, Cimarron Review, Mom Egg Review, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. She lives in Cape Cod, MA with her husband, where you can find them swimming or surfing in their shark-mitigating wet suits.
Susanna Lang’s newest collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was published in 2017 by Terrapin Books. Other collections include Tracing the Lines (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2013) and Even Now (Backwaters Press, 2008), as well as Words in Stone, a translation of Yves Bonnefoy’s poetry (University of Massachusetts Press, 1976). A two-time Hambidge Fellow and recipient of the Emerging Writer Fellowship from the Bethesda Writer’s Center, she has published original poems and essays, and translations from the French, in such journals as Little Star, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, december, American Life in Poetry, and Verse Daily. She lives with her husband in Chicago.
Steve Langan’s MFA is from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he received the Paul Engle Postgraduate Fellowship from the James Michener Foundation. He is the author of Freezing, Notes on Exile and Other Poems, Meet Me at the Happy Bar, and What It Looks Like, How It Flies. Langan’s poems appear in a variety of journals, including the Kenyon, Gettysburg, Chicago, Iowa, Colorado, North American, Notre Dame, and Southern Humanities Reviews. He teaches at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the UNO MFA writing program, where he serves as program development coordinator. He is also interim director and community liaison for medical humanities at UNO. Additionally, Langan is founder and director of the Seven Doctors Project, a creative writing program established at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
David Lee is the first poet laureate of the state of Utah. His 1999 collection News From Down to the Café was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and, in 2001, he was a finalist for the position of United States Poet Laureate. He has been acclaimed by the Utah Endowment for the Humanities as one of the twelve greatest writers to ever emerge from the state. A former farmer, he is the subject of the PBS documentary The Pig Poet. His poems have appeared widely in publications including Poetry, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, Narrative Magazine, and JuxtaProse Literary Magazine. Lee has received the Utah Governor’s Award for lifetime achievement in the arts and is the recipient of the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award in Poetry and the Western States Book Award in Poetry.
Jon D. Lee is the author of three books, including An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of Disease and These Around Us. His poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Sierra Nevada Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, Connecticut River Review, The Laurel Review, The Inflectionist Review, and Oregon Literary Review. He has an MFA in poetry from Lesley University and a PhD in folklore. Lee teaches at Suffolk University and spends his spare time with his wife and children.
Mark Leahy teaches technical writing at the University of South Florida.
Kristin Macintyre holds an MFA in poetry from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Her work has been published in Mud Season Review, Rathalla Review, Another Chicago Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee and serves as an associate editor at Colorado Review. When she is not writing, she teaches freshman composition and drinks coffee in her small garden.
Kate MacLam is an eighth-generation Vermonter living in Minnesota. She received an MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she served as co-managing editor of Blue Earth Review and a host of KMSU’s Weekly Reader, an author interview radio program and podcast. Her poems have appeared in Forklift, Ohio; New Ohio Review; Puerto Del Sol; and Willow Springs.
Matt Mason runs poetry programming for the State Department, working in Nepal, Romania, Botswana, and Belarus. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for his poem “Notes For My Daughter Against Chasing Storms” and his work can be found in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. The author of Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know (The Backwaters Press, 2006) and The Baby That Ate Cincinnati (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2013), Matt is based out of Omaha with his wife, the poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown, and daughters Sophia and Lucia. He is currently serving as Nebraska’s poet laureate.
US-Argentinean poet and translator, Lucian Mattison, is the author of two books of poetry, Reaper’s Milonga (YesYes Books, 2018) and Peregrine Nation (Dynamo Verlag, 2017). His poetry, short fiction, and translations appear in numerous journals, including Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hobart, Muzzle, Nano Fiction, The Nashville Review, The Offing, Puerto Del Sol, Waxwing, and have been featured on poets.org. He is based out of DC and edits poetry for Big Lucks. Read more at LucianMattison.com.
Micahel McLane has an MFA in creative writing from Colorado State University and an MS in environmental humanities from the University of Utah. For the past seven years, he served as the director for both the Center for the Book of Utah Humanities and the Utah Humanities Book Festival. He left Utah this past summer to begin a PhD program at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
Michael Metivier is a poet, musician, and editor living in southern Vermont. His work has appeared in Poetry, African American Review, Washington Square, Crazyhorse, North American Review, among other journals.
Kaisa Ullsvik Miller is the author of Unspoiled Air (winner of the 2008 Motherwell Prize from Fence Books) and has had poetry published in Ploughshares, Fence, HUNGER, deComp, and Bombay Gin. She is a prairie girl who spends a lot of time whistling and wishing she was a bird.
David Moolten’s most recent book, Primitive Mood (2009), won the T. S. Eliot Award from the Truman State University Press. He lives and writes in Philadelphia, PA.
Patricia Colleen Murphy founded Superstition Review at Arizona State University, where she teaches creative writing and magazine production. She won the 2019 Press 53 Award for Poetry with her collection Bully Love, published as a Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection. Her collection Hemming Flames (Utah State University Press) won the 2016 May Swenson Poetry Award, judged by Stephen Dunn, and the 2017 Milt Kessler Poetry Award. A chapter from her memoir-in-progress was published as a chapbook by New Orleans Review. She lives in Phoenix, AZ.
Carolyn Oliver’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Field, Indiana Review, The Shallow Ends, The Greensboro Review, Booth, Glass, Southern Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the Writer’s Block Prize in Poetry, selected by Maggie Smith. Carolyn lives in Massachusetts with her family. Links to more of her writing can be found at CarolynOliver.net.
Suphil Lee Park holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from New York University. She is a recipient of an Engler Fellowship and an MFA candidate at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dayna Patterson is the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, AGNI, Crab Orchard Review, Hotel Amerika, Passages North, Western Humanities Review, and Zone 3. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. DaynaPatterson.com
Joel Peckham, Jr. calls Huntington, WV home, where he is a professor of American literature and creative writing at Marshall University. He has published seven collections of poetry and prose, most recently Body Memory (New Rivers Press) and God’s Bicycle (future cycle). Joel is also editing an anthology for New Rivers Press titled Wild Gods: The Ecstatic in Contemporary Poetry and Prose. His individual poems have recently been published or are forthcoming in The Southern Review, Spillway, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, and The American Journal of Poetry.
Jim Peterson is the author of six collections of poetry, three chapbooks, and a novel. His collection The Owning Stone won Red Hen Press’s Benjamin Saltman Award for 1999. His newest collection, Speech Minus Applause, was released by Press 53 in February of 2019. His poems have appeared widely in journals including Poetry, Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Cave Wall, etc. He is on the faculty of the University of Nebraska Omaha Low-residency MFA in Writing program. He lives with his charismatic corgi, Mama Kilya, in Lynchburg, VA.
Micah Player is an author and illustrator of books and games for children. He lives in a little house beneath a giant tree in the mountains of Utah with a lovely schoolteacher named Stephanie. They are the parents of two rad kids, one brash little Yorkshire Terrier and several Casio keyboards. MicahPlayer.com
Marjorie Power’s newest poetry collection is Oncoming Halos, from Kelsay Books. Another collection, Seven Parts Woman, appeared in 2016 from WordTech Editions. She also has six chapbooks out from Pudding House Press, Main Street Rag Publishing Company, and others. She lives in Denver, CO with her husband, after many years in the Northwest.
Richard Robbins was raised in California and Montana, but has lived continuously in Minnesota since 1984. His collection Body Turn To Rain: New & Selected Poems was published in Lynx House Press’ Northwest Masters Series in 2017.
David Rock holds a PhD in Latin American literature from Penn State University and currently teaches Spanish and international studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg. He has poems appearing in The Carolina Quarterly, The Bitter Oleander, The Chattahoochee Review, Poetry East, Image, Painted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere.
Chris Siteman lives in Massachusetts, and teaches in the English Departments at Suffolk University and Bridgewater State University. His chapbook, PART X of ME, is forthcoming from Pen & Anvil Press (Boston, MA). His poems have appeared in journals such as The American Journal of Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Salamander, Consequence Magazine, among numerous others.
Kathryn Smith is a poet and collage artist in Spokane, WA. Her first poetry collection is Book of Exodus (Scablands Books, 2017), and her poems have been published in Mid- American Review, Poetry Northwest, Laurel Review, the Boiler, and elsewhere.
Rosanne Smith’s poems have recently appeared in The Hollins Critic, Water~Stone Review, and Crazyhorse. A graduate of the City University of New York, she now lives in Park City, UT.
Laura Stott is the author of the book of poems, In the Museum of Coming and Going (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2014). Her poems can also be found in publications such as Western Humanities Review, Copper Nickel, Memorious, and Cutbank. She is an instructor of English at Weber State University.
Melanie Stormm is a poet and writer of short fiction living in the wild, tree-stalked boundaries of New Hampshire. Her work has been featured in such publications as Beloit Fiction Journal, Typehouse Literary Magazine, and JellyBucket. You can find her in her virtual home at ColdWildEyes.com.
Janet Sylvester’s new book, And Not to Break, has been awarded the 2019 Lauria/Frasca Poetry Prize and will be published by Bordighera Press in 2020. Over the years, Sugar House Review has published ten poems from the manuscript. Others have appeared in Boulevard, Colorado Review, Georgia Review, Harvard Review, a Pushcart Prize anthology, and Poetry Daily.
MaryEllen Talley’s poems have recently been published in Raven Chronicles, U City Review, and Ekphrastic Review, as well as in anthologies, All We Can Hold and Ice Cream Poems. Her poetry has received two Pushcart Prize nominations. She became acquainted with Michele Bombardier a few years ago when they met and realized they shared a clinical profession of speech/language pathologist (SLP), as well as poetry.
Alison Thumel is a Chicago-based writer. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago where she was awarded the Elsie F. Filippi Memorial Prize in Poetry. Her work has recently appeared in DIAGRAM, The Rumpus, and Salt Hill. She is the author of the chapbook LIFE OF, which won Salt Hill’s Dead Lake Chapbook Contest in 2016, and [fearnotes] from Dancing Girl Press (2018).
Brendan Todt is the author of the poetry chapbook The Idea of Leaves within the Dying Tree. His poem “At the Particle Accelerator at Krasnoyarsk” was included in Best American Non-Required Reading 2013. His fiction and poetry can be found elsewhere in print and online. He lives in Sioux City, IA with his wife and two sons.
William Trowbridge’s seventh poetry collection, Vanishing Point, was published by Red Hen Press in April, 2017. His eighth, a greatly expanded collection of the poems that came out in the 2016 Red Hen graphic chapbook Oldguy: Superhero, came out in October. He is a faculty mentor in the University of Nebraska Omaha Low-residency MFA in Writing program and was Poet Laureate of Missouri from 2012 to 2016. For more information, see his website at WiliamTrowbridge.net.
Rhett Iseman Trull’s poetry collection, The Real Warnings (Anhinga Press, 2009), won several awards, including the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and was nominated for a Poets’ Prize. Her poetry has appeared in 32 Poems, The American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Cave Wall. “Bourbon and Ginger Ale” is after Nickole Brown.
John Walser’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Barrow Street, Nimrod, december magazine, Spillway, Lumina, the Pinch, Dressing Room Poetry Review, Yemassee, Mantis, Iron Horse, and Lunch Ticket. He was a featured poet in the September 2014 issue of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and is a three-time semifinalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is the recipient of the 2015 Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award from the Council of Wisconsin Writers.
A recent graduate of Smith College, Emma Cairns Watson now coordinates Egyptology lectures by day and inhales other people’s poetry by night. Her poetry is forthcoming in RHINO Poetry, Pithead Chapel, and Ninth Letter.
L.A. Weeks grew up on Virginia’s coastal plain, and spent twelve years on the lower Mississippi, where she owned and operated a bookstore. She now lives and writes near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Her poetry can be found in Green Mountains Review, Alabama Literary Review, The Raintown Review, and elsewhere.
Sunni Brown Wilkinson’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, JuxtaProse, Cimarron Review, Southern Indiana Review, other journals and anthologies, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first full-length poetry collection, The Marriage of the Moon and the Field, was a 2017 finalist for the Hudson Prize and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2019. She has an MFA from Eastern Washington University, teaches at Weber State University, and lives in Ogden, UT with her husband and three young sons.
Brian Chander Wiora teaches poetry at Columbia University, where he is an MFA candidate. He serves as the online poetry editor for the Columbia Journal. His poems have appeared in Rattle, Gulf Stream Magazine, The New Mexico Review, As It Ought To Be, Kissing Dynamite, Alexandria Quarterly, and other places. Besides poetry, he enjoys listening to classic rock music, performing standup comedy, and traveling.
Matthew Woodman teaches writing at California State University, Bakersfield and is the founding editor of Rabid Oak. His writing appears in recent issues of Sonora Review, Puerto del Sol, Storm Cellar, and The Meadow. More of his work can be found at MatthewWoodman.com.
Steve Yates lives in southern Utah where he enjoys cooking, hiking, and working on a random variety of arts-related projects, including photography, sketching people, painting, and writing. For relaxation he enjoys watching low-budget monster movies with his beloved woman and interpreting shadows on cave walls.
Amie Zimmerman lives in Portland, OR. Her work has been published, or is forthcoming, in Sixth Finch, Thrush Poetry Journal, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill, BathHouse, among others. She has two chapbooks: Oyster (REALITY BEACH) and Compliance (Essay Press), and is the events coordinator for YesYes Books.
Holli Zollinger is a self-taught artist who has made a career of her talents: drawing, painting, and surface design. She is continually inspired by her surroundings living in the desert town of Moab, UT. She is highly motivated bythe art of creativity and incorporates the color, texture, and pattern she sees in the world around her. Holli’s work has been published and featured worldwide. HolliZollinger.com
Native of Utah, Shari Zollinger divides her time between her work as a professional astrologer and independent bookseller. She has been known to write a poetic verse or two with published work in Sugar House Review and Redactions. She recently published Carrying Her Stone, a collection of poems based on the work of Auguste Rodin.