Tag Archives: Ben Leib

Existere – “Fingerprints”

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Fingerprints is an awesome story, loosely inspired by a dear friend of mine who I love. I am thrilled to have it appearing in the latest issue of Existere, a publication I have been submitting to for years. Definitely another milestone for me, and I am so happy to be considered worthy by the fine folks at Vanier College in Montreal, Quebec. Digital copies can be purchased online for less than a dollar.

From the issue’s description: “Through life’s next adventure, we are faced with withstanding the heavy weight of another’s gaze. In Annie Raab’s “The Artist” and Ben Leib’s “Fingerprints,” we are shown the effects of other people’s opinions and narrow-mindedness in two vastly different ways. With Raab’s piece, we are shown the internal struggle and aftermath of inner turmoil, whereas with Leib’s piece, we watch a woman choke down her pride and principles to survive in her troubled world.

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Copies of 37.1 are now available on Kobo!

Existere exists as a venue for emerging and established talent from York University and around the world. We publish poetry, fiction, visual art, interviews, reviews, essays, photographs, art, and much more from established and emerging talents. We also debut new writers, poets, and artists.

Existere publishes biannually. Contributors come from as close as Montreal to as far away as the other side of the planet.

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Existere is a nationally-distributed literary magazine. It was founded and first published in 1978 as a student-run journal covering literature and poetry. In 1980, the journal began publishing regular issues. Over nearly three decades, Existere has largely published as a quarterly, but in recent years has published semi-annually. Content, focus, and presentation has varied widely over the years, but has always included poetry and short stories as its core. Photography, reviews, art, essays, and postcard stories, novel chapters, and much more have appeared on our pages. Existere will continue to be a student-run journal and publish fiction, photography, and art, but will also add more non-fiction, reviews, and criticism as we grow.

How do you pronounce Existere? It depends who you ask. Our name comes from Latin and means “to stand out” or “to stand apart.” Therefore is should be pronounced ex-iss-TAIR-AY. However, being that Latin is not in as common usage as it once was, many refer to our name as EX-ISS-STAIR. Either is fine. We’re just happy to have you pick up a copy and enjoy our contributors.

Existere has a listing on Wikipedia (help us with our history), a fan site on Facebook (post your comments, we want to hear from you), and a Twitter account (ExistereJournal).

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Blacktop Passages – “Always the Lucky One”

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The online literary journal, Blacktop Passages, has just published my short story “Always the Lucky One,” about the narrator’s superstitious descent into lucklessness. I enjoyed writing this story, and am proud to have it published by Blacktop Passages, the publication that has, in my humble opinion, the best name of all.

About Blacktop Passages:

Founded in early 2013, Blacktop Passages is a literary journal dedicated to the open road. We want to serve as a home for the stories, essays, poems, and images of transition that are often overshadowed by our destinations. We want thoughtful writing, full of feeling, conflict, and desire. If you have a great piece that reflects this ethos, Blacktop Passages would love to have your work in our pages.

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Emrys – “Aluxes”

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I have been submitting to Emrys for years, and am happy to announce that they’ve accepted my story, “Aluxes,” to appear in Volume 33. In the words of Wikipedia, “Alux is the name given to a type of sprite or spirit in the mythological tradition of certain Maya peoples from the Yucatán Peninsula and Guatemala. Tradition holds that aluxo’ob are invisible but able to assume physical form for purposes of communicating with and frightening humans as well as to congregate. They are generally associated with natural features such as forests, caves, stones, and fields but can also be enticed to move somewhere through offerings.” That said, this story has nothing to do with aluxo’ob, aluxes, or any other mythological figure. It’s about two friends who elicit local help to locate a cave in a rural region of the Yucatan Peninsula.

To read this story, you will need to purchase a copy of Emrys. I highly recommending doing this, because all of the writing that appears in the issue is brilliant. I hope you enjoy.

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Emerys Mission Statement:

Founded in 1983, Emrys (a Welsh word meaning “Child of Light”) has sponsored music competitions, concerts, art exhibitions, conferences, creative writing awards, poetry workshops, and lectures. The Emrys Journal, our group’s signature literary publication, has appeared annually since 1984. Emrys Press, launched in 1995, primarily publishes poets of outstanding merit. Our Reading Room has brought writers and audiences together since 1990. Our Writing Room has provided professional instruction for writers at all stages of their craft since 2006 and begun in 2011, our Open Mic, which has provided a venue for writers of all skill levels to present their work to an enthusiastic and supportive audience.

Based in Upstate South Carolina, the Emrys Foundation was awarded the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2004 in recognition of outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina.

➢ Emrys nurtures creativity among emerging and established writers.
➢ Emrys seeks to expand the impact of the literary arts.
➢ Emrys collaborates across a broad variety of art forms to give voice to the written word.

We invite you to join our award-winning organization.

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Emerys History:

On the night of April 2, 1981, a special musical performance took place at Furman University. Everyone involved had ties to Greenville: the librettist, Keller Cushing Freeman, the musical composer, Sally Wyche Coenen, and the singers. The event was the premiere performance of an original song cycle called The Death of Arthur: a Requiem for Six Voices. The singers represented important characters in the life of the legendary king of the Round Table.

The Death of Arthur was the first public appearance of Emrys, but it had its real beginning when two friends dreamed, planned, and worked to make some ambitious ideas come to fruition. Who better to tell about this than one of the co-founders, Keller Cushing Freeman:

“It wasn’t quite the first act of Puccini’s La Boheme, where a cluster of young artists and poets shared their dreams and a bottle of vin ordinaire in a Paris garret. But it was close. Our setting was a basement apartment on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C.  Serving up the cabernet was Dan Coenen, a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Blackmun. Tossing the salad was Dan’s wife, Sally Wyche Coenen, a native of Greenville, S.C., currently taking photography courses and continuing her study of piano with Spencer Fellows. Sally also harbored ambitions as a composer, although 1980 was not a year when the world clamored for the music of emerging young composers—male or female. To date Sally had not had even the nibble of a commission.

“I was the fortunate dinner guest that icy winter evening, warmed by more than 20 years of friendship with Sally and the Wyche family. Like Sally, I, too, had a closet stuffed with dreams. Although teaching philosophy was my day job, I wrote poetry on the sly. Recently I’d completed a series of poems based on the legends of King Arthur. The material seemed made for music, so I labeled the poems lyrics and set off to find a composer to collaborate on a song cycle. Sally was my first choice.

“That evening over melting bowls of ice cream we reflected on the obstacles confronting writers, composers, and artists who were in sore need of a place to present their work, an audience to receive the work, and a patron to subsidize the projects. Without realizing it, we had begun to articulate the mission statement for the organization that was to become The Emrys Foundation—to promote excellence in the arts, especially literary, artistic, and musical works of women and minorities.

“Nearly a year later we felt ready to present our first collaboration, a song cycle for piano (later scored for chamber orchestra), narrator and six voices.

“To choose a name for our new partnership we turned to Welsh lore that had inspired our first collaboration. Learning that King Arthur’s sorcerer, Merlin, was actually named Emrys, we agreed that this rather mysterious word had a special ring to it. When we discovered that Emrys was translated Child of Light, we felt certain that this was a name of good omen.”

 

 

 

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Little Patuxent Review – “The Augury”

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I am happy to announce that my piece, “The Augury,” has been printed in the 19th issue of Little Patuxent Review. The narrator of the short story reflects on his experience in a foreign country, during which he’d come into fleeting contact with the alterity of another culture’s myth and folk lore. I love the piece – it’s brief and was written in transit, and at the present time it reminds me of adventure and unfamiliarity when life is beginning to seem oppressively familiar.

Little Patuxent Review is an amazing magazine out of Maryland. It’s a print publication, and a copy of issue 19 costs $12. You can order the issue or subscribe to Little Patuxent Review here.

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About Little Patuxent Review:

Little Patuxent Review (LPR) is a journal of literature and the arts, publishing poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork. LPR welcomes most US-based contributors and prides itself on supporting both up-and-coming and well-established artists and writers. Please see our submission guidelines for more details.

LPR’s mission is to promote the tradition of literary and visual arts through our:

LPR reflects and draws upon the creativity and diversity of the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond by promoting the literary and visual arts in print and throughout the region’s community and educational venues.

Each subscription to LPR supports the arts in your community. You get two amazing issues per year for only $24. Subscribe today!

Water over stone: Little Patuxent River, Spring 2012 (Photo: Lynn Weber)

LPR was named for Little Patuxent River, one of the three major tributaries of the Patuxent River. Like LPR, the river flows over stones — the Algonquin word “patuxent” means “water flowing over smooth stones” — through Howard County, Maryland, gathering strength as it carries content to the Chesapeake Bay and out toward the larger world.

LPR was founded in 2006 by a group of local writers — Mike Clark, Ann Bracken, Ann Barney, Brendan Donegan — to fill the void left when a periodical of the same title, founded by poets Ralph and Margot Treital, closed a quarter century ago.

They envisioned LPR as a forum for area writers and artists. In doing so, LPR not only provides readers with a diverse array of local offerings, but also attracts contributors of national repute.

LPR has featured poetry from Donald Hall, Poet Laureate of the United States and Michael Glaser, Poet Laureate of Maryland. In addition, from Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award winner Stanley Plumly, the late Lucille Clifton, winner of the 2000 National Book Award for Poetry and recipient of the Robert Frost Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Society of America and Joy Harjo, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.

There has been fiction from Edith Pearlman, whose collection Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories won the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award,  Michael Chabon, whose Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Rafael Alvarez, whose screenwriting contributed to the critically acclaimed television series Homicide: Life in the Streets and The Wire, and Manil Suri, whose The Death of Vishnu became an international bestseller.

There have been myriad early efforts from writers and artists who will look back on Little Patuxent Review as the publication that gave them their start

 

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Marathon Literary Review – “Stout of Heart, Bereft of Mind”

“Stout of Heart, Bereft of Mind” has been included in Issue 8 of Marathon Literary Review, and is now available to read online. This story is a slice of offshore life. It is about the mental deterioration of its narrator, who finds himself spending more time living on a boat than he bargained for. I am thrilled that the piece was chosen for publication by the talented creative writing students of Arcadia University

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Marathon Literary Review is a literary journal affiliated with Arcadia University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. The journal aims to publish an eclectic range of contemporary work, including art, fiction, flash fiction, poetry, photography and multimedia pieces. Marathon asks for first North American serial rights only, meaning copyright reverts to the author upon publication.

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Sein und Werden – “Centrifugal Momentum and the Points to which We’re Affixed”

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I have a new piece, “Centrifugal Momentum and the Points to which We’re Affixed” that has just been released in Sein und Werden’s “Mappa Mundi” issue. Sein und Werden is a small publication out of the UK, but the work that their editor, Rachel Kendall, manages to dig up is consistently interesting and intelligent, and I’m thrilled to have work appearing in their most recent issue.

“Centrifugal Momentum and the Points to which We’re Affixed” is a story primarily about a woman who’s driven to live her life according to a set of personal guidelines that differ from societal proscriptions, and who thereby refuses the material trappings that bind most of us. It’s also kind of a love story? Or there’s a kind of love in it. And there’s a man. Anyways, the story is built on the turn of phrase in a way that I think has a poetry to it, and I hope you enjoy.

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SEIN UND WERDEN, THE MANIFESTO:

‘Sein und Werden’ is a quarterly online and print journal published by  Manchester’s ISMs Press. The title comes from the Expressionist concept of Sein und Werden – ‘being and becoming’, the notion that we are born as nothing and only through experience do we become who we are (an idea shared with Sartre in his work ‘Being and Nothingness’). Using certain techniques of cinematography to create lengthened shadows, twisted stairways and a distorted mise-en-scène, the Expressionists were able to depict a nightmare world that would later influence a number of other cinematic developments, such as film noir, aswell as leading artistic movements. One such group who owed much of their technique to Expressionism were the Surrealists, who played with these concepts to create bizarre images of the subconscious, making use of dreams and automatic writing. The goal of ‘Sein und Werden’ is to present works that evoke the spirit of the Expressionist, Existentialist and Surrealist movements within a modern context, which I like to call ‘Werdenism’.

The aims of Sein und Werden are to:

– Publish a quarterly collection of multidisciplinary work that incorporates elements of Expressionism, Existentialism and Surrealism, both online and in print.

– Accept submissions that broaden and emphasize the ideas behind Werdenism. As it stands there are a core group of artists whose work I feel embodies the concept of “Werdenism”. However, we are always looking for new blood and we are always open to submissions of new work as long as it exhibits the Werdenist gestalt. All work accepted shall remain copyright of the author/artist.

– Provide a theme for each issue (suggestions for future themes are encouraged). Submissions will not be restricted by the theme, although themed pieces will take preference and any other material may be held for use in a future issue, with the artist’s permission.

 MAPPA MONDAY by Helen Frank

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Bitchin’ Kitsch – “The Embarcadero”

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This story is entitled “The Embarcadero” and it’s been published in a lovely little zine called The Bitchin’ Kitsch. It’s to be found in the May 2014 issue, on page 16. “The Embarcadero” isn’t exactly a break up story (though it’s enough of a break up story that an editor or two has informed me they prefer not to publish break up stories). Rather, in my mind, it’s more about a missed connection. I think most people have seen love thwarted by circumstances that would otherwise seem peripheral. We have experiences in which we just can’t seem to get the timing right. The story is also just a moment, and I will never stop being thrilled by the narrative potential of small and insignificant acts.

 The Bitchin’ Kitch lives up to its name. The zine’s progenitors are two people, Chris and Dana Talbot-Heindl. These humans are of nebulous age and origin, but I like to imagine them with dual work stations set up in a basement apartment of some Midwest suburban triplex, living beneath a grandmother (possibly one of their own) and expelling a lot of creative energy. As you can see in their bios below, they cover a broad swath, from graphic design, to creative writing, to dub step, and even from afar their passion is infectious (I want them to be my friends). They also make a bitching calendar (which was, I admit, partly what prompted me to seek publication with them – I still haven’t submitted my photo for consideration, but I intend to.)

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The Bitchin’ Kitsch is a zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who has something to say. it exists for the purpose of open creativity.

If you have something you want to share, please email it to chris@talbot-heindl.com. Are you a video or music artist? Submit your YouTube link or original file to dana@talbot-heindl.com. All submissions are due on the 26th for the following month’s issue. Please review the submission guidelines on our Submissions page before submitting your work.

The Talbot-Heindl Experience is just that – an escapade of exposure to the sophisticated knowledge of a Talbot-Heindl.

The background of each Talbot-Heindl is expansive and ever-growing. Feel free to explore the links provided to see just some of what a Talbot-Heindl is capable of.

Contact with a Talbot-Heindl is a unique experience in that there are only two beings in the known universe of that name and when you work with one, you get the complete package – work, personality, and wit.

With each new episode of exploit with a Talbot-Heindl, you are guaranteed a good humored, creative, but also professional job well done.

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Chris Talbot-Heindl: I was born in a relatively benign city to a relatively benign family and should have grown to become a relatively benign person. However, my penchant for reading novels about the downtrodden in America and political/social events in my life has shaped me into an indignant person and artist. As a person whose wool has been undeniably pulled from my eyes, I feel an unquenchable urge to run around pulling the wool from others’ – to help other people realize that the government and society of this nation does not give a rat’s ass about the individual, but as individuals, we cannot afford to conform. The only answer to America’s conformity is disobedience, and I intend to disobey wherever humanly possible.

Dana, aka McFishenburger, enjoys long walks on the beach, David Hasselhoff, and Beavis and Butthead, aheh-heh. He is big into video games, making electronic music, artistic endeavors, and one-upping MacGyver. In his spare time, he beta tests unreleased video games, dismantles and rebuilds computer equipment in a never-ending battle agains the BSOD, creates thumptastic wubwub, and makes sassy comments and art. He hopes to one day become a creative director for EA Games, travel overseas, and to live in a warmer climate on an art commune.

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Serving House Journal – “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights”

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The story is titled “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights,” and it is published in Issue 9 of Serving House Journal. “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights” is about a conversation with a methamphetamine addict in a bar in Santa Cruz at a time when I was too young to patronize bars. The heart of the piece is derived from staging and ambience. If there’s a deep truth to be plucked from this story, it might have something to do with the ways that our hedonism blinds us, or puts us in harm’s reach. It might also be about a man willing to put himself halfway in danger, but never all the way.

The Serving House Journal is amazing. I’ve been very lucky with some of my publications thus far, and though the Paris Review hasn’t been kicking down my door, journals like Serving House keep finding room to include my work. Not only is this publication showcasing superb contemporary literature, they have an editorial staff whose talent hurts my brain – Duff Brenna, Clare McQueen, and Thomas E. Kennedy (who has work appearing beside mine in Issue 9) to name a few. (Honestly, if you’re reading this Duff, Clare, edit all of my fiction for me forever.)


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Serving House mission statement:

Serving House Journal endeavors to publish works in the literary and visual arts that will surprise, rivet, amuse, charm, enchant — even electrify— our readers.

Our mission is to play an international role in fostering and preserving the best of what the literary arts are capable of doing: writing that may impel others to become writers themselves; writing that will add to and enhance the dialogue of the arts; writing that reaffirms our belief in the inspiring possibilities of the written word.

We celebrate the imaginative voice, the authentic attitude towards the status quo “world of letters.” We like lean-edgy-elegant writing that takes on the stupefying realities of our challenging times, our thorny relationships, the political chicanery that exhausts our patience, the contraries between men, women, children, and friends.

We’re looking for work that strives to eclipse clichés, stereotypes, and mass-market formulas gleaned from what has become more and more a “reality show,” a “sit-com,” a stultifying Wal-Mart of the mind. “Expect poison from standing water,” William Blake once told us. “The cistern contains; the fountain overflows.”

Inscribe the flow of the world as you see it. Send that world to us. We promise you a fair reading.

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Johnny America – “My Love Is Going To My Love”

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My Love Is Going To My Love is the title of a short story recently published with Johnny America.  The story represents not exactly a sea change, but a slow evolution in my approach to writing – more Spartan and even less plot driven – in which meaning might rise more from staging and impressionism than conflict and closure. The piece is about a man travelling to see his lover.  I think it’s entertaining, even funny at times, and I’d love to hear any feedback that someone might have for me.

 Johnny America is the publication in which My Love Is Going To My Love appears. I love these guys. They manage to find some of the funniest, most entertaining fiction out there. The fact that I genuinely believe they have a brilliant eye for talent just makes me all the more flattered to have written a story deemed worthy of publication by their editorial staff.’

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Johnny America is a large rabbit who lives in a bungalow on the Moon between two rivers of wine (one red, one white). He is the also namesake of this website of fiction, humor, and other miscellany and of the Johnny America print zine that’s published sporadically by the Moon Rabbit Drinking Club & Benevolence Society (ISSN 1553-9177).

Johnny America spends most of his days lounging against a low crater, fishing rod in paw. Some afternoons he helps plow the cheese fields — to earn extra money for carrots — but usually he’s in the valley cut by the Mercer and Mancini Rivers, idling. The fish on the Moon are constantly drunk and easy to catch. They look almost exactly like bass but taste of marmalade and cinnamon.

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Review of Issue #9 by Pioneer Press: 

Sometimes we come across a zine and we’re like, “This. This is why we run a distro.” Johnny America is put together by local Lawrence folks (and fellow Rocket Grant Recipients!) Emily Lawton, Patrick Giroux, and Jonathan Holley and it hit us like a well-stocked ‘fridge dropped from space. Bam. Splat. Since 2003, Lawton, Giroux, and Holley (aka the Moon Rabbit Drinking Club) have been turning the McSweeney’s vibes of their early stuff into a whole new beast that’s all their own. Funny, smart, brave, and not afraid to take big steps into The Weird, Johnny America might be the best literary zine in the country. With a great silkscreened/stitched cover and interior design by Giroux, issue 9 is hot-damn enough to give the Paris Review a run for their money (and we say this as loyal Paris Review subscribers). Seriously, smart people of the world who have a love for short stories, beautiful ideas, and nonbullshitty things: This zine is a keeper like that big fucking rainbow trout your dad’s got on his wall.

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Monongahela Review – “To the Buses and Planes, I Thank You”

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My newest publication is a lengthy short story, titled “To the Buses and Planes, I Thank You,” and released in the online journal Monongahela.  I feel that the trend over the years has been improvement, and this is one of my favorite stories thus far.  I think that it is one worth reading, and the price is right so you should definitely check out pages 20-38 of Issue 9 of Monongahela Review.

The story itself addresses a theme that I love returning to – public transportation.  Through a series of vignettes that transpire within buses, planes, terminals, and a light rail train, a narrator describes his dissolution and his possible redemption.  Which is a bunch of fancy words for “weird shit happens to me on the bus.”  I think you’ll dig it, so get out your transfers, tuck in your knees, plug your nose, and enjoy the ride.

You can download the magazine via Weebly or view it on Issuu.


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The Monongahela Review wants heartache, it wants romance, it wants death, it wants joy, it wants so many things that it is hard to say exactly what it wants. One thing is sure: the work must be genuine and passionate about its subject matter. Peruse our previous issues to get a complete idea of what we like.


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New Pages Review:

Issue 8, Fall 2013

Go to The Monongahela Review’s website, and you won’t find out much about the journal by just browsing. Without much information or submission guidelines, you really have to read the journal to get to know it. Download the PDF or open it in Issuu, and get cozy.

Joan Colby delves into the alphabet form in her poem “Choices” which begins:

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Derek Gromadzki experiments with pauses and sighs in his poem “Sospira,” setting the tone from the very beginning: “Come the being we call calm / from the motion that bodies tick out to measure time.” The repetitive “s” sounds sooth throughout, lulling as the lines move back and forth:

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Brenda Lynaugh’s “A Play for Tamara” tackles an unrequited love that starts in high school and has a bit of finality now that the main character has graduated college. Visiting his best friend Tamara at her university, he feels that even though she has a boyfriend, he needs to sort out his feelings: “He’d come to see her because of their history, because maintaining friendship was important, but he knew that wasn’t the whole truth.” Is he still in love with her? Or is it lust? Are the things she does actually endearing, or does he just view it that way because he likes her? There’s no resolution, but one thing is clear, relationships are messy.

And Ping, a character from Moria Moody’s “The Great Yu,” knows this sentiment all too well. Raising her son Qi in the United States while still struggling to speak English herself, she runs into conflict as the lies she tells him about his father and the way he meshes into this new culture both drive a growing fissure in their relationship: “Ping knows her son changes with every season. He is always slipping away from her, and she studies to stay close.”

So while the website may not offer much, there is plenty of poetry and prose and art to delve into once you’re inside the issue, and there is plenty to enjoy there.

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