Featured Visual Art

The Beauty in Us

by Famous Umobuarie

Featured Essay

Politics and Art

by Dara Herman Zierlein

I have never considered myself a political person or political artist until I started painting on subjects that others could relate to. The word ‘Politics’ according to Oxford dictionary is described first as, the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power. Second as the academic study of government and the state. I do not fit to either of these definitions and I did not study world history or political science. I would describe myself as an over educated dyslexic artist, a teacher with endless credentials, with degrees from the best art school and Ivy league institution in the country. And yes, I am still paying for my education!

Featured Fiction

How To Be Royal

by Daniel Rodriguez

The first time I got paid for it, I called myself a queen. I looked out the motel- room window and thought, this is your kingdom: A dazzle of neon lights and wads the color of split pea soup. The wads are scraped together because, like any proper kingdom, you have to pay for the pleasure of company. The palace is at the edge of a pocket-sized town; a motel that is all mustard-shaded lamps, stale comforters, TVs with basic cable hook-ups, and mini bars. I am the queen of this place because, at the end of the day, when the temperature settles to ninety degrees and it’s midnight, I am a blow dryer set on cold. Enough to get the job done.

Creative Nonfiction

The Many Uses of Safety Pins

by Anu Kandikuppa

Like many Indian women, my mother always kept safety pins dangling from her bangles or from the gold chain around her neck. When it became necessary, she would deftly unpin one from its perch and use it to temporarily mend tears in our clothing, substitute for a missing button, or thread a cord through the waistband of an underskirt or a pair of pajamas.

My mother was expert at wrapping her sari around herself and keeping it on—no part of it ever worked loose from her body even when she was asleep…

Writing for Young People

Sticky Hands, Wild Hair, Bare Feet

by Victoria Richards

The beginning of my being
is one with the ocean.
Infinitely black,


A powerful body unexplored, I am.

When fishermen question what tribe I belong to—
what kingdom I come from—
I want to burst into song and shout
Chaga! or

Featured Poetry

From the Trees Full of Birdsong Comes Unripe Fruit

by Albert Abonado

How I start a prayer: with the same hand I use
to lift food to my mouth, I draw a line down

to my diaphragm, pulling a zipper or curtain string
to reveal the small wolf in my belly, the one I feed

fat and vinegar. This is also how I pray: at eleven, I leapt
off the awning of my house…

Flash Prose

The Habits of Great Predators

by Michael Schoch

[fiction] A bat expert visited the elementary classroom and said he’d like to give a demonstration of how the Diphylla Ecaudata, the hairy-legged vampire bat, fed on its prey. He selected Megan Kinney to portray a sleeping chicken while he, the expert, played the bat. He spent long minutes circling the girl, describing the fever pitch of his thermoception guiding him towards a warm place to bite.

He lightly pushed Megan over so she sat on her butt and then he lifted her shoed rightfoot for the class to see.

“Then I would sink my razor teeth into this tender little chicken foot, where all the blood has pooled,” he said. And as he said this, he curved his left-hand fingers into little claws and caressed the girl’s sneaker sole.

Featured Translation


by José Castillo Baeza
translated by Allison A. deFreese

[translated fiction]

I. (Nighttime)

The downpour hasn’t yet started as I stretch out in my chair, exhausted by the murmurs and whispers that the day has left scattered on my desk. Though tired, I’m aware of the sticky light from the lamp and imagine it outlining my sweaty face. As I clear my workspace, the rain begins, and only then does it occur to me that writing is not the same as thinking. I write down that thought.

Featured Interview

Chris Feliciano Arnold

Author of The Third Bank of the River: Power and Survival in the Twenty-First Century Amazon
Interviewed by Buffy Visick

Spotlight Café


Little bites every Monday to whet your appetite!

Today’s Plate:

School Lunch

An occasional Wednesday series dishing up today’s best youth writers

Today’s Slice:

Friday Blog

Friday Lunch! A serving of contemporary essays published every Friday

Today’s Course: