Entries by Maria Zoccola

Spotlight: The Curious Mind

I really like to poke people’s brains. From business, to family and friends, and even love
[especially love], the core foundation of all things boil down psychology, and the workings of
the brain. I think the human mind is a bizarre and peculiar place […]

Litdish: Hilary Rubin Teeman, Executive Editor

The bar is often whether I can put it down. I don’t mean put it down for an hour while I deal with something else, but, “Is this book in my head? Am I thinking about how it’s going to end? Do I want to go back to reading it to the exclusion of other things?” If the answer to these questions is “Yes!” it means the novel has hooked me, that I am feeling an authentic connection to it, that I can see myself working on it and championing it.

Spotlight: Abstract Painting

I am compelled by a clumsy and imperfect nature of painting, especially with a relationship to a more perfect, cold language of drawing. The precise and angular nature of many of the forms I work with lend themselves to a technical vernacular […]

À La Carte: The Properties of Mercury

[creative nonfiction] Nothing ostentatious, nothing reminiscent of the young man who, after a weekend of clubbing, raved about the bodies of the men he met. “They had bodies of death,” he laughed, never realizing the irony of foreshadowing. No amount of make-up could cover the Kaposi’s, that’s what we called them then, on his nose. It bloomed with the deep purple and distinct outline of an O’Keefe flower […]

Treehouse

[creative nonfiction] The magnolia tree in my front yard blossomed in early March; the branches weighed down with huge white flowers, only a breath away from the ivy-coated ground. My brother and I used to swing from these branches, flipping over them and putting our weight on thinner […]

Hickeys, Lexapro, and Eggo Waffles: On Being Thirteen

The hospital walls were stark white and we weren’t allowed to have pens: they were on the list of things we could potentially hurt ourselves with, alongside other items like shoelaces and earrings. I was thirteen and doodling with Crayola markers on construction paper. Even with the “non-toxic” declaration written on its label in the […]

The Flow of Madness

[fiction] Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock; he stared straight, unblinking, at the obnoxiously white wall. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, as he stared, he began to notice figures forming from the tiny ridges and divots that made up the texture of the wall. He saw a boy with no face and a girl […]

Naima Coster, Author

Young writers are finding ways to speak out through character. Pulled from the news, fiction and fact condense into compelling personal accounts. But Naima Coster isn’t politicizing a message. Her work is far more reaching, more tender, and more carefully wrought. This Yale, Columbia, and Fordham graduate draws the straight line of success from classwork […]

Black Magic

[translated flash prose] Take this seed. Plant it in an olla that has only been used to make coffee. Water it lightly Tuesdays and Fridays around midnight. It will grow into a plant with black flowers. Cut them with a man’s knife and grind them up in a new lava stone mortar. You will be […]

Vandana Khanna, Poet

Vandana Khanna has published two full-length collections of poetry, Train to Agra and Afternoon Masala, as well as her most recent chapbook The Goddess Monologues. Among her achievements are notable features in the New England Review, The Missouri Review, 32 Poems, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, […]

Hiatus

[translated fiction] Tala drinks her coffee in bed every day. She gives free rein to her thoughts, allowing a breathing space to think, to remember, to plan, or just to be. Nadim looks in her direction. “You don’t need to come with me to the airport. It’s too early. I’ll take a taxi.” “No,” she […]