Writers Read: Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions is indeed an essay responding to the absurdity of 40 certain inquiries. Yet, it is much more than that. The “tell me how it ends” refrain quotes a plaintive request from Luiselli’s daughter, who was five years old when Luiselli served as a […]

Nicolas Poynter, Avenida Juárez #2, 2017, Medium digital image, 12” x 12”

Spotlight: Cicatrices (Mexico City After the Earthquake)

It wasn’t just the one earthquake. It was the one before it as well, which woke me from a sound sleep. The curtains were swinging as if there was a breeze but moving the wrong way, side-to-side, and then I remembered that I kept the windows closed at night because of the mosquitoes. I heard the doorman screaming and that must have got me going […]

À La Carte: bifurcatin’ blues

Ma Rainey on my parade, anyday. Wear suits to that rodeo and yield it your birthing hips. Sway ‘em on stage and own the gaze of them who owned you. Heaven can’t be white when you are nutmeg ground for God. Speak easy to me and rest real hard, tomorrow will be another long one. […]

Litdish: Jody Chan, Poet

Jody Chan is a writer and organizer based in Tkaronto/Toronto. They are the poetry editor for Hematopoeisis, a 2017 VONA alum, and the 2018 winner of the Third Coast Poetry Contest, selected by Sarah Kay. Their first chapbook is forthcoming in 2018 with Damaged Goods Press, and their poetry is published in BOAAT, Looseleaf Magazine, […]

À La Carte: Olam haBa

I’ve been awake so long that my computer illuminates the wet of its reservoir with a whisper: The last time I was out on a Friday night I was taking transit on shabbos. It’s against halacha to kill yourself so I’m waiting for Masada, praying for a neighbour to pick my name– To bleed out […]

Writers Read: Wilder by Claire Wahmanholm

Claire Wahmanholm’s debut poetry collection Wilder at times feels like a bedtime story, full of ghostlike beings, ash-blanketed landscapes, corpse-flowers, and Cassandran prophecies echoing through it all. That might sound enchanting and more than a little spooky, but quickly things feel uncomfortably familiar. Isn’t this our world? Are those our voices? Or worse, those of […]

Spotlight: Pranam

[fiction] It smells the same, even after all these years—the smell of tens of thousands of prayers exhaled above palms pressed to the heart, thousands of bare feet padding into the prayer room, thousands upon thousands of incense sticks lit in front of the same statues, day in and day out. How could this building […]

Writers Read: Surge by Michelle Whittaker

In Michelle Whittaker’s debut collection, Surge, we begin in the after. After what is not as important as the life lived after trauma—an afterlife. Though we arrive having already crossed this border safe and sound, an epigraph from Susan Sontag reminds us that we’re still dual citizens: passport carriers from “the kingdom of the well” […]

Spotlight: Immigrant

you have to learn to live with emptiness my mother told me           I drank water when I was hungry           I drank water the way people hustle onto trains rushing to another city the rain begins in one window but always finds its way to all the others your dog scratches at the white couch I […]

Litdish: Dorothy Chan, Poet

Dorothy Chan is the author of Revenge of the Asian Woman (Diode Editions, Forthcoming March 2019), Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (Spork Press, 2018), and the chapbook Chinatown Sonnets (New Delta Review, 2017). She is the Editor of The Southeast Review. Visit her website at dorothypoetry.com. 10 Questions for Dorothy Chan: 1. What’s the most recent thing you’ve written? I’m currently working on my […]

Ana Jovanovska, Experiment with A Fictional Alphabet, 2013, engraving on zinc printed like relief and 2 color silk screen, 76x57cm

Spotlight: From Text to Abstraction

Ana mainly explores and depicts themes that have a social element, applying elements of tactile reality such as collage and found objects to issues and situations (non-materials, intangibles) to the reality of today’s society. She is interested in exploring how perspectives work with human conditioning […]

À La Carte: IDIOPATHY

[creative nonfiction] This is the year I got old. The orthopedist says there is little I can do. Not about growing older—I already know that—but about my left shoulder. It’s not the athletic injury I thought it was, and there’s no definitive cure. It simply has to run its course, he says, dismissively. The only […]

Spotlight: my sister-wife

chews on the strange stillness of his quiet unravel. she knows the undoing—like thread—will be slow & always. same as when he first moved inside of me—i remember. the both of us wide open, one exhale after the other scrawled between my legs. the ground sweats against my foot, familiar with the work. all things […]

Shari Epstein, Shark, 2007, Mixed Media, 24” x 48”

Spotlight: Rising

Living on Sandy Hook Bay in New Jersey gave me a personal stake in global warming. Superstorm Sandy took a devastating toll on our neighborhood and our beach. I completed the Rising Series five years before Sandy. The series helped me to express the fear 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina imprinted on my psyche. Each year as the destruction from storms stretches around the globe […]

Spotlight: Note from a Loving Friend / Love and Loss in Ludhiana

Note from a Loving Friend I. For weeks, high school girls giggled, slipped folded notes to each other, their noses pruned, leaving me on the outskirts, alien that I was. True I had my green card, always in my wallet, but still I did not know why I felt alone in their company. I read […]

Litdish: Sherri Cornett, Artist, Art Curator, Activist

Sherri Cornett’s German immigrant and pioneer roots are set deep into the homesteads around the small south Texas town of Cuero, where both of her parents grew up, met, and married. By the time she settled in Billings, Montana, in 1993, she had lived in eleven cities and, in some of those, several homes. Out of […]

Jerrell Gibbs, The bird whisperer, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 40" x 30"

Spotlight: Hiding in Plain Sight

I create art to inspire change. I draw inspiration from artists whose creations are a means to construct dialogue around taboo topics. My art is focused on societal issues that are expressed through painting. Hiding in Plain Sight is a body of work that documents the people of our century, in order for future generations to have an understanding of our present-day experiences. These portraits represent the urban community […]

À La Carte: Damage [trigger warning]

[fiction] 4 My babysitter is an old bat. Old and mean. She makes me drink water standing by the kitchen table. She won’t let me sit down. After I drink, she pushes me back outside to play. She won’t let me in until lunch at eleven. I play with the other kids in the yard. […]

Spotlight: ache / therapy session 1

ache when you came here, you were a shadow on the wall of the episcopalian church on the water, fourteen hours away. you had your mother’s face and father’s eyes. limbs that bent into edges and straw, skinny red lines frowning across your left wrist. a hunger you couldn’t name yet rustled beneath your ribs. […]

Litdish: Tami Haaland, Poet

Tami Haaland is the author of three poetry collections, What Does Not Return (2018), When We Wake in the Night (2012), and Breath in Every Room (2001), winner of the Nicholas Roerich First Book Award. She earned a BA and MA in English literature from the University of Montana and a MFA in creative writing and literature from Bennington College. Her work […]

À La Carte: IN THIS BODY, EVERYTHING ALREADY LOOKS LIKE DEATH

[creative nonfiction] Where did it begin, the pain, the images that haunt me? — La Prieta, Gloria E. Anzaldúa Tyler Clementi was eighteen in 2010. Before he ever became eighteen, he was a toddler. He was a kid with exceptional abilities, and he was known to have taught himself how to play the violin, accompanying […]

Spotlight: LEMONADE

Googling flowers that sound country enough to create my own lemon on a step because it is smart to discuss a field of goldenrods rather than the hood flying up on the old eighty-four ford ranger while we were doing seventy on seventy-five because the truck was a lemon held together by bungee cords, electrical […]

Writers Read: feeld by Jos Charles

The poet Vijay Seshadri said that “the purpose of poetry is to deal with unprecedented experience.” Poets will use unprecedented language, but few have made poems mostly made up of entirely unprecedented words. Jos Charles’s feeld accomplishes just that, living in an invented and unnamed dialect that is as new as it is familiar. Her […]

Starr Page, I bring YOU Presents, 2017, ink and watercolor, 11 x 14

Spotlight: We the WOMEN of Changing Girls

I consider my work a contemplation of the contemporary image. I create through scribbling twisting and interlacing lines creating this mass of interesting shapes. A vital expression is then released and an innovation of an image emerges. I enjoy delving into the psychological portion of my mind through drawing […]

À La Carte: another Black Body takes on the role of narrator

i dream about time i dream, that it loves me that time will give Black Bodies more of itself this poem is about a universe where time runs the world this poem is about a universe where time aint got no time for Black Bodies a universe in which time plays chess with Black Bodies check mate. the speaker of […]

Litdish: LeVan D. Hawkins, Writer, Poet, Performance Artist

LeVan D. Hawkins is a writer, poet, and performance artist formerly of Los Angeles and based in Chicago. In Chicago, he has appeared at the You’re Being Ridiculous storytelling series at Steppenwolf Theatre, Links Hall, the Homolatte Reading Series, This Much Is True Chicago, OUTspoken!, Fillet-of-Solo-Storytelling Festival, and Center on Halsted. Hawkins’s prose has appeared in […]

À La Carte: Safe House

[creative nonfiction] “Every year, hundreds of thousands of American families become homeless, including more than 1.6 million children. Even a seemingly minor event can trigger a catastrophic outcome and catapult a family onto the streets.” The National Center on Family Homelessness   December in Philadelphia had closed in fast, with a sudden shift from the […]

Spotlight: What to Expect When You Become a Bell / Sea Route

What to Expect When You Become a Bell There will be hands. A litany of them. You will be lifted by the saffron cuffs of a temple priest, tuned lip tapped against your sister’s to synchronize every supplicant heart to the beat of rapture. But don’t fear— between blows, something will persist. You will be […]

Litdish: Ruth Madievsky, Poet

Originally from Moldova, Ruth Madievsky is the author of a poetry collection titled Emergency Brake (Tavern Books, 2016). Her poetry and fiction appear in Tin House, The American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, The Rumpus, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. She is currently at work on a second poetry collection and book of linked short stories. When […]

Ray Crest, 2018, Sculpture, Pinewood, Willow, H 55” x W-40” x D- 35”

Spotlight: archiTERRA

“The map is not the territory”-Alfred Korzbyski This quote reveals the physical motivation behind my involvement in creating sculpture. The source of my ideas comes from nature and nature also provides the materials for the pieces themselves. Willow, dog fennel, phragmites, hibiscus, pine bark, bamboo and marsh elder are examples […]