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Spotlight is a regular series published every other Monday throughout the year, showcasing an individual writer or artist. Writers Read is an occasional series showcasing craft-based reviews of published works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and translation. À La Carte is a curated occasional series featuring short pieces by writers from underrepresented or historically misrepresented communities and/or writing that engages with issues of social, economic, and environmental justice. Litdish is an occasional series of interviews with writers and artists in conversation with our staff about literature, art, social justice, and community activism.
The poetic form has a compressed intensity to it. There’s such a focus. With the essay form, there’s more room to expand upon things. In an essay, I can wander around a little bit more; I can go on a tangent and reconnect with the main focus of the essay later. I like having that room.[…]
My drawings incorporate various combinations of paper, crayon, watercolor, ink, and digital embellishments using the Procreate app. Some are all digital. Whatever I’m working on, my goal is to make it new.
I’m one of those poets who gets the most creative satisfaction out of editing. That said, I don’t think I would enjoy working on a poem or group of poems after more than a few months. I tend to tinker until I make myself sick of it.[…]
Stage Two You are invasive, like water through stone cracking grey
shimmers inside, like jelly fish in the Pacific swimming,
stuck to legs and arms, stinging skin in the salty brine.
Dark murmuration, wall of bones and feathers and small
bodies swooping through the sky, blotting out light and time […]
Allen, TX In a stash of nostalgia my parents keep a piece of orange paper. Typed at the top it reads: “What three things are most important to you?” and underneath in neat rounded writing my teacher transcribed my answer: “God, Jesus, and money.”[…]
how often and when to learn significant places significant conversations significant persons to provide personalized experiences relating building memories building navigation assembling itself language feelings to black one binary white zero[…]
My work explores an inner world of stored images and reflects on the shifting space of landscape, narrative, and memory. In the context of globalization, I am interested in how any image conveys a sense of time and place specific to a personal and cultural history; drawing and painting have been the constants on which I rely to investigate these questions […]
That radical melding of reader and character is, in my opinion, one of the highest rewards of reading, and I strive to create stories that encourage readers to experience it.[…]
And this is when fear grips me the tightest. How can I protect them? How can I keep them safe—[…]
when the magpie comes
he skulks behind his splendor
listen as he mirrors your tongue
careful, your ear, to the mummer
Chief Smiling Officer of the Art Cart, Saba Shahid-Moir, MS, has made it her mission to help those who can’t smile so easily anymore due to complications from Parkinson’s disease […]
Women always choose survival over sadness. The story of our constant lack goes like this: in a land, some land, any land, men
stole the beans & rice, fed our bodies to the war, any war […]
My art was born out the quest for perfection, and in every work that I create, I make a realistic drawing of people, showing the emotions they wish we could see through their eyes, with pencils. […]
When she visited Antioch University, Los Angeles in December 2019, Rae Dubow hosted a seminar entitled, Writers at Work: Performance Workshop for Writers, where she worked with several students to teach more effective ways for them to read their work in front of the class. […]
It takes an inundation to isolate my isolation. I hope you remember―how a moon flooded fields for yellow spirits to rove, how we hastened through terraces into shrubs of pleasure. You: denuder, I: stony road. […]
I do not think my family knows how to talk without belligerence behind the lilt of their jaws. We are the kind of people who do not deserve to love. I want to place a bouquet of flowers I cannot name in my mouth […]
Can I find the words I mark electronically without the cluster of stars I draw in margins to show what is important? Can I discover a buried treasure finger-flicking entries on a screen? Can I flip pages for perusal of bright maps on unexpected pages? […]
I think the question for writers is what do you want the legacy of your work to be? And how can approaching your work through an inclusive solidarity-driven cultural humility framework actually support the expansiveness of your legacy? I want writers to sit with that, to let that shape their writing […]
By definition, the grey area is the mixing of different characteristics or the lack of clearly definable characteristics. In this collection, I have attempted to do both, by merging and mixing three of the things I love most about art. These are: nature, skin tones, and geometry, as a whole, that is found naturally in both. Aesthetically, I have always loved the endlessness of what can be created in the spectrum that is found between black and white.[…]
It was dawn when the R.U.F. came. Mama was braiding Hadiah’s hair and Papa was on his way with Hassan to sea to start fishing. We had heard stories about the rebels burning villages to the ground in one swift motion, killing all the elderly, cutting off people’s limbs, taking the young and turning them into soldiers. Every day, families who had been affected by the war would walk through our village telling those stories.
Anjali Singh, literary agent with Ayesha Pande Literary (APL), started her career in publishing in 1996 as a literary scout, and later worked as an editor with Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Vintage Books, and as Editorial Director at Other Press. She is best known for having championed Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, after stumbling across the original French version on a visit to Paris.[…]
My work is a reflection of my passions and creative inspirations. I am hugely influenced by urban music, culture, and the political issues and injustices that have been occurring in the United States of America. Being a mixed-race woman myself, I am constantly exploring and learning about the different cultures, races, and struggles that inhabit the population of the US.[…]
The biscotti slipped first, falling to the floor through the space of her forearm. Next went the cheese, then the crackers. Agitated, she dropped the rest of the assorted bags and packaging and breathed deeply. She knelt down to restack the boxes, starting with the largest and utilizing every angle of her arms and torso to balance each.[…]
Life is a journey from womb to tomb. During this journey, man is in constant search of the infinite with his finite possibilities. The material aspects of life, like desire, ambition, yearning for name and fame, pull him constantly down to the earth. Yet the search continues. Search for what?[…]
Nouns drop from their perches,
seeking a less
aiming for purpose or purchase
or mere acceptance.
I work in a variety of formats that include pen and ink drawings, acrylic paintings on canvas wood, and mixed media objects. My creative process is a mixture of works on paper, acrylic paint, found objects, and nontoxic hot glue […]
Ashley Lumpkin has been writing since she was seven. She is a poet and started doing slam poetry performance in 2010. She has four poetry collections and a new creative nonfiction collection called I Hate You All Equally […]
I think I know why his breaths are slower, shallower. The way he inhales before pushing his body off the couch, first a deep breath, and then how he holds it and propels himself forward in exhale, out onto the porch.
You were the villain at tea parties, attacking the blonde society barbies, with skin pale like fragile porcelain and eyes an unblinking blue sky. You were dark as coffee, an uninvited stain on the white rug I played on. I wanted to love you, being a gift from Grandma.
It was the usual things: missing mother, bed-wetting, the problem with the pets. They found a dead rabbit under his bed, strawberry blood seeping floorboards. They found a jar of old beetles hard as quarters. It was only a matter of time.