* Gina Balibrera *
She seemed to have read everything, and thus I imagined that she lived, as Joyce wrote, near to the wild heart of life, in Ireland attending Joyce conferences in her fabulous boots, dipping down to Southern Spain to write in the sun with a bottle of wine and cavort with beautiful intellectuals, writing dazzling papers on international flights, and having her hair deep conditioned and brushed in the meantime. Hers was the life that would be mine in the next decade. In my thirties, I thought to myself, I will have read everything and I will have a chestnut mane. During one of her lectures I made an idle note to read every volume of In Search of Lost Time over the summer.
Linda Frazee Baker discovers Dwarka, Chris Kempf goes on the worst first date of his OkCupid career, Rav Grewal-Kök experiences a moment of truth in Vang Vieng, Michael Kobre wonders what’s happened to all the superheroes, Asraf Rushdy muses about writing a trilogy on lynching.
Fiction by Nan Byrne, S. P. Donohue, Janis Hubschman, Courtney Sender, Brian Short, Ruvanee Vilhauer.
Poetry by Susan Hutton, Jacques Rancourt, Corrina Schroeder, G. C. Waldrep.
* fiction by Rachel May, excerpted from MQR 53:1 Winter 2014 *
And the old ones, the ones who were afraid, looked at each other and sat down, and cried. They threw up their hands. They said, You’re going to do it, anyway, aren’t you? And the new ones said, Yes. And the old ones said, All our work? And the new ones said, We’re sorry. And they all knelt down, and began to pull back the grass.
Pearl Abraham on family, Yom Kippur, and the rites of forgiveness; Martha S. Jones on family, race, and identity; Michael A. Chaney on the slave craftsman Dave the Potter; Susan Kushner Resnick on the lingering emanations of a 1943 coal mine disaster; Amy Bernhard on her mother and the Amish; Natania Rosenfeld on shame, James Morrison on Edmund White.
Fiction by Gabriel Brownstein, James Brubaker, Margaret Eaton, Brady Hammes, Rachel May.
Poetry by Stephen Cramer, John Hart, Shara Lessley, Travis Mossotti, Mary Peelen, Stephanie Pippin, Martha Serpas, Ruth Williams.
* A.L. Major *
The weather in Michigan this winter is stubbornly cold. March has arrived, but spring seems distant. Used to be on days of obstinate gray, I would curl up on my sofa and read a great novel, but lately I can only read a few pages before the author’s beautiful prose charges my insecurities about my own writing. Instead of relaxing I’m analyzing every sentence, thinking again of that scene I need to fix, and then I’m worrying that I’ll never finish and I will be a failure. So instead after I’ve finished writing for the day, I wrap myself in a fleece blanket, and I watch a movie, often a romantic comedy.