Current Issue

Minato Sketches – First Place

1. She kept reading about how all the paper houses had burned. But as she came down out of the clouds, she saw shiny fields, wet with a sheen of green water and the spikey hills she remembered. The villages tucked into crevices between the islands of trees and rocks and fields. There were certainly [...]

The Tanner Scale is Always Wrong – Second Place

Not long before Olive called a meeting of the Insult Club for the first time on the shaded, snail-calloused back steps of PS 64, she discovered a small lump, a scaling horn-like barnacle, growing on the severe wing of her shoulder. Soon, a second crustaceous bud sprouted on her opposing limb, pushing its way through [...]

What the Tourists Left Behind – Third Place

Abby Morales, age nine, grew up just south of Mecca, California on the northern shores of the doomed Salton Sea. The shoreline was thirty-four miles of fish hooks, broken bottles, and car parts. If you believed everything people said, you’d think it was a truck-stop toilet. Her abuelita forbade her from going. So she snuck [...]

The Challenge of Choosing a Winner

Since we launched the Marguerite McGlinn Fiction Contest in 2008, I am tasked each year with two duties. First, I must find a judge who is also willing to come to Philadelphia and deliver the keynote address at our Push to Publish conference, as well as offer a master class the day before. I start [...]


Years and years ago when I was six, and there were four of us kids always fighting, when my mother stayed in bed the entire year, bottles under blankets, orange vials on the floor, when us kids made bologna and mayonnaise sandwiches for supper, combed each other’s gritty hair in the morning, pulling and tugging, [...]

The Flemish Captain

So some of his friends made it out for his last, weathered   the late March rain, thin and soaking as wave crests on a prow. Better   to have scattered him off of Newfoundland, says one. Another,   He hated Scottish pipes. But again, it was the best his widow could do:   Cape [...]

Harmonica Rescue

If you find yourself at the bar alone Sitting late for a quick beer Before catching the train home Surrounded by transparent young people, Good-looking, but simple, Half staring at their phones, Half talking to each other, Ignoring the aged drinkers, most stoned, All unaware the digital impostor of a jukebox Is silent, the TV turned down, The incessant babble of the [...]


My son says the garden is dying. Every August, it’s the same. The cucumbers, which had clambered so fiercely up the lattice and across half our garden square, begin to yellow and wilt. The peppers brown.  They soften. Tomatoes explode across their vines, manic – they bear more fruit than the days can hold. Look [...]


Frank Ewing only ever lets me into his place because he has to. It’s right there in the lease. “I ain’t ever signed off on that,” he tells me through the crack of his door the first time I knock. “You show me where it say that.” I pass a copy across the threshold and [...]

Loplop in a Red City, Kenneth Pobo (Circling Rivers, 2016)

Seen as pleasant and enriching in easy times, in times of crisis the arts take on greater significance. In his collection Loplop in a Red City, poet Kenneth Pobo uses ekphrastic poetry, poetry inspired by works of visual art, to consider scenes from domestic life as well as scenes from an apocalypse. Intersecting in subtle, [...]

Walking Toward Cranes, Amy Small-McKinney (Glass Lyre Press, 2017)

  Many startling images weave through Amy Small-McKinney’s new book of poetry, Walking Toward Cranes.   One of my favorites is  “there is a turtle in my mouth…he will not be banished.” Small-McKinney is creating a moving landscape that mirrors her struggle and journey with breast cancer and what comes after.  Her images are stark but [...]