flashglass 2018

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a publication of Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing


flashglass Volume IV 2018


All work in flashglass originally appeared as digital content at RowanGlassworks.org The staff of Glassworks Magazine would like to thank Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Program, and Rowan University’s Writing Arts Department. flashglass, a subset of Glassworks, accepts flash fiction, prose poems, & micro essays See submission guidelines: RowanGlassworks.org Glassworks maintains First North American Serial Rights for publication in our journal and First Electronic Rights for reproduction of works in Glassworks and/or Glassworks-affiliated materials. All other rights remain with the artist.

EDITOR IN CHIEF Katie Budris MANAGING EDITOR Anthony Palma COVER ART “Verano” by Jenn Powers Glassworks Issue 16 COVER DESIGN & LAYOUT Katie Budris Glassworks is a publication of Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Graduate Program Correspondence can be sent to: Glassworks c/o Katie Budris Rowan University 260 Victoria Glassboro, NJ 08028 E-mail: GlassworksMagazine@rowan.edu Copyright © 2018 Glassworks

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Table of Contents Jessica Conley | Falcon 9 | 17 Sue Granzella | River Walk | 12 Katerina Ivanov | The Un-Evacuators | 4 Woosuk Kim | Summer Heat | 5 Ari Koontz | Barnacles | 11 Lori Lamothe | The Daisies | 14 Kevin Lichty | Enigma | 8 Tom Mead | Looking Down | 9 Sarah Mouracade | Clean | 18 Suzanne Samples | Cannibals | 6 Anna-Marie Sprenger | August | 10 Elinor Ann Walker | Stories | 13 Francine Witte | Mother, Sitting in the Storm | 15 Francine Witte | When You Left Before | 16

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The Un-Evacuators Katerina Ivanov

The police have been to our house three times, my sister informs me. Our parents refuse retreat—not at the words category five, threats to call the national guard. Like goddamn homesteaders. Little house on the peninsula. No power, but we have Monopoly, they say. I ask them if they are stupid. I ask them if they are suicidal. They say they are neither, just homebodies, just Floridians—not fazed by a little rain. Al Roker—my mother’s authority closest to a Christ figure—disagrees, says worst storm since Andrew, and still they don’t leave. They say they are having a sleepover in the master bath, like two teenagers fumbling in the dark for the first time. The master bath has no windows, they explain, and they’ve lined the walls with our mattresses. What if the roof blows off, I ask. Then it blows off, my mother says, sounding like Lot’s wife. So it goes. I watched a news special once, a man who ran into a burning house that held what used to be his wife. Stupid, I said. What a waste, I said. My father, who once threw a trash can full of fire. My father who went to Russian boy scout camp and learned to tie nooses, not slipknots. My father who offers heady, perfumed words to my mother as if she’s an altar. My father would char, happily. My sister and I would be left to help ourselves to the crumbs of their love. I​ t doesn’t hit. Licks up Florida’s inner thigh, brushes Sarasota with its nose, and veers instate. They don’t know this. Their power goes, a flickering, and then, a submersion. I imagine them holding their breath, orbiting their phone lights, moving a thimble and chrome dog around the cardboard. Cocooned by box springs, sixty-two and fearless.

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Summer Heat Woosuk Kim

​ It’s late when the boy and girl finally leave the restaurant, emerging through the swaying framed door. They pause to get the bearings of a summer heat, the febrile wind gushing through a glass slit back into the cafe, the fever eventually evaporating into the seventeen-watt air. They proceed to an area where the borders are impossible to be mapped, granules of sand drifting with every footstep. The sun sketched shadows on beds in the La Paz Sand Dunes. Before the couple lies a Sirocco storm, where the sultry voweled wind penetrates hearts with the aim of a summer draft through loosely fit cotton shirts - a draft that feels its way past the rusted street lamps and alignment of mango trees, building echelons of humidity on the skeletons of leaves. There’s a sense of longing carried through tropical breeze, sliding through like the ranks of salted sweat trickling down their bodies. There is a puddle gathering on the street floor, condensation beading the stone tiles. There are dreams and illusions preserved in an isolation where they become indistinguishable to one another, both smoldering in the scald of a desert-like temperature, building onto the Mercury with a constant addition. ​ Here are the regions of bodies daubed with sweat, like swimmers in a Jacuzzi. Regions where body heat has vanished like water in an ice bath, where the boy’s breath becomes a vibrating mirage. Dangerous regions, where even after the heat is glaciated by the turn of a dial, love can still be smothered like kids on swings, holding hands as they oscillate through the current.

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Suzanne Samples I want to meet the pig who saved my life. You, pig, were dead before I plunged your fluid under my skin. You were already slopped lifeless on the muddy ground when those wily Canadian researchers extracted your pancreatic glands and sucked your fat dry. You had exhaled your last squeal, projected your final porcine pleas before we could make awkward eye contact and I could thank you. ​Thank you, pig. Thank you for being just like me. I think of you nosing through the spatter in your trough when my blood sugar drops, when I am fisting cold spaghetti into my mouth because I do not have the strength to open the juice container. I think of you when I cannot find my gas station muffin and can of soda because hypoglycemia has blurred my vision and I cannot see my counters, my sink, my very own hooves. I think of you flopping, rolling dryly in the sun when my blood sugar rises and I need that fix. I think of you when I need your pulp to rehydrate me, when I need your identical properties to fill the sad, drooping balloons of my desiccated veins. I think of you engaging in an unrequited love affair with a much slimmer pig — one who does not appreciate your life-saving qualities, an unforgiving swine who thinks you make too many barn messes and cannot control your political impulses—when I am romping in the beds of future ex-lovers. I think of your rejection when the people I have turned into mistakes do not understand how blood sugar levels affect moods, relationships, existence. Just so you know, I think of you. I think of you often. ​ If we had met, if I had gotten the opportunity to feel the bristle of your rind under my thankful hand, I would have asked you to dinner.

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I would have dressed you up, I would have leashed you to my wrist, and we would have eaten anything we goddamn well pleased. I would have refused to count the carbohydrates in the bread basket, I would have made you tongue the tomatoes off my plate, and I would have let you snort black pudding off my bruised, bloody abdomen. We would have glanced at one another before I injected your parts into my own. We would have laughed gleefully from across the table, not caring about stares, judgment. I would have cared for you. I would have spent time with you. I would have watched you die. I would have stroked your jowl in those final moments, synchronized my breath to your sacrifice. I would have stared through the anterior chambers of your withering brown eyes, felt your Kantian spirit exit your shank and fade into the annals of modern medicine, into the depths of my insulin-starved soul. I would have thanked you, pig, thanked you for being so much like me. ​ I would have thanked you for allowing me to consume you whole.

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Kevin Lichty For five dollars, I will hold a tarantula in my mouth, let its hairy legs dangle from the tip of my tongue, tickle the back of my throat. For 10 dollars, I will close my mouth and make the tarantula disappear. I am a wizard. I cannot speak or look you in the eye, so the tarantula is the language I use to trade for your attention. Or maybe I can trade you a dance. My mother taught me how in the living room of our house. The Pointer Sisters on the radio, she would grab my hand and twirl me around and I would climb onto the couch when the sisters asked me if I wanted more and more and more and jump when their voices commanded. Or maybe I can trade you the scar down the left side of my leg. I tried to crawl under my grandfather’s fence and caught the bottom of the chain link and it peeled me open. I was too afraid to show anyone because my grandfather liked things to be clean and perfect and unblemished and I still remember what it feels like to be pulled up into the orbit of his anger and hang there while my mother holds my hand and tells me everything is going to be okay, so I mummified my leg instead and hid it beneath my pants. It wasn’t until the swelling made it too painful to walk that anyone noticed. I trade in stories. None of this is true. All of it is true. My grandfather kept two tarantulas in his den. They had rose-tipped fur on their abdomens. They felt like stones in your hand when you held them. I slept with them on a green egg crate mattress on the floor. Sometimes, I woke up to them on my chest, their rose-tipped feet feeling in the dark. I would open my mouth to let them squeeze in. I didn’t have the language at the time to describe this feeling. Today, I might say it felt like my grandfather’s fingers closing around my throat after I peeled the skin off his favorite tree with a garden shovel. In certain light, the scar on my leg looks like a river set ablaze by floating paper lanterns. I have other scars, too, but not all of them you can see, and I also imagine them as estuaries radiating from a center, ablaze in the darkness. A lamp can tell fictions as beautiful as a mouth. These are all experiences you can have and put in your pocket. Mark Zuckerberg encourages me to share everything. When I share everything, I create more meaningful connections with the world. So here is one more. I used to sit on my father’s lap, a book between his hands, the book a wall between me and the world. Language poured out of my father’s mouth like water. Soaking and wet with language, I would crawl into bed and dream those words onto my ceiling, a crawl of wet soapy words that dripped down the walls and back into me. And this, to me, made my father a wizard. But nothing is left of that world, the twelve-inch space between my father’s arms. No matter how much I need to crawl back into the twelve-inch space between my father’s arms, no matter how much I try to compress and contort my body, I will not fit. This, this I think I will keep for myself.

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Looking Down Tom Mead

Lisa, adrift, feels that rollercoaster-lurch in her gut; she is not strapped in, she is floating, her gown floats around her like wings, like petals unfolding, and she is in the air now looking down, there is a ceiling above her but it is spectral and vaporous, her bony body might slice through it, but she is looking down, and her brow is furrowed, and she is bemused at what she sees, she is not thinking of ceilings, she is thinking of gloved hands, slick and oily, and the gleaming blades, and the heap of grey flesh on the trolley beneath those blades, the masked faces, the muted conversation she cannot hear, the squeak of polished shoes; they are working so hard, they dig their blades into the gungy red meat, they mop each other’s damp foreheads with casual intimacy, and Lisa feels so sorry for them, they have tried so hard, their voices rise, muffled by their masks, they are becoming blurred- these faceless men in their green uniforms, soon they will have vanished from her entirely, she is adrift, the body beneath her and its brisk glove-fingered attendants swallowed by mist like a distant coastline; but she cannot stop looking down.

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Anna-Marie Sprenger I admit that I used you over the years, to fill with light the cracks where my memory falters. I once read that Penelope didn’t trust a dream in which Odysseus returned to her, because she was uncertain whether the dream had arrived, like true dreams do, through the gate of horn, or—like those from a shadowy district of falsehood—through the gate of ivory. I am like this even now, often wondering whether an incident is truly mine to remember, or, from your vivid retellings, I have stolen it. I am clear in certain things: We sat on the deck in folding chairs then, looking over the valley onto Utah lake, holding glasses of cold tea made with the mint that grew between the rocks in the backyard. When I felt my glass grow slippery in the heat, I would grip it in both of my hands. When we returned inside the house you would count each of the splinters you extracted from my feet as though they were precious— butterflies that could slip away, or more fatally, be crushed inside your fingers. We were endless in those weeks when the Wasatch mountains looked fresh from where we stood and the leaves along the Alpine Loop had not yet turned orange. And yet the nights held a stillness that only a mutual knowledge of impending change could procure. In the sky, Lyra crowned us with her seven stars recognizing one another’s glow: a parallelogram of sorts, and a triangle. Having never for myself pieced them together into anything more than geometry, I resented the stars for which my interpretations, though numinous, though true, could only be discarded. These, and the meteors that refused to show themselves, blue moons which to me, all looked the same. When you pointed to the sky I nodded, not because I understood, but because someone else had long ago understood for me.

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Barnacles Ari Koontz

There is a small, secret bump on the palm of my right hand that nobody knows about but me. It’s invisible unless you squint, untouchable unless you know what you’re feeling for. I am not sure whether it is a scar or a half-formed pimple or a deformity maintained by a couple persistent skin cells, but it has been there as long as I can remember any part of my body being there. Perhaps even longer. I get the feeling that this is something I should be worried about or ashamed of, but it’s just a tiny bump, and I find myself seeking it out every so often with my thumb--just to make sure it is still there. When I go to the beach nowadays, I spend most of my time on land: scrambling across rocks, peering into tide pools, picking up bits of kelp and threading the rubbery strands through my fingers. I used to be a total water kid. I wanted nothing to do with the sand and sun, instead spending my time bobbing up and down with the motion of the waves and seeing how long I could hold my breath. Now, though, I tend to want to keep dry. So I sit just at the edge of the ocean, on a rock or piece of driftwood, and trace the jagged edges of barnacles still wet from low tide. There’s something familiar about these tiny bursts of roughness that reminds me of a loose tooth, that makes me think of bodies and the parts of me that are not really me at all. Where do you draw the line between foreign and intimate? Do barnacles know that they are separate from the logs that hold them? I would like to think of my body as an ocean. I imagine that would make a lot of things easier--my fear of drowning, my constant staring into the mirror. I would like to touch a palm to my hand and feel the soft curve of myself interrupted by something that cannot exist without me, that cannot be known by anyone else at all.

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River Walk Sue Granzella

The sky felt quiet. Blue and wide, it was bright, but like a voice underwater, muffled and blurry. Far, far away. Enclosing Mom’s hand in mine, I tucked it into the crook of my arm as we followed the path along the river. I placed my feet carefully, the crunch of gravely sand loud in my ears. The Napa River rolled slowly to our right, a black ribbon tracing its path downstream as we headed up. The water flowed dark, this river Dad had known for eighty-four years. Light filtered through the crooked oak and bay trees, bouncing back off the water, shards of glass shattered on a black tile floor. Vines of plump blackberries twisted around poison oak near the riverbank. The purple berries glistened in the sunlight alongside the blood-red thorns, and I remembered the summer I was fourteen, the wonder of plunging my hands into the immense tangle of blackberry bushes I’d discovered behind Noni’s leaning barn. Dad said they’d been there forever, back when he was a fatherless barefoot ten-year-old, missing school because there was no one else to drive the tractor on the family ranch. He couldn’t see over the steering wheel without standing up. Weary cabins and mobile homes bore silent witness on our left, but Mom and I kept our gaze right, always right, on the river and the cold blackness as it flowed away from us. Soon we would reach the old stone bridge, which Dad and I used to cross when we’d go for a drive along the winding roads tucked into soft green Napa hills, hidden lanes lined with fences made of stone. Weeds grew over the rounded rocks that had toppled out of place. On the riverbank, bushes trembled with the fluttering wings of invisible birds, and I wondered if watercress grew in rivers the way it used to flourish in the creek behind Noni’s prune orchard. On that warm summer evening so long ago, Dad led me and my brother and our border collie through the creekbed, showing us the watercress and explaining that the rounded leaves were edible as salad. We trudged home through the cow pasture, the sweetsmelling grass brushing our pant-legs. Where light shone through the ceiling of trees, bugs as light as air floated in spirals, around and around, in a hurry after things I couldn’t see. A lip of water flapped against the river’s bank, against a rock, then against a fallen tree with a gentle slapping sound. ​ y skin felt the heat, but the sun didn’t warm me. With my mother’s hand pressed against mine in our vacant world, M silent, forever-empty now without my father, we followed the path upstream, along the river.

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Elinor Ann Walker My mother told me how her mother wrung the necks of chickens around and around until it was enough. Feathers flew and bodies jerked like fingers before sleep. So hard for me to imagine of her own bird-slender bones, how she rubbed her hands together gently, rocking on the porch and humming some old hymn or other, her dry palms making papery music. My grandfather told me of pre-dawn stillness, then the white-tailed bolt, a shot breaking the quiet. Once I begged to see my first kill when they came back. The buck was strapped to the Ford, eyes fixed wide, head hanging, looking alive but for a drizzle of blood from its slender lip, its body draped on that car like a quilt that doesn’t fit the bed no matter how you turn it. My mother told me once her grandfather drowned a litter of kittens in the well. There were too many, his thick hands hard in the water, this economy of letting go. What I wanted was to hold on. I was a child then. The grandparents have gone silently to the ground. ~ Stories don’t always end. They may loosen like skin with age and spill out of shape like words whispered through cupped hands ear to ear. Something about them may gape open like clothes; their seams may give. They may slip around me like borrowed dress-up that drags the floor and catches my heel enough that I pay them mind and don’t trip. ​

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The Daisies Lori Lamothe

curve over the top of a green glass vase at the center of the oak table. I’ve cut the flowers too long so after four days they look translucent and gorgeously weary, like dancers in costume after a rehearsal. The sound of the occasional car drifts through the open windows. Further off, someone is moving their lawn. In the late summer light I sit down with a notebook and try to write out lists of tasks I’ve been thinking about for weeks. All the cleaning I have to do, the new job I need to find, the friends I should try to get back in touch with, the friends I’ve lost for good. I do my best to will my hand into writing out the new healthy diet I will follow and the contingency plans I should make, just in case things don’t go the way the doctors hope. Then there are the other lists, the ones that will include all the trips I’ll take if I keep living and the love I’ll find though I haven’t found it yet and the novels I’ll finish writing and the elaborate desserts I’ll actually bake and the little black bikini I’ll finally buy. It seems strange that it’s summer, or maybe it seems strange that it’s summer and I’m still there, in my house, at my table, sitting before an overfilled vase as cars full of people rush to wherever people rush to. In December I lay in a wilted body at the center of a maze of tubes. To raise an arm or a leg took effort. To breathe took effort. On Christmas Eve I pushed myself out of bed, clinging to my IV pole as I maneuvered myself toward a row of regulation chairs at the end of the hospital floor. Through the plate glass windows, far below, a Christmas tree shone in darkness, its needles clothed in a universe of LED lights. I’d like to say I imagined all the kids in their beds trying to fall asleep and all their parents assembling bikes incorrectly and all the other kids in other countries starving inside their skins and the terrible, unpredictable unfairness of the world. I’d like to tell you I wondered about God. But the truth is I wasn’t thinking about anything—just like I’m not thinking about anything as I sit here at my kitchen table six months later. The sunlight falls across the floor in wide squares. The ballerina daisies spill over the top of the vase. The wind streams through the windows and ruffles their ghostly skirts.

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Mother, Sitting in the Storm Francine Witte

all goldfish while the water washes over. She moves her head from side to side. As if she can catch the rain. My father has taken off again. Strapped a valise to the top of the car. Been gone this time for two weeks now. Mother says things like “he loves me” as if she can it make it true. My brother says things like my father’s a trap, and it would be good for my mother to melt. I say things like we could maybe bring her an umbrella, and these are our parents, you know? In the front yard, tree branches in curls. Floodwaters stitching the street. You don’t remember how awful dad was, my brother says. The women he’d bring home. How they’d sit out front in the car with our father, their blue eyelids, their bobbly heads. How we became dolls whose legs couldn’t move. And so, now, when my father floats his car back up the driveway, and my mother shimmies like a frenzy fish moving towards food, I am not surprised. We will go back to like always. Still, for a flicker, I thought my brother could escape, but instead, he sloshes towards my father, helps him heft the valise off the top of the car, and that’ll make how many times in a row?

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When You Left Before Francine Witte

the crunch that came from the yeasty bread fresh out of the oven, crept past the coffee saucer, past the hollow you left in my heart, past the rice all grained up and waiting in the airproof jar, past the soapdish and the dishes in the drainer all twinkly and clean, past the worm waiting inside the counter apples, past the invisible chain of you that is tight around my neck, my finger, my everywhere, past the chip in the bowl that is holding the pear that you bit into, thought was too sour, the way you said we had gone sour, and put it back in its place until you decide if you ever want to give it another try.

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Falcon 9 Jessica Conley For Josh In alternating day and night shifts, you work at O’Hare, preparing the albatross. Outside the hangar, the hours choke with exhaust. Wearing, as always, your blue Dickies, you de-ice planes’ wings each winter. How long it lingers—the scent of jet fuel in the fold of your cargo pockets. Last year, once the wind was less cruel and the ice cracked in plates on the surface of the Chicago River, you bought a camera to journal the rites foreshadowing spring. Those late winter weeks wake the same. Salt washing from the sidewalks. The Ferris wheel illuminated in stillness at Navy Pier. The camera brought you awe, burning among the constellations, my brother who never sees the stars. Our father thinks there should be more evenings ending in fireworks, but you’ve seen enough light falling into Lake Michigan. When Delta finally granted you three vacation days, you waited six hours on standby for a seat to LA. The night you walked along Hermosa Beach, a rocket launched—a prisoner’s cinema of blown glass escaping to the sea—its contrail a gash on the horizon hours after you took the photograph. You had searched skyscrapers for beauty; it arrived, beyond the high-rises, sudden and impermanent in a smoke line on the face of the sky. In an ocean that gave itself to fire.

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Sarah Mouracade I spritz the countertop. I hate grime. John hates spray near his food. “Could you not?” he says, pulling his salsa closer. “Natural and biodegradable are different than ingestible.” I keep my eyes on the rag, scrubbing over the spills. Our kitchen is large, beautiful. John sits at a barstool, three feet from where I’m wiping off residue. No spray has come close to him. “Maybe,” I say. “But this won’t hurt you.” “Prove it.” Then I remember an argument seven years earlier. ~ We lived in our old house, the one John had bought with his first wife. I was naïve. I was twenty-four. I thought we were in love, even when he was mean. ​ I sat on the corner seat of our leather couch. I tried to watch the flames in the fireplace dance. I wanted to be them. Free. Moving. Instead, I was motionless. My muscles stiffened. My eyelids drooped. John got mad when they did. He’d hold them up so I had to look at him. He’d grip my shoulders and shake me or cup my face. I couldn’t turn away. So I waited there. The fight wasn’t over. “Never go to bed angry,” my mom had advised before my wedding. John came in. He held a bottle of Clorox. He stood in front of me. Spritz. I squeezed my eyes shut and pursed my lips. Spritz. I held my hands in front of my face, grimacing, tucking my chin, blotting the droplets.

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Spritz.. “Stop it. I’m listening. Just tell me what you want to say.” “You’re nasty,” John said. “You need to be cleaned.” Spritz.. “Leave me the fuck alone!” I yelled, licking my lips. I used my thumbs to wipe across my eyes and cupped my hand to spit into it. I wiped the saliva on my thigh. “You seem angry,” he said, sitting down. “There’s no need to raise your voice.” I tucked my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around them, burying my head in the space between them while I blinked. I held my breath. “It’s okay,” John said. “You’re just upset. Why don’t we try to talk now?” His hand caressed my back. I shook my head, and John left. I heard water running. My eyes stung. No matter how hard I wiped them, they burned. I made it worse. Wiping. Crying. The faucet turned off. Then I felt it. Cold water poured down my face and neck. My shirt sopped. I shivered. John had dumped a pitcher of water over me. When I looked up, he was on his knees in front of me, his hands on my legs. “Will you talk to me now please?” ~ I look John in the eyes again, lifting the bottle of cleaner and aiming into my mouth. He scoops salsa with a chip. I squeeze the trigger. He is right. It hurts. Not at first, like some things. Later. When you realize what you’ve done.

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Contributors Jessica Conley teaches literature at The Steward School in Richmond, Virginia. She is also an MFA Poetry student at Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned her BA in English and MA in Secondary English Education. She has been published in literary magazines such as The Gordian Review and Not Very Quiet. ​ Sue Granzella teaches third grade in Northern California. Her writing has been recognized as Notable in Best American Essays, and she has won numerous prizes in the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, a contest for which she is now a judge. Sue has won the Naomi Rodden Essay Award and a Memoirs Ink contest, and her writing has appeared in Full Grown People, Gravel, Ascent, Citron Review, Hippocampus, Crunchable, and Lowestoft Chronicle, among others. More of her writing can be found at www.suegranzella.com Katerina Ivanov is a Mexican-Russian poet and writer, originally from northern Florida. She has been published in Bird’s Thumb, The Nashville Review, Going Down Swinging, and Dialogist. She lives and writes in a little pink house in Jamaica Plain, and is pursuing her MFA. Woosuk Kim is a sophomore at the International School of Manila. His writing has been previously recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and Zoetic Press. Ari Koontz is a queer non-binary artist with a degree in creative writing from Western Washington University. In poetry and prose, Ari grapples with identity, truth, and the sheer beauty of the universe, and is particularly fascinated by birds, stars, and other forms of light. You can find more of Ari’s work at http://arikoontz.com or follow them on Twitter @paigerailstones Lori Lamothe is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Kirlian Effect (FutureCycle, 2017). Her work has appeared in Blackbird, The Journal, The Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Verse Daily and elsewhere. Kevin Lichty is currently living in Tempe, Arizona with his wife and two daughters. Before that, he lived in Miami, Florida where he was a copy writer for the National YoungArts Foundation, and in Annapolis, Maryland where he was a high school English teacher at a small private school outside Washington, D.C. He was a semi-finalist for the 2017 William Faulkner Wisdom Novel-in-Progress award. His work can be found in Palooka, Four Chambers, Hawaii Pacific Review, and elsewhere.

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Tom Mead is a UK-based author of short fiction. Previous examples of his work have been published by Litro Online, Flash: The International Short-Short Fiction Magazine, Open: A Journal of Arts and Letters as well as various fiction anthologies. Sarah Mouracade has lived in Anchorage, Alaska for more than a dozen years and intends to stay there. She is completing her MFA in creative writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage, working as the Communications Manager for a local nonprofit, and enjoying every moment she has with her son. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Cirque Journal, Alaska Women Speak, and The Anchorage Press. You can find samples of Sarah’s work at www.sarahmouracade.com Suzanne Samples lives in Boone, North Carolina, where she teaches English at Appalachian State University. She received a Ph.D. in Victorian Lit from Auburn University. Recently, Suzanne has been published by Firewords, Dime Show Review, Cardinal Sins, The Gateway Review, and Atlas + Alice. Currently, Suzanne is working on a memoir about her recent diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. In her free time, Suzanne plays roller derby with Appalachian Roller Derby and spends time with a crew of calico cats. Anna-Marie Sprenger is from Provo, Utah and currently studies linguistics at Stanford University. Anna-Marie’s work has appeared in Textploit and Silver Needle Press, and has been presented at the National Undergraduate Literature Conference. Elinor Ann Walker teaches writing online at the University of Maryland-University College. Her poems (also under “Ann Walker Phillips”) have appeared in Poet Lore, The Christian Science Monitor, Cicada, Rosebud, Mezzo Cammin, Soundzine, NonBinary Review, and Stone Renga (Village Books Press, 2017) and are forthcoming in Halfway Down the Stairs. She lives in Tennessee with four dogs and her family. Francine Witte is the author of four poetry chapbooks and two flash fiction chapbooks. Her full-length poetry collection, Café Crazy, has recently been published by Kelsay Books. She is a reviewer, blogger, photographer, and a former English teacher. She lives in NYC.

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