The Broken Plate 2017 Sampler

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The Broken Plate

ISSN Number 1946-6269 The Broken Plate is a literary magazine produced by undergraduate students at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. The magazine accepts international submissions of prose, poetry, artwork, photography, and more, while continuing to devote pages to Ball State students. Submissions are accepted from September 1 to October 31. Submission guidelines can be found at Please feel free to contact us with questions, comments, or concerns at Cover design by Elyse Lowery and Julia Parobek. Interior design by Abby Hoops, Melissa Jones, and Elyse Lowery. Copyright Š 2017 by Ball State University. All rights revert to author after publication. The views expressed by authors in The Broken Plate do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or of any portion of Ball State University. The staff of The Broken Plate would like to send our sincere gratitude to Marj and Homer Hiner for their continued patronage.

Staff Editor

Mark Neely

Managing Editor Melissa Jones

Assistant Managing Editor Valerie Weingart

Design Editors Elyse Lowery Abby Hoops

Social Media Editor Ashya Thomas

Lead Prose Editor Nikole Darnell

Prose Editors

Natali Cavanagh Lauren Cross AJ Hecht Andrew Miles

Lead Poetry Editor Casey Auer

Poetry Editors Crystal Bidwell Lucas Miller Julia Parobek Levi Todd

Table of Contents Art Blackhawk Alex Baumgartner


Disillusioned Days Alex Baumgartner


He Who Fixes His Waves Alex Baumgartner


Magic of Emotion Emily Dyskstra


Thread Drawings Lauren King


Above Chase Malcom


Multiplane Figure Study Olivia Peterson


Sinking Samantha Pfaff


In Time Fabrice Poussin

55 The Broken Plate


Serpentine Emily Thornton


Corrupt Expectations Kyla Jo Tighe


Jacmel Girl Trenton Scroggins


Saudis in America Trenton Scroggins


Tangle Chao Wang


Poetry When I Look at Glass it Shatters Victor Altshul


Ursa Major and Minor Jeff Bernstein


Yours Is a Beauty I Can’t Even Look Upon CL Bledsoe & Michael Gushue


Don’t Make a Reed from My Tongue Rachel Cruea


America’s Bait Arika Elizenberry


6 The Broken Plate

Yearly Visitation Stephanie Kaplan Cohen


A Room with Solid Walls Carrie L. Krucinski


About Dancing Cloud Lisa Meckel


Chopin’s Prelude Op 28 #15 Ken Meisel


Gatsby’s Green Light Robert Morrison


That one night he spent alone in the city Hannah Partridge


Concerning the Hot Start to a Long Weekend Jason Primm


Say It Hannah Schneider


put this one in the “instead” pile and please forget about it Matthew Swain


future stripped Lauryn Wiseman Kutis


Poem Dressed for Halloween Matt Zambito


The Broken Plate 7

Prose Letters to Gibran Khalil Gibran Hayat Bedaiwi


The Seven Stars Taylor Boughnou


Johanna Flies with the Umbrella Man Olivia Buzzacco


Laughing Trout Patricia L. Meek


Bottle Allison Tunstall


In Print XII Mary Biddinger Three poems Interview

80 81 84

Sequoia Nagamatsu The Scope of Possibilities Interview

88 89 96

Daniel Raeburn Excerpt from Vessels Interview

99 100 107

Iliana Rocha Three Poems Interview

110 111 119

8 The Broken Plate

Ursa Major and Minor Jeff Bernstein

Walking the age-old dog at midnight there’s the evidence: trash barrels tipped over, recyclables and plastic bags, married on the dirt road, woods beyond a bobbing k-cup sea: some coffee klatch under the birches. The newspaper of record natters of bears -everywhere. Call in the jury, extinguish the flashlight, lock the doors and put your head down. When sleep finally returns, you dream the doctor who took care of so many, your father, gently inserts a needle into a big bear that everyone fears, everyone loves, visiting from a John Irving story, now anesthetized. Dad gave you allergy shots twice a week for years,

Bernstein 11

studied your arms to pick his spots – no veins please, careful to avoid unnecessary pain. Those skillful hands rescue you even across realms.

12 Bernstein

Laughing Trout Patricia L. Meek

Lois is crouched, island-like, on the sluicy end of a flat rock, surrounded by a river’s headstrong current. She is trying to catch a fish with her bare hands. I am on the bank with my wool sweater stretched over my knees, tent-like and warm. It’s spring in the national forest, which means occasional cold fronts will sustain the mountain’s white hood in the Lost Creek Wilderness Area, Colorado. We took a map from the ranger station’s freebee slot, and I have the listing for suggested hikes, graded from “comfortable” to “challenging,” between my boots. I rest my chin on the wool sleeve of my Machu Picchu sweater and stare at the map’s black lines. We couldn’t imagine ourselves strolling along the well-worn path of comfort any more than we’d invest in ropes, picks, and a guide. Moderate looks independent and self-sufficient. Moderate is also eight thousand feet, looming behind me; but on the Xerox elevation map, it looks gentle, sloping, and as flat as a paper breast. “We don’t have to go all the way,” Lois pointed out this morning when I first suggested the hike to her. “Just until our calves tighten.” She was still in bed. She was still tucked under the polyester comforter in her Mickey Mouse boxers and cotton T-shirt. She was still on her side of the hotel room, under the seaside painting bolted to the wall. She was still my best friend; the one I’d part ways with on the following morning. I was still me, the one I’d always known, but Lois wiggled her toes. Just that. She wiggled her toes and I blushed. I have sealed notions of blush into a pretty box where prom queens, cheerleaders, and former aerobics instructors have always slid uncomfortable and embarrassing thoughts. I stack that box with memories of hair spray. To the hair spray I stick a remembrance of every man I’ve ever slept with, as if their faces are dried carnations saved from a Valentine’s dance. I bury Meek 13

this lifetime arrangement into the lining of my flesh and retie my bootlaces with a double knot. I trace the undulated lines of the map, relieved. Yes, I think. We don’t have to hike the entire trail, but how can we cut this last day short? We must share the tiredness, the numbness. Any other way and it will be impossible to say good-bye. Lois is on her stomach, knees bent to save her shoes, sleeves pushed up, bare arms plunged elbow-deep into ice-cold water. The bangs of her short, brown hair fringe her forehead, and her narrow hips—boy slim—press firmly on the rock. Snowmelt splashes her shoulder, her glasses, spills onto dry rock. I imagine her sweatshirt is damp and uncomfortable, but she remains steady and patient, absorbed. If she lifted her heels higher—closer to her head—I bet she could defy gravity with grace and power, fishtail into the water, swim away. Lois has no intention of fishtailing anywhere but continues to resist motion. I’m intrigued by her intensity and wonder what kind of childhood friend she would have been. I know her stories—the ones she’s given away—so it’s not difficult to match this fisherwoman with images of a philosopher’s daughter hiding under the dinner table, surrounded by the feet of her family. Praying, I suppose, that the other seven would see her empty chair but not recognize her absence among the chaos of their nightly gathering. She has told me that she did not speak until she was four. I believe she was developing her poetic voice, but her mother thought she was mildly autistic. “Was this before or after she decided you’d be a nun?” I’d said once before, half teasing, half curious about Catholic family habitude. She looked at me, mouth wavered between grimace and smile, measuring the mettle of our developing friendship. Unlike her, I was the little girl who lived down the lane in six states before I was twelve, moving along with my father’s academic migration, bribing playmates with the quality of my unbroken toys. I was, by definition, an only child. Lois has told me, as many others have done, that a lonely-only has difficulty letting go. Without siblings, the need for bonding is greater. Can it be, I wonder as I watch her fish, moving her arms languidly back and forth, that she’s willing to throw back what she’s patiently trying to catch? After leaving Wichita three days ago, the oil refinery blazing in my rearview mirror the final time before I move to Fresno, Lois and I began talking 14 Meek

about machismo, or what machismo was before it was called machismo. “It has to do with fishing with your bare hands,” I told her. “Which means patience, skill, and luck.” “Or bonding without touch,” she said, taking the Marlboro Lights from the dash, pushing in the cigarette lighter. I held up two fingers, rubbed them together, and she lit one for me as well. I blew the inhale out the window, excited that we had this time together. “To Famismo,” I said, toasting the air. For a long moment she remained silent, and then, in a voice that spoke more to herself than to me, she said, “Here’s to fishing.” I take a deep, clean breath. I know that her arms must be numb, and what’s she trying to prove anyway? Catching fish like this is impossible. I settle for staring at the current, which moves down over a stepladder of rocks into intermittent valleys of shadow. I watch the repetition— light—dark—movement. It suddenly dawns on me that when the poets spoke of laughing brooks, before it became a first-class cliché, they were speaking of movement—belly-shaking, head-bobbing, knee-jerking movement—and not of sound, as I’d always assumed. It’s then that the water transforms, becomes the nodding heads of laughing monks traveling upstream, six deep, each carrying a sack of shimmering light over his shoulder. What they carry is a mystery. I do not know where they’re going. I do not understand the reason for their laughter. Could it be they’re laughing at me? Lois finally disengages from the water. She stands carefully balanced because the rock is slipperier now that it’s wet. It takes her a moment—a steady gaze toward the bank—before she makes her move to leap. This, too, is more difficult because there can be no running start. She easily makes the jump. “Twelve years of dance,” she says, almost as an apology for her skill. She suddenly springs—to tease—presses her cold hands into my face. “Hey,” I say, quickly stepping back, but she has already made me feel what she’s felt. “That’s for calling me Lowie once too often.” She laughs as she rubs the circulation back into her arm with the flat of her thumb. I see that her skin is red from water burn. “So, where’s the fish?” I ask in mock despair. She brings a fisted bugle up to her mouth and blows. “Couldn’t find one.” “And,” I add, “no way to buy it?” Meek 15

“Sorry, pal,” she says, shaking her head. “You know what the grocery man said.” We tried to get fresh fish last night from the grocery store in nearby Bailey. “Fresh?” He’d squinted from across the meat counter. He was a fine specimen of a man—a real hunter—there were bloodstains on his apron and under his nails. I giggled, feeling every bit the flatlander I was. “Yes, two fillets of rainbow.” His eyes twinkled. “Around here, we catch our own. Have some frozen halibut if you’d like.” “Chicken,” I told him, feeling disappointed and cheated. “I’ll take the chicken.” “See, I told you it’d pass.” I look to where Lois gestures, and sure enough the storm we’ve been watching has cleared. All morning the clouds have formed, darkened, split apart, moved on, reformed. It’s all very natural, all very spring-like for the mountains; and because the threatening darkness moves rapidly, we don’t take it seriously. I pick up the maps. “Okay, I’m ready.” Lois crosses the compacted dirt road and heads toward my white station wagon. It’s dusty, tire treads and all, and is the only car on the gravel turnabout. As Lois digs behind the seats, gathering hike preparation items like food and water, I approach and stand behind the taillights. Trail Closed, I read again as I rock the bumper with my foot, stretching my calf. “I’m sure it’s safe,” Lois remarks, emerging from the car, looking over at the sign. “Summer’s a few days away.” She shrugs. “I bet some Ranger Rick takes it down tomorrow. Besides, rules are meant to be broken.” She winks. I turn red. “I’m not worried.” Lois wears the canteen we will share. Its woven strap crosses her chest, and a pink backpack—frayed on the edges, filled with two bags of trail mix and an extra bottle of water—hangs from her shoulders. A dark-green bandana covers her hair like a soft hat. She hands me my camera, which I duck into like a harness. “Then it is true,” I say, referring back to the sign we are about to ignore. “No means yes.” “That, my friend, is relative to perception and circumstance. It’s more like a maybe.” I smile. “Yes, maybe, of course.” I close myself off to a possible debate, 16 Meek

although in my mind I’ve begun an argument. I’m looking for the absolute. Absolute beauty, absolute friendship, absolute love, absolute truth. The latter, the most glaring of the contradictions, reminds me how human I am. Scrub brush lines the path, a rough guardrail, and Lois leads on the narrow trail. The path is crushed shell, absolute white next to the pale-yellow grasses. The pines are up ahead, but for now the landscape reminds me of the plains because even Kansas has its hills, its grasses, its beauty. I sigh, refusing to acknowledge my melancholy, but I know I won’t see the prairie again. I’ll not stand on the sister plateau of Coronado Heights, watching a fledgling hawk hook onto an air current, float there, and then be surprised by four Apache helicopters coming up from behind the hill with a sudden sound. Kansas, too, has its contradictions; more than I know, I’m sure, but I’ll not discover them, not with these eyes. It’s hot enough to smell heat, which, if you’re west of the Mississippi, means inhaling dust. I stop, remove my camera, take my sweater off, wrap it around my waist, slip the camera strap back on. Being comfortable is cumbersome and, because of the delay, I find myself lagging behind. I can still see Lois’s green bandana, her shoulders, her jeans, but she doesn’t look back; and then the tree line absorbs her form, even her shadow. This aloneness is not lonely, I tell myself. To prove it, I pull my thoughts and observations inward, protective and tight, and concentrate on the beauty of wandering lonely. Although the notion is a grand one, I think about trail’s end, how the remainder will be a packet of prints and another photo album filled. Pine needles replace broken shells as I enter under the canopy. And the canopy is dense; still, there are patches of light, wide areas where trees have died from fire or disease. They lie upward, pointing to the hillcrest. With the camera to my face, I squeeze—finger—eye—top button—click. The shutter opens, a fraction of a second, a blink, then all is released. This is the beginning of a new roll, and with doubles from the store, I’ll have something recent to mail her. As if on cue the trail rises sharply. Trees become thicker, water sounds become crystal, my calf muscles tighten. I walk until I finally find her waiting, again gazing at water. This time the stream is young, as if it’s just surfaced from an underground spring. I cross the footbridge, sit across from her. From here I look to the mountain. It still looms yet seems further away. The trail can’t go that far, I think. “Were you lost?” Lois looks up from her pile of river rocks. Meek 17

I shake my head no but am struck with an unexpected fear that our walk will continue on this separate way. “You could’ve waited.” My voice is sharp, cold, but I don’t mean it to be. “Don’t get angry,” she says defensively. “I thought you were right behind. Besides…” She stretches out her arms, looks around. “I got carried away with all this.” “I’m not angry. It’s just that you could’ve glanced back to see where I was. What if I’d sprained my ankle?” “But you didn’t.” She states the obvious and the only comment I could make would be what if. We both look at each other. She waits to see what I will say. Her face seems flushed, awkward, pained, and I lower my gaze. Lois reaches for the canteen, holds it up, and I nod. She throws it over. I twist the lid off, take a long drink. “Still fishing?” I ask, trying to smile. “Always,” she says and holds up a fistful of carefully selected pebbles, tosses them like bait into the stream. They disappear under the splash. At this moment, when my ear is distracted, my eyes become attracted to another shimmer. Oh, no, I laugh to myself, the monks are following me, but I know that’s not it. “A trout!” I say, surprising myself. I move toward the light before I can stand. It’s the size of a small platter and just as disk-like. I lose my balance, stumble, but am able to dislodge the flat stone from the water. “What?” Lois asks, puzzled by my outburst. Even more puzzled, I’m sure, by my sudden movement. “Look.” I hold the stone over my head; drops of water slide down my wrist. “It’s a laughing trout.” She squints, puts her hand up to shield her eyes. “I don’t know.” She smiles, shakes her head. “I don’t see it.” “No, it is!” I try to convince her, loudly. I move back across the log bridge, excited. I lean down, holding the stone like a maître d’, and point out the vague shape of fins, the wide-lipped smile. “Oh, my God!” She takes hold of the stone fish. “It is a laughing trout.” As it rests on her lap, she studies it; and I see that the gray-green metallic sparkles, the striped markings which resemble scales, are beginning to dry, to dull. I feel helpless as the trout begins to disappear. “Oh,” I mumble, disappointed. “It’s fading.” I reach for the stone, ready to toss it aside, when Lois puts her hand up. 18 Meek

“Can I keep it?” “Really?” I ask but I’m already grinning. She nods. “I think it’s wonderful that you found this,” she says, genuinely pleased. “Besides, it hasn’t faded at all.” She points to where the markings are clear enough. “Good,” I say. “That’s good.” Lois’s backpack is heavier, almost sagging now that she carries laughing trout. She nods toward a blue jay, and I try to mimic its call. She mimics my mimic and, before we know it, we’ve flushed a brood of doves from out of the aspen grove. The grove opens up into a meadow. We are both tired and collapse in the grass side by side. The pink pack is between us. I brush a blade against my lips and tell her how Jess-My-Ex bought me a swimsuit when I was twenty. “It was a string, a size too small,” I say. “Now when he calls, he asks about my weight as if he’s keeping score. If I’ve ballooned, gotten too fat, then the one who got away wouldn’t be such a big deal.” I tell her about Clark-TheOther-One, how he spied The-One-Before-Me in the mall, leaned in, and whispered, “She should just say no. No to donuts.” Lois indulges me. She’s thin, always will be, but she has her own problems. “My mother,” she confesses, “still thinks I’m in Omaha.” “Omaha, Kansas?” I express with exaggerated emphasis. “Has she notified Bob Dole?” Lois groans. “No, not yet,” she says matter-of-factly. “You know something?” “What?” I turn to face Lois. She’s so close that the air she easily exhales is the air I try to swallow. “You’re such a girl.” Her comment stings me. I have nothing to say and so pretend to study the clouds in a relaxing sort of way. It takes Lois pointing out a giant Mickey Mouse lumbering over the peaks for me to realize that I hadn’t been thinking about clouds at all. “We’d better get moving,” Lois suggests and I agree. *** Time is passing and the light is fading. When I look up, I see the dark clouds have returned. Lois bites her lip. “Well, if we hurry,” I say, trying to be encouraging, “we can reach the end of this thing.” Meek 19

“That’s what I was thinking.” She nods her head. “Besides, we’ve walked more than halfway, and it’ll be dark before we can retrace our steps. Still…” She looks in the direction we’ve come. “No retreat,” I say with confidence. She looks at me, hoists her backpack up. “Okay.” We focus our attention to the trail, quicken our pace as we begin to take our hike seriously. We look for a marker, an orange ribbon, any indication that the trail will curl, descend, lead us back to the car. We find only more climbing, narrowing path, larger rocks. As if an optical illusion, the pines are smaller. We brush against little fir trees. I pause, look down the side of the hill, and see the rest of the little firs. Their trunks are wide and thick, fisted onto the side of the ravine. If one of us should fall, should stumble, it’d be a real bruiser. “Look.” Lois points, turns around. “Snow up ahead.” “Oh, great,” I complain, glancing at my shoes. My boots are water-resistant, not soak-proof, and I know without looking that the storm continues to follow us. I can hear thunder in the near distance. “Maybe we should go back,” I suggest, because I’m suddenly thinking retreat, retreat, retreat. “No, no, no. It’s going to be okay,” Lois says with her steady, patient voice. “According to the map the summit is up ahead. We’ll know when we pass a willow bog. You haven’t seen a willow bog yet, have you?” “No,” I murmur, although I don’t know what a willow bog looks like. My gaze is locked to where Lois places her feet in the snow. Her footprints are knee-deep and, like stepping stones, they make it easier for me to walk. We hold onto baby birch trees, using their bent branches to pull us up. “Hey, Lowie.” A birch snaps behind me as I speak. “I thought this hike was moderate.” “Relatively?” Her voice pleads forgiveness, as if she blames herself for choosing it. I sigh. “Yeah, I guess it is.” We both have our sweaters on, and I’ve been walking with arms folded. It’s cold. I can tell because Lois’s face is red. I know mine is too. Still, I don’t feel cold. My blood pumps hot and, although I’ve read about hypothermia, I worry more about the storm—about the lightning—because that’s in the realm of my understanding. *** “Wow! Would you look at that,” Lois exclaims, breathless and in awe. 20 Meek

We’ve been hiking in silence for forty minutes, stopping only to catch our breath. I’ve been treading on and on like a mule with my head down, thinking only of forward, so when I stop and look, my heart leaps. We’ve reached a clearing, an alpine pasture, and the mountains are spread out in all of their deep-colored majesty. The willow bog is off to the right. Its shadowy lilac mass is unmistakable because it is, after all, comprised of ordinary pussy willows, although I am startled to see the slender-branched trees with their fuzzy catkins growing at this altitude in a geographic depression, which I assume is the bog. Then I see the snowcaps topped with fog. Not fog, I scold myself; clouds. “It’s clouds,” I cry. “We’ve reached the clouds!” I have been to rodeos, have sat in the stands when colts bolted from underneath their riders, a mad instinct to be free. I bolt forward—there’s no other way to describe it. I stretch my arms into the air because I know that touching clouds means touching weightlessness and maybe even dreams. I do a jig, a dance of joy. Lois kneels in the grass, removes our water reserve from her pack. Laughing trout is by her foot. I become the soaring bird because I can be, flap over to her, pick up laughing trout in my soft claws. She shakes her head. “Good God. What’s gotten into you?” “Laughing trout,” I giggle, but I’m having a difficult time breathing. There doesn’t seem to be enough air. Lois stands. She looks worried. How I laugh. With head spinning, breath labored, I’ve become uncontrollable. A thunderhead claps. I expect rain. Instead a chunk of hail knocks into my head, and I watch it lying inert by my feet, compacted, icy, the size of a golf ball. I think, thank God it wasn’t a meteor, and I laugh louder. There’s a dampness running down along my cheek—it tickles! Howl, louder still, sucking in air. Hail falls, rapid-fire, but in smaller, softer pieces. I feel tiny pricks on the back of my neck, and I hold the stone closer to my chest, wrap around it like a snail, squeeze eyes closed, try to catch my breath. “You’re bleeding,” she says. I don’t open my eyes because I want to think about my car heater. It waits inside the car. The car waits at the bottom of this trail. Across the road I bet those monks are still marching, laughing all the way in that rainswollen river. I still want to know what they carry in those shimmering sacks of light. I want to know what Lois would’ve found if I’d been brave, had pointed them out to her. Most of all, I think as I find myself now Meek 21

staring—she’s zipping up her bag and saying things like “altitude sickness” and “getting in over our heads”—I want to know how far she’s willing to carry laughing trout. “You’re bleeding,” Lois repeats. She’s close to me and I feel her touch my cheek hesitantly. My laughter has been replaced by hiccups. I try to hand her the trout, but she puts an arm over my shoulder, draws me in, covers my head with her backpack, guides me toward the willow bog. I press a bit closer to feel her body topography, the curves of her scent. I swallow, allowing myself to ingest a quick glimpse into the sack’s shimmering light. Brought up to the surface from an unknowable depth, no fault of my own. Enough light to remember. Enough light to understand. I love her. I exhale my warm breath lightly on her cheek, as close to an attempted kiss as hail will allow. “You know what would be really funny?” I say. “What?” “If we died up here.” “More like embarrassing, but don’t talk like that.” “If we make it,” I add, “I’m bringing in laughing trout. I’ll make the grocery man weigh it.” I pause. “It deserves to be weighed.” Lois laughs, gentle and sweet. “I guess we do have a fish story to tell. But for now…” She looks toward the bog from under her elbow. “We need to find shelter.” We hurry, pressing close to the ground. The stone feels secure in my arms, not heavy at all. “And what more,” I whisper, loud enough for my friend to hear one more thought, “could anyone ever ask for?”

22 Meek

Disillusioned Days | Alex Baumgartner

He Who Fixes His Waves | Alex Baumgartner

Contributors’ Notes

Victor Altshul is a practicing psychiatrist in New Haven, Connecticut. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale University School of Medicine. His first book of poems, Stumblings, was published in 2013; his second, Singing with Starlings, came out in 2015. A third collection, Ode to My Autumn and Other Poems is to be published by Antrim House in 2017. Alex Baumgartner wants to make people slow down and take them to places they haven’t been before. In hi style of painting, he loves playing with abstract design elements and incorporating them into realistic subjects. His influences include Alphonse Mucha, Danny O’Connor and John Sweeny. Hayat Bedaiwi is a third-year doctoral student in English literature at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Her academic interests include ethnic American/Arab American literature. She also has a burgeoning passion for cultural studies. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Arts in English language and literature at King Saud University. Hayat is also an amateur painter, amateur Middle-Eastern cook, and aspiring writer. A lifelong New Englander, Jeff Bernstein lives in both between Boston and Central Vermont. He would have liked to have been “an inspector of snow-storms and rain-storms… [a] surveyor… of forest paths and all across-lot routes.” His collection Nightfall, Full of Light will be published in 2017 by Turning Point. CL Bledsoe is the author of fourteen books, most recently Trashcans in Love. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter. 134 The Broken Plate

Taylor Boughnou was drawn to the writers and thinkers of the ninetieth and early twentieth centuries. After years of a dedicated reading and writing regimen, journal-keeping of his thoughts, observing his daily routines and personal travels, he began to write. He lives in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area where he works as a wellness specialist. Olivia Buzzacco is a second-year MFA fiction candidate at Bowling Green State University where she also serves as the Assistant Fiction Editor for the literary magazine, Mid-American Review. She has works published in Prairie Margins, in the end pretty much everything is mostly water, Electric Cereal, Zaum, and Jenny. She is from Youngstown, Ohio. Stephanie Kaplan Cohen’s poetry has appeared repeatedly in The New York Times, and in many University and Literary presses. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been read on NPR. She has done many public readings. She is an editor of The Westchester Review, an annual literary magazine. She and her husband live and work in Westchester County, New York. They are the proud parents of three children, nine grandchildren, all of whom are exceptional in all ways. Rachel Cruea is a senior at Ohio Northern University studying creative writing and literature. Along with serving as editor-inchief of Polaris literary magazine, she has had her work published in The Pinch, Cactus Heart, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. Emily Dykstra is a senior art student with a concentration in drawing and a minor in art history. She was an education intern for the David Owsley Museum of Art in the summer of 2015 and currently works as a visitor assistant, docent, and collections management intern for the museum. Arika Elizenberry is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. She is the assistant poetry editor at Helen: A Literary Magazine. She’s currently holds an A.A. in creative writing and is working on her B.A. in English. The Broken Plate 135

Michael Gushue is co-founder of Poetry Mutual Press. His work appears in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, the Michigan Quarterly, Gargoyle, and the chapbooks “Gathering Down Women,” “Conrad,” and “Pachinko Mouth.” Lauren King is an abstract watercolor artist whose work speaks about human-environment interactions using biological patterns and patterns found in nature. She is interested in the cyclical way humans form their identities; humans impact the world through their actions and in turn, the world shapes our actions and beliefs. Carrie L. Krucinski earned her MFA from Ashland University. She resides in Elyria, Ohio where she teaches and tutors English at Lorain County Community College. Her work has recently appeared in, Lehigh Valley Vanguard, The Stockholm Review, Critical Pass Review, and Poet’s Quarterly. She also has a blog at: Chase Malcom is a current music education major at Ball State University. He is a professional freelance photographer who has a passion for capturing nature in its purest form. Chase sees photography as a way of making art by using what is already provided to you by the Earth. Lisa Meckel, presenter for the Big Read honoring poet, Robinson Jeffers, has been published, or will be published in Rattle; Nimrod, an International Journal; Reed Magazine (San Jose State); Mirboo North Press (Victoria, Australia); and others. She has been awarded First Prize for poetry three times at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. Patricia L. Meek won AWP Intro for Fiction, “The Crucified Bird,” and “Weather” was a 2016 finalist for Rita Dove Award in Poetry. Author of Noah: a supernatural eco thriller. Other work published by Masque & Spectacle; Puerto del Sol; REDUX #59; Sunstone Press; and The Penman Review. Her website is Ken Meisel has work included in Lullwater Review, Panopoly, Freshwater, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, and Firefly. His most 136 The Broken Plate

recent book is The Drunken Sweetheart at My Door (Future Cycle Press: 2015). Robert Morrison is a poet, songwriter and teacher currently living in Charlotte, NC. He teaches composition and creative writing at South Piedmont Community College along with continuing to write poems and prose. The good news is, this story has a happy ending. Hannah Partridge is a poet and writer from Brown County, Indiana. She is a big fan of 1940s musicals, bad puns, and good coffee. Currently, Hannah is studying creative writing at Ball State University with minors in professional writing and French. Olivia Peterson is a Spanish and animation student at Ball State University. Her passions are in the study of culture, language, and religion. The multiplane figure study explores experimental work with different wet and dry media and creating a composition with overlapping forms. As an artist, she was inspired by Shel Silverstein’s illustrations and wanted to include his fluid penmanship and flow that he achieves in his poetic art. Sami Pfaff is an animation junior at BSU. She made “Sinking” during her freshman year. The materials are gouache and mat board. The inspiration for this piece came from the feeling of finals piling up on her, and she was “Sinking” with anxiety and stress. Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University, Rome, Georgia. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, and The Chimes. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review, and more than one hundred other publications. Jason Primm pursues modest goals in a coastal city. When he isn’t writing, he can be found sharpening his slice backhand. His work has most recently appeared in Rust + Moth, Jelly Bucket, The After Happy Hour Review, Literary Orphans, and The Southern Humanities Review. He maintains a blog at The Broken Plate 137

Hannah Schneider is a senior public communications major at Ball State University. She is primarily interested in the ways in which peoples’ multiple identities combine and contrast through out their lives. She uses creative nonfiction, poetry, and art photography to communicate the ways in which she sees the world. Trenton Scroggins, a devout Catholic, has journeyed across the country, throughout the Caribbean, and into endless texts, seeking a deeper understanding of God, His people, and our world. 1 Corinthians 10:31. Matthew Swain is a junior poet/creative writing major at Ball State University. This is his first time being published. He lives in Muncie with his imaginary friends and even a few real ones. He likes campfires and wants to say “Hi” to his mom and dad through his bio. Kyla Jo Tighe is currently obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art with an emphasis in photography and intermedia art at Ball State University. She is interested in the forms and shapes that masks inhabit standing alone, as well as the stories that they tell when worn. She is inspired by William Wegman’s original video work and composition, Curtis Mann’s presentation and layer building, and Eli Craven’s methods. Emily Thornton lives and works in Muncie, IN. She currently attends a graduate program for animation while working on art. She’s been making art all her life, and there’s nothing she’d rather do. Her contact email is Allison Tunstall graduated from Ball State University in December of 2016 with a Bachelor of Art in Creative Writing. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, but currently lives in Valparaiso, Indiana with her family. This is her first publication. Chao Wang is a Ball State graduate student studying in emerging media development and design. She also completed her undergraduate degree with painting and advertising at BSU. For 138 The Broken Plate

her artwork, she likes using conventions to blend the real and imagined to create a new environment. Lauryn Wiseman Kutis lives in northern Indiana with her husband and their two cat sons, Puck and Viktor. Her interests include cuddling cats, simmering soup, brewery bouncing, and overflowing her side of the closet with Goodwill sweaters. Her work has previously appeared in The Mochila Review and Prairie Margins. Matt Zambito is the author of The Fantastic Congress of Oddities (Cherry Grove Collections), and two chapbooks, Guy Talk and Checks & Balances (Finishing Line Press). New poems appear in Naugatuck River Review, Columbia College Literary Review, Kestrel, and elsewhere. He writes from Spokane, Washington.

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Altshul Baumgartner Bedaiwi Bernstein Bledsoe Boughnou Buzzacco Cohen Cruea Dykstra Elizenberry

Gushue King Krucinski Malcom Meckel Meek Meisel Morrison Partridge Peterson Pfaff

Poussin Primm Schneider Scroggins Swain Tighe Thornton Tunstall Wang Wiseman Kutis Zambito