Peauxdunque Review Issue 2

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Contents PEAUXDUNQUE Editor’s Letter, Larry Wormington, Peauxdunque Review editor-in-chief, publisher Ask Peauxdunque, J.Ed. Marston, Peauxdunque Review features editor Album Highlight: Indigo Girls’ Beauty Queen Sister, Emily Choate, Peauxdunque Review iction editor

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PoEtry The Words Inside, David Meischen Obedience and Creativity, Elizabeth Bolton Colfax, Louisiana, Easter Sunday, 1873, Brad Richard Fountain of Youth, St. Augustine, Florida, Kaitlin Murphy-Knudsen At Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Carolyn Oliver

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CNF The Braille Machine, Jennifer Steil


FiCtioN Sprout, Raven Little Habitual, Kim Chinquee

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PoEtry Making space., Elizabeth Bolton Preludes to Cage’s Sonatas & Interludes for Prepared Piano, Clare Harmon Brunch After I Do, Nora Seilheimer irst yard foreshadow, Nora Seilheimer

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FiCtioN Tracking Eloise, David Meischen Cool Air, Claire Jentsch

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CNF “I am Sane”: The Life of Sara Mayield, Jennifer Horne


PoEtry Interviewing Li Lu, Lana K.W. Austin The Anthropogenesis of a Relative Relationship Based Solely on Proximity, Jen Karetnick Skipping Rope, 1958, David Meischen Window, Jesus Mendez To a friend offended when I text her instead of calling, Carolyn Oliver

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CNF Alone, Kenneth Barnes


FiCtioN Utica, Zeke Perkins


PoEtry A Greater Distance, Kelly Anderson Heart Memories, Jesus Mendez Alligator Squash, Chad Foret Alone in the Pickup Bed, Somewhere a Break in the Fence, David Meischen

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CNF Swim Coach, Svetlana Turetskaya


FiCtioN A Hundred Pounds, Kim Chinquee


PEAUXDUNQUE The Peauxdunque Ten: Emily Choate, Interview by Susan Kagan Issue 2 Contributors

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Peauxdunque Review Publication of Issue 2 was made possible by the technical, creative, and inancial support of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, Southern Chapter. We are honored that the artistic genius, Ramon Carrasco, lent his considerable talent to us once again for the cover. His “Pocket Finch” is a tribute to day-1 Peauxdunquer, Tad Bartlett, who’s omnipresent counsel and maternity anchors us. Stephen Finnerty, our technical talisman from Tri-City Graphic Design, has, once again, waded through our madness and discombobulation to create a journal look and layout we can all be proud of. Editor

Larry Wormington

Managing Editor

Tad Bartlett

Poetry Editor

Cassie Pruyn

Non-Fiction Editor

April Blevins-Pejic

Fiction Editor

Andrew Kooy

Editorial Review Board

Emily Choate Maurice Carlos Rufin J.Ed Marston

Alliance Readers

Nordette Adams Susan Bennett Vallee Susan R. Kagan Ben Saxton Amy Conner James A. Jordan Denise Moore

Lea Downing Emilie Staat

Stephanie Stoecker

*We’d also like to acknowledge the efforts of our incoming iction editor, Emily Choate, our incoming poetry editor, Nordette Adams, and incoming assistant poetry editor, J.Ed Marston. Their inluence, along with that of incumbent non-iction editor, April-Blevins-Pejic, will be on display in Issue 3, due out Spring 2020. We’d also like to take this time to thank our brilliant contributors, subscribers, patrons, and readers. Without you, there would be no us.

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EDITOR’S LETTER By Larry Wormington, Peauxdunque Review editor-in-chief and publisher onjour, Peauxfolks, and welcome to Issue 2 of Peauxdunque Review. After stumbling home, eyes bleary and bellies full, with Issue 1 safe and swaddled in our hearts, we indulged in the decadent slumber only genesis can deliver. Our baby was here, inally—the culmination of recurring dreams and requited passions. But as any freshly minted parent can attest, these newborn creations are the eaters of sleep, the poltergeists of placidity, and their cries aren’t easily silenced. So, we opened our arms, and our Submittable page, took our little literary lovely to the nursery and began to rock. This baby, clearly, had things to say. And thus began Issue 2. Issue 2 is our very irst competition issue, illed not just with the ierce, beautiful, and tender words of those who heard the cries of Issue 1, but also with the tremendous work of winners and runners-up of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition (as well as our favorites of the Honorable Mentions). The Words and Music Festival – A Literary Feast in New Orleans, held each Fall, is a four-day celebration of art, music, and literature. The conference is hosted by the ine folks at One Book One New Orleans. We are truly honored they’ve chosen Peauxdunque Review to administer their annual competition and partner with them throughout the year at readings and other literary events. As if administering the traditional iction, non-iction, and poetry categories of the competition wasn’t rewarding enough (as the work within will undoubtably attest), we were also given a unique opportunity to experience writing from under-served communities in the categories of Short Story by a Public High School Student and “Beyond the Bars” (for incarcerated juveniles). It is through the work with these last


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two categories that the gravity of what we were doing became apparent. These writers, many from the bleakest streets and darkest cells, were calling to us, to anyone who would listen, really, shattering preconceived notions of what art should be or from whence it should originate. We laughed as young minds wielded simile and metaphor with Ninja-precision, unencumbered or, sometimes, unaware, of standard molds or tropes. We cried as faceless voices recounted for us the systemic obliteration of self that was a life incarcerated. Whatever heady ideals and motivations we lauded ourselves with coming into this mission were laid at the feet of revelation. We had a responsibility here. We could light a lame, maybe change someone’s life. One small voice really could move the world, and we’d found a chorus. We challenge you to lose yourself in the stark authenticity and musicality of “Sprout,” by Raven Little, or to stare out Jesus Mendez’s “Window,” past isolation, to hope. And hosting the Beyond the Bars category inspired another writer to submit his work to the Review: In these pages you’ll also meet Kenneth Barnes, a man incarcerated for life, in “Alone,” as he bears addiction, loss, and regret—none of which have silenced his voice. For in the words of the late, inimitable Maya Angelou, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” So, on to the stories. Larry Wormington Editor-in-Chief Peauxdunque Review Many thanks for the astounding work of our contributors, who inspired my thoughts on Issue 2. Thanks to: David Meischen, Elizabeth Bolton, Brad Richard, Kaitlin MurphyKnudsen, Carolyn Oliver, Jennifer Steil, Raven Little, Kim Chinquee, Clare Harmon, Nora Seilheimer, Claire Jentsch, Jennifer Horne, Lana K.W. Austin, Jen Karetnick, Jesus Mendez, Kenneth Barnes, Zeke Perkins, Kelly Anderson, Chad Foret, and Svetlana Turetskaya. We’d also like to thank our wonderful 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition judges for their valuable time and effort. Thanks to: Barb Johnson, Chuck Reece, Dr. Jerry Ward, Maurice Carlos Rufin, and Zachary Lazar.

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Larry Wormington is a Dallas-based iction writer who grew up in the piney woods of East Texas. He received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and his BA from the University of North Texas. His stories have appeared in Elm Leaves Journal, Harpur Palate, and the iction anthology Monday Nights, among others. He is a Marine veteran and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.

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ASK PEAUXDUNQUE: Really, Ask Us By J.Ed. Marston, Peauxdunque Review Features Editor


his issue’s column features questions from Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi and author of six books including personal favorites The Tilted World, co-authored with her husband Tom Franklin, and her most recent, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-memoirs. Beth Ann teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi. If you ever have a chance to hear her read or take a class with her, don’t miss it. Beth Ann is one of the most engaging, insightful and inspiring writers we’ve ever met. She’s also a long-time friend and ally to the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance—no doubt the one rough spot in her literary proile. Beth Ann Fennelly: One of Kurt Vonnegut’s “8 Basic Rules for Creative Writing” is “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” Is Peauxdunque Review edited to please just one person, real or imaginary, and if so, who is that ideal reader and why? Ask Peauxdunque: What a great question. Yes, there’s only the one special reader for us, but we won’t say who—we don’t want to discourage all the others. Larry (Editor): Hey, A.P., I’m not feeling that response. Do we really want to blow off the irst good question we’ve gotten for this column? A.P.: Is that how it seemed? No, we don’t want to do that. To be honest, that was the second attempt to offer a decent answer. The irst draft reads like a secret-admirer letter to an unrequited reader. If it were a personal ad, it would say something like “Peauxdunque Review seeks that very special reader for literary adventures, varied profundities, and poetic hoo-ha.” In fact, the irst draft is so bad our reader would be embarrassed to be seen with it in public. Other people would rightly wonder if blackmail was involved. But, come to think of it, our reader—our one special reader—doesn’t care what others think. Our reader sees through our podunk irst impression and recognizes a fellow

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spirit—a proud outcast and friend of outcasts, clumsily striving for honesty, brave enough to seem goofy. Here’s a line from a naive poetry manifesto from many years ago: Write of people of such strength and fragility as to break and bend but still retain the aching anticipation of what they choose. That’s our reader. Beth Ann Fennelly: How did y’all come up with the name, “Peauxdunque,” and what does it symbolize? A.P.: Before we had a name, a dozen years ago the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance was a gathering of mostly would-be writers who irst met at a Pirate’s Alley cafe in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Considering that honest-toGod pirates once planned their raids where our irst meeting took place, it is perhaps unsurprising that what could’ve been a writers group that met once or twice instead grew into a substantial literary conspiracy. But, long before such an outcome had the least whiff of likelihood, this furtive gathering of unafiliated individuals decided to create for ourselves an assembled identity. We needed a name. Did this happen during the irst meeting or the fourth? Thems-of-us writing this response can’t say for sure because we weren’t there—this is a literary response at least to the extent of being attenuated, a telling of a re-telling at least three times removed. Regardless of the exact timing, the idea for the name bubbled up from the realization that all of the members grew up in small, less-than-prominent, and often ill-regarded, communities of one stripe or another. In other words, we’re podunks. Since this pre-christening discussion took place in New Orleans where faux-Frenchifying things is a wellestablished in-joke (i.e., “Geaux Saints!”), the step from podunk to Peauxdunque was irresistible. In the years since, the slightly tipsy suggestion of applying a somewhat hackneyed local trope to the self-effacing initial idea has attained a certain seedy grandeur, don’t you think? As to the symbolism, isn’t it interesting how words

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dance disconnected—not from, but with—their meanings? Perhaps it’s best to think of Peauxdunque as inaudible lipstick on a visceral pig—writing that can only be understood out loud. Beth Ann Fennelly: What was the beverage most frequently consumed by the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance during the session in which selections were being made? And how can I get some? A.P.: Some stories are better in the telling and re-telling. Others must be lived. We won’t truck in attenuated spirits, but we’ll bring you a bottle the next time you have us over. J.Ed. Marston writes stories about people fumbling to be heroic in cloudy situations. His iction, poetry, and non-iction have been published in Bayou, The Double Dealer, Urban Land, Wired magazine’s blog, and the Atlanta JournalConstitution, among others. Marston is a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance and serves on the Board of the Southern Lit Alliance and on the planning committee for the Conference on Southern Literature. Marston is a graduate of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, where he earned a BA with a triple major in English, writing, and theater. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Interior of Confederate foundry, Selma, Al. Photo by Tad Bartlett

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Shrimp boat, Bayou La Loutre, La. Photo by Tad Bartlett

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"No Fuk Zone,'' Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma Al. Photo by Tad Bartlett

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We've got each other

Photo by Tad Bartlett

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End of the road, one month after Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard Parish, La. Photo by Logan Martin

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THE PEAUXDUNQUE TEN: Emily Choate Interview by Susan Kagan 1. What about your podunk of Wrigley, TN, inspires you the most? Though I was raised in Nashville, my father’s hometown of Wrigley, TN, played a major role in forming the person I’ve become and the writing that obsesses me. A plant town that irst made pig iron and then charcoal briquettes, before shutting down altogether in the 1970s, Wrigley has seen a tremendous decline during the past 15-20 years—houses falling in on themselves, an exodus of stable families, and, yes, a meth lab explosion. My grandfather Zertie used to take me onto the plant’s abandoned grounds, instilling a set of images and feelings that have never left me. My grandmother Nita showed me how secrets could be wielded in such places, the tensions between silence and revelation, especially when lexed to defend love and family. As a writer, what I keep coming back to, endlessly, is not just the place’s decline, but also its mystery and its mashup of upright citizens with serious troublemakers. A lot of generous neighborliness happened there over the decades, but so did a number of violent deaths. I’m fascinated by the hidden tensions occurring in a place that’s far enough from the city to feel cut off from its opportunities and sensibilities, but close enough to launch some of its sons and daughters out of the holler and into prosperous city lives. Like my father, I’m caught between city and country. That bind used to bother me, but no longer does. 2. How does belonging to Peauxdunque help with your writing? Peauxdunque helps me with being a human. I know I was lottery-lucky eight years ago, when I irst fell in with Peauxdunquians during the Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers on Petit Jean Mountain in Arkansas. First night there, I sat down at a round table packed with them. In their company, I was both relieved and dazzled. Those twinned states of experience have not faded. For the work, having a tribe cuts both ways. Our shared sensibilities let us trust we’ll have a kind, understanding group of readers. However, that support is also highly skilled and discerning, seeing as it comes from a band of ambitious renegades. So I know I’ve got to keep my chops up, to never get

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lazy. 3. What are your long term writing goals? My objectives for my long-haul writing life all serve the same principle: to do right by the stories that show up at my door. No matter what happens in the future, my intention is to care just as much, dive just as deep, and work with just as much dedication as I ever have done. 4. What’s the biggest challenge you have with writing? The bloody internal battleground lying between me and a full, usable irst draft. It’s the part of the process that’s most apt to get me down. That’s undoubtedly why I’ve tended to let irst or early drafts cool off a long while (sometimes a year or longer) before diving into revisions. Impatience about that cooling-off period is a related challenge. I want back into the story’s world, but if it’s too soon, the story will spit me out until it’s time. 5. Is there a common playlist you write to? If so, what are the ive most prevalent artists? Very intimate question! I listen to a lot of Dirty Three, an Australian instrumentalist trio led by Warren Ellis, as well as any collaboration between Ellis and Nick Cave. But my greatest loves for writing companionship are recordings of live shows: to share that space between an artist and audience, hopefully conveying some of the energy contained in that room at that moment. Favorites include shows by Van Morrison, Nina Simone, Lucinda Williams, Nick Cave, and PJ Harvey. 6. Whose writing do you most admire among the living and the dead? Among the living: Alice Munro, Elena Ferrante, Louise Gluck, Annie Proulx, Zadie Smith, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Tayari Jones, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ron Rash, Elizabeth Strout, Louise Erdrich, Ottessa Moshfegh, Tessa Hadley, and innumerable others I love, not to mention the list of those I’ve known (which never fails to leave me gobsmacked). Among the dead: Eudora Welty, Anton Chekhov, all the Brontës, Toni Morrison, Flannery O’Connor, Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, the Greeks who wrote the Homeric Hymns,

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Seamus Heaney, and innumerable others I love, not to mention the list of those against whose inluence I wrestle.

7. What are your writing quirks? My method involves working up a lot of odd-looking longhand pages—test runs of the piece’s voice, proto-drafts of passages that give me a foothold in the larger work, and palettes of imagery and vocabulary that reveal setting, character, and story. Often I take a long time accumulating these notes. Once I’ve moved on and created full, typed drafts, I keep these notes together in a separate folder. When I’m nearing the end of inal revisions, or if I’m badly stuck, then I pull out this initial set of notes. They have never failed to retain the story’s initial energetic and tonal power, as well as a less intellectualized picture of the world I’ve been trying to animate on the page. This process is time-consuming and unwieldy, but I’ve learned (through bitter experience) that if I skip it, then the work is thin, lat, and unviable. I’ve embraced the quirk.

8. Are you a pantser (writing by the seat of your pants with no outline) or a plotter (writing with a high level of outline of all the plot points) and have you tried the other way? Like many writers, I employ a messy inconsistent hash of the two methods. In fact, I really don’t deine my process in those terms. That said, over-planning has proven to be the killer of many irst drafts in my life. In initial stages, I work in a nonlinear manner, gathering language and inding the characters and voice, all in scattershot longhand form. From this process, scenes arise, as does some intimation of plot. That sense of the plot’s trajectory is crucial, but I try not to cling too tightly to that irst vision. With my stack of notes, I sit down to hammer out a irst typed draft, start to inish.

9. If you could live in any ictional reality, which one and why? My choice springs from what it was to be a misit young girl, fourteen years old, who sensed that she did not belong in her “real” world at all. When Wuthering Heights came barreling into my imagination back then, I recognized something in its pages that I also recognized in my own internal landscape: something earthbound and ghostly, seductive and off-putting, irreligious and sacred, bafling and true. Its world was open ground where I

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could run, run, run. 10. What’s one of your favorite Peauxdunque memories? I can’t pin the past eight years down to one, so I’ll choose two. Soon after I oficially joined, I drove down from Nashville for my irst visit to New Orleans. Over the next few days, Tad Bartlett, Maurice Rufin, Terri Shrum, and Bryan Block each treated me to long, personal introductions to the city. Through their love for New Orleans, I fell in love with her too. That week ended with a crowded, spirited Christmas group meeting, during which I read my work aloud and found that it too was welcome. I drove home from that trip years younger and ready to work. The second memory involves a retreat weekend in Hopedale, down in St. Bernard Parish. A great houseful of us laughed, cooked, teased, conspired, and shared our memories and manuscripts. I think I slept three hours the whole weekend. A tiny group of us, including Terri Shrum, stayed up talking on the side porch all through the second night. Terri may have passed now, but I can still revisit exactly how it felt to sit beside her on that porch as we watched the sun rise over the bayou.

Susan Kagan, a founding member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, is a New Orleans-based writer of iction and non-iction. Her short stories and novels have placed as semi-inalists and inalists in the annual William FaulknerWilliam Wisdom Writing Competition, and she is the author of Avoiding a Perilous Path: Basic Wiccan Ethics, published in 2015 by Left Hand Press.

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Issue 2 Contributors Kelly Anderson is the Runner-Up in the poetry category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition, for her poem “A Greater Distance.” Kelly obtained her undergraduate degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Nicholls State University. Her work appears in the 2018 and 2019 issues of Mosaic, the oficial literary publication of Nicholls State University. Her achievements also include an Honorable Mention for the 2019 David Middleton Poetry Prize. She enjoys her career as a full-time paralegal for the State of Louisiana and lives in the New Orleans area with her husband and two children. Lana K. W. Austin is the Winner in the poetry category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition, for her poem “Interviewing Li Lu.” Lana’s stories and poems have recently been featured in such journals as Mid-American Review, Sou’wester, Columbia Journal, The Chariton Review, The Pinch, etc. Winner of the 2019 Alabama State Poetry Society Book of the Year Award and a 2019 Hackney Award, she has been a inalist and semi-inalist in multiple other competitions, including the American Short Fiction Award, the Still: The Journal Fiction Award (where she won the Judge’s Choice Award from Wiley Cash and Silas House), the Machigonne Fiction Award, the James Wright Poetry Award, the Crab Orchard Review First Book Award, and the Zone 3 Book Award. With an MFA from George Mason University, her poetry collection, Blood Harmony, is from Iris Press (2018). Her irst novel, Like Light, Like Music, is forthcoming from West Virginia University Press in 2020. She currently teaches creative writing and composition at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Elizabeth Bolton’s poems, “Making Space” and “Obedience and Creativity,” were Honorable Mentions in the poetry category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition. Elizabeth lives in southern Ontario with her husband and baby daughter. She is a doctoral candidate in the faculty of education at the University of Toronto. In addition to poetry, she writes narrative and hybrid/ experimental works.

147 | Peauxdunque Kim Chinquee is a regular contributor to NOON, Denver Quarterly, Conjunctions, and has also published work in Ploughshares, The Nation, Story Quarterly, Fiction, Mississippi Review, and over a hundred other journals and anthologies. She is the author of the collections Oh Baby, Pretty, Pistol, Veer, Shot Girls and Wetsuit. She is Chief Editor of ELJ (Elm Leaves Journal) and Senior Editor of New World Writing. She co-directs the writing major at SUNY-Buffalo State, and lives in Glenwood, NY. Kim is also the inal-round judge of the short story category of the 2019 Words and Music Writing Competition. Chad Foret’s poems “Alligator Squash” and “Echo Bath” were Honorable Mentions in the poetry category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition. Chad is a Ph.D. creative writing student, teacher, and editor of Arete at the University of Southern Mississippi. Recent work has appeared in Best New Poets, Tupelo Quarterly, Spoon River Poetry Review, Nashville Review, and other journals and anthologies.

The poem “Preludes to Cage’s Sonatas & Interludes for Prepared Piano,” by Clare Louise Harmon, is an Honorable Mention in the poetry category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition. Clare is a writer and music educator. Her work has appeared in Sixth Finch, The Sycamore Review, The New Delta Review, Storm Cellar, Tammy, and elsewhere. She lives in New Orleans.

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Jennifer Horne is the Runner-Up in the CNF category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition, for her piece “‘I am Sane’: The Life of Sara Mayield.” Jennifer is the Poet Laureate of Alabama, 2017-2021. A writer, editor, and teacher who explores Southern identity and experience, especially women’s, through prose, poetry, iction, and anthologies and in classes and workshops, she is the author of two full-length poetry collections and three chapbooks, a short story collection, and the editor of several volumes of poetry, essays, and stories. Her latest poetry collection is Borrowed Light. She is currently completing the irst fulllength biography of Sara Mayield. Her web page and blog, “A Map of the World,” are at: http:// Claire Jentsch is the Runner-Up in the short story category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition, for her story “Cool Air.” Born and raised in the Ozark Mountain region of Arkansas, Claire has a passionate, if tumultuous, relationship with the American South and loves to write about it, complain about it, and explore it (along with the rest of the world). She blogs at The Heart and the Hunger, cooks almost entirely without recipes, and lives with her husband, a lanky dog, and a surly cat in Long Island, New York. “Cool Air” is her irst published short story.

Photo by Zoe Cross

The winner of the 2018 Split Rock Review Chapbook Competition for The Crossing Over (March 2019), Jen Karetnick is the author of eight other poetry collections, including The Burning Where Breath Used to Be (David Robert Books, 2020). Her work has appeared widely in publications including Cimarron Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, JAMA, Michigan Quarterly Review, The McNeese Review, The Missouri Review, North American Review, One, Prairie Schooner, River Styx, Salamander, Tampa Review, and Verse Daily. She is co-founder/co-editor of the daily online literary journal, SWWIM Every Day. Find her on Twitter @Kavetchnik, Facebook @Kavetchnik and @JenKaretnick, and Instagram @JenKaretnick, or see

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At the time Raven Little was named the Winner of the public high school short story category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition, she was a senior at Lusher Charter High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a fourth-year student in Lusher’s Certiicate of Artistry Creative Writing Program. She has a lot of experience in both poetry and short iction, and prides herself in the work she produces in both genres respectively. She especially enjoys poetry, and including poetic elements in her short iction. Raven has received awards from competitions like Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Writing Competition. She was one of only eight Gold Medalists nationwide in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her senior portfolio, “In This One, The Black Boy Only Dies Once.” David Meischen has been honored by a Pushcart Prize for “How to Shoot at Someone Who Outdrew You,” a chapter of his memoir, originally published in The Gettysburg Review and available in Pushcart Prize XLII. Anyone’s Son, Meischen’s debut poetry collection, is forthcoming from 3: A Taos Press. A lifelong storyteller, he received the 2017 Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story from the Texas Institute of Letters. Meischen has iction, noniction, or poetry in Copper Nickel, The Evansville Review, Salamander, Southern Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, and elsewhere. He has served as a juror for the Kimmel Harding Nelson center for the arts; in the fall of 2018, he completed a writing residency at Jentel Arts. Co-founder and Managing Editor of Dos Gatos Press, Meischen lives in Albuquerque, NM, with his husband—also his co-publisher and co-editor—Scott Wiggerman.

At the time Jesus Mendez’s poems, “Window” and “Heart Memories,” were named the Winner and Runner-Up in the Beyond the Bars category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition, he was 17 years old and living at the John Paul Taylor Center juvenile detention facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Jesus was born in Denver, Colorado, and raised in El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces. He is artistic in a number of ways and is an accomplished poet and visual artist. His future goals are to become a barber and to pursue a college degree in creative writing.

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Kaitlin Murphy-Knudsen’s poem “Fountain of Youth, St. Augustine, Florida” was an Honorable Mention in the poetry category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition. Kaitlin is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Odet Journal, the Harvard Law & Policy Review, Big Sky Weekly, and other publications. She edits for authors of iction and non-iction, and for organizations especially in the ield of education. In 2017 her short story “Heat” was 2nd place winner of the Romeo Lemay Writing Contest and is published in Odet Journal, and her essay “Hail Mary, Full of Grace (for Margaret)” received honorable mention in the 2017 Writer’s Digest Awards. She has taught writing at American University, SUNY Buffalo, Union County College, and the University of Tampa, and she holds a master’s degree in English Education from New York University and a bachelor’s from Columbia University. She lives in Florida with her family.

Photo by Benjamin Oliver

Carolyn Oliver’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in FIELD, Indiana Review, Cincinnati Review, The Greensboro Review, Booth, Glass, Sixth Finch, Southern Indiana Review, Sugar House Review, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the Writer’s Block Prize in Poetry and the Frank O’Hara Prize from the Worcester Review. Carolyn lives in Massachusetts with her family. Links to her writing live at Zeke Perkins is the Winner of the short story category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition, for his story “Utica.” Zeke has spent most of his working life ighting for social justice as part of the labor movement. His iction, essays, and interviews are in HobartPulp, Entropy, Queen Mobs Tea House, and Lab Letter. He received an honorable mention from Glimmer Train for their July/August 2017 Very Short Fiction Contest. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bard College in Written Arts and is currently pursuing an MFA at the University of Kentucky. He lives and writes in Lexington.

151 | Peauxdunque Brad Richard’s poem “Colfax, Louisiana, Easter Sunday, 1873,” was an Honorable Mention in the poetry category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition. Brad is the author of four collections of poetry—Habitations, Motion Studies, Butcher’s Sugar, Parasite Kingdom—and three chapbooks, The Men in the Dark, Curtain Optional, and Larval Songs. Recipient of numerous awards for his writing and teaching, he was named the 2015 Louisiana Artist of the Year. Founding chair of the creative writing program at Lusher Charter School, he directs the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of South Louisiana. Brad is also the inal-round judge for the poetry category of the 2019 Words and Music Writing Competition.

Nora Seilheimer is a Michigander and writer living in New Orleans where she teaches traumainformed yoga and mindfulness to children and adults. Her work is published with Midwestern Gothic, Longleaf Review, Memoir Mixtapes, The Collapsar, Door is a Jar, Longridge Review, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Malcolm Magaw Award, the GCACWT Noniction Award, and was selected for the DIAJ Award. She is the former Associate Editor of Bayou Magazine, and she is currently working on an essay collection about race and marriage. You can ind her on Twitter @nslhmr

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Jennifer Steil is the Winner of the CNF category of the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition, for her piece “The Braille Machine.” Jennifer is an awardwinning author and journalist. Her third book, a novel about a family of Austrian Jewish musicians who seek refuge from the Nazis in Bolivia, is forthcoming from Viking USA in April 2020. Her most recent novel, The Ambassador’s Wife, published by Doubleday in 2015, won the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Best Novel award and the 2016 Phillip McMath Post Publication book award. It was shortlisted for both the Bisexual Book Award and the Lascaux Novel Award. The Mark Gordon Company has optioned the ilm rights to The Ambassador’s Wife, with plans to create a television miniseries starring Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway. Jennifer’s irst book, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (Broadway Books, 2010), a memoir about her tenure as editor of the Yemen Observer in Sana’a, was chosen by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune as one of their best travel books of the year in 2010, and Elle magazine awarded it their Readers’ Prize. Jennifer is currently starting work on her fourth book while pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Her freelance work has appeared in the Saranac Review, World Policy Journal, The Week, The Washington Times, Vogue UK, the Peauxdunque Review, Die Welt, New York Post, Playgirl, The Rumpus, Time, Readers’ Digest Version, Irish National Radio, France 24 (English), CBS radio, and GRN Global Reporter Network Service. Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Oberlin College, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and a Master of Science in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She currently teaches writing, editing, and publishing at Bournemouth University in England as well as online at the Center for Creative Writing.

Svetlana Turetskaya’s poetry and iction have appeared or are forthcoming in Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, Pleiades, Dunes Review, CALYX Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and elsewhere. A recipient of a Breadloaf work-study scholarship, she is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia and currently lives in Seattle.

PEAUXDUNQUE REVIEW David Meischen Elizabeth Bolton Brad Richard Kaitlin Murphy-Knudsen Carolyn Oliver Jennifer Steil Raven Little Kim Chinquee Clare Harmon Nora Seilheimer Claire Jentsch Jennifer Horne Lana K.W. Austin Jen Karetnick Jesus Mendez Kenneth Barnes Zeke Perkins Kelly Anderson Chad Foret Svetlana Turetskaya

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