ISSUE 31

Thomas Morton Prize: Fiction Winner.

Lisa Hall Smiles.

by Lowry Pressly

“Lowry Pressly’s “Lisa Hall Smiles” grabbed me off the top and held me in its fierce grip until the very end. I’m still jangly from the experience of reading it. What a beautifully written, graceful, ever-searching, haunting and absolutely mesmerizing story. The details, the language, the relentless momentum, the mystery, the horror, the tenderness and the humour … what can I say? Congratulations on a spectacular achievement.” —Miriam Toews, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize Judge, 2015   The first foot is found on August 20, 2007, on the shores of Jedediah Island, and it is Lisa Hall who finds it. A size 12 Adidas running shoe with a white sock lolling out like a tongue on an otherwise virgin stretch of sand and stone. When she peers inside Lisa recognizes the sodden cross-section of a human ankle, even though it looks more like wet sand than …...

Fiction.

The Pollination Circuit.

by Teresa Milbrodt

  It’s not easy to move one hundred twenty-five beehives from Texas to California. I start at night to make sure everything will be in the truc...

Red-Eye to Nowhere.

by Helen Polychronakos

A flare on the side of the road, kerosene smell, women’s chatter and the crackle of oil, the hiss of fish sauce in a wok. One of the women stomps at...

Thomas Morton Prize: Poetry Winner.

PR.

by Katie Fewster-Yan

“As a lesson in technique, Katie Fewster-Yan models the right positioning of the self in poetry, neither invisible nor exposed. On first reading, ‘PR’ is like an inconsolable, wailing baby. It pierces your attention and ransacks your composure right to its oddly arrogant and uncertain last line. And it gets better on subsequent readings. You leave it and come back and it’s crying even more loudly, but musically like an opera singer and somewhat more recognizably like your own baby suffering.” —Ian Williams, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize Judge, 2015     Zest is a soap brand and the thin bright skin around the bitter pith of citrus and a quality that depressed persons struggle to muster. Small tablets are prescribed to promote happiness, circulating packets of neurotransmitters from their satchels, brain cell to brain cell, like good campaign managers. MAKE EVERY THOUGHT VOTE HAPPY! is …...

Poetry.

The Lovers of Speleology.

by Stephanie Warner

The cavity unit surprises the visitor 1 by the wide variety of its underground landscapes heirloom oil-burning lamps the silkscreen of the conquista...

Playthings.

by David Ishaya Osu

have you listened to his last song—we now grow granite in our mouths, a full year the habit of a highway, have you lived in a piano before or had se...

A Brief Gun Unregistry.

by Concetta Principe

  “Go bach to where you come from. We should have bought you anyway” —from online somewhere, November 2014 1. Hole my ears, hole them till ther...

Two Poems.

by Kayla Czaga

LIVEJOURNAL.COM/LONELYRADIO   We could read your words from anywhere but you felt like the only soul sitting in your swivel chair listening to ...

Voodoo Hypothesis.

by Canisia Lubrin

  Space is open before us and our eagerness to explore its meaning is not governed by the ethics of others … —J.F.K Before sight, we imagine th...

Emily of New Moon.

by Adèle Barclay

  Satellites shine on the soft cheek of a wide field while a serious child plots to become a flying nun in baby doll floral and a wool cape. We...

Rift.

by Cassidy McFadzean

Moss bonnets rested on rocks along the rift, helmets fastened to skulls atop a lava plume. No one wanted a king. Did you? When I fell into a rift, w...

ace crusher.

by dalton derkson

extend       yrself         elswhere— up nd over the ropes nd the aprons of yr mind into the possibility that a guillotine may drop the head off yr ...

Two Poems.

by Carolye Kuchta

Acupuncture Hair-thin steel slides beneath skin. The music box ballerina poised on a needle. I stand at the edge of myself. Middle-aged. A turn of t...

Tiny Pageants of the Soul.

by John Wall Barger

  Strangers, I like how our fingers brush handing coins back & forth at the market. That communion. I draw a slow smile from the tough old ...

Epithalamium.

by Angela Hibbs

The house that was on fire was ours. The jury was out on where we’d met. An orphan came to live with us. We didn’t mind. Police knocked. They told u...

Local Smoke.

by Ariel Gordon

  I come out of work & the sky is smoky 1 & there are bees all over the flagging fuchsia peony, making short hops from flower to flower...

The Best Magic I Know.

by Stacey Gruver

i. The more like Rasputin I am, the more accurate my prophecies will be. I have girded myself against poison, trained my heart to beat on command, a...

The Enjoyments.

by Noah Burton

  The apple trees are pink blossom today and all streets are construction depots, hotrods tearing pavement from yellow hell into the green pool...

Goats.

by Lisa Bellamy

Last night, Daisy had a doe-ling and Dixie had two buck-lings— so notes the local artisanal goat farm website this morning. Each day, I check new ki...

Two Poems.

by Jennifer Houle

Rites “I had turned 30, the age for casting out ghosts” —Susan Swan (The Biggest Modern Woman of the World) At twenty-nine, of course, I cast out de...

Not Healing.

by Brenda Schmidt

  After “A not admitting of the wound” by Emily Dickinson A knot remains in the incision. The doctor digs at it not admitting he missed anythin...

First Hot Day.

by Claire Kelly

  I find a pacifier on the asphalt, nearly step on it, pastel mouth-stopper, bulbous plug. Alien in shape but not streamlined. The colour of bu...

Up in the Hungry Hour Not Hungry.

by Dan Rosenberg

  from deep in the sleep-sack it rises somewhere     a choking     a chime     undone by such basic biology     we fracture     frantic we are ...

Two Poems.

by Ali Sohail

Anthony Henday Comes Home Between the alwaysgreens and South Common the highschoolers speak in lumbered tones. Female football on Tuesdays taught me...

Year of the Horse.

by Elana Wolff

  I kissed him and he bit. I offered my pink little breast and he fussed.—Who has never felt stunted? The tongue, the tooth, the wing, the hoof...

Essays.

John Grisham, Moral Revolutionary.

by Cian Cruise

“All art is propaganda.”—George Orwell I Growing up, I had a lot of awkward literary prejudices. Instead of actually reading books, I often judged them on their reputations. I wanted to be serious, so I tended to focus on “serious” literature, despite having aesthetically omnivorous tendencies in general. This was a stupid, ugly way to sort through art, and it meant I missed out on an awful lot of popular fiction from the 80s and 90s. Oddly enough, a lot of these writers have penetrated pop culture to such a degree that—for a little while, anyway, while they’re still contemporary—you don’t need to actually read their work in order to get an idea of what they’re on about. Whether it’s film adaptations percolating through the culturesphere, listening to your friends’ criticisms, or just basic meme osmosis, you can acquire a rough outline and even a …...

Interviews.

Reviews.