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Month: February 2016

Holland Island Ghost Walk

by Sarah Ann Winn

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“68” from Radio Cacophony

by Michelle Dove

Because I am nervous, I arrive at my poetry professor’s house before the designated time. I wait gingerly in her foyer while she prepares tea. At the designated time she eagerly gives me a tour of the entire house, including her bedroom, where she sleeps on the same mattress that the astronauts sleep on in space. I am to sleep on the astronaut mattress every night after I’ve given her arthritis-stricken cat his medication and have brushed him thoroughly from head to tail. I am to read her poetry books in her study as if I was her and pet the arthritis-stricken cat in my lap as she would. I am to wake in her stead and walk around the house imagining that I am a writer and professor of poetry myself. I am to thank her for the opportunity to live another life, a life of care and creation, even if only for the short time that she is away. My poetry professor—such a generous soul! Years later, when I am less nervous but still unsure of myself, I ask my poetry professor if she will write me a recommendation to study poetry in a graduate program. Immediately she turns angry and appalled. Heavens, no! she says. Whatever would inspire you to do such a thing? she says. She says, Can’t you see that not everyone is fit to be a poet?


Michelle Dove is the author of Radio Cacophony, forthcoming from Big Lucks Books. Recent poetry and prose appears in Chicago Review, DIAGRAM, Sixth Finch and PEN/Guernica.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “68” from Radio Cacophony?

Radio Cacophony came out of my love affair in undergrad with my college radio station. Volunteering as a deejay and staff member for several years was very formative to who I am, so I’ve tried over the years to write stories or essays about all that happened. Never could do it with any truth or empathy or perspective. I was riding the metro one day in DC when the vignette form came alive for me. I wrote one number. Then another. And then took a week off work to write the rest, nearly a hundred total. I’ve since edited and changed much that came out of that week and a half of writing, but the book wouldn’t exist without that initial energy and zombie-like habitation of my memories from undergrad. Writing a little bit every day is great, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about a real shut-in with your work that’s unmatched

Preparing for Your Appointment with the Podiatrist

by Elizabeth Mosier

Identify the problem. Recall your shaky theories about the dark spot on your left big toenail that first appeared you-can’t-remember-when: (more…)

Unintended Consequences

by Jonathan Beight

Yesterday I watched a bird dart in and out of a bird house. (more…)

Year of 1000 Suitcases

by Peter Schwartz

i’ll hide your butterflies in tiny, tiny suitcases (more…)

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