STORY OF THE WEEK

People (Interlude)

She hated the way she felt. The role she was called on to play. Brittle White Lady in Sunglasses. She hated the clip-clop of her heels on the gallery floor.

POEM OF THE WEEK

Changing Genres

I was satisfied with haiku until I met you, jar of octopus, cuckoo’s cry, 5-7-5, but now I want a Russian novel, a 50-page description of you sleeping.

OPEN TO ALL WRITERS

We’re looking for short stories, essays, memoirs, photography, graphic stories, and excerpts from long fiction and nonfiction.

Please see the Winter Contest Guidelines.

FICTION

Night Watch,
500 BCE

He was a pampered, upper-caste rich boy, someone who’d never missed a meal in his life but now was slumming among the poor.

N30B WINNERS
First Place


Second Place


Third Place

N30B WINNERS
First Place

Villa Palms

We had the luxury of a living room and a kitchen that was ours alone. We had been there for almost a year before my father’s paramour showed up and demolished it all.


Second Place

Hometown Nocturne and Other Poems

I kissed mostly above the belt, prayed when I had to, and when I slid lipstick into my sleeve at the drugstore I felt bad about it, I was very good at feeling bad.


Third Place

A Kind of Thinking and Other Poems

Girls gathered flowers for crowns, boys whispered in the shade of the basketball courts. What happened and didn’t pushed with equal force.

NONFICTION

SIX-WORD STORIES

FICTION

NONFICTION

Doing No Harm: Some Thoughts on Reading and Writing in the Age of Umbrage

My students knew too how I felt about the stranglehold of political correctness in a creative writing class.

SIX-WORD STORIES

The Human Comedy Part II

These six-worders are a cool hybrid. They work in a strict three-act structure, like screenplays. They also rely heavily on that strategic pause between the second and third act.

FICTION

Edward, the Funny One

Edward the Funny didn’t have much to laugh about in his midthirties. Zarah had made the decision to move to Israel with her sister rather than stay in the marriage.

FICTION

FICTION

FICTION

FICTION

The Man Without
a Shadow

She knows of no one quite like herself—a prominent research scientist attached to one of the most famous labs in her field, who has fallen in love with her research subject.

FICTION

Friday Night
Fish Fry

At any moment everything you love can be taken from you, but if you’re going out for fish on a Friday night, the earliest that everything can be taken from you is Saturday morning.

FICTION

In the Water

Nathan’s hands, which had touched the carcass, felt chilled, shivery, and he stood back among the others on the dry grass while the water seemed to grow about the carcass and spread.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Interpretation of a Painted Landscape

One cow, standing at an angle to the other members of the herd, looks as if a piercing thought had occurred to her and almost immediately gone away.

POETRY

Fire and Other Poems

We made zippos, lifeboats, strike anywheres—no calloused hands, no ash in throats—the flameless, the catalytic, the everlasting. That white flash of ignition never gets old.

POETRY

Barbie Chang Poems

Some days Barbie Chang wants to hang up her Asian boots she is in a sea of water who gets to decide which section of water eats the ship it’s always the white water

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Owen Hart

Owen, in the rafters, about to descend. Something he’s done a hundred times before. Only this time, he falls. This time, I know it’s coming. My muscles tense. My mouth open.

POETRY

Twenties Nouveau

Histories we spin from lust, our tongues heavy and soaked. Our bones can’t fit in our grandparents’ clothes. Their slim hips! The rough wool! But it is so fun to try.

POETRY

Ode to Nothing

I’m afraid I’ve let nothing

Into this poem.

It wasn’t an easy decision

Because nothing

Is a difficult theme.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Frost on Fire and Other Poems

When I look out off the coast of California, I am standing on our farm in Hinton, Oklahoma. I heart the left in San Francisco, but I left my heart in Oklahoma.

POETRY

Bicyclette Batavus and Other Poems

Do you feel that? he said, how far from home we are? But the bicycle didn’t answer, it tipped slightly against the bench. The forest shadows came down to the clovers in the fields.

POETRY

A Collection of Eyelashes on Paper

If I blew them off the page they would haunt me tomorrow, follow me to the courtyard where my son pokes a fish with a stick and I have to tell him about the dark boat.

iPOEMS

IPOEMS

iPOEMS

iPOEMS

New Year

After four winters, rail service has returned to town. The wind is painting new suicidal minutes
 on the face of the clock over the boathouse.

IPOEMS

Very Late

Even our tenderest

buds and shoots

(though we are pained)

endure unharmed

iPOEMS

Intersection

A boat-tailed grackle counts the passing cars from the traffic light he perches on. The ferryman of Fairmont Avenue, his eyes are scars.

GO BEYOND
THE MFA

READERS’ NARRATIVES

READERS’ NARRATIVES

GO BEYOND
THE MFA

READERS’ NARRATIVES

San Diego State University

The poet, the decorated war veteran, has a hard-on. He’s holding your letter of recommendation.

READERS’ NARRATIVES

Jackson Hole

The house is full of houseguests who are not of the weather-braving persuasion, and they’re giving Netflix a workout.

GRAPHIC STORIES

CARTOONS

CARTOONS

GRAPHIC STORIES

Terms Only Dogs Know

Doorblocked: The failure to carry out plans due to a closed door.

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2016-01

New laughs from Donna Barstow, Farley Katz, Mary Lawton, Glen Le Lievre, and Rina Piccolo.

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2015-12

Art and humor from J. C. Duffy, Drew Panckeri, Victoria Roberts, Tom Toro, and P. C. Vey.