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Summer 2016: Prose

Prose Section Artworkfor - Summer 2016 Issue


Go ahead. Admit it. As readers of literature, we’re voyeurs. We want to know about the nitty-gritty of relationships; how they shape people, how people come to understand each other and hurt each other, and how they heal.

In the six prose pieces in this issue, three fiction and three nonfiction, we're compelled by connections between characters, on narrators figuring out their lives – how can I be a good parent? What is my place in the world? How do I change the dynamic in my marriage? Where did things go so terribly wrong?

Some of the central relationships are with children, as in "Let Me Explain," where with humor and an almost obsessive drive for frankness, the narrator attempts to reverse with her own children the discomfort with honesty that her parents had with her. In "Ben," a teacher is haunted by the tragedy that befalls a student, and her inability to do the thing he asks of her. And in "Risk Takers," we witness the struggles of a mother during her daughter's early teens to maintain the parenting principles she set out before her daughter was born.

"The Itching" has at its center a conflict between a woman and her husband, which plays out in front of her father and brother, and is influenced by her mother's recent death. She is insecure and grieving and yet there is a grace and vulnerability in her failures.

Other pieces in this collection grapple with relationships at a distance: The narrator of "Cooking Lessons" must redefine her fraught relationship with food and family. In the course of doing so, she gains a new perspective on her mother, now deceased. In "The Passenger," the narrator stays separated from his lover by a river; he's true to her, but not with her. Even more central is his relationship with music, which is his means for communication, for understanding, and for feeling.

So indulge yourselves, readers. Enjoy the pain, the confusion, the joy, and the love that define these characters' struggles. And savor the writing that dazzles us all with its honesty and humor.

Tanya Jarvik, Nikki Schulak
and Desiree Wright
Prose Co-Editors

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A sampling of the powerful female creative force thriving in our region.


Six women dazzle us with both their honesty and humor.


Four artists use layering and process as metaphors for life beyond art.


Meet the fabulous women behind the voices and visions of our ninth issue.

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        Isabel's Purse by Deborah Akers

        refuge by Deborah Akers

        Kiteboarder at Road's End by Cathy Cain

        Caramel is Made at the Verge of Burning by Deborah Dombrowski

        Controlled Burn by Linda Drach

        Approaching Seventy by Carol Ellis

        Zygote by Nancy Flynn

        In Collision by Delia Garigan

        My Mother's Hair by Leanne Grabel

        Sheen by Leanne Grabel

        Allegiance by Melanie Green

        on my two thousand, seven hundred and fourth sabbath by Melanie Green

        Sitting Shiva on My Birthday by Andrea Hollander

        Laws of Physics by Andrea Hollander

        I Want to Unfold by Tricia Knoll

        My Stairway by Tricia Knoll

        Fancy by Barbara LaMorticella

        How to Know When You are Dreaming by Jone Rush MacCulloch

        Didn't We Touch Clouds? by Eileen Pettycrew

        Playlist by Suzanne Sigafoos

        No Exit by Charlotte Udziela

        Living Alone by Pat Phillips West

        My Husband's Handwriting by Pat Phillips West


        Let Me Explain by Carisa Miller

        The Itching by Elizabeth Scott

        Ben by Edee Lemonier

        The Passenger by Alex Behr

        Risk Takers by Ashley-Renee Cribbins

        Cooking Lessons by Joanna Rose


        Featured Art by Jeni Lee

        I Never Promised You a Rose Garden #1 by Katherine Mead

        I Never Promised You a Rose Garden #4 by Katherine Mead

        I Never Promised You a Rose Garden #5 by Katherine Mead

        Stasis by Sarah Laird

        Candescence by Sarah Laird

        Candescence (detail) by Sarah Laird

        Homage to Comfort Women Throughout the World by Carolyn Campbell

        The Beguiling Beauty of Life in Distress by Carolyn Campbell

        Reflections of Transitioning by Carolyn Campbell