Winter 2016: Prose
Whether fiction or nonfiction, a story asks us to suspend our disbelief, to make the world of the storyteller ours. If the writer tells the story well, we give ourselves over and the story returns at odd moments as we go about our usual lives.
These six pieces, three fiction, three nonfiction, capture our imagination in different ways, but they all speak to the unavoidable experience of loss and to the altered state loss creates, Joan Didion's “year of magical thinking.”
The first two tales use the altered state of magical realism to convey the depth of loss. In “Scarab Man” and “Planetary Influences,” we meet a homeless man and a kitten who provide healing magic to a grieving widow and a frightened child.
Sometimes objects are talismans of healing. In “Bone of the Past,” a quilt made many years before by the narrator for her mother brings healing after the mother's death.
The narrator in “Teachings: A Buddhist Ghost Story” has lost the teacher who helped her walk the path of dharma. As she walks her own path of grief, she receives her talisman in a final “teaching,” to inform the rest of her life.
Will the jeep in “Wrangler” take the narrator back to her “badass” self? We know she believes it will. Like the quilt, the jeep, as real as its four-wheel drive, is a talisman.
The loss in the novel excerpt “A Nicaraguan Spring” comes from the war that tore Nicaragua apart. Two very different narrators show us how hard it is “to understand stories of war in times of peace.”
We invite you to suspend your disbelief and enter the worlds of these stories. We hope they stay with you in your ordinary lives, as they did in ours.
Celebrating nature, home and the cycles of life – twenty poets light the winter night.
Six stories use magic to explore loss, grief and healing.
With imagery of flora and fauna, four artists animate the winter landscape.
Five young women dig deep to each speak their individual truth .
From emerging to established writers – meet the women behind our eighth issue’s voices and visions.
LETTER FROM THE MANAGING EDITOR
Northwest Equinox by Kris Demien
Gradations of Gray by Wendy Thompson
With Gladness by Sara Graves
Home by Leora Marialicia González
For a Grade School Classmate by Joan Maiers
Canning Factory Road by Elizabeth Stoessl
To Make a Prairie by Carolyn Martin
At Home by Suzy Harris
Family Disagreement by Tricia Knoll
The Bullfrogs by Katherine Boyer
Cows by Rebecca Jamieson
Lesson by Stacey Vallas
Stardust by Erin Iwata
Perspective by Carolyn Martin
Lacrosse Season by Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo
The Tangled Path by Suzanne LaGrande
Matched Set by Tanya Jarvik
False Bus Stop by Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo
Last Visit by Erin Iwata
October Walk with My Mother by Ann Sinclair
First Rothko Exercise by Elizabeth McLagan
Fractions by Susan Blackaby
Tea by Melineh Yemenidjian
Return by Stacey Vallas
Scarab Man by Cynthia McGean
Planetary Influences by Alida Thacher
Bone of the Past by Burky Achilles
Teachings: A Buddhist Ghost Story by Ann Sihler
Wrangler by Desiree Wright
A Nicaraguan Spring by Pamela Russell Bejerano
Into the Wonder by Annamieka Hopps Davidson
Deep Blue Meditation by Annamieka Hopps Davidson
Weave Me Into the Sea by Annamieka Hopps Davidson
Crassula 2 by Alison Foshee
Crassula 5 by Alison Foshee
Crassula 6 by Alison Foshee
Warm Autumn by Tamar Hammer
Girl with Conch by Tamar Hammer
With Her Dog by Tamar Hammer
Love Beyond Loss by Isabel Lickey
Submerged by Raimy Khalife Hamdan
Which Way? by Alli Rodenbaugh
To Autumn by Sara Barkouli
The Storm by Elie Doubleday