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Winter 2016: Prose

Prose Section Artworkfor - Winter 2016 Issue


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.

Thea Constantine
Helen Sinoradzki
Prose Co-Editors

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Poetry Thumbnail Art   Prose Thumbnail Art   Artwork Thumbnail Art   Young Voices Thumbnail Art   Contributors Thumbnail Art

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.

Young Voices

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.

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        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