What binds us together? To one another. To ourselves. To a place. To our reality as we know it. When is it time to leave and how much will we put ourselves through to stay? Like the title of our cover art, Online Issue #25 is all about connections. Enjoy these pieces that boldly examine love, home, and care through lenses of self introspection, personal relationships, and nationhood—in all their glory and challenge.
-Samantha Leon, Managing Editor
Cover art by Natalie Bradford
Amber by Travis Truax with art by María DeGuzmán
I Walked into a Rickety Old Bar on the West Virginia Line by Travis Truax
Heaven is Anywhere You are My Sisterby Julia Armstrong
That Was the Summer by Jesica Davis with art by Danielle Klebes
Instructions for Caring by Pam Baggett
Black Sheep by Casey Knott with art by Renée Cohen
Reflection by Casey Knott
Heavy Equipment by Barry Peters with art by Janina Aza Karpinska
Three Haibun for My Younger Brother & Younger Sisters by Micaela Gerhardt with art by Carolyn Adams
Ronald Reagan’s Aquarium by David Lee Garrison with art by Aaron Lelito
Re: Re: Re: Exit by Kendall Poe with art by Ting Wang
America’s National Treasures by Fredric Sinclair with art by John Robinson
Why I Tackled a Drunk Man for Money: A Survey of Four Yelp Reviews by Rachel Dows with art by Sara Sage
Visitors by Philip Arnold with art by Lino Azevedo
Review: Scatterplot by David Kohen, Reviewed by Von Wise with art by Tom Jessen
Managing Editor: Samantha Leon
Assistant Managing Editor: Michael Sheriff
Fiction Editor: Michael Sheriff
Poetry Editor: Terin Weinberg
Non-Fiction Editor: Bri Griffith
Readers: Lily Starr, Jo-Anne Carrenard, Von Wise, and Brittany Owens
Issue 25 cover artist: Natalie Bradford
My prints are autobiographical and reflect familial values and relationships in a surreal and abstract way. I explore the ideas of memory, absence, mortality, and the passage of time in my prints.
Carolyn Adams’ poetry and art have been published in the pages, and on the covers of Wend Poetry Journal, Steam Ticket, Apercus Quarterly, Jenny, and Change Seven Magazine, among others. She has authored four chapbooks, with one being a collection of her collage art, entitled What Do You See? Her artworks have been exhibited in various community galleries in Houston, TX, and in her new home of Beaverton, OR. Select pieces of her collage art are featured in #YourArtMoment, a program of the Beaverton Arts Council in Beaverton, OR.
Julia Armstrong graduated from Washington College in 2015 with a BA in English and creative writing. She now works for her alma mater as the administrative assistant for the Rose O’Neill Literary House. In 2017, she was awarded an Individual Artist Grant in poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council. Her work has appeared in RHINO.
Philip Arnold’s essays have appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, The Olive Press, and apt, where his piece, “Stereoscopic Paris,” was a notable selection in the 2017 Best American Essays anthology. He is the author of the poetry collection The Natural History of a Blade (Dos Madres Press 2019), and his poems have appeared in Rattle, Atticus Review, The Iowa Review, Midwest Quarterly and Southern Poetry Review.
Lino Azevedo was born in the 1970’s to Portuguese immigrants near the city of San Francisco, California. After receiving an art award in high school, a counselor suggested San Jose State University for its strong art and design program. Lino graduated in 1997 with his bachelors and began teaching drawing and painting to both children and adults. In 2013, he received his MFA from Winthrop University. Lino teaches foundations studies at Savannah College of Art and Design. His work has been shown in galleries throughout North America.
Pam Baggett is the author of Wild Horses (Main Street Rag, 2018), described by Terri Kirby Erickson as “a barebacked, buck-naked ride on the slick haunches of fate (to the tune of Riders on the Storm) all the way from the mystical land of sex, drugs, and rock & roll to the bedside of a dying friend.” Wild Horses was a runner-up for the Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Competition and received an honorable mention for the Brockman-Campbell Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society. Other awards include a 2019-20 Artist Fellowship in Literature from the North Carolina Arts Council. New poems appear or are forthcoming in Cider Press Review, Kakalak, Plainsongs, San Pedro River Review, and Tar River Poetry.
Renée Cohen is a freelance writer and artist from Canada.
Her abstract acrylic artwork has been featured on the cover of On Spec magazine, inside issues of Understorey Magazine, Jet Fuel Review, 3Elements Review, Sonic Boom Journal India, Aji Magazine, Flash Fiction New Zealand, Headlight 22 and elsewhere.
Jesica Davis is a poet and technical writer originally from Chicago, currently not really living anywhere. She’s the Associate Editor for Inverted Syntax literary journal, and her work has appeared in The Laurel Review, Zone 3, Columbia Poetry Review, Stoneboat, Storm Cellar, and other places, and has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. Jesica studied poetry at the University of Illinois (as well as The New School, NYU, and Poets House), was the final Alice Maxine Bowie Fellow at Lighthouse Writers Workshop (2016-2017), and won the Tarantula Prize for Poetry (Pilgrimage Press, 2018). Sometimes she makes poemboxes, which sculpturally interpret her words. See jesicacarsondavis.net for more.
María DeGuzmán is a scholar, conceptual photographer, and music composer / sound designer. She has published photography in The Grief Diaries, Coffin Bell, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Map Literary, Two Hawks Quarterly, Harbor Review, and The Halcyone as well as Alluvian (forthcoming); a creative nonfiction photo-text piece in Oyster River Pages; poetry in The Kentucky Poetry Review, and more with Understanding John Rechy_ (University of South Carolina Press, 2019) most recently. Her SoundCloud website may be found at: https://soundcloud.com/mariadeguzman.
Rachel Dows graduated from Towson University in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland and currently works in mental health research.
David Lee Garrison
The poetry of David Lee Garrison has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and two poems from his book Sweeping the Cemetery were read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. The title poem from his Playing Bach in the DC Metro was featured by Poet Laureate Ted Kooser on his website, American Life in Poetry, and read on the BBC in London. He won the Paul Laurence Dunbar Poetry Prize in 2009 and was named Ohio Poet of the Year in 2014. He lives in Oakwood, Ohio.
Micaela Gerhardt is a poet from Bismarck, North Dakota. She is pursuing an MFA in Poetry from Eastern Washington University in Spokane, WA and is the Poetry Editor of Willow Springs. She has been awarded scholarships to attend the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference (2018) and the Port Townsend Writers Conference (2019).
Tom Jessen is a multimedia artist. He holds a BFA from the University of Iowa and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Art. His work is in university and private collections, and has been shown nationally. He teaches at the University of Maine at Farmington.
Janina Aza Karpinska
Janina Aza Karpinska is an Artist-Poet from the south coast of England. Working mostly with collaged scraps, the same principles used in poetry appear in her artwork: repeated motifs; visual assonance; balance; fresh viewpoints and angles on familiar things. Her work has appeared in: The Bath House Journal; The Third Way;3 Elements Literary Review among others.
Danielle Klebes has exhibited at notable galleries and museums in New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Vermont, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Florida, Quebec, Canada, and Istria, Croatia. She is spending much of 2019 and 2020 participating in several domestic and international artist residencies (although all of these plans have temporarily been traded in for quarantine). Danielle received her MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University College of Art and Design in Cambridge, MA, in 2017.
Casey Knott is the author of Ground Work (Main Street Rag, 2018). She works in education, mentors students, tends to her urban farm, and helps edit The Wax Paper literary journal. Her poetry has appeared in a number of journals, including Harpur Palate, Red Rock Review, Cold Mountain Review, Midwest Quarterly, The Meadow, Rumble Fish Quarterly, and Poetry City, USA.
Aaron Lelito is a visual artist and writer from Buffalo, NY. In his photographic work, he is primarily drawn to the patterns and imagery of nature. His images have most recently been published in High Shelf Press, The Scriblerus, About Place Journal, and 45th Parallel. He is editor in chief of the art & literature website Wild Roof Journal. See more of his artwork at aaronlelito.com.
Barry Peters and his wife, the writer Maureen Sherbondy, live in Durham, NC. He teaches in Raleigh. Publications include The American Journal of Poetry, Best New Poets, The National Poetry Review, New Ohio Review, Poetry East, Rattle, and South Florida Poetry Journal.
Kendall Poe is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Pamplemousse, Hot Flash Fiction, Wanderlust: Travel Journal, and on the blog of Tin House. Last year Southeast Review awarded her the honor of World’s Best Short-Short Story. If she’s not writing, she likes to bike around Central Park.
John Timothy Robinson is a mainstream printmaker of the Kanawha Valley in Mason County, WV. He is a published poet and scholar with 156 literary works appearing in 108 journals and websites since August 2016 in the United States, Canada, India, United Kingdom, Poland and Germany. In Printmaking, he has published eighty-nine print and photographic images, though his primary medium is Monotype and Monoprint process with interest in collagraph, lithography and etching.
Sara Sage is a twenty-something, post-undergrad, gay working-class human who loves literature, the absurd, and people. They have been published thirteen times and are the author of their own poetry anthology. In their free time, they browse JSTOR, work on creative projects, and grind art to the bone.
Fredric Sinclair earned his MFA from Boston University, where he was awarded the Saul Bellow Fellowship in fiction. He is an alum of the Vermont Studio Center and Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and was awarded a fellowship from Lambda Literary for emerging LGBTQ writers. His writing has appeared in The Baltimore Review, Litro Magazine, and Emerge Anthology, among others.
Travis grew up in Virginia and Oklahoma and spent most of his twenties working in various national parks out west. A graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salamander, Quarterly West, Bird’s Thumb, The Pinch, Colorado Review and Phoebe. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
Ting Wang is passionate about photography and literary translation. Her photographs have been published in Peacock Journal and exhibited in TRYST Gallery of Leesburg, VA. Her translations have appeared in Asymptote, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. from the School of Communication at Northwestern University, and lives and works in the Washington metropolitan area.