Chloë Mattingly
A Tangle of Lines

Chloë Mattingly - A Tangle of Lines

Contest - 2nd Place
Chloë Mattingly was born in the south and raised in the north, and she’s been confused ever since. Presently, she… Read more »
Barb Johnson
Beggars and Choosers

Barb Johnson - Beggars and Choosers

Fiction
Barb Johnson worked as a carpenter in New Orleans for more than twenty years before receiving her MFA from the… Read more »
Caylin Capra-Thomas
Bigfoot to Her Daughter

Caylin Capra-Thomas - Bigfoot to Her Daughter

Contest - 1st Place
Caylin Capra-Thomas’s second chapbook Inside My Electric City is available through YesYes Books. The recipient of the Louisville Literary Arts… Read more »
Leslie Adrienne Miller
Bone

Leslie Adrienne Miller - Bone

Poetry
Leslie Adrienne Miller’s sixth collection of poems is Y from Graywolf Press. Her previous collections include The Resurrection Trade and… Read more »
Maria Kuznetsova
Cornucopia

Maria Kuznetsova - Cornucopia

Fiction
Maria Kuznetsova was born in Kiev, Ukraine and grew up mostly in New Jersey. She is a recent graduate of… Read more »
Melissa Ostrom
For Every Pain, Consolation

Melissa Ostrom - For Every Pain, Consolation

Fiction
Melissa Ostrom teaches English in rural western New York. Her fiction has appeared in The Florida Review, Quarter After Eight,… Read more »
Terrance Wedin
I Am Thinking About Power Lines

Terrance Wedin - I Am Thinking About Power Lines

Poetry
Terrance Wedin is a professional bartender and an adjunct instructor at Columbus College of Art and Design. His writing has… Read more »
M.C. Williams
In the Light We Became Children

M.C. Williams - In the Light We Became Children

Fiction
M.C. Williams’s writing has appeared in The Open Bar (Tin House) and The Journal of Microliterature, and has also made… Read more »
Kathryn McMahon
It’s Too Hot for Flannel

Kathryn McMahon - It’s Too Hot for Flannel

Fiction
Kathryn McMahon is an American writer living abroad with her wife and dog. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming… Read more »
Dayna Patterson
Ophelia, Amphibian

Dayna Patterson - Ophelia, Amphibian

Contest - 3rd Place
Dayna Patterson received her MFA from Western Washington University. She is a former Managing Editor of Bellingham Review, Poetry Editor… Read more »
Threa Almontaser
Sympathy for Foreign Mothers

Threa Almontaser - Sympathy for Foreign Mothers

Poetry
Threa Almontaser is a Yemeni-American writer born and raised in New York City. She is a MFA candidate in poetry… Read more »
Ruby Al-Qasem
The Girls

Ruby Al-Qasem - The Girls

Creative Nonfiction
Ruby Al-Qasem teaches creative writing and freshman composition as a teaching fellow at University of North Texas, where she is… Read more »
Matthew Vollmer
The Subordinate Fragment

Matthew Vollmer - The Subordinate Fragment

Creative Nonfiction
Matthew Vollmer is the author of two collections of short fiction—Gateway to Paradise (Persea, 2015) and Future Missionaries of America… Read more »
Jennifer Carr
There Were Three

Jennifer Carr - There Were Three

Fiction
Jennifer Carr was born and raised in San Pedro, California, in the heart of the Port of Los Angeles, and… Read more »
P. Ivan Young
What Darkness Says

P. Ivan Young - What Darkness Says

Poetry
P. Ivan Young is author of Smell of Salt, Ghost of Rain (Brick House Books, 2015) and the chapbook, A… Read more »

A Tangle of Lines

Chloë Mattingly

It’s the way he touches her arm. With a gentleness, an authority. The way he directs her feet, corrects her stance. It’s the look on her face, the concentration, the drip of sweat down the crook of her nose. It’s one of these things, or possibly nothing at all.

From my perch on the grooved-wood bleachers of the Gimnasio Boxeo Rafael Trejo, I watch as the coach, an older man with a dust of gray hair and mustached lip, marches before the line of trainees, shrill whistle in hand. They range in age and size, these four men, but they move with confidence and familiarity, bouncing on the balls of their feet, accenting each staccato jab of their fist with a guttural “HEY!” And then there’s the girl: pale-faced with dark hair and a pink headband tucked behind her ears, struggling at times to keep up, but doing so with an expressive determination.

I’m here at this boxing lesson in Havana, Cuba for a writing lab, a workshop that was originally meant for photographers but is experimenting now with writers. Jorge, a cuban photographer and our guide for the day, led our group through the streets of Havana Vieja,… Read more »