Kerry Folan
Empty Pedestals

Kerry Folan - Empty Pedestals

Creative Nonfiction
Kerry Folan’s creative nonfiction has recently appeared in Ninth Letter, Los Angeles Review of Books, Southeast Review, Literary Hub, and River Teeth, among others. She teaches writing and… Read more »
Brandon Hansen
On Shrugging

Brandon Hansen - On Shrugging

Creative Nonfiction
Brandon Hansen is a Truman Capote Scholar at the University of Montana’s MFA program. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in LIT Magazine, Puerto Del Sol, Cape Rock Poetry, and a few other… Read more »
Morgan Florsheim
Toward the Pith

Morgan Florsheim - Toward the Pith

Creative Nonfiction
Morgan Florsheim is a writer and educator based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Though she no longer does ecology research, she still loves spending time in the woods and playing in the dirt. Her… Read more »

Toward the Pith

Morgan Florsheim

I

It had taken a whole crew of men with chainsaws and machinery to fell the massive beech, and I had the idea to go back at night to count the rings before they took away the stump in the morning. I convinced a friend from my environmental science program to join me, and we ducked beneath the construction tape once night fell and kneeled beside the stump, shining a light on it with a phone and counting out loud, starting at the bark and moving toward the pith. I forget how old the tree was, and it doesn’t really matter. It was more an act of commemoration than anything else. The men came back the next morning and dug out the stump, leaving a strange gouge where it had been, and that was that.

A year later, I stood next to a lone Magnolia macrophylla, leaning up against the borer embedded in the bark. I was only just beginning to get the hang of the tool, which was a hand drill for extracting cores from trees. That day I’d struggled to get the teeth of the borer to take hold and now that they had, I put… Read more »