Anita Olivia Koester
Absence Archive

Anita Olivia Koester - Absence Archive

Contest - Prose Poem
Anita Olivia Koester is a poet, writer, educator, and author of four chapbooks. She holds an MFA from the University of Virginia. Her poems have won the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award for Emerging… Read more »
Kathleen Melin
All I Can Tell You

Kathleen Melin - All I Can Tell You

Creative Nonfiction
Kathleen Melin is the author of By Heart, a memoir of progressive education (Clover Valley Press, 2008). Her creative and journalistic work has appeared in national and international publications… Read more »
Kate Gale
Darkness Thrown Down Like a Blanket

Kate Gale - Darkness Thrown Down Like a Blanket

Poetry
Dr. Kate Gale is co-founder and Managing Editor of Red Hen Press, Editor of the Los Angeles Review, and she teaches in the Low Residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska in Poetry, Fiction… Read more »
Jehanne Dubrow
Forced Impossibly

Jehanne Dubrow - Forced Impossibly

Creative Nonfiction
Jehanne Dubrow is the author of seven poetry collections, including most recently American Samizdat (Diode Editions, 2019), and a book of creative nonfiction, throughsmoke: an essay in notes (New… Read more »
Seth Grindstaff
Fossils of Fathers

Seth Grindstaff - Fossils of Fathers

Poetry
Seth Grindstaff teaches high school English in northeast Tennessee and earned an MA in English from ETSU. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Star 82 Review and published in… Read more »
Chera Hammons
Ghazal after the Electrocardiogram

Chera Hammons - Ghazal after the Electrocardiogram

Poetry
Chera Hammons is a winner of the 2017 PEN Southwest Book Award. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Foundry, The Penn Review, The Sun, The Texas Observer, Tupelo Quarterly,… Read more »
John Haggerty
In the Moments Before the M Train Arrives

John Haggerty - In the Moments Before the M Train Arrives

Fiction
John Haggerty’s work has appeared in dozens of magazines such as Carolina Quarterly, CRAFT Literary, Indiana Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. He is the founding editor of the Forge Literary… Read more »
Ellie Roscher
Kept Miniature in Size

Ellie Roscher - Kept Miniature in Size

Contest - Flash Creative Nonfiction
Ellie Roscher is the author of 12 Tiny Things (forthcoming), Play Like a Girl and How Coffee Saved My Life and hosts the Unlikely Conversations podcast. She teaches writing at The Loft Literary… Read more »
Dennis Cummings
Kool-Aid Days

Dennis Cummings - Kool-Aid Days

Poetry
Dennis Cummings lives in Poway, CA with his wife. He has sold flowers for commercial growers and shippers for the last 45 years and continues to do so. He recently rediscovered poetry after a hiatus… Read more »
Katy Mullins
On the Maternity Ward

Katy Mullins - On the Maternity Ward

Fiction
Katy Mullins’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Brevity, Bayou Magazine, and Hong Kong Review, among others. She serves on the editorial board of Nimrod International Journal… Read more »
Will Cordeiro
Parentheses

Will Cordeiro - Parentheses

Poetry
Will Cordeiro has published work in Agni, Best New Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Palette Poetry, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. Will won the 2019 Able… Read more »
Beverly Mason Parks
Pomegranates

Beverly Mason Parks - Pomegranates

Fiction
Beverly Mason Parks is a Baltimore native who lives and writes in North Carolina. A graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she works as a nonprofit consultant and grant writer. She… Read more »
Danielle Burnette
Popcorn

Danielle Burnette - Popcorn

Fiction
Danielle Burnette—an engineer by day, a writer by night—lives in northern California. Her short fiction has appeared in Moon City Review, The Nassau Review, The Lindenwood Review, and elsewhere.… Read more »
Merrill Oliver Douglas
Seeks Its Own Level

Merrill Oliver Douglas - Seeks Its Own Level

Poetry
Merrill Oliver Douglas has published poems in Tar River Poetry, Stone Canoe, Valparaiso Poetry Review, South 85 Journal, Cimarron Review and the Comstock Review, among others. Finishing Line Press… Read more »
Cara Lynn Albert
Telephone

Cara Lynn Albert - Telephone

Contest - Flash Fiction
Cara Lynn Albert is a writer and educator originally from Florida, and she is currently embracing the Rocky Mountains while she completes her MFA degree at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her work… Read more »
Marlene Olin
Ten Days in August

Marlene Olin - Ten Days in August

Fiction
Marlene Olin was born in Brooklyn, raised in Miami, and educated at the University of Michigan. Her short stories have been published or are forthcoming in journals such as The Massachusetts Review,… Read more »
Francesca Bell
The Window Before Which We Last Kissed Is on the Market

Francesca Bell - The Window Before Which We Last Kissed Is on the Market

Poetry
Francesca Bell is the author of Bright Stain (Red Hen Press, 2019) and the translator of Kitchens and Trains: Poems by Max Sessner (Red Hen Press, 2023). Her work appears widely in journals such as B… Read more »

On the Maternity Ward

Katy Mullins

Security wasn’t allowed in the hospital rooms, but the hallways of the maternity ward were all on camera. Claire’s job was to monitor, keep the hospital safe. She’d been watching one mother in particular. The woman had a premature birth—Claire watched the incubator rushed down the hall to the infant ICU, the tiniest newborn inside, tubes everywhere. Now she watched the mother walk up and down the hall, several times a day, wheeling her IV pole with her. Up and down, back and forth from her room to the NICU. Even through the grainy footage, Claire could tell she was a small woman. Her hospital gown came nearly to her ankles.

Last April, Claire had been rushed to the hospital. Heavy bleeding. Her husband, away on business, stayed on the phone with her, his voice pressed against her ear, hot on her cheek. Her nose filled with the thick hospital smell of plastic packaging and cleaning supplies. She curled up on the bed, her knees to her chest. The nurse forgot to bring her a blanket. When the doctor entered the room, she knew. She knew before he even said a word. It was the slope of his shoulders, the… Read more »