Lucinda Cummings
A Question of Molecules

Lucinda Cummings - A Question of Molecules

Creative Nonfiction
Lucinda Cummings is a writer and clinical psychologist who lives in Minneapolis with her husband and a rescue dog named after a famous jazz musician. Her essays have appeared in Hippocampus, The Woven… Read more »
Dan Hodgson
Bread: an offering

Dan Hodgson - Bread: an offering

Creative Nonfiction
Dan Hodgson writes and teaches. With his wife, he also chases their son and daughter up traprock peaks. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Southampton Review Online; Cease, Cows;… Read more »
Robin Tung
Coyote

Robin Tung - Coyote

Contest - Fiction
Robin Tung is a Taiwanese American writer, mother, and contemporary art enthusiast. Her work has appeared in Art Practical, Black Warrior Review, Daily Serving, The Montreal Review, NANO Fiction,… Read more »
Stephanie McCarley Dugger
Housebreak

Stephanie McCarley Dugger - Housebreak

Poetry
Stephanie McCarley Dugger’s first collection of poetry, Either Way You’re Done (2017), was published by Sundress Publications. Her chapbook, Sterling (Paper Nautilus, 2015), was winner of the… Read more »
Sara Henning
Letter in the Shape of a Banyan Tree

Sara Henning - Letter in the Shape of a Banyan Tree

Poetry
Sara Henning is the author of View from True North, cowinner of the 2017 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award and the 2019 High Plains Book Award. Her latest collection of poems, Terra… Read more »
Mariah Rigg
Mosaic

Mariah Rigg - Mosaic

Fiction
Mariah Rigg is a writer from Honolulu, Hawai`i. She has an MFA from the University of Oregon. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Puerto del Sol, and Carve.… Read more »
Francine Witte
My Father in the Front Door

Francine Witte - My Father in the Front Door

Poetry
Francine Witte’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, and Passages North. Her latest books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press), The… Read more »
Rose Auslander
Praise the wind in your face, the hill rising before you

Rose Auslander - Praise the wind in your face, the hill rising before you

Poetry
Rose Auslander lives on Cape Cod. Obsessed with water, she is the author of the book Wild Water Child, the chapbooks Folding Water, Hints, and The Dolphin in the Gowanus, and poems in the Berkeley… Read more »
Daniel Rousseau
Staring Down the Barrel

Daniel Rousseau - Staring Down the Barrel

Contest - Creative Nonfiction
Daniel Rousseau’s work—noted in The Best American Essays twice—has appeared in The Florida Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in writing from… Read more »
Evan Brooke
Thanatosis

Evan Brooke - Thanatosis

Fiction
Evan Brooke has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, The Northwest Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She… Read more »
Patricia Dwyer
The Real Thing

Patricia Dwyer - The Real Thing

Creative Nonfiction
Patricia Dwyer lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is thoroughly enjoying her recent retirement as a university professor while honing the craft of a relatively new passion: creative writing. Her… Read more »
Nicholas Otte
The Wave Rule

Nicholas Otte - The Wave Rule

Fiction
Nicholas Otte’s stories and essays have appeared in Words Without Borders, Promethean, The Alternative, and elsewhere. His short story “Bird Versus Glass” was the winner of the Winter 2020… Read more »
Lisa Suhair Majaj
True Lies

Lisa Suhair Majaj - True Lies

Poetry
Lisa Suhair Majaj, a Palestinian-American, is the author of Geographies of Light (Del Sol Press Poetry Prize winner), and poems and essays in many international publications. Her writing has been used… Read more »
Ross McCleary
Unsatisfied

Ross McCleary - Unsatisfied

Fiction
Ross McCleary is from Edinburgh, Scotland. His work has appeared in Litro, Structo, 404 Ink, and Extra Teeth. In 2019, he won a New Writer’s Award for Fiction from the Scottish Book Trust. The same… Read more »
Aekta Khubchandani
You have stopped going

Aekta Khubchandani - You have stopped going

Contest - Poetry
Aekta Khubchandani is a writer and poet from Bombay. She is the founder of Poetry Plant Project, where she conducts month-long poetry workshops. She is enrolled in a dual MFA program in poetry and… Read more »

Letter in the Shape of a Banyan Tree

Sara Henning

I always felt like a bird blown through the world. I never felt like a tree. —May Swenson A year before my birth, Mother, you wished for a son to grow inside you. You’d call him banyan tree, strangler fig, boy strong as my father. When I came, you knew a chickadee starving for love could carry no one’s legacy. You called me daughter who named animals as if they were children, daughter who knew everything she loved could hurt her—street cats, possums hissing in the dark. For consolation, you dressed me in pink, as if I’d be your perfect girl. But I was tomboy, all skinned knees and tangled hair. Mornings, you’d smoke while braiding me, smooth elastic, Indigo Girls on the radio. Around my body, the ghost of a son grew. Jealous, I butchered my Barbies with scissors, played Atari all afternoon—Donkey Kong, Double Dragon in my bean bag chair. Sunlight seethed with me, lasered our duplex windows. Love meant learning to run. Mother, where does it end, this story of us? Nightmares are death still hatching its secret inside of you. Only now, my prayers are bioluminescent, tractor beams luring your ghost planet back. But my memory…
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