May 7th, 2013 | 6:50am

Marie-Helene Bertino published her debut collection of short stories, Safe As Houses, in 2012. It won the Iowa Short Fiction Award, and was long listed for the Story Prize, and for The Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. She hails from Philadelphia (where Zinzi Clemmons is also from and currently lives) and resides in Brooklyn. Bertino served for six years as the Associate Editor of One Story. Bertino and Clemmons corresponded via email about their hometown and the writing process.

reviewed by Caitlin Doyle
May 6th, 2013 | 7:00am

Throughout her impressive body of work, which includes three collections of poetry and a memoir, Jane Satterfield explores the roles of place and gender in human identity. Born in England and raised in America, she probes what it means to reconcile the legacies of intertwined lineages. Satterfield complicates her inquiry into cultural inheritance by emphasizing female experience. In her first poetry book, Shepherdess with an Automatic, she described her youthful adventures during the 1980s; “going to clubs” in “boots with zip-laces to accelerate the kill” (in contrast to1950s housewives “decked out” like “living dolls”). Her Familiars, Satterfield’s most recent collection, takes us further back in time, to the 1970s. We glimpse her as a girl scout, part of a “troop of girls kitted out in jumpers, cable knee socks, & small green berets,” living “blissful on suburban streets” while “choppers stuttered over Saigon.” Both books, as well as her second poetry collection Assignation at Vanishing Point, combine coming-of-age material with adulthood examinations of love, sex, child rearing, historical influence, and literary ambition. In Her Familiars, Satterfield widens her range of subject matter, tones, and aesthetic approaches, mining the territory between domestic and public life in striking new ways.

Photo from Twitter
May 3rd, 2013 | 7:02am

Two weeks ago today, I woke up reading an email that Watertown was closed. The Boston, Cambridge, and Watertown police departments had sealed a perimeter. No entrance, no exit. The office was closed. I had started working for a landscape architecture practice in Watertown that Monday, the morning of the Marathon. After three months on the city’s outskirts, writing full-time, at last I had started traveling around Boston and Cambridge. The Lockdown froze the city in its novelty for me.

Photo from Twitter

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user BANAMINE
May 1st, 2013 | 7:00am

The second-place horse in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, Eight

Belles, collapsed with shattered front fetlocks just after

crossing the finish line. She was euthanized on the track.


Before the race, heat shimmers off the track, an apparition dancing to the band.

April 30th, 2013 | 7:00am

Click here to read Part 1 of this essay.


The sprawling state nursing home is in a dreary area on the edge of the city. Arline tells me that schoolchildren often visit the home to entertain the residents, and the president makes appearances. A nun gives us a tour of the cafeteria, the many patios and balconies, the nursing stations. Although the buildings are institutional, grey walls and grey tile, the home offers tiny single rooms with private baths -- Nora wouldn't have roommates to disturb -- and nurses on staff around the clock. The price is right; less than Nora's pension. Arline tears with relief as she thanks the nun for her help. The nun directs us to the social worker's office.