All posts tagged: 2018

Corregidor Flames

By CLINTON CROCKETT PETERS

Corregidor Island ruins

Corregidor Island, The Philippines

Corregidor Island, off the coast of Manilla in the Philippines, is balmy but windy, a ceiling fan in Florida. I’m hiking limestone bluffs pot-marked with WWII pillboxes, some say live ammo, and blobs of sunset-colored avian called “mango birds” that flutter in and out of sight. Underneath me is a bunker I’m trying to find. It is multiple airports in size, and I gambled I could stumble on it. Lost, I look out from one of the islands many palm-saturated hills and see a statue tumoring from the beach: General George “Doug-out-Dug” MacArthur. Below the bronze feet, are the words, “I shall return.”

Whitney BrunoCorregidor Flames
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Review: The Consequences

Book by NIÑA WEIJERS, trans. by HESTER VELMANS
Reviewed by OLGA ZILBERBOURG

Cover of The Consequences by Niña Weijers

Outstanding books often have a way of catching the reader by surprise, one insight, one unexpected narrative shift at a time. Niña Weijers, a debut novelist from the Netherlands, begins her book as a character study of her protagonist, Minnie Panis. Minnie is a conceptual artist of growing international reputation, whose career has been built on acts of public self-abnegation.  With each turn of the page, Weijers extends her subject and thematic reach, keeping her protagonist in focus while exploring contemporary art, mysticism, Mayan beliefs, and early childhood development (among other themes) to enrich our understanding of Minnie’s character and the forces that govern her life.

Avery FarmerReview: The Consequences
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Review: Leave No Trace

Adapted from My Abandonment by PETER ROCK
Reviewed by HANNAH GERSEN

Capture from "Leave No Trace"

In fairy tales, the forest is a dark, dangerous place, populated by wolves and other menacing creatures, but for Thomasin and her father, Will, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the forest is a respite, a place of quiet and calm. More than that, it’s their home. For several years, they’ve been camping in Forest Park, an enormous urban park on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. Although they have gone undetected all this time, they still do practice drills in case they should be discovered. In an early scene, Will critiques his daughter’s hiding place, telling her that her socks give her away. Actually, it’s Thom’s eyes that betray her: you can see her loneliness and her restlessness. As a younger kid, 24-7 camping may have appealed to her, but when we meet Thom, she is a young teen, full of curiosity about the outside world and eager to meet new people. The only thing that keeps her in the woods is her deep love and sympathy for her father.

Avery FarmerReview: Leave No Trace
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Dream Ladders

By MATTHEW SCHULTZ

Immovable Ladder at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; Jerusalem

Israel and Palestine

The story of the Immovable Ladder is this: it was left on a balcony of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem by a careless mason in 1750 and has sat there ever since. The six orders of monks, in whose ruthless stewardship the church is kept, have divided the church into blocks of turf, which they guard with fervor, and sometimes with fists.  It’s unclear to which sect the balcony (and by extension, the ladder) belongs. Any attempt to answer that question would be a threat to the delicate status quo that keeps the monkish violence at bay. And so the ladder sits. Undisturbed.

Avery FarmerDream Ladders
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June 2018 Poetry Feature

New poems by our contributors: NATHALIE HANDAL and STEVE KISTULENTZ

 

NATHALIE HANDAL

Lettera Lirica, Jerusalem

Because I see the shape
of your shadow in every city

Because you are on the edge
of every body of water

Because your language is tilted
towards the world

but you’ve kept some sentences
well-hidden

Because some words together
can frighten loneliness

like the lagoon moving aside
for the sea

Avery FarmerJune 2018 Poetry Feature
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Ask a Local: Elizabyth A. Hiscox, Gunnison, Colorado

With ELIZABYTH A. HISCOX

Trees in Gunnison, Colardo

Your name: Elizabyth A. Hiscox

Current city or town: Gunnison, Colorado

How long have you lived here: Four years (not yet a local by local standards)

Three words to describe the climate: Bright (year-round), frigid (in Winter), oxygen-deprived (great track & field team).

Best time of year to visit? Pick your outdoor poison/potion and it can be a year-round spot.

Avery FarmerAsk a Local: Elizabyth A. Hiscox, Gunnison, Colorado
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Non-Native

By CATE LYCURGUS

Sand dunes at Tolowa Dunes State Park
Tolowa Dunes State Park, California

Sandy showed us how. She placed the shovel’s tip a few inches from a tuft’s base. Angled the handle back a bit, just enough to loosen the grass before she lowered, hand-pulling. This way, she explained, down to the source. Awards went to the biggest pile, longest root (you cannot burn grass off the dunes; the network just shoots back again), cleanest area too. Tawny tips waved in small breeze from the lagoon, off the lip of sea. But the grass is pretty, C said, and somebody murmured, agreeing. He traced the rake in arcs, looking down, but couldn’t swirl it far. European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) grows in clumps from rhizomes that spread four meters each year, so it’s no surprise beachgrass defines large stretches of Pacific coast. Pretty till you get a spine in your glove, E admitted, wincing. Until you get down close.

Isabel MeyersNon-Native
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Paris, April 7, 2018 Saturday

By GREGORY CURTIS

The towers of Church Saint-Sulpice.

Paris, France

I found a book by Georges Perec called Tentatived’épuisement d’un lieu Parisien, or An Attempt to Exhaust a Place in Paris. I like Perec very much. He loved word games and wrote crossword puzzles, and very often invented challenges for himself in his writing. In 1969 he wrote a book—La Disparition—in which the letter “e” does not appear. It was translated into English, also with no “e’s” but since the literal translation—The Disappearance—has three “e’s”, the English title is A Void. In 1972 Perec wrote Les Revenents, in which “e” is the only vowel in the book. Perec died of cancer in 1982 when he was only forty-six.

Whitney BrunoParis, April 7, 2018 Saturday
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Join Us for Weekly Writes, Volume I

weekly writes

 

Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based fiction and nonfiction.

Volume I launched on July 1, 2018. Volume II coming soon!

Sign up for Volume 1 is now closed. The $15 fee includes one free, expedited submission after program completion.
Isabel MeyersJoin Us for Weekly Writes, Volume I
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The Cloak Room

By MARIA TERRONE

St. Joan of Arc classroom and cloakroom revisited, 2018

St. Joan of Arc classroom and cloakroom revisited, 2018

 

Queens, New York

 The very sound of it was foreign to our ears. Who wore cloaks? Vampires. Stealthy spies with hidden daggers. And men in top hats who appeared in movies and old-fashioned story books. Certainly no one we knew as first-graders at St. Joan of Arc—except, perhaps, for the nuns whose sleeveless black capes swirled in their hurried winter walks through the schoolyard to the convent. But their habits covered every inch of skin up to their necks; even their brows were partially obscured by fabric stiff as cardboard and white as their bony hands—the only other flesh exposed. So, on second thought, we couldn’t really say we “knew” the nuns when their very bodies were concealed and their lives outside the classroom a mystery.

Isabel MeyersThe Cloak Room
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