All posts tagged: December

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy


Editor’s note: In October a friend told me about Kevin McIlvoy’s recent passing, days after I had read and been deeply moved by the following poems. We are honored to offer them to you here. 

—John Hennessy


Kevin McIlvoy, known to his friends as Mc., published six novels, a story collection, and a collection of prose poems and flash fictions. A long-standing faculty member in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, he was my colleague but, more importantly, my friend. Mc. loved books and, like many writers, he loved them so much eventually the only way to love them more was to add to them by writing. These poems were sent out prior to his death on September 30, 2022. He is missed by many, but thanks to his work, his voice is still with us. 

—C. Dale Young

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy

The Way Back Home



Image of a building with colorful glass windows in the twilight.


We grew up on salty rocks, collecting bullets,
holding onto hope as if it were a jump rope that 
come our turn, would go on spinning forever
our feet never failing us.
We ran through sunburnt alleys, kicking up
clouds of dust that were quick to settle
as if somehow knowing
that we had nowhere else to go.

The Way Back Home

Learning from Las Vegas (Air) Strip


This woman in the airport is neither catching a plane nor meeting one. (…)
Why is this woman in this airport? Why is she going nowhere, where has she been?
      —Joan Didion, “Why I Write” (1976)


In the margins of the Strip, planes shimmer in and out of Las Vegas. I photographed this periphery, populated by plane watchers. Why they watch and why I write seem to be connected by a tenuous link that became clearer as the afternoon transpired.


Palm trees and an airplane in the sky.

Sundown marks the time and the place for a discreet show among Las Vegas locals. At the golden hour, vehicles on Sunset Road veer toward McCarran International Airport and park in front of the runway. While the casino-jammed stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip blinks itself awake in the background, the airstrip stages a steady stream of landings and take-offs. Every day, new and seasoned plane watchers come here to view the aircrafts rolling between the sky and the Vegas skyline.

Learning from Las Vegas (Air) Strip

Permission to Dream Forth: An Interview with Arisa White


picture of white and westhale together

In Arisa White’s lyrical memoir, Who’s Your Daddy, she writes of her father’s absence throughout her coming-of-age in tender, genre-bending poems. July Westhale and Arisa White, former teaching colleagues and Bay Area community, approached this interview in an epistolary way, discussing form, family, voice, and taking up space on the page.

Permission to Dream Forth: An Interview with Arisa White

You Must Like It All


People were singing on the steps below our living room window, and Elena removed an earphone to tell them to stop.

“You’re singing very badly!” she shouted. “I’m going to throw water on you!”

A man yelled he was too hot anyway. When he said he would like to have water thrown on him, she smiled to herself, closed her eyes, and lay back down on the sofa.

“Careful,” I said. “They might break our window again.”

She said, “It wasn’t them.”

“I know,” I said. “Obviously. I meant ‘they’ in the general sense.”

She put her earphone back in.

I put down my pen, and watched her. I had done that, every now and then, since we were six years old—stopped what I was doing to figure out something about her, to think about her face, or her hair, or the way she always laughed when I talked about death. Mostly I thought about her face. I had done that so often, by now, that I was convinced she must know, and must sometimes arrange herself to give me a good view, to give me time to look, to give me time to think about her textures. I hated it when I saw her do it with other people.

The fan was only disturbing the tips of her hair at the end of her low ponytail—the top, a little greasy, was tight on her skull. She wore pajama shorts, and, as always, when she wore shorts or skirts, I got stuck on the blond hairs on her thighs. And then I moved up, and got stuck on her skin. Like wax. Like alive wax. Wax that would not melt.

You Must Like It All

Friday Reads: December 2022



Last month, we launched Issue 24, which features wispy, ethereal poems, striking watercolors of the Stebbins Cold Canyon flora and fauna, stories about resilience in the face of war and natural disaster, and essays that celebrate humor and heritage. Wondering what our contributors are reading to keep themselves inspired? Look no further than this month’s Friday Reads.


Book Cover of Meet Us by the Roaring Sea by Akil Kumarasamy. Abstract drawings on black background.

Friday Reads: December 2022

December 2020 Poetry Feature: Denise Duhamel and Jeffrey Harrison



This month we welcome back longtime contributors Denise Duhamel and Jeffrey Harrison to our pages.


Table of Contents:

            Denise Duhamel
                        – 2020
                        – American Sestina, 2019

            Jeffrey Harrison
                        – The Mount

December 2020 Poetry Feature: Denise Duhamel and Jeffrey Harrison

Friday Reads: December 2020


In the final Friday Reads of 2020, we’re hearing again from our volunteer readers on what books have been keeping them engrossed and entertained as the weather gets colder. For this second batch, our readers highlight books set everywhere from an Anishinaabe reserve in Ontario to Sofia, Bulgaria and a city in 1950s Italy.

Read our first round of volunteer reader recommendations here.

Recommendations: Writers & Lovers by Lily King; Cleanness by Garth Greenwell; Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice; Marcovaldo, or The Seasons in the City by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver.

Friday Reads: December 2020

Following My Daughter’s Fitting for a Prosthetic Eye


Image of building and sky

Miami, FL

“I am fascinated by the beauty of sight,
but I never crave for it,” a blind actor says,
brushing his fingers across the petals of flowers
in a softly lit bazaar.  The camera tracks
from his hand to his grey-tinged hair
as a market breeze circles his linen shirt
and bamboo chimes patter the air.

Following My Daughter’s Fitting for a Prosthetic Eye