The ninth issue of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library will launch October 3, 2020 during Banned Books Week. Each year, we focus on a Vonnegut-related theme, and in 2020, that theme is Civic Engagement . . . With the upcoming presidential elections, the one-hundredth anniversary of the passage of the nineteenth amendment, the life-changing arrival of COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd followed by peaceful protests and, in some cases, riots, we have a wide array of work here.
The journal has become well recognized in the writing and artistic community. This year, we received 267 entries for 65 slots, so the selection process was challenging. Here are a few stats: Of those selected: 41 men, 24 women, and 12 veterans. Fourteen of our contributors are from Indiana; 42 are from out of state; and 9 are international. The journal features 38 poems, 17 prose pieces, 10 photographs, and 9 works of art.
We solicited work from 14 writers and artists, including Pamela Bliss, Laura Da’, Marilyn Dumont, Martin Espada, Nikki Giovanni, Michael K. Harris, David Hernandez, Norbert Krapf, Richard Levine, Thomas Martius, Ashley Neff, Carolyn Olson, Gary Soto, and Jack Wickes.
Putting this book together takes a lot of time, and we are indebted to our mostly volunteer team. Thanks to our designer extraordinaire Bianca Pena. Also, we’re grateful to our volunteer editors Kate Campbell, Fiona Duffy, Anne Field, Karen Hovermale, Julie Harman, David Lane, Geoffrey S. Lapin, Shaina Olmanson, and Rachel Zugschwert. Thanks also to our Board of Directors for their support and encouragement and Printing Partners, who helped us put together this beautiful journal.
Most especially thanks to all of the contributors – writers, poets, artists, and photographers. We are grateful to you for sharing your talent and for your commitment to make this journal the best it can be.
Listed below are all the contributors with paragraphs depicting their creative history and professions. To add, some of our contributors sent in video teasers to give you a taste of their work. Check them out: And to see the complete works, order your own copy of So It Goes here.
DMITRI AKERS is an honors student of English at the University of Adelaide. His thesis concerns the representation of madness within modernist literature, particularly in the work of Samuel Beckett. Being born in Townsville and growing up in Adelaide has shaped the author’s views on what it means to belong in a democracy, a democracy that has simultaneously fought wars and shut down free speech throughout its history.
On the Origin of Karl Marx
LISA ALVAREZ teaches at Irvine Valley College in Orange County, California, and in the summer, she codirects the Community of Writers conference in the Sierra Nevada. Her poetry and prose have appeared most recently in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Huizache, Santa Monica Review, SWWIM, and What Rough Beast, and in the anthologies Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America, PEN Center USA’s Only Light Can Do That: 100 Post-Election Poems, Stories, & Essays, and in California Fire and Water: A Climate Crisis Anthology. Together with Andrew Tonkovich, she edited Orange County: A Literary Field Guide.
PETER BETHANIS grew up in rural Maine. He is both a writer and an artist. Bethanis’s writing has appeared in Poetry, America, and Tar River Poetry, as well as more than sixty other literary journals, and his work has been recognized by former US Poet Laureate Donald Hall, as well as James Dickey, author of Deliverance. Most recently, his writing has appeared in The Indianapolis Review, So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, and The A3 Review, and is forthcoming in Talking Writing. He has been a finalist for the National Poetry Series and is a past winner of the Eve of St. Agnes Poetry Competition, sponsored by Negative Capability Press. He is the author of two books, Dada & Surrealism for Beginners and American Future. Bethanis’s artwork has appeared in several galleries and in literary magazines, including The Adirondack Review, So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, The Indianapolis Review, and Here Comes Everyone (HCE). He lives in Indianapolis. www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/peter-bethanis
My Affair with Kurt Vonnegut (with added mask)
PAMELA BLISS is an Indiana-based artist. She has been painting murals and canvas works for over twenty-five years. www.PamelaBliss.Gallery
A Run on Sausages
WENDY BOOYDEGRAAFF holds a master of education degree from Grand Valley State University and a graduate certificate in children’s literature from Penn State. She is the author of Salad Pie, a children’s picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has appeared in Emrys Journal Online, Kveller, SmokeLong Quarterly, Jellyfish Review, and is forthcoming in NOON, Border Crossing, and Lily Poetry Review, among others.
A Voyager Returns
CHRISTINE BOYER is a Pennsylvanian who lives in Massachusetts. Her poetry has been published in the Little Patuxent Review. She is a graduate writing student with Harvard Extension School. www.christine-boyer.com
Greta Turnvoldt’s Memorial Dog Park
WARREN BRONSON has been a US Marine, a husband, and a father, and was a miserable failure at all three. He hopes to become a successful ex-con one day. He has been a member of the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop since its inception in 2009 and has made great strides toward becoming literate. His work has appeared in So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library.
I Wore the Yellow Ribbon
ARAMIS CALDERON is a US Marine veteran with a pen. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Tampa. His work has been published in The Deadly Writers Patrol, Military Experience & The Arts, and So Say We All. Dismount is his debut novel. His current area of operations is Tampa, Florida, where every week he meets with fellow veteran writers in the DD-214 Writers’ Workshop.
JOSEPH CHANEY was born in southern Illinois and grew up in Tennessee. He teaches literature and writing at Indiana University South Bend, where he’s codirector of Wolfson Press. He has published widely in journals, including The Nation, Crazyhorse, Black Warrior Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, The Apple Valley Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Dogwood. He’s a regular commentator on WVPE 88.1 FM, the regional NPR station.
Closer to the Heart: Six Chinese Characters
YUAN CHANGMING published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include ten Pushcart Prize nominations, The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry, and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.
Underground During Ages of Autocracy
ED COLETTI is a poet, painter, fiction writer, and middling chess player. Previously, he served for three years as an officer in the US Army, then a counselor, and later, a small business consultant. Recent poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, North American Review, VOLT, Spillway, and Blueline. He published a collection of poetry The Problem With Breathing (Edwin E. Smith Publishing) in 2015. His book Apollo Blue’s Harp And The Gods Of Song was more recently published by McCaa Books in February 2019. He lives with his wife, Joyce, in Santa Rosa, California, where they lost their home during the October 2018 firestorm. The couple has relocated elsewhere in Santa Rosa. Coletti continues to curate the popular ten-year-old blog “No Money In Poetry.” http://edwardcolettispoetryblog.blogspot.com/
Naissance and Workers’ Caucus
NANCY COOK runs The Witness Project, a series of free community writing workshops designed to enable creative work by underrepresented voices. She also serves as flash fiction editor for Kallisto Gaia Press. Cook spent four months of 2019 in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, serving as the Fermanaugh & Omagh International Artist-in-Residence and conducting writing workshops with people affected by the sectarian conflict known as “The Troubles.” Some of her newest work can be found in Existere, The Tangerine, and Raven Chronicles: Art Against Hate.
LAURA DA’ is a poet and public school teacher. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Eastern Shawnee. She is the recipient of an American Book Award, a Made at Hugo House fellowship, and a Jack Straw fellowship. She lives near Seattle with her husband and son.
JUDY DARLEY is a British fiction writer who can’t stop writing about the fallibilities of the human mind. Her flash fiction and short stories have been published by magazines and anthologies in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the United States and Canada, including in The Mechanics’ Institute Review, Mslexia, Unthology 8, and SmokeLong Quarterly. Her second collection of short fiction, Sky Light Rain, is out now from Valley Press. Her debut, Remember Me To The Bees, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. She’s the flash fiction editor at Reflex Fiction and judged the 2019 National Flash Fiction Day’s Microfiction Competition. http://www.SkyLightRain.com and https://twitter.com/JudyDarley
LUCIAN DE PAULA BERNARDI was born in 1989 in São Paulo, Brazil. The urbanist and architect has worked in city planning for fifteen years. His focus includes urban mobility and road safety, as he tries to implement New Urbanism policies.
DC DIAMONDOPOLOUS is an award-winning novelette, short story, and flash fiction writer with over two hundred stories published internationally in print and online magazines and in literary journals and anthologies. Her stories have appeared in 34thParallel, So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, Lunch Ticket, Raven Chronicles, Silver Pen, Blue Lake Review, and many others. Diamondopolous’s short story “Billy Luck” was nominated for Best of the Net Anthology 2017. She lives on the California central coast with her wife and animals. dcdiamondopolous.com
Helen Betty Osborne
MARILYN DUMONT is of Cree/Métis ancestry and was born in northeastern Alberta in 1955. Her Dumont family lives in the Edmonton area, which has a rich Métis historical and contemporary presence. Poet, writer, and professor, Dumont teaches with the faculty of Native Studies and the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her four collections of poetry—A Really Good Brown Girl (1996, 2015); The Pemmican Eaters (2015); that tongued belonging (2007); and green girl dreams Mountains (2001)—have all won either provincial or national poetry awards. She was awarded the 2018 Lifetime Membership from the League of Canadian Poets for her contributions to poetry in Canada and won the University of Alberta Distinguished Alumni Award and Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Distinguished Artist Award in 2019.
MILTON EHRLICH is an eighty-eight-year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published poems in The Antigonish Review, London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, descant, Wisconsin Review, The Red Wheelbarrow Review, The Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times.
Vivas to Those Who Have Failed: The Paterson Silk Strike, 1913
MARTÍN ESPADA is the author of fourteen poetry collections, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Republic of Poetry and, most recently, Vivas to Those Who Have Failed. His many honors include the Poetry Foundation’s 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s 2013 Shelley Memorial Award, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
KATHARINE ROLSTON FISHER (1871-1950) was a teacher, social worker, suffragist, and feminist. She was an assistant editor for The Suffragist and was arrested for picketing in the fight for women’s voting rights in 1917. She received a thirty-day sentence at the Occoquan workhouse. While there, she wrote of the deplorable conditions. She worked as a government clerk in Washington, DC, and continued addressing issues that were important to her.
Grandmama Sadie’s Power Play
JEFF FLEISCHER is a Chicago-based author, journalist, and editor. His fiction has appeared in more than sixty publications, including Printers Row, Shenandoah, The Saturday Evening Post, and So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. He is the author of the nonfiction books Votes of Confidence: A Young Person’s Guide to American Elections (Zest Books, 2016 and 2020), Rockin’ the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries (Zest Books, 2015), The Latest Craze: A Short History of Mass Hysterias (Fall River Press, 2011), and the upcoming A Hot Mess: How the Climate Crisis is Changing Our World (Zest Books, 2021).
The Socialist and the Suffragist
CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN (1860-1935) was an American feminist, humanist, poet, and author best known for her short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” She fought for social reform and economic independence for women and published the book Women and Economics in 1898. She is an inductee in the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
NIKKI GIOVANNI is a poet, activist, mother, professor, seven-time NAACP Image Award winner, and the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award. She holds the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry, among many other honors. The author of thirty books and a Grammy nominee for the Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, she is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
NICK J. GRAHAM is an adjunct writing professor and tutoring coordinator at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. He is an emerging fiction writer who is working on his first collection of short stories.
Plague and Love
MICHAEL K. HARRIS is a lifelong reader of poetry but a latecomer to writing poetry. He tries to share in his writing a simple, accessible vision of the world he observes amid the jagged dynamics of our time. With his wife, Midori, he is a resident of the Pacific Northwest. The splendid geography and beauty often inform his work in both deliberate and unforeseen ways. When not outdoors in the natural Upper Left, Harris enjoys cooking, armchair punditry, and playing guitar. The last, badly.
DAVID HERNANDEZ’s most recent collection of poetry is Dear, Sincerely
(University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016). Other books include Hoodwinked (Sarabande Books, 2011), winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry; Always Danger
(Southern Illinois University Press, 2006), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry; and A House Waiting for Music (Tupelo Press, 2003). Hernandez has been awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes. His poems have appeared in Field, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and The Best American Poetry. He is also the author of two YA novels, No More Us for You and Suckerpunch, both published by HarperCollins. Hernandez teaches creative writing at California State University, Long Beach, and is married to writer Lisa Glatt.
MELISSA HUFF is a poet and artist who explores metered poetry and free verse and loves to perform poetry aloud. In 2019 and 2020, she won awards in the BlackBerry Peach Prizes for Poetry: Spoken and Heard, sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Recent and upcoming publishing credits include Frogpond, The Pangolin Review, Snapdragon, Origami Poems, and Brush Talks: A Journal of China.
The Structure of Water
JULIA KNOX is a researcher at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, a masters candidate in narrative medicine in the school’s Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics, and a fellow at the Precision Medicine Ethics, Politics, Culture Project at Columbia’s Center for Social Difference. She is interested in the methods by which data takes narrative form in our society. The focus of her research includes exposure to environmental mixtures, maternal/paternal child health, and transgenerational epigenetics. An AmeriCorps alumna who earned her masters of public health in 2016. Knox is dedicated to mentorship and sustainable community investments. She is passionate about making space in academic science for people with disadvantaged backgrounds and hopes that will reflect in a more comprehensive set of research interests in genomics, and eventually, in a better world.
Emanuel Pinkston Loved to Vote
NORBERT KRAPF, a former Indiana poet laureate, native of Jasper, Indiana, and resident of Indianapolis, is the author of fourteen poetry collections, including the recent Indiana Hill Country Poems and Southwest by Midwest. He has taught American poetry as a Fulbright Fellow at the German Universities of Freiburg and Erlangen-Nuremberg, has won a Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Author Award, and has a poem in stained glass at the Indianapolis International Airport. Krapf released a poetry and jazz CD with pianist and composer Monika Herzig and collaborates with bluesman Gordon Bonham. Visit www.krapfpoetry.com
Hear the Echoes of Sacrifice
REED KUEHN is an avid runner and veteran of multiple deployments to combat theaters while serving in the US Army. While literature has always been an important aspect of his life, he has recently brought it to the forefront with his writing.
HECTOR LEDESMA’s art is influenced by Western culture fused with Caribbean culture, (Dominican). He works on issues of emigration, ecology, the influences of technologies, and the behavior of modern man all within an anthropological point of view. He approaches the treatment of his themes through the silhouette—from a complex perspective of the identity, thus confirming an iconic status where the objects participate in a nonlinear narration with other images, marks, and symbols that coexist in an ambiguous space.
A Decepticon That Would Save Us
JOSH LEFKOWITZ received an Avery and Jule Hopwood Award for Poetry at the University of Michigan. His poems and essays have been published in The New York Times, New Poetry from the Midwest 2019, Washington Square Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Electric Literature, and The Millions, among others. Additionally, his poems have been read aloud on All Things Considered and WNYC. @jelefko
cOvid’s Metamorphoses: Week #2 Contagion and Week #4 Who Made the World
RICHARD LEVINE is a retired New York City teacher and the author of Richard Levine: Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press, 2019), Contiguous States (Finishing Line Press, 2018), and five chapbooks. He was a coeditor of BigCityLit.com and is currently an advisor. He served in Vietnam, USMC, 1967–68. richardlevine107.com
PAUL MARION is the author of several collections of poetry, including Union River: Poems and Sketches (2017) and a nonfiction book about the comeback of a factory city called Mill Power (2014). He’s the editor of the early writings of Jack Kerouac, Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings (1999). Marion’s poems and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies. He lives in the Merrimack River Valley of Massachusetts near the seacoast.
JEREMY NATHAN MARKS lives in London, Ontario. Recent work appears/is appearing in On the Seawall, New Verse News, Apricity, Dissident Voice, Chiron Review, Barren Magazine, Literary Orphans, Unlikely Stories, The Courtship of Winds, Floyd County Moonshine, and 365tomorrows.
Journal from Venice, March 16, 2020
THOMAS MARTIUS works as a freelance artist, producing more than one hundred original performances, theater projects, and videos. His multimedia work is location- and situation-specific, which he describes as editorial fictions, scenic architecture with film stills, and minimalist acting with amusement and narration. Martius is a faculty member of the Theater Studies Institute at the Freie Universität, Berlin, and taught at Art Academies. He was guest artist at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in New York in 2008; a 2010 Brown Foundation (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) Fellow at the Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, France; and artist-in-residence at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice in 2020. His latest work, The Lost Father, a film-based performance piece for theater, was supported by the Senate of Berlin. Martius lives with his partner and child in Berlin. www.thomasmartius.de
The Tragic Season Arrived
BONNIE MAURER holds an MFA in poetry from Indiana University and is the author of the following chapbooks: Reconfigured (Finishing Line Press, 2009); Ms. Lily Jane Babbitt Before the Ten O’clock Bus from Memphis Ran Over Her (Ink Press, 1979 and Raintree Press, 1979); Old 37: The Mason Cows (Barnwood Press, 1981); and Bloodletting, a Ritual Poem for Women’s Voices (Ink Press, 1983). She’s been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and as a finalist for Indiana State Poet Laureate. Maurer lives in Indianapolis and works for Arts for Learning as a poet in the schools and community, as a copy editor for the Indianapolis Business Journal, and as an Ai Chi instructor. Currently she enjoys welding sculptures using recycled objects. [email protected]
Here We Remain
DAVID MCVEY lectures at New College Lanarkshire in Scotland. He has published over 120 short stories and a great deal of nonfiction that focuses on history and the outdoors. He enjoys hillwalking (hiking), visiting historic sites, reading, watching telly (TV), and supporting his hometown football (soccer) team Kirkintilloch Rob Roy FC.
O City of Effortful Joys
ILAN MOCHARI’s Pushcart-nominated debut novel, Zinsky the Obscure, earned flattering reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist. His poems and short stories have been widely published, appearing or forthcoming in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Salamander, Juked, Solstice, Hobart, J Journal, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Pamplemousse, Inkwell, DASH, Tilde, and elsewhere. His short-story manuscript “A Loss to the Stuffed Animal Kingdom” was recently named a semifinalist in YesYes Books’ open-reading competition. Mochari’s work has been nominated for the Derringer Award, and he is the recipient of a Literature Artist Fellowship from the Somerville Arts Council.
“I suppose they will all want dignity.”
ASHLEY NEFF is an Indianapolis-based artist and hairstylist with thirteen years behind the chair, currently residing in her studio at The Sage Loft. She is a human rights and social justice advocate, ally, and friend to all.
DON NOEL retired after four decades as a prize-winning print and broadcast journalist in Hartford, Connecticut. He received an MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University in 2013. He has since published more than four dozen short stories and nonfiction but has two novellas and a novel still looking for publishers.
The Theory and Practice of Rebellion
ROBERT OKAJI is a displaced Texan living in Indianapolis. A US Navy veteran, he is the author of five chapbooks. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in North Dakota Quarterly, Panoply, Boston Review, Clade Song, Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, MockingHeart Review, Underfoot Poetry, The High Window, and elsewhere.
Essential Workers #1-4
CAROLYN OLSON is a narrative artist and retired K-12 public school art teacher. She lives and works in northern Minnesota. Her work reflects family and daily community life. http://carolynolson.net
“My History with Guns: A Dialogue.”
MARY E. REDMAN is a retired high school English teacher who currently works part-time supervising student teachers for the University of Indianapolis. She is involved in community organizations, including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Women4Change, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields.
LINDA NEAL REISING, a native of Oklahoma and member of the Western Cherokee Nation, has been published in numerous journals, including the Southern Indiana Review, The Comstock Review, and Nimrod. Her work also has appeared in a number of anthologies, including And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana, So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, and Lost on Route 66: Tales from the Mother Road. In 2012, Reising won the Writer’s Digest Poetry Contest. Her chapbook, Re-Writing Family History, was named a finalist in the 2015 Oklahoma Book Award and winner of the 2015 Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Poetry Book Prize. Most recently, her poem “Johnny Keene” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Reising’s first full-length book of poetry, The Keeping, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in fall 2020. It will be followed by a second book of poetry, Stone Roses, from Aldrich Press in 2021.
For Kahlil Gibran
JOEL RHYMER practices “unintentional photography.” Most of what he shoots is candid and unplanned, where meanings sometime reveal themselves slowly, and original intentions can change. He is a retired schoolteacher who has often used photography for work and fun. His photos have been published online, in magazines, newspapers, web pages, museum displays, and other formats. https://www.joelrhymer.com/
Fiftieth Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington
JIM ROSS jumped into creative pursuits in 2015 after leaving public health research. He’s since published nonfiction, poetry, and photography in over one hundred journals and anthologies in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Publications include Columbia Journal, Friends Journal, Ilanot Review, Lunch Ticket, The Atlantic, The Manchester Review, and Typehouse Literary Magazine. Recent photo essays were published in Barren Magazine, Kestrel, Litro, and WORDPEACE. One nonfiction piece led to a role in a soon-to-be-released, high-profile documentary limited series. Ross and his wife—parents of two health professionals and grandparents of five preschoolers—split their time between the city and the mountains.
Americanesque and An American Protest
MATTHEW ROY is a Missouri native who lived nine years in Indianapolis, where he treasured visiting the first Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. Vonnegut has influenced Roy’s life and writing since he read Slaughterhouse-Five as a teenager. Roy toils away in human resources for a large corporation during the day and escapes into books and poetry at night. He lives in southwest Missouri with his wife, two dogs, and two horses.
American Pulp Fiction
AMI J. SANGHVI (she/her) is an Indian-American, Hindu-Jain, queer author, photographer, digital/mixed media artist, satirist, MMA fighter, and 2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award finalist. She’s published seven poetry/poetic-prose books and is pursuing her MFA in creative writing. Her written work recently appeared in Awakenings: The Nightingale; For Women Who Roar’s e-book, Me Too; the Showbear Family Circus; Rigorous; Prometheus Dreaming’s Prometheus Unbound print collection; Conclave; Asylum; and The Jessie Butler Women’s Poetry Contest 100th Anniversary Anthology She Speaks Up! bloodinkandroses.org
My Odyssey, My Iliad
GERARD SARNAT won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize and has been nominated for a handful of Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Sarnat is widely published in academic journals (University of Chicago, Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Pomona, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, and University of San Francisco) as well as Gargoyle Magazine, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, American Journal of Poetry, Clementine, Pamplemousse, deLuge, Poetry Quarterly, Hypnopomp, Free State Review, Poetry Circle, Poets And War, WORDPEACE, The Cliterature, Qommunicate, Indolent Books, Pandemonium Journal, Texas Review, San Antonio Review, The Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times and international publications including The Voices Israel Group of Poets, Foreign Literary, A New Ulster, and South Bank Poetry. He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles: from Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting the Ice King (2016). Sarnat is a physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized, as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/resources to deal with global warming. He’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons and is looking forward to future granddaughters. gerardsarnat.com
DAKOTA SILLYMAN is a Chicago-based creative who often finds himself writing weird, near-future speculative fiction.
Because They Are Comfortable Here
KEN SMITH is a teacher and writer living in South Bend, Indiana. A founding member of the Michiana Chronicles radio series, which won a regional Edward R. Murrow award for commentary in 2007, he has written and recorded nearly 150 essays since 2001 for broadcast on NPR affiliate station WVPE in Elkhart, Indiana. Audio is archived at the station’s website, and sixty of the show’s essays are collected in the book And Now, Michiana Chronicles: Selected Radio Essays. Smith is also a blogger and poet.
Teaching English from an Old Composition Book
GARY SOTO is the author of In and Out of Shadows, a musical about undocumented youth; the one-act comedies Novio Boy, Nerdlandia, and The Sparks and Fire of It; and, most recently, The Afterlife, a one-act play about teen murder and teen suicide. His poem “Oranges” is the most anthologized in contemporary literature. An independent writer, he lives in Berkeley, California.
RACHEL LAUREN STORM is a poet and artist from Urbana, Illinois, where she works in arts and cultural development. Her writing has appeared in CURA., Rust + Moth, Poethead, Montage, Buzz, and the International Poetry Anthology of Female Voices. She’s taught creative writing in workshops and university classrooms, in the community, and to incarcerated writers.
Canal Park Advocate
DENISE SZOCKA is a photographer and editor who was actively involved in the first efforts to save Crown Hill Cemetery’s north woods in 2007. She continues to promote greenspace preservation through Canal Park Advocates, a community group working to save an acre of greenspace (known as Canal Park) along Indiana Central Canal in downtown Indianapolis with hopes of converting the land to a park.
A History of Violence
JONATHAN TENNIS served in the US Army from 1998 until 2003, with a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) I. He is a graduate of Eckerd College (BA), Norwich University (MSIA), and the University of Tampa (MFA). He lives in Tampa, where he enjoys writing, reading, year-round sunshine, traveling, and biking with his partner. His work has appeared in Eckerd Review, Military Experience & the Arts, O-Dark-Thirty, Odet, Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Sanctuary Literary Arts Journal, and a Festschrift in honor of the poet Peter Meineke.
Thinking of a man who died twice
JAMES ALEXANDER THOM, a native of Southern Indiana, served in the US Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Korean War. He has been a reporter and columnist for The Indianapolis Star and a lecturer at the Indiana University School of Journalism. He contributed freelance articles to Reader’s Digest, National Geographic, and other publications before becoming a full-time and award-winning historical novelist. Several of his Revolutionary War and Indian War novels are set in his home country in the Wabash and Ohio River valleys. His bestselling frontier novels Follow the River and Panther in the Sky became television movies produced by Hallmark and Ted Turner. He dedicated his Mexican War novel Saint Patrick’s Battalion to Kurt Vonnegut, who encouraged him to write it. Thom is married to Dark Rain, of the Shawnee East-of-the-River Band, with whom he coauthored the novel Warrior Woman.
The Dalai Lama
MICHAEL THOMPSON is an artist living in Chicago. He makes decorative kites for a living but in his spare time, he enjoys making and mailing envelopes with faux postage stamps. He has successfully mailed them from dozens of countries and finds the pursuit wonderfully satisfying. His intentionally political envelopes have been mailed from China (Tiananmen Square, The Dalai Lama, and Xi JingPooh (Winnie the Pooh)); Hong Kong (The Umbrella Movement); and the United States (The Emperor Has No Clothes).
The Birth of a Nation: Incident at the Cinematheque
DAVID VANCIL lives in Terre Haute, where he’s retired as an Indiana State University employee. He volunteers at the public library to raise money for its numerous outreach activities, and he enjoys traveling with family. As he ages, he is encouraged and astounded that he still enjoys writing. Unfortunately, it has never gotten any easier. Vancil served in the US Army during the Vietnam War, stationed near Nha Trang in II Corps.
As if they never existed
REBECCA WEINGART is a high school English teacher in St. Louis and an MFA candidate at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Her poem “Odyssea” is published in NonBinary Review.
AUDREY WICK is a professor of English at Blinn College in Texas. She’s written four novels with Tule Publishing. Her writing also has appeared in college textbooks published by Cengage Learning and W. W. Norton. She’s written pieces for The Houston Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel, and various literary journals. She believes the secret to happiness includes lifelong learning and good stories, but travel and coffee help. audreywick.com
I Can’t Breathe and Protest
JACK WICKES is a Vietnam veteran who attended Indiana University law school on the GI Bill. He spent his early career in Washington, DC, working on Capitol Hill as counsel for the US Senate Veterans’ Affairs and the Labor and Human Resources Committees before returning to Indiana in 1979 to start a private law practice. In retirement, Wickes is a photographer, an activist, and a traveler. He and his wife, Julia, established the Jack Wickes War and Society Research Fund with the Indiana University Foundation in 2013. The purpose is to award grants to members of the IUB history department faculty to encourage and aid and abet the study and teaching of subjects and issues relating to war and society, with particular emphasis on the United States. The couple lives in downtown Indianapolis and has three daughters and seven grandchildren.
Hong Kong: Fragments from June 2019-Present
BRIAN WONG has lived in Hong Kong all his life. He works at a company that publishes educational materials for students. Having witnessed Hong Kong residents’ active involvement in protests and civil disobedience since June 2019, Wong’s writing in this journal portrays the awakening of Hong Kong’s local cultural identity, and above all, the determination to strive for democracy that has been gradually prohibited by a totalitarian government.
It’s Your Call
DAVID S.E. ZAPANTA writes stuff, draws stuff, reviews stuff. Part-time curmudgeon, full-time human. davidsezapanta.com
IGOR ZUSEV was born in Russia in February 1979 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1989. His artistic photographic expressions started early in life with a gift of a point-and-shoot camera at age eight. A veteran of the US Navy, Zusev was his ship’s official photographer, and he recorded military life as he lived it. Since then, he has continued to photograph a variety of subjects. In the last few years, he has transitioned into mixed media paintings. His work is represented in a number of galleries and publications. www.zusev.art
The submission period for our tenth annual edition opens January 1, 2021.
The theme is Our Good Earth: Vonnegut and the Environment.
Deadline to submit is March 1, 2021.