New Speedway Boogie

Paula Persoleo

“We’ll arrive on the beach by 10 a.m., so make sure Jeffrey and Sissy are ready no later than 9:30. I’ll give you $25, then you can take Jeffrey and Sissy to Funland when it opens.

Walking Toward Cranes, Amy Small-McKinney (Glass Lyre Press, 2017)

Donna Wolf-Palacio

  Many startling images weave through Amy Small-McKinney’s new book of poetry, Walking Toward Cranes.   One of my favorites is  “there is a turtle in my mouth…he will not be banished.” Small-McKinney is creating a moving landscape that mirrors her struggle and journey with breast cancer and what comes after.  Her images are stark but […]

Loplop in a Red City, Kenneth Pobo (Circling Rivers, 2016)

Courtney Bambrick

Seen as pleasant and enriching in easy times, in times of crisis the arts take on greater significance. In his collection Loplop in a Red City, poet Kenneth Pobo uses ekphrastic poetry, poetry inspired by works of visual art, to consider scenes from domestic life as well as scenes from an apocalypse. Intersecting in subtle, […]


Patrick McNeil

Frank Ewing only ever lets me into his place because he has to. It’s right there in the lease. “I ain’t ever signed off on that,” he tells me through the crack of his door the first time I knock. “You show me where it say that.” I pass a copy across the threshold and […]


Joseph A. Cilluffo

My son says the garden is dying. Every August, it’s the same. The cucumbers, which had clambered so fiercely up the lattice and across half our garden square, begin to yellow and wilt. The peppers brown.  They soften. Tomatoes explode across their vines, manic – they bear more fruit than the days can hold. Look […]

Harmonica Rescue

Joe Samuel Starnes

If you find yourself at the bar alone Sitting late for a quick beer Before catching the train home Surrounded by transparent young people, Good-looking, but simple, Half staring at their phones, Half talking to each other, Ignoring the aged drinkers, most stoned, All unaware the digital impostor of a jukebox Is silent, the TV turned down, The incessant babble of the […]

The Flemish Captain

Gwen Wille

So some of his friends made it out for his last, weathered   the late March rain, thin and soaking as wave crests on a prow. Better   to have scattered him off of Newfoundland, says one. Another,   He hated Scottish pipes. But again, it was the best his widow could do:   Cape […]


Claire Scott

Years and years ago when I was six, and there were four of us kids always fighting, when my mother stayed in bed the entire year, bottles under blankets, orange vials on the floor, when us kids made bologna and mayonnaise sandwiches for supper, combed each other’s gritty hair in the morning, pulling and tugging, […]

The Challenge of Choosing a Winner

 Carla Spataro

Since we launched the Marguerite McGlinn Fiction Contest in 2008, I am tasked each year with two duties. First, I must find a judge who is also willing to come to Philadelphia and deliver the keynote address at our Push to Publish conference, as well as offer a master class the day before. I start […]

What the Tourists Left Behind – Third Place

Derrick Calkins

Abby Morales, age nine, grew up just south of Mecca, California on the northern shores of the doomed Salton Sea. The shoreline was thirty-four miles of fish hooks, broken bottles, and car parts. If you believed everything people said, you’d think it was a truck-stop toilet. Her abuelita forbade her from going. So she snuck […]