Contents 8.1



Desiree Cooper



Vermillion Fluidities: An Interview with Lee Ann Roripaugh

Conducted by Linda Russo

In April of last year, I had the pleasure of being introduced to the work and person of Lee Ann Roripaugh. We were reading our poetry as participants in “Poetry of the Plains, High Desert, and Prairie,” a panel at the AWP conference in Minneapolis. Lee was seated to my right, and I can recall an almost emerald vibrancy about her, though I know this is because she read a poem looking (in the manner of Wallace Stevens) at the Vermillion River that runs through southeast South Dakota, where she lives. (More …)

Sex Coffee

by Desiree Cooper

You walk into the coffeehouse and pick a seat beside the thin woman whose beauty is coiled into tight vines of hair. Never seen her here before, you think as you slide into the bench beside her, careful not to get caught looking in her direction. (More …)

Collide with Me

by Jen Hirt

Since moving to a city, I have had a thing for the full moon. How it waits behind buildings like a spy. I learn the espionage of streetlights, headlights, the tease of stark beacons on planes. I mess with my camera and patrol the dark like a captain of capturing what’s splendid. Full moon photos from the high rise. From beneath the bike path’s leafy oaks. Caught between phone lines. (More …)


by Brently Johnson

Just outside the dwarfed door to the racquetball court he asks me, “Do you have protective eye gear?”

Adam, chesty and Bavarian in build, a colleague at the small university where we both teach, keeps his hair buzzed short and clean, and is in top physical shape. He sets down his bag designed specifically for the game: (More …)

As a Sentence Leaves Its Breath

by Brenda Hillman

—on a mountain top   in summer

wood splitting    on a finished tree,   —

ridges     of the swirls     in    a mirrorless day,

tall ants nearby—,     twin sides of alive:  so pattern recalls

how to cling    volute,    contingent, (More …)

Contributors 8.1

Kim Barnes

Featured Work

Kim Barnes is the author of In the Kingdom of Men, named a best book of 2012 by San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, and The Oregonian, and long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her second novel, A Country Called Home, winner of the 2009 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction, was named a best book of 2008 by The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, and The Oregonian. She is a recipient of the PEN/Jerard Award in nonfiction for her first memoir, In the Wilderness, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including The New York Times, WSJ online, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Fourth Genre, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She is a professor of English in the MFA program at the University of Idaho.

Desiree Cooper

Featured Work

Desiree Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and Detroit community activist. A 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, her fiction and poetry have appeared in Callaloo, Detroit Noir, Best African American Fiction 2010 and Tidal Basin Review, among other online and print publications. Her first collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, (Wayne State University Press, 2016), uses the compressed medium of flash fiction to dive unflinchingly into the intersection of racism and sexism. Cooper was a founding board member of Cave Canem, a national residency for emerging black poets. She is currently a Kimbilio Fellow, a national residency for African American fiction writers.

Sean Thomas Dougherty

Featured Work

Sean Thomas Dougherty was born in NYC and grew up in Brooklyn, NY, Toledo, OH, and Manchester, NH. Publisher’s Weekly describes Dougherty as “a blue-collar, Rust Belt romantic to his generous, enthusiastic core,” and Dorianne Laux praises him as “the gypsy punk heart of American poetry.” He is the author of 14 books including The Second O of Sorrow (BOA Editions, 2018, forthcoming), All You Ask for is Longing: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions, 2014), Scything Grace (Etruscan Press, 2013), and Sasha Sings the Laundry on the Line (BOA Editions, 2010). His awards include the 2015 Betsy Colquitt Poetry Award from Texas Christian University’s descant, two PA Arts Council Fellowships in Poetry, a Fulbright Lectureship to the Balkans, and an appearance in Best American Poetry 2014. He works at Gold Crown Billiards in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Brenda Hillman

Featured Work

Brenda Hillman is the author of nine full-length collections of poetry from Wesleyan University Press, most recently Practical Water (2009) and Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (2013). Recently she collaborated with Garrett Caples and Paul Ebenkamp to edit Richard O. Moore’s Particulars of Place. Hillman is the Filippi Professor of Poetry at St. Mary’s College of California.

Jen Hirt

Featured Work

Jen Hirt’s memoir, Under Glass: The Girl With a Thousand Christmas Trees (University of Akron/Ringtaw Press, 2010), won the Drake University Emerging Writer Award. Her essay “Lores of Last Unicorns,” published in The Gettysburg Review, won a Pushcart Prize. She is the co-editor of Creating Nonfiction: Twenty Essays and Interviews with the Writers (SUNY Press, 2016). Her essays have also received the Gabehart Prize for Nonfiction from the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant, and three notable essay mentions in Best American Essays. She has an MFA from the University of Idaho, an MA from Iowa State University, and a BA from Hiram College. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Penn State Harrisburg.

Rebecca Gayle Howell

Featured Work

Rebecca Gayle Howell is the author of Render /An Apocalypse (CSU, 2013), which was selected by Nick Flynn for the Cleveland State University First Book Prize and was a 2014 finalist for ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year. She is also the translator of Amal al-Jubouri’s Hagar Before the Occupation/Hagar After the Occupation (Alice James Books, 2011), which was named a 2011 Best Book of Poetry by Library Journal and shortlisted for Three Percent’s 2012 Best Translated Book Award. Among her awards are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a 2014 Pushcart Prize. Native to Kentucky, Howell is the Poetry Editor at Oxford American.

Brently Johnson

Featured Work

Brently Johnson’s work has been published in various journals such as Ascent, Riverteeth, Gray’s Sporting Journal, North American Review, Midwestern Review, and Yale Anglers’ Journal. He teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Pacific University outside Portland, Oregon. He is an avid cyclist, fly fisherman, husband and proud father of two sons.

Nathaniel Mackey

Featured Work

Nathaniel Mackey is the author of six books of poetry, the most recent of which is Blue Fasa (New Directions, 2015); an ongoing prose work, From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, whose fourth and most recent volume is Bass Cathedral (New Directions, 2008); and two books of criticism, the most recent of which is Paracritical Hinge: Essays, Talks, Notes, Interviews (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005). Strick: Song of the Andoumboulou 16-25, a compact disc recording of poems read with musical accompaniment (Royal Hartigan, percussion; Hafez Modirzadeh, reeds and flutes), was released in 1995 by Spoken Engine Company. He is the editor of the literary magazine Hambone and coeditor, with Art Lange, of the anthology Moment’s Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose (Coffee House Press, 1993). His awards and honors include the National Book Award for poetry, the Stephen Henderson Award from the African American Literature and Culture Society, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, and teaches at Duke University.

Rachel Morgan

Featured Work

Rachel Morgan is a co-editor of Fire Under the Moon: An Anthology of Contemporary Slovene Poetry (Black Dirt Press). Her work recently appears or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Barely South, Bellevue Literary Review, Mid-American Review, DIAGRAM, Barrow Street, and Hunger Mountain. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Currently she teaches at the University of Northern Iowa and is the Poetry Editor for the North American Review.

Lee Ann Roripaugh

Featured Work

Lee Ann Roripaugh is the author of four volumes of poetry, the most recent of which, Dandarians, was released by Milkweed Editions in September 2014. Her second volume, Year of the Snake (Southern Illinois University Press), was named winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in Poetry/Prose for 2004, and her first book, Beyond Heart Mountain (Penguin Books), was a 1998 winner of the National Poetry Series. The recipient of a 2003 Archibald Bush Foundation Individual Artist Fellowship, she was also named the 2004 winner of the Prairie Schooner Strousse Award, the 2001 winner of the Frederick Manfred Award for Best Creative Writing awarded by the Western Literature Association, and the 1995 winner of the Randall Jarrell International Poetry Prize. Her short stories have been shortlisted as stories of note in the Pushcart Prize anthologies, and two of her essays have been shortlisted as essays of note for the Best American Essays anthology. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Roripaugh is currently a Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she serves as Director of Creative Writing and Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review. She is also a faculty mentor for the University of Nebraska low-residency M.F.A. in Writing, and served as a 2012 Kundiman faculty mentor alongside Li-Young Lee and Srikanth Reddy.