Contents 8.2





As Ordinary as it All Appears: An Interview with Sayantani Dasgupta

Conducted by Nadia Chaney

I first met Sayantani Dasgupta seven years ago at the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference. She was sharp-tongued, self-assured, and kind of Cheshire-like. She had the subtle ability to appear and disappear during heated conversations about writing quandaries such as the responsibilities of memoir or the momentum of flash fiction. There were morning freewriting sessions at seven A.M. and she would show up like a panther, wide awake and hungry.  (More …)

Blue Bird, Blue Skies

by Angie Chatman

Her name was Maria and she was beautiful. A woman knows. That primal sense of competition kicks in and you recognize that even if you had just stepped out of the beauty salon with flawless hair and makeup, wearing a designer dress, men would turn their heads and look, not at you, but at Maria. (More …)

Musselshell County Historical Society Fact Book, Appendix G: Others Who Were Here, 1908-1930

by Joe Wilkins

It may surprise you to know that some of the early residents of Musselshell County eventually left our prairie paradise. Their reasons were legion; their counsel most often their own. Many were laboring men of little skill or motivation and thus cursed to blow where the whims of the wind would take them; some were families ill-suited to the demands of these Montana plains or beset by misfortune; and others, though few, were lone women sadly adrift without benefit of father, brother, or husband. (More …)


by Karen Babine

The secret to chicken soup is to start with a chicken—a whole one, three to four pounds. Chicken soup is a pot of deliberate attention, a thing that contains everything that you and the chicken have to give, so if you have a heavy Dutch oven, maybe a vintage Le Creuset you found at the thrift store that is the color of faded sunshine and that you have named Estelle for no good reason other than the pot needed a name, use it.(More …)

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Interrupted

by Karen Houppert

Sometimes the rending apart of parent and child is abrupt, sometimes gradual.

Always, it is painful.

In my family, it happens with dogged, painful insistence at age thirteen. Thirteen is the beginning of the end. It was the last year I spent with my father. It is the age my son is now.

What is it about thirteen, I wonder. I study him. (More …)

Soul Singing

by Robert Wrigley

In the autumn of 1973, I had a stack of poetry books checked out from the library at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where I would complete a BA in English the following summer. The stack of books (all of them those familiar slender volumes) was about seven times the height of the meager pile of poetry books I actually owned. This pained me. I was enamored, enraptured, and swept away by poetry. (More …)


by Maxine Chernoff

“Daylight disbanded the phantom crew.” —Edith Wharton

The sentimental is a rumor,

inexorable memory

of cottonwood seed

left in its husk, of

a grief spent down to dust. (More …)

Territory of Men

by Jami Macarty

The café customer mutters a body part and a man’s name

Plastic lids startle

the floor’s scuffed wood

A man comes in

A man goes out

A window captures

the one looking in (More …)

Contributors 8.2

Karen Babine

Featured Work

Karen Babine is the author of Water and What We Know (University of Minnesota, 2015), winner of a Minnesota Book Award, finalist for the Midwest Book Award and the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award. She also edits Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. Her work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Slag Glass City, Quarter After Eight, Sweet, North American Review, Passages North and others. She lives and writes in Minneapolis.

Moya Cannon

Featured Work

Moya Cannon was born in County Donegal, Ireland. Keats Lives (Carcanet Press, Manchester) is her fifth collection of poetry. She is a winner of the Brendan Behan Award and the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award. She has been editor of Poetry Ireland Review and was 2011 Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University, Pennsylvania.

Nadia Chaney

Featured Work

Nadia Chaney is a spoken word poet and community arts facilitator who has appeared on hundreds of stages. Her essays and poetry have recently appeared or will appear with, Locked Horn Press, Flycatcher Journal and the Chicago Quarterly Review. She is currently working on a series of inter-disciplinary performances based on a large collection of surreal automatic drawings. She is a first generation Indian-Canadian born in Saskatoon, grown up in Ottawa, matured in Vancouver, and currently in Montreal—all of which she recognizes as the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples, who are its rightful stewards.

Maxine Chernoff

Featured Work

Maxine Chernoff chairs the Creative Writing Department at SFSU. She is the author of 14 books of poetry and six collections of fiction. Winner of a 2013 NEA Fellowship in Poetry, she also was selected for the 2009 PEN Translation Award for her co-translation of The Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin.

Grace Curtis

Featured Work

Grace Curtis’ book, The Shape of a Box, was published in 2014 by Dos Madres Press. Her chapbook, The Surly Bonds of Earth, was selected by Stephen Dunn as the 2010 winner of the Lettre Sauvage chapbook contest and she has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. Her prose and poetry can be found in such journals as Sou’wester, The Baltimore Review, Waccamaw Literary Journal, and others.

Angie Chatman

Featured Work

Angie M. Chatman writes fiction and creative nonfiction. Her essays have appeared in Hippocampus Magazine, fwriction : review, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Chicago, Angie now lives in Avon, Connecticut, and teaches at the University of Hartford. She is a member of the inaugural class of fellows of the Kimbilio Center for African American fiction, and the book reviews editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal. Her MFA is from Queens University in Charlotte and she holds an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT.

Sayantani Dasgupta

Featured Work

Born in Calcutta and raised in New Delhi, Sayantani Dasgupta teaches at the University of Idaho. Her essays and stories have appeared in The Rumpus, Phoebe, and Gulf Stream, among other magazines and literary journals. She edits nonfiction for Crab Creek Review, and previous honors include a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and a Centrum Fellowship. In Fire Girl, her debut collection of essays, Sayantani examines her personal story against the history, religion, popular culture, and mythology of South Asia and her current home in the American West. She is also the author of the chapbook The House of Nails, published by Red Bird Chapbooks.

Alison Hicks

Featured Work

Alison Hicks is the author of Kiss, a full-length collection of poems (PS Books, 2011), a chapbook Falling Dreams (Finishing Line Press, 2006), and a novella, Love: A Story of Images (AWA Press, 2004). Her new collection of poems, You Who Took The Boat Out, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in March 2017. Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in Broad River Review, Crack the Spine, Eclipse, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Gargoyle, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Louisville Review, Passager, Permafrost, Sanskrit, Whiskey Island, among other journals. Awards include the 2011 Philadelphia City Paper Poetry Prize and two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships. She is founder of Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, which offers community-based writing workshops.

Karen Houppert

Featured Work

Karen Houppert’s writing has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Washington Post Magazine, The New York Times, Newsday, The Nation, Salon, Slate, Mother Jones, Ms., The Village Voice, City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, The Bennington Review, The Alaska Quarterly, and others. She is the author of three nonfiction books, The Curse (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999), Home Fires Burning (Ballantine, 2005), and Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People’s Justice (New Press, 2013). She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, teaches in the Johns Hopkins University graduate writing program, and is the editor of Baltimore City Paper.

Jami Macarty

Featured Work

Jami Macarty teaches contemporary poetry and creative writing at Simon Fraser University, serves as a Poetry Ambassador for Vancouver’s Poet Laureate, edits the online poetry journal The Maynard, and writes Peerings & Hearings–Occasional Musings on Arts in the City of Glass, a blog series for Drunken Boat. A recipient of fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Banff Center, and BC Arts Council, and the winner of the 2016 Real Good Poem prize, her poems appear or are forthcoming in Arc Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Minola Review, Prism international, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, Vallum, and Verse Daily. Her chapbook Landscape of the Wait, a poetic response to her nephew William’s car accident and year-long coma, is forthcoming in 2017 with Finishing Line Press.

Maria Maggi

Featured Work

Maria Theresa Maggi received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine. Her poems and essays about contemporary poetry have appeared in a number of literary publications over the years. She taught poetry and writing at University of California, Irvine and the University of Idaho. Also a visual artist, she created the cover art for her first book of poems, The Rings Around Saturn, from Black Rock Press at the University of Nevada and her chapbook, If A Sparrow, from Finishing Line Press. She also writes and illustrates a blog called Plant-Based Slow Motion Miracle, about living well with Multiple Sclerosis. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon, and spends as much time as possible on the Oregon Coast.

Michael Wasson

Featured Work

Michael Wasson’s poems appear in American Poets, Drunken Boat, Narrative, Passages North, and Bettering American Poetry. He is nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho and lives abroad.

Joe Wilkins

Featured Work

Joe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing Up on the Big Dry, winner of a 2014 GLCA New Writers Award—an honor that has previously recognized early work by the likes of Richard Ford, Louise Erdrich, and Alice Munro—and two previous books of poetry, Notes from the Journey Westward and Killing the Murnion Dogs. His most recent full-length collection, When We Were Birds, was selected by Billy Collins for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series and is now out from the University of Arkansas Press. A Pushcart Prize winner and National Magazine Award finalist, Wilkins has published essays, poems, and stories in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Ecotone, The Sun, Orion, and Slate. Wilkins lives with his wife, son, and daughter in the Willamette Valley, where he teaches writing at Linfield College.

Robert Wrigley

Featured Work

Robert Wrigley is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Idaho. A new book of poems, Box, will be published by Penguin in the spring of 2017. Currently at work on a collection of essays, he lives in the woods on Moscow Mountain, with his wife, the writer Kim Barnes.