“FIshbowls, Werewolves, and Workshops on the Yard, or: How I Learned to Love Prison Teaching” by Corey Campbell

A new piece by alumna Corey Campbell (fiction, ’12) appears online in Waxwing Literary Magazine:

Fishbowls, Werewolves, and Workshops on the Yard, or: How I Learned to Love Prison Teaching

AUGUST 2012

The first time I drove to my writing class at a prison deep in Arizona’s Sonoran desert it was Friday morning and I hit a wall of downpour on highway 60 heading east. My driver’s side windshield wiper didn’t work, and I could see nothing in front of me but the steam on the window — my breath — and walls of water outside. I’d drive under an overpass and for a pulse it would stop, but seconds later pick up again on the other side, relentless. I was scared, didn’t know if I should pull over, even if I could. Besides, if I had found safe haven at a gas station, which would have been smart, I would have been late for my first day of prison class. And who knew what these incarcerated men enrolled in my Introduction to Creative Writing would think of me then?

By the time I passed Gold Canyon, the floodwaters had receded. I had pushed through. But I was still shaken and late. When I told my fiction class later, those ten or so men sitting at round tables in the prison visitation room, they told me to be careful next time.

Continue reading online at Waxwing Literary Journal. 

Really, they said, “You should fix your windshield wipers.”

And: “You hurried here for us?”

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“Ladies’ Night at the Gun Range” by Lara Markstein

A new story by alumna Lara Markstein (fiction, ’13) appears in Four Way Review:

Ladies’ Night at the Gun Range

The women waited for Olivia. Perched on their lawn chairs beneath the dogwood, which blossomed in leathery white bursts, Nel thought they looked more like they were waiting for their youth. Leanne had slathered on so much foundation she resembled an overripe tangerine, and Connie stank of French perfume. Nel regretted wearing new capris. The white pants had looked effortless on the pretty, child-like model in the catalogue, but they hung limply from her own middle-aged waist. What would Kevin call them if he walked into the backyard now? A gaggle, she thought. A gaggle of women, hoping for some mid-afternoon miracle that would transform them from mere sacks of marriages and motherhood into pristine girls again.

Continue reading online. 

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“Vantage” by Alan Shapiro

A poem by faculty member Alan Shapiro is the featured “Poem-A-Day” for Monday, April 21, 2014, at Poets.org:

Vantage

From where I watch, there are no highest leaves,
no leaves that don’t have over them more leaves
impeding what they open up and out for,

darkening downward as they feed on green
diminishments, as if dark, if it still
can darken, could be itself the light

the darker leaves beneath are hungry for.
From where I watch even the shade hungers
And is hungered after—all along the chain

past bark, root, leaf, ghost speck of leaf,
microbial scrapings, and beyond them, flakes
chipped off of flakes off of a now-

Finish reading online at Poets.org.

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“Whether You Win or Lose” by Christine Fadden

A piece by alumna Christine Fadden (fiction, ’09) appears online in Hobart:

Whether You Win or Lose

Uncle Max picked me up for tryouts. I must have been fidgety. I changed the radio station a half dozen times before turning it off.

“The Beach Boys shouldn’t call themselves boys,” I said. “They have mustaches.”

“And sideburns,” my uncle said.

I opened the glove box and looked through his cassettes. His Joni Mitchell tape was busted, so I stuck my pinky in the hole and tried to rewind the loose tape.

“Nervous?” my uncle asked.

I shook my head. “Mom loves this tape,” I said. “I like how Joni Mitchell calls her husband her old man. That’s funny, don’t you think? It’s really weird, isn’t it? I don’t like the way she sings the song though, all up and down like she’s being goosed. But I like the one about drinking a case with somebody. Yeah, Mom and I sing the case song together like we have furry throats.”

“A little nervous is good, you know,” my uncle said.

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New Work by Caitlin Horrocks

A new story by faculty member Caitlin Horrocks appears online at Salon:

You’re the kids who robbed us: Our strange online encounter with our burglars

When the calls came, we didn’t receive them. We were 800 miles from home, at a friend’s place too deep in the Vermont woods for cell reception. It wasn’t until the drive back into civilization the following morning that the voice mails chirped into view on my phone. “What is it?” my husband Todd asked, watching my face as I listened to the messages from our neighbor.

“The house got robbed,” I said, although it was the wrong word. There’d been no force involved, just a sliced-through screen, the back window pried open or carelessly left unlocked. We’d been burglarized, burgled, a cheerful, gurgling word like a cartoon character had snuck in to eat Cheetos and watch cable. Our house too, the neighbors’ message said. They couldn’t tell us what was missing, what the inside of our house looked like.

Continue reading online at Salon.

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