In The River of Poetry: Contest Winners

Photo of train pulling into station
 

Frankly, readers, Sharon and I were flabbergasted and at the same time gratified that Streetlight Magazine received one-hundred and nine entries to this year’s Poetry Contest. Talk about (early) summer reading! The average number of entries for the last four years (2020-2023) is sixty-one. I wonder why there were about three-quarters more poems this year than this average: we have added to the prize pot, have changed the time of year to open the submissions window, and we are beyond the angst of the pandemic panic. And maybe our reputation and readership are expanding. At … Continue reading In The River of Poetry: Contest Winners

The Shooter by Martha Clarkson

Photo of geese in sunset colored sky
 

Today we drive north for an hour to find the snow geese migration. The geese are in the area for six months, so it shouldn’t be hard. Migration, as in come to roost. The barista in our favorite French coffee shop says, when we tell her where we are headed, “Hmm, I don’t think I’ve heard of that,” even though we know she grew up in the area and we just recently arrived and still know about it. Steaming our milk, she adds, “I once saw a field of swans, maybe that was them.” The … Continue reading The Shooter by Martha Clarkson

Goodbye to Love Atop Old Priest Grade by Mary Pacifico Curtis

yellow weeds atop a mountain
 

I have a fondness for our imperfect union that started with a swindle – too much money for land and a set of plans that had hung over the place like a wrecking ball. I pieced together a story of miners and Mi-Wuks all faded from a view marked now by boarded stamp mills and raised wooden walkways in the shadow of the hillside cemetery. There were no treasures to be found – no spotted bats, burrowing owls, western myotis, Pacific fisher, Foothill yellow-legged frog, or even San Joaquin fox. No Mi-Wuk shards, no watershed … Continue reading Goodbye to Love Atop Old Priest Grade by Mary Pacifico Curtis

The Emily Dickinson Revery Construction Guide by Robert Harlow

ladder reaching into evening sky
 

Before she invented the ladder to the sky, she first invented the sky to have somewhere to go. Then she pulled the ladder up after her. But she was kind enough to leave a few clues behind— here and there— about how to build a ladder but without using wood, or nails, or hammers to pound them in. Robert Harlow resides in upstate N.Y. He is the author of Places Near and Far (Louisiana Literature, 2018). His poems appear in Poetry Northwest, RHINO Poetry, Cottonwood, The Midwest Quarterly, and in other journals. He is a … Continue reading The Emily Dickinson Revery Construction Guide by Robert Harlow

Flipping the Switch in Georgia by Gary Grossman

Photo of fence with flowered vine crawling up it
 

Did the G-d of the South finally begin perspiring and give that little knob a flick, mid-September or if lucky, August 22nd? Now the wind is an aloe blanket, remedy for a stove-burned arm—a refrigerator door held open for three cooling minutes; humidity an afterimage on my retina of summer. And sunlight glows like maple icing on a cake baked daily. Autumn resurrects every annual cycle, but peeling off the dried glue of August, I comprehend that redemption and renewal are all books to be read again and again. Gary Grossman’s work appears in forty-four … Continue reading Flipping the Switch in Georgia by Gary Grossman

Mimm Patterson Wins Streetlight’s 2024 Art Contest

collage of handkerchief
 

Mimm Patterson is the Winner of Streetlight’s 2024 Art Contest Among the submissions that we received for the Streetlight Art Contest, Mimm Patterson’s work stood out. We were especially impressed with her encaustic collages, which offered visual complexity and layered meaning, and a quality of singularity or uniqueness. Social Anxiety and Murder of Crows both create the sense of a hyper-stimuli ridden, obfuscated and conflicted realm, one that captures a fairly accurate portrait of the modern world we create for ourselves. But all of Patterson’s works offer her viewer a richness of surface and depth of plane … Continue reading Mimm Patterson Wins Streetlight’s 2024 Art Contest

Candy Apple Smile by Catherine Chiarella Domonkos

Black and white photo of woman holding skull mask in front of her face
 

  Kat’s portrait tilted on Wendy’s dresser festooned with effulgent skyscrapers: birds of paradise and stargazers. A spent cork from a New Year’s Eve, a paling Polaroid of the two at the Whitney Biennial laid in front. Some days Wendy endured a seemingly endless passion for Kat. At some point though, exhausted by unquenchable longing, Wendy moved the portrait to the kitchen wall adjacent to the airshaft window, but there it gathered grime and the stray pigeon feather, so she took it down, tissue-wrapped, bubble-wrapped, boxed and labeled it. Like Kat taught her. She leaned … Continue reading Candy Apple Smile by Catherine Chiarella Domonkos

Portrait of My Father the Photographer as a Dying Man by Bobby Parrott

Photo of tall weeds
 

Does her dimpled-cheek delirium still thrill          you? Or her death escalate as you try to focus, cataracts pixilating her image, static of hail          in late-day snow? Do her eyes ring almonds of tender memory? Times I wrestled your camera          away so you’d stand with her. Mom’s little-girl smile, head on your chest you contain her, blue-sweatered, small          in your bulky leather-jacketed arms. She secretly hated your obsession. Told me so, yet smiled dutifully,          willed your Kodak to break open, admit its blindness, thirsty glass eye hiding yours. These mounted prints—          all you’ve had of her … Continue reading Portrait of My Father the Photographer as a Dying Man by Bobby Parrott

Where’d The Idea For That Come From? by Erika Raskin

picture of front cover of Allegiance by Erika Raskin
 

Writers write. Worriers worry. I am quite adept at doing both. You know, simultaneously. I penned my first book, Close, while partaking in a seasons-long guilty-addiction to a certain TV show that featured vulnerable families receiving “therapy” from a bombastic and accusatory host, for entertainment purposes. As I watched, I worried about the struggling teens and parents having their pain exploited for ratings. So I made up Kik Marcheson and her three daughters who learn first-hand the dangers of inviting the country into a counseling session. My next novel, Best Intentions, was about medical malpractice … Continue reading Where’d The Idea For That Come From? by Erika Raskin

Last Words: Mysteries of Life by Richard Weaver

Close up photo of ivy
 

for Nana Pansy “Give these to Weaver,” you said. The books that saw you through sleeplessness. “I’m done with reading.” You already knew how it ended. You were done with Who Done Its. “Give these back to Weaver.” Like a good sergeant you gave me the case, the tough one called Life after you. I’m on it, Nana, like a small dog who’s just unearthed a dinosaur’s femur. A passable conundrum, but not one you expect me to solve. We both know the pleasure’s in the chase, the day-to-day details, not the inevitable solution. We … Continue reading Last Words: Mysteries of Life by Richard Weaver

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