Writing Appalachia by Sharon Ackerman

railroad tracks, fog at the end

Mountains Fall Away When there is nothing left to say I will stare out to limestone cliffs risen from salt, the hawk’s sway born of an old sea’s shimmy and drift of continents. I’ll know my grandmother’s gaze like a captain’s wife sighting nests of eagles from her porch, her gray eye, my brown one, skirting a crest of pine, its wilderness where psalms swim the waters. When words cease, dry banks will spread open their palms, our silence found in the creases of creekbed valley and cleft— Listening, finally, will be what is left. … Continue reading Writing Appalachia by Sharon Ackerman

Submissions Etiquette by Fred Wilbur

Photo of sunset between two buildings

Sending simultaneous submissions is a fact of a poet’s life whether you practice the strategy or not. How such a maneuver began may be one of those mysteries of history, but it is acceptable to most literary venues these days. It may have come about by the eagerness and impatience of poets frustrated by the often long waits and by thinking that someone out there would just love their work. I suppose the more complicated recordkeeping of this doubling (tripling) up has been taken care of by sophisticated spreadsheet programs. Simultaneous submissions is a strategy … Continue reading Submissions Etiquette by Fred Wilbur

Succor by Brett Ann Stanchiu

Photo of bald eagle against blue sky

When the pandemic first shut down our world in the spring of 2020, my fifteen-year-old daughter and I were at home, every day, all day. I had been a sugarmaker for years, and the month of March and I were old friends. Well, maybe not friends, but certainly long-time acquaintances. I knew the fickleness of March, how this month can stretch into heaps of snow, or afternoons of blinding sun, or days-long, freezing drizzle. By the end of the pandemic, I sold the property where my family lived and sugared and bought a house in … Continue reading Succor by Brett Ann Stanchiu

Two Soft-served Cones, Please. by Elva Anderson, PhD

Photo of 2 cones of soft serve ice cream

Growing up in a small rural town, I felt a strong sense of family, community, and safety. We had farmers’ markets, county fairs with greased pigs, hayrides, pie eating contest, cake walks, musical chairs, berry picking, Sunday mornings worship, and family meals around the table. As a child all appeared to be well. One evening after work, I drove home, and I told my five-year-old brother I was going to treat him to a soft serve cone at the local Custard Stand. Now mind you, at the time, it was the only fast-food place in … Continue reading Two Soft-served Cones, Please. by Elva Anderson, PhD

Red Sofa by Trudy Hale

Photo of red sofa

When I was thirteen, my mother left us. It was on a Sunday and she knew that Daddy, my brothers and I were away, visiting a family out on the old Nashville road. A moving van pulled up to the duplex and my mother emptied the rooms. Excited by the drama, neighbors watched from their front yards. My mother ‘stole’ the large Heriz oriental rug, the twisty verdigris wrought iron table, the African basket lamps in moss green linen shades—my friends had never seen such lamps. The hand-embroidered pillows, magenta and orange molas sewn by … Continue reading Red Sofa by Trudy Hale

Dee’s Salon by Jeff Ventura

Pink blossoms on branches

Jeff Ventura has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2022 Essay/Memoir Contest The love of a husband for a wife, of my father’s love for my mother, is scattered in my memory like peach blossoms after a spring storm. Sometime in the mid-to-late 70s, my mom—pregnant, and happy to leave the hot production floor of the Bonnie Lane pajama factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts—decided to open her own “beauty shop.” After all, she had graduated top of her class from the LeBaron Beauty School, and had, for a time, rented the best chair at the … Continue reading Dee’s Salon by Jeff Ventura

Missing by Ruth Spack

Silhouette of truck against cloudy, dark blue sky

  I found my calling on a bleak Sunday afternoon in the fall of 1958, standing at the edge of a fetid swamp, questioning why bad things happened to little children. It was the day four-year-old Billy Flynn disappeared. I was nine at the time, living in Pawtucket, Rhode Island with my mother and grandmother, in the kind of friendly neighborhood that was pretty common back then. That afternoon had started innocently enough, in the Flynns’ backyard, right after Halloween. Decked out in Stetson hats and feathers, a bunch of us boys were playing Cowboys … Continue reading Missing by Ruth Spack

Florida by Jessica McEntee

old man with hat tipped over face leaning against a tropical tree

This is the place that emptied my father, sucking him through the tunnel of its straw. Four days into a farewell visit, I’ve overdosed on sunlight, rousing the insomniac within. The grass is gravid with alligators; the air poses as sand; cars scaffold a melted wax of spent bugs. Everywhere, I see darkness edging, shadows twitching to keep pace—the gloom that magics the glass into mirror. Jessica Noyes McEntee is a fiction instructor at Westport Writers’ Workshop in Connecticut and a graduate of Amherst College. Her debut chapbook, Jackie O. Suffers Two Husbands, was published … Continue reading Florida by Jessica McEntee

Jurgen Ziesmann: When Science and Art Combine


  There are two loves in my life, two passions on which I spend countless hours. On one side the world of science, biology, physiology, cells and smells, counters with a microscope, computers with software for statistical analysis. On the other side is the world of painting, composition, shapes and structures, tables with brushes, tubes filled with pigments, and the scary white surface that waits to come alive with colors and lines. I believe that art and science have always gone hand-in-hand. My work resembles biology. I like to mimic the biological processes and allow … Continue reading Jurgen Ziesmann: When Science and Art Combine

Pandemic, 1918 by Eric Forsbergh

Photo of field with blooms sprinkled throughout

….1. France. Poppies blooming blood. Hedged by four sheets strung on wire, my grandparents spent their wedding night, December 1917: a New York married-barracks, moans muffled the night before the men shipped out. Three faces to a porthole on a transport ship. “Fish in a barrel” riflemen would say, sometimes with pity. Who would notice a patient in an Army hospital with a different kind of cough? ….2. Tennessee. Fields overflowing corn. As a girl, my wife heard it from her grandfather. Elmer could bear to tell it only once. He’d turned 18. After morning … Continue reading Pandemic, 1918 by Eric Forsbergh

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