Category Archives: Street Talk

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

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

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

Of Goats and Men by Sharon Ackerman

white horned goat on mountain with snow

I step outside right at sunrise when night creatures are still on the move. It’s a threshold hour, a groundhog slogs under the fence or a fawn startles, his mouth full of orange lilies. No one expects to see me, especially my neighbor’s unneutered billy goat who is standing on my gravel path. Of course I want to pet him so I miss something; the hardness of his horizontal gaze. He is challenging me. I consider myself a country woman, having stepped on a blacksnake once in my darkened living room. I shoo bears from … Continue reading Of Goats and Men by Sharon Ackerman

Under the River Bridge by Paul C. Rosenblatt

Photo of bridge to field under sunset

The summer before I turned fifteen I often biked with my two best friends to Chicago’s River Park, thirty acres of grass, trees, paths, playgrounds, and a swimming pool. The park was a green haven in our gritty urban neighborhood that was packed with apartment buildings, stores, factories, gas stations, warehouses, restaurants, and everything else that made Chicago livable and tense. River Park was bisected by the North Branch of the Chicago River. It was an odd looking river because it had been lined with concrete in the 1930s. It looked and often smelled like … Continue reading Under the River Bridge by Paul C. Rosenblatt

To Solve America by Fred Wilbur

Photo of tree

                                                         I got to have it (just a little bit)                                                       A little respect (just a little bit). Otis Redding, as sung by Aretha Franklin   As Memorial Day approaches and graduation season is in full tilt, there will be many inspiring speeches: some will have a few humorous lines thank goodness, some will be overloaded with platitudes and sound bites, a few with creative insight in reading our times accurately. A rare few may have prognostications which are useful, inspiring, and come to pass. One meaningful and heartwarming event, though perhaps not unique, … Continue reading To Solve America by Fred Wilbur

In Other Words by Elizabeth Meade Howard

Drawing of hand writing in front of a rose

  Remember letters? Ones that came in the mail with stamps and occasional foreign postmarks? Remember that moment of anticipation before opening the letter? Remember the thrill of a love letter and the thwarted desire to be in immediate contact? Of course, now in the age of e-mail and texting we can make almost instant contact and become impatient if not answered at once. Forget the patience and time required to find the right words before mailing. Alas, the “art” of letter writing seems a part of the past. As it happens, I have more … Continue reading In Other Words by Elizabeth Meade Howard

Another Season of Winners by Susan Shafarzek

Bouquet of red, purple, and green flowers, amongst green leaves

We’re happy to announce the 2024 Streetlight Essay/Memoir contest winners. With an emphasis on memoir, the winners are as follows: First Prize winner, Sandra Hopkins, in her essay, “Tongues of Fire,” gives us a deep glance into a childhood lived actively. In a piece that is both touching and amusing, she shows how the relationship between generations can be both complicated and beautiful. An artist, born and raised in Virginia, this author shows a fine awareness of the telling evidence of personhood Second Prize goes to Jeanne Malmgren for “Blindsided,” a precisely written story about … Continue reading Another Season of Winners by Susan Shafarzek

No YOU Say it Erika Raskin

Photo of green leaves layered on each other

Someone asked me what a writer’s voice is. I was momentarily tongue-tied. It’s a tricky concept to capture and describe–a little like trying to render a physical sensation or an unfamiliar smell. Lots of adjacent experiences tend to be employed in the effort. But bear with me while I give it a shot. Forty years ago a rat died in our kitchen pipes. (I’ve generally recovered, thanks.) I chronicled the traumatic incident for Salon detailing the stench that came from the spigot as rotting chicken in the meat drawer– with a side of decomposing broccoli. … Continue reading No YOU Say it Erika Raskin