Category Archives: Blog

Deep Ellum B.C. by Alex Joyner

photo of bookstore with sepia tone
 

Wednesday night in Deep Ellum, the eclectic little arts neighborhood lingering in the shadow of I-45 east of Dallas’s downtown. Ever since the 19-teens when Blind Lemon Jefferson came to the barbershops and dives of Elm Street to play the blues with Lead Belly and T-Bone Walker, the area had a reputation as a collection point for artists, misfits, and the occasional spectacular violent outburst. By August 2017, it hadn’t much changed. Pecan Lodge, a hipster barbecue joint, and the brightly-tiled Café Brazil were colonizing the neighboring streets, but the scruffy music and arts scene … Continue reading Deep Ellum B.C. by Alex Joyner

Art: You Know It When You See It

Stone sculpture of sunrise behind mountains
 

From impressionism to pointililsm to my nursery-school grandboy’s stick figures with appendage-sprouting-heads, the outward expression of other peoples’ internal creativity knocks me out. Whatever it is. Following a visit to the Van Gogh Museum, an old friend and I had a big argument about whether or not an objective definition of good art exists. I said no. He said yes—using the exhibit as evidence of a quantifiable measure of talent. I refuted this by saying there were only two paintings in the whole building that I would want in my living room. And only if … Continue reading Art: You Know It When You See It

Daniel Garner: Capturing the Moment

Close up of water drops on a CD
 

  I spent my childhood hiking Long Mountain just south of Lynchburg, Virginia. Christmas of 2000, when I was twelve, my aunt gave me a 35mm camera so that I could share the places I discovered with others. The device was very basic, but I still remember the thrill of waiting for prints to return in the mail. I explored the Peaks of Otter, Beaver Creek, the backgrounds of Rustburg, and the train tracks near Indian Hill. Everywhere I went, my camera came with me. If I woke up and saw snow covering the fields, … Continue reading Daniel Garner: Capturing the Moment

Silence & Solitude By Ann E. Michael

Road through tunnel of colored leaves
 

Sara Maitland’s A Book of Silence. James Ragan’s Too Long a Solitude. Jane Brox’s Silence: A Social History. Thomas Merton’s Thoughts in Solitude… Is it just a coincidence, or did I subconsciously start reading books dealing with silence and solitude in the weeks before I planned to spend a few days alone in a friend’s rural cabin? And will the relative silence make my somewhat maladaptiveness to busy environs even worse? For I freely admit that living for thirty years in an area that borders on the rural, and spending so much of my time … Continue reading Silence & Solitude By Ann E. Michael

Raking Black Walnuts by Fred Wilbur

Photo of black walnuts on ground
 

Nature itself is meaningless; it is only as we interpret it that it has meaning. John Canaday, What is Art? In our side yard a walnut grows. Higher than the house, it is 104 inches in circumference at chest height.  It was a large tree when my wife, our two daughters and I moved here nearly forty years ago. The girls found bits of glass, rusty nuggets and triangles of white porcelain around its trunk like offerings from another time. Indeed, they indicate a vanished house that must have stood nearby, as an old well … Continue reading Raking Black Walnuts by Fred Wilbur

Quest for Our Fathers, Living Still by Carole Duff

Photo of man on bench looking into stroller
 

At a recent conference I attended, a young woman stepped to the microphone to address keynote speaker Nick Flynn. “I teach yoga at the same homeless shelter where you worked in Boston. Your book Another Bullshit Night in Suck City is my favorite book. It gives me hope of finding my father.” Flynn replied, “Thank you for the good work you do. As for rest, the best thing my mother ever did was to leave my father. It was a really good thing I didn’t grow up with him in my life.” And yet. The … Continue reading Quest for Our Fathers, Living Still by Carole Duff

Being Weird Is a Good Thing. It’s Time to Embrace Yourself as a Writer by Lauren Sapala

line of all white eggs, one black
 

All my life I’ve been attracted to weird things. And all my life I’ve been very much aware that other people think I’m weird for being attracted to those weird things. Sometimes it’s that I can’t help but be drawn in by all the different facets of human darkness. Sometimes it’s that I get interested in a subject that seems complicated and obscure, and extremely boring, to others. But whatever my latest passion is at the moment I can be sure that it’s not something that a whole lot of other people understand. For a … Continue reading Being Weird Is a Good Thing. It’s Time to Embrace Yourself as a Writer by Lauren Sapala

Is Your Poem Ready for Submission? by Roselyn Elliott

black and white computer keyboard
 

So, you’ve read a literary magazine’s guidelines, you’ve even read its sample poems available online, or ordered a recent copy of the magazine to learn about what they publish. Maybe you’ve taken a class/workshop in which your poems were critiqued by peers and a popular teacher. But, how is it that some of our poems we have toiled over to the point that they are strong and seem to be the best they can be, do not get selected for publication by the journals where we’ve chosen to send them? As a poetry editor, I’ve … Continue reading Is Your Poem Ready for Submission? by Roselyn Elliott

Geoffrey Stein Updated

Inked silhouette of Trump on Stop sign
 

                                                              I paint to find out what I think about the world; to discover the things I do not have words for. With collage, I love the randomness of the snippets of text and photographs appearing and disappearing that becomes the subject’s likeness. Even as photos and text become part of the pattern of lights and dark that create a coherent likeness, they also retain their … Continue reading Geoffrey Stein Updated

A Runaway Life by Mariflo Stephens

Train running on mountain
 

I live a runaway life. I’m a writer, a wife, and a mother and, like a lot of women who tire of the multi-layered duties that come with that combination, I need to get away. Right now, what I’m running away from is a story. That could be funny since I’m a short story writer, a comedic one at that. But it’s not funny. Usually I run away to Washington, D.C. I ride the train from Charlottesville and settle in the quiet car. The train sways slowly from side to side. It’s like being calmed … Continue reading A Runaway Life by Mariflo Stephens