Category Archives: Blog

Two Tasks by Fred Wilbur

Photo of hay bales in field
 

  This summer, I have performed two activities that strangely seem similar: shredding dozens of family documents and serving as a screener for a poetry manuscript contest. Many of our older readers have, no doubt, had to settle their parents’ or close relatives’ estates. I am past that stressful situation, thankfully, as my mother, pre-diseased by my father, died ten years ago. For that decade six or seven banker’s boxes squatted on sturdy shelves made especially for them. After consulting my surviving siblings, I spent many hours sorting (in some cases saving) and then shredding … Continue reading Two Tasks by Fred Wilbur

Once Upon a Time In Montecito by Trudy Hale

Photo looking through open french doors
 

This is a true story. After my husband Billy died in June of 2020, his ‘step daughter’ Zoe, a beautiful and vivacious woman of fifty offered her home in Santa Barbara to hold his memorial. We waited until the 2021 vaccines and chose the month of August. Zoe’s mother had been Billy’s girlfriend in the Seventies, and she and Zoe lived with Billy in Hollywood. Zoe’s mother and Billy never married. Zoe would laugh and refer to herself as the ‘step-daughter’ and make quotation marks in the air. While our daughter Tempe and son Charlie … Continue reading Once Upon a Time In Montecito by Trudy Hale

Don’t Walk the Writers’ Path Alone by Julie Duffy

Photo of notebook with open pages
 

  One of the most surprising things I’ve discovered about writing is that while putting words on the page can be a solitary act, “being a writer” can’t be. Mind The Gap There is a gap between what people think the writing journey looks like, and what it really looks like. Non-writers picture you, alone in a book-lined room, dashing off deathless prose from Once Upon a Time to The End, occasionally gazing moodily into the distance as you wrestle with a creative demon, but ultimately in charge of your story all the way. Even … Continue reading Don’t Walk the Writers’ Path Alone by Julie Duffy

Writing in Retrospect by Dana Mich

Post-It Notes
 

I am in the middle of writing an essay that spans a full twenty-nine of my thirty-two years of life. It hinges on an event that happened three Thanksgivings ago, but reaches as far back as my third birthday and as far forward as—well—now. And it is here, half-way through the writing of this essay (which is as heavy in terms of my emotional investment as it is long in word count), that I pause, close my laptop, and momentarily step away. Last week, I read a piece of the essay to my beloved writing … Continue reading Writing in Retrospect by Dana Mich

2021 Flash Fiction Contest by Erika Raskin

Photo of Venn diagram with winners' names
 

Once again we have had the good fortune to be invited into other worlds, each unfurled in just 500 words. The skill involved in presenting backstory and insight—with minimal description—is great. And, as always, trying to rank submissions to Streetlight‘s Flash Fiction contest was very difficult. In terms of the mechanics, Suzanne Freeman and I present each other with our subjective responses to the narratives. We then take a Venn Diagram approach, winnowing down the entries by those that overlap in our respective hierarchies. It’s interesting (and difficult!) to see how many stories fall by … Continue reading 2021 Flash Fiction Contest by Erika Raskin

New Works by Linda Laino


 

    In the quarantined Covid year of 2020, I returned to exploring the figure in my mixed media paintings. Even though it’s been years since I’ve used the human figure as a subject, I’ve always considered my paintings “figurative,” containing representations from the real world as they do. I seem to land somewhere between abstraction and representation where composition, layering and playing with the space steer me through the painting. I’ve never been interested in replicating what I can observe outside my window like a photograph. I don’t ever want viewers to forget they … Continue reading New Works by Linda Laino

Finding Thomas Merton by Sharon Ackerman

statue of monk in crude stone and wood structure
 

My summer reading list (and Spring) centers around the writings of Thomas Merton. After sifting through his prose and poetry I think the most amazing thing about him is how many people lay claim to him and find a sense of permanency in his writings. It is as though his thoughts formed in solitude in the forests of Kentucky were destined to travel outbound, arriving as the first French Trappists first arrived, sailing up the Mississippi river from New Orleans to the Abbey of Gethsemani. A Roman Catholic from the age of twenty-three, Merton nonetheless … Continue reading Finding Thomas Merton by Sharon Ackerman

Celebration (Part II) by Susan Shafarzek

Photo of wine glass on colorful tablecloth
 

I’m amazed and delighted every time we hold Streetlight’s Essay/Memoir contest to see how many wonderful submissions we get. The only sorrow is that we can’t give out more than three cash awards. But, we can offer honorable mentions and this year, I’m happy to say, six very excellent writers have agreed to let us publish their work under that aegis. We’ll be starting to roll out those wonderful essays this coming Friday, with Naomi Enright’s insightful and useful criticism of the usual way our troubled American history gets presented in school. The Hidden Curriculum, … Continue reading Celebration (Part II) by Susan Shafarzek

Martha Woodroof by Liz Gipson

Photo of four cameras
 

Monday for Mom was splat day. She was working on splats up until her last few days. We talked about the splatforms a lot in her last few months. About a week ago she asked if I would write a splat about what it is like to be splat adjacent. This is what I came up with and she scheduled it for today not really intending it to be a last splat in this format. I’m posting it today in her honor. One thing I tell my students is, it’s not the mess we avoid … Continue reading Martha Woodroof by Liz Gipson

Drawings by Guliz Multu


 

I cannot separate drawing from writing. Without drawing swallows, I cannot write spring. I am self-taught in art. I am always a student. I observe, I dream and I draw. I grew up and live in Ankara, Turkey. I’ve traveled Europe to see works by Botticelli, Rafael, Michelangelo, Donatello in Italy; Dalí, Velázquez, Picasso, Goya in Spain. I took a deep breath in Alta Mira Cave, Spain. I lost myself in the Louvre, and the Hermitage. I stared at Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer in the Rijks museum. Art is long, life is short. Cappadocia, … Continue reading Drawings by Guliz Multu