Struggling With Details? Try a Little DIRT CHURCH


 Each semester I look around the circle of young writers gathered for one of my writing workshops, smile, and say, “So I have a little homework assignment for y’all.” They always dutifully pick up their pens and start to open their notebooks, but I stop them, laughing, “You don’t need to write this down. I think you’ll remember.” I smile, lean forward, teasing them with a deliberate dramatic pause, and give them my favorite assignment ever. “I’m sending you to Dirt Church.” “What? Where?” Yep. Dirt Church. A phrase my mama used to describe her … Continue reading Struggling With Details? Try a Little DIRT CHURCH

“For Now, I’m Focusing on Fiction”


Katie Rogin’s wise, sad, absorbing story “Afternoon,” appears in our current issue.  She writes dialogue with such perfect pitch – revealing both what is spoken and what is left unspoken – that it was not surprising to learn that she honed this talent by writing for film and television.  And, that “Afternoon” might have become a play rather than a story – and may perhaps become a short film.  Rogin graciously agreed to answer our questions about how she writes – and what happens next:   When did it become clear to you that Afternoon … Continue reading “For Now, I’m Focusing on Fiction”

Poetry, Spirituality and Me


  In a dream, I’m running through a green meadow with my dog  when she turns to me and says “you must be yourself.”   My message in a bottle that floats from the invisible sea of mystery I call the unconscious. It might be the voice of God or as close as I can get to it.  My dreams often give this advice or I hear it from others.  But what does it mean to be myself?   My strong belief tells me I have a soul and that soul has a purpose, a … Continue reading Poetry, Spirituality and Me

It Can Be New Every Time


I have a shelf at home where, up until recently, I kept the books I hadn’t yet read. It was three shelves, actually, stacked with the volumes I hadn’t had the time or chance to peruse. Many of the books have been there for quite a while, because I have a bad habit that, if you’re a serious reader, you may be familiar with: I reread books. Yes, it’s a bad habit. I’ll finish a book, look over my choices for the next one, and go back to an old favorite, one I’ve read before … Continue reading It Can Be New Every Time

Write Locally


Charlottesville’s own WriterHouse just celebrated its fifth anniversary. For any organization, five years is a nice healthy stretch of time. In a virtually all-volunteer one, it’s exemplary.   I say this with a certain amount of pride, because I’ve been an active member of WriterHouse almost from the very beginning. That is, it was founded in May and my membership dates from August of the same year. I’ve taken classes, attended readings, heard from visiting authors, and for the past couple years, volunteered with a group that helps keep the building open for use during … Continue reading Write Locally

Pretty cute for a 19th century assassin


I recently read a critique in New York magazine by Jerry Saltz about a current MoMA exhibit, “Photography and The American Civil War.” The piece mentioned Alexander Gardner, a Scottish-born war photographer famous for his Civil War coverage and portraits of Lincoln. When I read about a particular photo of his, Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, I went a-Googling. Scrolling through Gardner’s images, one particular portrait stopped me –– but for all the wrong reasons. It was a young gentleman, clean-shaven, out of uniform, staring starkly at the camera. Let’s put it this way: I could imagine … Continue reading Pretty cute for a 19th century assassin

Streetlight is looking for an intern. –– a locally grown and growing arts journal in Charlottesville, VA –– seeks a committed intern looking to gain experience in digital publishing and marketing in a non-profit journal environment. Creative and detail-oriented applicants should have technical knowledge of and proficiency in social media, WordPress/blogging proficiency, (web design experience ideal but not required.) Other responsibilities will include managing publishing schedules, some proofing/copy editing. Position is unpaid and would begin immediately. Contact: Susan Shafarzek Follow us!

A Creative Collaboration

house with ocean storm and bee

While at first glance Virginia artists Robin Braun and Rob Browning seem drawn to different subjects, techniques and philosophies, their unexpected collaboration has surprised and delighted them both. Artist’s Statement, Robin Braun: The ocean is never far from my thoughts and is constantly in my dreams. It can be ruthless and it can be supremely calm. I like to paint all of the moods of the sea. Having grown up near the water, I feel that it is an inherent part of my consciousness.     My paintings are about both the sublime and the … Continue reading A Creative Collaboration

Full-Price Angel by Mariflo Stephens


From what Fern can tell it looks like a fight. Fern’s watching through a back screen door which makes the scene look like a pointillist painting. Grace flies across the kitchen floor at Philip, something in her hand, and it looks like she’s hitting him across the shoulder with it. Fern stands still for a minute, holding a bottle of white wine with one hand, her book bag and purse in the other. Then she goes for the door handle. “Ask him what he’s been doing!” Grace shouts into Fern’s face, jerking the screen door … Continue reading Full-Price Angel by Mariflo Stephens

Afternoon by Katie Rogin


She adjusted the nasal cannula in his nostrils. She couldn’t hear the oxygen moving through the tubing. “Is that better?” He nodded, saving his breath for breathing. “The flight of stairs was a lot.” She hoped she didn’t sound condescending. “One flight—pretty fucking tragic.” He had more wind by the time he finished the sentence. “Let me just suck some of this for a few minutes and then I’ll be good.” “I’m going to unpack your stuff and open some windows.” She pushed herself off the bed that had been their bed and was now … Continue reading Afternoon by Katie Rogin

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