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

My Inspiring Journey by Sean Nishi

Photo of old red and white boat up on grass near water

Studio City, November, 2016 Had a great time going back home for Thanksgiving. Everyone was there—Mom, Dad, my Sister, our championship horse Spencer. My room is basically the same except Mom moved all my water polo trophies to the living room. But then on my bed I find a first place ribbon from the Getty Center Rising Artist Contest! “I found that coffee mug you painted in third grade ceramics class,” said Mom. “The one with the dinosaurs on it. I thought it was so good I decided to submit it on your behalf!” And … Continue reading My Inspiring Journey by Sean Nishi

Apology for Ralph’s Mule by Joyce Compton Brown

Photo of green hill and trees

 Joyce Compton Brown is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight‘s 2023 Poetry Contest Apology for Ralph’s Mule       …and before them went the mules: and ever upward,          downward, sideward, and aslant they fared.                                          The Iliad   II.23.93 You stood there in mud and dung, your little streetside lot hardly big enough for a good stretch, a kick. I’d stop sometimes, Ralph’s Mule, think about the muck on your hooves, how it must feel, you standing in the mud, mired in that nasty mess. I never knew your name. Your … Continue reading Apology for Ralph’s Mule by Joyce Compton Brown

My Father Unknown by Laura Shaine

Photo of the box of a 23andMe DNA kit

How do you knock on a door that, all your life, you imagined opening? I stood at a fateful address on the edge of the historic district of Old Cloverdale, in Montgomery Alabama. I had never been to Alabama before and until now, had only one important contact here—Harper Lee. Before my first memoir was published, Harper Lee had read it and written to me, “A beautiful story I shall cherish for years to come.” I was thrilled, of course, but still uncertain— what was my story? Ever since I could speak I had searched … Continue reading My Father Unknown by Laura Shaine

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

Considering My Last Carbon Footprint by Patricia Hemminger

Photo of copse of trees with light shining through

 Patricia Hemminger is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight’s 2023 Poetry Contest Considering My Last Carbon Footprint New York Governor Legalizes Human Composting, ⎯The Guardian, January 23, 2023 I’ve been composting for years. It’s very satisfying, potato peels, broccoli stalks, tumbled with dried leaves decompose, enrich the garden soil each spring. I wonder whether to make a will that requests my family do the same with me cocoon my body in wood chips and straw for a month or more. It’s legal now and carbon neutral when sun powers the rotation. They could plant a tree … Continue reading Considering My Last Carbon Footprint by Patricia Hemminger

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

Transference by MaryLewis Meador

Photo of pair of hands tattoing someone's arm

  Lucy and Henry are not an unusual couple. They forgive slights, hold some grudges, and share hilarity at mispronunciations, bad teeth, and their small mixed terrier French Fry. Average looking, they are both youthful for fifty, dedicated runners, and occasional eaters of ice cream. When their daughter Olive was born, they were smitten, and keen to keep to their small family unit. As an accountant Henry quantified Olive’s every childhood achievement. June, a florist, had strong opinions on how their daughter mixed colorful outfits. Both considered themselves Olive’s most important people. But as Olive … Continue reading Transference by MaryLewis Meador

Digging by Linda Parsons

Photo of lots of white potatoes

Linda Parsons is the 1st place winner of Streetlight‘s 2023 Poetry Contest Digging Dirt peppers the sink as I roll palm to palm these golds heaved from the ground with heft and pitchfork, this egglike clutch for soup, stew, hash, roasted, smashed in fall’s coming. I roll them lightly, thin skinned, perfect and misshapen, knobby knuckled. Dirt becomes dust filming my hands I am loath to wash, for here in the grit of new potatoes I am one with the garden, back bent, salt sweat, my own stew of becoming. And I think what else I’ve … Continue reading Digging by Linda Parsons

A Leg in the Darkness by Alex Joyner

Photo of a paint horse with sunset through trees behind it

When the leg appeared out of the darkness, flung over the gate of the neighboring corral, I was howling along with Emmylou Harris. “Beneath Still Waters” was booming from the CD player in the old door-less refrigerator in Jackie’s garden, where I was sitting with Jackie until just minutes before when she went off in search of a horse I had seen passing along the dirt road like a phantom. Jackie swore I was seeing things. “You come out to Archer City, Texas and you think there’s nothing around here but horses.” But she set … Continue reading A Leg in the Darkness by Alex Joyner

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