Portraits by Mark Edward Atkinson

Man with face obscured by smoke
 

  Body painted women. Haitian orphans. Black Elvis. Models for hip-hop and Votre Nom. The homeless. A budding coquette in the summer sun. These are but a few of the fascinating faces caught in telling moments by photographer Mark Edward Atkinson. A native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Atkinson now lives in Virginia Beach where he is creative director of Otto Design and Marketing. A writer and documentarian whose portfolio includes films, landscapes and still lifes, his portraits of people from near and far are especially arresting. “I love the unexpectedness of people,” he says. “The … Continue reading Portraits by Mark Edward Atkinson

Yes, Writers, It Is Possible to Get Past Your Fear of Marketing Yourself as an Author by Lauren Sapala

Woman writing at table
 

By and large, the biggest problem I run into with struggling authors is the challenge they have around marketing themselves. I hear a lot of different reasons for this: “I’m too introverted.” “I hate anything that has to do with sales.” “I don’t want to be fake or phony,” etc. I get those reasons, because way back in the day when I felt like I had an allergic reaction to anything that had to do with marketing, I told other writers I hated marketing because of those very same reasons. But, here’s the thing. That … Continue reading Yes, Writers, It Is Possible to Get Past Your Fear of Marketing Yourself as an Author by Lauren Sapala

Bring Them to an Art Show: On Teaching Imaginative Writing by Rich H. Kenney, Jr.

White horse head morpihing into flowers
 

If a piece of artwork could express itself in words, what would it say? This was the question I pondered while visiting Time Lapse, an art faculty show at Chadron State College (CSC) in Chadron, Nebraska several semesters ago. Here’s the beginning of what Black and White Crease, a painting by adjunct faculty member, DeWayne Gimeson, seemed to say to me: I believe in creases like the ones that form on balls of paper we too often throw away. We rarely see their peaks, their crevices, their unscripted shadows save for the quiet exhale—the curious … Continue reading Bring Them to an Art Show: On Teaching Imaginative Writing by Rich H. Kenney, Jr.

Writing Small by Ginger Moran

Fountain pen laying on paper
 

Writing Small When There Is No Time to Write Big: The Goldilocks Approach to Getting Writing Done I was back from the James River Writers Conference in Richmond when I realized I was dealing with an uncomfortable truth. I had been sitting at the conference, listening to agents and editors and the questions people were asking them. The conference is a good one—not too big and not too small. The keynote speaker was Padma Venkatraman, whose beautiful books I’ve seen before and who exhorted us to both dream and do. She should know—she is an … Continue reading Writing Small by Ginger Moran

Of Cars, Lucille Ball and Dogged Determination by Erika Raskin


 

The quarterly meeting of Streetlight’s editorial staff had just ended. It was a particularly uplifting one. It’s incredibly gratifying to be part of a team that is committed to ushering art into the world. We tackled tech concerns, mapped out the spring issue and welcomed the gifted Deborah Kelly as the new associate editor. Assignments in hand, I’d said my goodbyes and left Elizabeth Meade Howard’s beautiful home. Filled with light, paintings and photography (including an autographed black and white of Lucille Ball, my soul-sister), just being in the art editor’s house is kind of … Continue reading Of Cars, Lucille Ball and Dogged Determination by Erika Raskin

A Look and a Voice by William Cass

Aerial view of road and buildings coated with snow
 

Doris said, “Seems like it might snow. First of the season.” She turned from where she stood in front of the kitchen window and looked at Martin. He was sitting at the table holding a nearly full glass of milk. He regarded her with a blank stare. They’d been married for forty-six years. She said, “Well, what do you think about that?” Martin shrugged. The mid-morning light in the room was dim. He stood up, went to the sink, poured out the milk, rinsed the glass, and put it in the dishwasher. Then he turned … Continue reading A Look and a Voice by William Cass

Each in One Piece by Bradley M. Radovich

Cornstalks, shot from the ground up
 

  The familiar constriction arose in her chest. She followed the dark echoes of her husband’s steps; his gait sober as cold coffee. Heel, toe. March. She giggled at the image of her husband as a soldier. His shoulders were still square, but his chest was sunken, and his paunch tightened his shirt. The pain moved into her shoulders as she held her breath against hiccups. “I can drive,” she said, exhaling. “You can hardly walk,” he said. “Try to keep up.” “Try it in heels!” That image caused her to smile. “What’s your hurry? … Continue reading Each in One Piece by Bradley M. Radovich

My Sister by Peter Breyer

Picture of Berlin
 

The voice of the singer soared over the lyrics of the gospel choir that Easter morning a decade and a half ago. You plead my cause, You right my wrongs/ You break my chains, You overcome/ You gave Your life, to give me mine/ You say that I am free…How can it be? I had plenty of reason for celebration sitting by my wife of thirty-five years, our son and his fiancée, and finally, my 88-year-old mother, all in a row. The exuberant parishioners were filled with joy, but I was still distracted with the … Continue reading My Sister by Peter Breyer

Kalulu by Alex Rawitz

Cliffs with water between them
 

He emerged from the bushes clutching a bottle of wine, his face whipped red by the wind. They were huddled together in the clearing. Dry tufts of winter grass poked through the ratty blanket on which they sat. He stood a distance away and searched for Markus, who, noticing him, slowly detached himself from the others and approached. “Thanks for coming out, man.” Markus took the bottle of wine with trembling hands. “Some day for a picnic.” “Why did you come out of the bush just now? There’s a road right there.” “I don’t know. … Continue reading Kalulu by Alex Rawitz

Computing the Elusive Spirit of Place by Inderjeet Mani

Statue in front of blue and pink sky
 

We have our entanglements and love affairs with places. “And the end of all our exploring,” T. S. Eliot promises, “will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” Such knowledge may be never-ending. We don’t know what the sense of place felt like to our hunter-gatherer forebears, but judging from their sophisticated tracking and navigational skills, they were able to notice things in their environment that most of us have long forgotten. Luckily, along with other mammals, we still have our built-in sense of place, with maps of … Continue reading Computing the Elusive Spirit of Place by Inderjeet Mani