Tag Archives: spotlight

Sorrow by Whitney Hill

several scarlet macaws squawikng

Sorrow   Sometimes I think I own sorrow like the man who parades his macaw up and down the shopping street, shit on his back, smiling. The bird is sweet and talkative, but his wings are clipped. Sorrow kept too long forgets to leave, forgets it belongs to everyone and no one, in a rainforest smashing Brazil nuts with a hundred other wildly colored beasts. Whitney Roberts Hill has been a blog contributor, columnist, book reviewer, and content editor. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in anthologies and online publications, including The American Book … Continue reading Sorrow by Whitney Hill

First Favor by Joan Mazza

Trees in the early morning

Of all the scenes I could replay to rewrite or undo, one I go back to one again and again. It’s the end of my therapy session and I sit up and slip into my shoes, pick up my purse, when Dr. Bob asks to speak with me a minute. I look up at him, unused to facing him. “Let’s sit in the waiting area,” he says, and slides the pocket door open. I follow him out to the blue family room with a bar. Sliding glass doors open on two sides, facing the Intracoastal … Continue reading First Favor by Joan Mazza

Nothing Broken by Anita Lekic

Heavy bars over window

When the bus drops Diana off in the afternoon, her mother is still at work. She lets herself into the silent, spotless apartment, a large box of Oreo cookies and two bags of Mounds in her embrace. Dropping her heavy backpack, she heads for the bathroom, embarking on a rigid routine from which she never wavers, not in the minutest detail. She strips and dumps the austere British School uniform into the laundry basket. The undergarments, all in pink, a child’s color, are tossed in next. Then she takes a hot shower, soaping herself over … Continue reading Nothing Broken by Anita Lekic

First Dog: A Love Song by Rachel Willems


First Dog: A Love Song   You didn’t even want it. You said it was much too nervous, inappropriate for us who had never owned a dog, and wrong for our cold climate. It would have to wear a sweater, we would become the sort of people who put a sweater on their dog. You said a greyhound was appropriate for racing or for show, not for friendship, not to love. It would try to hunt, I told you, would track small cats and squirrels but obey when we said heel. If we let it … Continue reading First Dog: A Love Song by Rachel Willems

The Photography of Will Kerner

young girl next to wooden pillar at construction site

  “To me photography is a blend of serendipity, of good fortune and conscious selection and structuring. I need to apply skill and I need to get lucky,” says Charlottesville photographer Will Kerner. “The skill is composing, lighting, using the camera properly. The luck is that which the subjects give you.” A commercial and wedding photographer for 28 years, Will Kerner cross-pollinates his professional skills shooting both weddings and travel images. When shooting a wedding, says Kerner, he’s constantly seeking to capture the moment, looking at available light, creating the composition. “Then when traveling, my … Continue reading The Photography of Will Kerner

My Grandmother Kills a Chicken by Guy Terrell

a chicken

2nd place winner of the Streetlight 2017 Poetry Contest My Grandmother Kills a Chicken   The hen house her grocery, she strode the aisles of cluck, straw, and feathers for eggs reaching under each bird for breakfast. Vegetables canned in summer did not freeze in a closet lined with newspaper in the barn heated by a single naked lightbulb. A rural palace and grounds made from a white clapboard farmhouse, a ribbed metal garage, the one-room wide long building, a hen house with flaps that rolled up on each side, and a small barn with … Continue reading My Grandmother Kills a Chicken by Guy Terrell

Invisible Girls by Tonja Matney Reynolds

Sheer girl's top that is glowing

We were the ones who fell between the cracks in the social order. We loathed the popular kids—the jocks, cheerleaders, and rich kids. We pitied the stoners and the nerds. To all of them, we were invisible, shadows on the tile. We wore camouflage pants, oversized shirts, shoes with untied laces, and only enough makeup to cover our zits. We were grunge before Grunge was a thing. During pep rallies, we read Sartre and Flaubert and Nietzsche. We were adored by the administration for our GPAs, AP scores, and early admission letters. We challenged the … Continue reading Invisible Girls by Tonja Matney Reynolds

Tooth by Jennifer Coffeen

Teeth lined up on a table

  She felt the first loose tooth at 5am on Tuesday. A back tooth on the lower left side, her wisdom tooth? She felt it the moment she woke up, lying in bed while the monitor screamed in her ear. She pushed her tongue against it and the tooth moved, like a rock rolling around in mud. Nearly painless, she found herself pushing her tongue against it over and over to the tune of the screaming monitor. It reminded her of picking a scab, how the little wince kinda felt nice. “You should do something … Continue reading Tooth by Jennifer Coffeen

Telling the Story: Photos by Stephanie Gross

Stephanie Gross photography

  Stephanie Gross was intrigued early by pictures and their stories. “I spent a lot of time as a kid looking at pictures,” she says. ”My mom was a docent at the National Gallery and she used to walk me through the West Wing. We’d look at paintings and she’d talk about their composition, how your eye moves around the frame, and about the stories they were telling. For me, it was like this giant picture book that we could walk through. I think a lot of that has stuck with me.” While first fascinated … Continue reading Telling the Story: Photos by Stephanie Gross