Creative Non-Fiction

Feeling My Age by Jessica Allen

Shortly before my 37th birthday, my husband, Garrett, and I decided to go to Nicaragua, also known as the land of volcanoes and lakes. We built our trip around a two-day, 20-mile hike up a volcano called El Hoyo in order to see as much of the former as possible. To prepare, we wiped cobwebs…

Naked by a Five-Dollar Bill by Kanak Kapur

“Everything from here on out is a rat race—” I write on my grad school application, in the words of my late brother. He isn’t really dead, but his career may be. It’s so far gone that he talks of settling down and having children. Just a year ago, he told me that he could…

Left Turns by Marcia Bradley

You are not the enemy. You’ve told yourself this many times but still can’t help but feel that you have been miscast, that this role of ombudswoman and authoritarian is very contrary to the wild girl you carry inside you. “Watch the road,” you tell your daughter and grip the armrest on the passenger’s side…

My Year with Mr. Elser by Constanze Frei

Mr. Elser’s fourth grade class in the little town school included the four of us, a band of orphanage misfits. In addition to me, the three other eleven-year-olds were boys: Emil, Roman, and, Albert. When the sun touched Emil’s hair it looked like he had shiny golden reddish stripes in his thick curls. Emil—a sweet…

Drive Safely by Holly Alderman

“I’m really mad at you right now.” “Why?” I mumbled. We were sitting in her car in the darkness of her garage. Her temperament had oscillated between dissociated and hypomanic all night. Now she seemed to have settled on conscious hypomanic dissociation. Between my previous tour in treatment and two decades of therapy, I was…

The Raven and The Crane by Julie Hill Barton

You are sitting in couples therapy. It’s 10:00 a.m. on a Tuesday and nothing is out of the ordinary. You and your husband have been seeing this therapist for almost five years and your marriage is solid. Still, you’re talking about how you wish he cared more about the upkeep of the house. As you…

Teaching in 8 Parts by Julie Gard

1. Someone has to drive What would I do without students, their cans of Jolt and indiscernible needs, their wept-on poems and muddled brilliance? Twitching with meth, slumped in sweatshirts, numb from grandmothers’ slow deaths and boyfriends’ quick suicides, they crash into college like cars into phone poles. With one of my hands, I grade…

The Ghost in the Book by Tanyo Ravicz

When I open a book I am always in a position to find something—information, a thrill, a moral insight, a happy turn of words—but to find an actual something in a book, an object I wasn’t looking for, stirs up an awareness, often an uncanny one, that somebody was there before me. An unexpected channel…

Buttercup in Wonderland by Holly Alderman

The freshly painted green gate doors swing out. The slow drive up the windy hill. Eternity. Where the hell am I. Top. A middle-aged man is standing in front of what seems to be the office. Mom pops open the trunk so I can get my duffel bag. My lack of upper body strength doesn’t…

The Pattern Makers by Lisa Lepore

Jesse Hauk Shera was a librarian and a prolific beautiful writer who has been dead quite a few years and with whom I am newly in love. Completely smitten. I often fall in love with the dead. In fact, I often wait for people to die before falling in love with them.

Involuntary Reflexes, or How I Ruin Art

Andrea Danowski   I was going to start off with the story my dad always tells about how he almost knocked over a Giacometti once. I don't know if it was the one that recently sold for just over a hundred million dollars, but it was one of the Walking Man bronze sculptures. My dad…

The Worry Dolls

Shannon George                          Inside a small, oval-shaped wooden box festively adorned with yellow, green, and red paint lay six little dolls made of wire, paper, resin and tiny bits of cloth. Worry Dolls is how the store described them, and once I read the instructions for their use, they had…

Containment by Jessica Karbowiak

At nineteen years old, I become confused in my body and have to leave college. I walk in padded slippers and ratty bathrobe down the front hall of my childhood home. I avoid my mother and father, and my younger brother visiting from college who seems to be avoiding me, too. I work hard to…

Back to Normal

Robert Fox   Mother’s Day 2011. I have finished my laundry, vacuumed the apartment and am mopping the floors. To keep up my cleaning mood, to do these domestic things I have learned over the years, I’ve got to have the radio blasting. Tom Schnabel has just started his Sunday show with The Intruders, “I’ll…

Falling, Stairs, Fragments, Fire ~ by Micaela Seidel

1      It was summer. I was sweeping in the kitchen, facing south. There was that milling around feeling, children everywhere, my own and some others — that white-haired child from down the road. Hear the sound of hammering, one, two, three, pause, one, two, three — a husband somewhere, working. There is no…

Biography for Mother’s Family Photos by Mishon A. Wooldridge

  I need a camera, to my eye, to my eye, reminding which lies I’ve been hiding                         -Wilco, “Kamera” There is profuse proof of my existence after age 10. My photographic life begins awkward, barely pre-teen.  Band concerts, summer camping, middle-school portraits of me with braces, family pets, all chronologically ordered into albums; a…

On His Blindness by Lauren Bishop-Weidner

Doth God exact day-labour, light denied.  (John Milton, 1608-1674)  Everyone recognized Dr. Nelson.  A political science professor at Southern Illinois University, the man was a campus fixture, kind and gentlemanly, impeccably dressed.  We marveled at the dignity and ease with which he and his guide dog navigated the hilly, wooded campus.  He was exotic, intriguing,…

Welcome to Egypt by Dawn-Michelle Baude

Algammah considers this urhent massge apologize to Allah from all soles which will be gone no way during this severe facing Oh God wi are sed   The call to jihad on the wall of Alexandria University of Egypt is a far cry from the fliers cheerfully exhorting, "Join Chess Club on Thursday!" or "Textbook…

Juxtaposed by John Medeiros

Minnesota.  I am here, but how did that happen? Here is blue and green and white.  Song in the air: whippoorwill by day, cricket by night.             These are the things that matter most today.             And I’ve been here since some once-upon-a-time January, when the frost first performed its wintry dance on my lenses…