STITCH

Stitch is a collection of very short personal essays of 100 words or less, published on the first of each month.  See Submissions page for guidelines. Scroll down for full Contributor bios.

 

On the Rocks

 

 

Blood may be thicker than water, but it’s not more soothing than bourbon. Not more liberating than her beloved car. As I became more mother than sister, she became less forgiving. Age and illness robbed her of independence, and her broken heart chose to hoard losses instead of blessings. “Love isn’t enough!” I yelled into the void of our estrangement. The pessimist in me needed to purge every last bitter disappointment. The optimist, however, hoped the universe would recognize my plea and send me a solution I hadn’t yet thought of.

Andrea Isiminger  (Photo by Mathew Macquar) November 2019

 

Totem

 

 

I pass the old man on my way into the building. His gait, aided by an ornately carved wooden stick – his totem pole – is unhurried. His glacial pace doesn’t seem to bother him as he moves toward the door. I imagine he is cherishing his breath, feeling the ground, hearing the sounds of the city, reveling in not rushing to appointments, deadlines and obligations. I race while he is here, right now, in this moment.

David Barish (David Sinclair) October 2019

 

 

 

Save or Delete?

My voicemail indicated seventy messages; time to clear it out. Confirming your dental appointment. Delete. Following up about new garbage disposal. Delete. Courtesy call from CVS. Delete. The voice of my friend Bill — dead two years —  wishing me a happy birthday. Save. A reminder about my favorite, but dead, uncle’s birthday. Save. My mother’s birthday reminder, dead 20-plus years, Save. Reminders that I won’t always hear the voices of people I love. Reminders to ask for their stories, to savor their presence. Reminders of the voices and memories I can save. The rest, delete.

Debbi Welch (Photo by Joao Silas) September 2019

 

Rose

 

Rose is tiny, toothless, girlish, ancient. I hold her hand in both of mine like a caught moth. Her rapture is the same every time, the skin around her eyes a map of delight. What a surprise! I’m so glad you’ve come! What lovely green eyes! When I enter my mother’s room, she deadens her gaze, then hits me with the tight fist of a smile: Well. Hello. Which is why, before leaving, I always return to Rose – Rose who’s so glad I’ve come, who thinks my eyes are beautiful, who doesn’t even know who I am.

Sarah C. Baldwin (Photo by lobostudio) August 2019

 

 

 

Charcoal

 

That summer evening, my mother put me in charge of supper. I was 12 so I chose the backyard grill, as I was an expert with hamburgers. Still, I was impatient as the coal was slow burning, refusing to turn from black to smoldering gray.  I reached for the lighter fluid, remembering my mother’s warnings to never use it if the coals were hot. “The flames will bounce back,” she said. She was right. Leaping forward as if reaching for me, flames burned the fine hairs on my arm. There was little pain. I knew I had cheated death.

Karen Weyant (Photo by Maxim Tiger) July 2019

 

 

Tied and True

 

In 1969, my father traveled to Tucson for an orthodontic conference. He returned with a bolo tie. Popular at the time with hippies and forever with well-dressed cowboys, the tie became my father’s chosen accessory. Neither a hippie nor a cowboy, my otherwise conventional dad strove to be different in his own cool way. Still looking smart at 103, he finishes his daily dressing routine by hanging the bolo tie around his neck and tightening it up to the top button of his shirt. Ready to meet on his own terms whatever life can still deliver.

Ruth Rozen, June 2019

 

 

Working the Crisis Hotline

 

Down by the river in cramped quarters, telephones ring non-stop. Young women, mostly, quickly pick up. Voices cry out, Help me. I’m too high! Someone followed me. Or, He raped me. Calmly, to comfort, I say, Stay cool. Talk to me. Breathe, just breathe. All through the long night, I care, console as my heart races and perspiration blurs worn referral cards. During a brief pause, I glance out the dark window and I see the roiling water and imagine my body floating downstream. At shift’s end I exit, running.

Dianne Moritz (Photo by Daniil Silantev) May 2019

 

Beyond Dementia

 

In my dream, I’ve received a package from my mother, its surface riddled with dementia. The smeared-pencil address is almost illegible. There are scribbles, duct tape and textile swatches instead of stamps. Inside is an old blanket in Prussian blue and a gold silk sari that were in a chest at our house. There is a faint scent of cedar in the air. Blanket and sari catch on my skin. Awake, I want to hug my mother, feeling her love, although she no longer can say how she knows I need those mementos from home.

Julia C. Spring (Photo courtesy of Freestocks) April 2019

 

Pain

 

When my daughter sliced her arm with glass from the picture frame, in Xs and Ys, from her wrist to her elbow – cuts so deep but never as deep as those inside –  I wondered if she knew that photo of her was my favorite.

Sarah J. Crewe (Photo by Trym Nilsen) March 2019

 

What We Saw

 

She would leave and we would be forever parted, and the children, uncomprehending, would slowly drift from me, bow and stern lines severed. Soon they would be far from my shore, out of hailing distance and unable to hear my shouts or see my waving arms. “Maybe it would have been better if we had never gotten married. What on earth did we ever see in each other?” she asked, with no hint of anger, regret or bitterness. I hesitated, watching our children on the front lawn, playing badminton without a net, arguing, laughing. “Them,” I said at last.

Jim Civik (Photo by Brian Simcoe) February 2019

 

Body Language

 

 

“You will do what I say,” I insisted, when my body faltered.“How can I trust you?” I scolded, when I didn’t conceive a child right away. “I hate you,” I spat, as my body delivered disease and illness. “I control you,” I gloated, as I swallowed pills. “I need you,” I cried, as my life fell apart. “I hear you,” I admitted, as I took a careful step inward. “I’m in awe of you,” I bowed, when my body revealed its innate strength. “I love you,” I whispered, as my body and I merged.

Keri Mangis (“The Blue Nude” by Henri Matisse) January 2019

 

 

Portrait of a Mother

 

The woman in the painting stares at a baby cradled tenderly in her arms. When I was young, I thought it was a portrait of my mother holding my brother. When I was older, I asked. My mother said it was just an image she loved. But it looked so like her, down to the gentle curve of her lips.  That picture is mine now and when we were looking for a place to hang it in my new home, my mother said, “I’ve always loved this painting. It reminds me of my grandmother.”

Katelyn Thomas (Painting by Mary Stevenson Cassatt) December 2018

 

 

View from the Nest

 

 

I swaddled my newborn in teddy bear flannel and rocked him to sleep after a two am feeding. I cradled him in the dark in a state of bliss, dreaming of his future. First steps, first words, first books. Best friends, braces, teenage bravado. Off to computer camp, off to college, off on his own. Thirty years later he drops by for dinner, sporting his unshaven weekend cool. He laughs about politics, chats about changes at work, shares plans for Australia, and I see the light in his eyes as he dreams about his future.

Karen Zey (Photo by Nathan Dumlao) November 2018

 

 

 

Marriage

 

Yesterday morning my cat scratched my pinky finger. Bright red blood bubbled up from the cut. My husband was about to walk out the door to work. “Don’t leave while I’m bleeding!” I called out. He returned. I held a Kleenex to my pinky and applied pressure. When the bleeding stopped, he carefully wrapped a Band-Aid around my little finger. “You can go now,” I said. And then my husband left.  That’s what marriage is all about – staying during times of active bleeding.

Dara Dokas  (Photo by Federica Diliberto) October 2018

 

Thief

 

Because I was small, no one thought I was stealing. Just a moment detached from the hand of my mother; an anonymous criminal lurking out toward the candy, slipping the first thing I saw down the front of my jammies. “Your son has M&M’s by his penis.” No one was likely to say such a thing. That accusation would likely blow back in ways the accuser would struggle to answer. Waxy paper digging into my skin, I’d find my mother’s hand once again. “You never nag me to buy you a treat.” Her pride was magnificent. “Such a good boy.”

Will McMillan (Photo by Patrick Fore) September 2018

 

Good Deed Doing

 

“Lady, Lady!” I glanced around to see a man seated in a wheelchair anchored by a case of Schlitz, wedged in a pothole. As I  attempted to right the chair, it tumbled over. The victim and his beer lay sprawled on the ground. The old adage, “No good deed goes unpunished” came to mind. Just then, a passing fireman in a red truck calmed my panic with, “I’ll take care of this.” My savior, not on a white horse. Soon, the victim was back in his chair and in a volley of thank yous, I scurried to the car.

Carol Skahen (Photo by Evan Brockett) August 2018

 

Daughter

 

On seeing my light skin, the nurse asked my father, you sure she’s yours? Of course he was sure. He’d braced his hands on mama’s belly and coaxed me into this world. We delighted in burrowing our fingers into each other’s Afros, my father on his knees, me on my tiptoes. Wary of our kindred spirits, my mother took me away. Seeing my mother’s white complexion, melanin blooming in my skin, they asked, You sure she’s yours? Of course she was sure. She’d delivered me, read to me, pointed out the constellations. Consider giving her away, they said.

Gila K. Berryman (Photo by Greg Rakozy) July 2018

 

Negative

 

He turned a basement storage space into a darkroom where strips of gray photo negatives dangled, waiting to be transformed into images of his children and his wife. Pictures that would come to life when light, paper, and chemical baths revealed hands, a face, a mood, a place. Some remain even now, many years later: prints and curling film created just yards away from a fist-sized hook driven into a ceiling beam. I’ve often wondered if he had considered hanging first, before choosing a shotgun fired in his truck on a dirt road.

Katherine Houston (Photo by Caleb Minear) June 2018

 

 

 

 

A Perfect Moment

 

Charlotte Coneybeer

I held a piece of chicken wire in place as my daughter twist-tied the other end to a pole.   We were protecting our vegetable garden from hungry wildlife. My gaze settled on a leaf of a lilac bush, a glorious creation, perfect in shape and form, fluttering gently from its stem. I looked up to the treetops, grand beings of earth and sky, filtered sunlight onto my face. All of us, happy to be alive. I closed my eyes and heard the song of birds,  spreading the word.

Marie Davidson  (Photo by Charlotte Coneybeer) May 2018

 

Stillborn

 

Aditya RomansaAren’t all babies born still? Those I have seen eject from the birth canal, including my two, came rigid, slick, unmoving from their cramped closet. In the first breathless seconds, any newborn looks dead. Eyes clamped tight against the glare, they must jump between worlds, like fish flying out of water onto dry land. Jerking, as if to life, they thrash, then wail. My sister’s baby didn’t make the leap, or else he jumped through a different door. I press my cheek to his. Swallow his scent. Earth. Water. Fire. Air.

Leslie Prpich (Photo by Aditya Romansa) April 2018

 

 

Ask Mother

 

juan pablo rodriquezI asked my mother what she thought the meaning of it all might be. I was interested to know whether, after nine decades of it, she might have a clue. Do you mean what are we here for? she asked. Where she was involved, she liked to be clear about things. Ya, that’s another way of looking at it, I confirmed. After a moment, she said, I think we’re here to be kind to each other. But she didn’t sound very definite.

Gillian Rennie (Photo by Juan Pablo Rodriquez) March 2018

 

 

Hot Coffee

 

photo-1510548922026-ba310217bbf7The dude was deft but it was still hubris for him to stand over me with his uncovered coffee mug on a crowded subway train, holding it with his ring-and-middle-fingers while his remaining digits grasped the metal pole to keep him from tumbling as the thumb on his other hand pecked at his phone, leaving me anxious, alert for the possibility of a scalding assault to my transit tranquility.

David M. Barish, February 2018

 

 

And Now We’re Even

 

Photo by ryan-tauss on unsplash

As the upperclassman parked his baby blue car, I realized we weren’t going to lunch. I resisted his touch, saying I’ll report you to the principal. He said he would tell everyone that I had gone all the way. Liar, liar, I yelled, until he turned on the engine and drove back to school, distracted enough not to notice me pulling up my skirt to release a long stream of pee on his tweedy blue gray upholstery and then, safely back, slamming the door hard, putting a wall between me, the stink, and the stinker.

Renee Moses (Photo by Ryan Tauss) January 2018

 

Israeli Drive-By

 

IMG_2373I’m dropped into my origin story with a bruised head and heart. My father says he remembers a lamb’s throat being slit open for a holiday as a boy. My cousin says she is a dancer, she is beauty personified, she is flesh of my flesh.  My father’s cousin says Rabin was killed here at a rally by a right-wing Orthodox Jew who opposed a peaceful solution. “I hope he’s in jail forever,” he says, pointing to the spot as we drive by. An intricate Arab-Jewish pattern lain over these hills – the orange, grey, white, and blue.

Annette Covrigaru, December 2017

 

So

 

IMG_6627

I hear her crying and spot her: head bowed, sunglasses shielding her eyes, crouched, rocking at the base of a Macy’s denim display. I approach tentatively, and ask if she’s okay. She removes her glasses and I notice the dark circles, disheveled hair and wonder when she last slept, showered. A hospital visitor sticker clings to her rumpled t-shirt. I open my arms. She steps into my embrace, and we are like awkward teenagers, slow dancing. “My mom’s dying,” she says. “I’m so sad.” I hold her so she’s not alone, so I’ll never forget, so we hear each other’s breath.

 

Jennifer Lang, November 2017

 

 

 

Strangers on the Street

 

As I crossed the street at rush hour, I saw the woman who shares my name crossing in the opposite direction. We’ve never met but I found her on Facebook the day he told me about her. I clicked through her photos, trying to understand why she won him. She was elegant and posed by beaches and mountaintops. I didn’t want him, not anymore, but I hated her for being everything I wasn’t. She passed without looking, because to her, I was just another nameless face.

Heather Mangan, October 2017

 

 

 

 

Nijinsky’s Dilemma

 

 

If you knew that gravity would reverse itself and the walls of space flatten like a cardboard box, would you still jump so high?

Tom McGohey, September 2017

 

 

 

 

Someone Else’s Life Flashes Before Me

 

From my moving car, I see a magical residence downslope through the trees. I am going too fast, and the glimpse only lasts about 1.35 seconds. A pink bus is surrounded by a broad blue deck filled with rose, fuchsia, and violet.  A woman in pink plaid, maybe gingham, is walking on the deck.  I think she is a natural beauty who doesn’t need make-up but wears lots of it anyway, and catches one off-guard with her sharp wit.  There is no point in even thinking of a life with her, for the wont of a pink bus.

Richard LeBlond, August 2017

 

 

 

Lightning, Thunder

 

On summer nights, my father stood resolutely on the porch to listen for thunder, to observe lightning. When that lightning cracked the sky and lit the world the color of steel, my father’s rules were absolute: No telephone, no television, no shower. During a particularly window-rattling storm, Dad rushed us into the ’65 Malibu, sure that the car, with its rubber tires, was the safest place to sit out an electrical storm. My father belted us three kids together in the backseat, the silver buckle pressing against my belly, the car never moving off the driveway.

Judy Bolton-Fasman, July 2017

 

Twelve Steps

 

Forty-four satin buttons ran up my spine, holding me tight in the shiny ivory wedding gown. My size 12 feet were tucked inside ballet slippers, trying to look elegant but I felt like a mixed-up kid dressed for Halloween. Walking down the aisle I saw my brother, my keeper, my truth teller, the only one who said what others wouldn’t. That he never liked him. The heaviness of the dress weighed me down. There were twelve steps to the chuppah. Then five. And in that last step and I knew for sure I was making a mistake.

Lori Dube, June 2017

 

 

 

 

Elegy

 

I was working at a music shop when a man walked in carrying a small instrument. He placed it on the counter, unrolling the rags like bandages. The instrument was a sunburst, A-model mandolin, rounded and full as a teardrop. “Yesterday, this belonged to my daughter,” he said. He looked at me and I suddenly felt the energy in grief. It was a sweaty, palpable sting. I read the details of the accident later in the paper. And as I read, the storeroom grew warm, like a hundred string instruments were vibrating in the air, performing a private elegy.

Rachel Hoge, May 2017

 

 

The Perfume of the Dying

 

A dense, sweet smell fills the hospital room, like October orchards full of fermenting fruit. They tell me it is the scent of the dying, and not unusual for my aunt’s kind of cancer. How fitting, I think. She always entered a room on a cloud of perfume, usually something musky that hung in the air like hummingbirds. What I wouldn’t give to spray some on her wrists now. Instead, I watch her breath slow. I take her translucent hand. I inhale the perfume of the dying. Her scent lingers long after she is gone, just as it always has.

Kim O’Connell, April 2017

Eighty

 

My sweaty torso is slumped over his legs as I face his feet. We lie like this for some time, quiet, our breaths slowing. I look up and notice his toenails. Too long. They need a trim. I offer. “Sure,” he says. I kneel in front of him. The light is soft from the small bedside lamp; the room is warm from our lovemaking. Small wedges of hard nail fall to the floor, my free hand holding his octogenarian foot gently in place. I feel a deep sense of purpose and privilege; what we do when love is complete.

Nina B. Lichtenstein, March 2017

 

 

Transfer

 

The shuttle driver monologues about his family in a desperately friendly voice. His oldest is Jeff, Jr; his daughter Unique gave him his young grandchild. Like a man pinned against a wall trying to humanize himself before a heartless mob; like by blurting out the names of his loved ones it will grind our eyeless apathy to a halt. We do not lift our faces from our phone screens, though as the shuttle speeds through a red light, a soft bark of condemnation begins to surge.

Kristine Langley Mahler, February 2017

 

 

 

Teacher

 

He said it was like being crucified alive. He submitted to therapy and passed a lie detector test. The therapist said he didn’t have a sex problem. But what could the headmaster do? His name was in the papers, on Boston talk radio. He was my teacher in high school, a favorite. Cheering all those teams, loudly with his cowbell, had been a waste, he said. Now he is dedicating himself to the elderly, combing the hair of a woman in hospice, holding the hand of another, telling me nobody should have to die alone.

Kurt Mullen, January 2017

 

 

 

Capturing Ailie

 

capturing-ailie-pic-2Her hair a tangled bundle of flyaway wheat, tiny toes gripping the crisp terrain, she toddles away, chubby fingers sweeping aside the silver-grey taffeta I made her wear. Her two older brothers pursue her clumsily, but she laughs, mellifluous squeal piercing the early-day exurban hush. These gadflies can’t really catch her; no, not yet. Already they’re too laden with their ages’ rigors: shoe tying, potty training. Invisible, invincible – she propels her twelve-month self forward, joy imbuing her with sylphish grace, supernatural speed. Nothing can capture her, but this photo.

Mindy Watson (Photo by Mindy Watson), December 2016

 

 

Armenian Coffee

 

img_0320 My white friends want me to read their fortunes in coffee grounds. I do, but I make it up. I sit on an oriental rug from J.C. Penney’s, stare into the meaningless black smudge, and suddenly develop an accent. Offer images like, “A woman reaches toward nothing…” “… A sloth eyes a mannequin while dancing.” In coffee grounds, in my life, everything is symbols. I’m told that coffee served without spilling means you’ll find a husband. Am I alone because I let the pot boil over? I serve coffee but say nothing. There’s a drop on the tray. I let them interpret.

Katie J. Beberian, November 2016

 

Meeting Primo Levi

 

img_3352One day in Turin, I met a man twice my age whose shy, bespectacled face had looked long into human darkness. In Auschwitz, he said, they took away your clothes, money, photos, past, future – your language, even. Many died of despair, but he saw one man simulate washing himself to survive. I thought to myself, he is a saint. Fifteen years later, when the radio in my kitchen announced his suicide, I staggered against the fridge, yelling Goddammit, the Nazis got him after all.

Michael Rabiger, October 2016

 

 

 

Crackerjack Days

 

 

baseball“Think the home team will lose again?” my younger son asked with a sigh. His enthusiasm was crippled by his eye for athletic prowess. For my older son and me, the outcome was irrelevant. We savored the sharp crack of the bat, the tinny organ music, and the tantalizing aroma of nacho cheese mingling with sizzling red hots. Our muscles tensed, propelling us toward every foul ball or free T-shirt. The magic of the ballpark settled upon us, and we wore it as proudly as you would a cloak of sand after a day at the beach.

Andrea Isiminger, September 2016

 

 

The Wall

 

IMG_0946My little sister used to beat her head against the wall when my parents fought. She wanted them to stop. They heard her once, but they argued more. I was never going to be like them. There would be no fighting. My daughter wasn’t going to be pulled into my marital problems. If things got bad, I’d get a divorce. But when I think of the popcorn wall that my sister and I shared, I don’t think of my marriage. I’m just ashamed that I didn’t stop that little girl from hurting herself.

Frederick Charles Melancon, Premiere Issue, August 2016

 

 

 

 

Another Guy’s Shoes

 

We were at a Taco Bell when a skinny guy wearing saggy jeans, faded Oakland A’s t-shirt, and royal blue Nikes comes over. “Wanna buy some shoes?” he asked. Mine were New Balance. My husband’s were sale sneakers from Big Five. The guy repeated his question, lifting one foot and wagging it. “Brand new. Only put them on to walk here.” If we bought them, what was he was going to walk home in? “No, man. Thanks,” my husband said. The guy nodded and headed over to another customer, treading lightly, as if his feet weren’t quite touching the ground.

Jacqueline Doyle, Premiere Issue, August 2016
Photos by Ellen Blum Barish except where noted.

 

Stitch Contributors

 

Andrea Isiminger‘s work has appeared in several anthologies and online at Literary Mama blog,  Chicago Literati, Mamalode and Transitions Abroad. She lives in Madrid, Spain.

 

David M. Barish is a Chicago-area writer and storyteller whose work has been published in Story Club Magazine and Stitch.

 

Debbi Welch is a writer and storyteller whose work has been published in Story Club Magazine. She’s the immediate past president of the board of Young Chicago Authors and the creator of Authors In the Schools, a program bringing authors and literature to elementary students throughout Chicago.

 

Sarah C. Baldwin is a writer in Providence, RI who makes a living telling other people’s stories and, occasionally, her own.

 

Karen J. Weyant’s poems and essays have appeared in The Briar Cliff Review, Chautauqua, the cream city review, Crab Orchard Review, Lake Effect, Potomac Review, Punctuate, and Whiskey Island. The author of two poetry chapbooks, she lives and works in northern Pennsylvania and teaches at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, New York.

 

Ruth Rozen is a writer and musician who lives in Evanston, Illinois. This is her first published piece.

 

Dianne Moritz is a children’s writer from Southampton, NY. Her picture book, 1, 2, 3 BY THE SEA, was on Bank Street College’s best book list of 2014. Her poems and stories have appeared in Pudding Press, Earth’s Daughters, Lost Poet’s Society, and in Adelaide Literary, Drabblez, The Drabble, The Haiku Foundation and Haikuniverse. More are forthcoming in Better Than Starbucks, 101 Words, and Writing in a Woman’s Voice.

 

Julia C. Spring is a lawyer and social worker specializing in adult guardianship and mental health law. Her personal narrative pieces have been published in Touch, Blood and Thunder and Persimmon Tree. She was a prize winner in The Intima‘s 2018 Compassion in Healthcare Essay Contest.

 

Sarah J. Crewe is a Chicago-area writer. This is her first published essay.

 

Jim Civik has edited trade association journals and newsletters and his articles has been published in trade publications. He writes for a local newspaper and is completing a memoir. He is retired and lives in Chicago.

 

Keri Mangis is a freelance writer, teacher, and speaker. She is a columnist for Elephant Journal and her work has appeared in The Good Men Project, The Sunlight Press, Grown and Flown, Rebelle Society and Literary Mama. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters.

 

Katelyn Thomas is a writer, poet and photographer from Cecil County, Maryland whose work has been published in Califragile and One Sentence Poems.

 

Karen Zey is a Canadian writer from Pointe-Claire, Quebec. Her work has appeared in The Brevity Blog, Cleaver, Crack the Spine, Hippocampus, Memoir Magazine, and Prick of the Spindle. Karen can be found on Twitter @zippyzey or at www.karenzey.com.

 

Dara Dokas is the author of three books for children. She also has had two essays published in The Christian Science Monitor’s Home Forum. She is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

Will McMillan’s work has been featured in Nailed, The Sun, Thread, Sweet, Cold Creek Review as well as in This American Life. He is a former Portland, Oregonian who lives in New York City.
Carol Skahen is a retired schoolteacher and writer who lives in Chicago. This is her first published piece.

 

Gila K. Berryman’s work has appeared in Lilith Magazine, Entropy, Mobius and is forthcoming in Transition Magazine. She received her MFA from New York University and is working on her first novel.

 

Katherine Houston is a Kalamazoo, Michigan-based nonfiction writer who has worked in print production, advertising, and nonprofit marketing and is currently marketing manager for the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. She’s been published in Catapult Magazine, Topology Magazine, and the International Journal of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

 

Marie Davidson is a writer and psychologist living in Glenview, Illinois whose essays have been published in From Oy to JoyFrom There to Here and Thread.

 

Leslie Prpich writes in unceded Gitxsan territory in northern British Columbia. She is working on a book of stories that spotlight women’s roles in the local history, and she blogs at www.commatology.com.

 

Gillian Rennie lives in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. She teaches in the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. She was twice selected to be a USC/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow in Los Angeles and her work has appeared in two Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award collections; Adults Only, a Short.Sharp.Stories. anthology; and on SLiPnet.

 

Renee Moses grew up in Brooklyn and now considers Chicago her home. This is her first published essay.

 

Annette Covrigaru is a queer American-Israeli writer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. They were a Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices nonfiction fellow and writer-in-residence in 2014 and 2017, respectively. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Kaaterskill Basin Review, TQ Review, and Emerge. They are the editor and creator of All Things Jesbian, an LGBTQIA Jew(ish) litzine (allthingsjesbian.com). Annette is currently completing a master’s degree in Holocaust Studies through the University of Haifa.

 

Jennifer Lang’s essays have appeared in Under the Sun, Assay, Ascent, The Coachella Review, Hippocampus Magazine, and Full Grown People. Honors include Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays nominations and finalist in 2017 Crab Orchard Review’s Literary Nonfiction Contest. Find her at http://israelwritersalon.com and follow her @JenLangWrites as she writes her first memoir.

 

Heather Mangan is a writer and storyteller from South Dakota who currently lives in Chicago. She blogs at heathermangan.com. 

 

Tom McGohey is a retired professor who taught Composition and directed the Writing Center at Wake Forest University and lives in Newbern, Virginia. His essay published in Fourth Genre was selected as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

 

Richard LeBlond is a retired biologist living in North Carolina whose essays and photographs have appeared in Montreal Review, High Country News, Compose, New Theory, Lowestoft Chronicle, and Still Point Arts Quarterly. His work has been nominated for Best American Travel Writing and Best of the Net.

 

Judy Bolton-Fasman’s creative nonfiction has appeared in many literary venues. She writes about culture and arts for a variety of outlets. You can find out more at www.thejudychronicles.com.

 

Lori Dube is a freelance writer, social worker and life coach. Her writing has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, JUF News, Crain’s Chicago Business and Make it Better Magazine.

 

Rachel Hoge is a Tennessee native whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The RumpusRavishly, The Washington Post, Paste Magazine, Catapult, and others. She’s an MFA candidate at the University of Central Arkansas, a previous intern at the Oxford American and BookPage. She’s at work on her first book of nonfiction. You can follow her on Twitter @hoge_rachel.

 

Kim O’Connell is a writer based in Arlington, Virginia, whose articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal, Brain, Child, PsychologyToday.com, unFold Poetry and Little Patuxent Review. She has been a writer in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and was the first-ever writer in residence at Shenandoah National Park.

 

Nina B. Lichtenstein is a storyteller and teacher who lives in Maine. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Lilith, The Brevity Blog, and Literary Mama, among other places. Her book, Sephardic Women’s Voices: Out of North Africa, was just published.

 

Kristine Langley Mahler’s nonfiction has been recently published or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Quarter After Eight, Sweet, Tahoma Literary Review, and the Brevity Nonfiction Blog. She is a graduate student in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

Kurt Mullen is a writer who lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in Powder, Paddler, Canoe & Kayak and Berkshire Magazine.

 

Mindy Watson is a DC/Northern Virginia-based creative nonfiction writer and writer/editor. Her nonfiction has appeared in Ars Medica and her poetry is forthcoming in The Quarterday Review. .

 

Katie J. Beberian is a writer who teaches composition in Fresno, California.

 

Michael Rabiger is a filmmaker, educator and writer on film directing. He is working on a biography of Thomas Hardy.

 

Frederick Charles Melancon is a teacher and a writer. He is a native of New Orleans and he currently lives in Mississippi with his wife and daughter. Premier edition: August 2016.

 

Jacqueline Doyle‘s essays have appeared in PANK, Monkeybicycle, Sweet, 100 Word Story and Quarter After Eight and forthcoming in Post Road and The Pinch. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Premier edition: August 2016.