To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour. –William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”
In Carol Smallwood’s new collection, Divining the Prime Meridian, the universe is examined, spun on its axis prism-like and finally, released. Smallwood finds the universe in a dragonfly, quilt-stitching, Clabber Girl baking soda and the bandana that she will wear after the chemotherapy treating her breast cancer.
Homespun Midwestern themes prevail through all of the seven sections: Domestic Life, The Natural World, Health and Welfare, Geography, The Mental Realm, Cities and finally, Seasons.
Smallwood employs the metaphor of divining throughout the collection. The poet defines it: “The locating of water underground using a divining rod is an old practice; divining can also mean to …MORE
When I first heard Jason Ockert read from his fiction at the Sewanee Writers Conference years ago, I could not imagine that the friendly-looking young man who shyly coughed into his microphone on stage possessed the kind of wicked imagination that had the power to keep me up at night, book in hand, thumb cuticle caught between my teeth, hand shaking with every page turn, but that is exactly what it felt like to read Ockert’s new novel Wasp Box, published by Panhandler Books this February.
In fact, Ockert’s signature style in both his award-winning story collections, Rabbit Punches and Neighbors of Nothing is a dance between the mundane and the horrific; a rope-walk between the comedic and the tragic. It should be no surprise, therefore, that Wasp Box follows in that tradition …MORE
Here’s a glimpse the Wabash Prize for Nonfiction 2014 winning essay, “Ghost Language,” by Jessica Wilbanks.
“Annie had once asked me if I could speak in tongues, and I denied it, even though I knew that language slept inside me like a baby and the slightest rocking could wake it up. The last time that had happened was the year before last, when some college friends and I had holed up in a cabin in the woods with a baggie full of mushroom caps and stems. Bad vibes saturated the scene. The man who owned the cabin had a menacing air about him, so my friends and I retreated to our bedroom at the height of our hallucinations. When I crawled into the bottom bunk, one of my friends flipped the light switch off and closed the door, leaving me in complete darkness. I was convinced I had gone blind …MORE
Thank you for everyone who entered the 2015 Flashcard Contest. We’re delighted to announce our winner, whose story will appear on a card distributed at AWP and with our next issue of Sycamore Review.
Sarah Freligh for “We Smoke”
Sarah Freligh is the author of A Brief Natural History of an American Girl, winner of the Editor’s Choice award from Accents Publishing, and Sort of Gone, a book of poems that follows the rise and fall of a fictional pitcher named Al Stepansky. Sad Math, the winner of the Moon City Poetry Award, is forthcoming in November 2015. Recent work has been featured on Verse Daily, in The Sun Magazine, Brevity, Rattle, Barn Owl Review, and in the 2011 anthology Good Poems: American Places. Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.