Author Archives: William Warren

Issue 43

Fall 2021
Order Online

Digital Issue


The Tax of Quick Alarm
Lee Anne Gallaway-Mitchell

Karen Day
The Cellar

L. A. Johnson
Radiant Stranger
House Full of Someones
Where Warm and Cool Air Meet


E. A. Bagby
Echo and Narcissus

Emma Wunsch
Pick Up

Brett Armes
All of Them Stars in Heaven Shall Fall


Michael Waters
Anxious Eclogue
Pine Grove Lodge

Joshua Garcia

Anne Barngrover
Love When It’s Hard
The Sea Urchin Spines

Nicholas Samaras
From Genre of Trespass: (24)

Yerra Sugarman
[Before the city became rind and marrow]
[Who knows how light works]

Elisabeth Murawski
The Request

Arthur Vogelsang
Central Park
More Human

Kay Cosgrove 
Ars Poetica Sex Poem


Sonja Livingston
Phonics Lessons

Kevin Callaway
Obituary: A Still Life with Islands


Dog Cavanaugh
Great Debates to Have

Andrew Kane

Laura Newbern
Creative Nonfiction Editor

Peter Selgin
Fiction Editor
Chika Unigwe
Poetry Editor
Kerry James Evans
Managing Editor
William Warren
Assistant Managing Editor
Darian Araiza-Samples

Assistant Editors
Lori Tennant
William Gerdes-McClain
Shannon Yarbrough
Dalton Monk
Courtney Schmidt
Caleb Bouchard

Unclassifiable Contest 2021 Winner and Finalists

The 2021 Unclassifiable Contest has ended, and a winner has been chosen by judge, Michael Martone!

Winner: “ARMORY” by Helen Hofling

The “author” is dead–no news there–but the “writer” and the writing endures. But what does the writer do now when the writer writes with this incredible powerful typesetting machine connected to the world wide web? Well, you do this this. You begin to collapse the categories of writer, editor, typesetter, publisher, designer, illustrator, printer. Long live the media artist, the artist mediator, the rewritten “righter.”

Michael Martone

(Honorable Mention) William Lessard, “from Techniques for creating facial animation using a face mesh”

Chelsea Biondolillo, “Weeds”
Noah Farberman, “Greaseboy Rules Second Edition”
Tucker Leighty-Phillips, “The Rumpelstiltskin Understudies (play)”
Arreshy Young, “The Stars in Middle Age”

Thank you to all who submitted, for stretching our minds and engaging our imaginations! We hope to see your work again next year!

23rd Annual Arts & Letters Prize Winners

Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction
Karen Day, “The Cellar”

“[“The Cellar” is] a taut and wonderfully written story that uses the suspense of a looming natural disaster and the claustrophobia of a basement hideout to explore as well as explode the secrets, tensions, hopes, and dreams of a Midwestern family in crisis. Through precise dramatization, “The Cellar” moves beautifully in and out of time, casting a revelatory weight on the present with each excavation of the past.”

– Novuyo Tshuma, Judge

Thomas Maya, “El pan de cada dia,” Perry Glasser, “Not That Anyone is Asking,” and Reena Shah, “Stardust”

Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction
Lee Anne Gallaway-Mitchell, “The Tax of Quick Alarm”

“One thing I particularly love about “The Tax of Quick Arm” is how immersed the author made me feel in the life of a military spouse in Korea—this is a life I’d rarely, if ever, contemplated on my own, and suddenly she had me *right there,* and she did it with grace and efficiency. The dual way she uses the MOPP system is also brilliant. And most of all, I feel like this is an essay the world *needs* right now, when so many women are at MOPP 3 because of systems they did not build and can’t control. It is, sadly, wonderful timing for this piece to find an audience.”

– Kristi Coulter, Judge

Jill Christman, “The Sandbox Ghost,” Frank Walters, “Judging the Distance,” Mary Petty Anderson, “Newt Terrell,” and David Mairowitz, “Transcribing Robert”

Rumi Prize for Poetry
L.A. Johnson, for “Where Warm and Cool Air Meet,” “Downriver,” “Radiant Stranger,” and “House Full of Someones”

“What is sight, what is smell, how do they lead us into life, into what we believe and become? In “House Full of Someones” we are strangers, we are putting our eyes to the window, we are with the speaker of the poem, we are curious, what world is this? We are caught in between the dead and the living, we are in the language. I am in awe of how the poem progresses, of what it seeks to achieve. At the end, the poem knows that knowledge is gotten through waiting, through patience, and as we wait with it, I ask myself, what have I learnt? Yes, it is too late for the dead to go back, to be alive, but what possibility lies in death? What becomes of us, of the dead in this world? What have we smelled, what have we seen, what do we wait for?

There are poems that teach us about the fullness of our humanity, that open spaces and show us the world that exists just beyond what we have been used to. When I read “Where Warm and Cool Air Meet”, “Downriver” and “Radiant Stranger,” I was ushered into a world where grace is alive and grief is pain, but also the gateway to hope. In the world of these poems even joy must be disguised before it is achieved and at the end of pain there is rebirth, a human life for a lemon. At first this looks impossible, but the language of these poems is alive, it is real, it leads us not just into the process of grief but also through the process of rebirth.”

– Romeo Oriogun, Judge

Danielle Williams, Monique Ferrell, Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, Tom Laichas, Sally Lipton Derringer, George Kramer, Christopher Shipman, Doug Ramspeck, and Betsy Sholl

Each winner receives $1000; the winning will appear in our Fall Issue.