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Showing results for 2012

December 31, 2012 | Nonfiction

From the Vault: Redefining All-You-Can-Eat: Our 14-Hour Challenge to Ryan's Steakhouse by Blake Butler 

The Atlanta AWP was the first one that I attended. Among many memories that explode to mind: perhaps the worst breakfast served by a restaurant to four people in the history of restaurants,

December 28, 2012 | Fiction

From the Vault: Fitzhugh Falls by Todd Cantrell

Jensen Beach looks back at Todd Cantrell's "Fitzhugh Falls" from Hobart January '11.

December 27, 2012 |

From the Vault: That Which Is Revealed in the Absence of Light by Elizabeth Ellen

It is a well known but oft forgotten fact that children are unable to tell lies in the dark. With adults you can never be certain. Some can, some can’t. It depends upon the retained permeability of their heart. 

December 26, 2012 |

From the Vault: Almond Bark

I vividly remember reading this piece for the first time, and being totally surprised, because I feel like it's not very often that you read a holiday story (and I mean a story that is about the

December 25, 2012 |

Rare Exports (Finland, 2010)


I can tell you right now that the visual of thousands of Santas running naked through the Finnish/Russian countryside with murder weapons in hand is basis enough on which to see Rare Exports. This

December 20, 2012 | Fiction


Ross McMeekin

Lugging along next to me on the elliptical is an older gentleman – about the age my dad would have been – wearing two high-tech knee braces, fit with gears and everything, and what looks like an old-fashioned weight belt. He’s a regular at the fitness center, same as me. We’ve acknowledged each other on occasion and said a thing or two in the sauna, but never a real question-and-answer. I’ve always wondered about his knees.

December 19, 2012 |

Elizabeth Ellen's "Best Books of 2012"

Elizabeth Ellen

Top Ten of 2012

December 19, 2012 | Nonfiction

On Seeing

Kreg Abshire


It’s the 26th of September 2007. I’m driving from work to pick up my daughter at school. On the radio Melissa Block is telling me that “From NPR News, this is All Things Considered” and that

December 18, 2012 | Fiction

Bad Guy

Elliot Sanders

Bad guy has no luck.  Here he is walking the aisles of the home and garden center, checking hoses for flexibility, thickness.  

December 17, 2012 | Fiction

Luc Bustomanta

Becky Tuch

When it starts to rain we cross the street. I don’t know where we’re going, but something warm and scattered is jumping underneath my skin. He leads me to the door of an apartment building, nudges me onto its small step. Then, smooth as a cloud moving across the sky, he presses his body against mine.

December 16, 2012 | Fiction

The Way We Sleep Blog Tour

The Way We Sleep, an anthology of prose, comics, interviews, all about how we spend our time in and around beds was published this month by Chicago's Curbside Splendor. Currently on a "blog tour"

December 14, 2012 |

No Bull Bourbon: Evan Williams Egg Nog

Christopher Newgent

This Evan Williams Eggnog has all of what you’d expect in a nog. That strong taste of Christmas, of vanilla and cream and cinnamon and nutmeg.

December 13, 2012 | Poetry

Two Poems

Rob Kenagy

flowering and husking in the cornfield. Blooming / and ripping ourselves open. Surprising even our kin.

December 12, 2012 | Fiction


Linda McCullough Moore

The A.D.T. man has only come to fix the security system, check each connect, repair the wire that’s frayed, reprogram the alarm before he drives off to do the same thing three blocks over. He wants no part in these people’s lives, he has no heart to join their quest for the secure, their rich man fantasy they can protect themselves, if only they will pay.

December 11, 2012 | Fiction

Three Stories

Sarah Ciston

We imagine all nightmare scenarios, where you do not text us back because you are dead, and won’t we look insensitive for imagining that you hate us.

December 10, 2012 |

One Creature's Review of the Denny's Hobbit Menu

Barry Graham

In the original 1937 edition of The Hobbit, Tolkien promises in his description, “If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home

December 7, 2012 |


PR Griffis

Aaron “Jesse Pinkman” Paul and Mister White (aka Heisenberg, aka Walt, aka Bryan “Malcolm’s Dad” Cranston) are making meth in a cavernous and secret meth-cave.

December 6, 2012 | Fiction

Your Gedanken Collection

Kenton K Yee

You win the Nobel Prize for the photoelectric effect but your relativity theory is what makes you famous.

December 5, 2012 | Poetry

2 Poems

Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney

When talking dirty, be sure to use action words and nouns that cause pictures inside people’s heads. End with an image and don't explain. 

December 4, 2012 | Fiction

Road Snacks

Heidi Diehl

The prison is a test market—a closed circuit, a place where candymakers can focus on the choices made when options are limited. Research into what people will eat when they have nowhere to go.

December 3, 2012 | Fiction

The Fear of Secretarial Errors

Rupprecht Mayer (Translation by Kenneth Kronenberg)

On the one hand, it was tough for Tessa to be let go by the Internet company, but it meant that she could now fulfill a long-deferred dream. She opened her mountain office on a pasture just above

December 3, 2012 |

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012; on DVD now)



Searching for her mother, as well as caring for the people she loves as they battle for survival, the story of Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis)  - the main character in Beasts of the Southern

November 30, 2012 | Poetry

Jeff Bridges poems

Donora Hillard


You tell Jeff Bridges you fear
your dying breath will be just like
the whimper you make when trying
to remove glitter polish from your
toenails. He sets his guitar down on
the fur

November 30, 2012 |

Annie Hall (1977)


Although Woody Allen (Alvy Singer) might be the most adorable hipster on the face of the planet and I consider his writing/acting/directing to be rather perfect, somehow Diane Keaton (Annie Hall)

November 29, 2012 | Fiction

A Change of Seasons

Nathan Oates

No one called it a plague at first.  We weren’t the kind of people who used words like that, words heavy with the suggestion of some greater force, but the idea was there, almost from the beginning, skittering around in the back of my head, peeking out into the light.

November 28, 2012 | Poetry

Two Poems

Katie Jean Shinkle

tell me, what are we looking for, don’t die right now

November 26, 2012 | Fiction


William VanDenBerg

At 32 she whistled for the first time and was alarmed by her talent.

November 23, 2012 |

Non-Reader Spotlight: Sean Olumstad

Jac Jemc

For this non-reader spotlight, I talked to Sean Olumstad. Sean and I met as undergrad theatre majors at Illinois Wesleyan, but Sean made the wise move to pursuing a career in nursing.

November 21, 2012 | Fiction

All God's Children

Tawnysha Greene

On the day we come with Daddy down the mountain, Momma wakes us up early while Daddy's still asleep, pulls out white poster boards, markers from the closet, and together, we draw babies. Heads with black eyes, bodies curled, hands in mouths, a blue cord running from their bellies to somewhere off the page.

November 20, 2012 | Nonfiction

American Thrift Store: Photo Essay 

Aaron Gilbreath

Here in the US, it’s often said that the best way to experience the so-called “real” America is to visit small towns. Right along Main Street, sipping low-grade Arabica bean coffee at the counter