Stories & Essays

Translating

2021 Kenyon Review Short Nonfiction Contest Runner-Up

(chosen by Roxane Gay)

     I asked K*** if, seeing as how this was pulled from her own life, she wouldn’t rather pursue the piece as nonfiction. 

     K*** stood her ground. She preferred it be a short story. She liked the idea of writing her own ending.

     When we teach, it can be easy to forget that our students often lead complicated lives beyond our classrooms. “Translating” is a moving remembrance of a student suffering from chronic illness, the impact they had on a teacher, and how some experiences are beyond translation.

                          —Roxane Gay

The Boy from Walmart

2021 Kurt Vonnegut Prize Runner-Up

(chosen by Kij Johnson)

     The clear plastic packaging was slicked by melting snow.

     Inside was a living doll.
     Or a boy.
     Depending on whom you asked.

Parabolic

2017 Slippery Elm Prose Contest

Winner

I met Jesus of Nazareth near a Wal-Mart south of Jackson, Tennessee about the same time my wife and I were talking divorce.

Ootheca

The McNeese Review

"Edith scratches her forearm. A scurf of dead skin flutters into her lap, salting her black jeans. I resist chiding her. Why does she insist on wearing black? Why can’t she keep from scratching all the time? Why did this blow up into some Medici-level, online intrigue with her classmates? Why now? Why is her body doing this now?"

Advanced Studies in Cryptozoology

7X7

with Robert James Russell

"They turned down a logging path, bumping along for miles until they reached a trailer at the end like a witch's house in a fairy tale."

Sometimes a Vague Notion

New Ohio Review

"Here in the backyard of our mutual friend in San Diego, holding beers while a balmy twilight coats us in aquatic hues, a woman talks about Norway. Norway by way of Bulgaria."

Lingua Flanka

Daily Science Fiction

The first recorded message from a cow is this: "Room grass no grass person pet person grass together."

Let Mythical Beasts Flourish

The Tishman Review

Ancil used to think the world might react favorably to the myakka apes. He, Ancil, was not the ugly one. He was not a monster. Monsters were monsters.

Tishman Review