Winter 2018

Book Review: The Last Ballad

Wiley Cash. The Last Ballad. New York, N.Y.: William Morrow, 2017. 384 pages. Hardcover. $26.99. Reviewed by Jessica Cory Wiley Cash’s third novel The Last Ballad is a suspenseful tale based on a historical event. The novel follows protagonist Ella May Wiggins and a wide cast of narrators, including a northern porter, a wealthy mill owner’s wife, a demoted yet…

Any Tree

It can be any tree that changes everything,   the boisterous sapling sprung from a ridgetop, youthful   boughs yearning toward the sun long before town stretched   its domestic tendrils into the woods, before streets were laid and   power lines strung, before the neighbors and the homes. It…

When We Are Clay Again

You were a creature of the highway, a growling ghost with a rib cage visible underneath a thin layer of Tennessee clay-covered fur. You were never mean, but at first you had the ferocity of a buzzing hornet, too afraid to stay in one place. When Grandfather found you by the side of the road, I remember…

Carnage

The weasel knew their warmth in the dark, ripped throats, let drop the gangly, earnest bodies of two-week-old domer chicks we found slain in the obvious morning light, the chicken coop an aftermath, an abattoir, blood-sopping tufts of down scattered awry, forty-eight of fifty dead, the two living birds huddled…