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Read the Summer 2018 Issue

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bell hooks and Fenton Johnson

Rae RGH

Interview: Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon & Rebecca Gayle Howell

The City

After the rain, the alley smelled of wet screen door, the city-stink of piled up garbage and exhaust washed nearly clean. She noticed this only in spring. By summer the rain when it came bucketing down made thick mud of the foulness. The city dug in its heels, spread its…

Black Magic Gun

Here, in 1970, draft papers in hand, my father’s father begged the trigger of a .22 to blast a small piece of his son’s foot into the hillside so he would not leave the mountains to fight jungle communists. My father. His father. The gun. Gun of worn wood and…

Second Coming

I had known all my life the world would end with the new millennium, that Jesus would return and save the faithful and leave the wicked, and that girls who didn’t want to be left behind had better behave. I knew this because my father told me, me and the rest of the congregation at the Little Martha…

Attics

Tuesday’s midmorning creative writing class, and the fifteen students are clock-watching or note-taking or simply staring out the windows at the bright spring day. We’re talking about writing personal narratives and I am looking for words to describe a place inside from which such stories come. Heart. Belly. I can’t seem to think of a corporeal description that doesn’t make…

Winter 2018 Editor’s Note

I’ve been thinking a lot about Cincinnati lately, recalling the first glimpse of the Queen City as one rounds the bend on I-75 and begins the descent down toward the riverbed just before Covington. A few days ago, I opened my Internet browser and pulled up a map of the Ohio River on my screen, tracing its crooked…

2017 Denny C. Plattner Awards

We are proud to announce the winners of the annual Denny C. Plattner Awards, which were established in 1995 by Kenneth and Elissa Plattner to honor their late son and his love of writing. The awards are given to the finest pieces of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry that appeared…

Fish and Wildlife

Drew 1957 I was trailing after my father on a path between tall pines, heading back to our cabin at Kentucky Lake. We’d hiked to the bait shop before anybody else had come awake so Daddy could phone Number One. Daddy runs coal mines down in the mountains, and Number…

My Side

It’s taken me four long nights to accept the fact that I don’t have to huddle on the left side of the bed anymore. I can spread out. I can sprawl in the middle. I can leave my light on. I can eat chocolate chip cookies on the duvet, or…