Praise for the Porchbed

Praise for the porchbed is praise for SLEEP.
Wrapped in cricket and cicada-sound sleep.

Rapt in rain sleep. Worry and all-trouble erasing
sleep. Smoothed-out sleep.

Counting sheep and Bo Peep sleep.
One two three four five six seven
sleep and …

Coleman Barks, professor emeritus at the University of Georgia, has since 1977 collaborated with various scholars of the Persian language (most notably, John Moyne) to bring over into American free verse the poetry of the thirteenth-century mystic Jelaluddin Rumi. This work has resulted in twenty-one volumes, including the bestselling Essential Rumi in 1995. He has also published eight volumes of his own poetry, including Hummingbird Sleep: Poems 2009–2011 (2012) and Winter Sky: Poems 1968–2008 (2008), both from the University of Georgia Press. 

“Be Unpredictable, Be Real, Be Interesting, Tell a Good Story!” (with an interview by C.J. Bartunek)


While the U.S. census and the American Community Survey provide data on demographic changes in a city or region, they are not able to tell the stories of how these shifts occurred, or how citizens may feel about them. …

Eddie Arroyo (b. 1976, Miami) documents the effects of gentrification through landscape paintings. His solo shows include Witnessing the Effects of Gentrification, at the Haitian Heritage Museum in 2017, and Developers Survey (Bakehouse Art Complex) and Aesthetics of Commerce (Swampspace), both in 2015. In 2019 his work was exhibited in the Whitney Biennial.

Frutos Extraños

Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of seven books, including I Hotel (2010), finalist for the National Book Award, and the forthcoming Sansei & Sensibility (2020), all published by Coffee House Press. Recipient of the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature and a U.S. Artists Ford Foundation Fellowship, she is professor emerita of literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


In order to get the insurance company to pay for the visit, the therapist needed to make a diagnosis within the first session. 

“Don’t pay too much attention to it, though, these kinds of diagnoses aren’t really that helpful or …

Amanda Ajamfar is a short-story writer currently living in New York City. She has been generously supported by awards and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. You can find her stories in the Colorado Review and at Paper Darts.

The Citizenship Question, or, The Actors of Dearborn


Before  arriving at Uncle Sam’s house on the corner of Yinger and Gould Streets, Youssef Bazzi had been canvassing the neighborhoods in East Dearborn for over a month, knocking on doors throughout the day and …

Ghassan Zeineddine lives with his wife in Dearborn, Michigan, where he teaches Arab American literature and creative writing at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. His fiction has appeared in Witness, Fiction International, Iron Horse Literary Review, and The Common, among other places. He is currently co-editing the creative nonfiction anthology Uncertain Refuge: Voices of Arab Detroit (Wayne State University Press, 2021).

The Citizenship Question: We the People


The memory begins here: we’re young, us skicins, and we’re somewhere on the reservation, the island. We could have been anywhere, but when we look back on it, we’re in the …

Morgan Talty was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and grew up on the Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine. He received his B.A. in Native American studies from Dartmouth College and completed an MFA in the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine. Talty’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Shenandoah, Narrative, TriQuarterly, LitHub, and elsewhere. He lives in Levant, Maine.

Do Migrants Dream of Blue Barrels?

I live in Tucson. People tell me they love the images they see on my various social media feeds of the mysterious, moonscape desert that surrounds. Many of the friends, acquaintances, and strangers who follow me on social media live …

Raquel Gutiérrez is an essayist, arts critic and writer, and poet. Raquel was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, where they just completed two MFAs in poetry and nonfiction from the University of Arizona. A 2017 recipient of the Creative Capital Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, Raquel also runs the tiny press Econo Textual Objects (established 2014), which publishes intimate works by QTPOC poets. Raquel’s poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Los Angeles Review of Books, Fence, the Texas Review, and Hayden’s Ferry Review; their first book of prose, Brown Neon, will be published by Coffee House Press in 2021; and their first book of poetry, Southwest Reconstruction, will be published by Noemi Press in 2022.

Displaced Farmers, Refugee Seeds: Why Syrians and Kurds Aren’t Going Back “Home” from Lebanon

Gary Paul Nabhan is a Lebanese-American and Ecumenical Franciscan Brother who was hosted in Lebanon by American University in Beirut in 2018. A MacArthur Fellow and award-winning essayist, he is working on a novel about his family’s flight from Syria a century ago. Nabhan has authored and edited more than thirty-five books on the natural history and ecology of the American Southwest and the importance of nurturing cultural diversity to preserve biodiversity. One of the co-authors of the manifesto “An Invitation to the Radical Center” (2003), his most recent books include Mesquite (Chelsea Green, 2018) and Food from the Radical Center: Healing Our Land and Communities (Island Press, 2018). 

Writing the Immigrant Southern in the New New South

Adapted from keynote address presented at the Red Clay Writers Conference, Kennesaw, Georgia, 9 November 2019


Southern literary giant Ernest Gaines was born in 1933 in pre–Civil Rights Louisiana. There was no high school for him to attend there …

Soniah Kamal is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and public speaker. Her recent novel Unmarriageable (Ballantine Books, 2019) is a Financial Times Readers’ Best Book of 2019 and a 2019 Georgia Center for the Book “Book All Georgians Should Read” and is shortlisted for the 2020 Townsend Prize for Fiction. Her novel An Isolated Incident (Allison and Busby UK, forthcoming July 2020) was a finalist for the KLF French Fiction Prize and the Townsend Prize for Fiction. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the GuardianBuzzfeedCatapultThe Normal School, and other publications. In 2017 she gave a TEDx  talk about second chances.