I Came Here to Be Alone

I paced back and forth in my art studio, not taking my eyes off the drawing on my long white desk. I ’d just finished penciling in the eyebrows of a third African tribesman. A group of them stood on …

Carrie Esposito spent most of her adult life on the east coast, except for stints in India, Thailand, and London, until she recently moved to Denver with her husband and children. After the move, she finished her first novel, “No Way to Fall Off This Earth,” which she began writing in a notebook on the subway ride to and from work while an assistant principal of a middle school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She’s currently revising her novels and writing short stories. Her short stories have been published in Mused.

Visiting the Temple in Nîmes

Betsy Fogelman Tighe has published widely in small literary magazines, including Rattle, TriQuarterly, and Verseweavers—where she was awarded third prize in the New Poets and first prize in the Dueling Judges categories in 2015 by the Oregon Poetry Association. Tighe currently works as a teacher-librarian in green Portland, Oregon.

Gary Snyder and the Road to Kitkitdizze & Joyce Carol Oates, Badass (with introduction by the author)

Rick Bassis the author of thirty-one books of fiction and nonfiction, including, most recently, For a Little While: New and Selected Stories (Little, Brown, 2016). His work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Travel Writing, Best Spiritual Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and Best American Nature Writing. He lives in northwest Montana, where he is a board member of the Yaak Valley Forest Council. His essays in this issue will appear in The Traveling Feast, out this summer from Little, Brown.

Studies in Darkness

“There’s something about black,” said Georgia O’Keeffe. “You feel hidden away in it.” Louise Nevelson said she fell in love with black: “You can be quiet and it can contain the whole thing.” Somehow this is true for …

Traci Brimhall is the author of three collections of poetry: Saudade (Copper Canyon Press, 2018); Our Lady of the Ruins (W. W. Norton, 2012); and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010). Her poems have been published in the New Yorker, PoetryPloughshares, and The Best American Poetry; her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Copper Nickel, Cincinnati Review, and Brevity. She teaches at Kansas State University.

The Art of Pain

John Cotter’s personal essays have most recently appeared in Guernica, Catapult, and Electric Literature. He has a coming-of-age novel, Under the Small Lights (Miami University Press, 2010), and he is completing a narrative manuscript about going deaf, “Losing Music.” A lifelong New Englander, Cotter now lives in Denver, where he teaches for Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

The Beatitude of Nowhere

Jennifer Stock is a writer and new media artist based in New Haven, Connecticut. She is currently working on an essay collection that examines the resonance of objects inherited from her collector parents. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the Iowa Review, the Normal School, Hotel Amerika, and Salmagundi.

Meanders, Toe-Heads, Scour Holes, and Oxbows: Some Notes on a River Life

John Lane, the author of multiple books of poetry and prose, teaches at Wofford College. He has paddled rivers in dozens of states and foreign countries, and has written poetry and prose about them. He and his wife own seven kayaks, three canoes, and a stand-up paddle board.

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain on Medical School.

Amy Steinberg is a graduating medical student at the University of California–San Francisco, and will continue her training as a resident physician in neurology at the University of Washington. She is the recipient of the 2017 Alan Cheuse Memorial Scholarship from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

Naguib Mahfouz and the Nobel Prize: A Blessing or a Curse?

Raymond Stock, an expert on Middle Eastern cultural and political affairs, has translated seven books by Naguib Mahfouz, whose biography he is writing for Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow and a frequent commentator in the media, Stock is an instructor of Arabic at Louisiana State University and a Shillman/Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum. His articles and translations of Arabic fiction have appeared in Bookforum, the Diplomatist, the Financial Times, Harper’s, International Herald TribuneJournal of Arabic Literature, Middle East Quarterly, Zoetrope: All-Story, and many other venues. He is currently translating Egyptian writer Sherif Meleka’s 2008 novel Khatim Sulayman, with the working title “Suleiman’s Ring,” for the American University in Cairo Press.