Collaborations, Water and Light (with an interview by Douglas Carlson)


Photographer Meghann Riepenhoff travels without a camera. Instead, she packs paper that has been coated with a solution of ammonium ferric citrate and potassium ferricyanide. And instead of traditional photographic prints, she creates cyanotypes—the result of a printing process …

Meghann Riepenhoff, originally from Atlanta,  is now based in Bainbridge Island, Washington, and San Francisco. She received a BFA in photography from the University of Georgia and an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute. Her work is held in the collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. Riepenhoff’s awards include a Fleishhacker Foundation grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and recognition as a Critical Mass Top 50 Photographer. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff (Alberta) Centre for the Arts and the RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco and an Affiliate Artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California.

Letter of Recommendation; Bookending the Day; The Listener; & Ghazal of Air


Letter of Recommendation


I am writing on behalf of the wind in my son’s hair,
which, at least in this photograph, is always there for him,
always cooling his cheeks and suggesting new scents
from over yon dale, …

Matthew Nienow is the author of House of Water (Alice James Books, 2016). His poems have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, TriQuarterly, and many other magazines and anthologies. A former Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow, he has also received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and Artist Trust. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington, with his wife and sons, where he works as a builder of wooden boats and other watercraft.

Shaken 1: From fairest creatures we desire increase; Shaken 58: That god forbid that made me first your slave; & Shaken 127: In the old age black was not counted fair

Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Her writing has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review, the New York Times, and other publications, and in several anthologies, including Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems. Smith has been the recipient of an Orlando Prize, a Rainmaker Award from Zone 3 magazine, and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship. Her chapbook, Scatter, Feed, was published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2014, and her book, Nobody’s Jackknife, was published in 2015 by the West End Press.

Making Tamales with Mom on Christmas Eve & The Field

Jose Hernandez Diaz, a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow, is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020). His work appears in The American Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Huizache, Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, The Nation, Poetry, and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Currently, he is a guest editor for Frontier and Palette Poetry.

Unclear, the Level of the Tide; So Below; & Paring the Earth

Leah Poole Osowski’s Hover Over Her (Kent State University Press, 2016) won the 2015 Wick Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Black Warrior Review, Gettysburg Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She was a former Emerging Writer in Residence at Penn State Altoona and is the poetry editor of Raleigh Review

Happiness Is Very Hard (Is It); Dark Eye Circles; & God Knows Our Secrets, translated from the Taiwanese Mandarin by Nicholas Wong


Happiness Is Very Hard (Is It)

If pain secretly visits and sleeps over
In a zigzagging night 
The body, like a habit-driven curve,
Will become bitter and stiff at the right time
Or it will try to lie flat …

Sun Tzu-ping, a literary editor, prose writer, and poet, is the author of the poetry volume Sentimentalist (2018), the essay collection Knowing Shadows (2015), and the novel Male Bodies (1998), all published in Taiwan, where Sun serves as an editor at the Liberty Times.

Day (with an annotation by Blake Butler)

[an excerpt from our Winter 2020 issue]




A rhombus


in a mind.


without a body,


air into air.


without a body.

Sun up.





Reminder of a body,


Molly Brodak published a full-length collection of poetry, A Little Middle of the Night (University of Iowa Press, 2010); a memoir, Bandit: A Daughter’s Memoir (Grove Atlantic, 2016); and three chapbooks of poetry. Her most recent collection, The Cipher, won the 2019 Pleiades Press Editors Prize. Before her death in 2020, she taught writing and literature at numerous institutions, including Emory University, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Georgia College and State University. An accomplished baker and recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Brodak’s poems appeared in such publications as Granta, Guernica, and Poetry.

Attempts at Order; This Headline Made Me Think of Being Ten; Inspiration; Just Saying; Doppelgänger; & Barangay

Michelle Peñaloza is the author of Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire (Inlandia Books, 2019), winner of the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk National Poetry Prize, and two chapbooks, landscape/heartbreak (Two Sylvias, 2015) and Last Night I Dreamt of Volcanoes (Organic Weapon Arts, 2015). The proud daughter of Filipino immigrants, Peñaloza was born in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She now makes her home in rural northern California.

The Difficulties of Travel; The Procession to Calvary; & In Such a Way That

Eric Pankey has published many collections of poetry. A new book, Not Yet Transfigured, is due out in fall 2021 from Orison Books. He is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University, where he teaches in the BFA and MFA writing programs.