Cathy Smith Bowers’ collections of poetry include Like Shining from Shook Foil (2010), The Candle I Hold Up to See You (2009), and A Book of Minutes (2004), and her poems have appeared in publications such as Poetry, the Southern Review, Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares. For many years the poet-in-residence at Queens University of Charlotte, Bowers currently teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens and in the Haden Institute Spiritual Direction and Dream Leadership programs. From 2010 to 2012, she was poet laureate of North Carolina.

The Major Holidays

Lee Upton’s most recent book of poetry is Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2015); her new collection of fiction is Vis-itations: Stories (LSU Press, 2017).

Making the most of the least I can do

for & from James Galvin


People were nice. I asked the priest

to wear my mother’s wedding dress during the sermon

about the difference between turning the other cheek

and looking the other way. The cowboy

wore it gelding

Bob Hicok’s ninth book, Hold, is just out from Copper Canyon Press.

Children’s Fall

Sydney Lea’s thirteenth collection of poems, Here, is forthcoming from Four Way Books next year. Also due in 2018, from Vermont’s Green Writers Press, are Lea’s collected newspaper columns from his years as Vermont poet laureate, News That Stay News: Lyric and Everyday Life, his, and a re-issue of his collaborative book of essays with former Delaware poet laureate Fleda Brown, Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives.

Invisible Star Maps

For my stepdaughter Kari Harvey (23 December 1982–10 May 2016)

We know that we have passed out of death into life.

—1 John 3:14

Wherever we go we leave a thumbprint of the soul.

Ghosts of words we never said

Richard Jackson has published fifteen books of poems and is the author or editor of multiple critical monographs, books in translation, and anthologies. His most recent books are Broken Horizons (Press 53, 2018) and Out of Place (Ashland Poetry Press, 2014); “Take Five,” a prose poetry project with four other poets, is forthcoming.

Rock and Roll: Triptych

Erin McGraw is the author of six books, most recently the novel Better Food for a Better World (Slant Books, 2013). Her stories and essays have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Atlantic, STORY, the Southern Review, Allure, and other magazines and journals. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, the poet Andrew Hudgins.


The Thirteen Wonders of Tammy

Samuel Ligon is the author of four books of fiction, most recently Wonderland (Lost Horse Press, 2016), illustrated by Stephen Knezovich, and Among the Dead and Dreaming (Leapfrog Press, 2016). He’s co-editor, with Kate Lebo, of the forthcoming Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter and Booze (Sasquatch Books, 2017). He teaches at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, edits the journal Willow Springs, and is artistic director of the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference.


Gary Dop, a poet, playwright, and performer, is an associate professor of English and the director of Randolph College’s low-residency MFA program in creative writing. He is the author of two books of poetry: Father, Child, Water (2015) and the forthcoming Earth Never Settles (2020), both from Red Hen Press.


She broke all his moments in half with the kitchen door standing open.

—Anne Carson, “The Glass Essay”


A Good Place to Dig

When my mother left, I had no idea of her leaving. She took nothing with her, …

Renée Branum’s fiction has appeared in Blackbird and the Long Story, and she has stories forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, Tampa Review, and Alaska Quarterly Review. Her essays have been published in Fields Magazine, Denver Quarterly, Hobart, and others. Her essay “Certainty” was awarded first prize in the Los Angeles Review’s Fall 2016 Nonfiction Contest, and her essay “Bolt” received first place recognition in the Florida Review’s 2017 Editors’ Awards. Branum holds two MFA degrees—one in creative nonfiction from the University of Montana and one in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.