ISSUE 13 - SPRING 2022

ISSUE 13 Editors
Poetry Editor: Sneha Subramanian Kanta
Art / Photography / Fiction Editor: Harshal Desai
Fiction Editor: Cathy Ulrich

Front Cover Art
‘Holding On’ by Kim Collins

Journal Layout and Cover Design
Harshal Desai


Dear Readers,

Outside my window, a route is full with a vast patch of sunlight. Our world needs more tenderness; and the poems, fiction, art, and interview feature in this issue seamlessly embody that quality.

“A haunting” by Elou Carroll fills the senses with color and sound, “a secret kissing” by Liam Burke encapsulates a soft ritual of love, and “April” by Susan Robertson not only underlines important questions and observations but also meditates upon the immediate landscape. “Beloved” by Ọbáfẹmi Thanni looks inwards as much as outwards corralling beauty, “Blue” by Joanna George gathers strength in vulnerability, reminding us of how life is here, happening, amidst it all, and “Burning Sweets” by Anuja Ghimire juxtaposes embers of celebration with a sharp attention to the gaps. “By Night in Yangzhou” by Aiden Heung is an intelligent, descriptive poem that amalgams anthropomorphism with a beloved city, “do you see how the jellyfish bloom?” by Laura Ma is a conversation about oceans, seas, and the belief in magic, and “Escape” by Donna Vorreyer brings together inventive form and language with fresh syntax.

“False Contrapuntal with Trauma Response” by Alyson Kissner offers a co-ordination of image in symmetry, “Primary Stress” by Akshi Chadha brings to attention what it means to belong and the importance of introspection and being gentle with ourselves when faced with personal questions in the public realm, and “Holiday Abecedarian” by Sophia Liu encapsulates the measure of changing seasons and their impact on the everyday life of an individual. “Like Honey” by Anoushka Chauhan concentrates on love languages, the meaning of home, and how food is a source of holistic nourishment, “Midwinter” by Michael Goodfellow enters into the space of landscape and memory, “Moon Bath” by Abigail Chang is a litany of varied multiplicities, and “Multitasking” by Ryan Oliver Drendel converses through the white space and what is left to decipher through observations.

“Note for Future Neighbors” by James O’Leary weaves intricate storytelling about wonder and chronology, of leaving a home and being rooted to the immediate landscape, “Portrait of My Father as Tree Rings” by Kara Knickerbocker is resonant of the passage of epochs, and what it means to hold remembrance close, and “Kindergarten” by Tim Tim Cheng utilizes transliteration and traces tales of bilingual proximity in our relationships through which we gather meaning.

“Refrain” by Ja’net Danielo correlates language with the body, of how that which is a familiar sweetness lingers, “She Invites Me Home to Meet Her Family” by Lauren Saxon enters an unknown place, which is made known through food, love, and flowing conversations, and “What’s The Worst Thing That Has Ever Happened to You?” by Stephanie Kaylor echoes resistance through the incisive rhetorical.

“The Cello” by Shannon K. Winston examines different frames of the same person, and takes notes about the changes, “This Love is Also A Father’s Love” by Michael VanCalbergh is a litany of all the innumerable illustrations of what love can be, “Undersea Choir” by Kim Abi Zeid Daou charts proximity to waterbodies with an enthusiastic musicality, and “Waterscape” by Ray Ball is about interacting with water, colors, and aligning our senses to the spiritual.

The artworks of Kim Collins bring forth a meditative realm, an expanse to belong to the world in the arc of quietude. “Cormorant Road” by Amrita Chakraborty brings attention to place and family, “Scents of Sisterhood” by Areej Quraishi includes plenitude, language, and belonging. “Don’t Make the Same Mistakes I Did” by Heather Bell Adams is about letting go as much as holding on, and “Parenthood” and “Jeremy in Our Heads” by Courtney Clute are strong and effective in how much it tells the reader about all the characters. The interview feature with Hayan Charara is a series of conversations that took place across autumn, winter, and early spring.

We are incorporating changes in our publication after Issue Thirteen, details of which will be announced in the oncoming weeks. Our editorial team remains committed to bring you the best of contemporary literature from the world.

These times call for action, but also rest for the collective. For those of us who are parents, caregivers, working through the strands of seasons, and who embroider tenderness in everyday life, we bring you the words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, from Gift from the Sea, “Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.” We present to you, this issue with warmth and joy.


The Editors


A haunting – Elou Carroll

A secret kissing – Liam Burke

April – Susan Robertson

Beloved – Ọbáfẹ́mi Thanni

Blue – Joanna George

Burning Sweets – Anuja Ghimire

By Night in Yangzhou – Aiden Heung

Escape – Donna Vorreyer

False Contrapuntal with Trauma Response – Alyson Kissner

Do you see how the jellyfish bloom? – Laura Ma

Primary Stress – Akshi Chadha

Holiday Abecedarian – Sophia Liu

Like Honey – Anoushka Chauhan

Midwinter – Michael Goodfellow

Moon Bath – Abigail Chang

Multitasking – Ryan Oliver Drendel

Note for Future Neighbors – James O’Leary

Portrait of My Father as Tree Rings – Kara Knickerbocker

Kindergarten – Tim Tim Cheng

Refrain – Ja’net Danielo

She Invites Me Home To Meet Her Family – Lauren Saxon

What’s The Worst Thing That Has Ever Happened To You? – Stephanie Kaylor

The Cello – Shannon K. Winston

This Love Is Also a Father’s Love – Michael VanCalbergh

Undersea Choir – Kim Roger Abi Zeid Daou

Waterscape – Ray Ball


Scents of Sisterhood – Areej Quraishi

Don’t Make the Same Mistakes I Did – Heather Bell Adams

Cormorant Road – Amrita Chakraborty

Parenthood – Courtney Clute

Jeremy in Our Heads – Courtney Clute