Sara Kachelman: On Friendship and the “Old-World Horror” of Climate Change

An interview conducted by Sofia Montrone Sara Kachelman received The Columbia Review’s Spring 2020 Prose Prize for her short story “Friends of the Gyre.” Her story, about a group of people who befriend an enigmatic and terrible storm, first crossed our desk in January, but recent events have imbued the narrative about unlikely social relationships and unbalanced power dynamics with new salience. We were impressed by Sara’s humor, her attention to nature, and her sense of the eerie, and our contest judge, Jordan Kisner, was as well. I caught up with Sara over email last week to discuss her short…

Spring 2020 Prizewinners, Runners-Up, and Finalists: Links to pieces!

The time has come to read our Spring 2020 issue, now available on our “Current Issue” page! Below, you’ll find all of our phenomenal finalists, runners-up, and prizewinners for our 2020 Poetry & Prose Competition, accompanied by links to their pieces in our magazine: WINNER (selected by Jordan Kisner) – Prose Sara Kachelman, Friends of the Gyre WINNER (selected by Robyn Schiff) – Poetry Bryn Evans, Thotiana’s interlude, or Barbara Mason reconsiders settling down RUNNERS-UP (selected by Robyn Schiff) – Poetry Sidney Eberly, The Sidewalk Queen Kirsten Ihns, WATER LENS BAY DOG COUGH BUTTER MOTHER FINALISTS (selected by the editors) – Poetry Sidney Eberly, The Sidewalk Queen & Heliotropism Complex Janelle Effiwatt, Poetry, like…

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In Support of BLM: Organizations to Donate to

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: https://www.nypl.org/support/membership/schomburg-society “Harlem’s beloved NYPL branch—a research institution, community center, and artistic stronghold dedicated to Black history and thought—dedicates itself as much to historical preservation of Black lives as to present and future activism.” –Ryan Daar The Loveland Foundation: https://thelovelandfoundation.org/ “The Loveland Therapy Fund provides financial assistance for Black women and girls in the U.S. to access mental health professionals and therapy sessions. It is committed to supporting the mental healing and wellbeing of Black women and girls: therapy sessions can cost anywhere from $80-$200, and Loveland works to ensure that recipients will…

Jake Skeets and Christopher Soto: On Literary Activism During Covid-19

Intro: Jake Skeets is the author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers (Milkweed Editions, 2019) and Christopher Soto is the editor of Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color (Nightboat Books, 2018). In this interview, they discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the Navajo Nation and how the pandemic intersects with…

Sunday Staff Picks: May 17th

Writers and Lovers by Lily King Writers and Lovers is Lily King’s latest book after the success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel, Euphoria. Her new novel follows 31-year-old Casey Peabody who copes with her mother’s sudden passing, heartbreak, and pursuing a writing career while drowning in debt. King’s first-person narration gives us a direct gaze into Casey’s thoughts which reveals her constant uncertainties and very real anxieties. Despite all that seems to be going badly for her, Casey never ceases to point out the humor and absurdity in everything. Writers and Lovers is full of little truisms delivered…

Sunday Staff Picks: May 10th

Notes from an Apocalypse by Mark O’Connell Notes from an Apocalypse by Mark O’Connell is not the book you’re expecting—but unquestionably the book we all need during the seismic shift of COVID-19. Throughout, you follow the conversational meditations of this worried yet apprehensively optimistic author as he goes through the same mental loops I’ve felt…

Sunday Staff Picks: May 3rd

Temporary by Hilary Leichter “I have a shorthand kind of career,” confesses the protagonist of Temporary, Hilary Leichter’s zippy debut novel. This confession is true, as it turns out, in a delightfully unconventional way. A temp at “an uptown pleasure dome of powdered women in sensible shoes,” Leichter’s unnamed protagonist is sent out to fulfill…

Finding What is Lost in C. J. Tudor’s The Other People

The Other People / C J Tudor / Ballantine, 01/20 – $27 (Hardcover) There is something relentlessly engrossing about a mystery. The suspense, the shock, and finally the catharsis when all the pieces come together create a reading gripping experience that cannot be found elsewhere. The Other People, the most recent novel from C. J.…

Sunday Staff Picks: April 19th

Sh*t is F*cked Up and Bullsh*t by Malcolm Harris I picked up Sh*t is F*cked Up and Bullsh*t for fairly obvious reasons. Released less than two months ago — let’s call it the Before Times — Marxist journalist Malcom Harris walks readers through the past decade here in America. It’s not a pretty picture. Beginning…