Oysters – Lynne Golodner

The oysters arrived on a paper plate, craggy half-shells pooling ocean brine. A server slung a basket of napkins, vinegar and cocktail sauce on the table. Dan lifted a shell and slurped. I forked one and bit into the softness, closing my eyes. I breathed in through my nose to taste more fully. These were…

The Unbearable Brightness of Being – Laura Swan

I’ve taken photography up again for the sake of my fictional avatar. She’s about to start university in Dublin and, unbeknownst to her, she will buy a camera in her second term in an attempt to digest, dissect, and process the world around her – a world that has become intensely disorientating, a world she…

Community and Creativity in New York in Patti Smith’s Just Kids – Jasmine Choice

The prolific New York art scene gained momentum in the 1950s through the subversive Beat movement and the experimental first-generation New York School of poets. Both celebrated community and were integral in inaugurating a defiance of the mainstream and the innovation of art as collaborative. These artistic coteries shared geographical proximity; personal relationships; and similar…

Little Big Stories Everywhere – Jen Schneider

With each dawn, dialogue, and downturn – downpours, too ergonomics and economies dictate energy. Economic impacts expand far beyond employment and stories drop – downstairs in the kitchen, too. Hope blooms eternal, the saying goes. Spring, too. Perennials – candy cane sorrels and blue grape hyacinths. Annuals – geraniums, impatiens. Patiently impatient. Waiting for the…

A Perfect Cadence – Sinéad Price

There is an art to falling. Sacrificing soul, limb and touch to the whim of this tempest. To cross that distance, to breach that space is not the effect of passion, but of passivity. It is the ultimate paradox. To shut off all senses but one, to enfeeble the power of the ever-wandering mind, until…

Growing Young – Eve Davies

If there’s one thing one can observe in a residential care home, it is the necessity of humour throughout life. It is true that the human body ages in a cycle. Through life we travel the circumference of a circle. We begin a reliant baby, we start to learn, we grow up, become an adult,…

Frickin’ Lion – Ann Kathryn Kelly

Olive the (lion) dog. Image by Andrea Farrow, via Instagram The mane streams behind the dog as it tears across weathered gray floorboards. “Frickin’ lion.” The seven-second Instagram reel auto-loops on my Thursday lunch hour and I become obsessed with this dog that I later find out belongs to my colleague Jessica’s sister, Andrea. I…

Umbrology – Brian McNely

I stepped off the plane in Helsinki – airport code HEL – and found a restroom. Standing at a urinal, I heard birdsong piped through overhead speakers: odd, soothing, out of place. The train to downtown Helsinki departs from a giant, cool tunnel many meters below street level. The platform is nearly empty. Massive faux-tapestries…

Two Cultures, Again – Kate Venables

I am a student in a creative writing programme, a mature student, from a professional background as an epidemiologist. Amongst ourselves, we students don’t really talk about ‘creativity’. We talk a lot about craft and sometimes we talk about ourselves and the way in which how we feel affects our writing. But rarely about ‘creativity’…

Dances with Rabbits – Walker Thomas

I stood under the alligator juniper that shaded my tent in the oak woods. Effie squatted between my feet. In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade called his receptionist Effie. But the Effie at my feet was no lady. I called her F. E. Cottontail in my journals. Cottontails are coprophagous – literally, Fecal Eating. That…

Missing Woman – Katie Hunter

In early October 2020, my partner Greg and I drove at sunrise to Zion National Park in southern Utah. On the way I swigged coffee and snapped photos of sandstone cliffs dip-dyed red by the sun. They dwarfed what I’d imagined while planning our pandemic-adapted vacation – a national park tour via road trip, starting…