Not much sign of mystical religious experience in contemporary short stories, is there? We are here to remedy that with another unusual story of the month. Prepare to be conveyed to the boundary between the here and now and the ineffable beyond. Ed.
“Seated again, he closed his eyes. Now and then he had sampled High Anglican services (had, in fact, dragged along both Maureen and the children) where the priest broke out the censer, smoking the pews like a beekeeper gently rousing his charges, but he preferred things here in the cathedral: high enough, quite solemn to be sure, but musical and slightly imperfect; human, somehow, and all the better for it. Sometimes he’d invited people from the office.“
James Roderick Burns’ short story collection, Beastly Transparencies, is due from Eyewear Publishing in 2022. He is the author of three collections of poetry – most recently The Worksongs of the Worms (2018, haiku) – and a short fiction pamphlet, A Bunch of Fives. His work has appeared in a number of journals and magazines, including The Guardian, Modern Haiku, The North and The Scotsman.
Her mouth is wide and painted royal blue, her teeth stark white in comparison as she bares them at the ceiling in thought. She can pass for a corpse pulled cold from the salty water of the ocean outside her window, frail and blue and perfectly preserved.
“What do you want to be?” She asks me.
Jessica Fogal lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (USA), where she’s a full time legal assistant, amateur street photographer, and author. She’s been published in The Ilanot Review and has had many prints showcased in art galleries such as Terrain Spokane, and continues to use her lifelong passions for performance, visual, and literary arts as an inspiration for her creative writings.
Three-time nominated Lucy Caldwell has won the sixteenth BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) with ‘All the People Were Mean and Bad’, a story taken from her 2021 collection, Intimacies. The news was announced live on BBC Front Row by 2021 Chair of Judges, James Runcie. Caldwell, a multi-award-winning writer from Belfast, was previously shortlisted in 2012 and 2019.
“Every year we choose a book that we hope will capture the imaginations of the people of Dublin, of all ages and walks of life, and I know that Nora will prove a rewarding reading experience for all who engage with One Dublin One Book 2022. For the centenary of the publication of Ulysses, it’s important for us to honour the contemporary writers Joyce has inspired, as well as the woman who inspired him. We look forward to working with Nuala O’Connor to create a programme of events next April that we hope will encourage many discussions and conversations.”
Congratulations to David Butler on winning this competition, which is part of the Omagh Literary Festival, and named in honour of the great Irish short story writer Benedict Kiely. It’s always gratifying to see past contributors making more waves. (Ed.)
We're back with all new stories. Here's something to think about because, you know, nothing at all is happening in the world these days, is it? Read the whole story before you make up your mind about this one. It might not be just what you think. (Ed.)
“Al Nash kept the dark secret of his hair loss hidden under his favorite blue canvas Navy cap, and pulled it even lower as he told his son, Troy Nash, about Robert E. Lee …”
Jack R. Johnson is a monthly columnist for North of the James Magazine in Richmond, Virginia; an editor of The Alliance for Progressive Virginia blog and a contributor to Style Magazine. His published works include short stories, articles and the novel, An Animal’s Guide to Earthly Salvation. His latest novel, In Black and White, is scheduled to be published by Propertius Press in 2022.
I look forward to reading those new short stories that are out there somewhere, running around, gambolling and frisking but also lazily drowsing, hysterical or … actually this could be quite a long list, so let’s just say send your best. (Steve)
Photo: Editor in Gladstone Park, attended by atomies, 2009
JOHNNY CARUSO IS BORN into the urban turmoil of 1950s and ’60s working-class Brooklyn. Wedged between the limited worldview of his parents—alcoholic and abusive Bellisario and browbeaten, unstable Maria—and his liberal-minded older brother and sister, young Johnny struggles to navigate his childhood and adolescence.