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Dear Reader, 

It is with a joyful, near disbelieving heart that I welcome you to this second issue of Hood of Bone. Disbelieving because of the aliveness propounded by the inaugural publication– I looked at this thing that is the thrill of my life to tend, and for the first time it looked back at me with well-shaped eyes and desires for me to consider. For all of its mostly navigable, scabby beauty, the thing to be lost now stands: it has legs that can buckle and break, a mouth that can go dry, a heart I might make pink and pathetic. If this is something that I should want to sustain, I have to be able to look at all of its beautiful efforts with equal gratitude and uncertainty (how easy they both are to come by!)

This sophomore issue is in the mood for anything: sour beer, tomatoes on the vine, broken necks, flower beds, rings and chains and ditches miles deep. Though if this issue were to have a central theme, that theme is death, but not darkly death. Rather the death that is everything: the terrible simile, a practical abstract, the deliciousness that makes it happen, that ancient tough tension and release. The death that is actually love, what is always returning, returning, returning. The work that Hood of Bone is privileged to publish in this issue keeps me coming back to the places I know love has lived so that it may die. But these moments, these cycles are specific, no matter the common ground that steadies and unsteadies us all. I invite you to let the evidence of  life and love’s diligence in these works return you to your own.

I want to thank my editorial team for the immeasurable role they have played in the slow, continuing growth of Hood of Bone. For their enthusiasm and belief. For their gorgeous shining minds and vocational expertise— Jackson, Iva, Nola— thank you. 

Grace Ezra 


Lyndon Street.jpeg

Maria Canzano, "Lyndon St."

Roses and raspberries are related 

is what Claudia tells me right before she clues me in

that I am standing in a row of raspberry bushes

low and picked clean of their berries 

we weed and sometimes harvest 

the late summer and early fall potatoes 

and tomatoes and tomatillos

I wrap my fingers around the deflated-ball leaves 

that encase the fruit, it feels

like a child's origami balloon 

I can never tell when tomatillos are ripe

but Claudia says they'll be ready 

when they look so full they're about to split 

the leaves will peel away 

I can take care of myself here

in a small way 

when we dig our hands to loosen carrots 

and guess at which ones are ready to come out 

she pulls the first one, long and wiry with fibers 

and points it at my nose and says try it 

I twist my face at all the dirt and bite 

softer than store carrots and gritty 

we sit there and share the first, slowly 

with our stiff knees all ground-soaked 


by Allie Hoback


by Allie Hoback

Jesus bugs skating on top of the pond, 

damselflies speckle the air, landing on 

bare shoulders. Bottles of Tecate and Coors 

Banquet. Life stretched out on a big peach 

picnic blanket. The quiet in the tree cover 

of a sacred secret spot. Cellar spiders outside. 

Fumbling on the ground. Kissed palms 

and bit fingers. But no hurry. Fucking

in the sun, a swim then, naked. Still 

no hurry. Still, I try to catch your eyes 

crinkled at the corners like that day. Sometimes 

I get lucky. Lucky like a heads-up penny. Lucky 

like hands in the grass. A few times you looked up 

over your shoulder. But I knew we were alone. We had to be.


by Chelsea Harlan

The mountain wears cold, wet braids. 

The seasons, like old friends or like mirrors, 

run drunkenly, incidentally into one another, 

exchanging, probably, old pleasantries. 

Or is it inevitably? They have been passing 

like this for a long time. We cannot know 

how long. But when the pear tree throws its pears 

against the toolshed roof, we know it's almost 

the end again, What of the stories that make you feel 

like you think you see it coming. That something, 

that feeling. I said of the visiting poet's reading: 

dang, that was something, without knowing at all 

what I meant, however clearly knowing how I felt. 

There is a box in the storage room at the library, 

well, okay, there are many boxes, all of them small 

and rectangular and organized in crooked stacks, 

an one box is for felt scraps. One box is for chalk, 

one for glue guns, gel pens. But it's the felt scraps

that I like the best. The box contains a color green 

somewhere between forest and storm and ocean, 

do you know what I mean? That deep leaf, 

that seaweed, that jungle myrtle, that vernal laurel, 

that forest shade, the soft felt scrap like fur 

or forged fur. That color that has existed 

like this for a long time. When I say like this 

I want to gesture, with my arms, a great distance.  

Virginia's Two Tall Mountains.jpeg

Maria Canzano, "Virginia's Two Tall Mountains"


by Kellie Diodato

Geared with gloves, I am assigned 

to the dining room table. My hands are prepared 

for the tearing, the wresting 

where decades of your filthy good intentions seeped

into layer upon layer of oilcloth, felt, and cotton. 

Unpeeling the present divulges smells lost to the sludge of time. 

It takes two hours for my fingers to discover 

the mahogany surface. 

It is in predictable condition— the top, caked with food, 

plastic and chalky-napkin plaque; pieces of placemats 

unwilling to release themselves from purgatory. 

The drop leafs and aprons are broken in their bones 

drooping from exhaustion and assault. My mother grieves 

the once smooth and polished wood, the deterioration

perhaps what could have been. I grieve my mother's 

grieving for the wrong reasons, and the words you'd speak to me 

across this very table. They were always drivel, 

dripping, stinging themselves in circles

like your perpetual coffee ring. Always muddy 

and maddening. 


by Dylan Harbison

In the garden the tomatoes you planted 

climb the walls of their cages. Sweetness 

lingers in worm-holed flesh. Inside 

we are in disrepair, the hallway clock stops ticking, 

instead we tick like bombs. In the garden 

the tomatoes you planted, not knowing

they would outlive you, are blood-red 

still clinging to the vine. 


by Chloe Mello

Perched above the return commute blinking bloody on the slow Schuylkill 

The wall of our woods and our sour beer and our linen

              and leaves, bashing against the sewer water and gasoline 

Feeling as animals pushed from home to turnpike, watching 

Our betrayers make their ways from work

You called me dreamy, I toyed with your hand

               a piece of old lace

the scraping of tires

And the relentless black treeline

wings 2.JPG


by Lesley Wheeler

Brown-barked, lichened and peeling, Acer Rubrum 

probes with its taproot towards old clay pipes. 

It remembers a century back when this house 

was new, its pine stairs fragrant with distress. 

A human mother used to lug laundry past 

the window. Influenza swept her heart bare. 

Once there were three big maples reaching

out underground, sending each other sugar, 

shouting chemical warnings when hungry deer 

stole up or caterpillars gnawed. One

went hollow and surgeons came with their hooked belts. 

A second split in straight-line winds and smashed 

the porch. This is the last, and ailing. Trash branches 

snag among its living limbs. The great 

gray trunk angles away. A tea-hued nest 

is stranded in the lace woodpeckers made. 

When my mother turned eighty and the whole family 

gathered, February 2020, 

I guessed what we risked to join at those long tables. 

Not how the year would stretch and decay. 

I want more seasons of bud, flower, samara, 

but my mother is too sad to answer calls.

I research constricted visiting hours, 

pack a bag halfway and leave it open. 

Syd Greene, "Wings 2"


by Lesley Wheeler

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Syd Greene, "Wings 1"

In the afterlife it's hard to find 

              a toilet. We wander 

through sun-drunk mazy 

              hedges, happening on family 

and friends sitting in clusters 

              of generous lawn chairs, 

but the nearby house, she points out, 

              has too many steps

for all these old people. 

              She says she prefers

the second of the flowerbeds 

              where I sprinkled her ashes, 

around those trillium, aren't they 

               strange, in earshot of children

roaring at the zoo, but please

               stop carrying my cremains 

in a tin for arthritis cream. 

               For heaven's sake. 

It's funny, she goes on, the pitch 

               of her voice a meandering vine, 

how your dreams dress me 

               in what I wore to your wedding. 

I worried too much about

               those arrangements. Always guessing 

what other people were thinking. 

               As if anything matters except 

the company of birds and, close by, 

               a cleanish bathroom. Hold my arm, 

that's right. When you wear 

               my earrings and they chime, 

that's me, looking for a place to go. 



by Caroline Harper New

run away! 

stick hands in the pond! 

until fingers turn blue!

there is ice! doesn't hurt! 

first to leave is dead! 


run away! 

find the roly poly! 

blow through the pipe! 

into the meat room! race

to finish first! claim 

the first! fight!

fight! fight!

run away! 

pick pears! from 

the dirt! that rotted! suck them!

like wine! we are drunk!

like our uncle! ha ha!

Mama yells! oh 

no! run away! 

back to the pond! 

smells like poo! we don't care! 

we are wolves! we howl!


they howl back! 

they tell us!

to run away! 

our children 

wait! we gather 

the berries and poo!

cook into pies! cast spells!

feed the barn cats! we have saved 

them all! hurray! hurray!

run away!

disguise! Mama's gloves 

on our heads! now we 

spy! on the cows!

the horses! the pigs! hunt

the traitor! the chickens 

are stupid! know nothing at all!

donkeys snitch! arrest 

the yellow barn cat!

and lock him away! 


run! run!

gather the red bugs! 

the june bugs! no spiders!

in this bottle! fill it up and 

smash! smash! draw maps 

with their juice! this way!

this way! run! shoot 

the squirrels!

shoot them dead 

in the tree! shoot the tree

instead! close enough!

tell Mama they're 

dead! Mama!

they're dead!

they're dead!

we've run away! 

we lie in the calf field! the rye

is over our heads! we can never 

escape! we dig beds!

lie down! play 

dead! and 

wait! for Daddy!

to find us all dead!

ha ha! he is busy 

with cows and we 

run! away 

from our graves! 

he never came! we're still 

dead! ha ha! 

still dead!

still dead!


Florida Panhandle Wildfires, May 2020

by Caroline Harper New

It began in Escambia. No sign 

of lightning or motive, nothing

to explain how it jumped to Musset Bayou, 

Hurst Hammock. Something certainly 

our fault—we backed our homes

into the tree line instead of the sky. 

We should have lined the woods

with our backs braced, our breasts

to fiery beast. Should have brined our babes

in bromine. The papers assure: an inevitable 

anomaly that won't repeat. See how the miles

of gulls that shape the smoke name nothing

close to numbers? They name us 

forty, sixty, ninety, fifty percent contained, 

but when you measure the miles of flames 

Don't count out the injured or anything

not burnt to foundation, says the fire chief. 

Only count the man with the cat named Bowser 

who refused to leave. Who tossed Bowser 

in a canoe and rowed them both to the middle 

of the broil. That's how you survive, he tells the reporter, 



by Sophie van Waardenberg

Out the door the Hudson continues filthily. 

Surely nothing good can ever happen

can it? The light does not change 

as the day goes on. Lunch is closed 

on Mondays and museums and so am I. 

And you are gone to play the harpsichord 

plainly in a little opera. I wait on top of your bed

with eyes closed or open 

forever either with you or not

and it is good in the middle of the day

to have clean feet a grotesque outlook 

and a suitable love. Life will be like this. 

But for some hours yesterday 

the buildings hung around us large and still

I could see the clouds swarming your face. 

We are all loose-edged and troublesome

and unamused. We will remain so. 

The only thing to do 

is to ask too much of each other—

is it too much—no 

it is not too much 

because it is the only thing to do

and our dead ones are still dead 

​and ruining what they touch and so am I. 

by Sophie van Waardenberg

At almost the beginning, I lived unshod 

at the bottom of a hill. Water there

washed grey off my body in the evenings. 

My legs pimpled with draught, and the sun 

left her eggs everywhere for me 

to burst with my toes. We ignored 

our neighbors, though not out of malice. 

Best, I was alone so much. I knew nothing

yet of the sublime or its opposite, or 

that there was something in between: 

an asphalt verge stuck with weeds

where I'd dither forever. I'd tell me, 

your happiness continues there. 

It's just as good, I'd tell me, as what's pretty. 

Berries In The Sun.jpeg

Maria Canzano, "Berries in the Sun"


by Mark Jackley 


dew-damp honeysuckle rising sweetly moonward when 

the blade is 

sleeping has 

a secret language too 


A treetop split by telephone wires, 
clean in half, 
like lungs. 

             We breathed into the phone,
              our words of love 
              an erratic pulse, 

the princely wind 
how humans stay alive. 



I craved one at Rick's funeral
sharp reminder 
to the palms 
to every sailor in 
a stabbing language here
is a shore too


by Ellie Parker



i lay precious sand                          along the outline of your body 

coordinates invisible to the eye                                     sun escapes

the ocean                                                         slow burning skyline

we are there again herds of cars rushing                          your face

washed in tail light                                               how it feels to be

in the presence of pure magic                                            pink silk

tied to the overpass                                             raised at half-staff

far from here sea ice shrinks hurls                            thunders into 

warm crevasse                                          gurgling subglacial rivers

less less and less space to stand                                            my love

does not accumulate 


we are transfixed by death in life                                 life in death

​rub raw upon collision                                       you place my hand

on an open flame                                        a few more degrees and 

snow won't stick 


memory is an ocean of blood                                countless bodies 

blanket the tide                                     ligaments thaw in daytime

if you cut me open you will see                           all the yellows of 

the world

one day you will have a bed of your own                          verdant

river rock in the backyard                         awake before the birds

anxious for the sun                                            shirt slightly open





it's new years eve                                             of course, we are up

booms rattle our windows                                  the world adores

the sound of war                             we want more they say bigger

brighter                                    the dog cowers behind a trash can 

i lean too far over the sill                                  you catch my gaze

breathless recognition                                      look back down at

the confetti in your hands                                   time renames us 

beautiful strangers 


another revolution organizing time                           so that time 

organizes us                                    people do anything to deceive 

the body of its expiry                             black denim out of focus 


my eyes track down                         i watch you  watch the scene

of the dog's great escape                                                     digging 

a ditch miles deep                                                      shrapnel falls

​from the sky 

nosing the sand                                               toward softer shores

​joy in passing tides                                                 there i will leap 

waves shimmer pink                                                     every vowel​

​surrounded by silence 

i make my eyes fit your eyes                                    all i see is blue

i enter your eyes entering me                                  all i see is blue

shutter release                                                    the world in focus  





waves smash our windows                                    nowhere else for

the water to go                                 our bodies against the ceiling

glossy paint                                                              i love this color

flood saliva crusted bowls                         drowning no one heard

swamping sidewalks                                                  snakes ribbon

through gaping pools                                                  soggy hooves

you at my bedside                                      how long will it take us

all the way to shore                                         fish scales scintillate

​bodies thrash                              you hold onto me as though i am

made of air 


morning trembles                                                        cicadas cross

the equator                                                            i look out at you

sweeping up the glass

animals begin preparing for long months ahead                     trap

pockets of air under their wings                                      magnetic

sensing                                                          birth in shallow water

today i know where you are                                 looking up at me

the sun a spotlight                                       highlights in your hair





there is nothing i need to know about god                              i am

​already familiar                                                           with fruit rot

silence is merciful                                the law of rhythm consoles

uncertain lovers 

it is the end of romance                                                  fall begins

and the birds fly home


images linger for too long                                                  the light

burns right through                                                         bleed into

lines                                        there is no way to track the seconds

whales flash their bellies to the sky                             what are we

without framerate                                    in out                     in out

i am still at the end of a decade                             and you are still






petrified branches bury the forest floor                           ruptured

roots break bone                         attempting exact reconstruction

take turns recovering faces

once there was a single piece of land                                         one

enormous ocean                                        yes i know those eyes or

i can't remember                                       no they will never move

the voices start to sound like song                             calling me in

to you                                                    i record them so the future

can hear how you hear


my feet cannot move   

stay out here not in there not in                                          you are

everywhere not in there but out                                    again until

it is true            

ground begins to shake                                  everyone runs inside

shrieks lapse and break                           soundscape of footprints


caws pierce the air                                  shards of opalescent glass

​split skin                                                               breath condenses

i am alone        soundless                                chairs made of snow

a beautiful world with no one in it                   is what you always


i turn to show you my shoes





magma wells weakened crust                                 fissure deposits

jagged line becomes two                          becomes three one after

another is the life we know

gashes spread across the screen                            light beams back

at us                                                                 birth of the universe

the couch in winter light


you lean over to say you love this scene                  notice how no

one in the car looks at each other when they talk                   they

just look out the windows

i watch your belly rise                             out in        out in        out

until the day your belly stops                            tell me: in the end

the earth will win                                            out in             out in

i watch you watching                                            bombs bloom in

the center of your eye



by Tyler Barton

Forms of Feeling_1.jpg
Forms of Feeling_2.jpg
Forms of Feeling_3.jpg
forms of feeling_4.jpg


by Serena Devi


city edge 

(no sleep)

meadow blur and seashell pink breaking ahead, you know 

omens of earth 

around bone or clay 

found atrocities, collected, 

this land

where nobody recognizes or remembers 

I left a sign 

where our father broke the cat's neck 

I was just stranded, me and my sister

for miles

I painted her face 

she said look so I looked close

one streak out of place

vanished with my spit thumb 

there frozen in reverie 

we were

rubbing the wood we were 

wearing the icon out


the oracle bolt upright

wrapped around the back of 

his Horse God —

             totemizes vegetation 

             the underworld


             precious minerals

             other unknown elements 

(incantation text in full untranslatable)

the first image in the series: 

at the center of the world is a garden 

at the center's center 

a horned lover-child

on her seal 

wreathed in 

venous boughs, 

a tree split down the middle: 

out somersaults a child 

(totemizes nothing specific) —

the last we see


behold, with all the focus of a cult

the faience born from a mother body

its cold metal charms: 

            handmaiden on either side

            six sandblasted faceless

            palm fans gape and flutter

courtiers to the unloving and sun-like disk

an image older than the mind can hold

(no photos —

write it down, google it when you want to feel something)

bask sat in fluid

— indicating maybe 

mirth or abundance? —

flattened composition, typical 

I do not recall the word that was used here— one that leans forward

with its chest out, atrocity or atrophy 

after studying her, I loved all women 

and all animals

each time I'm weary, you know, god sends me a beast

each child half wanted

spat out 

its mirror-side eye, infected as mine

there will always be wounded birds

necks in need of snapping

in the middle of a road I die and go limp

so limp I can't show you

how fine it feels

Fish On.jpg

Syd Greene, "Fish On"


by Leatha Kendrick


by Leatha Kendrick

"We don't communicate very well." 

           -- Mother, in the 3rd Shoney's 

                            on the long road back from Texas 

                            weeks before she died

"Weed your flower beds, 

Write your poems," she'd said once

That alone could be enough. 

                           I wrote it down. 

                           She must have

                           said it. 


Like thinking good thoughts—

enough for Peter Pan to fly. 

Who'd have thought it could be 

so hard to think something 

that pure? I tried

leaping from a low roof once

while only thinking good thoughts 

(good enough). I have the scar 

in my right eyebrow. Gravel's hard. 

                          Sometimes I pull the comforter 

                          of not thinking up to muffle

                          the irascible patter of "you never..."


                Sometime I want only

                the dark I make, the dark 

                that makes me jerk awake. 

She could as well have said

"Weed your poems. Write flower beds." 

My mother wanted order, 

but never could quite manage 

dust or roses well enough 

to suit herself. 

The real thing— keeping flowers, 

growing houses— lies loose as leaves 

as clouds shifting through blue. 

                            Light rolls toward us, just below 

                            the edge. It lies just under the horizon. 

                            Feel the hand laid on your back? 

It's not the dark I want— it's rest. It's 

breath that finds me. The moon 

at my window draped in a fuzzy shawl. 

                          "Come here, Fear," we'd say, 

                          "rest a while." I'd wrap us up 

                           in my comforter and comfort 

                           her and me, enough.

My poplar finally almost bare, 

a lone brown leaf turning at her tip, 

          I keep imagining it a bird

          embodied and alive, 

          like that crow yesterday


                           belligerent, outsized, holding forth

atop the ravaged oak next to the cancer center

How the tree, itself, stunted, twisted, repeatedly cut back

made me see my brother's neck, the burnt skin of his jaw, 

the way that treatment comes as depredation. The cost 

to live. 

           My brother squawked back at it, 

spoke of signs and portents, as I hissed, "It's just a bird." 

I looked away, dragged him with me

past the fear I felt to hear a creature, 

agitated past the limits of his voice

but I cannot forget the way

his screech shattered at its edge, as if 

what language he possessed must break apart 

                                               to speak his heart, 

as if he meant to scrape open the air with some new way

to tell what it feels like 

to be himself, alive, ink feathers at odd angles, 

spread wings working, 

                                  writing here here on the sky. 

absent friend.jpg

Syd Greene, "Absent Friend"


by Joanna Ruocco


     The girls filch silver, hide spoons in high gutters. 

Fingers in the trough, they probe something round: a 

swallow's nest? They lift it out. They have found their 

dear red ball! So that's where it had gone. They mean to

dry and keep it, but inhale too broad a scent—mildewed 

cork and gamey leather—and let it fall, down, down, 

through draping toadflax, to lie at last amid wet rocks in 

the shadows of the eave. 

     They scramble from the ledge, sneak downstairs into

the dining room, and watch the maid with polish rags

turn circles. She is very young, with spots, and an upper

lip too short to curtain all her teeth. Really, she should be 

hanged. The air is hot and still. The maid puts her head

through the open window, cranes her neck to peer up into

the branches. She will blame the crows, the girls feel

certain. Aren't crows known to make mince meat pies

provender? Don't they fill their nests with rings and chains? 

      Crafty baggage? The girls retreat. 

      Now they hide the spoons inside the gardener's shed, 

behind grub hoe, mattock, rake, and trowel, in the

gardener's son's own crate. They sift his treasures. On 

the dirt floor they spread zinc and terracotta, bean and

bone, twists of hair and oiled papers, blades and wax and

leather tongue. They tumble it all back in the crate. Soon

the maid will receive her flogging. They will stand her

naked on the gantry. She may lose a hand! The shed is

hotter than the house. The girls emerge with dung on 

their tights. They creep to the open window. They are tall

enough to rest their elbows on the sill. All day the maid

paces between cabinet and sideboard. In a sober moment, 

the girls agree she has walked at least a mile. It is most

impressive, how she contends against the shipwreck of her



     As a little girl, the sister was called two eyes, because she 

had two eyes. No other name ever suited her half so well. 

Yet with any word she could be summoned or sent away: 

for instance, "biscuit," pronounced severely. Once her 

father's friend, come calling, saw a house finch speared on

the bull's brass horn. He froze, hand on the ring, not

knocking. Instead, crying "shrike," he gained quick

admittance, the sister flying to unbolt the door, her two 

eyes fixed and brimful, freshly unloaded after heavy sleep, 

easy to remark upon. 


     Any girl, no matter how ill favored, will find a bridegroom

in the Wolfshohle. If multiple girls converge at the mouth, 

they draw straws to choose who crosses first into the dark.

The girl so chosen leaves her offerings in the niches of the

rockface. She trusts that the girls who wait will not eat the 

apples or caraway buns, or steal the bright pfennigs to slip 

into birds' nests, little tricks that result in mothers birthing 

babies never quite their own. Sometimes the girls who 

wait play such tricks, sometimes not. The victim of the

prank will not know until three seasons pass; until, lying 

in on the doctor's leather sheet, she hears croaking fro, 

between her legs. She receives the bundle upon her chest, 

pushes back the swaddling to reveal the glitter of a cold, 

unblinking eye. 

     The bridegrooms of the Wolfshohle are not alike, but 

they look alike when they emerge into the open air, 

covered head to foot in tar. Descending the ledges behind

their brides, they enter the pines, are guided to the sulfur 

springs, and bathe there. Without the tar, their hairs show

different tints, their skins different markings, and their 

odors are various, although heavily masked with the scent 

of decomposing egg. Having found him once, each bride

could find her groom again anywhere.


     The day the daughter dies, airing, Mother finds inside the

chest, six dressed skins. Unrolled, the first is a child

known to her. Hung on wire armature and broom , with a 

cabbage head and the daughter's own hair, the child 

wants speech, but that recalls the daughter, often silent. 

Mother latches shutters. She closes chest and closet door. 

She descends the narrow stair and takes a slice of cold 

stump pie into the garden. She stands chewing near an 

iron bench. Last night's fog still lingers. The damp 

pansies are dull as mud, but a bright eft moves slowly

toward standing water in a broken pot. 

Clam Digger.jpeg

Maria Canzano, "Clam Digger"

Strawberry Moon.jpeg

Maria Canzano, "Strawberry Moon"



TYLER BARTON is the author of Eternal Night at the Nature Museum and The Quiet Part Loud. His visual poetry, Gutters, has appeared or is forthcoming Adroit Journal, DIAGRAM, Northwest Review, and elsewhere. Learn more at 

MARIA NOEL CANZANO is an artist from Detroit, Michigan. She is currently based in Athens, Georgia and received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Maria has exhibited in the US and abroad, including the Royal Watercolour Open 2022 in London, UK and her solo exhibition at the MICA Meyerhoff Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. 

SERENA DEVI is a writer from Lexington, Kentucky currently based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in The Recluse, Social Text, Bruiser, Dirt Child, Forever Mag, and more.

KELLIE DIODATO recently completed her MFA in poetry at Columbia University School of the Arts, and works as a humanities educator for high school students. A 2024 Poet & Author Fellow from The Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, her writing can be found or is forthcoming in The Pinch, As It Ought to Be Magazine, Some Kind of Opening, and Lifelines: The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Literary and Art Journal, among others. ​

As a descendant of a long line of blue-collar mountain folk, SYD GREENE’s mixed-media drawings are informed by her Appalachian upbringing. The landscapes, wildlife, and familial connections to the region manifest themselves through her meticulously rendered mark-making. Greene responds to the impermanence, entropy, and or man-made overdevelopment of her subject matter through the cathartic release that drawing provides. She resides in her hometown of Greenville, SC, where she is busy cultivating her studio practice, researching for her next body of work, or prying a slipper out of her dog’s mouth. 

DYLAN HARBISON is a writer from Burlington, Vermont. She now lives in Western, North Carolina, where she studies creative writing at UNC Asheville, and runs Meter & Melody, a local poetry series. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Offing, Prelude Magazine, South Florida Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She loves tercets and sitting on porch swings late at night. 

CHELSEA HARLAN is the author of Bright Shade, winner of the 2022 American Poetry Review/ Honickman First Book Prize, selected by Jericho Brown. She holds a BA from Bennington College and an MFA from CUNY Brooklyn College, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She lives in Appalachian Virginia, where she was born and raised, and where she works at a small public library.

ALLIE HOBACK is a poet from Southwest Virginia. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Syracuse University. Her work has appeared in New Ohio Review, HAD (Hobart After Dark), The Boiler, and elsewhere. She lives in Washington, DC.

MARK JACKLEY's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Noon, Third Wednesday, Sugar House Review, and other journals. He lives in  northwestern Virginia, US, with his wife, pets, and delusions.

LEATHA KENDRICK is a poet, writer, editor and teacher. She grew up in Kentucky's Pennyroyal region, raised a family in the Appalachians, and lives in Lexington's verdant Bluegrass. Her poems and essays appear widely in journals including Appalachian Journal, Passager, Still: An Online Journal, Tar River Poetry, New Madrid Review, the Southern Poetry Review, the James Dickey Review, Appalachian Review, and the Baltimore Review. Her writing has been collected in anthologies including Appalachian Women Speak (vol. 8); The Kentucky Anthology; The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume 3; I to I: Life Writing by Kentucky Feminists; and What Comes Down to Us - Twenty-Five Contemporary Kentucky Poets. Her fifth book of poetry is And Luckier (Accents Publishing, 2020). 

CHLOE MELLO (they/them) currently lives in Philadelphia brewing tea for a living. They recommend you try lapsang souchong. In 2022, Chloe was a finalist for the Sophie Kerr writing prize at Washington College, where they graduated with a Studio Arts and Psychology degree. They were also a recipient of the Sophie Kerr writing scholarship throughout their undergraduate program. 

CAROLINE HARPER NEW is the author of A History of Half-Birds, winner of the 2023 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry. She is a poet and visual artist from the Gulf Coast with a background in anthropology, and she holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Michigan. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Palette Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, and Driftwood Press. She is winner of Palette Poetry’s 2023 Love & Eros Prize, the Malahat Review’s 2023 Open Season Award, the Cincinnati Review’s 2022 Robert and Adele Schiff Award, and Bellevue Literary Review’s 2022 John & Eileen Allman Prize for Poetry. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

ELLIE PARKER (she/her) is an artist, poet, and community arts activist based in Brooklyn by way of Los Angeles. Her work is interdisciplinary by nature, harmonizing poetic text, the moving image, and photography, Passionate about communal practice, Ellie is a Teaching  Artist for youth film education at BRIC Media leading art programs for public schools throughout Brooklyn. While completing her forthcoming poetry chapbook, a single take, Ellie is co-organizing a series of free education workshops at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem thanks to generous support from the Echo Park Film Center Collective. 

JOANNA RUOCCO is a prize-winning American author and co-editor of the fiction journal Birkensnake. In 2013, she received the Pushcart Prize for her story "If the Man Took" and is also winner of the Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize.

SOPHIE VAN WAARDENBERG is a poet based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her work has been published in Copper Nickel, Rhino, Cordite, Best New Zealand Poems, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University and currently works as an arts administrator.

LESLEY WHEELER, poetry editor of Shenandoah, is the author of the forthcoming Mycocosmic, runner-up for the Dorset Prize and her sixth poetry collection. Her other books include the hybrid memoir Poetry's Possible Worlds and the novel Unbecoming. Wheeler's work has received support from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Bread Loaf, and the Sewanee Writer's Workshop; her poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Poets & Writers, Kenyon Review Online, Ecotone, Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. 

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