CHIRPS FROM THE SPARROW
OUR NATIONAL TREASURE NATASHA TRETHEWEY
Biography, Domestic Help, 1937
Commencement (April 1971), Braveheart, John Roche
The Truth About Sleep’s Calculus, Reinventing the Beer-Can Lamp, Richard Fenwick
So Many Rivers, So Many Rivers, Bobby Steve Baker
Naked, Jean C. Howard
Copper, Susana H. Case
Geek, Joan Colby
Quiet, James Silas Rogers
All Brushes for Emily, Darren C. Demaree
You Sing in Your Sleep Too, Carol Levin
Nightgale, Craig Evenson
Felt Most in its Absence, Rebecca Starks
The Body A Scroll, Laurie Sewall
Mobile Fringe, JoNelle R. Toriseva
‘Excerpts from “Le Gare St-Lazare:
After The Painting by Manet,’ Amber,
Drinking Fountain Houston, Texas 1957,
Amity, Susan Taylor Chehak
Souvenirs from Better Times, Artūrs Kasjanovs
The Importance of Being Wilde, George Djuric
When Writers Date, Greg Chase
The Plot of Every Happy Story, L’amant, Philip Kobylarz
Fidget, Frances Badgett
A Beautiful Tyde, Anders M. Svenning
Guest Tracie Van Auken
Reviewer Amy Lou Jenkins, Rules and Rule Breakers Tested in Surprising Debut Novel: The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, by Jacob Appel
Diane Smith, BA, MSE, Principal Editor and Founder/Flash Competition Editor, was born in the United States. She retired from child welfare and writes about the homeless, immigrants, the poor, the diminishing middle class, healthcare; those who have little visibility or power in society.
Townsend Walker, Associate Editor, is a writer living in San Francisco. During a career in finance he published three books: foreign exchange, derivatives, and portfolio management. His stories have been published in over fifty literary journals and included in six anthologies. Two were nominated for the PEN/O. Henry Award. Four stories were performed at the New Short Fiction Series in Hollywood. His website is townsendwalker.com
Brooke Bennerup, Art Editor, hails originally from Connecticut but has lived for the last ten years in the town of Barga, Italy, where she has been collecting life experience, as well as cats, dogs, goats, other sundry animals and a vivacious son plus two lovely step-daughters. Brooke is currently writing, painting, musing, and pursuing a masters in Creative Writing/Poetry with the University of Edinburgh. She has no idea where life will take her next. She is happy in the not-knowing.
Jillian M. Phillips is our guest assistant editor for this summer issue. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Heavy Feather Review, Cellar Door Anthology, Feminist Teacher and others. Her poems have been featured in Jerry Jazz Musician as well as other publications. Her chapbook, Pretty the Ugly, was a finalist in Emerge Literary Journal’s chapbook contest and was published in March 2013 by ELJ Publications. She is currently studying poetry in the University of Nebraska’s MFA in Writing program. Jillian lives and writes in Northwestern Wisconsin.
Grey Sparrow often hosts guest editors for one or two issues, a few editors have signed up for volunteer service. Joseph Michael Owens, Annam Manthiram, Mandi Casolo, Timothy Stobierski, Ajay Prasannan, and Townsend Walker have offered two plus years. Many many thanks to all of you. We want to thank Marjorie Gill for her help at the Sparrow for the winter and spring; it was appreciated.
Our National Treasure
Natasha Trethewey is the author of four poetry collections: Domestic Work, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia, an American Library Association Notable Book; Native Guard, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; and Thrall. She is also the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Library of Congress named her the United States Poet Laureate in 2012. She teaches at Emory University.
Jacob M. Appel is a graduate of the MFA program in fiction at New York University and the MFA program in play writing at Queens College. He practices psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City, where he also teaches ethics and creative writing. His short fiction has been published in more than two hundred literary journals and will be collected in the forthcoming anthology, Scouting for the Reaper. More at: jacobmappel.com The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up is available at: cargopublishing.com/the-man-who-wouldnt-stand-up/
Frances Badgett is the fiction editor of Contrary Magazine. Her work has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Word Riot, Dead Mule School, and Toe Good Poetry. She lives in Bellingham, WA with her husband and daughter.
Bobby Steve Baker is a Cosmetic Surgeon moving toward full time writer in Lexington KY. He has published in several literary journals in the USA and Canada. He grew up in southern Ontario nevermore than a block away from the Great Lakes. After a 30 plus year career in academic medicine he completed an MFA in poetry at National University. In addition to the journal publications he has two chapbooks Numbered Bones by Accents publishing and The Taste of Summer Lightning by Finishing Line Press. He lives with his wife and indispensable proof reader Sharon and their two children with three grown children. Water has become the current theme of a lot of his writing and a full manuscriptBefore Pangaea is in preparation.
Susana H. Case is a professor at the New York Institute of Technology. Her books of poetry are: Salem In Séance (WordTech Editions), Elvis Presley’s Hips & Mick Jagger’s Lips (Anaphora Literary Press), and 4 Rms w Vu (Mayapple Press, forthcoming in 2014). Please visit her online at: iris.nyit.edu/~shcase/
GregChase is a PhD Candidate in English Literature at Boston University. His short stories have previously been published in Every Day Fiction, decomP Magazine, andMouse Tales Press. He lives in Cambridge, MA.
Susan Taylor Chehak is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author of five novels, including Smithereens, The Story Of Annie D., and Rampage. Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Adirondack Review, Amarillo Bay, The Chariton Review, Coe Review, Folio, Folly, Guernica Magazine, Juked, L.A. Under The Influence, Monday Night, Necessary Fiction, Oxford Magazine, Permafrost, Verdad Magazine, Word Riot, as well as Seedpod Press and Sisters in Crime 5 anthologies. Her short story, “Just So,” won first place in Folio’s 2012 prose contest. Susan has taught fiction writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, the University of Southern California, and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa.
Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner… Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010). She is the editor of Illinois Racing News,and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 10 books including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book and her newest book from Future Cycle Press—Dead Horses. Future Cycle will also publish Selected Poems in 2013.
Frances Connell has been published in more than two dozen literary magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, including Saranac Review,Pinyon, Picayune, and Rockhurst Review, Pig Iron Anthology, Baltimore Review, Potomac Review, Negative Capability, Monocacy Valley Review,Excursis, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor. She taught writing, oral history and international development at the University of Pennsylvania, Kabul University, St. Mary’s Seminary and University (Baltimore), George Mason University, and Montgomery College,and ran refugee resettlement programs in the Maryland and D.C. area. She teaches for the University of Maryland University College. As a student, she worked with Elizabeth Hardwick, Peter Taylor, Joy Chute, and Alan Williamson, and more recently participated in small poetry workshops with Sarah Cotterill and Marvin Gavin. She has three books: The Rest is Silence: Poems, Down Rivers of Windfall Night (novel), and Children Kept from the Sun (memoir), and will publish three more books in 2013.
Darren C. Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Carolina Review, Meridian, The Louisville Review, Cottonwood, The Tribeca Poetry Review, and Whiskey Island. He is the recipient of two Pushcart Prize nominations. Darren is also the author of As We Refer To Our Bodies (2013) and Not For Art Nor Prayer (2014), both due out from 8th House Publishing. He is currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.
George Djuric is a former rally racing champion, master chess player, taxi driver, street fighter, student of anti-psychiatry and philosophy, broker with Morgan Stanley… and a writer all the way. He published a critically acclaimed collection of short stories that altered the Yugoslav literary scene —The Metaphysical Stories was dubbed Borges of the Balkans, as well as reborn Babel. Djuric infiltrates flashes from his vivid past into fictional alchemy for the salient taste of the 21 st century. “I’ll go to the end of the world to promote something that took forty years of brewing in the barrel with my name on it.”
Craig Evenson has been a third grade teacher for 29 years. His poems have appeared most recently in The Midwest Quarterly, Seems, and Sheepshead Review. He lives in Northfield, Minnesota with his wife and a number of other intermittently charming creatures.
Richard Fenwick is a poet and Russian translator who works with Holocaust survivors from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia, translating their histories for publication. Richard’s poetry has been featured in numerous journals, and his first full poetry collection, Around the Sun Without a Sail, was published in 2012. He lives and writes in Tucson, Arizona.
Jean C. Howard was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Performance poet, Jean Howard, resided in Chicago from 1979 to 1999. She has since returned to Salt Lake City. Her poetry has appeared in numerous online and printed journals. Featured on network and public television and radio, she has combined her poetry with theater, art, dance, video, and photography. A participant in the original development of the nationally acclaimed “Poetry Slam,” at the Green Mill, she has been awarded two grants for the publication of her book, Dancing In Your Mother’s Skin (Tia Chucha Press), a collaborative work with photographer, Alice Hargrave. She has been organizing the annual National Poetry Video Festival since 1992, with her own award-winning video poems, airing on PBS, cable TV, and festivals around the nation.
Amy Lou Jenkins, MFA, is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting. Her writing has been honored by, USA Book News Awards in Outdoor Writing and Women’s Studies, The Florida Review Editors Award in Nonfiction, Literal Latte Essay Awards, Flint Hills Review Nonfiction Award, X.J. Kennedy Award for Nonfiction, Living Now Book Awards, the Ellis/Henderson Outdoor Writing Award and more. She writes about health, the natural world, parenting, literature, and more. Her essays are widely anthologized including entries in Wild with Child and The Maternal is Political. Contact her at AmyLouJenkins.com.
Artūrs Kasjanovs is a writer from Riga, Latvia. He is currently studying English Philology at the University of Latvia. “Portraits Noires” was published in the Spring 2012 Online Edition of Golden Visions Magazine.
Philip Kobylarz’s recent work appears or will appear in Connecticut Review, Basalt, Santa Fe Literary Review, New American Writing, Poetry Salzburg Review and has appeared in Best American Poetry. Her book, Rues, was recently published by Blue Light Press of San Francisco.
Carol Levin has been awarded third place in the 2013 String Poet annual contest. She’s the author of a full poetry volume, Stunned By the Velocity, Pecan Grove Press 2012 and chapbooks, Red Rooms and Others, Pecan Grove Press 2009, and Sea Lions Sing Scat, Finishing Line Press, 2007. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, in print and online. Among others, Raven Chronicles, Verse Wisconsin, The Louisville Review, OVS Magazine, The Massachusetts Review, Third Coast, Redheaded Stepchild, The Cortland Review, Two Sylvia’s Press: Fire On Her Tongue. Bigger Than They Appear, Accents Press. She collaborated with Russian director, Leanid Anisimov and his translator to translate Chekhov’s four major plays. Work has been extensively translated and published in Russia. She’s an Editorial Assistant at Crab Creek Review and teaches The Breathing Lab/Alexander Technique, in Seattle the-breathing-lab.com
Jeff Richards’s fiction and essays have appeared in more than two dozen publications including North Dakota Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, Compass Rose, Caveat Lector, River City, Forge, Gargoyle, Mary: A Journal of New Writing, The GSU Review, Phantasmagoria, Prick of the Spindle, Aethlon, Karamu, Radio Void, Weber Studies, The Houston Chronicle, and Zone 3. His work has also been included in two books of essays, “Tales Out of School” (Beacon Press) and “Letters to Salinger” (University of Wisconsin Press). He was fiction editor of the Washington Review and is currently contributing writer to Blueswax, the online blues magazine.
John Roche is an Associate Professor of English at Rochester Institute of Technology. He earned his PhD from SUNY Buffalo, studying with Robert Creeley and John C. Clarke. His full-length poetry collections, Topicalities (2008) and On Conesus (2005) are available from Foothills Publishing (Kanona, NY), as is a chapbook titled The Joe Poems: The Continuing Saga of Joe the Poet (2012). His poetic memoir, Road Ghosts, was published by theenk Books (Palmyra, NY, 2011). John’s poems have appeared in magazines likeYellow Medicine Review, Flurb, House Organ, Rootdrinker, Big Bridge, and in several anthologies. He edited the collection Uncensored Songs for Sam Abrams(Spuyten Duyvil, 2008), co-edited Doing Time to Cleanse My Mind (FootHills, 2009) with Patricia Roth Schwartz, and co-edited Martha Rittenhouse Treichler’s Black Mountain to Crooked Lake: Poems 1948-2010, with a Memoir of Black Mountain College (FootHills 2010). He also served on the Board of BOA Editions for six years and as the President of Just Poets society from 2011-2013.
James Silas Rogers is editor of New Hibernia Review, a journal of Irish Studies published by the University of St Thomas Center for Irish Studies. His chapbook Sundogs was published by Parallel Press, an imprint of the University of Wisconsin Libraries, in 2006. His poems have appeared in many journals, including Natural Bridge, Cortland Review, and Nimrod, and on Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac.” In 2014, North Star Press will publish his mixed-genre book (chiefly literary nonfiction) on cemeteries and sacred space; the working title is “Northern Orchards: Places Near the Dead.”
Laurie Sewall’s recent work can be found in Folio, Hawai’s Pacific Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Peregrine, The Pinch, Poet Lore, Salamander, and Soundings East, among other publications. Her poetry was selected as a finalist in the Atlanta Review 2011 International Poetry Contest. She received an MFA in Poetry from New England College and an MA in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University. After living in New England for many years, she now resides in rural Iowa, where she writes and teaches poetry.
Rebecca Starks is a homemaker soon to return to teaching. She lives in a co-housing community in Burlington, Vermont with her spouse and two young sons. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, she spent time on both coasts, working in New York City, earning a doctorate in English from Stanford University, and starting a family in Portland, Oregon. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Slice, Measure, VoiceCatcher, and The Sunday Oregonian.
Anders M. Svenning considers himself a mystic, a writer, a lover, a fighter. When he’s not chasing pots of gold at the ends of rainbows, he’s creating his own in the spectral colors of South Florida, where he lives, and also in Tallahassee, Florida, where he attends school at the Florida State University. Although not always in the heat of passionate writing, he is creating a book of short stories, potentially called, On His Way to Elysia—it’s theme Greek culture, spirit, and morals—and is also working on a longer memoir, which may not be released for many, many years. His work has also been published in Forge Journal.
JoNelle R. Toriseva has been awarded a working scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Mary Merritt Henry Prize in Poetry. The Best Canadian Poetry In English 2008 selected her poem “Encyclopedia of Grass” for inclusion. Her work is in or forthcoming at Descant, Fulcrum, The Fiddlehead, CV2, Prism International, Nimrod, The Cincinnati Reviewand Soundings East. “Dandelion Rites” is in Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sound published by City Lights.
Tracie Van Auken is a photojournalist and documentary photographer living in Philadelphia. She has been a contributor to publications since 2001. She graduated with a degree in film production from the University of Southern California and has completed postgraduate work in visual communication at Ohio University. Her work has been recognized by the Lucie Foundation, the College Photographer of the Year Competition and the Florida Press Club. She is currently photographing a long-term documentary project about same-sex marriage in the United States. This and other projects can be viewed at http://www.tracievanauken.com