The Journey by Melinda Giordano

I’ve heard that a blue whale’s veins are so large that a human could swim, naiad-like, through them, diving into the thick currents nourished by a towering heart that thundered like bells.


Book Reviews

We Love Anderson Cooper by R.L. Maizes

When a reader finishes the title story of R.L. Maizes’ first collection, We Love Anderson Cooper, it is likely they will know they are in the hands of a writer with compassion and empathy, someone worth reading.


Research Notes

Zach Powers on First Cosmic Velocity

I completed my initial research for First Cosmic Velocity six or seven years ago. That research was, of course, supplemented by ongoing Googling throughout the writing process.



Real Estate by Siamak Vossoughi

After his father died, and he became a father himself, Payam remembered his father’s excitement to tell him about the business of real estate, which was not so much an excitement about real estate as an excitement about life…


Research Notes

Melissa Duclos on Besotted

When I lived in Shanghai for six months in 2004, I didn’t know I’d set a novel there. I started writing the first draft of Besotted five months after I returned to the U.S.



Left-Handed by Michael Harris Cohen

Alone in California, extended in fog, you hitched me down the PCH. One-hundred miles of snaking highway and strangers’ confessions. Then her. Last ride, straight through to Caspar.



Rubric/Grade Scale by Jessica Barksdale

Every poem should have eight lines, two stanzas. Perhaps one stanza, six lines, should the topic call for it (see last week’s handout).


Research Notes

Katy Yocom on Three Ways to Disappear

Fall in love with a litter of tiger cubs born at your city’s zoo. Develop an obsession. Follow it, even though it makes no sense. Understand that your life is going to change. Fail to understand why. Fail to care that you don’t understand why.



The Gardener by Jack Kirne

When I first joined Grindr, I was lucky enough to meet a man who coached me through the shivering that came over me every time I slipped into bed with men.


Book Reviews

A Girl Goes Into The Forest by Peg Alford Pursell

A mantra thrums through the pages of A Girl Goes Into The Forest: “No one can deter a person from her mistakes.”



A Miracle Shy of Martyrdom by John Christopher Nelson

Wendell Ford owned and operated a two-chair barbershop in a dying strip mall, catty-corner from the Fullerton Public Library. Even Wendell had difficulty listing the two or three other businesses.