The No Coast Derby Girls skate at Pershing Auditorium in downtown Lincoln, fifteen hundred miles from the Pacific, eleven hundred from the Atlantic, and two blocks from the Nebraska State Capitol, a domed sandstone tower locals call, with a mixture of affection and scorn.
Michael Reid Busk on the roller derby, Berel Lang on replenishing the world, Eugene Goodheart on Darwinian hubris, Ismail Kadare on dictatorship, Miah Arnold on teaching writing to children with terminal cancer, Laurence Goldstein on the poetry of Charles Harper Webb, Maxine Kumin, and Edward Hirsch.
Poetry by Francine Harris, Gwyneth Lewis, Susanna Mishler, Allison Peters, and Michael Peterson.
Fiction by Lucy Ferriss, Kuzhali Manickavel, and Rachel May.
Kumar’s bones were pushing up under his skin like silent hills. His ribs rippled up in hardened waves while his shoulders and wrists stood out in knotted clumps. In the afternoons, I would count Kumar’s bones while he tried to sleep.
“You’re counting the same one twice,” he would mumble without opening his eyes.
“Well it’s poking up in two places. A lot of them are.”
A taut, tension-filled story of a man helping the woman he loves flee her abusive husband, a poem whose technical expertise and emotional surefootedness exemplify the mature work of a poet writing at the height of his powers, and a couple of lively poems exuding the energy and sensibility of a new generation have won the trio of literary prizes awarded each year by MQR.