MQR Issue 57:5 | Winter 2019

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Our Winter 2019 Issue is here! 

Featuring Essays by Jennifer Case, Caitlin Kindervatter-Clark, Sara Petersen, Andrew J. Skerritt, and Ash Whitman.

Fiction by Michael Byers, Jai Chakrabarti, Beth Kissileff, Onyinye Ihezukwu, and Nancy Reisman.

Poetry by Josh Bettinger, Geoffrey Brock, Cortney Lamar Charleston, Chelsea Dingman, Myronn Hardy, Andrew Hemmert, Khaled Jumaa (translated by Edward Morin and Yasmin Snounu), Ae Hee Lee, Alan Michael Parker, Emily Pittinos, Nicole Stockburger, Nance Van Winkel, and Sarah Wolfson.

Also featuring cover art from Duncan Hartley.

Purchase MQR 57:5 (Winter 2019) in print or as a downloadable PDF.


Jennifer Case | “On Contemplating a Second Child”

Most of the friends I have in my profession have zero children or one child. A few have two. Most of the mentors I know have no children or two children. A few have one. My mother had three. My grandmother had four…

Caitlin Kindervatter-Clark | “Worshippers”

Prayer was changing me. It was giving me something to do besides dwell on myself all the time, a source of relief besides drugs or alcohol. It was giving me space to pause when I thought I’d erupt with rage. Without prayer, who knows what I might have said to that other teacher. I may have lost my shit completely…

Sara Petersen | “Tiny Water Glasses”

There was me trying to play a role I had wanted all my life, trying to fit my shrinking self into something called MOTHER, something that was too big, too voluminous, too much for me to inhabit…

Andrew J. Skerritt | “The Funeral Tourist”

An exile is a funeral tourist separated by a phone call from home. For the foreigner–the political, economic, and emotional exile–grief is a way of life…

Ash Whitman | “Breathe”

When I think about who I am in my light brown skin, I always come back to Olvera Street. Olvera Street, wedged between Union Station and the Santa Ana Freeway, stuck in time but still fluttering with people shopping and vibrant pinks, greens, and yellows. Olvera Street, the backdrop to my grandpa’s childhood. Olvera Street, the shallow yet stable root of mi mexicanidad…


Michael Byers | “Chapman’s Heart”

It was a new program, long-argued over, newly implemented. Before a president, any president, could launch the weapons that would kill a billion humans, he, or she, would have to murder Chapman and extract the mesh from his aorta. To kill billions impersonally, the president must first kill one man in person …

Jai Chakrabarti | “Searching for Elijah”

She’d bought the rings three years earlier when her husband had passed away. The astrologer had told her they were for love and persistence

Beth Kissileff | “I’m Not Here for Myself”

When she woke to the alarm, she was startled to remember that she only had to worry about herself, not whether her son had clean socks or her daughter had the mandatory shorts that matched her bunk T-shirt for picture day, and whatever other parental involvement requirements arose…

Onyinye Ihezukwu | “Tuta Tuta”

Mother and daughter, they rode the bus home on the day they would last sight a rainbow together. When you marry, her mother said, look for someone whose mind can sometimes think the very same things with yours. A person who will not give you dry bread when you need chicken stew and laughter…

Nancy Reisman | “Birthday; Six East; In the Neighborhood”

Something began in me then. Soon the man I lived with would leave, but we did not discuss him. we ate cherry tomatoes and drank cold water in the shaded barn apartment. When I stepped from her place into the scruffy, sunlit yard, for a few hours I felt weightless…


Josh Bettinger | “By Pixel, Pixel; The Saturday Club”

Geoffrey Brock | “A Cento for My Father; Gray Communion”

Cortney Lamar Charleston | “Elegy for Killmonger With my Own Pain Entering Frame”

Chelsea Dingman | “Things I Never Give Myself Permission to Say”

Myronn Hardy | “For Roundness; Fanon’s Country; Gaza Ghazal: Blue Dissent; The Weals Then Seagulls”

Andrew Hemmert | “Future Theory; Alcohol Theory; Telemarketer Theory”

Khaled Jumaa (translated by Edward Morin and Yasmin Snounu) | “He Said to Me”

Ae Hee Lee | “Dear Bear [True Thrill]; Dear Bear [This is My Complaint]”

Alan Michael Parker | “Ornithology”

Emily Pittinos | “Trembling on the Skin of a Droplet”

Nicole Stockburger | “Navigation”

Nance Van Winkel | “His Daddy’s Boat”

Sarah Wolfson | “An Unfunded Study of the Afterbirth”

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