My latest partner in the ERV speaks with a Dixie drawl. Val is not her real name. Born in Missouri, reared in Flint, she has lived here over forty years. A former nurse in her late fifties or early sixties, she reminds me of my Aunt Doris; the cigarettes, dry barking laugh, dip of the chin inviting flirtation, conspiracy, or both.
When my mother fell ill during the Flint water crisis, I drove five hundred miles from Saint Louis, my new home. My mother had been among the skeptics when in April 2014 the city switched its water source from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in an alleged effort to save money.
Meet the poets, essayists, fiction writers, and translators of MQR 55:2.
When you cross the border into our state, whether on the highway or arriving in an airport, the first thing you see is a sign proclaiming that you have entered something called “Pure Michigan.” As an advertising slogan, this has always struck me as bizarre. For one thing, purity is not a high value of mine; there seems something vaguely Nazi-ish about it to my jaundiced Jewish eyes.
Our Spring 2016 issue features a special section on the Flint water crisis. Flint native Kelsey Ronan explores the effect of the crisis on her family, and Tarfia Faizullah dedicates her poem “I Told the Water” to Flint; Matthew Baker and Jack Driscoll use fiction to look at life in Michigan today.
Also in this issue: Zhanna Slor remembers her family’s last years in the USSR and Kathy Leonard Czepiel remembers Columbine—again and again.
Fiction from Matthew Baker, Chelsie Bryant, Jack Driscoll, Daniel Herwitz, Janis Hubschman, and Laura Maylene Walter.
Poetry from Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Patricia Clark, Tarfia Faizullah, Jennifer Givhan, Alison Powell, and Alison Stone.