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Volume 59: 2020


  • Kappa: Winner of the Lawrence Fiction Prize
    I returned to the lake. The lake was quiet, desolate. I collected a smooth stone from the river and rolled it in my palm. I put its cold surface to my lips. I watched the shiny backs of frogs in a patina of water rings. But Mother’s voice wouldn’t escape my head: The kappa grabs children’s feet.
  • Letters from Daddy: Winner of the Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets
    Letters from Daddy (29) 1. My love child of song, child of some place names aren’t meant — needed, if you can hear me in this prison yard, then I sing prayer like gospel in a four wall monstrosity of scribbled letters. + Mothers are
  • The City Vs. MLK
    So, when she told me not to leave the car as she prepared to respond to a potentially violent situation, I experienced a surge of protectiveness and guilt out of a dereliction of chivalry. I fought the urge to go with her, nodding to show I understood her authority. I became hyper-aware of the straps of the seatbelt binding me to the passenger seat of her police cruiser.
  • Tithe of the Assassins
    Tithe of the Assassins We don’t know what they did with the newborns or with their mothers (but we can imagine). Those able to escape had to ignore the desperate cries of the dying. Now great shopping centers are sprouting up like mushrooms in damp
  • Devil Always Thought Pelagius Was a Second-Rate Christian
    Why I Chose It: Michigan Quarterly Review Reader David Freeman introduces Charlie Clark’s poem, “Devil Always Thought Pelagius Was a Second-Rate Christian,” from our Fall 2020 Issue. When I read Charlie Clark’s virtuosic poem, “Devil Always Thought Pelagius Was a Second-Rate Christian,” I am conflicted. To be clear, I