Allegra Hyde Takes on Climate Change in Eleutheria

Allegra Hyde Takes on Climate Change in Eleutheria

Eleutheria by Allegra Hyde (Vintage forthcoming 2022)

Congratulations to past contributor Allegra Hyde, who has a book forthcoming in 2022! The novel, Eleutheria, will be published by Vintage in March and is available for pre-order from a number of sellers.

Eleutheria follows Willa Marks, a young woman who never abandons hope despite the multitude of hopeless things in her life: her parents’ belief in conspiracy theories, a job with no future, and rising seas. Then she meets Harvard professor Sylvia Gill, who first validates Willa’s endless hope, but then threatens to destroys it after she betrays her. In the wake of Sylvia’s betrayal, Willa discovers in Sylvia’s library Living the Solution, a guide to fighting climate change. Inspired and with nothing holding her back, she jets off to an island in the Bahamas called Eleutheria to meet the author and join him at Camp Hope. But the group of activists she finds at Camp Hope is not at all what she expected: the leader is missing and the compound isn’t ready to go public. Willa is left to decide: how far will she go to support Camp Hope?

In the book’s own words, Eleutheria is “a story of idealism, activism, and systemic corruption, centered on a naïve young woman’s quest for agency in a world ravaged by climate change.” Knowing SR is housed at ASU, Allegra added: “I started writing the novel while I was at the university. While Eleutheria doesn’t take place in Arizona, living in the state – especially in the Phoenix area – exposes a person to some pretty extreme weather, and this informed some of my thinking about climate change, which is central to the novel.”

Allegra’s essay “Things I Don’t Tell My Mother” appeared in Issue 12 and she was interviewed for Issue 18. She is also the author of a story collection, Of This New World. To learn more about Allegra, visit her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Congratulations, Allegra!

Meet Issue 28’s Contributors: Part 2

Meet Issue 28’s Contributors: Part 2

We’re back with another installment of getting to know the Issue 28 contributors! In this post, we hear from some of our Fiction and Nonfiction contributors.

What’s your coffee/tea order?

Katherine Tunning (Fiction) says, “The order goes: coffee on Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekend. Black tea on the other days, plus the coffee days, so I can pretend I don’t have a caffeine problem.”

Kelly Gray (Nonfiction) goes for “dark roast coffee with more cream than you would expect.”

Where do you like to vacation? 

Jacqueline Doyle (Nonfiction) says, “It’s nearby, but I always love weekend trips to the Northern California coast.”

Barbara Lock (Fiction) tells us: “I’ll vacation anywhere that provides a washer and dryer, and a chance to get on water! Last summer we paddled on the Colorado, even though the access highway was blocked with half a mountain’s worth of rubble. We took Cottonwood Pass to get from Vail to Glenwood Springs–it was really narrow! The river guide told us that the great thing about driving back on the pass at night was that since we could see all the headlights from far away, we could drive as fast as we liked, ha ha. We didn’t do that though, because we didn’t want to die.”

Melissa Llanes Brownlee lives “in Japan, so anywhere I haven’t been in the country yet, and usually I am camping. If I leave Japan, I like to explore Southeast Asia! Next on my list is Thailand.”

What’s a holiday tradition that you love?

Ashley Wolfe (Nonfiction) shares, “I’m lucky to have a lot of wonderful family traditions. I love cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for a big group of relatives. Baking Christmas cookies with my mom, sister and all our children is another favorite. I also treasure waking up too early on Christmas morning to watch my children discover what Santa left under the tree.”

Kelly explains: “My daughter and I stopped celebrating Thanksgiving many years ago. We take the money we would have spent on food/celebrations and send it to Native run organizations or land trusts. Then, we sit around watching Dolly Parton movies, and now we just refer to it as our own personal Dolly Day.”

Molly Andrea-Ryan (Fiction) says, “My husband and I started a Christmas tradition that I’m pretty fond of. We watch the 1954 White Christmas followed by the 1974 Black Christmas, back to back on the same night. (If you haven’t heard of the latter, it’s a Canadian slasher movie set in a sorority house—and yes, it counts as a Christmas movie. There are Christmas decorations and everything!)”

Tell us about your pets!

Amanda Gaines (Nonfiction) has “two cats—Lady and Carlos. They like to watch squirrels and destroy my house when I’m out of town.”

Erin Murphy (Nonfiction) has “two Siamese cats: Vixen and Djuna. They’re like dogs in cat bodies — they greet you at the door and play fetch. We are in the process of adopting a third cat.”

What are you reading right now?

Molly is “wrapping up Misery right now. Before that, I read a few books by Jennifer McMahon, a contemporary horror novelist from Vermont. I’m also enjoying a few collections of poetry, including “Peculiar Heritage” by DeMisty D. Bellinger—highly recommend.”

For Barbara, “Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through Slaughter is what I’m reading now. My To Read pile, which takes up six boxes on the upstairs landing of the house, threatens to trip me daily. Right now, Yasunari Kawabata’s Beauty and Sadness and Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation are on top of the pile, but that could change at any moment.”

What are you streaming/watching right now?

Ashley says, “I’m not one to watch much TV on my own, but I do enjoy shows with my husband and kids. As a family, we’re re-watching every season of The Office and eagerly awaiting the Netflix release of Lost in Space season three. My husband and I also just finished watching Squid Game – I’m still not sure how I feel about that one.”

Jaqueline is watching “‘Minari” (finally). Always on the lookout for Scandinavian noir releases on Netflix.”

Molly tells us: “I just finished a months-long binge of the Sopranos and a days-long binge of Midnight Mass. Oh, and the Bachelorette is back. Seinfeld’s on Netflix now. I’m not gonna lie, I watch a lot of TV.”

If you could instantly learn any language, what would you choose? Why?

Amanda wants to learn “French, so I can watch Amelie without the subtitles.”

Melissa would go for “Korean – I love Kpop and Korean food. Also Hawaiian, because I feel disconnected from my heritage sometimes.”

Katherine says, “I guess Japanese, because I’m currently trying to learn it the traditional, non-instant way, and it turns out that takes kind of a long time.”

What’s the next thing on your bucket list?

Erin tells us: “My niece convinced me to sing along to her new karaoke machine recently, so now I want to try singing karaoke in a club.”

Jacqueline is excited for “a trip to Paris.”

Katherine says, “it is probably tempting fate to say ‘publish a book,’ but: Publish a book.”

What is your most-used phone app?

For Amanda, it’s “Google Docs—I’m not that cool.”

Jacqueline and Barbara both make extensive use of Waze to shave time off their travels.

Melissa: “*whispers* Twitter.”

What song can you listen to on repeat without it getting old?

Ashley loves “anything by the Beatles. And ‘I Feel It Coming’ by The Weekend.”

Kelly enjoys “‘Over Your Shoulder’ by Calexico.”

Erin chose “‘Radar Love’ by Golden Earring (also the first song I chose on my niece’s karaoke machine).”

Thank you to these contributors for helping us get to know them! We can’t wait for the Issue 28 virtual launch party on November 30!

Meet Issue 28’s Contributors: Part 1

Meet Issue 28’s Contributors: Part 1

It’s time to meet Issue 28’s contributors! As we prepare to launch Issue 28 on November 30, we thought it would be fun to get to know its creatives. This post focuses on some of our Art and Poetry contributors.

What’s your coffee/tea order?

Artist Teresa Sites says, “Every day, I make myself a black 1/2 regular coffee and 1/2 decaf coffee at home. When I ordered this combo at a coffee shop, the next person in line complimented me saying that I was a ‘professional coffee drinker.’ I was so proud!”

Poet Grace Q. Song shares: “I don’t drink coffee/tea, but I do have apple juice every morning!”

Poet Gretchen Rockwell enjoys “a caramel latte, unless I’m in the mood for chai.”

Where do you like to vacation? 

Poet Leah Falk is easy to please: “Give me an ocean and I’m good.” 

Along those lines, poet Preeti Vangani will go “anywhere with a beach and fresh sea food.”

Teresa loves “staycations and just having the luxury of extra time to relax at home.”

What is a holiday tradition that you love?

Poet Glenn Shaheen is a fan of “horror everything for Halloween season (September 1st through October 31st). My mother also makes a delicious cream cheese salsa dip at Christmas but it’s not really a ‘Christmas’ thing. She’s sent me the recipe a million times and I could theoretically make it any ole time of year.”

Artist Kateryna Bortsova says, “My tradition is to not have traditions.”

Preeti looks forward to “playing cards with my cousins, and losing money. I have never ever won.”

Tell us about your pets!

Poet Liz Marlow has “a silly dog, Lola, who loves putting her head on my keyboard while I am trying to write. She also loves swimming in the lake at the dog park but refuses to swim in a pool (that water is too clean!). I also have a fish tank with neon tetras, cory catfish, and a clown pleco.”

Poet Ronda Piszk Broatch tells us: “Ciri, a Torbie cat, is an explorer and thief, who loves socks and crinkly shoebox paper. She is named after the princess in the Witcher series. Z, or Zilpha, is a black siamese who is quite pissy, long-limbed, and has a need to be brushed several times a day – first with the rubber scrubber, then the wire brush. They like Irish cheese, and salmon fat.”

What are you reading right now?

Leah is in the middle of “Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, and a book about the science of how children acquire language called The Infinite Gift. Also just finished Krys Malcolm Belc’s incredible The Natural Mother of the Child.” 

Teresa is enjoying “art manuals! I have stacks of these and I enjoy leafing through all the inspirational projects and possibilities! One thing I love about art is that there are seemingly endless things to learn and discover. Art manuals compile and share so much practical information for artists. I revisit these books continually, as the different ideas presented can shape and guide my own artistic projects.”

What are you streaming/watching right now?

Liz “recently watched Dug Days on Disney+ with my kids.”

Ronda “just finished the Welsh mysteries Hinterland and Hidden, and we’re on to the final two episodes of Baptiste. Thrilling!! Unlike my grandmother who didn’t like mysteries, and who would tell me the plot of anything we watched when I was little, I adore anything British, Belgian, Australian, Welsh, Irish … Acorn TV is a go-to.”

If you could instantly learn any language, what would you choose? Why?

Kateryna would go for “German, I don’t know why.”

Gretchen would learn “Japanese, so I don’t have to rely on subtitles or translations.”

Preeti is interested in “Spanish, because it sounds so musical!”

What’s the next thing on your bucket list?

Glenn wants to “see Aurora Borealis.”

Next up for Grace is “surviving college.”

Liz says, “I would like to go to New Zealand, take a helicopter ride to a glacier, and ski all the way down it.”

What is your most-used phone app?

Preeti, Kateryna, and Grace say it’s Instagram.

For Teresa, Ronda, and Glenn it’s email.

Glenn also shares: “If email doesn’t count then Tumblr because of Star Trek reasons.”

What song can you listen to on repeat without it getting old?

Gretchen says, “Too many… currently, ‘What’s Good’ by Lou Reed.”

Leah enjoys “‘Aicha’ by Algerian Raï singer Cheb Khaled. Right now I also keep looping 10,000 Maniacs’ version of ‘Because the Night (Belongs to Lovers).’”

Kateryna is a fan of “Golden years” David Bowie. 

Thank you so much to our contributors for sharing a little bit about themselves! Join us all on November 30 at 12pm AZ time for our virtual launch party!

Daisy Hernandez headshot - credit Bosch studios

The Kissing Bug: Race and Disease Explored

The Kissing Bug cover
The Kissing Bug by Daisy Hernandez (Tin House Books 2021)

Check out past contributor Daisy Hernández’s new book, The Kissing Bug, to join Daisy as she unravels family and medical secrets surrounding a disease that led to her aunt’s death. While researching for the book, Daisy spoke to patients, doctors, epidemiologists, and veterinarians, all the while uncovering the impact of Chagas – also known as the kissing bug disease – on the Latinx community. The Kissing Bug: A True Story of an Insect, a Family and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease explores how the confluence of infectious disease, racism, and for-profit healthcare systems have relegated Chagas to the dark.

Hernández raises damning questions about which infectious diseases get attention and whom we believe to be deserving of care.

NPR BOOKs

An engaging, eye-opening read for anyone looking to learn more about the human suffering caused by the collision of a tropical parasite and years of neglect by the United States’ medical system.

Kris Newby, author of Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons

The Kissing Bug was published in June by Tin House Books and you can by it from Bookshop or IndieBound. Daisy’s was interviewed for Issue 16 of SR and she is also the author of the memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. To learn more about Daisy, visit her website or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Sara Henning headshot

Terra Incognita Helps Us Find Solid Ground

Terra Incognita cover
Terra Incognita by Sara Henning (Ohio University Press forthcoming 2022)

We’re excited that past contributor Sara Henning has a book forthcoming in 2022! Terra Incognita‘s poems trace a woman as she navigates her relationship with her mother and experiences life after loss. Each of the book’s four sections explores a different era of the daughter’s life as she tries to make sense of the world. Ultimately, Terra Incognita shows us how to find joy in some of life’s most heart-wrenching moments.

“Grief turns out to be a place none of us knows until we reach it,” Joan Didion once declared. Sara Henning crafts beautiful and protean music out of the terra incognita of motherlessness. The gallery of richly evoked lines and incidents suggests the poet is a dynamic, at-the-ready elegist for all she sees. “In the belly of every summer day is a god / taking its first breath, so I learn to call it praying, / my mother forsaking the AC for a grace called smoking / in the car.” Yes, one of the book’s major triumphs is that Henning, with artful precision and a daughter’s utmost love, makes the vital woman who was her first window on the world count for the reader as well.

Cyrus Cassells, 2021 Poet Laureate of Texas

Terra Incognita won the 2021 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and will be published by Ohio University Press. The book is available for pre-order now!

Sara’s poems have appeared in both Issue 11 and Issue 22. To stay up to date with her, visit her website or Twitter. Congratulations, Sara!

Martha Silano headshot

Watch Our Guest Lecture With Martha Silano!

SR is excited to have recently hosted past contributor Martha Silano as a guest lecturer! In the lecture, Martha discusses her background in poetry as both a poet and poetry editor, including how she chooses poems as an editor. She provides insightful guidance on how to curate poems for a magazine and how to approach selecting poems for a magazine. If you’re a poetry editor looking for advice, be sure to watch the video below.

View the lecture here:

Check out Martha’s work in Issue 27 and visit her website to learn all about her work and upcoming workshops. Keep up with Martha on Twitter and Instagram. Thank you so much for your time, Martha!

Kalani Pickhart headshot

Kalani Pickhart’s Debut Novel is Revolutionary


We are happy to share that past contributor Kalani Pickhart just released a book, I Will Die in a Foreign Land. The novel is Kalani’s first book and is published by Two Dollar Radio.

The lives of four people intersect during the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution… Innovative, emotionally resonant, and deeply affecting, this is a more-than-promising debut from a very talented writer.

Kirkus, Starred Review

I Will Die in a Foreign Land is the story of four people living through the 2013-14 Ukrainian Revolution. Set over the course of an unstable winter, the plot turns around the Euromaiden protests. The characters – a doctor, an engineer, an activist, and a KGB agent – embody empathy and perseverance as they grapple with their ever-changing surroundings and political landscape. I Will Die in a Foreign Land is sweeping, touching, and powerful.

Love triangles, grieving parents, sex trafficking, the KGB, Chernobyl, the Euromaidan protests—I Will Die in a Foreign Land has it all. This bold, intricate novel is as rich and complex as the Ukrainian history it describes with such precision and longing. In spite of their unspeakable personal and political tragedies, the people in this book will fill you with hope for a better world long after you turn the last page.

Maria Kuznetsova, author of Oksana, Behave! and Something Unbelievable

I Will Die in a Foreign Land is an American Booksellers Association “Indie Next List” pick for November 2021. Grab a copy of the novel from Two Dollar Radio, Bookshop, or Barnes & Noble.

Kalani’s short story “Little Mouse” was featured in Issue 19. To learn more about Kalani, visit her website, Twitter, or Instagram. Congratulations, Kalani!

Ananda Lima headshot

Mother/land by Ananda Lima Explores Identity and Heritage

Mother/land cover

Congratulations are in order for contributor Ananda Lima, who just released the book of poems Mother/land! Incorporating English and Portuguese, the collection explores the nuances of ancestry, language, identity, and motherhood and dives in to how the confluence of them all can complicate or enhance life. Mother/land asks us to consider the aspects of life we take part in and those which are chosen for us.

Ananda Lima’s Mother/land is as much a mother’s grappling with how to raise her son amid the danger and violence of today’s America as it is an investigation of a daughter’s inherited, migrant Brazilian past. Lima’s poetry has the rare power to let us feel and “know the terror” of the present moment, while reflecting on ancestry and passing on familial legacy to the next generation. Her poems aren’t afraid to “shout ‘I’m an American citizen’ ” across borders and languages, while shattering the security of presumed identity and recognizing both the precarity and privilege of citizenship. Piercing and poignant, Lima’s voice and music stay with you, “undisturbed / by wind or water, there will always remain/ a footprint” guiding your way home.

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, Author of the Many Names for Mother

One of the poems, “Transa,” was originally published in SR. “Transa” is among the few poems in Mother/land that are connected with Brazilian music.

Mother/land is the winner of the 2020 Hudson Prize and is available from Black Lawrence Press. To learn more about Ananda, who has published several chapbooks, visit her website, Instagram, and Twitter. Also, find Ananda at one of her many upcoming book tour events!

Megan Mayhew Bergman

Megan Mayhew Bergman: Writing About It All

At SR, we love keeping up with our past contributors. Their pursuit of their literary or artistic talents and passions is inspiring.

Today, we’re sharing about Megan Mayhew Bergman, who has published numerous essays and articles this year.

Most recently, Megan wrote an essay for The New Yorker. The essay, “The Vibrant Life and Quiet Passing of Dottie Dodgion,” discusses the remarkable events of the drummer’s life. Dodgion was consistently involved in music – playing instruments, singing, and dancing – from age 16 until she died at age 90.

Megan is also a contributor to The Guardian and has written four articles for it this year, all on different topics.

And in June, Megan sat down to chat with author Jeff VanderMeer and actor Lili Taylor. The conversation about birds, beauty, and books can be found on LitHub.

Congratulations, Megan, on sharing your work in so many places! To learn more about Megan, visit her website.

Nightbitch cover

An Unexpected Combo: Canine Identity and Motherhood

It’s not every day you come across a novel like Nightbitch. Out this past summer from contributor Rachel Yoder, Nightbitch cleverly uses the fantasy genre to challenge long-held societal norms. The story centers on a new mother who has sidelined her career to raise her newborn. In the child’s second year, she begins to feel that she is actually a dog: dark hair grows on the back of her neck and her canine teeth appear sharper. When she mentions this to her husband, who travels for business often, he doesn’t think anything of it. As her canine feelings intensify, the mother heads to the library in search of cure. There, she discovers A Field Guide to Magical Women: A Mythical Ethnography and a curious group of mothers who have secrets of their own. Both lead her down an unexpected path…

Nightbitch bravely trailblazes a new path – the confluence of an alter-canine-identity and questions about motherhood. Dark, humorous, and creative, Nightbitch was one of July’s most anticipated books.

“Rather than childbirth twisted into hideous shapes by the male artistic eye, in this book art crawls out of motherhood with an exhausted, sweating, blood-strewn, but joyous howl. . . Creativity and motherhood don’t need to be at each other’s throats, like vampires or zombies. In Nightbitch they feed in the same night on the same wild prey.”

The Boston Globe

Nightbitch is available from Doubleday and you can find purchase information here. The novel has been optioned for film by Annapurna Pictures with Amy Adams set to star.

Rachel’s essay “I Was the Mennonite Kid” was featured in Issue 4. Check out her website and Twitter to learn more about her work and find her upcoming events. Congratulations, Rachel!