2011 Competition Winners

Samson and Meliza

Without heat pump, air-conditioner or swamp-cooler, Meliza Humbert Baker’s house was comfortable even in the summer. The surrounding trees cooled the breezes and the cement slab radiated a coolness Meliza could feel inside her thin feet-bones when she stood still. [...]


At thirty-five, Mary Beth looked younger than she was by about seven years, the same number of years as the age of her son, Ben, now in second grade at Lincoln Elementary School.  When Ben was younger, when Mary Beth [...]

Ways to Skin a Cat – by Kat Coffee

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re wondering why anyone should bother to skin a cat at all – troubling to select a method from the rumored myriad at our disposal – when there are so many dogs in the world [...]

Café Americano

She reads an article on Zimbabwe’s drought and famine, including personal stories like the farmer’s: he walks two miles to get the sack of corn rationed by the U.N. for his family- the corn, meant to last a month, lasts [...]

Lincoln’s Head

“Remember the color red,” she said. “When you see the Pyramids, remind yourself that they were once covered with earthy communist ochre. When you hear about Dorian columns and pantheons of human-formed gods, recognize that they were originally vermilion. Read [...]

Why Not Leave

Andy has been standing at the back door for three years now, his hand resting on the cheap wood handle. “What’s for dinner, Ma?”  he shouts.  He can hear her whistling.  He grimaces.  He wants to tell her he hates [...]

Photo of my Mother as a Girl

I never recognized her except in fragments – the thin line of black that made her smile (the thin black line between her two front teeth), the caught look of her stance kneeling but rising in the grass beneath a [...]


They want for nothing—the blue heron the snowy egret— salt of their lives here in the marsh at sunset This is how it is if you follow the Coopers Hawk in cold winter air, sun crowning head feathers as it [...]

The Deer Unspoken

She appears, ghost of the corn, in the dim evening, almost an absence, brown velvet neck muscling the soil. I raise the rifle, place crosshairs on her spine.  She is pulsing there in fine electric signals.  My heart quickens and [...]