Author Archives: ZYZZYVA

In the Fall Issue

In this issue: Work Stories “Mrs. Sorry” by Gabriela Garcia: The young woman tending a luxury cosmetics counter knows of ravages beyond the aesthetic. “Wilshire and Grand” by Dagoberto Gilb: A construction worker’s coffee date with an old flame picks at knotty threads of memory. “Session Drummer” by Tommy Orange: More than the studio gigs, it’s managing an unstable father that’s truly challenging. “Todo Se Acaba” by Michael Jaime-Becerra: Working at the same supermarket chain that employs his father fuels Jaime-Becerra’s longing for other ways of being in the world. “Hospitality” by Michelle Latiolais: Every aspect of providing service at …Continue reading

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In the Spring Issue

In this issue: On Art Nonfiction Sallie Tisdale on touring the antiquities of Rome, Glen David Gold on tracking down a Gorey original, Heather Altfeld on the enduring gaze of John Berger, Paisley Rekdal on erasure and Paul Klee. Fiction Ben Greenman’s “Polyptych” (a divorced man and a painting that must be observed just so), Toni Martin’s “Director’s Cut” (a woman’s life as reconfigured through a foreign filmmaker’s sensibilities), and Peter Orner’s “Pacific” (an elderly couple—a sculptor and a potter—and the very end of things). Poetry Dan Alter, Denver Buston, Troy Jollimore, Rusty Morrison, Mira Rosenthal, and Alexandra Teague. In …Continue reading

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In the Winter Issue

In this issue: Tales of the Uncanny “Shelter” by Kate Folk: the concrete vault in the basement of a rented house exerts a strange pull on the woman living above it. “Take the Water Prisoner” by Shawn Vestal: when the sins (and pains) of the father are visited upon the son. “The Canyon” by Jim Ruland: the struggle for sobriety leads Lindsay to a confrontation she couldn’t have imagined. “The Lake and the Onion” by David Drury: “There once was a lake who fell in love with an onion. This is merely what we 100 percent know.” Interview Michael Ondaatje …Continue reading

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In the Fall Issue

In this issue: Of & About the Environment Héctor Tobar on living in Los Angeles, before and after air quality regulations; Lauret Edith Savoy traces “the geology of us”; Juli Berwald on “the blob,” the mysterious oceanic phenomenon that left destruction in its wake; Obi Kaufmann on the importance of reframing the language of conservation. Arundhati Roy discusses with John Freeman her work as an activist and a writer, and examines the great danger before us all. Poems by Jane Hirshfield, John Sibley Williams, Rebecca Foust, Daniel Neff, Maggie Millner, Sophie Klahr, and Emily Pinkerton. Fiction by Ben Lasman (ceding …Continue reading

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Letter From The Editor

“Literature is the question minus the answer.” —Roland Barthes “To learn which questions are unanswerable and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.” —Ursula K. LeGuin, from The Left Hand of Darkness Dear Reader, Perhaps you, like me, find yourself asking a lot from literature these days: greater solace, finer insight, deeper resonance. For me that’s led to thinking more pointedly about such expectations, and I’ve found it is useful to ask not only what literature can do to respond to current events, but also how; not just what meaning literature can …Continue reading

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In the Winter Issue

In this issue: Art & Resistance Amid Turmoil Criticism: Troy Jollimore on how Wallace Shawn’s plays and his latest book, Night Thoughts, illuminate our predicament Robin Romm on what Imre Kertész can teach us about art as resistance Nonfiction: T.J. Stiles on the road we travelled to arrive at this precarious moment Andrew Tonkovich on “free persons,” and the risks writers must take Fiction: Dana Johnson’s “Like Other People”: In desperate need of a job, a graduate student takes a job cleaning cable boxes, working with folks also hard up for work. Kristopher Jansma’s “The Corps of Discovery”: On a long …Continue reading

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In the Fall Issue

In this issue: Interview: City Lights Books bookseller Paul Yamazaki in conversation with Point Reyes Books owner Stephen Sparks about the responsibilities of bookselling (“For me, it boils down to conversation”) and the Bay Area’s literary community (“I forget sometimes how lucky we are”). Nonfiction: Jesse Nathan on the perhaps the most impressive tool behind Bob Dylan’s artistry: his singular voice. Peter Orner on the final brief moments of a couple slain on an isolated beach. Fiction: Arrival and Immigration: stories from Michael Jaime-Becerra (“¡Dale, Dale, Dale!”), E.C. Osundu (“Alien Visitors”), Christine Ma Kellems (“The Children of Dissidents”) and Greg …Continue reading

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In the Spring Issue

In this issue: Interview: Acclaimed poet and critic W.S. Di Piero in conversation: on Shakespeare, the art of translation (the translator inhabits “The house of a language, an imagination, a culture.”), and on being a good citizen. Nonfiction: Sallie Tisdale’s essay “The Hinge”: “My worst regrets,” she writes, “are not big and dramatic; they are as tiny and sharp as glass ground into my palm.” Fiction: Nick Lane’s “So You’re Thinking of Becoming a Despot”: It’s easier than you think (and it’s a great way of getting that one village girl to finally notice you). Louis B. Jones’ “Ever Since …Continue reading

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In the Winter Issue

Our Winter issue features fiction, nonfiction, and poetry: “Throwback Thursday” by Joshua Mohr: online, it’s the appearance of happiness that matters most. “Revision” by Mar Colón-Margolies: on assignment covering Texas’s abortion laws, a journalist considers the line between his humanity and his profession. “Wild Kingdom” and “World Away” by Octavio Solis: the tenacity of adolescent memories reveal themselves in a father’s explosive anger and in a school production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” “Operator, Information” by Glen David Gold: picking up from Issue No. 100’s “The Plush Cocoon,” we offer another installment from Gold’s forthcoming three-volume memoir. “Flood Control,” …Continue reading

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In the Fall Issue

Our Fall issue, replete with fiction, nonfiction, and poetry: A wide-ranging and revealing conversation between Andrew Foster Altschul and Geoffrey and Tobias Wolff, on writing, memory, and the craft of memoir. Lori Ostlund’s “A Little Customer Service”: A waitress questions the value of services rendered when she finds herself in the bed—and the distressed home—of a rich, carefree customer. Ann Cummin’s “Divination”: The burden of a brother toiling the land, serving his no-account father. Adrienne Celt’s “Big Boss Bitch”: They were certain they’d found the perfect female candidate for president. Then she started thinking on her own. Mark Chiusano’s “The …Continue reading

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In the Spring/Summer Issue

Issue No. 106 offers for your enjoyment more of the country’s finest stories, poetry, essays, and visual art: Ariel Dorfman’s “Amboise”: A long-time couple’s trip to France, in which perhaps only one of them will return from. Soma Mei Sheng Frazier’s “Clutter”: A riot of memories and thoughts pulls a stroke victim through the past and the present. Lou Mathew’s “Last Dance”: Can a widower find it in himself to grant his annoying neighbor (who makes a mean tamale) a beseeched courtesy? Ashley Nelson Levy’s “Auntie”: A teen daughter makes room in more ways than one for her mother’s dying …Continue reading

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In the Winter Issue

Issue No. 105 closes our 30th anniversary year with a special cover designed by Paul Madonna, as well as new fiction from Dagoberto Gilb, and more, including: Austin Smith’s “The Cave”: Pining for mom making dinner back at the farmhouse, a boy ventures into an odd schoolmate’s home. Dominica Phettaplace’s “The Story of a True Artist”: The fraught path to maintaining Internet fame is not making high school any easier. Davide Orecchio’s “Diego Wilchen No More”: “In the cub, you could already see the invincible Wilchen. He will earn love, only to dash it, and a following, only to disappoint.” …Continue reading

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