account_circle by Derek Alger

From the Editor

An Unexpected Afternoon Tragedy

Issue No. 187 ~ December, 2012

I slowly eased myself off the couch and gingerly walked over to the window. Sure enough, there were five or six police cars converging from all directions, and two ambulances parked on the main street in front of the small row of stores.

Who Knows?

Issue No. 185 ~ October, 2012

Time to open the magazine. I'm guessing Blake and Ryan are television celebrities, or maybe singers. I do know I have no idea what constitutes a "dream Southern wedding." I don't even know what constitutes a dream wedding of any kind, anywhere, at any time, for that matter.

A Twisted Ankle Tale

Issue No. 183 ~ August, 2012

My brother was injured on his part-time job, and as a result, couldn't perform what was required for his permanent job, but it came down to "So what?" and "Tough luck" -- you are not entitled to compensation.

Celebration Days for Mom and Dad

Issue No. 181 ~ June, 2012

One year, when I was in my twenties, my mother sent me a Mother's Day card with her familiar small but exceedingly legible handwriting inside telling me not to worry about doing anything for her on Mother's Day, it was just another day, and she was a mother everyday, so she didn't understand what all the fuss was about.

More than just playing catch

Issue No. 180 ~ May, 2012

My father took me to the tryouts, trying to reassure me and calm me down, even though he had absolutely no interest in baseball. My mother was the avid baseball fan, starting with her love of the Brooklyn Dodgers when my parents first moved to Manhattan from Toronto.

A True Wishbone Friend

Issue No. 179 ~ April, 2012

Guy and I were pretty different, and I suspect good manners, natural empathy, and conceptual curiosity, along with the common experience of where we found ourselves at the age of twelve, were reasons we became friends.

A Path to the AWP Conference in Chicago

Issue No. 178 ~ March, 2012

I’m off to Chicago to this year’s annual AWP (Associated Writers and Writing Programs) conference, where some 9,600 writers and writing students have registered to attend. I’m still an outsider, and probably should have heard of the AWP 20 years before I did, but persistence …

Out of the Blue

Issue No. 177 ~ February, 2012

Through the rear view mirror my mother spotted a state police car behind her, but thought nothing of it, since so many cars were speeding past her in the left lane. Then the red light went on and the police car moved up right behind my mother's van.

What’s in a Name?

Issue No. 176 ~ January, 2012

My brother was seeing a therapist, who apparently thought Timmy was a "baby name" and thus, impacted adversely on my brother's feelings about himself, and his ability to ever assertively confront my father.

Gimme a Word

Issue No. 175 ~ December, 2011

My demons could never be exorcized through playing characters, I was stuck with trying to understand myself and what I perceived as the uncomprehending world around me through other means. Pretense was anathema to me, and yet, acting fascinated both my father and Ferruccio; my father through utilizing videotape in therapy and Ferruccio through staging psychodramas, encouraging patients to perform in spontaneous scenarios.

Last Memo Wins

Issue No. 174 ~ November, 2011

So, there it was, if a memo came your way implying you were guilty or at fault about something, it was factual until an appropriate memo challenged such an assertion. After all, it was on paper now, and anything on paper magically became real, no matter how preposterous.

Happy to know Lucky Bruce

Issue No. 173 ~ October, 2011

I came down off the stage to greet him, introducing myself and shaking his hand. He looked at me, and giving a quick, subtle shake of his head, said, "You don't look at all like I expected."

You are Mayor Koch!

Issue No. 170 ~ July, 2011

The adrenaline and exhilaration of declaring freedom from a situation perceived as oppressive was soon replaced by increasing panic when I realized I would no longer be getting a paycheck.


Pensive Pondering About Childhood Past

Issue No. 175 ~ December, 2011

I’ve always had trouble accepting the intricacies of the so-called grown up world, finding the behavior of most adults completely bewildering. This started in childhood with the way I viewed my father. I thought he was strange, whereas he was revered by his peers in …

One on One

Sarah Suzor

Issue No. 187 ~ December, 2012

Suzor’s poetry has been published widely, as well as anthologized, translated and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Venice, California where she is a founding editor for Highway 101 Press, and a guest lecturer for the Left Bank Writers Retreat in Paris.

Pinckney Benedict

Issue No. 185 ~ October, 2012

Pinckney Benedict is the author of three collections of short stories, his most recent being Miracle Boy and Other Stories (Press53, 2010) and also the Steinbeck-Award winning crime novel, The Dogs of God, published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday.

James Grady

Issue No. 183 ~ August, 2012

James Grady ( is the author of several thriller novels, screenplays, articles, and over a dozen critically acclaimed thrillers, including his best known novel, Six Days of the Condor, which was adapted into the classic film Three Days of the Condor, staring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway.

Pablo Medina

Issue No. 182 ~ July, 2012

Pablo Medina is a critically acclaimed poet and novelist whose most recent novel, Cubop City Blues, was published earlier this year by Grove Press. At the age of 12, Medina and his family moved from Cuba to New York City.

Bobbie Ann Mason

Issue No. 182 ~ July, 2012

Mason's first short stories were published in The New Yorker, and subsequently included in her first book of fiction, Shiloh & Other Stories (1982), which won the PEN/Hemingway Award. The story collection was also nominated for the American Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Amina Gautier

Issue No. 181 ~ June, 2012

Amina Gautier is the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her short story collection At-Risk. Seventy-five of her stories have been published, appearing in Glimmer Train, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, North American Review, and Southern Review among other places.

Mark Wisniewski

Issue No. 180 ~ May, 2012

Mark Wisniewski's most recent novel, Show Up, Look Good, was published by Gival Press in August of 2011. His other published works include the novel, Confessions of a Polish Used Car Salesman (Hi Jinx Press, 1997), a collection of short stories, All Weekend with the Lights On (Leaping Dog Press, 2001), and a book of narrative poems, One of Us One Night.

Bill Yarrow

Issue No. 179 ~ April, 2012

Bill Yarrow is the author of the poetry collection, Pointed Sentences, published earlier this year by BlazeVox (books). He is the author of two chapbooks, Fourteen (Naked Mannekin, 2011) and Wrench(erbacce-press, 2009).

Tony Ardizzone

Issue No. 178 ~ March, 2012

Tony Ardizzone was born and raised in Chicago, and his most recent novel is The Whale Chaser, published in 2010 by Academy Chicago Publishers. Over the years, Ardizzone's fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Georgia Review, Ploughshares, The Chicago Review, and The Gettysburg Review, to name a few.

Sue William Silverman

Issue No. 177 ~ February, 2012

Sue William Silverman is the author of two acclaimed memoirs, as well as a poetry collection, Hieroglyphics in Neon and Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir. Her memoir, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You is a painful, excruciating account of years of sexual abuse as a child, which won the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Award Series in Creative Nonfiction in 1995.

Roberta Allen

Issue No. 176 ~ January, 2012

Roberta Allen ( is the author of Dreaming Girl (Ellipsis, 2011), as well as the story collection Certain People (Coffee House Press, 1996), The Traveling Woman (Vehicle Editions, 1986), and a novella-in-stories, The Daughter (Autonomedia, 1992).

Jacqueline Bishop

Issue No. 175 ~ December, 2011

Jacqueline Bishop was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, before coming to the United States to attend college. She is the author of two poetry collections, Snapshots From Istanbul and Fauna, as well as a novel, The River's Song. Bishop is also the author of the non-fiction books, My Mother Who Is Me: Life Stories From Jamaican Women in New York, and Writers Who Paint/Painters Who Write: Three Jamaican Artists.

Anna Monardo

Issue No. 174 ~ November, 2011

Anna Monardo is the author of two novels, The Courtyard of Dreams (Doubleday, 1993), which was nominated for a PEN/Hemingway Award and recommended for a National Book Circle Award, and Falling in Love with Natassia (Doubleday, 2006).

Christopher Locke

Issue No. 173 ~ October, 2011

Christopher Locke, who was born in Laconia, NH in 1968, is a poet, essayist, screenwriter and playwright. He is the author of the poetry collection End of Magic (Salmon Poetry, 2011). He has also published three chapbooks of poetry, Possessed (Main Street Rag, Editor's Choice Award -- 2005), Slipping Under Diamond Light (Clamp Down Press -- 2002), and How To Burn (Adastra Press - 1995).

Alan Cheuse

Issue No. 172 ~ September, 2011

Cheuse is well-known as a book commentator, and a regular contributor to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." His short fiction has appeared in numerous publications and literary journals, including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, The Idaho Review, and The Southern Review.

Lou Rowan

Issue No. 171 ~ August, 2011

Lou Rowan is the author of the novel, My Last Days (Chiasmus Press, 2007), and the short story collection, Sweet Potatoes (Small Press Distribution, 2008). He's currently finishing another novel, in the mystery form.

Gloria Mindock

Issue No. 170 ~ July, 2011

Gloria Mindock, author of the poetry collections, Blood Soaked Dresses (Ibbetson St. Press, 2007) and Nothing Divine Here (U Soku Stampa, 2010), is editor and publisher of Cervena Barva Press, and in 2007, became the editor of the Istanbul Literary Review, an online journal based in Turkey.

William Trowbridge

Issue No. 169 ~ June, 2011

William Trowbridge, whose most recent poetry collection, Ship of Fool, was published earlier this year by Red Hen Press, currently teaches in the University of Nebraska low-residency MFA writing program. He is also a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Northwest Missouri State where he was co-editor of The Laurel Review, one of the Midwest's leading literary journals.