Entries by Cammie Finch

2019 Contest Winners Are Here

We are thrilled to announce the results of our 2019 contests! With over 1,200 entries, we had a wonderful time reading and a hard time choosing our finalists. Thank you to everyone who entered. The winning pieces will be published in the forthcoming months, right here on Hunger Mountain Online.  Thank you to our talented assistant […]

Announcing Hunger Mountain’s Theme for Issue 24

Hunger Mountain 24: Patterns We’re excited to announce that the theme for our 2020 print issue, Hunger Mountain #24, is “Patterns.” Patterns can be worn or flown. Bees dance them. Humans walk them daily. Patterns can be mundane or systemic. Tibetan monks make mandalas, then blow them away. Ancient cultures left their trace in how […]


Carl Phillips

The long fever of summer looks like broken at last, there’s a coolness that the hours, more and more, leave behind them as they tumbleweed their way to wherever it is finished hours go to. Here, finished isn’t the same as lost, at all, is this true where you are? When I lie down in […]

The True Story of La Negra, A Bio-Myth

Elizabeth Acevedo

La  Negra  is  a  beastgirl.   From  forehead  to  heel callused. Risen on an island made of shit bricks: an empire.  The  doctor   pulled   La   Negra   from  her mother’s throat:  a swallowed sword:  rosary beads. La Negra’s  father  is a  dulled  sugarcane  machete. Crowned in her sun-dried  umbilical cord,  La Negra […]

Meet Our Contributors from “Silence & Power”

You can purchase Hunger Mountain’s Issue 23: Silence & Power (Spring 2019) for $12 or as part of a 2-year subscription.   POETRY Rosebud Ben-Oni: “Efes Wrestling with the Poet Who Won’t Look Away” and “Poet Wrestling with Neutrinos She {Allegedly} Cannot Feel” Recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and […]

Weird Trans Kid

Tyler Friend

Weird Trans Kid’s bladder is the size of a squirrel— not a squirrel’s bladder, but an actual squirrel, a chubby gray one. Weird Trans Kid doesn’t know which restroom to use. Is tired of all mainstream trans politics revolving around restrooms. Thinks restrooms are improperly named. Wants to rename them anxietyrooms. Wants to rename them […]

The Jacket

Sasha LaPointe

–an excerpt from her memoir, Little Boats Six years after my name was gifted to me, my parents moved us to the Swinomish Reservation. There was tribal land in the family and my parents saw an opportunity for an easier life. I saw a dark forest and a lack of ocean. I thought I’d be […]


Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti

There is a crush of Storm Troopers, Men of Steel, and Optimus Primes milling around the cavernous confines of the Javits Center. Surrounded by freaks and geeks, Astrid Atangana wonders how she and her friends—the self-styled Nyanga Girlz—come across to the Comic Con crowd. Mbola, rocking grills and street gear, calling herself “Fly Girl: Superman’s […]

Come On, Come Here, Talk to Me

Lydia Conklin

Sabrina took a shortcut to the party through the field between the Manor House and the Gehry building. The field was supposed to have ticks but no one at Bard cared. People were scoring crack on trips to Brooklyn, sporting fluorescent sores at parties. If you whined about ticks, people would call you a pussy […]

Hunger Mountain Nominates Six Authors for 2019 Pushcart Prize

We are delighted to nominate six Hunger Mountain authors for the 2019 Pushcart Prize: Hallie Goodman for her essay “Slum Night“ Carl Phillips for his poem “Morphine“ Jordy Rosenberg for his story “A Monster Stands Guard at the Door of the House of Love” Destiny O. Birdsong for her poem “Of Unapologetic Black Women and Melania […]

Introducing Our New International Young Writers Prize!

Hunger Mountain is pleased to announce its new International Young Writers Prize! This contest is open to all high school writers from around the world, and all genres of creative writing: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children. Students in Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA Program in Writing & Publishing will judge submissions and choose […]

Announcing Our Guest Judges for the 2019 Hunger Mountain Writing Prizes

2019 Deadline is March 1! Click here for guidelines and to enter the contest. The 2019 judges are: Erika T. Wurth – Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize Elissa Washuta – Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize Monica Brown – Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing Natalie Diaz – Ruth Stone Poetry Prize […]

Congrats to our Notables!

Congrats to Hunger Mountain contributors and editors who have been named notables in Best American Essays 2018, Best American Short Stories 2018, and Best American Poetry 2018: Katherine Schaefer, Notable Essay 2017 for “Edna, with Her Mouth,” published on Hunger Mountain’s website. Brenda Peynado, Distinguished Short Story 2017 for “The Man I Could Be,” published in Hunger Mountain Issue […]

Announcing Hunger Mountain’s 2019 Guest Editors and Theme

We’re beyond excited to announce this year’s guest editors, three writers we’ve long admired. We can’t wait to view Hunger Mountain through their creative lenses. Please help us welcome:   2019 Guest Poetry Editor // Natalie Scenters-Zapico Natalie Scenters-Zapico is a fronteriza from the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, U.S.A., and Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, […]

Review: The Blurry Years by Eleanor Kriseman

by Sarah Leamy

Callie, our narrator, has a keen eye for observation and takes us into her childhood in a tourist-rich yet sleazy Florida, set vividly in the late-seventies and onwards. We begin with her as a six-year-old and end with her leaving on her own at eighteen. Her mother is a forgetful and irresponsible drunk, one who […]

Review: Sugar Land by Tammy Lynne Stoner

by Sarah Leamy

Sugar Land is the story of one hell of a character called Miss Dara. The novel, divided into three sections, is set  in 1920’s Texas, and spans Miss Dara’s whole life. We meet her as a 19-year-old when she falls for her best friend, Rhodie. The attraction is mutual and they spend a few weeks […]

How to Have a Two-Night Stand

Andrea Rogers

You will remember how he moved toward you, hazard-handed, uttering your language—that pidgin of the partially recovered self. And you still won’t have learned, although you know the story well, won’t ever catch the flown bird of your breath, remembering how, still keen, still cold as a machine, Lust polished off your beer, relit your […]

Review: The Binti Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor

by Bianca Viñas

The Binti trilogy resides for me in that corner of the Appalachian Mountains I first picked it up: 14.5 acres of oak trees, milkweed, and a prolific flora only Nnedi Okorafor could bring back to memory with renewed magic and beauty. What I read in her novellas came alive in the landscape. Okarafor, the magnetic […]

From “Negus in Paris”

L. Lamar Wilson

I smile at a cop for the first time in years—her skin Of caramel & whey, kissed the way French kiss to say Bonjour, not Je te veux, by a pale woman who, like her, Dons wolves’ flesh, the darkest blue, which should quicken My gait, exacerbate the arrhythmia that’s my birthright. I want you, […]

Of Names to Disguise the Dead

Miriam Bird Greenberg

For almost forty years I have been alive, and the magnitude of my unknown grows before me, its shape the shadow of an occult creature occluded, eclipsed, unmade by its elder. Certainty shows itself little by little. It is something I cannot recognize until it has dressed in a faraway forest and passed close by […]

Of Inheritance

Miriam Bird Greenberg

  Its beneficiaries ordinary in their disgrace, made to break at lathe or lumber mill, they like to say. Fruit bruised before the fall, broken open beneath the tree, they are liquor for wasps and ruined gods, rust-riven and rat- gnawed. They croon funereal rights, conceal what they carry. Of them, the garment rent by […]

Slum Night: An Essay

Hallie Goodman

The Crazy Lady groaned up against the bad side of I-35. It wasn’t much from the outside—a squatty, stucco lump of a strip club, perched perilously close to the interstate edge, its façade ground smooth by relentless traffic grit. This was where Austin girls went when they’d been fired from the clubs with valet parking […]

Fire-Eating Woman

Ama Codjoe

I know tongues of fire as tall as men, autumn sap, red panties, a stack of sparklers lit, riotous laughter, a field of poppies, circus acts. I know mistakes: how fire tastes. I keep a scarlet dress for when day skirts the hill with its hem and ladybugs cover the bedroom ceiling. Tomatoes split like […]

Book Blurb: Fragile Things

by Valentyn Smith

Neil Gaiman doesn’t know this but I’m devastated that the one time I lived as an NYC-expat was when he reigned as Neptunian king at this year’s Mermaid Parade. So, this summer, instead of reveling in my usual Coney Island haunts, I decided to grow a fishtail in my bathtub as I read the short […]


Beth Bachmann

I laid down at your door a white bowl of milkweed houndstongue lupins cape tulips & juniper a garland big enough to kill a thirsty horse I like my peace like flower or fire wild you can bring a horse to water you can force it to swim but you can’t trust what comes after […]


Beth Bachmann

don’t call me goddess peace is armed like any man if the ocean is burning oil close your eyes when you come up to breathe lungs float the heart does not the ship is under quarantine often in life there are two choices die or come clean the people do not want an ocean they […]

Review: Bigfoots in Paradise by Doug Lawson

by Sarah Leamy

Doug Lawson’s collection of short stories, Bigfoots in Paradise, is set in and around Santa Cruz, California, between Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean. There are eight stories, each about 20-30 pages, and many have been previously published in journals such as Gargoyle, Glimmer Train, and Mississippi Review, amongst others. Doug Lawson writes with confidence, […]

The Waist That You Are From

Caroll Sun Yang

There’s a Korean word, Han. I looked it up. There is no literal English translation; it’s a state of mind; of soul, really. A sadness. A sadness so deep no tears will come. And yet still, there’s hope. — Josiah Bartlet, “The West Wing”     Profile: DOB 1974/USA/Female/Korean Developed Disorders: Generalized Anxiety, Bipolar, Panic, […]

2018 Contest Winners Are Here

We are thrilled to announce the results of our 2018 contests! With nearly 1,200 entries, we had a wonderful time reading and a hard time choosing our finalists. Thank you to everyone who entered. The winning pieces will be published in the forthcoming months, right here on Hunger Mountain’s online companion. Thank you to our talented assistant […]


Stephanie Rogers

Heather—his youngest daughter, my sister, his baby, the one who always gave in when he needed money for rent or drugs—left me with her three girls outside McDonald’s, while she drove Dad for a carton of cigs and a Playboy. The girls forced me to play freeze tag. I picked at my fingernails, ripping off […]

On Finding Nourishment and Sanctuaries: An Interview with Maggie Nowinski

by Cameron Finch

Maggie Nowinski (MFAin Visual Art ’07) is an interdisciplinary visual artist, arts educator, and curator who lives and works in Western Massachusetts. Her work frequently exhibits throughout the New England region, as well as nationally. In addition to teaching at Westfield State University and Manchester Community College, Maggie also serves as an Artist-Teacher mentor for […]

Book Blurb: Guardians Angels & Other Monsters

by Paul Daniel Ash

In Guardian Angels & Other Monsters, Daniel H. Wilson’s short story collection invites us to consider the question: How far would you go to provide for your children? “The Executor,” a noir-esque short story, reimagines a hypercapitalist future world in which the descendants of the galaxy’s richest man have fought centuries-long wars over their vast […]

Swan Soup

Sarah Elizabeth Schantz

My spine is strung together by a string of shattered stars. Neck wrung, I’m a dead swan floating in a moat—an amusement park ride, the fairgrounds abandoned. A stork stands in her nest atop the Ferris wheel, the emerald cascade of kudzu like a shawl for the steel skeleton, I stood at the stove in […]

Conditioning (Run Study)

José Angel Araguz

I must run: walking won’t get me there. Miles must take the place of arms; distance, embrace. I must run, until I become air. * Conditioning is a whisper on the eyelash of an eye that doesn’t blink, afraid of missing seconds pass. * Conditioning is the day spent hinting: a bee working his wings […]

Book Review: Macbeth by Jo Nesbø

by Paul Daniel Ash

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Hogarth Shakespeare Project began inviting novelists in 2015 to reimagine the Bard’s canon in contemporary works of fiction. A number of writers were contacted, such as Howard Jacobson, Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood, and Jo Nesbø, a Norwegian author primarily known for his Harry Hole series of […]

Book Blurb: TITLE 13

by Cameron Finch

Michael A. Ferro’s darkly comedic debut novel, TITLE 13, is the story of a missing government census document, a deep and complex relationship with home and family, a man losing himself to alcoholism, and the usual contenders: life, death, and love. It’s also the first documentation of the Midwest’s experience during The Great Recession that […]

Book Blurb: The End We Start From

by Lindsay Gacad

Megan Hunter’s haunting debut novel, The End We Start From, explores a mother’s journey through London underwater. Immediately, the reader is gripped by Hunter’s visceral imagery, as she describes the protagonist, who is preparing to give birth as “a lumbering gorilla with a low-slung belly and suspicious eyes.” Through Hunter’s poetic prose and honest revelations, readers […]

The Antlered Doe

R. Cassandra Bruner

A man doused in roebuck piss says I saw it as I skinned its thighs & laughs. Your death always a joke, the shock of womb, a punchline. Darting through the underbrush, even your hooves resounded like cackling children. This velvet crown was not always a betrayal— In rutting season, the tongues of stags & […]

The Eight Graveyards

Anna Dunn

In this garden a draft of summer plays across the prayer flags. A handful of slugs marched into the Worcestershire sauce and drowned themselves last night. The red dog is tired and smells like dirt and air. In this graveyard you ask her again to tell you how the moon moves. In another you are […]

The Wizard

Elizabeth Barnett

Dad, you are not all right. This business of being a cake, the cake left in the rain. These claims and drawings— family trees with great men and without mom. These phantom limbs. You’re sewing the velvet curtain shut. Come out. Say you are just a man.   Art by Maggie Nowinski. Elizabeth Barnett lives in […]

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

Tom Sleigh

1 Everything that’s happening isn’t me doing it, it’s what the cold’s doing, the music’s doing, it’s what gravity’s doing to the guy and if I can’t imagine what it’s like how much less can someone outside the whole situation see it straight on when what somebody else is doing might be worse than what […]

Meet Our Contributors from “Everyday Chimeras”

You can purchase Hunger Mountain’s Issue 22: Everyday Chimeras (Spring 2018) for $12 or as part of a 2-year subscription. POETRY Angie Macri: “Remembrance: Dream, Palace of Drought” Angie Macri is the author of Underwater Panther (Southeast Missouri State University), winner of the Cowles Poetry Book Prize, and Fear Nothing of the Future or the Past (Finishing Line). Her recent work appears in Poetry, […]

Announcing Our Guest Judges for the 2018 Hunger Mountain Literary Prizes…

2018 Deadline Extended to March 15th! Click here for guidelines and to enter the contest. The 2018 judges are: Caroline Leavitt – Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize Pam Houston – Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize Sherwin Bitsui – Ruth Stone Poetry Prize Kekla Magoon – Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing Caroline […]


Myronn Hardy

Green awnings have rusted. Time unstill     you are unstill walking on a street stilled.   Your mind holds the no longer market. You want to show me the market. You have crawled prison floors.   Your son has done the same. You are the same     the ceaselessness. Your mother served green […]

Creek Dippers

Robin MacArthur

“You want to jump in the creek?” my mother asks. It’s a Tuesday night in late July and we’re on the porch drinking Myers’s rum doused with lemonade. She’s wearing cut-off cargo pants and a Grateful Dead T-shirt full of holes; her cracked toenails are the chartreuse of limes.


Julie Marie Wade

As a child in confirmation class, I am instructed in the holy math. “Seven is the number of completion,” our pastor says. “It took seven days for God to make the world, so seven days became the length of our earthly week.” He speaks to us as a single mass, the cloud and not the snowflakes, separate and unique.

Rodrigo Rey Rosa

Rav Grewal-Kök

Rodrigo took Rosa’s clothes out of his closet and laid them on the bed beside her toothbrush, face cream, and paperbacks. He called to say she could come for her things while he was at work. It was almost nine. He was shaved, scented, and ready to leave. “Trust me,” he said, “there’s nothing I […]

Hunger Mountain Nominates Six Authors For The 2018 Pushcart Prize

We are delighted to nominate six Hunger Mountain authors for the 2018 Pushcart Prize: Brenda Peynado for her story “The Man I Could Be“ Matthew Dickman for his poem “Wonderland“ Major Jackson for his poem “Fathering“ Rosebud Ben-Oni for her poem “The Songs We Know Not to Talk Over“ Patricia Smith for her poem “Mammy […]

Two Poems

Matthew Dickman

Wonderland Anton is marching with his new friends, their shaved heads like tongues of fire floating along 82nd Avenue, the cars at night honking at them like they were vets just home from the war. He is marching with an old lie in his mouth, a lie like a rotten acorn, the acid taste of […]


Major Jackson

We enter without tears and huddle in the sidehills. The children’s cries are like spears in our chests, so we trade our silence for hammers. In our sleep, behemoths descend upon us which we cannot shake even when first light flames over the eastern crests. We eat flesh of the great furred beasts and wolf […]

The Man I Could Be

Brenda Peynado

Once, my dad tried to give me the jacket the Army awarded him for serving in Korea. It looked like a varsity jacket, soft blue felt, pale arms. On the back it said, I know I’m going to heaven because I’ve been to hell. I was fifteen, and I thought a lot of my dad, […]

White Knights

Howard Frank Mosher

“The Knights need a teetotaler driver tomorrow, Jimbo,” Harlan Kittredge said. “Be you a teetotaler?” It was the evening of June 20. Tomorrow the White Knights of Temperance, formerly the Kingdom County Outlaws, were headed to Boston to catch the twin bill between the Sox and the Yankees. They’d gotten together tonight at the Common […]

Flash Flood

Alexa Hudson

Mama put a hand to her wide hip, plucked the cigarette from her mouth, and took a long look at Cliff. Pulled her eyeglasses halfway down her nose and said, “No you didn’t.” “Mama, be nice,” I said. It had taken five years and three days for me to build the courage to bring him […]

Shirts and Skins

Brian Evenson

On their first date, a so-called blind one, Megan took Gregory by the hand and he let her. She led him into a space afflicted with mood lighting and for a moment he though it must be a bar, a remarkably empty one, but no, it was not a bar but an art gallery.

Our First Ever Social Media Contest: #everydaychimeras

We are thrilled to announce our first ever social media contest, where you can win free subscriptions to Hunger Mountain, so you can have easy access to some of the best talent being published today. And the best part is, all you need is an Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account to enter! In honor of our […]

The Songs We Know Not to Talk Over

Rosebud Ben-Oni

After a funeral, something wrestles from the wind, Flutters haphazardly close to your aching chest. Most likely it will fall to the cracked sidewalk. Stop walking. Consider it. You won’t understand What you are looking at, this sort of green would-be Katydid with dragonfly wings and limbs like a praying Mantis. It’s incapable of anything […]

Writing Off the Page

Andrea Rothman

I live in the North Shore of Long Island, the setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. In theory, the bucolic landscape of sea grass, lush trees, and glittering water that surround me should provide the ideal framework for my fiction writing. But as a mother of seven-year-old twins with a household to manage, […]