Entries by Erin Stalcup

2020 Contest Winners Are Here

We are thrilled to announce the results of our 2020 contests! The winners have all been published on our Prize Winners page. Thank you to everyone who entered, and everyone who read the many stunning entries we received. 2020 Contest Winners 2020 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize First Place Winner: Barbara Camron for “White […]

Why We Chose It:  “Book of Leaves”

Philip Shackleton

The short story, “Book of Leaves,” by Jim Kourlas met two of my broad criteria for the fiction I read during the fall reading period: it said something important, and it said it in an original way. The story sits soundly in the realm of environmental writing, which in today’s world is a growing genre. […]

Portland, 1999

torrin a. greathouse

  From Hunger Mountain Issue 24: Patterns, which you can purchase here. Designed by Marielena Andre.   torrin a. greathouse is a transgender cripple-punk & MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018) & assistant editor of The Shallow Ends. Their work is published/forthcoming in POETRY, […]

Lithium

torrin a. greathouse

From Hunger Mountain Issue 24: Patterns, which you can purchase here. Designed by Marielena Andre.   torrin a. greathouse is a transgender cripple-punk & MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018) & assistant editor of The Shallow Ends. Their work is published/forthcoming in POETRY, The […]

The Bridge

Jennifer Tseng

From Hunger Mountain Issue 24: Patterns, which you can purchase here. Designed by Marielena Andre.   Jennifer Tseng is an award-winning poet & fiction writer. She & her sister, artist Amanda Tseng, collaborate on Instagram @tseng.sisters using the hashtag #sistersreadingsisters. Amanda’s images paired with Jennifer’s micro reviews celebrate books by women of color, queer women, […]

Love

Jennifer Tseng

From Hunger Mountain Issue 24: Patterns, which you can purchase here. Designed by Marielena Andre.   Jennifer Tseng is an award-winning poet & fiction writer. She & her sister, artist Amanda Tseng, collaborate on Instagram @tseng.sisters using the hashtag #sistersreadingsisters. Amanda’s images paired with Jennifer’s micro reviews celebrate books by women of color, queer women, […]

The Existence of the Cycle & Time’s Role in It

Jennifer Tseng

From Hunger Mountain Issue 24: Patterns, which you can purchase here. Designed by Marielena Andre.   Jennifer Tseng is an award-winning poet & fiction writer. She & her sister, artist Amanda Tseng, collaborate on Instagram @tseng.sisters using the hashtag #sistersreadingsisters. Amanda’s images paired with Jennifer’s micro reviews celebrate books by women of color, queer women, […]

White Box 
Barbara Cameron

Winner, Howard Frank Mosher Prize for Short Fiction

“My medication is mixing weird with my marijuana.” “Turn right at that billboard. GPS woman with British accent says in 500 feet turn right.” “Drive into it. I want in that billboard.” “I like the black stars.” “What are you talking about?” “On my phone. The grammar thing.” “Asterisks?” “U-turn it, hurry.” “Fuck you.” “What […]

Brief Candle 
Jenna Wengler

Overall Winner, Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult Literature

Fair is foul, and foul is fair. —Shakespeare, Macbeth   After school, Blanca takes me to the Sonic across the street for half-price happy-hour limeades to apologize for making me almost-late for the history final. I love their limeade—the fizz stinging my nose, the crushed ice slushing against the Styrofoam cup like boots in week-old snow—but today […]

The Midnight Owl of Gumbucket Hill
Noah Weisz

First-Place, Katherine Paterson Prize, Middle Grade Fiction

“Gumbucket!” the conductor called. Caleb jolted awake. He’d been leaning against the window of the train car, dreaming of a milky-eyed old man beckoning to him with a toothless smile and a paintbrush. Grandpa had better not be anything like that. “Great,” mumbled Aidan, Caleb’s older brother. “We’re here.”   Caleb stood on the seat […]

We CAN’T Go Outside! 
Sean McCollum

First-Place, Katherine Paterson Prize, Picture Book

                    For Chuck—                     who ALWAYS goes outside!   SPRING Tippy-tap. Tappy-tip. Drip! Drop! Drap!That’s the sound the rain made on the roof. Raz sat at the window watching waves of water falling from the dreary sky. A soggy salamander crawled out of the drain and shook itself off. “What’s the word, Thunderbird?” Dad asked. Raz pointed […]

to hell with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl:
my love letter to Susan Vance 
Sylvia Nicholas-Patterson

Honorable Mention, International Young Writers Prize, Poetry

In your local 7-Eleven, follow the unearthly scent of cologne. He’ll be sitting in a freezer box,   venting to the frozen dinners about how he resembles “dope with venom entailed.”   Proceed with caution. At first, he won’t look at you: his mind too busy dipping in   and out of the room. But […]

July, 1913 
Annie Cao

Honorable Mention, International Young Writers Prize, Poetry

Lately I’ve imagined prettier iterations of my body turning cold: gleaming pearlescent, floating quietly towards the shoreline. Kneeled before a bird’s nest, cheekbones dressed with blood. One night, I found myself lovelier than ever, torn to pieces all over the bedroom floor. Something is flickering in and out of sanctity, set aquiver beneath this vicious […]

The Narcissist’s Cure for Aging 
Sydney Alexander

Honorable Mention, International Young Writers Prize, Fiction

                    “If he but fail to recognize himself, a long life he may have.” – Ovid’s Metamorphoses Imagine! If we think of ourselves divided into separate entities of existence from the time we are born until we draw our last breath, then the stages in which we live are distinguishable by variations of the aging shell. […]

Scheduled Epiphany 
Samantha Haviland

Honorable Mention, International Young Writers Prize, Nonfiction

Disclaimer: As I write this essay, attempting to embody rebellion and denounce society, I must also recognize that by writing this essay I am only fulfilling my predetermined role in society—this is a scheduled epiphany.   I am a high school sophomore Student: 512222080 Statistics from 7:45 to 8:30, Homeroom from 8:33 to 8:45, Chemistry […]

There is a name for our present tense 
Duy Quang Mai

Honorable Mention, International Young Writers Prize, Nonfiction

                    —after Ocean Vuong   1981’s April. Sweats pearled the shades of dawn. Sunlight inked into your clothes. How everything stilled in the carving heat. You both were young and had numbered days to count. You both worked as factory laborers while in university. Life was a few chapters behind then. Beginning years whittled down to […]

Ross Gay’s Book of Delights and Jericho Parms’ Craft Module: Forms of Joy

by Sara Stancliffe

Ross Gay seems like a pretty delightful guy. Just watch any video of his poetry readings or his interviews, and you’ll see. His face is disproportionately made up of smile, and despite his tall frame, he exudes a warm approachability. Then go read his work, specifically his good-things-come-in-small-packages collection of essayettes, The Book of Delights. Ross (it just […]

An Interview with David Shields

by Amanda Leahy

It’s a gray Tuesday evening, rainy and cold, when I FaceTime with my former professor David Shields from my apartment in Montpelier, Vermont. He’s walking in Seattle, where, much to my surprise, the sun is shining brilliantly. He wears sunglasses, his signature black hat and jacket.  We talk for a while about what we’ve been […]

The Making of a Monster: A Craft Analysis of Joker

by Noni Salma

From the first frame, it becomes quite clear that Todd Phillip’s Joker won’t be an easy watch; we dolly in slowly on what looks like a male clown-for-hire, mid-construction. He stops in the middle of it to grin in the mirror, using his fingers to spread his face into a smile and then randomly breaks […]

An Interview with Amahl Khouri

by Virginia Booth

Virginia Booth: Amahl, I’m really curious to hear more about your participation with the Climate Change Theatre Action, and your play Oh, How We Loved Our Tuna! Amahl Khouri: How did it start? That’s a good question. I was invited by the Climate Change Theatre twice to participate in this global initiative. Weirdly enough I had […]

Three Poems

W. Todd Kaneko

Looking Outside Airplane Windows   I expect to see that boy in the clouds, sad faced, barbed wire tattoo ablaze where no one can see it— not a tattoo but a scar wrapped around his belly like a belt cinched tight to hold his body together. Every cloud dissolves one day, leaving so many boys […]

Two Poems

Rosebud Ben-Oni

Efes Wrestling with the Poet Who Won’t Look Away   To set fire to warships in the water                                                                                            cast your mirror as parabola. You still won’t quiet these waters.                                                                Finite are bodies to drown. Infinite only the quarks & electrons that you won’t see                                           keeping you as one. As more than. Similar. Don’t reduce me, says the reflection. […]

Narrowing

Mark Powell

She was still sick from the Lortab they had given her in the emergency room, but at least she was finally sitting up, finally drinking a Met-Rx shake through a silly straw, her jaw wired shut. All of this beneath the camper shell of her boyfriend Kenny’s Tacoma, all of this somewhere in East Texas. Uvalde or maybe […]

Two Poems

Jake Skeets

Red Running Into Water   tsi’naajinii nishłí pronounce the ł as water whistling through shadow                on black bark the í as boy wearing only yucca                lake colored tábąąhá báshíshchíín the í is now mouth of narrow stream                inside a pink mobile home with white skirting the ą sounds like pulling hair                from the throat shaped […]

A Review of Wives’ So Removed

by Tracy Haught

A forty-something-year-old woman is probably not the target audience for Brooklyn-based band Wives’ debut album, So Removed, but I’m here to tell you that what they’ve got going on is ageless. I would’ve listened to this album at any point in my life and am currently digging it as much as someone in their twenties […]

Excerpt from Postpartum Confinement/
産褥の記 の書き抜き

Akiko Yosano, 
translated from Japanese by Marissa Skeels

Excerpt from Postpartum Confinement Akiko Yosano, translated from Japanese by Marissa Skeels   A nurse waits in the prep-room next door. There is a small cooking stove in there, tea ware and hand towels, and a supply closet. It seems the sort of place where tableware gets boxed up. Clattering of its iron kettle boiling, squeaks of faucets being […]

Two Poems

Eloisa Amezcua

I Haven’t Masturbated in Five Daysfor Fear of Crying   her eyes closed the way my eyes sometimes close when I reach a hand  between my thighs              pretend they’re someone else’s fingers that slide  the unsexiest pair of panties I own to the side of a lip                              her neck  outstretched          the curve of her trachea like the bend […]

Transformations

Theophilus Kwek

on Meng Haoran’s “Spring Dawn” for Hong Kong   春曉 春眠不覺曉, 處處聞啼鳥。 夜來風雨聲, 花落知多少。      —孟浩然   0. The seasons have changed with a sudden force and the birds, who know, cannot keep the peace.   1. The peace, we know, is a bitter thing. It has been washed in the eye of the harbor.   […]

Announcing Our Guest Judges for the 2020 Hunger Mountain Writing Prizes

2020 Deadline is March 1! Enter the contests here. The 2020 judges are: Claire Vaye Watkins – Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize Robin Black – Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize  Vievee Francis – Ruth Stone Poetry Prize Sara B. Larson – Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing Claire Vaye Watkins is […]

Efes Wrestling with the Poet Who Won’t Look Away

Rosebud Ben-Oni

To set fire to warships in the water                                                                                            cast your mirror as parabola. You still won’t quiet these waters.                                                                Finite are bodies to drown. Infinite only the quarks & electrons that you won’t see                                           keeping you as one. As more than. Similar. Don’t reduce me, says the reflection. But it’s already done. It’s a whisper.   As if nothing still.   Lies […]

Three Poems

Lizzy Fox

How to Make Art   Even when I’m sick, when I feel the thorn of a sore throat prick my right tonsil, and I purr through a stuffed nose while I dream of spilling my coffee because I’m stumbling through the house without opening my eyes because I can’t open my eyes because I’m still […]

Two Monologues from Winesburg, Indiana, a small town between Fort Wayne and South Bend and not that far from Warsaw

Michael Martone

Mario Talarico’s Peonies My favorite variety is the Eleanor Roosevelt. I am very conscientious in the spring. I stake and cage the plants. I am careful to deadhead the side branching buds to lessen the weight. I know, you are thinking about the ants, but I don’t mind the ants. The ants are as drunk […]

Show & Tell: Making Body Language Work for Your Story

Molly Martin

Most writers are familiar with the advice, “Show, don’t tell.” It is as simple as it is vague and like many aphorisms, it’s largely not practical or useful on a daily basis. A quick word on telling—there are numerous places where telling or exposition is entirely appropriate. Not every aspect of a story deserves equal […]

Long Dash

John A. Nieves

The first five days read yellow against the window shade. The water                     pressure barely knew its way                                         through the pipes. We accordioned                       the hours on a damp queen with pale green sheets. It was always morning. The dew always just leaving again                                         for the sky. No one                                           named us. No one spent a […]

The Otchka

Noah Weisz

On a windy autumn morning in the city of Gholàr, Par and his mother set off for the Otchka. They left their small apartment pushing and pulling a massive old cart that shuddered and groaned at every cobblestone bump. Objects bounced, straining against the ropes that tied them down—a frayed velvet armchair, a wide wooden bench, a bicycle, two […]

Fashion, 1860

Lizzy Fox

Fashion, 1860   Ballerinas were particularly vulnerable, the tarlatan and gauze. But all girls could light like chimney fires— the bells of their hollow hoop skirts funneling air up the legs. In the days of fireplaces and gas stage lamps, don’t dance so close. Three thousand women burned that year catching a hem, tipping a […]

On Power

Lizzy Fox

 On Power   “As a man’s knowledge grows, and his power increases, the road he takes grows ever narrower, until at last he does only and wholly what he must.” —Ursula K. Le Guin   Bicep, bone, bloodstream, esophagus, coughing fits, apologies, laughter in the vocal cords and a current of air— a lamp […]

How to Make Art

Lizzy Fox

How to Make Art   Even when I’m sick, when I feel the thorn of a sore throat prick my right tonsil, and I purr through a stuffed nose while I dream of spilling my coffee because I’m stumbling through the house without opening my eyes because I can’t open my eyes because I’m still […]

Two More Monologues from Winesburg, Indiana, a small town between Fort Wayne and South Bend and not that far from Warsaw

Michael Martone

Maurice Milkin, Eraser Carver I go to the Pink Pearl factory store at the factory and buy the ones, discounted, beyond their expiration date. Stale erasers. I have been sculpting for years. Sculpting is about seeing what is not there, the negative space, the foil, the relief. It isn’t lost upon me that in my […]

No Tomorrow

Brad Rose

It’s a circular night and my blood is itchy. As soon as the now is over, I’m going to disentangle the amnesic kilowatts nestled inside these invisible particles. The house is still as a sleeping animal, and I’ve had it up to here with working the swing shift. Before we moved in, I used to […]

Drift(er)

Jake Skeets

                    after “Benson James, drifter. Route 66, Gallup, NM 1979” by Richard Avedon   Drift to drift is to be carried by current of air or water                                         but men are not the teeth of their verbs they pry nouns open with a belt buckle to take a sip Drifter a drifter carried by a current of […]

Red Running Into Water

Jake Skeets

tsi’naajinii nishłí pronounce the ł as water whistling through shadow                     on black bark the í as boy wearing only yucca                     lake colored tábąąhá báshíshchíín the í is now mouth of narrow stream                     inside a pink mobile home with white skirting the ą sounds like pulling hair                     from the throat shaped like the á táchii’nii dashícheii […]

Announcing our Guest Editors for Issue #24

Issue #24 is themed Patterns. Deadline is October 15th! Submit here.   Poetry: TC Tolbert identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, mover, and poet. And, s/he’s a human in love with humans doing human things. S/he is author of Gephyromania (Ahsahta Press 2014), 4 chapbooks, and co-editor of Troubling the Line: Trans and […]

Birth of Cool

Rita Banerjee

Lauren played her Gibson on the phone for me. Voodoo Child. Learning Hendrix one blistered finger at a time. Stairway to Heaven. A poster of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant hung on her bedroom wall. Plant made love to the microphone in his too-tight jeans and denim jacket. His threads hadn’t been washed in decades. Neither had he. His […]