so to speak spring 2017 issue

art + writing by: Lina Alattar, Erin Lyn Bodin, Jonaki Ray, C.R. Grimmer, Rachel Hartley-Smith, Wendy Oleson, Ali Beemsterboer, Barbara Jane Reyes, Laurel Nakanishi, Zöe Brigley, Jessica Borsi, Chelsea Harris, Violetta Leigh, Zvezdana Rashkovich



This Could Have Happened to You

Chelsea Harris

We were outside an antiques and oddities shop, somewhere in New Hampshire, when I said, Look, it’s not my fault, it never was my fault and it will never be my fault. He danced his fingertips up and down the steering wheel and said, It’s over. I don’t want to think about it anymore. Kapeesh? I shrugged and he pretended to take a drag from …

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How it Goes

Erin Lyn Bodin

It would be nice, all these years later, for her to write down how it got to this point. But on her page, there are only the words of Leonard Cohen—words, it seems, everyone quotes now: There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. She painted yellow and green and blue around the words, to make them her own.
Her throat is …

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Jonaki Ray

for Reshma Qureshi


Mustard flowers stipple the olive and emerald fields

as dusty buffalos wallow in shrinking mud pools.

Women wash pink dupattas and fading purple kurtas

and children hop and chase stone bits

on crisscrossed baked-brick courtyards.

The evening sky blazes tangerine as sister and I walk home

My brother (by law) and his three friends fence us off

on the lone …

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So To Speak Blog Update

So To Speak Blog Update

Holly Mason

Readers, please bear with us as we are transitioning into new leadership. A very exciting time for our journal and blog! We look forward to introducing you to our new blog editor, Sarah Batcheller, and assistant blog editor, Alison Ross, very soon!

In Peace & Power, StS Blog Staff 

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Portrait of a Pre-Existing Condition

Portrait of a Pre-Existing Condition

Hannah Rose Neuhauser

It’s easier to not be embarrassed by a body if you don’t consider it your own. In the hospital, my body became a body of work. I felt no shame about being undressed, because nothing was projected onto me. My body was a scientific body. A body of fact. It was unrelated to me.

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Planting Manuka In The Rain

Planting Manuka In The Rain

Dalia Levy

I planted dozens of manuka (where that expensive honey comes from), kanuka, harakeke (flax) among other species as it rained ensuring I became a sufficiently muddy eco warrior woman that apparently pampers each tree too much. The earth is heavy and as I plant manuka in the rain I think about how it’s simple acts that have profound effects. This simple repetitive act is the slow regeneration of what has been lost through one of the world’s most pressing issues: deforestation.

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Review of Sandra Lim

Review of Sandra Lim’s The Wilderness

Madeleine Wattenberg

Though Lim engages heavily in an existential insistence of death, her poems often sharply turn, as though almost on accident, to a life-affirming image. She returns to the motif of a beating heart in several poems—an image that centralizes the self as at least part material body.

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2015-16 Contest Issue

2015-16 Contest Issue

So to Speak Editors

At this year’s AWP conference, So to Speak proudly introduced the newest supplement to our publishing formats, the Contest Issue. Get a look at and support fantastic writing through purchasing a copy.

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