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



Meow Meow

Violetta Leigh


stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance


The pitter-patter woke Sheila the first night. A rush of footsteps tumbled through her apartment, back-and-forth past her bedroom door – a staccato like fat drops of rain hitting a tin roof. She sat up and pulled the sheets over her knees, up to her chest. She tucked her ratty t-shirt tight to her body, hugging herself. …

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Dumb Blonde

Rachel Hartley-Smith


“A blonde walks into a library—” The man starts then stops.

He is a man with a big belly in a dark, baggy sweatsuit, only slightly taller than me, and he has parked his half-sized cart in my path. Surrounded by a rainbow of grocery-store produce, we stand in a band of green, between bunches of cut asparagus upright in stagnant water and mounds of round …

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4 Poems

Ali Beemsterboer

The kind of thing I see in movies/memories

when there are dark basements involved. He sat on the small of her back, cupped her chin with one palm, her forehead with the other, forced her to watch the video. Consider the narrative of flatness. To be flat is to be walked on. Pillows covered half-sized windows. Whether she tried to close her eyes or not, he …

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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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