Vol.59 Issue 03
Cover Artist: Edgar Degas
Cover of TLR's "Heaven" issue, featuring an erasure drawing by Degas

The Heaven Issue

Jessie Vail Aufiery
Editor’s Letter

For what is heaven but an antithesis to the chafing discomfort of living? What, but everything life is not? … [read the whole letter]




Jody Azzouni
For the Love of Leprechauns

I’m driving on one of those dark, peculiar backroads in upstate New York, coming back from a land-development community meeting, when I hit something in the road. The car skids a little, after the thump, and as I screech it to a stop… [read the whole story here]

Eric Barnes
Why I Stay

There are matches and light bulbs and batteries in most any home or building. There is more here than those of us who are left could ever possibly use.

Oliverio Coelho, Argentina
The Occupant
Translated by Kit Maude

Amadeo Soto was used to veiled nightmares featuring his father in which his real-life death was either repeated or confounded by his apparent survival…

Trinie Dalton
The Dawn of Time

Eazy E laughed at something I said about death and we were tight after that. Friends don’t become good friends till you talk about death…

Luce D’Eramo, Italy
Behind the Hill of the BMW Factory
Translated by Oonagh Stransky

The powerful searchlights project their blinding blue tubes of light into space, revealing the American planes that punctually fly over German territory, preceded, accompanied by, and followed by the scream of the siren—just as they do every night…

Polly Kertis
Chicken Skin

In that whirling moment, my sister decided to try to be funny or helpful or naughty, I’ve never known which. She hefted the dead animal from the counter and dropped it…

Christina Wood Martinez

It was a foggy morning when I noticed the new sound among all the familiar sounds that belonged to mornings. Water boiling for coffee, the house creaking its beams as it warmed under the rising sun…


Samuel Amadon

In a year of throwing voices into the hot wind
Filling the road with blue and red sawhorses

Dan Beachy-Quick
Middle Ages
Domestic Economy

Once, I was a child. When did that horizon—.
Once, I was a child; I built a little boat.

William Brewer
Clean Days in Oxyana

You ask what facts I remember from the last five years,
but facts have nothing to do with memory.

Lois Harrod
Fences Tight to the Ditches

Don’t fence me in, said my student just as the foil
perforated his safety vest, slid straight around his vital

Keetje Kuipers
Still Life with Nursing Bra
In the Yard I Lie on My Back and Dream of Turtles

Or would if I were asleep, and not awake
while this child runs circles around my star

Alex Lemon

I heart the rock ’n’ roll stardust, steroids that let you live, all the spilled love and still being alive. I heart Twizzlers, tangerines, until the stomach can’t take anymore.

Matthew Lippman
All My Grooved and Scratched
The Light

All alone
In the kitchen
With the kids gone
The wife gone

Olivia McCannon
Do Boys Turn into Butterflies

You’ll always be a thing of sun-dazzle and sweetness
soft as fingertips, suckling nectar and tuned to bliss—

Gretchen Marquette
Poem for a Rabbit

Beside my car this morning, heart
like a cooked cherry, string
of pink gut, tuft

Luz Pichel, Spain
What Ivy Does
Translated from Galician by Neil Anderson

The ivy went climbing up
winding round the naked apple trunk

Francis Ponge, France
End of Autumn
Translated by Joshua Corey and Jean-Luc Garneau

In the end autumn is nothing more than a cup of tea gone cold.

Sarah V. Schweig

I woke with a start
with a cow on my shoulder

Melissa Stein
Lily of the valley

Split dandelion, peeled down its silvery
stalk, split head eyeing two directions.

Alicia Wright
Elegy with a Man’s Hands in the Garden
Origin Story

Once once only in the deluge Joyride night
was the time I saw unthinkable speed dash



Fabio Morábito, Mexico
Scrittore Traditore
To Age
Translated by Curtis Bauer

When I was five years old I aged for the first time. My street had been closed to traffic due to construction on the metro

Cameron Dezen Hammon
Infirmary Music

The first person I sang for like this was Sarah. She was twenty-six.

Ben Merriman
The Pathetic Fallacy

In preparation for a vacation in the tropics I bought a copy of Adorno’s Minima Moralia. (This fact reveals a great deal about me.)

Phan Triều Hải, Vietnam
Forever on the Road
Translated by Charles Waugh

Rain pours down as my car passes the quarry. It’s four-thirty in the afternoon and the quarry workers have begun to bicycle home.


Samuel Amadon is the author of Like a Sea and The Hartford Book. His poems have appeared recently in The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, jubilat, A Public Space, Lana Turner, and elsewhere. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of South Carolina and edits the journal Oversound with Liz Countryman.

Neil Anderson is a teacher and translator living in Savannah, Georgia. His translations from Galician have appeared in journals such as The Bitter Oleander, M-Dash, Drunken Boat, Pleiades, and Asymptote.

Jody Azzouni was born in Brooklyn and started writing at age twelve. He hasn’t stopped (yet). His first love is dialogue, his second is content. These are odd things to love—but then again, being a writer is an odd thing to be. His fiction, poetry, and philosophy have been published in many journals.

Eric Barnes is the author of the novels Something Pretty, Something Beautiful and Shimmer, along with short stories published in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Best American Mystery Stories, and elsewhere. Years ago he drove a forklift, worked construc- tion, and froze fish in Washington and Alaska. He is publisher of newspapers covering busi- ness, politics, the arts, and more in Tennessee.

Curtis Bauer is a poet (most recently The Real Cause for Your Absence) and a translator of poetry & prose from Spanish (most recently Eros Is More by Juan Antonio González Iglesias and From Behind What Landscape by Luis Muñoz). He teaches at Texas Tech University.

Dan Beachy-Quick is the author, most recently, of the book of poems gentless- ness and a chapbook, Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs. He teaches in the MFA program at Colorado State University.

William Brewer is the author of Oxyana, winner of the 2017 Poetry Society of America’s 30 and Under Chapbook Fellowship. He is a 2016–18 Wallace Stegner Poetry Fellow at Stanford University.

Oliverio Coelho was born in Buenos Aires in 1977. His most recent novels are Un hombre llamado lobo and Bien de frontera. He has also published two short story collections, Parte doméstico and Hacia la extinción. He writes regularly for the cultural supple- ments of La Nación, El País, Clarín, and Perfil, and is often named as one of the best young authors in Latin America today.

Joshua Corey’s most recent books are The Barons and a novel, Beautiful Soul: An American Elegy. Partisan of Things, a new translation of Francis Ponge’s first book of prose poems, has just been published by Kenning Editions.

Trinie Dalton is author/curator of six books that move between prose and visual art, most recently Baby Geisha. Other shorts from her forthcoming collection are running in Ninth Letter, Columbia Journal, Pastelegram, Draw Down Books chapbook series, and as broadsheet edition for Bridget Donahue Gallery. She is faculty chair of VCFA’s MFA in Writing & Publishing program, and splits time between Oregon and Vermont.

The life of Luce D’Eramo (1925–2001) was marked by her experience in German prison camps during World War II, the subject of her novel Deviazione, soon to be published in English. Her work has been translated into German, French, Spanish, and Japanese. The story published here is from the collection Racconti Quasi di Guerra.

Jean-Luc Garneau is a native of Québec, Canada. He teaches French and linguistics at Lake Forest College.

Phan Triều Hải was born in 1969 in Quy Nhơn, Vietnam. A 1998 participant in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, he has published five collections of short stories and was awarded best young writer from Avant Garde newspaper in 2000.

Cameron Dezen Hammon’s poems and essays have been widely published and she is at work on an essayistic memoir about religious culture shock. As a songwriter, producer, and singer, Cameron has been featured on PBS, performed at the U.S. Open, and released several albums. Her most recent recording, released through Pledge Music, is a feminist reinterpretation of fourteen iconic 80s pop songs originally recorded by men.

Lois Marie Harrod’s 16th collection, Nightmares of the Minor Poet, appeared in June. Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis and How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth, in 2013. Widely published in journals and online, she teaches creative writing at TCNJ.

Polly Duff Kertis is the author of two chapbooks, Old Gus Eats and Mirror Poems. She founded the Brooklyn reading series Writers Reading to Writers Listening to Writers Reading to Writers. She co-founded the biennial Moby-Dick Marathon NYC. She teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence and The Sackett Street Writer’s Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn with her son and husband.

Keetje Kuipers is a former Stegner Fellow, Pushcart Prize winner, and the author of two collections of poetry. Keetje recently left her position as a tenured associate professor at Auburn University, where she was editor of Southern Humanities Review, to write full-time. She lives in Seattle.

Alex Lemon is the author of four poetry collections: Mosquito, Hallelujah Blackout, Fancy Beasts, and The Wish Book as well as Happy: A Memoir. An essay collection and a fifth book of poetry are forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. He lives in Ft. Worth, Texas, and teaches at TCU and in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program.

Matthew Lippman is the author of four poetry collections: Salami Jew, American Chew (winner of The Burnside Review Book Prize), Monkey Bars, and The New Year of Yellow (winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize). He is the recipient of the 2014 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review.

Gretchen Marquette’s work has been featured in The Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, Harper’s, Tin House, and other places. Her first book, May Day, was released in 2016. She lives in Minneapolis.

Christina Wood Martinez is the Junior Fellow for Fiction at Washington University in St. Louis and is assistant editor for Dorothy, a publishing project.

Kit Maude is a translator based in Buenos Aires. He occasionally writes reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, Otra Parte, and Perfil.

Olivia McCannon was born on Merseyside and lives in London, after nine years in France. Her collection Exactly My Own Length was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize and won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.

Ben Merriman’s essays have appeared in the Boston Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, Los Angeles Review of Books, n+1, Threepenny Review, and many other magazines.

Fabio Morábito lives in Mexico City, where he teaches in the Autonomous University of Mexico. He translates from Italian and is the author of four books of poetry, five books of short stories, two novels, and three books of essays (including El idioma materno).

Luz Pichel is author of El pájaro mudo, La marca de los potros, Casa pechada, Cativa en su lughar, and Tra(n)shumancias. She divides her time between Madrid and Galicia.

Francis Ponge (1899–1988) was a French essayist and poet best know for his prose poems about ordinary and natural objects.

Sarah V. Schweig’s first book, Take Nothing with You, is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press in November 2016. She is also the author of the chapbook S.

Melissa Stein is the author of the poetry collection Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. Her work has appeared in New England Review, American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, Harvard Review, and others. She is a freelance editor in San Francisco.

Oonagh Stransky has been translating Italian literature since 1999. She recently attended a conference in Paris on D’Eramo, co-hosted by the Sorbonne and La Sapienza, and is currently translating D’Eramo’s Io Sono un’Aliena, a series of reflections on the act of writing.

Charles Waugh, along with Nguyễn Lien and Văn Giá, is the coeditor and cotranslator of Wild Mustard: New Voices from Vietnam, which collects this story with 18 others from young Vietnamese writers, due to be published in 2017. He and Lien published Family of Fallen Leaves: Stories of Agent Orange in 2010.

Originally from Georgia, Alicia Wright’s poemshave appeared in The Southeast Review, Prelude, and New Delta Review. She is the recipient of the 2016 Poetry Prize from Indiana Review and the winner of the New South’s New Writing Contest in 2015. At present, she lives and teaches in Iowa City, Iowa.