Dawn Manning on Debra Wierenga’s Poem “Fork”

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Today’s post is written by Dawn Manning. We published her poetry commentary “A Closer Look at ‘Self-Portrait as Eve’ by Debra Wierenga” in our Fall 2016 issue.  The following is Manning’s commentary on a second poem by Wierenga.  * “Fork,” the poem placed in the middle of Marriage and Other Infidelities, is a strong example of […]

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Introducing our Fall 2016 Contributors

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Fall is officially upon us, and our eighth issue is nearly ready to launch! Over the next couple of weeks we’ll finalize the layout of our Fall 2016 issue and send out final proofs. Our editors have devoted several months to putting together the issue, and we think you’re going to be pleased with the results. Hoping to have your […]

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The Story Behind “Super Summer Spectacular” by Anthony J. Mohr

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Today’s post is written by Anthony J. Mohr. His essay “Super Summer Spectacular” appears in our Spring 2016 issue. For several years I’d been trying unsuccessfully to build an essay based on the wild contests that AM radio disc jockeys sponsored in Los Angeles between 1959 and 1970. I had so much to say, or so I thought. […]

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The Story Behind “Perfect Child” by Melissa Ballard

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Today’s post is written by Melissa Ballard. Her essay “Perfect Child” appears in our Spring 2016 issue.  In 2011, I drafted a poem about the “I choose ‘zis” scene in “Perfect Child.” But my poems are prose with random line breaks, so I abandoned that effort. During the summer of 2012, I took a class with […]

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The Story Behind “Big Alabama and the Danforth Avenue Gang” by James Valvis

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Today’s post is written by James Valvis. We published his short story “Big Alabama and the Danforth Avenue Gang” in our Spring 2016 issue. Charles Bukowski was in his declining years when, after years of snubbing him, they chose one of his poems for Best American Poetry. When they finally took that poem, they asked […]

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The Story Behind “What My Premature Birth Taught Me About Writing” by Dallas Woodburn

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Today’s post is written by Dallas Woodburn. Her essay “What My Premature Birth Taught Me About Writing” appears in our Spring 2016 issue.  Being a “preemie” is an aspect of my identity that has shaped my life, and that I have been writing about in various ways for as long as I can remember. In middle […]

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The Story Behind “Two Poems” by Rebecca Macijeski

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Today’s post is written by Rebecca Macijeski. Her poems “Sonata for Water and Birds” and “Searching” appear in our Spring 2016 issue. “Sonata for Water and Birds” and “Searching” explore my fascination for what we can become in the gray area where opposing forces or energies overlap. The poems come from a book- length project that tries to […]

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The Story Behind “In Transit” by Christopher Woods

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Today’s post is written by Christopher Woods. His series of  photography “In Transit” appears in our Spring 2016 issue. If I do not move, my heart is still beating. Blood courses through arteries and veins through my body. The engine goes, but where? I stand up. I am in a room. I cross the room. I cross […]

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Compose Journal Seeks Assistant Managing Editor

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Update: Please note that this position has now been filled.  Have you always wanted to join the exciting world of lit mags? Now’s your chance. Compose is looking for an assistant managing editor. This role involves an interesting combination of responsibilities, including reading submissions, copyediting, and managing social media. For the right candidate, this could be an amazing opportunity to […]

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Writing in the Dark

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Today’s post is written by special guest Todd Outcalt. For the past forty years I have written, primarily, in the dark. This habit, however, was not one born of preference, but of necessity. During the day—when the sun is shining and all is right with the world—I have worked diligently in the lengthening shadows of […]

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