What’s the first thing you picture when you hear the words “slam poetry”? Is it a group of sappy teens snapping their fingers in a coffee shop? Is it someone yelling punctuated nonsense into a microphone? Does the slam poetry scene from 22 Jump Street come to mind? “Slam. Poetry. Yelling! An-gry! Wa-ving my hands … More Slam Poetry is Not What You Think it is by Cailin Jeffers
The Northern Arizona Playwriting Showcase, affectionately known as NAPS, kicked off its 12th year at Theatrikos Playhouse in Flagstaff this September. Ever since Ann Cummins, a creative writing professor at NAU, founded NAPS, the playwriting contest has enjoyed a strong connection with the university’s MFA program. This year more MFA students, alumni, and faculty participated … More The Northern Arizona Playwriting Showcase Ecosystem by Katie McGee
On September 14, 2019, three Arizona novelists converged at Bright Side Bookshop in downtown Flagstaff to hold a reading and talk on their work and experiences in middle-grade literature. Middle-grade fiction, as contrasted with the more widely known genre young adult literature, is written for an audience mainly of children ages eight to twelve, and, … More A Meeting of Middle-Grade Authors: Dusti Bowling, Paul Mosier, and Janni Lee Simner by Zach Bartell
Time edges its way towards 2:00 p.m. when I walk into Hardes Theater off of Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. The dramatic foyer lighting brings me to the usher, smiling, waiting for my ticket. I smile back and want to say, “I’m with the band,” but instead I croak out something to the effect of … More Words: The Breath of Life by Jackie Walling
Despite boasting a population well over 70,000, Flagstaff seems to pride itself on the small town charm epitomized by its historic downtown district. There, you can find many local and sometimes quirky businesses. One of my favorite places to visit is Bright Side Bookshop, which holds the unofficial title of Flagstaff’s only independent book store. … More More than a Bookstore by Alina Gonzalez
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” — The Lorax A couple years ago, I was speaking with a writer friend about fiction’s ability to change peoples’ minds. We were both taking an environmental fiction class, and she voiced her frustrations with this premise. She said … More Exploring Cli-Fi: Can Fiction Change Your Mind? by Tianna Jordening
Jake Skeets is a Diné poet, holds a degree from the IAIA, and his debut collection Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful Of Flowers was selected by Kathy Fagan for the National Poetry Series in 2018. We spoke to Jake over the phone about his debut collection, image, his process, and the balance of violence … More Tenderness and Tragedy: A Simultaneous Experience
Bradley Sands once said that his stories do not follow the laws of physics, but that their realities are only bound by the laws of grammar. This is evident in his latest book, Liquid Status, about one household’s transformation after a death in the family. But it is not a merely a metaphoric transformation, it is a transformation of their physicality: feet become boxes, armpits become doors. … More If It Turns Out Strange: An Interview with Bradley Sands
by Mark Alvarez
My old San Francisco neighborhood has two hearts: Portsmouth Square and Washington Square. While the former is something whose name is unrecognized even by many San Franciscans, part of the vagueness they thrust upon Chinatown–despite being the spot where the state of California was founded–the latter is one of the most well-loved public spaces in the City, a tree-lined green slope decompressing North Beach density, perfect for absorbing the between-fog sun.
… More Requiem for a Kool-Aid Wino: Why is Richard Brautigan, the Original George Saunders, Still Ignored?
by Courtney Brooks
Author Dana Diehl has a complicated obsession with reality TV shows, particularly those one can find on TLC. Diehl’s fascination with the lives and struggles of the characters she watches on shows such as Dance Moms, Cake Boss, Sister Wives, The Bachelor, and House Hunters made way for the stories in her new chapbook, TV Girls. … More Dana Diehl Talks About TV Girls and What She Loves in Reality TV