C.E. Covey's latest story is set in a hotel room and involves a psychiatrist and her receptionist.
Eli A. Haddow gives us an honest-to-goodness writer's story. We know this because the central character drinks whiskey.
A character in Zeke Jarvis' piece wonders if Santa has a boyfriend, and what reasons his child has for claiming he does.
"Our intentions were simple," writes Josef K. Strosche, "take it in with our own eyes, snap a few pictures... and reminisce until someone became uncomfortable with our presence, at which point we would leave town."
Jon Savage tries to keep some distance between wives. We wish him well.
Carol Hamilton conducts a case study of women and men.
A poem by Amanda Cobb, wherein substance abuse is examined and is not uplifting but is beautiful.
A poem in which Allison Thorpe helps Corrine carry home goldfish and little stuffed dice from the county fair.
Whereupon Alex Dykes asserts that "...nurses love old, dusty men-in-jars for their wounds & not their hearts."
Derek Pollard takes us on a journey, tells us a secret.
A poem by Richard King Perkins II in which society decrees that the fear of bugs is the only acceptable fear.
In which Victoria Peterson-Hilleque frees "...the stuffed animals in the laundry basket who press against the window and cry Release us.
Ash Dean travels "Pingjiang Road" with "Requests" from his love, Ji Young.
Kevin Murphy honors Richard Feynman and Manjari Sharma with his particle-bending poetry.
“At night. By my bed. She screams at me,”
says a character in this piece by Jamie J. Barker.
In which Kayla Miller creates a list and observes, "in grief, we go back to that old childhood idolatry. we attempt to be magicians."
A story by Denis Underwood in which a character asks, “Are there polar bears out here?”
Elizabeth Klehfoth reminds us that the best gifts are very often those that we never wanted in the first place.
Lauralee Sikorski examines "the origin of creativity beyond the personal separate self."
A collection of still life photography by Fabio Sassi.
Susana Case shares her Guatemala with us.
You are presently reading the December 2013 issue of Gravel.
It was written by the names you see to the left of this little wall of text, and edited by graduate students of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Some things to note about this issue: It's probably our last chance to publish Richard King Perkins II before he's made poet laureate, as if that's a real thing. Meanwhile, Jamie J. Barker's recollection of "fate, chance, God’s plan, the devil’s scheme, accident, coincidence, or the alignment of the planets" is probably all you need to worry about reading today. (Except for everything else here.) In at least six states, Kayla Miller's examination of grief can legally double as a prescription for antidepressants. That photograph at the top of this page was taken by Lauralee Sikorski.
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