Issue 32: Clearing It Out


“What I think is she wakes up one morning and clears it all out.” The winner of this issue’s nonfiction prize, “Work Ethic” by Jesse Van Eerdan, reminds us of how definitive and cathartic “clearing out” can feel. We level monuments to old loves; flush out the toxins of old hatreds; close the doors to ruined worlds. Sometimes, nothing feels better than this process: and sometimes, nothing feels worse.

In this issue, our contributors lead us to many different points of clearance. We clear the crushed frames of race cars from the track, clear golden honey from the combs, extricate (slowly, painfully) the self-doubt that has needled at our hearts for so long. In doing so, we give ourselves the eyes to see—if only briefly—to the heart of things.

FEATURING 2014 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize judged by John Wilson

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Work Ethic, Jessie van Eerden
A Fire on the Moon, Robert Rebein
My Mother's Hips, Amy Nolan

Select images from:, Randy Horst
digitally altered photographs series, Randy Horst
and psychological portraits series, Randy Horst
Select images from:, Scott Laumann
"They and the Face and Hands" series, Scott Laumann

Review of Letter and Life by Bret Lott, Melanie Springer Mock
Review of A Geography of Memory by Jeanne Murray Walker, Lisa Repko Borden

Barley Tea, Ae Hee Lee
Scaled, Noel Sloboda
Swan Song, Megan Denton
The Bee Keeper to the Heart Surgeon, Jeff Reed
Matches, Rhonda Parrish
Theology of the Body, Kendra Langdon Juskus
Cerulean, Hannah Nguyen
Vidi Aquam, Andrew Johnson
Small Poem with Two Machine Translations, Janet McCann
Viscious Nostalgia, Janet McCann
Flushed, Mark Parlette

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