“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 Hannah Nguyen, Kendra Langdon Juskus, Robert Rebein, Amy Nolan, Randy Horst, Scott Laumann + 2014 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize judged by John Wilson, First Place: Work Ethic by Jessie van Eerden