Fresh from Alice George’s graduate-level Seminar on Journal Publishing (School of Continuing Studies, NU’s Creative Writing Program), comes these picks from her students. These students have also been pitching in on a variety of tasks for TQ this spring. And we thank them!
Patrick Bernhard's Picks:
The best story involving edgy hospital humor: http://subterrain.ca/fiction/114/the-phantom
Michael Kissinger’s dark comedy in “The Phantom” is very humorous, but more importantly it helps to form a genuinely moving portrait of the narrator and his personal struggles.
As the comfort of nostalgia grows, so too does the weight of memory:
“Like God On A Sunday Morning” by Bernard Matambo is a vital read because of how it explores the difficulty of existing in two different worlds without truly feeling a sense of belonging in either.
Caitlin Sellnow's Picks:
Story with best (non-sleazy) use of the phrase, “I was ready to bang”:
This nonfiction coming-of-age story delivers sex, drugs and rock and roll in a charmingly un-glamorous way. Each character is lovingly described, but the standout is Vic Giovanni: a piano teacher who knows more than one way to “bang.”
Story that takes the best surprise-appetizing turn after opening with maggoty flour:
The cuisine of Guyana is the dynamic centerpiece of this essay. The food in the story bridges cultures, muddies the roles of “teacher” and “student,” and will probably make you very hungry.
Tyler Day's Picks:
The best story about Brooklyn before everyone wanted to live in Brooklyn:
Kate O’Connor Morris waxes poetic in “Forgotten Brooklyn.” It is nostalgic and gritty. It remembers what was not as ideal, but perfectly chaotic. It is cool to read this along with Pete Hamill’s more famous “Brooklyn: The Sane Alternative” piece from New York Magazine in 1969.
The best story about an arcade game champion:
Michael Weinreb crushes this piece for Grantland. He is able to allow the reader to feel something for a character who would otherwise be the butt of the joke.
Tara Scannell's Picks:
Best piece about a girl with a hammer:
http://crr.trevecca.edu/the-carpenters-daughter/: Doris Plantus uses lyrical prose in “The Carpenter’s Daughter” to take you through a beautiful exploration of her father and his influence on her.
Best short prose featuring a 20th wedding anniversary: http://brevitymag.com/current-issue/my-20th/
Ann Panning’s snapshot scenes in “On the Occasion of My 20th Wedding Anniversary” will leave you thirsting for more of the stories she hints at.
Troy Parks' Picks:
Best short story involving the building of a blanket fort: (Found in issue 27 of the Brooklyn Review)
In her short story, “Indoor Games,” Christine Rath uses rhymthic, adolescent prose to bring to life a character who, battling a quarter-life crisis, retreats into a private, imaginative world while teetering the line between self-destruction and rejuvenation.
Best short story that uses bodily functions to expose vulnerability: (Found in issue 13 of Fiction Fix)
Eric Barnes briefly illuminates the social vulnerabilities of his characters using the arrival of a porta-potty and an eclectic collection of outsiders who recognize convenience and invade the neighborhood to use it in his short story, “The Porta-Potty.”
Ignatius Aloysius' Picks:
A brief essay that packs a punch on Brevity: http://brevitymag.com/current-issue/an-open-letter/
An Open Letter to the 5th Grader Bullying my 4th Grade Son on the Playground is crafted by writer and teacher, Ted Kluck, and is written as a missive to address a specific recipient (the 5th grade bully) with thoughtfulness and craft in mind—a must read because it is tender, hard, and humorous at the same time.
From Mudlark, an enlightening prose poem about students in Haiti:
Written by Irish poet and bio researcher, Laurence O'Dwyer, Education is a prose poem in three brief paragraphs that takes me to a different place altogether, one that reveals the difficulty and persistence of students in Haiti who live without privilege and who are determined to learn near UN compound lights in spite of their deprivations.
James Berg's Picks:
Best video about poetry: http://thecureforyourales.com/?p=196 “Poetry in Action” by Wes Heine is a four-part video that shows performances at the Green Mill poetry slam in Chicago and elsewhere; it includes clips from interviews with various types of poets, fans of poetry and people who absolutely hate poetry.
Must-read interview about extreme art:
Visual and performance artist Todd Pavlisko works with bullets and nails.
Patrick LeDuc's Picks:
The Best Existential Short Story That Will Scramble Your Brain:
The Best Short Story Where An Experiment Gone Wrong Is A Pain-ini In The Ass:
Mercedes Lucero's Picks:
The Best Prose Piece featuring a Lucky Baby
The Best Short Story with a Title Longer Than Ten Words