Her name was Gale, short for Nightingale. A badass black Caddy sitting on white walled tires. The grill looked like the car had on a fresh set of chrome braces. My grandfather purchased her with money he received from working on the old GM assembly lines. In those days it was hard to own much of anything, so when the neighborhood saw a black man in his twenties riding through the streets in a brand new black Cadillac, they knew you were doing damn well for yourself. It was a luxury that most didn’t get to experience. Other parts of the country were riding on public transportation unable to sit in the front due to the color of their skin.
My grandfather was the role model of the family and everyone listened when he spoke. Every sunny Saturday morning he’d wake my father to help him wash and wax the car. My grandfather would turn on the car radio and turn it up so that the neighbors could hear it on all sides. My father would unravel the hose, drag it out to the driveway and get the bucket of soapy water ready. Continue reading “ISSUE 4: JANUARY 2015”→
First prize: Meaghan Hackinen Second prize: Alan Morris Third prize: Serena Molloy
Ed Higgins, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Writing and Literature Ed Higgins has been teaching at George Fox University for over four decades. His classes have covered poetry, the modern novel, world literature, science fiction and much more. While officially retired now, he still teaches part-time. He’s also published an extensive body of his own poetry.
Here are his winning selections and why:
First Prize: “Cycling North Cascades Highway” by Meaghan Hackinen
I like the tightness of this piece, every word counts and intensifies the story. The imagery, too, is finely tuned, believable, fulsome without overwhelming other story elements. The narrator/protagonist comes off with panache and I love her wry voice. The Kerouac allusions might put someone off, but I found them apt and they contributed to the protagonist’s character. The kinetic imagery of the story’s close zooms down that hill with exhilaration—and I’m not even a cyclist.
Second Prize: “Life is Good” by Alan Morris
While a bit put off by the title here, fearing saccharine, I was quickly hooked. The dialogue seems real, as does the situation. The setting is nicely done with economy that’s supportive of the story. And the story’s ending affirmation is touching without slipping into feel-good cliché. The last line nicely snaps the lid on the whole story scene that’s been itself nicely played out. Continue reading “LIFE IS GOOD – CONTEST RESULTS”→