Since graduation I’ve felt a disturbing and persistent sense of disquietude. Bringing my attention to this feeling, I’ve tried to find its origin. It’s tightness in my chest and nervous vibration in my limbs, as if I’m ready at a moment’s notice to spring up and run. My jaw is held tense with the back […]Read more "Yin, Yang, and Midlife Crisis"
Grasp for birthday candles in the junk drawer. Dig fingernails into white wax while tonguing through architecture on the side table tasting for the copper menorah that stays out all year. What to do in the dark without power: remember all the postcards unsent. Keep trying all the light switches— desperate muscle memory. Lust for […]Read more "For Jonas"
This is an abbreviated version of a longer article posted at Foxy Game Reviews. In case you’re not familiar, Blizzard has a new game coming out this spring called Overwatch. So far, they have a closed beta running, which means a very small number of people are invited to play while things are tested and […]Read more "Overwatch: An Exercise in Character Diversity"
There is nothing more exciting, I think, than poring over a seed catalog. The names. The pictures. The hot pink flowers and bulging green squash, the Borlotti speckled beans and Corno di Toro red bells. I buy plants for the way they sound. I see “Early Moon Beam Pastèque” and I hardly need to know it’s […]Read more "Odd Jobs: The French Garden"
I’d been meaning to read The Red Tent long before my last post on menstruation positivity, and prompted by a reader, I finally did after the New Year. (Spoiler alerts for those who haven’t read it.) I remember reading about Dinah’s mention in the Old Testament, as part of a university class on militant metaphors […]Read more "Virginity and The Red Tent"
This is part 3 of a three-part series. Click to see part 1 and part 2. So what should I (or you, if you’re so inclined) take away from all this? Well, first of all, don’t be silly like me and ever upload anything you’d rather not have literally everyone you’ve ever known seeing. Additionally, please feel […]Read more "Surprise! You’re Viral! (Part 3)"
I think that because women are so much more self-perceptive there is a sort of distance from yourself that can form as a result; you’re always checking yourself to see if you’re looking right and acting right and thinking the right thing. When I first heard word of Alexandra Kleeman’s debut novel, You Too Can […]Read more "Interview with Alexandra Kleeman"
Buy two basil plants—let one live. Strip the other naked with your teeth. Cherish your lemon zester. Look for bodies that know this pleasure. Take note of the cellulite in your thighs; consider your normal BMI. There are places you will see that were never on your bucket list, like the inside of your bones […]Read more "Song for a 25th Birthday"
Chelsea is a recent transplant from Wisconsin. She completed her undergrad in Creative Writing at UW Madison in 2014 and has since developed a passion for studying psychology and Buddhism with a particular interest in trauma and dissociation. She writes nonfiction, literary nonfiction, and the occasional poem when she is feeling rebellious. She loves hiking in the […]Read more "Patriarchal Communication 1.0"
This is part 2 of a three-part series. Click to see part 1 or part 3. So, after finding a few instances of my face (and scarred, bikini-clad body) spread across the internet, I decided to log onto Imgur, where this whole inferno originally began, to see if I could talk to people about the bizarre […]Read more "Surprise! You’re Viral! (Part 2)"
It’s hard to find a lot of joy in 2015. I myself spent a good portion of the year, a wayward millennial, regrouping in my hometown, hiding from the economy, and trying to remember what it is exactly that makes me me. But even from under my rock, even wrapped in a blanket of devastating news that […]Read more "15 Funniest of 2015"
2015 has been a good year for body love in the media. I’m hoping the days of body type trends: Marilyn and Sofia in the 50s, Twiggy in the 60s, Cindy in the 80s, Kate in the 90s, and Gisele in the 00s, are no more. They’re all lovely, but expecting every woman to match an […]Read more "Self Love and Pop Culture Beauty"
Tricia Knoll is a Portand poet, retired from many years of communication work for the City of Portland. She has degrees in literature from Stanford University (BA) and Yale University (MAT). Her poetry and haiku appear in numerous journals and several anthologies. Her chapbook Urban Wild looks at human and wildlife interactions, mostly within the Portland city limits. Her […]Read more "The Women’s Procession at the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service"
Jamie Kahn is a writer and ballet dancer from Pennsylvania. She’s been published in the anthologies Beyond the Sea and Eber and Wein’s Best Poets of 2015. She was honorably mentioned at the DeSales University Poetry Contest in 2014 and will have a poem appearing in the next issue of The Claremont Review. She is […]Read more "Men and Fish"
Marcia believed she could be on the verge of winning a role in which she might have an “Oscar moment.” #SisterBitch In the roles she was best known for, Marcia Hammond had played difficult women. She had trained at Juilliard and she knew how to craft a facial reaction, taking it from what […]Read more "Six Million Dollar Woman"
This is part 1 of a three-part series. Click for part 2 and part 3. First of all, if you know anything about the internet, you know that if you want to stay relevant, it’s important to do everything at a lighting-fast pace. You have to capitalize on the attention you have while you have it, because the […]Read more "Surprise! You’re Viral! (Part 1)"
Shawn Aveningo is an award-winning, globally published poet whose work has appeared in over 80 literary journals and anthologies, including LA’s poeticdiversity who recently nominated her poetry for a Pushcart Prize. She is co-founder of The Poetry Box®, managing editor of The Poeming Pigeon and journal designer for VoiceCatcher. Shawn is a proud mother of three who […]Read more "On Why the Editor Cannot Objectively Select Poems for Publication after Sex"
I.G. Frederick trades words for cash, specializing in erotic and transgressive fiction and poetry since 2001. Her erotic short stories appear in electronic, audio, and print anthologies produced by publishers in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada. Her longer work ranges in scope from romance (Dommemoir) to tragedy (Choices) to BDSM Space Opera (The Lady […]Read more "“Older Than Her Chronological Age”"
I. The barista calls me ma’am because I am makeupless—the pink of my Polish skin and the South’s sun spots pocking my cheeks— and my wide hips are in yoga pants on a Wednesday, mid-morning. I easily ask about milk alternatives because I have learned the language of passing for calm and unconcerned with guns. […]Read more "Atlas As Woman"
Shawn Aveningo is an award-winning, globally published poet whose work has appeared in over 80 literary journals and anthologies, including LA’s poeticdiversity who recently nominated her poetry for a Pushcart Prize. She is co-founder of The Poetry Box®, managing editor of The Poeming Pigeon and journal designer for VoiceCatcher. Shawn is a proud mother of three who […]Read more "Nothing Left to See"
Woman’s curse. Shameful. Painful. Pitiful. Gross. You can’t go into a mosque to pray when on your period because you are unclean. This is what I was taught by society and religion when I was a pubescent girl. It didn’t help that my periods were excruciatingly painful and unmanageably heavy. I wore adult diapers to […]Read more "Appreciating Menstruation"
Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, OR, where she gardens, writes, and plays with creative friends. Her poems have appeared in publications throughout the US and UK including Antiphon, Stirring, Naugatuck River Review and Persimmon Tree. Her second collection, The Way a Woman Knows, was released by The Poetry Box, Portland, OR, in February 2015. Carolyn served as […]Read more "just so you know"
Tricia Knoll is a Portand poet, retired from many years of communication work for the City of Portland. She has degrees in literature from Stanford University (BA) and Yale University (MAT). Her poetry and haiku appear in numerous journals and several anthologies. Her chapbook Urban Wild looks at human and wildlife interactions, mostly within the Portland city limits. Her […]Read more "A Freelancer’s Interview With A Woman of Industry, 1982"
Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, OR, where she gardens, writes, and plays with creative friends. Her poems have appeared in publications throughout the US and UK including Antiphon, Stirring, Naugatuck River Review and Persimmon Tree. Her second collection, The Way a Woman Knows, was released by The Poetry Box, Portland, OR, in February 2015. Carolyn served as […]Read more "I love you more than Mariska Hargitay"
Linda Hogan is a celebrated poet, storyteller, academic, playwright, novelist, environmentalist, and a writer of short stories. Her novel, Mean Spirit, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She’s an NEA Fellowship recipient, a Guggenheim winner, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and, most recently, the recipient of the 2016 Thoreau Prize from the PEN American Center. […]Read more "Catching Up With Linda Hogan"
This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Please check out Part 1 before continuing. Achaea and same-sex relationships. Achaea has allowed same-sex relationship and been LGBTQ-friendly for years now. Given that we have real-life government workers walking off their jobs because –gasp! – they may have to award a marriage license to two people who […]Read more "Trendsetting in a Text World – Part 2: Sexuality and Gender Identity"
Madeleine Johnson is an actress, filmmaker and writer from Portland, Oregon. She attributes her appreciation for many of the best things in life—black coffee, dinner parties, roadtrips, rock music, laughing til you cry, trashy tv, pop art—to her late, great mother. Madeleine’s blog, Dear Mama, is a collection of letters written to her mother since […]Read more "Dear Mama PART 3"
We’re going to Le Havre! What a lark! What a razz-matazz, living in a harbor town full of alternatives and sailors. It was the moment life went BOOM. YOU HAVE ARRIVED. Hello, world! Hello, beach! Hello, midnight! And now we’re on our way back, my friend Laura and I (she of the cheese-tour-meltdown, who once […]Read more "Vacation: Return to the Harbor"
Madeleine Johnson is an actress, filmmaker and writer from Portland, Oregon. She attributes her appreciation for many of the best things in life—black coffee, dinner parties, roadtrips, rock music, laughing til you cry, trashy tv, pop art—to her late, great mother. Madeleine’s blog, Dear Mama, is a collection of letters written to her mother since […]Read more "Dear Mama PART 2"
As sane, reasonable members of society, the fantastical entertainment industry raises important questions. Questions like, who keeps greenlighting Adam Sandler movies? Why wasn’t Wild given a heftier Oscar push? Why does Jennifer Lawrence have to write essays demanding to be paid a wage comparable to her male counterparts? How in the name of all that […]Read more "The Unsinkable Effie Brown"
She keeps asking why I’ve come here— what spirit called me deeper or what bet I’d lost: the land baron and breathing wet and full with pine. He keeps naming me baby— I cannot be angry with a holy jaw. The hawk guards the tongue, the mouth— I watch the feathers fall […]Read more "Teaching in Pembroke, North Carolina"
We construct many forms of identity. An amalgamation summing to the concept of “me.” Religious identity, sexual identity, gender identity, racial and ethnic identity, intersections of identities. Conflict arises from seemingly opposed identities within a person and between people. Macroscopically, identity conflicts wage wars. Something of tantamount importance to us, yet also sometimes fluid or […]Read more "False Identity"
Put your hands together for PDXX Collective’s fresh new look! Our latest artwork (at the top of the homepage and on our social media pages) is fresh off the desktop of graphic designer Alison Shanik Breaden. When I met with Alison to discuss the redesign of the site, we talked about softening the minimalist look with a […]Read more "New Look"
Madeleine Johnson is an actress, filmmaker and writer from Portland, Oregon. She attributes her appreciation for many of the best things in life—black coffee, dinner parties, roadtrips, rock music, laughing til you cry, trashy tv, pop art—to her late, great mother. Madeleine’s blog, Dear Mama, is a collection of letters written to her mother since […]Read more "Dear Mama PART 1"
There’s really only one way to describe what happened when my six-month contract with the American University of Paris ended and my stint on the dole began. A miracle. A sparkly, astonishing miracle that was more shocking to me than the concept of eating a horse. Because no matter what anybody tells you, French people eat […]Read more "Un-job: French Unemployment Therapy"
This is Part 1 of a two-part series. See Part 2 here. Achaea, Dreams of Divine Lands. Heard of it? If so, please feel free to drop me a line, because I think I may know you! Otherwise, you’ll probably be like most of my readers who stick to the more visually engaging spectrum of […]Read more "Trendsetting in a Text World – Part 1: Focusing on Feminism"
Karina Lutz is a workshop leader, poet, teacher, and lifelong activist. She helped secure passage of sustainable energy legislation, thwart a proposed megaport, and restore wetlands in Rhode Island. In 2013, she received honorable mention from Homebound Publications Poetry Prize for her manuscript, Preliminary Visions. Decades after your banishment I feel your expression wooden in […]Read more "Half Smile"
You gave us joy for a little over a month. A tentative joy for me. From the beginning I felt something was wrong. I was reluctant to tell anyone about you. Then there was my sickness. Exponentially worse than with your brother. I thought I might be having twins. Or dying. Around a week or […]Read more "A Different Kind of Birth Story"
Sometimes we say, “This tragedy, it happened far away. I don’t know what to do. I’m concerned but I’m just dangling in space.” A poem can lead you through that, and it is made of action because you’re giving your whole life to it in that moment. –Juan Felipe Herrera Tell them you are not […]Read more "THE DAY AFTER or FIGURING OUT HOW TO TALK TO MY STUDENTS ABOUT THE UCC SHOOTING"
How in the world are these two categories related? Well, it’s coincidental mostly. It happens that in the last two months I got pregnant and had a miscarriage, and have experienced the struggles of being a vegan in a meat-oriented world through my best friend. She decided to become vegan a few months ago, after […]Read more "At the Intersection of Veganism and Miscarriage"
The year was 2003. It was the year I graduated high school and moved to Portland. It was also the year that an anticipated box office bomb ended up becoming one of the most successful movies of the burgeoning millennium: Pirates of the Caribbean. No one was expecting a movie based on a theme park […]Read more "Don’t Curse Cookie! Empire Fears and Impressions"
Have you played Portal? It’s been out for a good, long while now, but I’ve only recently gotten around to playing myself. I’ll be honest here. The entire time I played, I asked myself over and over again, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” This game is challenging, hilarious, entertaining, and just downright fun. A […]Read more "How Portal Powers Through the Patriarchy"
What I carry inside is a void. It is nothing. The vibrancy of creation, the possibility is absent. There is no sorrow. There is no joy. Nothing. The chasm threatens to absorb me. The death I carry within is incompatible with my life force. Slowly draining. I am not here, nor there. I am not […]Read more "I Am Death"
“You have a mother’s hands,” My husband said to me when our son was a few weeks old. I was holding a whimpering newborn, cooing and shushing in his ear, while gently stroking his back in a clockwise motion. “Do I?” I smiled, amused that I was now a mother. With mom hands. When do […]Read more "Mother Hands"
The voice was light, perhaps only a child’s voice, singing sweetly and thinly, on the barest breath. . .None of them heard it, she thought with joy; nobody heard it but me. -From Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House Two women are drawn to each other with suspicious speed at the start of The Haunting of Hill […]Read more "Influences and Imagination"
My skirt is penciled— my hair pinned back. She is 17 and 18 and 19, and I am pretending I know what to teach her. She marks her sentences breathlessly— doesn’t remember the comma rules. I forget she can see my punctuated skull—the otherwise naked space between the hairline and the ear. I hear her […]Read more "My Student Stares at my Semicolon Tattoo"
I’ll come right out and say it: I play way too much Hearthstone. In case you’re not familiar, this is basically a Magic: The Gathering rip-off created by Blizzard Entertainment using digital cards which feature various monsters, heroes, and NPCs from the Warcraft universe. If all of that meant nothing to you, that’s ok. You […]Read more "Ladies Just Aren’t in the Cards"
I’m not sure who “AWP Is Us” is addressed to.* It can’t be me Kate Gale of Red Hen Press is pointing at. I went to Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference once in 2014, when it was in Seattle and I could carpool and stay at a friend’s house rather than paying for […]Read more "AWP isn’t me."
“I’m sad,” I tell her, looking for analog in a world of constant digital connection. “I know,” she said, “you used to write great letters, too, and you know a lot of people, but you just need your roots.” “Go outside and listen,” my mother advises. Outside, I see all the life looking for hands, all the […]Read more "go outside and listen"
I remember the first time I attended the Willamette Writers Conference, the blend of idolatry and loathing I felt for the other aspirants. I couldn’t talk to anyone. What if these people were better than me? What if they made it and I failed? The second time I went, I was more ambitious. I reserved […]Read more "Have I Made It?"