• Nonfiction

    The Rhythm of Drinking Mates

    By Maria Capezio Crookes You see, a mate is like a period and a space. You take one and then you can start a new paragraph. -Julio Cortazar, Rayuela Mate (pronounced Mah-teh) is a traditional South American drink, brewed from the dried leaves of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) in hot water, served in a dried hollow gourd, and briefly steeped. The drink is sucked from the gourd with a metal straw, which is fitted with a strainer at one end to keep leaf particles from the mouth (Encyclopedia Britannica). *** Drinking mates is ceremony. You can’t hurry it up. There is not such a thing as “let’s drink some quick…

  • Fiction

    A Bump in the Road

    By Rosanne Pagano Because Justin was small for having just turned 8 and because he had gotten good at anticipating most of the bumps on weekend drives up to the Connecticut countryside, he could readily and regularly lift up from the Pontiac’s deep backseat to peer into the front, where Nana Mary sat behind the wheel. The speedometer was green, the color of a dragon’s scales, and the needle now read 70 MPH. Justin’s lifting up worked especially well when the Pontiac had left the city streets and turn on to the Merritt Parkway, a long thoroughfare of few but very enjoyable bumps. Following a ribbon-cutting the previous summer, a…

  • Fiction

    Why the Wind Blows: A Fade

    By Rosanne Pagano In a land far from here but not beyond knowing, the east wind blows so long and so hard that every tree leans left, every bush hugs land, and every bird foolish enough to seek shelter is swept off and away to sea. “It’s peculiar, I’ll give you that,” thought the hairy man Niitis. He swung his hairy legs from under the bedclothes and landed hairy feet on the cold floor. The door of his hut stood wide open, blown open sometime in the night. Niitis sighed, long and loud. “Another day and no company but the wind,” he said. This was so: For the giant was…

  • Fiction

    How to Conduct an Interview With Apologies to The Paris Review

    By Rosanne Pagano Over the course of four drizzly weeks in March 2022, a time when both interviewer and subject were on the road, making it hard for one to catch up with the other, writer and APU faculty member Rosanne Pagano met for a scattering of conversations about the how and why of teaching her craft. Pagano, dressed in a V-neck black sweater, faded wide-legged jeans and damp Blundstones, was prompt and organized; she asked for interview questions in advance (not all were supplied) and arrived with brief, messily handwritten notes entered in pencil in the pocket-sized Rhodia notebook she carries everywhere. We met four-and-a half times at a…

  • Nonfiction

    Italian Story 1 & 2

    By joe The Banana Lena was a sport competitive host. It was my buddy Jim’s first visit to the house, and after a couple days he didn’t look too good.  So I said , “Jim what’s up?” He said, “I can’t eat another thing. I think your mom is trying to kill me.” I handed him a banana and instructed him, wherever you go hold this banana in your hand and when my mom insists on getting you something to eat show her the banana and say, “No thanks, Mrs. Sarcone, I was just going to eat this banana.” The Biscotti Lena was on her death bed so I said,…

  • Fiction

    Expiration Date

    By Shanice Lawton Part One of the story, Expiration Date. I’m supposed to find out when I die. There’s nothing I can do about it, and honestly, it’s depressing. A few decades ago, humans found out what we now call our expiration date. For years humans have been obsessed with death and the dread of not knowing when their last day on earth would be. Then, one day, a brilliant doctor named Dr. Karla Stein figured out a way to predict the expiration of each human. She predicted that a person’s death could be established on the day they were born. So now, in the first hour of a person’s life, they are not…

  • Poetry

    My Hidden Love

    By Colleen Bayas When I’m exhausted and worn out,  you share your strength My love for you jumps over the fence. When my life seems to be in chaos,  you share your peace My love for you never decreased. When everyone seems to be my enemy,  you are my friend My love for you has no end. When I’m lost and confused,  you are my guide My love for you is strong inside. I must have gotten it from you the way love is Whenever you don’t show affection, I can feel it. It must have been the old ways that restricted us From letting our feelings turn into words.…

  • Nonfiction,  Poetry

    On Mountains: A Reflection of Danger, Pain, and Frog Water

    Thinking Back, 2002 – Spring 2022 By Laura Ditto Growing up around people who look at mountains like something they might attain for an afternoon snack leaves one with an odd sort of connection to nature. I’ve been raised with the stories of these people; who they are, their incredible feats, but also too often who they were. Early death, as it turns out, comes a little too easy for the adventurous spirits. That’s where the close, safe-feeling connection with nature becomes an oxymoron. Being who I am—somewhat cautious all the time but also clumsy—I tend to tread carefully when I’m walking in the woods. It leads me to think…

  • Fiction,  Poetry

    The Heaviest I’ve Ever Been

    By Zoe This is a story about weight loss. At one point in my life, I weighed a ton. And when I say a ton, I mean thousands of pounds. There was a point in my life I was so heavy I didn’t think I would get back up.  I lived in a field of white flowers. This was my life garden. The land of fresh, green stalks with white flowers on their tops rolled for miles. The breeze traveled through the leaves like it was playing the stalks as strings on a guitar. The white petals swayed to the beat in perfect harmony. I tended to my flowers every…

  • Academic

    Not for the Streets

    By Samuel Henderson Being human is complex and unique; art, music, religion, technology, morality and self-reflection, set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. With so much complexity to our daily lives, it is too easily forgotten that we are animals and belong to nature. We have spent so much time, effort, and money protecting ourselves from the harshness of nature after all. Ironically, human beings belong in nature, we were never meant to thrive in the streets. Overcrowded cities have begun to dominate today’s society, many of which are rampant with crime, pollution, and numerous social issues. We have created a society based around economic success; the…