Mary Walker, "Facing", monoprint/woodcut, 8 x 11 inches, 2003.

Monday, August 5, 2013

24Pearl: Winter

Welcome to the inaugural issue of 24Pearl: The Magazine!

This first issue features a strong and varied selection of poetry and fiction from former students of 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center’s online writing workshops, and visual art from the FAWC community.  To navigate through the magazine simply click on a contributor’s name from the list on the right hand side of the page.

There is a skeletal sense to many of these works.  There are remnants: the heat of marrow, or firefly wing.  That which has left returns in dreams, or is found buried.  Sometimes the skeleton is nothing more than the ancient act of spearing a fish, or an ancient breeze, or the state of bewilderment that unmoors us with such routine as to seem innate.  And finally there is the sentence, the skeleton that holds our thoughts on the page and calls us to action.

We would like to thank every one who submitted work for this first issue.  The selection process was a pleasure and a challenge.  We have already begun to plan future issues, and look forward to reading much more from this fantastic community of writers.


Lewis Feuer

Miho Kinnas


Grandfather forgot the way home

carrying grandmother in a wisteria purple urn

Father walked swaying side to side

holding grandfather in a blue urn

Brother stood straight like an electric pole

with father in a sage urn

All have become clean white bones

broken coral washed up by the waves

When an urn is set down, the bones clink

like that kotsu-kotsu sound of high-heel shoes

on a cold night with a big moon.  On such a night

a piece might fall on the frozen highway

bounce-bounce until the new bones

settle in the narrow chamber under the granite tombstone

Joan Wilking


The morning of their annual 4th of July party the baby mourning dove fledged from the nest in the grape arbor that shaded their deck, the one overlooking Plum Island sound. Karen opened the slider to find it perched on the barbecue grill. She screamed for Bruce.
         “What the hell is the matter now,” he said as he stepped through the door.
         She made a big gesture out of pointing towards the grill.
         “The damn thing just took a crap.”
         A thin line of whitish liquid ran slowly down the front of the stainless steel cover.
          “Hey little man,” Bruce said.
         The mud colored bird stared at them, looking slightly stunned.
         In a couple of hours there would be thirty people lined up for cheeseburgers, Italian sausages and hotdogs. Karen went back into the house and got the broom.
         “No way,” Bruce said. “Leave it. It’ll fly off.”
         Karen put the broom down and looked past the bird. The boat and Jet Ski traffic had started early. Everyone was vying for prime viewing spots of Crane’s Beach. Across the sound on Plum Island Point, campers were arriving by boat and setting up their tents. Streams of paddlers in blue and yellow kayaks hugged the shores on both sides, trying to stay out of the powerboat wakes as they cut their way in and out of the mouth of the river to and from the open ocean.
          “I called and asked John,” Bruce said.
         “Did he say he’d come?”
         “Maybe. He said it depends on how he feels.”
          Karen turned back to the bird. It hadn’t budged. Bruce motioned to her.
          “Let’s give it some space,”  
         They went back into the house. Karen found the matching paper plates, cups and napkins she bought on sale after the 4th the previous year. She dumped plastic knives, forks and spoons into blue and white striped mugs. While Bruce duct taped flags to the deck posts at the front of the house Karen arranged platters of sliced tomatoes, onions, and pickles, made ground beef patties and mounded them next to a pile of hotdogs and a tower of sliced American cheese. The condiments were already set up in baskets. All that was left to do was slice the strawberries and sweeten them with a little sugar and a splash of balsamic vinegar. She’d made the shortbreads the night before and Bruce had bought a couple of cans of whipped cream.
         Every year after the party they said it was the last year until the next year when the holiday rolled around again and friends started calling, and neighbors, whose views of the fireworks weren’t as good, started asking. And they said, “Yes of course we’re going to have the party again,” even though they never actually said it to each other. In fact in the months since Arlene died they hadn’t said much of anything of consequence to each other.
          John and Arlene had been their best friends, but since Arlene’s death John had withdrawn. She watched Bruce try to understand, but Karen could see how hurt he was and she was awkward around him. For years they lived with each other, the last few months they’d lived around each other. Karen had spent a lot of time at John and Arlene’s. She’d spent nights there to spell John so that he could get enough sleep to face the days. Bruce had come and gone for short stretches. He said that was all he could take.
         Over the years their circle of friends had narrowed down. The couples with children were preoccupied with carpools, soccer practices, ballet lessons, and PTA.  She and Bruce, and Arlene and John were the lone “no kids” holdouts and Karen wondered if that was what had drawn them so close. Not that Karen and Bruce hadn’t tried, desperately for a while, half hearted towards the end, until they decided it was too late. She’d actually envied Arlene and John. For them not having children was a choice. Or so they said. And now, in her early forties, as she watched friends fight it out with surly teens who required small fortunes to send them into rehab and special clinics for eating disorders, or bail them out of fender benders and drug busts, there were times when she could almost convince herself that she was glad they hadn’t had kids.
         As the guests arrived, they warned them away from the back door where the dove had moved from the grill to the deck rail. With every new arrival, Bruce looked to see if it was John, and when he did come through the door, Karen saw the relief in Bruce’s face, and was slightly embarrassed by his overdone solicitude. After polite hellos she and John kept their distance. She hadn’t seen him since the week after Arlene’s funeral, when he’d had all of her women friends over to give each of them one of Arlene’s scarves as a keepsake. Karen hand washed the pink and orange square of silk and stored it away in the back of her lingerie drawer under the frilly slips she no longer wore.
         Bruce fired up the grill. Their next-door neighbor Larry, who traveled from backyard barbeque to backyard barbeque with his own apron and grilling tools, arrived with rolls and sausages from the North End. John stood alone at the end of the deck closest to the water. The other guests either kept their distance or were so smarmy that Karen motioned to Bruce to go rescue him. Karen watched Bruce walk over to John and touch his shoulder.  Bruce said something she couldn’t hear. John said something back and followed him over to where she was standing. Bruce returned to the grill just as the baby bird flitted from the deck rail to the picket fence that bordered the small yard. The air smelled of sizzling sausages and citronella to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Karen stood and watched the bird.
         “You know what it is. Don’t you?” John said. “It’s a mourning dove.”
         He was standing close enough to her that she could feel his heat. In the last months of Arlene’s dying they had smoked some of the pot he bought to ease Arlene’s pain and had silent sex on the pullout sofa in the room next door to the bedroom where Arlene lay writhing in a hospital bed. Karen never thought about what she might expect of him after. She never thought about how she might feel. She never thought. Standing next to him, listening to Bruce and Larry banter about the pros and cons of basting the burgers with hot sauce, she wanted nothing more than to disappear. She forced herself to focus on the bird perched on the fence. It shifted its weight from one spindly foot to the other, and then without so much as a flutter, it lifted its wings and flew away. No timidity. No trial run. It just upped and flew like it had been flying every day of its short life.
         John said to no one in particular, “I’m just not ready to do this right now.”
         Bruce stepped closer to him.
         “You’re not going to stick around for the fireworks?”
         Karen said, “Let him go.”
         They stood, the three of them, each of them settling into early middle age, silently watching the other guests eat and chat for a few minutes before John left, and Karen noticed how she and Bruce had each added a bit of flesh to their once taut bodies while John was leaner than she’d ever seen him before. Grief? Guilt?
         ‘Both have their consequences,’ she supposed.
         Later that night, after the roman candles, whizzers and sky rockets lit the sky, after the guests were gone and Bruce was inside shoving ketchup smeared paper plates into green plastic trash bags, Karen paused from the cleanup to look out over the water. A line of light glowed through the trees, where rows of cars, carrying families who’d paid to picnic on the lawn above Crane’s beach, made their way back to the main road.  They’d gone over there for the 4th, once, years ago. It was so depressing. All those young couples with their little kids. They never went again. Told each other it was too chaotic. Why go over there and pay when they had such a great view from their own house? Watching the headlights through the trees Karen wondered for an instant; maybe it wasn’t too late. John told her it was Arlene who hadn’t wanted kids. Karen was sure she was still fertile. Their problem was Bruce’s slow swimmers. Plenty of women past forty had children. Change of life babies they were called and she fantasized about what a change of life with John might be like. He was so much more of a risk taker than Bruce.
         She dumped the last swallows of stale beer into one cup and stacked it into the rest. Someone had started to smoke a cigarette and left it on the deck rail where it had burned down to ash and left a mark on the weathered wood. She flicked the butt into the beer filled cup and went inside.  Bruce was tying the tops of the trash bags closed.
         “We’re lucky the house didn’t burn down,” Karen said. “Some idiot left a lit cigarette on the railing.”
         “Probably in a rush to get one of my killer burgers,” Bruce said.
         “Pretty weird,” she said, “the whole bird thing, dropping out of the nest on the 4th of July. Arlene was here this time last year. She brought that pasta salad you like so much, the one with the lemon juice and fresh chopped dill. “
         “I don’t remember saying I liked it that much. If I did I was probably just trying to be polite. Frankly I prefer mine with gobs of mayo.”
         “Did you notice? When John looked at the bird tonight, it flew away. You know it was a mourning dove. Do you believe in signs?”
         Bruce stood at the kitchen door with a trash bag in each hand. Karen walked over and opened it for him. He carried the bags to the cans in the driveway, dumped them in, and came back into the house.
         “What a fucking hypocrite,” Bruce said. His voice rose as anger flashed across his face. “No, I don’t believe in signs. I can’t do this right now? How dare he say that? What the hell can’t he do? I know perfectly well what he’s going to do as soon as what he thinks of as the appropriate mourning period is over.”
         The knife in his voice cut Karen and pinned her to the tile floor.
         “I…” she started to say, trying to keep the panic out of her voice. How long had he known? How could she possibly explain?
         “Don’t you try to defend him,” Bruce said. “You don’t know what was going on.  He’s been screwing that woman he works with for years. Margaret somebody.”
         “That’s the one, the marketing communications manager.”
         Maggie, a trim blond who wore her hair in a fifties flip, had been in and out of John and Arlene’s those last days, bringing tasteless frozen dinners in aluminum containers with the names neatly lettered on the white cardboard lids: TUNA CASSEROLE, CHICKEN DIVAN.
         “He was going to leave Arlene for her. I talked him out of it. Actually I shamed him out of it. I don’t know how anyone can live with a woman for that many years, cheat on her over and over, and then, when she gets sick, bail on her. I told him if he left I’d never speak to him again. At least he took pretty good care of her, but I couldn’t stomach all his my sweetie this and my darling that.”
         Karen willed herself to move, but the step she tried to take was more of a lurch. John moved towards her.
         “You okay.” His tone had softened.
         “I don’t feel well,” Karen said.
         She walked over to the sink and threw up all over the dirty dishes.
         Later that night they lay together, Karen on her back, Bruce on his side, turned away from her. The thin fabric of her nightgown clung to the convex bowl of her empty belly. When thoughts of John crept up on her she fought the acid feeling in her throat. Jealousy? Humiliation? Guilt tinged relief? She had to choke it down. She lay awake until dawn when the birds started talking to each other across the yard. The birds, she was sure, had their own language. She was as sure of that, as she was sure that the man who lay asleep next to her was a good man, a very good man. And the sense of loss she felt when she allowed herself to speculate what their lives might have been like if they’d had children rose in her again. What might it have felt like to hold a baby in her arms, to have been a member of that unattainable club of mothers? But how could that matter anymore? It was too late – much too late for that.
         Karen was careful not to wake him. She got out of bed, went downstairs and out onto the deck. She looked, but there was no sign of the fledgling. Sparrows and house wrens flitted through the trees. She caught a swirl of yellow and black, as a gold finch dive-bombed the feeder filled with thistle seed. Others flew in until they were fighting each other to get to the food. The grapevines that covered the arbor had begun to fruit. The dinner plate size leaves were already aging from bright emerald to a darker duller shade and tight yellow green grape clusters were pushing their way through the dense cover of leaves. By the end of August they would be pendulous and deep purple, ready to be picked. Each year she juiced and jellied them. An unsatisfying effort, she and Bruce always said because the end result tasted just like it came straight out of the supermarket. 
         She pushed one of the wicker chairs over and used it as a stepstool to climb onto the deck rail. The dew-dampened wood chilled the bottoms of her bare feet. She scanned the tops of the trees and the picket fence that bordered the lawn. No mourning doves. She reached up into the grapevine and felt around for it. The nest was a prickly mass of twigs and God only knows what other detritus the scavengers had woven into it. It took her a minute to get a really good grip. Then with one quick satisfying tug she tore the fucking thing apart. 

Joy Arbor

Napping in Jerusalem

Voices cross
            the threshold of your sleep.

Not your father’s reluctant Shabbat prayers
            before blaring “let’s eat,”

not your mother’s murmurs
            echoing deep in the canals of memory.

Not song rising from the wadi
            women hanging their washing,
            lines criss-crossing yards
            below your high window.

The adhan calls Al-Qud to its knees.

The Old City a breeze
            sneaking in your Mount Scopus room.

Above your narrow bed,
            with honks and pop music,
            not Shema Yisrael,
            but ’Asr Salah
            steals into your dreams.

Patricia Canelake

Unleashed, 22 X 23" Print, 2012

Lori D’Angelo

Sometimes, Logic Makes No Sense.

“Relax, it’s going to be over

soon,” the daycare worker

said. Last week, I got stuck

on Caps Lock. And, then,

I shifted to Vivaldi. Sans Serif,

take me away to Sandra Bullock,

pre-divorce. Nobody has it all.

Not even Bob Barker. But he did,

apparently, have his model.

You know the story about

Pete and Repeat? I choose Pete.

LouAnn Shepard Muhm

Rough Fish

I’ve heard talk of the sucker run—
rivers thick with spawning,

thick with men and boys
holding spears.

Yes, spears.
Yes, now.

It’s tradition,
who knows how old,

and men who use depth finders
and pheromones on walleye or bass

give up boats
to come here,

to roll up pant legs
and stand in the river,

to throw their father’s spear
into the writhing mass,

to utter their father’s yelp
when the point goes in

and the fish arc, gleaming
from the water.

Tom Daley

Stone’s Point

The fireflies split their sparks
over the bramble field behind the house,
fickle dots pricking the bushy dark.
On the ground, under tents of thorn and blade,
each female throbs, wife or killer,
each a pouch of damp light that flaunts,
then dims. Overhead, the male flies skim
small thermals—surfers crouching
over waves short but not yet torn.
They stammer, as if to say,
Gravity is a pact, not a bridle. Heaven
is the night we break our fire into fire again.
In the grass, peril is a pulse
that mimes the wanted thing.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Native Fire

A woman in the socket of midnight burns. Opens
the door of a house that once belonged to her
before she left it empty. Her pockets now filled
with ash, collected from pillows & wicks.
She covets the stairwells that rise in any windpipe.
An airless woman in her passage, looking up
from the belly where she turns & melts
like evening. The dark is warm, she tells the men
& women whose tears fall even during sleep.
Next to her body they fade like hours.
She taps the windows of their dreams, a flame
inside. Life is taking something away, even
while the ships in the river do not move.
The distant hair spills like crackling.
It is right, this homelessness. This body
floating in the oil of silence. Slow, over her
shoulders, a lone street light warns the morning.

Richard Pepitone

Portrait: Sal Del Deo, Reversed Monoprint, 8.5 x 11'' 2005

Joan Seliger Sidney

Zurawno, Poland

Sometimes in my dreams I hear
Mama’s voice sing the silence
of her orchard, row after row
of branches broken, her house
a ghost lost between wars,
her parents a photo
snapped by a soldier.


Sometimes in the orchard
of memory wild horses race
past Mama’s house, stolen
by her Ukrainian neighbors
after a stranger led her
through the forest of blue spruce,
no road but pine needles for bed,
no fire but dreams to sing.


Sometimes in the snow
of sleep I hear Mama’s voice
break through like a lost friend
on a ghost road going somewhere
I can’t remember. If only
she could speak loud enough for me
to hear the river of her words, the moon
of her history, so I could better
carry her grief.

Sharron Singleton

Eating Baloney Sandwiches

We didn’t know
              it was wrong, especially
on white bread

with mayo.  Our brown 
oxfords were scuffed 
and dusty,

apples from our tree,
small and wormy,
we didn’t know—

How we reached 
into the sent box, eager
for hand-me-downs,

sucked on whole cloves
for toothache.  
Our mothers cut 

our hair, left it 
ragged.  Some of us 
left high school. 

We didn’t know—
worked in factories, 
sat on porch steps

drinking beer, 
stared across fields, thick 
with the blown chaff we knew.

Shevaun Brannigan

Burial 9

Tender excavation—the brushing of the bones
after maggots’ care—creating the body

clean. He lies, curled like a hand waiting
to be filled. Vertebrae fused like

train tracks, weak-boned, an invalid
before the word. Archaeologists lift him

in pieces from his grave. Number the bones.
Butterfly of pelvis, paralyzed, the toes like stones

for trading. Ulnas carried away on trays.
Old muscle, now dirt and dust, blows away

below Vietnamese trees. The last fish
he was fed is gone, the ones who fed him,

dead. Find them nearby, sleeping
bamboo-straight in the earth’s bed.

At the Aquarium

My mother stands in front of the shark tank, then sits. 
Her legs are tired. Blue casts over her face from the water.

Her hair has turned silver as the school of fish that circles

around the tank. Two of her teeth are missing. Other teeth

will not grow in their place. She is unlike a shark, in that way.
When the hammerhead appears, my mother looks like

a child. She points, then clasps her hands together. Her eyes
follow the shark around the tank, its slow rotation

to stay alive. My mother’s heart is calming from her walk
up the stairs. Her breath is coming easier, now, she’s forgetting

for a moment that she thinks she takes up too much space.
When the shark disappears into the dark depths of the tank,

she grows restless. The sea turtle will not appease her.
To promise her the shark will return is to tell her

I forgive her for the past—a truth she won’t believe.
I sit, eventually, realizing we will be here for a while.

At least until we see the hammerhead again, at least until
she can walk all the way to the exit. The sign says

hammerheads can see 360 degrees around them.
Here everything is the same circle.

When her shark swims in to view, she gasps. 
I see other teeth dying like coral.

Rosa Goldman

Remnants I, 12 x 12", Inkjet Print, 2012
Remnants II, 12 x 12", Inkjet Print, 2012

Carol Dorf



Catch the words off the shelf, 
like a mother at the beach, chasing kids 
away from the stones reaching into
the perfect foam of an incoming tide. 


How does the line of anemones
creep up the rock, generating
a run of questions like
the summary of the self's experiences?


A map of the park shows the entrance,
a potential place for tense confrontations
that one hopes will eddy into kindness 
at least in the case where children are present.


A structure exerts its own pull 
on the psyche the way an English 
sentence always wants to name someone, 
then sets an action in motion.

Contributor Biographies

Joy Arbor’s poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Natural Bridge, and Many Mountains Moving, among others.  She earned an MFA from Mills College and a PhD from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and teaches communication and ethics at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan.  She lives with her husband and son close enough to the tracks to hear trains blast and rattle through their dreams.  In the Fall of 2012 Joy participated in Major Jackson’s “Visionary Poetics” class, Cyruss Cassells’ “The Landscape Thinks in Me: Conjuring the Spirit of Place in Poetry,” as well as Carolyn Forche’s “Writing New Poems.” And, most recently at 24PearlStreet Paisley Rekdal’s Winter 2013 class “Towards a Documentary Poetics.”

Shevaun Brannigan has been published in such journals as Best New Poets 2012Lumina, So to Speak, Calyx, andRattle, which nominated her for a Pushcart Prize at age 22. At 24PearlStreet Shevaun participated in Carolyn Forche’s class “Writing New Poems: Five in Five Days” March 2012.

Patricia Canelake has spent many summers in Provincetown, renting the former "coal bin" studios at the  Fine Arts Work Center.  She lives and works in Knife River, Minnesota on the North shore of Lake Superior.

Tom Daley’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in a number of journals including FenceDenver Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Harvard Review, 32 Poems, Diagram, Rhino, and Barrow Street, and have been anthologized in Hacks: The Grub Street Anthology, Unlocking the Poem, and Poets for Haiti. His manuscript, Shim, was a finalist in The Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award. At 24PearlStreet Tom participated in Carolyn Forche’s class “Writing New Poems” December 2011, and Maxine Kumin’s class “Problem Poems and Possible Prosodic Solutions” January, 2012.

Lori D’Angelo’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in various literary journals including The BakeryConnotation Press, dirtcakes, disClosure, Drunken Boat, Everyday Genius, Forge, Gargoyle, Hamilton Stone Review, Heavy Feather Review, Juked, Literary Mama, LOUDmouth, The New Verse News, Pequin, Praxis, Red Lighbulbs, r.kv.r.y., Spittoon, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Stone’s Throw Magazine, andWord Riot. She is a fellow at Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, a grant recipient from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Fiction Workshop. She lives in Virginia with her husband, son, dogs, and cats.  At 24PearlStreet Lori participated in Carolyn Forche’s class “Writing New Poems” Fall, 2012.

Carol Dorf’s poems have appeared in Antiphon, Qarrtsiluni, Spillway, OVS, CanarySin Fronteras, The Mom Egg, The Prose Poem Project, Unlikely Stories, Helix, In Posse Review, Poemeleon, Fringe, The Midway, A Cappella Zoo, Heresies and elsewhere. She is the poetry editor of Talking Writing, and teaches math at Berkeley High School. 

Rosa Goldman is a photographer and printmaker living in Western Massachusetts.  Her work investigates issues surrounding environment, space, and place.  She interned with the Fine Arts Work Center's Summer Program in 2011.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and visual artist. She received the MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Griffiths is the author of three collections of poetry including Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose), which was selected for the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships including Cave Canem Foundation, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Vermont Studio Center, Millay Colony, and many others. Her literary and visual art has been published widely. Currently, Griffiths teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College.  She is looking forward to her workshop this summer at The Fine Arts Work Center with A.J Verdelle.
Miho Kinnas is a Japanese poet, currently enrolled in the MFA program (poetry) at City University of Hong Kong and lives in Shanghai, China. At 24PearlStreet she participated in Major Jackson’s “Visionary Poetics” class in December 2011.

LouAnn Shepard Muhm is a poet and teacher form northern Minnesota.  Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AntiphonPirene's FountainNorth Coast ReviewAlbaRed River ReviewEclecticaqarrtsiluni, and CALYX, among other journals and anthologies, and she was a finalist for the Creekwalker Poetry Prize and the Late Blooms Postcard Series. Muhm is a recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants in Poetry in 2006 and 2012, and has been featured twice in the “What Light” poetry sponsored by the McKnight Foundation and the Walker Art Museum.   Her full-length poetry collection Breaking the Glass  (Loonfeather Press, 2008) was a finalist for the Midwest Book Award in Poetry.  At 24PearlStreet LouAnn participated in Mark Wunderlich's class "Getting Poems Started, Keeping Them Going" Fall, 2012.

Richard Pepitone a seventy-seven year old sculptor who has lived in Provincetown for forty-three years. Up until five years ago he specialized in bronze and metals.  Now he only works in digital photography combined with mono printing.

Joan Seliger Sidney’s Body of Diminishing Motion: Poems and a Memoir was published by CavanKerry Press. Her poem, “Malka at Ninety” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Joan has received individual artist’s poetry fellowships from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, and the Vermont Studio Center, also a Visiting Faculty Fellowship from Yale University. She’s Writer-in-Residence at the University of Connecticut’s Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, and also facilitates Writing for Your Life, an adult workshop. At 24Pearl Street Joan has participated in Carolyn Forche’s class “Writing New Poems” twice in December 2011, and January 2013.

Sharron Singleton’s poems have appeared in Agni, Rattle, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, among others.  She won the 2012 MacGuffin's Poet Hunt Contest. She also won 1st place prizes in 2010 and 2012 in the Poetry Society of Virginia annual contest. Her chapbook, A Thin Thread of Water was published in 2010 by Finishing Line Press. In 2009 she won the James River Writers Contest and was named Poet of 2010 by the journal Passager.  Before poetry, she worked with low-income families and the mentally ill and as a community organizer around issues of civil rights and the anti-nuclear war movement. At 24PearlStreet Sharron participated in Carolyn Forche’s class “Writing New Poems” Winter, 2013.

Joan Wilking's short stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Other Voices, The Mississippi Review, Ascent, The Barcelona Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, The MacGuffin and many other literary journals and magazines. She is a three-time finalist for Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction Award. Her story "Proper Dress" was included in the anthology "Politically Inspired." Her story "Deer Season" was a finalist for the 2010 Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Short Story Award. She lives in Ipswich, Mass. At 24PearlStreet Joan participated in Josip Novakovich's class “Evolving Plot out of Character Motivation” Fall, 2012.

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