Salamander Fiction Contest 2019 Results

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Winner Christina Leo, “The Blue Bull” Second Place Michael Howerton, “Hopewell” Finalists Catalina Bode, “A Bedroom in the Kitchen” Shubha Venugopal, “Belonging” Steven Fromm, “Po-Ya 6” Ethan Feuer, “Quartering winds” Joyce Li, “The Boxer” Holly Menino, “The Boy’s Horse” Craig … Read More

Stinging Nettles: Bad Harvest by Dzvinia Orlowsky

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  Bad Harvest by Dzvinia Orlowsky (Carnegie Mellon Press, 2018).   The title of Dzvinia Orlowsky’s sixth book, Bad Harvest, evokes the Holodomor, the man-made famine that affected and killed millions across the grain-producing Ukraine during Soviet occupation, presumably including … Read More

On Skyline Boulevard

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  As we snake up through redwoods into the thickening gold haze, my brother the firefighter wonders how long to get a first responder out here, where the sheer gravel road shrinks at random to a single lane, and his … Read More

Easter 2016

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  We go to Golden Gate Park to have a picnic. Find a patch that is empty, our clearing. Don’t realize until a ball almost bursts the bottle of Bulleit that we are in the middle of the golf course. … Read More

Morning Begins with Dark

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  thunderstorms forming, kids out of school and off to camp, brand new ringtones loaded on phones. Another famous overdose, another fading star on trial, a governor-gone-wild all sexier stories than missiles on the move, protesters bleeding in streets of … Read More

Plum Brandy

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  after Edouard Manet   A young woman with a cigarette—perhaps a prostitute! Or maybe she’s a “shopgirl hoping for company,” but either way, she’s not an upper-class lady, sitting there alone and ungloved. And next to her cigarette hand … Read More


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  It’s what we don’t say that holds us together. In the late afternoon, walking along the Danube we talk about the hills and the color of the water, the street names as foreign and clumsy in our mouths as … Read More

The Pattern

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  In the living room my mother can’t sleep. Past midnight, reading a magazine, she eats her way to the bottom of the plate. A swirl of lithium carbonate has thinned into her blood. It’s not enough to make her … Read More

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