Abigail Chabitnoy Reading Two Poems Appearing in Volume 70 of Grub Street




You can read Abigail’s poems “A FOUR-PART APOLOGY FOR MY CONTINUED BEING”, “A PERSISTENT DREAM OF LARGE BODIES  OF WATER & EVERYTHING THAT MIGHT BE WAITING WITHIN”, and “A PRONG OR SHARP POINT SUCH AS THAT ON A FORK, OR ANTLER” in Volume 70 of Grub Street, out now. You can also view her poetry comic on pages 150-154 of Volume 70. Click here to view Volume 70.


Abigail Chabitnoy is the author of How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the international category of the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry. She was a 2016 Peripheral Poets fellow and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, Lit HubRed Ink, and elsewhere. She is a Koniag descendant and member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak, and currently she is on faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts and the Denver Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

Exclusive Poetry Feature: “My Lover and I” by Christopher Kuhl


October blows dust, summer
long gone into a dark barn

like a hiding lover. Autumn
buries my life as the heavy,
fallen leaves and first hard frost
choke the grass.

My lover loves me
and grants me my loneliness

beneath a sky of steel-tipped
stars. The huge sun, yellowed
like an old bruise,

slips behind the hedgerows.

Who among us is holy?
One with myself, I kissed
the skin of a stone, and

heard the sea, the sea
rolling out, whispering
as dark as wine in a skin

or in its cold jar—the nightmare
silence is broken; I go to my lover

and am lonely no longer. At dusk
our slow breath thickens in
the air: begin with the rock;
end with the water.

Shut the kitchen door slowly
behind me

with a click.


Christopher Kuhl has published poetry, essays and short fiction extensively in on-line and print
journals. He has also written eleven free-ranging books of poetry and prose, exploring the
interactive human, natural and spiritual worlds. You can follow him and his fidgety brain on his
Facebook author’s page, Christopher Kuhl Writer.

Exclusive Poetry Feature: “Christmas Comet” by karla k. morton


Dec 27th, and it’s already light so much later.

It’s then I realized I missed winter solstice —

no chance to celebrate

the longest night of the year;

still consumed in the everything-grief

of my Deerhound, dead at 13 –

so old for a big breed; so young for a human.

The sweet suffering of a grateful life;

my mother trying to wrap Christmas biscuits

in a trash bag,

asking for the fifteenth time:

where all this food came from,

and whose new jacket is this,

and why didn’t I bring the dog like always;

that hot bandage ripped quick and again

off the wound that had almost healed

twelve minutes ago.

So much to think about – holidays, family, death,

as if the Christmas Comet stirred such things –

like full moons calling forth newborns and floods.

And if the moon stirs the waters,

what would a comet stir

but the very breath from an old furry body,

and the mind of a woman

as sweet as a box of peppermint creams,

the lid left open,


swept up and pulled


into the long darkness of the woods.


2010 Texas Poet Laureate karla k. morton has fourteen collections,  with “The National Parks: A Century of Grace” her most recent and historic: visiting and writing about all 62 national parks in situ. She’s a National Heritage Wrangler Award winner, songwriter, and nominee for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

Chelsea Harlan Reading “The Leopard Slug” Appearing in Volume 70 of Grub Street

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You can read Chelsea’s poem “The Leopard Slug” in Volume 70 of Grub Street, out now. Click here to view Volume 70.


Chelsea Harlan holds a B.A. from Bennington College and an M.F.A. in poetry from Brooklyn College, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Sixth Finch, Hobart, Cold Mountain Review, The Greensboro Review, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is the co-author of the chapbook Mummy (Montez Press, 2019), and the recipient of the 2019-2020 Mikrokosmos Poetry Prize judged by sam sax. She lives in Brooklyn.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]

Chloë Williams on “Fireworks from Floor 9” in Volume 70 of Grub Street


You can view Chloe’s piece “Fireworks from Floor 9” in Volume 70 of Grub Street, out now. Click here to view Volume 70.


Chloë Williams is a West Virginian writer, filmmaker, and photographer. She has work published in Maelstrom magazine and the Our Minds Our Future anthology. Her work reflects her travels around her home state, as well as in Baltimore and Leeds, England.

Exclusive Poetry Feature: “The Dascomb Aerie” by Donna L. Emerson


(family homestead, Bath New York)

I lift the old wooden fold-out chair from the shed. Its canvas cover is faded.
I can still make out stripes of orange, yellow, red, with a thin line of royal blue
every now and then.

We walk, the chair and I, to the mound of soft grass where the house used to be.
The grass under my feet, long and shiny. It feels as it did in the 1950’s
when we sat under these same maple trees, now as then fluttering in the breeze.

I can still see aunts and uncles strewn about on cotton quilts here,
near the old house. They talk about fishing, going gliding later today,
about Eisenhower and that oddball Nixon. They laugh, telling the story
of splashing in Camel’s Creek below the farm when they were kids.
They had one bathing suit among the four of them and had to give it
to the minister’s son, who came along.

They take in summer sun, rolling leg on leg, rubbing on suntan lotion,
grooming each other. My Dad and Uncle Cecil, shirtless, boxer shorts
showing above Bermudas, lying on their stomachs. Mom and Aunt Jane,
hair pulled back with combs and rubber bands, slide their oiled hands
up and down their husbands’ backs. Other than here
I don’t see men lying down like this, close as all four in bed together.
Other than here my father never lies down, except at night.
Uncle John sits in his yellow polo shirt and shorts, sucking on his pipe,
while Aunt Betty slaps a fly on her soft knee.
Uncle Harry’s at the pond with the boys, fishing.
Aunt Helen’s gone shopping in Hornell.

Waves of heat, flush with red raspberry smell, move over us.
Grandpa’s leaning down in the berry patch in his sleeveless, ribbed undershirt
and gray post office pants, a two-gallon metal pail on his belt, picking berries.
We’ll have them for dinner and breakfast, then lunch too.
We girls will help our moms can them in jellies tomorrow.

I follow the thick, drunk flight of bumblebees on the cluster of thistle flowers
next to Grandma’s lawn chair. She says, “When we were kids
we used to make hot pads out of these. See how the thorns hold them together

They were real pretty.”
She and I put thistle flowers together to make pads for the family dinner table.
There, Grandpa will pray for five minutes while we fidget,
asking God to “…make these stories to our uses…”
that we kids never understood until last year.


Donna L. Emerson lives in Petaluma, California, and western New York. Recently retired from Santa Rosa Jr. College. Donna’s award-winning publications include the New Ohio Review, CALYX, the London Magazine, and Paterson Literary Review. She has published four chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections. Her most recent awards: nominations for a Pushcart, Best of the Net, and two Allen Ginsberg awards. Visit her website: Donna Emerson.com

Exclusive Poetry Feature: “I Have Been Yearning For a Safe Space in the Desert” by Alise Versella

Just me

…………..The Joshua trees

And the Milky Way (no light pollution)

No noise polluting the tramways of my brain

It all runs through me

Sets my nerves to cackling like crows atop birch trees

………………(I loved the birch trees in Maine

………………And the top of Cadillac Mountain

…………………………….. Just me

……………………………………………….The rock

…………………………………………………………………And the wind

………………………………………………………………………………………………….All the Atlantic around me


Cold and brutal and sparkling in the sun speckled between the clouds—a toad hiccupping for a sky)


My heel struggling over cobblestone in Dublin, musicians on Grafton Street

St. Stephen’s Green holds me still

Holds me like you never did


I yearn for the ways in which a place loves me

Understanding what I mean in my silence


I am craving the retreating of the desert

Everything strands of time suspended

………………You have to look harder for the blooming

—really listen for the gurgle and the ripple

………………Like how lately I really have to listen hard to hear my heartbeat


My shoulders two boulders red in the sun

I need the truth of a desert being the last place you’d look for life

And yet here we are existing


…………….(I am a desert now)

…………………………….But you didn’t know the flowers bloom in the spring here too

—pollination happens amongst dust


I am learning how to shed the husk

Of the world and let nature do its

Living—I will live better to see the stars in all their light-absorbing glory

Perhaps the belt of Orion will cinch tight the waist of my worry


I will become one with a memory

Between the laundered sheets of time

Spaces free of concrete suffocating

…………….Plastic bag over the mouth of breathing


Sometimes I feel like I am suffocating within my own body


Oh for the empty

……………The archeological sand ready to petrify my bones

A fossil of my vertebrae

Oh for the desert to empty my lungs—fill the night of me with a moon for its stars



Alise Versella is a pushcart nominated contributing writer for Rebelle Society whose work has been published widely. She is forthcoming in Crack The Spine and The Poeming Pigeon. Her latest poetry collection, When Wolves Become Birds,  is out now through Golden Dragonfly Press.  You can find her at www.aliseversella.com.

Leah Bushman on “In My Nightmares I am Calling Jeff Bezos ‘Daddy'” in Volume 70 of Grub Street


You can read Leah’s poem “In My Nightmares I am Calling Jeff Bezos ‘Daddy'” in Volume 70 of Grub Street, out now. Click here to view Volume 70. You can also read Leah’s poems “Between Sternum and Stomach” and “Our Sockets Won’t Stop Bleeding” on Grub Street‘s website. For the first poem, click here. For the second poem, click here.


Leah Bushman is a nature gazer and animal lover who rarely takes life seriously. This is her first publication. A Towson University graduate with a B.S. in English, she can be found on social media at @leahbushman.

Wen Wen Yang Reading “Ink Stains” Appearing in Volume 70 of Grub Street

You can view Wen Wen Yang’s pieces “Ink Stains” and “Lukewarm” in Volume 70 of Grub Street, out now. Click here to view Volume 70. Below, you can listen to a reading of “Ink Stains” by Wen Wen Yang.



Wen Wen Yang was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University, with a degree in English and creative writing. You can find her flash fiction “The Fox Spirit’s Retelling” in the anthology Remapping Wonderland: Classic Fairytales Retold by People of Color.