micro monday poetry

Four Haikus after Garden Meditation by Charisse Baldoria

Four Haikus after Garden Meditation | Charisse Baldoria

From the Old Hedonist:

“A rose in full bloom
reveals pleasure and wisdom
age had not foretold.”

From the Young Nihilist:

“Bud blooms recklessly,
unwise and vulnerable
to young lovers’ shears.”

From the Middle-Aged Rationalist:

“So it has been found:
beauty unfolds in layers,
and logic, and youth.”

From the Ageless Surrealist:

“Wind sets sails spinning,
boat: rose-heart: petal-center,
river: ocean: I”

About the Author:

Charisse Baldoria is a classical pianist, composer, and educator who loves the written word. Born in the Philippines, she came to Ann Arbor, Michigan for graduate school in music as a Fulbright scholar. She is now a music professor in Pennsylvania, has performed on five continents, and loves to travel. Her poetry and prose have been published or are forthcoming in Windmill: The Hofstra Journal of Art & Literature, The Asian/Pacific American Women’s Journal, 3 Cup Morning, and Northern Stars.

announcements team member spotlight

Introducing Annie Barker

Introducing Annie Barker

March 18, 2023

2023 has been a fast moving train thus far. One minute I was celebrating the new year and then I blinked and somehow it’s mid-March. Part of the reason for that is the sheer number of exciting new endeavors we have going on at TGLR– the launch of Micro Monday, book reviews, a team reading, AWP, contributor interviews and promo, and of course our quarterly issues. With all this, my plan to introduce new and existing team members has waned a bit but I’m excited to pick up where I left off at the turn of the year and shine a spotlight on our editors, their writing lives, and their contributions to our efforts. And today I’m pleased to present highlights of my Q&A with Annie Barker who is not only an editor on our flash nonfiction team but also serves an associate editor.

Annie has been with TGLR since day one and has never wavered in her dedication to our mission and vision. Late in 2022, when I asked the team if anyone wanted to volunteer more time to fill gaps in our processes, Annie was among the first to jump in. She’s now doing all the copy editing for our quarterly issues as well as leading an email campaign to connect to other writing programs in the region. I’m grateful she’s been open to assisting as we learn and grow. 

I’m also grateful she took the time to answer some questions so I could share more about her life and her thoughts on writing. The first question, and one of my favorites, is about when she discovered her love of writing. 

Apparently (and this is so embarrassing) I learned this shortly before I wrote the words “As I must breathe, so must I write” in my childhood journal. I don’t know how old I was when I wrote this because after discovering this passage as an adult I immediately ripped out the page and shredded it.

I then asked what prompted her to get an MFA.

I actually never intended to enter the MFA program. I was just going to enroll in UNO for one MFA Enrichment semester (essentially the same as one semester of the program, but with no commitment to continue). I had it all figured out. I was working on a memoir about my search for my biological father and my plan was to attend one residency to learn some useful things, and then work with a mentor for a few months to whip that book into shape.

I clearly didn’t know what I was getting into. Shortly after arriving at the lodge for my Enrichment residency, I called my husband and told him, “Ah, sweetie, I have some bad news. I want to enter the program,” because at some point during those first two days, I realized that in this motley group of creative, hardworking, and courageous writers, I had found my people.

Even more miraculous, I had also rediscovered a forgotten part of myself, a creative, playful, risk-taking part I had last encountered around the age of – oh, I don’t know – twelve? I knew a good thing when I felt it, so I took the leap.

I also asked Annie some of the same questions we’ve asked our contributing authors over the past year including what the most difficult and satisfying parts of the artistic process are for her. 

Like many writers, I find the blank page a little terrifying. I’m getting better at just diving in wherever (which is the best advice I’ve received on this subject), but if I find myself reorganizing my sock drawer it’s probably because I’m starting something new.

As for something satisfying, I LOVE the revision process. I think this is because I generally, in a lot of areas of my life, like to improve things (my handwriting, my house, my husband).

Well played Mrs. Barker!! I then asked her if there ar any personal writing projects she’s actively working on.

I divide my time between writing CNF essays and poetry and shepherding my long-form memoir (working title is “Searching For Sea Glass,” and it’s about the search for my biological father) toward publication.

And of course I wrapped up the Q&A with our classic Nebraska TGLR question, which is what she thinks of when she hears the phrase “The Good Life.” 

I immediately think of something that’s been hard to for me to achieve–a balanced life. One that offers equal time for serious work, creative writing, rest, quality time with family and friends, and opportunities to play and be silly. This might ultimately be a quixotic goal, but I think Nebraska, with its wide open spaces and laid-back work culture, is a place that encourages a purposeful life, so I plan to stay here for a long time and try to get as close as I can to the ideal.

Annie… Thank you for taking that “leap” with us too and for your thoughtfulness and dedication. We are fortunate to have you on the team and I’m grateful for all the care and consideration you give to each and every piece of writing!!


PS. More about Annie and all of our TGLR editors is available on the Masthead.

micro monday micro nonfiction nonfiction

Orange Meets Green by Emma Schmitz

Orange Meets Green | Emma Schmitz

I’m burning rubber on pavement, matching the positive to the negative, trying to get something to spark. The drive from the Northwest Sierra to the Southeast Sierra of California stretches like an octopus with so many routes to go. Manzanita, sinewy pines, bushy firs, and sagebrush lull in and out like a foamy-mouthed ocean on rock and sand.

If I take the iconic Tioga Pass, I won’t see the classic Topaz Lake. If I make time for the glossy June Lake Loop, I probably won’t have time to see the chalky Toufas up close. It’s a shame, the decisions we’re forced to make.

The book I’m listening to says to get quiet. To figure out my gift and share it with the world. It says some people go their whole lives not using their gifts, and I worry I’ve dropped mine somewhere or wasn’t invited to pick it up in the first place. I’m worried I was too busy worrying about other people’s ideas to discover my own gift, and I remind myself to stop worrying.

That night, I’m more concerned with finding a spot to camp than weighing the pros and cons of going back to school for a STEM degree I can’t afford, nor do I remotely qualify for. The next day, I’m too busy hiking up a mountain and sliding down spring snow to fantasize about my never-gonna-happen career in glittery media production or highbrow publishing.

That evening, I’m too distracted by the clever conversation and cackling of my two best friends to give a shit about what I do for a living. All of us in communications and marketing, writers at heart – those rare, deep connections we find as adults. There is no space to mis-fit in the vastness of a high desert forest.

There is no hard decision to make when one thing inches seamlessly into another. Where the desert meets the mountains, where orange meets green. Sometimes, things make the most sense at the point of connection – when one edge meets another to provide contrast, perspective. Where I don’t have to choose, where I can flow between.

About the Author:

Emma Schmitz (she/her) studied creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and is now a halfway homesteader in the California mountains at 6,000 feet above sea level with her partner and a couple of pit bulls. She’s currently living her seventh life of nine as a small business owner in the financial sector and, separately, a beer writer, judge, and educator with the mission of evolving the craft beer industry. Her creative work has been published in The Tiny Journal and The Closed Eye Open. See what she’s fermenting @wildbeerwriter.

micro monday poetry

New Bone Fear by Rhony Bhopla

New Bone Fear | Rhony Bhopla

A chirping, then
the beak
of a mourning dove
stuffed, muted
at the first
daily police siren.

The neighbor’s dog
wails crescentic urgency,
I hallucinate
warning sounds
before a voice
from a chopper
takes the place
of flocks.

Stephon Clark’s
final breath
expired some miles away—
there, I see
my question
mark on 29th.

No words. No answers.
Just my daily
new bone fear.

Construction cones
around new asphalt,
and accurate lights
and crosswalks
with mechanical
chirping sounds
—his new Meadowview.

About the Author:

Rhony Bhopla is a poet and visual artist. Her poems and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Notre Dame Review, Cherry Moon: Emerging Voices from the Asian Diaspora, Northwest Review, and Harvard Review. She is a 2019 Rooted and Written Fellow and a member of the Mapmakers Alumni Institute. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Pacific University.

flash fiction micro fiction micro monday

Dress Code by Kennedy Essmiller

Dress Code | Kennedy Essmiller

Gather round, girls—preteens, tweens, teens—crowd together. It is time for your annual women’s talk. You each are given two squares of tile with shimmering surfaces to stand, to sit. You can reach out and touch the shoulder of your best friend, the shoulder covered in a wooly sweater despite the Oklahoma heat. 

The Dress Code is in place for a reason, the administration says, the office ladies tell you, the women who give you Band-Aids and Tylenol, the women who are paid to protect. 

Pay attention. 

This year will be no different than last year or next year. Each girl, each woman, could say the speech by heart. You silently mouth along. 

No spaghetti straps—blouse straps must be at least three fingers width apart, but not three of your fingers, three of your male teachers’ fingers. You think that maybe we should use Mr. Stewart’s as his are the smallest, thinned with age, the skin sagging with the weight of wrinkles. The thought of his fingers on you bare shoulders make you squirm, and you shudder and spill out for a moment, briefly broaching the borders of your carefully allotted tiles.

The administrators continue. 

Do not wear skirts that are above your knee and don’t even think about shorts. Jeans or dresses, there is not an in between, not for the Daughters of Christ. You cannot wear such skimpy attire around the boys. You remember the-not-so-virgin Mary, they ask, like clockwork. Of course, you remember her, even those of you who were years behind her, those of you who never even saw her belly swell with life. Mary, whom they memorialize and vilify with each and every meeting, ever since she fell pregnant four years ago, back when most of you were in middle school, beginning to receive the same speech she had received. 

The road to pregnancy is paved with short skirts and spaghetti straps. If you get yourself pregnant, you will be asked to leave. If you get yourself pregnant, you will become a cautionary tale, told to future generations, the children you will carry. Your name will be heavy with shame, taste metallic in your mouths. They do not say what will happen if you get yourself pregnant and hide it, remove it, make your own choices about your own body. Your body, Mary’s body. 

Mary, who used to read Junie B. Jones to you when she babysat, who was forbidden from walking across the stage at graduation.

And still, it continues. The boys cannot control themselves—boys will be boys. You are women, the presence of blood between your legs declares it so. It is your obligation, your privilege, and your joy in life, to protect the boys, the students, your teachers, your principal, and your friends’ fathers. 

You think of the father of your best friend, consider his eyes on you, and you shy away from her, inching ever so slightly back, retreating ever so slightly into your squares. 

If your shirt is hugging your budding breasts, it is too tight. If your shirt is hanging low and revealing your collarbone, it is too loose. Show no straps, bras are a hidden delicacy, meant to be shared between a man and his wife. Embrace your femininity. Wear makeup and shave your legs. Be ashamed of your body. Cover your legs, only sluts wear red lipstick. Boys don’t like girls who don’t put out the effort. Adjust your cleavage or your male teachers will have no choice but to send you to the office. Be ashamed of your breasts that can sustain life, boys will view them as sexual organs. 

Their perception is the authority. 

Cross your legs, collapse into yourself, take up as little room as you possibly can. Remain in your two tiles, always. Boys like small girls, petite girls. Obey the Dress Code, or you will be sent to the office, sent home to change. 

Your education, your comfort, you are not valuable.

About the Author:

Kennedy Essmiller is a queer writer who earned her MFA at Oklahoma State University. Her short story, “Mountains” won second place in the University of Western Alabama’s 2017 Sucarnochee Review Fiction contest. Her nonfiction essay, “The Three Drinks of Christmas” was accepted for publication in Oklahoma State University’s online undergraduate literary magazine Frontier Mosaic. Her short stories, “Permanently Inked” and “Bittersweet” were chosen as the winner for the 2018 and 2019 Oklahoma State University Ruby N. Courtney Writing Scholarship, respectively. She is an academic advisor and dog lady. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @kennedywogan.

announcements team member spotlight

Introducing Cid Galicia

Introducing Cid Galicia

January 13, 2023

Today we want to shine a spotlight on team member Cid Galicia. Cid is currently in his final semester in the MFA program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. When I first met Cid about a year ago, what stood out to me was the energy and enthusiasm he had for the program and the people he was connecting with. He was eager to learn more about TGLR and our team and didn’t skip a beat before volunteering to be a part of it. He joined in the spring as a reader for our 2022 HoneyBee Prize (our 8th issue). A few beats later, when an opportunity at a more permanent spot as an editor opened up, he was the first to throw his hat into the ring. 

Now, as we near the release of our 10th issue, I’m excited to finally, *FINALLY*, officially introduce him and share more of what he’s shared with us about himself and his writing life, beginning with why he decided to pursue an MFA. 

Honestly, it was covid.  The idea of an MFA and transitioning into the higher education community has always been a goal, but it continuously seemed like a far-off destination.  During covid, I was very lucky that no one in my family was deeply affected.  I had peers and coworkers who had the opposite and even deaths in their families/communities.  That is when my mortality/finiteness kind of slapped me across the face. I had this realization that if I had any remaining goals I wish to pursue/achieve, I should have started yesterday.  I was on an amtrak train home for the holidays (I love writing on trains) and that was the moment I decided I would begin pursuing graduate school for my MFA.

I love the fact that he pinpointed the exact moment, which made me curious if there was some point in time or event that sparked his passion for writing in the first place. 

As with many writers, at a young age, I found myself in a different mindset than many of my peers.  And, in order to clear my thoughts and calm myself, I just began to consistently journal.  In high school, after a struggling freshman/sophomore year, I was finally able to test into AP English classes.  I had an amazing teacher, Ms. Majerison,  that year who introduced me to poetry, and that is when I became deeply interested in the craft and began to pursue it on my own.

I then asked some of the same questions we’ve asked our contributing authors over the past year including what fuels his desire to write and also what the biggest influences in his writing have been. 

Human relationships are the most fascinating experiences to me, and all platforms: friendship, family, young, old, intimate, and platonic.  I love watching, observing, and experiencing them personally.  I love thinking and writing about them.  Most of my poems stem from that idea of human connection.

One of TGLRs previous poetry editors, Ally Guenette, completed her thesis on discovering your writer-genealogy–which I thoroughly enjoyed. Interestingly, and cliche enough, my first adolescent inspirations were Poe and the rap group Bone: Thugs In Harmony.  Back then, rap/rappers really had a lot of strong poetic connections.  Later was introduced to Rilke and T.S. Eliot.  I was drawn to Rilke because he also had a deep focus on love and relationships and Eliot for his long poems and vibrations of form and the musicality in his work.

By his own account, Cid has “been in a ravenous state hungry for experience, growth, and community” and has found what he’s been desiring in each semester of the MFA program. Here’s a little more of what he elected to share about his experience with each of his mentors in the program thus far…

Semester 1: Elizabeth Powell

She was my first mentor in the program and met me exactly where I was–an adult educator who had not been in academia for decades.  She helped me navigate the university topography again and reassert my voice.  My first poetic love is for old forms: sonnets, sestinas, and villanelles.  She, however, pushed me outside of those and, in response to my forced evacuation from Hurricane Ida, introduced me to hybrid poetic writing as a new vein for written expression.

Semester 2: Maray Hornbacher

This lady is a badass!  Can we say badass and post it?  Anyway, I was feeling on fire after semester 1 and wanted to see how I could push myself.  I remember my first impression of her, my first semester, was something like this:  I bet she’s awesome, but she would burn me alive! Not this semester, but one of them for sure! By the end of my time with her I had written over 40 pages of critical writing and had 2 poems accepted to journals!  Marya is fire!

Semester 3: Kate Gale

If you can survive The Marya you can pretty much figure your way through just about anything. I decided to take myself to the next step and that was to ask if Kate Gale, head editor of The Red Hen Press, would accept me as an intern for the optional third-semester internship option. Through that experience, I have been able to work through the many moving parts of literary press anatomy. My highlights have been managing the creation of a poetry anthology, making my blog posting debut, and teaching poetry through their Writers In The Schools program.

That sounds like an action-packed ride for sure and though everyone’s experience is different, I’m 100% with Cid in that applying for the program was one of the best decisions of my life. It is, after all, part of what led me to the “good” life I’m living right now. This is precisely why I’m always curious about other people’s thoughts about the phrase “The Good Life.” Cid’s Response: 

Now that I have roots in The South–specifically New Orleans, when I hear The Good Life I think of live music, dancing, drinking somewhere with the Open Container law, writing near The Mississippi, and a good make-out session.  That sounds really good to me.

Cid’s recent publications include “Letters to Marya” in Trestle Ties and “Danni” in the Elevation Review. He’s also got several poems forthcoming in 2023: “2am Dances With My Father.” in South Broadway Press, “We Swayed Furtively” and “Mongamish” in Roi Faineant, and “Club Dances and Car Window Kissing” in Trampoline. 

Cid… Thank you for jumping in on this journey with us and for the fantastic energy you bring to  the team. I feel fortunate to have met you and look forward to future shenanigans! Best of luck with that 4th semester!!


PS. More about all of our TGLR editors is available on our Masthead.

announcements event

Third Thursday – Voices at Larksong

Third Thursday – Voices at Larksong

January 6, 2023

Happy New Year and welcome to 2023! We’re looking forward to all that this year has in store and excited to announce that we are kicking things off right with a local, in-person reading in January in Lincoln, Nebraska. Though our team is scattered across the US, from New York to Oregon and Texas to Minnesota, we have a healthy cohort that reside in and around the Omaha Metropolitan area and we’ve been invited to participate in Third Thursdays – Voices at Larksong.

On January 19th at 5:30, TGLR will be converging on the Larksong Writer’s place in Lincoln to connect, read from our personal collections, and share a little bit about our journal.

Readers include: Cat Dixon, Tacheny Perry, Michelle Pierce Battle, Tana Buoy, Annie Barker, and Shyla Shehan.

  • Where:  1600 N Cotner Blvd, Lincoln, NE
  • When: 5:30 – 7:30PM. The event will begin with a social half-hour and the reading with a Q&A will run from 6 to 7:30.
  • Cost/Tickets: This event is free and open to the public. We can’t wait to meet you!

A huge THANK YOU to Larksong and Karen Shoemaker for making this event possible and for her long-time dedication to writers and the literary community!

More about all events and workshops offered by Larksong Writers Place can be found by visiting their website at


Author Q&A with Jessica Pulver

Author Q&A with Jessica Pulver

December 28, 2022

This week’s Author Q&A is with Jessica Pulver. Jess is a mother, social worker, and aspiring gardener nestled in the woods outside Portland, Maine. She majored in Creative Writing at Swarthmore College over twenty years ago and recently returned to the writing life. Her work is forthcoming in Literary Mama, Waccamaw Journal, and Kaleidoscope Magazine, and her short nonfiction, Explication Of My Guilt, appears in our latest issue. We took this opportunity to ask Jess a few questions about her writing and newly rediscovered writing life. 

We began by asking her to share a little bit more about her latest essay. 

This piece is obviously about something painful and difficult for me to write about. I had written several other essays with scenes of Leo’s birth and my subsequent guilt woven into them but had not isolated them in such a focused way. Readers of my earlier essays responded to the imagery and the strong emotions, but often asked me questions related to the events – it seemed I was never telling enough or doing enough justice to the fullness of the experience. I felt I was being honest and forthcoming in my writing, but realized I was doing so in pieces rather than as a whole. I set out to write this essay to take on the most ambiguous aspects of the birth trauma and address them directly. Doing so forced me to articulate precisely what I was trying to express – not only about what I felt when it happened, but also how those feelings changed over the years of raising Leo, and what I make of it all now. It was a cathartic process and felt deeply releasing to complete. The essay feels like a resting spot on a journey and reminds me that in years to come, my perspective on my guilt will continue to evolve. 

We then asked what the most difficult part of the writing process is for her. 

The most difficult part of the writing process for me is committing to the time it takes to write. I am a mother, a therapist, a wife, a friend, a daughter, and a gardener most of the time before I am a writer. My life at this stage of parenting is bursting with micro-responsibilities for Leo and his two also-somewhat-complicated younger siblings. I am not accustomed to laying aside time in my schedule for writing, and I am always surprised by how long it actually takes to put words on a page that I want to stay there the way they are! I struggle to justify the time I’m spending –  to myself but if I’m honest, more so to others, because once I start writing I love it so much that it seems self-indulgent. It is not earning money, it is not even something that can easily be shared for the benefit or pleasure of others without even more work and time (and luck). 

As I write this response, it occurs to me that I am expressing a sense of guilt about writing; I hadn’t thought of myself as a person necessarily prone to guilt but here it is again. I do believe our dominant culture places entirely too much emphasis on productivity and infuses many people’s hobbies, relaxation, and community-building with a sense of guilty pleasure.

This is all so true and relatable. Not only does it take considerable time and effort to work on ones writing, but it can often be seen as unnecessary and not productive in the eyes of society. These factors make it very difficult to prioritize in our busy lives. If we were to view it as more essential, for the catharsis and human connection, then perhaps it would change the way people think about it. We then asked Jess to share her biggest fear as a writer.

My biggest fear as a writer is to turn out to be not as good at it as I hope to be! Right now, since I’ve only returned to writing in the last twelve months after majoring in creative writing at college over twenty years ago, I am riding a sort of beginner’s luck. I have lots of ideas, at the sentence level and at the concept level, and I feel motivated to find a shape for them all. I feel successful in having published two poems and two essays right out of the gates, especially since I had previously written entirely poetry. But writing essays and even dipping my toes in fiction has me feeling excited and aspirational – so my fear is that this comes crashing down if I get further into the writing experience and receive consistent rejection from the publishing world, mixed with lukewarm support from friends and family.

Again, very relatable fears, and as we are all living that “writing life” here at The Good Life, we know very well about the rejection that comes with sending your work out. With all the time, effort, and possibility of rejection, what fuels your desire to write? 

I’m fueled from multiple angles! Writing is an opportunity, to be honest in a way that isn’t possible when speaking with even the most intimate people in our lives because we’re able to take the time to be more thorough and to get the words right. It’s also a privilege to put that honesty out in the world, in hopes that it empowers others to be honest with their own feelings and to feel encouraged to share. As a therapist, I’m daily in support of people struggling to find words for their feelings. We as a culture are not in the habit of discussing our feelings accurately even privately, and we are taught to carry shame around the prospect of making them public. This distresses me when I see the effects on people’s lives. I think of my writing as a place where I can make some difference in righting this (no pun intended).

In my own relationships, I think of writing as a way of showing love. Capturing scenes with my children in particular – their voices, their surprising responses to the world – is definitely an act of adoration for them. At the same time, I’m driven to give depth and complexity to the relationships with my family and friends on the page. I’m somewhat obsessed with the project of expressing the contradictions and messiness of relationships and showing that this is not only okay, but it is also a source of wonder and gratitude. I want my essays to be sort of mini-love manifestos to the people in them. 

Lastly, I feel a real affection for the particular ways people speak, as well as the sounds of words when they’re beside one another swimming in my own head. Often while I’m doing something mundane, a phrase or sentence cadence will arrive in my imagination or memory in a way that feels randomly compelling. It feels in those moments like I’m a conduit for that splice of language music. I then get the fun of writing around that sentence and trying to give it ground and a larger meaning. 

That’s beautiful! As we always do, we ended our Q&A with the final question of what comes to mind when she hears the phrase “the good life?” 

When I think of The Good Life, I think of being held and surrounded, by arms, by water, by peace. I think of putting my hands in the soil every day and sleeping on the ground. I think of doing nothing else while eating except tasting and smiling at whoever’s there. 

Thanks so much, Jess, for sharing more about your life and your story with us. We’re honored you trusted us with your words and we wish you the best in life and with all your writing endeavors. 

~The Good Life Review Team

announcements team member spotlight

Introducing Terry Belew

Introducing Terry Belew

December 10, 2022

Today’s team member spotlight is on Terry Belew. Terry is currently in the midst of getting his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Omaha which is where I first met him. Unlike many of the folks on our team who have been with us since the inception of the journal, Terry came to us this past spring when he volunteered to read for our 2022 HoneyBee Prize (our 8th issue).

We’re extremely grateful that he decided to stick around for more TGLR shenanigans and are delighted to announce that he is now an editor on our Poetry Team. In fact, Terry eagerly offered to play a more active role on the team and is not only organizing and facilitating meetings for his team, but also assisting with marketing campaigns and coming up with fundraising ideas. Over the last six months I feel like I’ve gotten a good sense for who he is but wanted to take this opportunity to share a little more about him and his writing life with our readers. I asked Terry a number of questions, beginning with where he first discovered a love for writing and poetry.

I started to enjoy writing in elementary school when we were asked to illustrate and narrate children’s books. I became interested in poetry in high school after reading William Blake and Chaucer. Poetry really piqued my interest when I was a student at Missouri State and that’s when I took an introductory workshop class with my mentor and friend, Sara Burge. 

I then asked what prompted him to pursue an MFA.

One of the primary reasons I am pursuing an MFA, other than to write more and work with accomplished writers on improving my writing, is to help build my literary community. The literary community, at times, seems quite large. Still, we really are a small portion of the population and the more we can interact with one another and learn from one another, the better off the literary community will be.

I then asked some of the same questions we’ve asked our contributing authors over the past year including what the most difficult and satisfying parts of the artistic process are. 

Right now, one of the most difficult parts is generating new material. At times, new material comes forth on a daily basis and I need to do a better job of making more time to write, but right now trying to generate new content is a struggle.

As for something satisfying it would be reading poems to my wife, who is a non-writer, and her being moved by them. I also am thankful for her listening to a poem over and over again, even though I might have changed three words or re-lineated and expect the poem to be better.

He also shared that his desire to write comes from simple observation and a love of manipulating language which I relate to and appreciate. I then asked Terry if he has any projects he is working on and/or recent or upcoming publications to share.

I recently “completed” my first book-length manuscript and have been submitting to book contests. I’ll continue to add and subtract content until it one day hopefully finds a publisher willing to take it in.

I’ve also had a few poems published in the last year or so, in West Trade Review, Solar, The American Journal of Poetry, Book of Matches and Split Rock Review, and in print in Storm Cellar. I try to keep submissions out, especially during the academic year, so hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to have a couple more forthcoming by the end of the year.

Amazing poems and that’s quite a lot for such a short time! Congratulations!! When I see this list and read the poems, it definitely makes me think he is making the most of this one precious Good Life. It definitely made me curious for his answer to what he thinks about when he hears the phrase “The Good Life.”

I’m not well-traveled, so the first time I went to Nebraska for my first residency and saw one of their mottos is “The Good Life” that’s my natural association. Having worked on The Good Life Review for a couple of months now, that’s also another natural association. 

When I think of “The Good Life” as a kind of situation, I think of living in the Midwest—as backward as some things are, I really enjoy the ability to live in nature and to have access to it constantly. 

Terry.. Thank you for being on the team and for being so willing to sacrifice your time and effort on making our journal and organization a success. And also for being open to this little Q&A. I hope you stick with us for a long time!!


PS. More about all of our TGLR editors is available on our Masthead.


2022 Pushcart Prize Nominations

2022 Pushcart Prize Nominations

November 30, 2022

With one day to spare, our 2022 Pushcart Nominations have been signed, sealed, and are on the way to Wainscott, New York. Huzzah!!

Pushcart is one of the most honored literary series in America and each year editors of small book presses, magazines, and journals are invited to nominate poetry, short stories, essays, or stand-alone excerpts from novels. As such, we are grateful for the opportunity to send six pieces published in 2022 for consideration. The following are this year’s nominations:

Congratulations and best of luck to all!

The Good Life Review Team