Blue Sky Freedom/ Margaret Elysia Garcia

I thought of the bright clear blue sky over the prison and its white clouds. I now think of my students and that 45 minute drive to see them whenever its blue like this.

On the ASA and JD Vance/ Ivy Brashear

Vance is perhaps the single most detrimental figure to Appalachian scholarship of our time, and inviting him into the ASA universe is a move that lends further unearned credibility to his offensive, subjective and backward-looking view of the region – a view that the ASA has sought to eradicate since its founding.

The GOP Tax Cuts Still Suck/ Katie Anderson

I long for the day a group of millionaires have to crawl over something. Maybe crawl over a pile of thrift store clothing to get their tax bonus. I wonder where my little photo album is where I can clearly show how difficult Cindy’s life was, and is and always will be.

Resumé/ Sarah Pape

You told me years later that to smoke meth at work, you would lock yourself in the supply closet, stand on top of your cart with a plastic bag, breathe the toxic smoke into it and hold it directly to the air vent. It was one of many rituals you had perfected in hiding your world from me.

Wardrobe/ Meg Weber

That thread from before snags at me, unravels all the way through my chest as the weight sinks in. I can feel the bottom edge of her words, can sense what she might mean. She’s desperately unhappy and can’t find her way out of it.

Finding Larry Brown/ Steve Lambert

Larry Brown taught me that it might be possible for someone like me to be a writer. Brown didn’t seem like a natural candidate for a writing apprenticeship, and neither did I.