Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing


Caesura: Essays

Aug, 10 2018 | no responses

This is a book that wrestles with the expansive ideas of life and death as much as it chronicles the multitude of quotidian details we regularly encounter.

Rants from the Hill

Aug, 10 2018 | no responses

Rants from the Hill, Michael P. Branch’s collection of humorous, sly essays is easy to underestimate.

Ode to Orange

Jul, 24 2018 | no responses

Photo by theilr Tonight, with the rain, the streetlight has turned my bedroom window bright orange, translucent—that kind of toxic phosphorescence found in creeks near strip mines—and of course it makes me think of Kenova, westernmost West Virginia, the bright orange banks of the Big Sandy and the Ohio, lit up with Ashland Oil and […]

Silent Impacts

Apr, 27 2018 | no responses

I am keenly aware that I look suspicious—a woman wearing a Tyvek moonsuit and waders, juggling a stack of steel posts, fuchsia survey tape, and a rubber mallet. Pickup truck drivers give me you’re-not-from-around-here looks; so do occasional leisure boaters, who I hope to Jesus are not eating any fish from this river. The Bainbrydge River is sluggish, a sulfury, over-hard-boiled-egg green. My steel gauges suck right down into its bottom.

Searching for the Duck Hole

Apr, 27 2018 | no responses

My mother started calling me about a year and a half ago. She is in her late eighties and suffers from cognitive decline, so she does not remember that we haven’t had a relationship for more than twenty-five years. Despite her memory struggles, she figured out my home number and leaves messages on it. The first one, transcribed to include her pauses, looks like poetry:


Apr, 27 2018 | no responses

After my daughter’s birth in 2002, there were nights I sat in the rocking chair next to her crib, understanding that the world would be better if I killed myself. And her. I’d grip the arms of the chair and flex every muscle in my body to stop myself. One night, I walked into the room where her father was reading and sat on the edge of the bed beside him. I admitted I had no feelings—for him, for her, for myself—but that we could be friends; we could raise her together. We’d be fine. Our lives would be fine.

Next Page »