Each fall, we feature the winning story of the Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction. The prize, now in its sixth year, was established to honor the memory of Liza Nelligan, a writer and editor who earned her ma from the English Department here at Colorado State University. This year, the prize was awarded to Angela Mitchell for her story “Animal Lovers,” selected by Robert Boswell, who says of the piece: “‘Animal Lovers’ surprises the reader at every turn. The lives of her quietly self-destructive characters seem to extend beyond the parameters of the story. They are controlled by forces beyond their ability to understand, but now and again they intuit their presence. The story permits the reader to think that it’s going to become predictable, but it turns away from the expected and takes the reader to a place that no one will anticipate. This is a much stranger story than it first appears and quite wonderful.”

Though it was entirely unintentional, one might assume we had a theme in mind for this issue, as all three stories touch on the decision to have—or not have—children: In Angela Mitchell’s “Animal Lovers,” a woman who doesn’t want children ends her marriage and pursues a new life; in Colette Sartor’s “Bandit,” a couple dealing with miscarriage struggles with trying again; and in Yelizaveta Renfro’s “A Catalogue of Everything in the World,” a young woman grapples with both the disorder in her life and an unplanned pregnancy. And in her awp Intro Journals Award–winning essay, “The Missing Pictures,” Sarah Fang explores her grandmother’s internment in a World War II Japanese-American camp while pregnant and single, and the resultant silences, gaps, and glossings-over.

We also have nonfiction from Lee Gutkind—a short, compelling piece on the peculiar nature of revenge and forgiveness—as well as a fantastic assemblage of poetry selected by Matthew Cooperman. Welcome to the fall issue!

Featured in This Issue

Hans Carl Artmann, Michael Burkard, Gillian Conoley, J. Braxton Cooper, David & Tricia Lincoln Doran, Mark Ducharme, Tim Earley, Sarah Fang, John Gallaher, Merrill Gilfillan, Lee Gutkind, H. L. Hix, Deborah Holler, Barbara Hundegger, Philip Jenks, Sally Keith, Angela Mitchell, Lisa Montanarelli, Simone Muench, Kimberly O’Connor, Alan Michael Parker, Yelizaveta P. Renfro, Martha Ronk, Colette Sartor, Barry Schwabsky, Jordan Stempleman, Chad Sweeney, Andrew Touhy, Rosmarie Waldrop, James Whiteside

Select Pieces from This Issue