New Issue of Border Crossing!

I’m excited to share the release of the latest issue of Border Crossing, the online journal I co-edit with Julie Brooks Barbour as part of our work with the Lake Superior State University creative writing program. As fiction editor, I’m especially eager to share the work of a Danish writer I discovered this year in translation:  Adda Djørup. The editorial board was blown away by Peter Sean Woltemade‘s English translation of her gorgeous, fabulist story “Hell’s Graces.” Djørup is the recipient of the EU Prize for Literature and a three-year working grant from the Danish Arts Foundation. The story originally appeared as “Helvedes gratier” in her 2015 story collection, Poesi og andre former for trods (Poetry and Other Forms of Spite). We are delighted to be able to present this deliciously strange story for the first time in English!

Another story you don’t want to miss in this issue is “Animals of the North” by the emerging environmental writer Christopher Ring! The Border Crossing editorial staff, last year, was moved by this story’s beautiful examination of the people and places of Baffin Island and of the colliding habitats of polar bears and grizzlies. In the interview featured alongside the story, Ring talks about his process for writing the story and his experience at Breadloaf Orion.

Years ago, when I was in graduate school at Louisiana State University, I read a gorgeous story in The Southern Review about a man who contracted malaria and fell in love with the woman in his fever dream. I loved it so much I wrote a paper exploring its surreal narration, its dreamy subjectivity. Imagine my surprise, five years ago, when we went to accept a dreamy story from the Border Crossing slush pile and realized it had been sent by none other than the author of “Malaria”: Mark Jacobs! “House of Flowers” is the third story of Mark’s we’ve had the honor of publishing. It’s a smooth, jazz-inspired riff about a man who moves into a dysfunctional boarding house in Syracuse.

The final story I want to share from the fall issue of Border Crossing, “Error_Code: 1072,” stood out to the editorial board, last year, for its vivid illustration of the anxieties of the Digital Age. J. Paul Ross has created both a literary fiction about a woman having brunch with her distracted family and a horror story about erasure…

 

New Issue of Border Crossing

I’m excited to share the release of the latest issue of Border Crossing, the online journal I co-edit with Jillena Rose and Julie Brooks Barbour as part of our work with the Lake Superior State University creative writing program. As fiction editor, I’m especially eager to share the work of the featured fiction writer this year, Saramanda Swigart, who writes the most fabulous–and feminist–historical fairy tales!  “The Earth Falls to the Apple” tells the story of a young, 16th century noblewoman who receives a strange mirror as a gift from a suitor.

In the interview that follows the story, Swigart explains how the premise came to her as she researched how mirror technology changed in the 16th century. “Suddenly,” she explains, “human beings could see themselves in great detail… I began to wonder if the relationship toward the self changed as a result—if ideas about being human changed—leading to, or contributing to, a greater emphasis on individualism.” What resulted is a startling combination of fairy tale, historical fiction, and horror.

Overall, this year, the fiction we’re publishing this year is phenomenal. There’s “The House on Pienza Road” by Robert McKean, in which a man has an affair with his real estate agent as he tries to sell his recently deceased father’s house. We were especially impressed with the voice of this story and the wonderful, no-nonsense character of Ortensia Costello, the realtor, who comes to life from the very first page.  There’s “The Walk Away” by Cass Pursell, about a sheriff who encounters an apparently homeless man in a cemetery, who ends up being something else entirely. Pursell’s story is alternately meditative–a thoughtful reflection on grief–and full of action, with a suspenseful ending. “Entanglement” by TJ Heffers is a sci-fi piece about a pair of scientists who are experimenting with a dangerous new mode of transportation. The story is simultaneously lyrical and thrilling, and its underlying allegory is thought-provoking. We also published a strange and wonderful experiment by Leanna O’Brien, “Not Born But Built,” the story of a synthetic consciousness written entirely in code. And there’s the beautifully written LSSU High School Short Story Prize-winning story, “Shadows of Auschwitz” by Anna Shier, an alternate history about a woman living in a postwar Germany very different from the one in our timeline.

This issue also includes a number of talented poets, selected by my colleague Julie Brooks Barbour. Sally Rosen Kindred, this year’s featured poet, offers five magical–and densely lyrical–poems about crows’ funerals and ravens and floods. Hope Wabuke‘s prose poems are innovative, musical, and moving, with their stark and abstract language. “Night Tales” by Leah Umansky imagines promises archived by birds. And the issue is visually enhanced, throughout, by Jude McConkey’s dreamlike photography. There is so much goodness, you’ll just have to read the issue for yourself!

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