Tag Archives: literary magazine

Vintage DB 84: Harriet Levin’s “Flesh” and “Jacket,” DB 17

As a somewhat unusual twist this week, our 84th vintage selection is not one, but two works by the same author. Harriet Levin’s very poetic prose and poetry fit perfectly together, almost as though looking at the same scene from two different camera angles. “Flesh” and “Jacket” are pieces that first appeared in DB 17, Summer 2013– go check them out and you’ll see why!

“Rue pulls her hair back into a ponytail to gather each loose strand. She walks over to the couch, around it to the back and pokes her elbows through the threadbare upholstery and cups her chin in her hands.”
– “Flesh”

“The cold air in the unheated studio
made me shiver.  The jacket lay slung

over the arms of his mechanical chair.
Rue watched me reach for it. “
– “Jacket”

Harriet Levin is the author of two books of poetry: Girl in Cap and Gown (Mammoth Books, 2010), which was a National Poetry Series finalist, and The Christmas Show (Beacon Press, 1997), which was chosen by Eavan Boland for the Barnard New Women Poets Prize. She is also coeditor of Creativity and Writing Pedagogy: Linking Creative Writers, Researchers and Teachers (Equinox Books, 2014). Levin’s honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Catagnola Award, the Ellen La Forge Memorial Poetry Prize, the Pablo Neruda Prize, a PEW Fellowship in the Arts Discipline Award, and fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. She is married to Rick Millan and lives in Philadelphia where she teaches and directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing at Drexel University. To learn more about Levin, check out her page on Drexel’s website.

Click here to read both “Flesh” and “Jacket”

Vintage DB 83: Derek Mong’s “Melancholia,” DB 22

*If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the long-awaited 23rd issue of Drunken Boat!*

In addition to that, this vintage DB post is to remind you that there is always something unique and inspiring to be found in the issues we’ve published previously, as well as our current issue. One brilliant demonstration of this is Derek Mong’s “Melancholia (after Jacob Balde),” published not quite a year ago in DB 22, Summer 2015. This poem has a way of transcending simple translation, while at the same time honoring the sentiment of the work to which it owes its existence. Be sure to read the translator’s note to fully appreciate how Neo-Latin poet Jacob Balde helped inspire and shape this piece.

“Dear Germany—
somewhere a cartographer spilled his inkwell.
It’s been ten years
                                 since your darkness crept up
and held me.
My jailer hands me one candle a week.”

Derek Mong is the author of two collections from Saturnalia Books, Other Romes (2011) and The Identity Thief (forthcoming, 2018); the poetry editor at Mantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism, & Translation; and a blogger at KROnline. He recently completed a Ph.D. at Stanford University, writing on marriage in the lives and afterlives of Whitman and Dickinson. A former Axton Fellow at the University of Louisville and Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, he lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and son. He has received the Editors’ Choice Prize from the Missouri Review and two Hopwood Awards. New poetry, criticism, and translations have appeared (or will soon appear) in the Kenyon Review, Printer’s Devil Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Gettysburg Review. Find him online at www.derekmong.com

Jacob Balde (1604 – 1668) was a premiere Baroque poet writing in Latin. His desire to become a Jesuit can be traced back to a night when, while serenading a woman from beneath her window, he overheard the psalms sung in a nearby chapel. He first studied law at the University of Ingolstadt. In 1628 he was ordained. The court chaplain for the Bavarian Elector Maximilian I, he lived much of his life in Munich, cut off from his native Alsace by the Thirty Years War. He was best known for his odes and epodes. He died in Neuberg on the Danube.

Click here or the image above to enjoy “Melancholia”

Vintage DB 80: Ricco Villanueva Siasoco’s “The Foley Artist,” DB 4

From one of our first issues comes this week’s vintage selection, Ricco Villanueva Siasoco’s “The Foley Artist.” This compelling short story focuses on Berong, a disgruntled old man who has spent his life imagining how it could be made as emotional and evocative as the movies, without really stopping to feel it. Take a moment this week to stop and enjoy DB 4’s “The Foley Artist,” and you’ll be glad you did.

“Berong lived in a two-bedroom apartment above a retail store that sold pornography in West Hollywood. Because he had spent his life adding sound effects to motion pictures – cushioned footfalls on parquet floors, any number of seagulls and crashing waves on boardwalks, the turbulent construction noises and traffic of a midtown avenue in Manhattan – he cared little for the winsome tones of the human voice. Dialogue would never hold as much resonance as, say, five carefully-placed elevator pings.”

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is currently an instructor at Columbia University’s Teachers College. He has published fiction in The North American Review, Post Road Magazine, and the anthologies Screaming Monkeys (Coffeehouse Press, 2004) and Take Out (Asian Am. Writers’ Workshop, 2001). He received his MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and teaches creative writing at Boston College. He is completing his first novel. For more about this writer, you can read his spotlight on naspa.org.

Click here to read “The Foley Artist”

Vintage DB 79: Michael Kontopoulos’ “Water Rites,” DB 16


Today, enjoy one of DB’s more unusual contributions in the form of Michael Kontopoulos’ artwork, and accompanying essay, entitled “Water Rites.” “Water Rites” was selected as this week’s vintage pick from our 2012 issue, DB 16, where it originally appeared as part of a special “Speculative” folio about the current state of the world and humanity. For the full experience, be sure to watch the video above, as well as read Kontopoulos’ thought-provoking essay that thins the borders between science fiction and reality.

“Consider the hydrology of our planet: Earth boasts 1.34 billion cubic kilometers of water. 96% of that water is salty and undrinkable. 70% of the remaining fresh water is frozen in ice-caps. Most of the remainder is only available as moisture or is hidden in aquifers too deep for humans to reach. Ultimately, less than 1% of the water on Earth is potable and available for human use.”

Michael Kontopolous is a Boston-based designer, artist and researcher with ten years of experience in art, communication and data-driven design. He has exhibited solo and collaborative projects in galleries, festivals and conferences in the U.S., Asia and Europe, including the Santa Monica GLOW Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the TED conference, and LACE Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. He was also the winner of a 2010 Rhizome Commission for Emerging Artists, sponsored by the New Museum of New York. For his full bio and to check out more of his work, you can visit his website at mkontopoulos.com

Click here to read the “Water Rites” essay and above to view the video

Vintage DB 77: Brandon Lingle’s “The Boneyard,” DB 11

the boneyard

Check out this week’s vintage DB: Air Force Major Brandon Lingle’s aptly titled “The Boneyard” is a series of photographs you don’t want to miss. Back in January 2010, Brandon’s haunting black and white photography of the hollow shells of abandoned aircraft made the cut for our 11th issue, and today is featured on our blog as a beautiful example of the kind of work that makes Drunken Boat the amazing and diverse  publication that it is.

Brandon Lingle’s writing and photography appears in The New York Times, Guernica, TIME, The North American Review, The Atlantic, Narrative, The Rumpus, Zone 3, Southeast Review, Epiphany,  Evergreen Review, and others. His essays are notables in The Best American Essays 2010, 2013, and 2015. He taught in the U.S. Air Force Academy’s English Department and serves as Art Director and Nonfiction Editor of War, Literature & the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities. He’s currently studying nonfiction in Sierra Nevada College’s MFA program. If you’d like to learn more about Lingle, you can visit his website.

Click here or the photo above to view “The Boneyard”

Vintage DB 75: Julia LaSalle’s “The Squirrel Cage,” DB 9

This week’s vintage feature: a realistic fiction piece by one of DB’s Panliterary Awards finalists, Julia LaSalle, that’s a true-to-life telling of a story many will find familiar. “The Squirrel Cage” is a heartfelt rendering of what happens when friendship and love get muddled together– and torn apart. This piece was selected for the special edition of Drunken Boat, No. 9, Winter 2008, comprised of all the finalists in our Panliterary Awards Competition.

“At the ATM, the wind was everywhere in my hair and I tried to rush. I didn’t take off my gloves and hit the button for Spanish. I tried to wing it but failed. I never learned any Spanish.

I hit Cancel. Cancel. Cancel as big white snowflakes started to blow and then I wiped those snowflakes from my eyelashes; sniffled as they melted on my nose. Got a hundred bucks. Wondered ‘Is that enough money to meet the love of your life with?’ I didn’t know.”

Julia LaSalle’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in the following: Monkeybicycle, Drunken Boat, Bound Off, and Mississippi Review. She has been honored by Glimmer Train as a finalist in the selection of the Best Stories from New Writers and has had stories selected for anthologies by traditional publishers, including Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House. Find her on Twitter @julialct1

Click here or the photo above to enjoy “The Squirrel Cage”

Vintage DB 74: Alberta Turner’s “The Truth,” DB 2

Laura-Williams’-Creative-Invisible Reflection-Photo-Session-2

This week we revisit a poem from the second issue of Drunken Boat, published a full decade and a half ago in 2001. Alberta Turner’s “The Truth” is a short and mysterious bit of free verse relying on carefully phrased imagery to express a disassociation with one’s inner and outer self. This poem eloquently reminds us that reflections can be deceiving.

“I’ve never seen my face. I sneak
up to mirrors, but the eyes that stare back
are cruel eyes and scared half shut.”

Alberta Turner was a poet, professor, mentor, writer, editor, and co-founder of Field (a  journal of contemporary poetry and politics), as well as the director of the Poetry Center at Cleveland State University, where she worked for nearly 30 years. She was the recipient of the 1985 Cleveland Arts Prize and the author of eight books of poetry, plus two books on her craft: To Make a Poem and 50 Contemporary Poets: The Creative Process. Her last book of poems, Tomorrow Is a Tight Fist, was published in 2001 when she was 81. Alberta Turner died in 2003 at her home in Oberlin. To read more about her life, you can view her page on clevelandartsprize.org.

Click here or the photo above to enjoy “The Truth”