Issue Number 29

Front Porch Journal
May 2015

Welcome to Issue 29! We’re delighted to present a host of dynamic voices from a variety of emerging and established authors in these pages. This issue in particular examines the dizzying questions many of us have about time’s effect on our relationships and lives: What choices am I making now that will determine my future? What will matter to me when I only have a little time left? Who have I been? Who am I now? Who will I become?

These themes are explored and expanded on throughout our newest edition of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In “Coda,” Ian Breen gracefully writes about a couple that has vacationed to Bora Bora to reflect on their busy past and uncertain future while Courtney Elizabeth Mark tracks the journey of a young woman surrounded by listless, emotionally distant men who makes a difficult decision to take charge of her future in her short story “Stratosphere.” Lisa Romeo’s youthful, tenderhearted essay about the surprising early death of an ex-boyfriend in “Your Boyfriend’s Back” and Aishwarya Jha-Mathur’s freewheeling account of the discontinuation of the Ambassador, a car introduced to India as the country was finding its identity after being freed from colonial rule, explore the significance of endings. While our essays turn their gaze on the past, this issue’s featured poetry examines the present for its endless possibilities. In “History of the Present,” Elizabeth Onusko writes, “What says the most about me / is not what I believe in, but what I want to: / the blue glass bottle on the windowsill / neither wills its fall nor stops it.” After perusing fresh poems by Susanna Lang, Jennifer Gravley, Ruth Foley, and A. Anupama, check out our interviews with Elisa Albert, Kelly Luce, and Nina McConigley.

You can also find staff reviews of Michelle Detorie’s After-Cave, Caren Beilin’s The University of Pennsylvania, Clare Louise Harmon’s The Thingbody, Lance Olsen’s How to Unfeel the Dead, Eduardo Sacheri’s Papers in the Wind, and Luis Omar Salinas’s Messenger to the Stars at the end of the issue next to our featured videos of readings and craft talks by Heather Christle, Phillip Lopate, and Ben Fountain.

We’re pleased to announce that Front Porch will be updating the website for a more modern streamlined reading experience. You can preview the fresh look for Issue 29 by clicking on the following link. The new version of the full website with our extensive text and video archives will appear in time for the next issue to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

—Jane Hawley and Reyes Ramirez, Managing Editors

Preview Issue 29 and Front Porch’s new look


Ian Breen - Coda
Courtney Elizabeth Mauk - Stratosphere


A. Anupama - Ljubljanica; Shadow Anti-Shadow
Ruth Foley - Tenets; Supplication; Postcards
Jennifer Gravley - Unseasonable Warmth; Beginning Acrylics
Susanna Lang - Blank
Elizabeth Onusko - History of the Present; The Patient


Aishwarya Jha-Mathur - The Last Maharajah
Lisa Romeo - Your Boyfriend's Back
Steve Durham - For the Phoenix to Rise the Bird Must Burn


Grab at Your Humanity: An Interview with Elisa Albert
All Over the Map: An Interview with Kelly Luce
Always A Kind of Mystery: An Interview with Nina McConigley
Critical Instruction: An Interview with Meagan Cass

Book Reviews

After-Cave by Michelle Detorie, Reviewed by Lauren Bull
How to Unfeel the Dead: New and Selected Fictions by Lance Olsen, Reviewed by Katrina Goudey
The University of Pennsylvania by Caren Beilin, Reviewed by Rachel Gray
The Thingbody by Clare Louise Harmon, Reviewed by Zach Groesbeck
Papers in the Wind by Eduardo Sacheri, trans. Mara Faye Lethem, Reviewed by Graham Oliver
Messenger to the Stars: A Luis Omar Salinas New Selected Poems & Reader by Luis Omar Salinas, Edited by Christopher Buckley and Jon Veinberg, Reviewed by Reyes Ramirez


One of the major perks of pursuing an MFA at Texas State University in San Marcos is our continuing reading series featuring premiere poets, writers, and critics of the English language, owing in no small part to the Texas State English Department, The Lindsey Reading Series, and The Burdine Johnson Foundation. Below is just a sample of some of the readings, talks, and Q&As delivered by the wonderful guests who have recently visited us at the Wittliff Collections in the Alkek Library at Texas State University, and the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center in Kyle, Texas. We hope you enjoy them. For more videos and sound recordings, please visit the Front Porch Audio/Video Archives.

Heather Christle Reading from Front Porch on Vimeo.

Heather Christle Reading and Q&A at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Ben Fountain from Front Porch on Vimeo.

Ben Fountain reads his work and answers questions at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Phillip Lopate from Front Porch on Vimeo.

Phillip Lopate reads his work at the Katherine Anne Porter House in Kyle, TX.


Executive Editor
Tom Grimes

Managing Editor
Jane Hawley

Co-Managing Editor
Reyes Ramirez

Poetry Editor
Jennifer Whalen

Fiction Editor
Stan Rivkin

Nonfiction Editor
Heather Lefebvre

Eric Blankenburg

Copy Editor
Sessa Kratz

Interviews Editor
Amanda Scott

Public Relations Manager
Samantha Tanner

Book Reviews Editor
Mallory Chesser

Blog Editor
Josh Lopez

Assistant Blog Editor
Alicia Salzmann

Sarah Howze
Dan Barton
Niko Kyriakou
Theresa Holden
Brandon Ricks
Casey Winters
Rachel Gray
Lawton Cook
Lauren Bull
Benjamin Seanor
James Deitz
Timothy Dailey
Maggie Ilersich
Stuart Gill
Katrina Goudey
Dorothy Lawrenson
Ram Hinojosa
Meg Griffitts
Jacob Massey
Paul Adams
Allison Myers
Phillip Mandel
John Edgar
Michaela Hansen
Shelby Newsom
Ashton Kamburoff
Graham Oliver

Faculty Advisor
Steve Wilson

Founding Editors
Michael Hart
Evelyn Lauer
Josh Magnuson
Toby Peterson
Michael Wolfe

Advisory Board
Katie Angermeier
Ben Engel
Evelyn Lauer
Herpreet Singh


logo for the CLMP

All photos were taken at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, by Sameera Kapila and Herpreet Singh.

Website design by Sameera Kapila