Scoundrel Time

Invisible Theater

  Not long after the Loma Prieta earthquake, our collective decided to stage an Invisible Theater performance in the atrium restaurant of a grand hotel in San Francisco’s Financial District. When Eva and...

Searching for Safety and Home: My Family’s Story of Migration

It is 1931. I picture my grandmother, Annie, standing on a wharf in Santiago de Cuba awaiting a ship. I see her with a hand beneath her pronounced belly. Her two older daughters, Inez and Pearlena; two young...

Two Poems By Tony Hoagland

DINNER GUEST The dinner guest goes upstairs to use the ladies room, and after she has washed her hands, just out of curiosity takes a peek in the medicine cabinet- where among the Nyquil and Ativan and dental...

One Year In: How Will It End?

  Special to Scoundrel Time: Twenty-two writers imagine how the current administration will end.   A Note From the Editor One year ago today, we launched Scoundrel Time in response to the devastating...


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Scoundrel Time, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization. We welcome your tax-deductible donation.

We are grateful for the support of all our donors, including The Amazon Literary Partnership (ALP).

The ALP supports nonprofit literary organizations that empower writers to tell their stories; supported organizations include writing centers, residencies, fellowships, literary magazines, and small publishers.

The Amazon Literary Partnership is a trademark of, Inc., or its affiliates.

News & Announcements

Joan Silber’s novel, Improvement, has won the NBCC Award in Fiction. Her story “Unspeakable” appears in our How It Ends series.

Joshua Weiner’s Trumpoems, two of which appear in Scoundrel Time, are now collected in a free virtual chapbook at the Dispatches site: Everything I Do I Do Good – TrumPoems, by Joshua Weiner

Winners, Scoundrel Time’s first annual Editors’ Choice Awards, selected from among the outstanding works we published in 2017:

Fiction: Maria Saba, “My First Friend”
Poetry: Elly Bookman, “Plasticity”
Creative Nonfiction: Regan Good, “The Double Punch: Trumpian Violence vs NYPD Patriarchy”

Our fiction editor, Karen Bender, has a new story collection, THE NEW ORDER, coming from Counterpoint Press in November 2018.

Our poetry editor, Daisy Fried, was interviewed by 24 Pearl Street. She says nice things about us.

We’re thrilled and grateful to Entropy Magazine for selecting Peter Trachtenberg’s essay, “I Lift My Lamp,” for their terrific “Best of 2017” list.

Contributor Hillary Jordan’s novel Mudbound has been made into a film that premiered at Sundance and is now available on Netflix. The film has been nominated for 4 Academy awards in 2018, including best adapted screenplay. Jordan’s ekphrastic poem, “Flamboyan,” appears in Scoundrel Time.

We are excited to announce Scoundrel Time’s first-ever Pushcart Prize nominees. The following works and authors are nominated by our editors:

Maria Saba, “My First Friend”
Matthew Olzmann, “The Blanket Room”

Gabrielle Brant Freeman, “Girltrap”
Amanda Newell, “thousands of spirit limbs [were] haunting as many good soldiers, every now and then tormenting them”

Timothy Denevi, “The Future Is a Ceiling of Impossible Water”
Raqi Syed, “My Mother’s Pilgrimage”

In addition, we’re excited to share that the following works appearing in our journal have been nominated by Pushcart Prize contributing editors:

Peter Trachtenberg, “I Lift My Lamp”
Dana Sachs, Factory Men: Migrants in Patras, Greece

Carolyn Ferrell, “How the World Really Feels About You”
Tracy O’Neill, “Shuffle Off”
Karen Brennan, “Requiem”
Karen E Bender, “Describe Hope: Assignment Given to Undergraduate Creative Writing Class on November 9, 2016”
David Ulin, “Any Humans Here?”

We are proud of the work that we’ve featured in our first year. Thank you for reading!

Alyssa Quart’s poem, “Comey: Cut-Up,” has been reprinted in The Nation. The poem is made of fragments from James Comey’s testimony before Congress.

Rachel Ann Brickner’s dispatch, “Another Year Older and Deeper in Debt,” will be reprinted in a new edition of the anthology, Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class, forthcoming from Seal Press.

Elizabeth Rosner has a new book out: Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory. Her essay, “Before and After,” appeared in Scoundrel Time in July.

Scoundrel Time editor is interviewed for Bethesda Magazine: Searching for Truth: Bethesda writer Paula Whyman heads a new journal intertwining art and politics” by Janelle Harris, Sept/Oct 2017

Scoundrel Time is featured in “Writers, Editors Resist,” by Sarah Seltzer in Poets & Writers Magazine, May/June 2017


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“In the increasingly convincing darkness / The words become palpable…" —John Ashbery

“Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage to save the world.” —Grace Paley


Two Poems by Martha Zweig

Beauty Sleep  Kwitcher bitchin, dad snorted. Shut yer yap up. I hated the salt stinging my cheeks, it curdled my sass. Little blue gas flames itched in the kitchen. A pudding seethed, the better to set. Pulpy crushed gripes folded in. Bard: the...

You Don’t Know Until You Test It

  If a Cheerio rolls under the refrigerator, I think I’d stick my hand under to get it out. It’s scary what’s under a fridge, believe me. And I’m human. But I wouldn’t hesitate. I see it all the time from my sky box at Yankee Stadium. A foul...

Gwine Dig a Hole (A Blues Opera): Scene I

  GWINE DIG A HOLE is dedicated to the life, memory, family, and friends of Philando Castile. I have no eloquent, clever statement to make in the dedication. The libretto says what I think. -Ozzie Jones __________ Characters Old Man Old Woman...

Thoughts & Prayers

  This poem is composed of the public language around mourning over school shootings, all of it verbatim from political leaders or shopping and news sites.   Hashtag PrayFor   Thoughts and   No child, teacher; there’s just no other...


Hi friend. The Arcadia Machine and Tool .22 fired into your left temporal lobe and now lies buried in your parent’s yard next to the yellow poppies. Strange what we bury in language. The root of temporal is tempus meaning time, or temporalis meaning...


(1) The street between the subway station and the church is narrow, cars beaded along both sides like rosaries God in His hurry to the rain’s press conference had forgotten on top of the sock drawer. Sidewalks like teeth crammed into too-small gums...

A Safe Trip to Your Final Destination

We have stowed our carrion items, as instructed, in the overhead compartments. The roadkill squirrels stacked nicely, not so the feral goat, souvenir of a mountain holiday. In the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure, we will activate our own...

Portfolio: Poems by Fady Joudah

Declaration of Independence I am the one I think you are. Could it be that when the body ended, history started and when the body persevered it was rediscovered? I am the one you think I am. In a show of hands the captain asks for a Cave of Hands...

Six Questions for Fady Joudah

Interview by Christine Mallon Scoundrel Time: Can you talk about how or why poetry has stayed with you throughout your time as a physician? Is the practice of each tied to the other?  Could you also talk about being an Arab-American poet in America...

How It Ends: After Trump

Come and see. A red-haired woman dances barefoot on the asphalt on one side of the street. An elderly man with a cane tries to keep up with her and bursts into laughter as he almost loses his balance. Two olive-skinned young men make music with...

How It Ends: Last Words

The presidential bedroom is covered in gold leaf and glimmers dimly in the predawn darkness. The President is in bed. He reaches out of the golden comforter for the remote. On the giant screen, a man sits beside a woman at a translucent desk. The...

How It Ends: The Donald’s Going

The Donald’s Going (With apologies to W.B. Yeats) Rooting and rooting in the White House drain The plumber cannot hear the moving men; Things go in boxes; the hairspray takes up four; Marine One has lifted from the lawn, The orange-tinged...

How It Ends: The House

The sponge on the counter reeks faintly and the kitty-cat clock is stuck at 10:05, such a non-time, morning or night, it doesn’t matter. The whole house is like a bad belly, swollen with gross nostalgia: the old-timey radio, the Formica table, the...

How It Ends: Wonderland/Wasteland

I was raised by a father who self-described as a “realistic optimist” and a mother who oscillated between bracing for the apocalypse and buying outfits for the award ceremony. So it’s no surprise that my own predictive tendencies are tangled up in...

How It Ends: Downward Muslimah

When they came for me, I wasn’t expecting it. Every day since the election, I’ve felt just a little less safe, but I never thought they’d actually round us up. Even after the ban, I still had hope. I’m an American citizen, an attorney who knows what...

How It Ends: Unspeakable

I told Ina I would never speak to her again. We had been friends of a sort since our twenties—hung out in the same bars, showed up at feminist rallies and marches together—but she was increasingly one of those politicos who find fuel for neurotic...

How It Ends: April Fools

On April 1, 1988, my college newspaper published an April Fools article about Donald Trump buying Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center and proclaiming himself its president. It was the last semester of my freshman year and by that point...