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...


Thank you for helping artists keep the scoundrels at bay.

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

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


Welcome to My Highway

It was her last day, the last hours she’d spend a full night in that box. The gel on her chapped hands, the roar of traffic from the E-ZPass lanes. Was she ever really here? In a matter of time even the memory of the tollbooth would lose the smell...

Square Fictions

Around the time of the election, I started writing mostly square fictions about the president-elect. It began with one a day, then went to two, then three, then more. They were short because he has (we are told by many who know him) a small...

Shuffle Off

There was a time where I was breaking a lot of things I’d fixed, which is to say I was wasting second chances. I smoked myself right out of a position when the regional manager caught me puffing in the stockroom. Then when I found a job at a...

We Need a New Story

A few years ago, a writer friend gave me a bracelet that had a charm on it that said “stories save our souls.” I loved that phrase so much that I began to use it—and a variation (“stories save our lives”) when I signed books. I knew it was true...

I Lift My Lamp

  From the Oxford English Dictionary, digital edition. Asylum. < Latin asȳlum, < Greek ἄσῡλον refuge, sanctuary, neuter of adjective ἄσῡλος inviolable. 1. A sanctuary or inviolable place of refuge and protection for criminals and debtors...

Still Life w/ Gay Lil’ Patriots

yu so fun so danger so smoke so ready 2 deady [next stop: F I R E W O R K S spend $ & get &z off] we bubble buy blame bead up the sky w blood [the libertree thirsty & i wonder what this b 2 me] as yr local majikal hapahaole mite say a...

Murillo’s Saint Catherine, c. 1650

–Hospital de los Venerables, Sevilla She stares with a bearing – experience having brought her soul this far – and lifts a frond, one kind of sword, in one hand, effortless. In the other, clutched to her, the silver plated sword of her own...


The woman on the waste site tour bus wore the kind of bonnet my grandmother kept in her purse for emergencies. She squared her shoulders in front of us, the plastic kerchief knotted to her head and not a cloud in the sky. Our guide in charge of...

Congrats! The Revolution Is Now

buff buffe / buffer buff/reibu / buffrebufffring / & fervently awaitin ya pass       code o, word      ? we wonder how we will in2       existence: amazonial primal access & 1070p rejection      o’ taxes science will save ya ass / a seat...

Calm-Downers, Resisters, and Bags by the Door

“Jesus, what are we going to do now?” Out of the mouths of babes, or one babe in particular, comes the question du jour, and possibly du mois and de l’année, too. A day after the recent presidential election, what some grieving voters call...

The President Rewrites Classic Proverbs

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words really piss me off. Fuck you, Alec Baldwin. The tweet is mightier than the sword. Two’s company, three’s a crowd. Four is just Ivanka casually sitting in on this meeting. Don’t worry about...

How the World Really Feels About You

Extremely talented, good-looking, intelligent. You were light on your feet, unafraid to kiss a lady’s hand if she looked like she needed it, the picture of judiciousness and reserve. You would never choose our brothers over us, nor would you ever...

Report a Problem With This Poem

—as noted on the Poetry Foundation website This poem isn’t meant for you or for anyone, really— hairpin scratches in wet clay, hardly cuneiform, whatever came to mind then left as quickly. Resistant, like a child whose fist clamps around a...

My Sister and I Are Having the Same Dream

Long after nights of arm-tickling across the chasm between our twin beds, after all the shared illnesses of childhood—spiking fevers doused in crystalline alcohol, such pungent, icy baptisms, after the honeyed scabs of measles and of falls, years of...


My Midwest is two old women: The first, a neighbor, who watched the delivery man lug the huge spring water jug, slung on his back like firewood, to my door. Bulbous glass, as slippery as our icy back steps, but foreign, exotic to her, with a name...