Scoundrel Time

(Favor) in His Sight

(Homewood Cemetery) Before I moved to Pittsburgh seven years ago a friend sent me a recording of a comic Yiddish patter song from the 1920s or ’30s. It was like one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s rapid...

kayfabe

who will prosecute the wind’s unconstitutional surveillance of skin? hands up if they told you snowflakes speak for diversity. * I held my breath like a basketball passing through the projects to pan-am plaza...

An Interview with Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Scoundrel Time’s Elisabeth Booze talks to Chaya Bhuvaneswar about her work Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s debut short story collection White Dancing Elephants was praised by Laura Van Den Berg as “powerfully intelligent...

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Thank you for helping to keep the scoundrels at bay. We are a volunteer-run publication, and your generous support keeps us going. Scoundrel Time is a 501(c)(3) organization, and your donation is tax-deductible.


News & Announcements

Robert Anthony Siegel’s new memoir, Criminals: My Family’s Life on Both Sides of the Law, is now out from Counterpoint Press. Booklist calls it “an engrossing, highly readable memoir.” Siegel is a Contributing Editor for Scoundrel Time.

Alissa Quart’s new book Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America, about the struggling middle class, is out now. In a starred review, Kirkus calls it “thoughtful and compassionate.” Quart has written poems for Scoundrel Time, including “Thoughts & Prayers” and “Comey: Cut-Up.”

Reginald Dwayne Betts has been named a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry. His poems, “Secrets,” “Mural for the Heart,” and “For a Bail Denied,” appeared recently in Scoundrel Time and will be included in his collection Felon: A Misspelling of My Name, forthcoming from Norton.

Joan Silber’s novel, Improvement, has won the Pen/Faulkner Award in Fiction and 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:

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

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

Essay/Dispatch:
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:

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

Fiction:
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!

Alissa 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

 

Contributors

“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

Prayer

There ought to be a prayer for the little exhaustion of light where bullets worm clear through the apples clinging to limbs. There ought to be a prayer for the flesh they pass through, the space left, bits blown into grass, that they resemble teeth...

First Gods

They had the number, Lalita divined. Now, sitting with her father and mother at the restaurant, looking at her father’s face, its flat surface smugly composed for once, instead of explosive with rage, Lalita was sure of it. Her parents, having never...

Transept

Unlike me, she made a choice, chose Indian over Chinese, because she felt she looked more Indian than Chinese. It “takes strength” to choose. At age five, while playing near her feet, my grandmother knitted sweaters for me because she was always...

Genesis

Then Adam, to reluctant Eve  Said, come, my love, it’s time to leave This wilderness, why grudge and grieve?— We’ll name the creatures as they pass— White oryx, bonobo, wild ass, The dodo, lynx, rhinoceros. Eve hushed her pair of squabbling...

Alien Language

Day in, day out, I go over my vowels, my back-to-back consonants, my stress and intonation. I am at the mercy of an alien language. I hide under it pieces of a previous life: the memory of a first kiss in Tehran; Mom’s chador being my childhood...

words made flesh

I am reading about a 400-year-old document found in a gap in the buttocks of a statue of Jesus in the Cathedral of Burgos when restorers removed a piece of fabric used to cover Christ’s behind when K. says she is perplexed by her extreme repulsion...

Thirty years pass and

Again I dream I’m stuck in a room with my rape—my rapist is long gone and it’s just me and the rape now. I could say that the rape was a beast with red eyes breathing smoke and fire at me But, no, it’s just a tired looking thing (a big one) piled up...

My Mother’s Alzheimer’s Test

He said: Who is the president? And she said: George. Did she get partial credit for that? Maybe three points for the trio of Georges, or just one for the George who invaded Iraq. She couldn’t count backward from one hundred in sevens. Can you? If...

Allegiance

By the time I made it to the school bus, there was one seat left, the one next to Candy. I scanned each row again until Freddy the bus driver, pink and patchy face fuzz, yelled “Take a seat!” Then, a little lower, “Next time you better hustle, girl...

Kin

When you have to kill every motherfucker in the room accept no substitute is what he says as he shows off his 26 guns, which don’t include the one near the rack of ribs on the kitchen table, or the one making company with dust left in a gap between...

Catch and Release

A lonely trout swam in circles among the pebbles in the shallows of the lake, murmuring about fillets. She knew it was unhealthy and pointless to dwell on morbid fantasy. Yet she could not forget. Her nightmare recurred. True, it was a happy fact...

Let us draw near

“No day shall erase you from the memory of time,” Virgil, The Aeneid, National September 11 Memorial Museum Ten days after 9/11 my father’s heart exploded, his life collapsing in a matter of moments. We could not find each other in our own familiar...

Two Poems by Aaron Smith

The Trump Years The fireflies are lit and the field makes a Rothko with the sky. The stray cats eat food my mother left—the sound of their bites like someone unwrapping a package. The gray one sneaks up behind me, runs when I try to touch its head...

2018: A Counter-Factual

Hillary Clinton limps into her second year in office badly battered and in poor humor. She has lately refused to hold press conferences, or even speak off-the-record as she had done regularly in the early days of her presidency. That openness fell...

The Ashen Light

It was July and James, my husband of four months, and I had just driven straight through from Oregon to Chicago. I had lined up a second-year summer internship at a cat hospital in Chicago so that when I graduated from Oregon State’s veterinary...

Sphinx

A sugar sphinx is lying on her stomach the balls of her knees pressed hard into the ground palms of feet kissing like this so everyone can see everything so you won’t try to look away so you can add her to the collection so you can memorize the pull...

A Cloud Like a Person Standing Upside Down

This story was inspired by a Chinese news report. For decades, the town on the Yangtze River in southern China had been known for its two kinds of clouds. There were the black clouds billowing out of five big chimneys of a cement factory on the...