Scoundrel Time

Three Poems by Joy Arbor

The Poet’s Wife Bil’in Village, West Bank Abu Rani recites a poem, an allegory of figs and leaves he composed on the spot when he couldn’t find the poem we came for. He’s the poet of the village, and we...

The Body of Language: An Interview with Jessie van Eerden

In October 1990, three women leave a small town in West Virginia in an Oldsmobile Royale, headed for New Mexico. They bring with them some oxygen tanks, overnight bags, and a dog that does not belong to them...

In the House of Blind Swordsmen

Copper foil, screens, and flashing all work as the best way to eradicate slugs. As yet, no progress, and yet, orations from the flowers of state, a paean to the healing powers of purple blossoms, the endless...

Anna,

Here’s Schubert at 17, short and thick, nickname Schwämmerl, “little mushroom,” deep in his cups at the Hunter’s Horn, a dingy beer hall in Vienna, with the after-opera crowd, poetasters and brainy pundits...

Subscribe to Scoundrel Time

Please sign up for updates here.

Donate

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

We’re excited to announce our 4th annual Editors’ Choice Awards, just in time for our 4th anniversary. Each year, the editors of Scoundrel Time choose a favorite work that we published in the past year in each of three genres, poetry, fiction, and essay. This year, each winner receives $125.

This year’s winners are:

Michelle Acker’s “Aesopica (2019)” (poetry)
Ken Massey’s “Behind the Red Railing: My Childhood Isolation” (essay)
Chika Onyenezi’s “Twenty Thousand Cedis” (fiction)

Scoundrel Time journal congratulates the following winners of our special award for pandemic art, Art Against Isolation. These 7 powerful works appeared in our series, “Scenes from the Pandemic.” Each winning artist receives $100.

 

Virginia Beards, “April 7, 2020” (poem)

Lori Barrett, “The View From Inside” (essay)

Robbie Gamble, “Barriers” (essay)

Nene Humphrey, “Pandemic Sound Scrolls” (visual art)

Timothy Liu, “Four Poems” (poems)

Azarin Sadegh, “The Lizard” (fiction)

Eleanor Windman, “Coping on the Upper West Side” (fiction)

 

Scoundrel Time is thrilled to announce our nominees for the 2021 Pushcart Prize:

Poetry:
Shane McCrae’s “Some Heavens are All Silence

Michelle Acker’s “Aesopica (2019)”

Fiction:
The Day Bahlul Died by Evan J. Massey

Coping on the Upper West Side by Eleanor Windman

Essay:
“Behind the Red Railing: My Childhood Isolation” by Ken Massey

Roxana Robinson’s “Trump and the Criminal Culture”

 

And, we are proud to announce that these works published in Scoundrel Time have been nominated by Pushcart contributing editors:

Fiction:
A Standing Offer by Robert Herbst

Twenty Thousand Cedis by Chika Onyenezi

Strange Times by Faith Okifo

Dream Girl by Megan Howell

 

Essay:
“The Route to Solitude: On Facing the Coronavirus in South Korea” by Josalyn Knapic

 

 

Here are the winners of Scoundrel Time’s third annual Editors’ Choice Awards. The prizes are awarded every January for work published in the previous year:

Fiction: “Chiarascuro” by Jordan Dotson
Poetry: “The Kabul Olympics” by John McAuliffe
Creative Nonfiction: “Outside King Soopers” by Elizabeth Robinson

 

We are honored to announce that Scoundrel Time has been awarded a 2019 grant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Small Presses (CLMP). CLMP awarded 15 grants to support literary journals through its newly established Literary Magazine Fund. The Literary Magazine Fund was created with an award to CLMP from the Amazon Literary Partnership (ALP). CLMP Executive Director Mary Gannon says, “Often the first places writers find their readers, these publications are essential to the publishing ecosystem, providing fertile ground for diverse voices to thrive.”

 

Fiction Editor Karen Bender was a keynote speaker at UCD Clinton Institute conference in Dublin in December 2019, Alternative Realities: New Challenges for American Literature in the Age of Trump. Bender was in conversation with Aleksander Hemon and Chris Beckett on “What to Read (and Write) in the Age of Trump.” Her talk featured several works that first appeared in Scoundrel Time. http://ucdclinton.ie/1531-2/

 

We are excited to announce Scoundrel Time’s 2019 Pushcart Prize nominees:

Fiction:
“Chiaraschuro” by Jordan Dotson
“A Dinner” by Meiko Ko

Poetry:
[I wish I still smoked so that I could sit outside in the dark] by Diane Seuss
“Rest Stop Ghazal” by Dane Slutzky

Essay:
“Where Is La Brecha Treinta? Racing Against Death in the South Texas Borderlands” by Caroline Tracey
“Scrap and Pig: A Foundry Hand’s Education in Heat and Light” by David L. Engelhardt

 

We are excited to announce the works published in Scoundrel Time that have been nominated by Pushcart contributing editors:

Fiction:
Bananas for Sale” by Olga Zilberbourg
A Man at the End of the Hallway” by Ksenia Lakovic and

Poetry:
Corona and Confession” by Ellen McGrath Smith.

 

Here are the winners of Scoundrel Time’s second annual Editors’ Choice Awards, selected from among the outstanding works we published in 2018:

Fiction: “Allegiance” by Lorraine Rice
Poetry: “Hold” by Sally Ball
Creative Nonfiction: “Born & Raised: Learning to Leave Steel Country” by David L. Engelhardt

 

We are excited to announce Scoundrel Time’s 2018 Pushcart Prize nominees:

Fiction
“Allegiance” by Lorraine Rice
“A Cloud Like a Person Standing Upside Down” by Qian Zhang

Poetry
“The Truly Screaming Baby” by Heather McHugh
“Protege” by Cynthia Dewi Oka
“Prayer” by James Hoch

Essay
“There Were Six of Us” by Sara Frankel

 

Scoundrel Time fiction editor Karen Bender’s new story collection, THE NEW ORDER is now out from Counterpoint Press. See this terrific interview in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Mariya Taher has received the Muslim American Leadership Alliance’s (MALA) first annual Human Rights Storytellers Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to defending human rights through storytelling. Taher’s essay, “A Prescriptive Identity? Not My Birthright,” appears in Scoundrel Time.

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 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,” and “The Donald’s Going,” her satirical tribute to Yeats, appear 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?”

 

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

The John Doe Poems

John Doe at the Funeral Not a mourner just a bass player backing up the family on Will the Circle Be Unbroken nodding my head in prayer like I mean it like I believe it and almost I do when I watch Chummy get up and Big Steve and A.J. all these old...

In the Dark Times

In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will be singing. About the dark times. —Bertolt Brecht There will be prayer, too, but to a different god, and dread will lurk in the songs we sing. Doom in the timpani no matter what the tune...

The Blanket Room

—After Italo Calvino and Dorianne Laux When I’m inconsolable, I like to go to The Blanket Room™. A new one just opened at the Maple Heights Mall. They wrap you in a blanket and turn out the lights. Then someone comes in, brushes the hair from your...

Drops Vanish

I remember very little of my childhood, and less as I grow older, each memory lingering like drops of dew on a mirror dropped, forgotten, in a garden. What do I remember? I remember my brother’s feet beside my face as they pumped up and down against...

Four Poems By Amanda Newell

For Adam, my student, in Walter Reed “Take One!” says the sticky by the AFG decals, but I don’t, though I want to, because—really— I have no claim to sacrifice, no stump swinging like a wind-wild bell, no appled fist, no marbled skin. Quite possibly...

Sanctuary, City

A “new” Lotería card appears spray-painted on a viaduct in Chicago’s near Southwest Side.   While reading Night with high school freshmen on Chicago’s largely Latino Southwest Side, I often had to explain new vocabulary like...

The History of Wrongs

will take a while, doodle all you want. Dot a pupil on each pearl stacked to distraction on the margin. Argus froth out a hundred eyes of which by turn did sleep always a couple and the rest… Scribble the obvious. Life, friends, is… I cross-hatch...

Before & After

7 November (the day before Election Day 2016) Hitler analogies have always disturbed me. As a daughter of two Holocaust survivors, I take this subject very personally. Usually the comparison is intentionally hyperbolic and over-simplistic, designed...

Donald Trump Addresses the Girl Scouts

  Thank you. Thank you. I’m thrilled to be here, thrilled. Fantastic. I should say Toffee-Tastic. (LAUGHTER) That’s a Girl Scout cookie, and I love those cookies. Thin Mints. I could eat them all day. You know, some Girl Scouts came to the...

My Trip to Greece

Written by Mostafa Fadi, with an introduction by Dana Sachs I go to Greece regularly with a small aid team, Humanity Now, and on Lesvos Island I met Mostafa Fadi, a 26-year-old refugee from Syria. At the PIKPA Camp, which shelters 85 people, Mostafa...

Casino in Coharie Nation

Around a hairpin turn, not quite hidden inside a forest that has been trampled for tourism, strip malls disguised as native villages, façades of man-made wood, green confetti like grass littering the parking lot, wind catchers and arrows, tiny...

Eve Speaks

“ . ..and when they were in the field, Cain set upon his brother Abel and killed him.” –Genesis 4:8 Not the exile, nor the ceaseless toil, nor the pain of childbirth or the shame of nakedness; not the withering of blossoms, or the slow...