Scoundrel Time

From Afar (Translated by Siavash Saadlou)

*This piece was translated by Siavash Saadlou Then she fell in love. Out of the blue. In the thick of final exams, when the spring and the peals of adolescence become one, making you feel as if you were...

Blessing for the Lice Check

Miss Rosier, who was childless, had us bow our heads to our fifth-grade desks on the appointed day, as though for prayer. She slowly ran the side of a pencil from the nape of each neck to the top of each head...

On the Mississippi River Levee Styrofoam Cup in My Hand

that will disintegrate in 1,000 years    I drink my coffee     stand in gravel in my church skirt     black velvet I wore to my mother’s funeral eleven days ago           Take a photo of my own shadow on the...

Kill All the Bats

  Fifteenth day under lockdown, twenty-second in self-isolation, and I had already lost most of my muscles. Not that I was a wrestler before that. Not even a fan of that violent sport. Sports like...

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News & Announcements

On Thursday, July 15th ST will be participating in “Connecting in a Time of Solitude and Strife: Poetry & Prose from Scoundrel Time Literary Journal.”
The past year has been marked by both loneliness and solitude–by the pandemic, by an epidemic of bias, and by attempts to divide and destabilize our country.
The link to the event can be found here.

Readers include poets Nicole Cooley, Merridawn Duckler, Hussein Ahmed, and Steven Fellner; and prose writers Munawar Abbas, Faith Okifo, Kenneth Massey, Azarin Sadegh, and Thomas Rayfiel. Hosted by Scoundrel Time editors Paula Whyman, Karen Bender, and Daisy Fried.

 

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

glutton

you write poems to understand what you cannot understand. name the beast you’ve been trying to outrun your entire life. you’re forty & it’s time to stop avoiding. halt the fogged spin of language that redirects the eye. say what you mean...

Dura Mater

I carried death inside me for several days, waiting That man had no ticket to the concert; he pressed his ear to the wall, but no song found him Bees were swarming; they made sleeves and a hood around me when I stood still All winter a deep booming...

Vanishing Point

For as far as we can see, they trudge across swirling sand toward us At the gate, one child’s blinks, such a uniform degree of metronomic motion with inky lashes—they seem to make an audible click, the second hand of memory, calligraphic Tropics of...

My Mother’s Pilgrimage

  In September 2015—the year a crane collapse in Mecca killed 111 people, followed by the deaths of another 2000 in a stampede—my mother returned from the Hajj with flu and was immediately quarantined in a hospital in Indianapolis. It took her...

Exclusive Service

Tom had built up some sort of callus so the leg shackle didn’t bother him as much as it used to. Also, the Team had been very accommodating when he asked for the chain to be lengthened. Those few inches meant he could reach the bathroom, so he felt...

“Appropriate and Just”

 

Diplomacy? A bother and a bore.
In fact, who needs a diplomatic corps?
Who needs cables and epistles?
When you launch a bunch of missiles,
you can lift your polling numbers from the floor.

Greens

The city built a retaining wall at the edge of the cemetery to prevent old bodies from sliding out onto the street. Take the civic hand and walk in the sun. Whether or not you have lost everything, there is nothing to lose in finding yourself on the...

Selections from The Trumpiad

  SMART “‘He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,’ said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the most senior GOP senator. Asked about Carson’s lack of experience in the agency’s areas of expertise, Hatch replied: ‘No, but he has medical experience ...

Colony

A splash of gasoline, a match, my brother poking it with a shovel. I was too young to have an opinion yet knew it was wrong. Even if the haystack pile of it grew each day more troubling beside the swingset, beside the prim lines of carrots in the...

Election

Schoolchildren wait in seven, six, five, four straight lines that sway and shimmer as they’re led away until a winged V arrows south, and they see the pointed shape of flight from home, an escape— though they read liberty in motion, not need for...

Flamboyan (Royal Poinciana)

  I always wanted to be that woman That brazen hussy clothed in red The color of a torch singer’s lips or a rooster’s wattle Fecund, inflamed, unashamed My trembling limbs spread wide In rampant, ecstatic bloom Defying you and your mortal fears...

This Is Us (Oxycodone Song)

  What was it Mavis said about the marble, re: Da Vinci, or was it Michelangelo, you know, that the job is, some- how, the careful removal of what isn’t needed—of what’s getting in the way? Something like that? Google it, I said. She’d been the...

The Mothers on the Wall

Stant pavidae in muris matres oculisque sequuntur Pulveream nubem et fulgentes aere catervas. -AENEID VIII 590-1 The fearful mothers standing on the wall, the cloud of dust they follow with their eyes: millennia pass, and nothing’s changed at all of...