Scoundrel Time


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:

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!

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



“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

“As yet but knock, breathe, shine”

–from Donne’s Holy Sonnets in this time of terror that has yet to make the flesh of the bourgeois bleed, though our souls tatter in this time of the cruelty in our names against which we send money and signatures through the electric...

Two Poems by Ed Ochester

Trump in the 19th Century the following lines are from Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now, 1875 This man was undoubtedly a very ignorant man. He had probably never read a book in his life, had no preference whatever for one form of government...

June 16, 2016

  I am listening to talk radio as I drive home to visit my mother Who has Alzheimer’s and is in a diabetic coma. A hot day in late June, orange barrels dividing The bumpy lane I am driving on from the smooth black one Where the workers are...


He knelt on the ice and watched his brother Craig skate the wide oval they had cleared off the flood. On the straights, Craig crouched and stretched and pulled with one arm then the other, his crocheted scarf trailing out behind, then glided into...

The Truly Screaming Baby

Thank God says the woman in 13E we’re not back there she means back there with the mom with the truly screaming baby and the two toddlers to boot (by God she’d never boot these two) these other two who didn’t once between them...

Elegy in Glass & Stone

Crows working the ground, picking at husks. Harvest one place starves the rest, crosswinds can’t be read, and nothing can parse the syntax of the soul. Listen: it’s the thin wail of a world gone wrong; what takes cover under the tongue is the song...

Two Poems by Jeanne Larsen

Singing, Studying on Whiteness, This Penelope Strings along suitors & the lyre-warp of her loom. On last night’s unspun body bag, weaves pictures: deployed youths, broken masts, horses’ heads hacked. An infant prince flung from a tower tall as a...


Flotsam (In memory of America) We find ourselves where the waves drag bodies onto the beach.  Our fingers rake the sand, our breath salts the air, shells and seaweed spill from our pockets like strange currencies.   Out there somewhere float...


Where, where are the tears of the world? —Roethke, “The Lost Son” I. I am reading this book about human consumption, how our sense— and headlong pursuit—of thriving depend, in institutional, ineradicable ways, on resource depletion. To the point not...

Doors are Killing Our Kids

Doors are Killing Our Kids, Along with Books, Tables, Chairs… (or) The Answers to School Shootings Are Right in Front of Us “There are too many entrances and too many exits to our over 8,000 campuses in Texas. There aren’t enough people to put a...

End to the Brief Unbeaten Streak

La vía del tren subteraneo es peligroso.   Several board (everyone faking shut-eye), pull out the students of history (ID’d by their lesson plans). Too late for remedial anything. Asked to pass. Told where to stand. Detention. Dawnbirds grackle...

Two Poems By Kate Lynn Hibbard

Present Fashions of Dress All dress must transact its weighty work, changing old modes and boldly innovating thought and intellect to render it progress. Our present fashions of feminine attire are in harmony with the swiftness and force of a...

There Were Six of Us

  There were six of us. And then, abruptly, there were five. It happened overnight, except the truth was that it was over dinner. It was late in the summer, an August evening; warm and sultry, which in San Francisco occurs maybe once or twice a...

Three Poems By Ashley M. Jones

Mary, Don’t You Weep, or, Mary Turner Resurrected When Mary Turner threatened to press charges for the wrongful lynching of her husband in Brooks County, GA on May 19, 1918, she was strung upside down, her clothes were burned off, and her unborn...


An iris dares to bloom. Six wasps chastise a window from inside, ignore an open door nearby. For hours. They walk the window. One by one, four mount The rod I level to the pane, Lift out the door. Two more resist. Afraid, enraged? They lift their...


And when they come at last to pull him from his throne of gold, what waits for them has neither name nor shape, is something huge, amorphous, all but still—until it moves, its sides begin to ooze like a spreading stain, but thick, gelatinous, a...

After Math

Geniuses The boys always planned to be geniuses. Papers spread over the tabletops, numbers on screens. Their gaze has missed something. The girl in a box in the darkness of the closet, hands folded, trinkets worn round her neck motionless. Once...