Scoundrel Time

Born and Raised: Learning to Leave Steel Country

Trump thanks God for the uneducated. I thank the uneducated for chasing me out of my dead end of Pennsylvania before it was too late, even if my exile made mockery of a Springsteen song: I had no hemi-powered...

Text and Flame

The news brings such terrible stories—   The girl who kept texting a friend to give up the weight of his worries, and bring his own life to an end. The woman who fought against fire found dead in a national...

Self-Portrait as Mass Extinction Event

I am the asteroid, the volcano, the poles shifting, the parasitic nonnative species. I am the Sumatran tiger, stalking prey in deforested villages. I am the dodo bird, awkwardly attempting flight. I am the...

(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...

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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

fusillade for my mother’s brain

  You spoiled mound complicated by static you skull-born satellite launched from a splintered mirror you doom-hatched agony steady as piss you childless guilt scorched in fog you blazing delirium un-teaching my name you sideshow daydreamer...

dead radio apostle

Heels in stirrups, knees pitched above my hips, I am blinded by every measured breath required before each push— a cold, unnatural discipline. I was taught to focus on something in the room, to distract from the hell-rigged pain knifing me from the...

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...