Winter 2013 Issue Photography by Eli Reed


Solstice and Talking Writing table at the AWP 2014 bookfair.

Solstice and Talking Writing table at the AWP 2014 bookfair.

Editor’s Note

This issue of Solsticelitmag is one of our best ever and embodies our commitment to diversity.  First, our cover photograph by world-famous photographer Eli Reed, as well as the other eight pieces in his Mozambique series, depict his dedication to human rights.  And in promoting human rights, please read in fiction: Nahid Rachlin’s haunting piece “Eye Clinic;” Kim McLarin’s stirring story of an African American mother and daughter on a job search; Lew McCreary’s amazing narrative of a Chinese woman running an orphanage, Richard Perry’s sensitive telling of a black father dying of Alzheimer’s; Thrity Umrigar’s passionate monologue against discrimination; an experimental work by Mardith Louisell:  a premise piece by Dar Thomas, and two startling, disparate stories of illness versus romance, one by Bruce Pratt and the other by Erika Sanders.

And in nonfiction, we offer a provocative view of our world in Jabari Asim’s powerful, controversial essay about African American fathers and sons;  William B. Patrick’s spiritual journey to a remote island in Fiji, and Lisa’s Hennessy’s account of a dark sexual coming-of age.

Please do click on Contributors for the bios of these vital authors.

And click on Staff to get to know our marvelous 22 dedicated volunteer writers, including our new staff members: Dzvinia Orlowsky, as Visiting Poetry Co-editor of this issue and our new staff Editor of Poetry in Translation.  And we welcome as our new Co-poetry editor Ben Berman, a constant amid flux.  Also, welcome to our new Video Editor for Performance Poetry, Regie Gibson.  And welcome to a new Contributing Fiction/Nonfiction Editor, DeWitt Henry.  Also, many thanks again to Susan Cassidy for her copyediting prowess and creative editorial assistance.

Solstice lit mag continues to grow: In early 2014, we will begin publishing e-books; and we offer the new Kurt Brown Memorial Fellowship in honor of our former poetry editor, for an aspiring MFA student in creative writing.  Please see Fellowship.

Solsticelitmag promotes its writers, advertises their books and does occasional book reviews and interviews.  We are an ever-growing community of writers and photographers who connect long after publication!  Consider clicking Donate to support our worthy cause of promoting diversity in the arts, funded solely by your donations.

Warmly, Lee Hope, editor-in-chief

Poetry Editors’ Note

Selecting the outstanding poems for this issue, we continue to be moved across boundaries to revelations marked by an absolute and evident love of language. From Rae Paris’s shadowed “The Hanging Tree” to Vasyl Makhno’s impassioned “Returning to Granada,” from Tatiana Olga Rodeiro’s soulful “In the House of February” to the grit and grace of Ross Gay’s “Burial”—the poems in this issue push our understanding to places whose only cartography is designed by intimate, often startling, human experience.

Kurt Brown would have loved these poems. And you will too.

Dzvinia Orlowsky and Ben Berman


12/2013 UPDATE:  Kurt Brown Memorial Fellowship, details below.

In Kurt’s honor, our magazine announces The Kurt Brown Memorial Fellowship, a $1,000 award to help a writer in any genre who has published in, or submitted to, or has subscribed to, or is a volunteer on the staff of the Solstice lit mag, to enroll in the Solstice MFA low-residency Program, with which we have a sisterly connection.  Solstice magazine is, however, an independent, free-standing nonprofit. 

To apply,  please submit a manuscript of no more than 20 pages or 6 poems, your name and contact information, a short bio and a statement of why you would like the award to  Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis.  Manuscripts will be judged  by the editors of Solstice.  This award is funded by Solsticelitmag and Laure-Anne Bosselaar Brown.

The writer selected by our magazine must then be accepted by the Solstice MFA low-residency program at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA.  You must have an undergraduate degree to apply.  This award is to be used toward the 2014 summer residency /fall semester  or the 2015 winter residency/spring semester and is intended for writers not yet accepted to the MFA program. 


At the 2014 AWP Conference in Seattle, Solstice:  A Magazine of Diverse Voices will be sharing a book table with the very fine online journal Talking Writing, and Solstice will be on an AWP panel with Talking Writing as well.  More on this alliance to come.