Your Source for Literature and Criticism Centering America’s Heartland


Two Poems by David L. Stanley

About the Author: David L. Stanley, B.Sc, M.A., is a teacher, poet and author, voice-over actor, and speaker. His work has appeared in national magazines on topics from professional bicycle racing to men, depression, and suicide. His first book, Melanoma, It Started with a Freckle was hailed by Prof. Tom Foster of How to Read Novels Like a Professor as “harrowing, insightful, technical, and hilarious.” Stanley’s second book, co-authored with Willie Artis is From Jim Crow to CEO, the Willie Artis Story, available via AUX Media. His latest book is Rants & Mutters, an essay collection. David Stanley has read his sonnets to audiences…

An Interview with John Kropf

By Megan Neary John Kropf’s Color Capital of the World: Growing Up with the Legacy of a Crayon Company is a feat of in-depth history blended with personal and family memoir. He tells the story of the rise and fall of the American Crayon company, which was founded by his relatives shortly after the civil war. This story of one innovative company offers insight into the early, exciting days of the city of Sandusky, Ohio, as well as a picture of how and why the factory closed down and Sandusky became a member of the…


By Gary Duehr I am an emergency. My name is Bernie Smith, my colleagues at HR Block used to call me St. Bernard, like the hospital on the South Side, because I was always trying to save someone a few bucks. I still live a couple blocks from the hospital, near where the Dan Ryan Expressway split the old neighborhood in half, in a post-war cottage. It’s nice, white brick, with a long narrow backyard like a bowling alley. Just five minutes from the Red Line El, though with a bad leg…

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