Your source for literature, criticism, and
journalism from the Heartland



By Sara Chansarkar Newly married, in Ohio, we used to take long, cold morning walks, looping through the suburban neighborhood to the wooded trail across the street. I’d forget my hat and gloves, you’d forget to remind me. I’d stuff one hand inside my pocket and the other inside your oversized mitten, rubbing against the sandpaper of your skin, the hillocks of your knuckles. Then, I’d whine about my gelid ears. You’d place your gray beanie on my head; it’d slide down my face to the bridge of my nose. I’d bend, […]

Players and Wombats

By Dan Brotzel Thursday was social tennis night at Sean’s club. After some peremptory bed-farewells and a tough Q&A session with the kids — ‘Why are your glasses on a string, daddy?’ ‘Why do you take five bats?’ ‘Is that headband really appropriate?’— he was out the door by 5 past seven, and throwing his giant Nadal-inspired Babolat bag (actually capable of carrying up to 12 rackets) into the back of his profoundly unsexy but deeply practical Kangoo. (Or Kangaroo, as the kids liked to call it.)  Play started around 7.30pm, but […]

The Fires We Build

By Matthew Schultz We split wood and stack logs along the property line as summer retreats across the lake. We’ll make a fire tonight. There will be boots and flannel shirts, coffee in enamel mugs as bitter as September’s pallid pull. Kids are walking up the hill between the long grasses, their slight dirt path worn wide by daily parades to the beach and back––each trip eroding their need of us. Cold creeps in and the weightlessness of august youth grays. Our hands are tired from the work, but we find each […]

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.