January 1, 2015

Self Portait Oil on Canvase 20" x 20" 2010

Allen Forrest – Graphic Artist / Painter

Born in Canada and bred in the U.S., Allen Forrest works in many mediums: oil painting, computer graphics, theater, digital music, film, and video. Allen studied acting at Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles, digital media in art and design at Bellevue College, receiving degrees in Web Multimedia Authoring and Digital Video Production.

Forrest has created cover art and illustrations for literary publications: New Plains Review, Pilgrimage Press, The MacGuffin, Blotterature, and Under the Gum Tree. His paintings have been commissioned and are on display in the Bellevue College Foundation's permanent art collection.

I am a 21-year old female, hailing from Karachi, Pakistan, currently in 3rd year of medical school. I adore books and can often be found among them. Books made me the writer that I am today, helping me in my grammar and spelling. While other children were running away from words and anything that even resembled books, I was being raised on them. As a result of cutting my teeth on books like Oliver Twist and Jane Eyre and even some Sidney Sheldon, I am able to stroke my creativity to aspiring heights and reproduce my imagination on paper. Being a cat person, I aspire to be a vet someday. Although I am quite proficient on the idea of opening an animal hospital, publishing my poems is an aim that I have always kept at the back of my mind. When I am not at my laptop writing, I enjoy quiet soliloquies and Need for Speed: Carbon.

Mama Stole my Eyebrow

Jeremiah Ashcraft currently resides in Louisville, Ky. He has been happily married for four years.

A Home Life

Most silly days end in blood.  
Yet, the Just are allowed repose like miniature Potters,

i.e., gods 

            I am not just.
I do not have dignified calmness.

 I write and travel. I literally say whatever’s going through my mind upon speaking. Some seem to enjoy my no-nonsense honesty. Poetry happens when I organize my thoughts. Speaking of, some of my poetry can be found in Coe Review, Clockwise Cat and Mad Swirl, or here:

When Reality Interferes with Day Dreaming—
Fantasizing a Better Life for my Friend

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred fifty publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The poet and songwriter David Berman (Silver Jews, Actual Air) said of Dodds’ work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Dodds is also the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at thecolindodds.com.

Paco Jones is a poet, musician, photographer and filmmaker living with his wife and son in Seattle. He has been previously published by Alpha Beat Press, Coke Fish, and Currant St. Press.

Write Like Me

sometimes i wonder (i’m in my
              white t-shirt phase)

why i can’t write like i did

John Sierpinski is a working writer at the Vest Conservatory for Writers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He has recently published in California Quarterly, North Coast Review, and Icon.  He has been nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize. He is currently working on a collection.

Mel Waldman, Ph. D.

Dr. Mel Waldman is a psychologist, poet, and writer. He is a past winner of the literary GRADIVA AWARD in Psychoanalysis and was nominated for a PUSHCART PRIZE in literature. He is the author of 11 books. 



 Barry Yeoman was educated at Bowling Green State Univ., The Univ. of Cincinnati, and The McGregor School of Antioch Univ., in creative writing, world classics, and the humanities. He is originally from Springfield, Ohio and currently lives in London, Ohio. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Red Booth Review, Futures Trading, Danse Macabre, Harbinger Asylum, Red Fez, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Crack the Spine, Burningword Literary Journal, Two Hawks Quarterly, Wilderness House Literary Review, Soundings Review and The Rusty Nail, , among others. You can read more of his published work at:

Gary Roberts is originally from Michigan but is now living in Buellton California. He has been writing off and on since he was seventeen. He has had one story published in THE LUTHERAN JOURNAL entitled "Homefront."


Mike Pemberton is a freelance writer and English teacher at Danville Area Community College. His short stories have appeared in various literary journals and he is a frequent columnist in the Sunday Commentary section of the Champaign News-Gazette.

Harvest Rain       

    Theresa shut off the shower and shook her thick gray hair. She slid the vinyl curtain away and grabbed a damp towel.  Fluffy, dry ones appeared only in her dreams. She wrapped a second soggy towel around her head and opened the bathroom door.  A gust of crisp autumn air and a howl cut through the comforting steam.

Eric Hill, born in Washington DC, was first photographed among the cherry blossoms. This, no doubt, forms the basis for his colorful politics and a life long pursuit of cherry pie. That his Grandfather was a minister, no doubt explains, his intense desire to find another way to God than Religion. His writing comes from his profound need to get this crazy stuff out of his head.

He has published with Black Wire,  Indiana Voice Journal, Rain/Disaster/Party, Ijagun Poetry Journal and Behhutet.

Featured here are two flash fiction pieces. 

So he took a train to a Station in a town he knew nothing about. He has come to take advantage, but of what? Perhaps a ‘Mark’ but hopefully it is the view or exotic cuisine. He wanted to know: how could there be an evening breeze on a southern porch with moaning slaves, or would a trickling river sound melodious full of advancing solders; to him it is a feeling of wandering toward a cliff on a moonless midnight.

by Phillip Brown

Walked to the side entrance of the VA hospital. Over thirty years ago fresh out of the Army I landed on the nut ward; top floor of the VA hospital. Since then I hadn’t had much contact. I thought maybe some current health survey glitch and, what do you know, I got a letter.

Clive Aaron Gill’s short stories have appeared in Pens on Fire, Every Day Fiction, espresso stories, Short Humour, Postcard Shorts, The Screech Owl, Linguistic Erosion, Wilderness House Literary Review, Gravel Literary Journal, Shark Reef literary magazine, Larks Fiction Magazine and in 6 Tales magazine. One of Clive’s works was selected for People of Few Words Anthology, Volume 5.

Clive has worked as a salesperson, mediator, farm hand, information technology manager and school bus driver. Born in Zimbabwe, he has lived and worked in Southern Africa, North America and Europe. He received a degree in Economics from University of California, Los Angeles and lives in San Diego.



Author’s Warning: This story contains descriptions of Nazi horrors.

John Spiegel is an English teacher in Springfield, Ohio where he shares his love for words, beards, and the feel of vinyl records. 
A previous essay, "Like Dad" appeared in the December 2014 Issue of IVJ.


I imagine the first couple of days inside a cocoon are quite uncomfortable for the adolescent caterpillar. A caterpillar eats, grows, and molts its skin up to five times before entering a chrysalis smaller than its body appeared, much like trying on a new pair of shoes that should be your size but haven’t been broken in quite yet, so you wiggle your toes up and down as you contemplate claustrophobia for a single appendage.

A junior at Taylor University, Veronica Toth continues to be involved with the wonderful members of the Ethics Bowl team, as well as Taylor’s literary magazine. She has been published in undergraduate literature magazines Parnassus and Catfish Creek, and is currently acting as the creative writing intern for The Other Journal, run by The Seattle School.

The Taste of Belonging
    The saying goes that each time you speak in public, you become a little less nervous. At this current moment, I am certain that is a lie. My suit jacket is already damp, and I keep sipping water because I don’t know what else to do with my hands, which are cold and stiff (my circulation seems to halt in times of stress). In five minutes, we’ll pull out blank notebook paper and debate solely from what we remember.

Adreyo Sen resides in Kolkata, India.  He is pursuing his MFA at Stony Brook, Southampton. He has been published in Danse Macabre, Kritya and Garbanzo.

The Boarding School Protagonist
It is early on the second day itself that I discovered that my plans of becoming the adored protagonist of my own boarding school story were, at best, premature.
First, of course, was chota hazari, wherein we all lined up to receive a cup of tea and two homemade biscuits from the hands of the “bearers,” the school term for the jack-of-all-trades assigned to each house.  I learned later that this same ritual serves as a kind of attendance-taking in some of India’s prisons.

CHARLES E.J. MOULTON has been a stage performer since age eleven. His trilingual, artistic upbringing, as the son of Gun Kronzell and Herbert Moulton, lead to a hundred stage productions, countless cross-over concerts, work as a bandleader and as an acting teacher. He is a regular contributor for Idea Gems, has written for Shadows Express, Cover of Darkness, Vocal Images and Pill Hill Press. He is a tourguide, a big-band-vocalist, a filmmaker, a painter, a voice-over-speaker, a translator, is married and has a daughter.
Charles E.J. Moulton's passion is creative versatility.

I currently live in northern New Mexico, after stints in the Netherlands, Scotland and Norway. I believe that this exposure to other cultures makes me a natural to tell a story of a tenuous connection with a blues great.
I'm on the masthead of the Prague Revue. I have a novel out this year, Jupiter and Gilgamesh, a Novel of Sumeria and Texas. I've been a finalist in a few contests but never a winner. I've published here and there but received enough rejection to achieve humility. I'm a finalist in the 2014 New Mexico-Arizona Book awards in four categories.
The publication list is dull but available – what is more important is that I cut and split all my own firewood, live a mile from my nearest neighbor, and write grants for the community.

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