The Coil editor rounds up the best literary pieces from the indie Internet for you to read this weekend.
There’s a lot of stuff on the Internet to read. Here, let me help you wade through the crap to get to the good stuff. This list features stories, reviews, poems, interviews, essays, and literary whatnot that you might have missed, and you can come back every weekend for new great reads.
“It would have been too difficult for me to get the tree down to a stump.” | JOSEPH HAN talks war, pain, and the sounds our bodies carry in “Crimes against Growth” at Little Fiction.
“The water rushes to our feet, creeping up our ankles, and disappears again.” | MELISSA GOODE has a brief flash of love and loss in “Pretenders” at Atlas + Alice.
“It’s April in San Francisco / and the fear of the world / is heavy with me.” | WILLIAM TAYLOR, JR., talks the ugliness and regret of lonely afternoons in “A Short Note from Montparnasse” at Red Fez.
“Every time I visit the Met, I reserve a few minutes at the end of the day for the museum’s John Singer Sargent collection, tucked away in a small salon in the middle of the American Wing.” | ADRIENNE CELT talks about young love in “‘I was worried that no one would see me; that they would only see a Wife’: On a John Singer Sargent Painting and Marrying Young” at Catapult.
“White-rumped vultures were one of the most common large birds on the planet. There were an estimated 40 million of them in India alone.” | J. B. MACKINNON talks about how the extinction crisis extends far beyond rare and endangered species in the powerful essay, “Tragedy of the Common,” at Pacific Standard.
“I grew up on dirt roads surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest in the hills of Eastern Kentucky.” | CHRIS OFFUTT talks earthworms, dreams of wealth, and being a country man, complete with a recipe, in “Nobody Likes Me” at Oxford American.
“‘Nobody else is here,’ the elderly woman said into her phone. ‘It’s embarrassing!’” | TOM MCALLISTER gives you straight (and perhaps a tad harsh) talk about who will really buy your book in “Who Will Buy Your Book?” at The Millions.
“Oh, Mother, forgive me, I may never be clean again. I know the words.” | MADELINE ANTHES has a brief, heart-hitting flash, “I May Never Be Clean Again,” at Atlas + Alice.
“Scott Hutchison is gone, and I feel as if my hand is now unlinked from that of a person with whom I felt a shared anguish.” | HANIF ABDURRAQIB talks grief and how to mourn suffering songwriters who have helped us suffer less, in “Reckoning with the Loss of Scott Hutchison” at Pacific Standard.
“I really love to be involved in every aspect of writing, editing, and publishing. I think all of my pursuits as a writer, as a teacher, and an editor inform each other and make me better at each of them.” | RACHEL POPA interviews KATHLEEN ROONEY about her writing career, her role as editor at Rose Metal Press, and her novel, in “Meet Kathleen Rooney, Author of Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk” at Chicago Woman.
“Like so many writers, I began writing as a child and then put it aside to work on what I thought were more serious and reasonable pursuits.” | KATHY FISH is interviewed in Tethered by Letters.
“the sap that I am springtime / makes me want to reread Virgil’s / Georgics while eating cacio / e pepe with fresh-shelled / peas” | EMILIA PHILLIPS gives you just what you need in her Pushcart-winning poem, “Pathetic Fallacy” at Academy of American Poets.
“I don’t know if I have a nightstand anymore. I do have an avalanche of books with a reading light sticking out of it.” | LAUREN GROFF has a fun “By the Book” at The New York Times.
“‘Put your character in harm’s way,’ novelist Tom Barbash told students in a writing class I took some years ago, and I realized at that moment why I would never be a novelist.” | LAURIE HERTZEL ponders whether children’s books should tackle tough controversial topics in “Is It OK for Children’s Books to Be Sad?” at Star Tribune.
“When I get home from school, I find my dad sitting in the living room with an Old Style in his hand.” | KAJ TANAKA has a burst of a flash in “He Was Trying to Say Something and He Couldn’t Get It Out” at Tin House.
“Right after the Great Recession, it was a little hard to tell who had it worse: Millennials or Gen X.” | JORDAN WEISSMANN has some great reporting on how “Eighties Babies Are Officially the Brokest Generation, Federal Reserve Study Concludes” at Slate.
“This is when it happened — having just gotten a drink, in the middle of the school day, middle of the church service, mid-commute. In the middle of nothing.” | AARON BURCH & BLAKE KIMZEY have a co-authored gem, “Churchfight” at Wohe.
“If you have seen waves of articles about the Jane Austen fan community over the last month, it was likely part of the lead up to the release of Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan by Ted Scheinman.” | Drunk Austen gives an excellent review of my favorite book of the year, TED SCHEINMAN’s Camp Austen.
“We no longer discuss it / now that she’s twenty years gone / but she is the unfinished room / at the back of the house.” | M. STONE has a gorgeous poem about grief in any light, “Winter View,” at Before After / Godwink.
“We do not mean to stain / our skin, only later / notice the golden hues / to our fingertips, palms // as we rinse our hands / under ice water.” | CHLOE N. CLARK slays in her poem, “Cooking with Tumeric,” on Boston Accent Lit.
Did you love a literary piece on the Internet this week? Tweet it to me at @leahangstman, and my DMs are always open for new ideas.
LEAH ANGSTMAN serves as Editor-in-Chief for Alternating Current Press and The Coil magazine, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, and a proofreader for Pacific Standard. Her work has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, Electric Literature, Slice Magazine, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. Find her at her website.