A man with the right scruffed-up beard and breadth of chest swaggered into the S and M dungeon that was my place of business, and twenty minutes and one grand later had my chin — still soft with the downy fluff of teen-girl skin — held steady in one paw while the other one flew at my face so hard and fast that I ceased to exist as the same collection of matter I had been the previous instant.
When Sarah’s mother, Penny, got sick four years into our marriage, we decided to move back to Mississippi, considering it penance for the sins of our youth. We signed a lease on a house, a white one-story on the historical register with a wraparound porch and angels, stars, and the moon painted on the transom above the front door.
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Samuel J Adams lives in Solano County, California, more than eight hundred miles from the nearest groundhog. His fiction has appeared in Ruminate, DIAGRAM, and Moon City Review.
Elizabeth Miki Brina’s debut memoir, Speak, Okinawa, is forthcoming in February 2021. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she loves the heat and humidity and riding her bicycle.
Grady Chambers is the author of the poetry collection North American Stadiums. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and American Poetry Review. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Finn Cohen is the associate editor at The Sun. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Melissa Febos is the author of the memoirs Whip Smart and Abandon Me. Her essay in this issue will appear in her forthcoming collection, Girlhood. After twenty years in New York City, she is acclimating to the Midwest, where she teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa.
Tracy Frisch settled in rural Upstate New York in 2004, trading in a job to build a house, grow large gardens, and participate in the gift economy.
John Holman is the author of three fiction books, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Mississippi Review, and Oxford American. He teaches writing at Georgia State University. You can follow him on Instagram: @jholman51.
Sharon Olds is a former poet laureate of New York State. She is the author of twelve poetry collections, including Arias, which was published in 2019, and her work has been widely anthologized. She teaches creative writing at New York University.
Christy Shake lives in a small college town in Maine and writes a blog about her son and his epilepsy, exploring topics from motherhood to social justice, at calvinsstory.com. She is working on a memoir.
Cameron Bloch has worked as an Associated Press photographer, writer, and photo editor. His photographs have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and newspapers across the U.S. He lives in New York City.
Michael Galinsky is a filmmaker, photographer, and musician who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has been a contributor to The Sun for more than thirty years.
Poppy de Garmo started taking photos when she was sixteen, after her father built her a darkroom. She is studying for a master’s degree in the humanities and working on a book of portraits of spiritual masters. She lives in the Santa Cruz mountains, among the redwoods and a garden of zinnias.
Hiroto Hayashi is a student at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota, where he studies English, writing, and outdoor education. He took this month’s cover photo in the pine and aspen woods of the Rocky Mountains near Gunnison, Colorado.
David Inscho lives in Bellingham, Washington. His photographs have appeared in Backpacker, Travel Oregon, and Adventures NW, but his most enduring achievement is the sycamore tree he planted in his front yard twenty years ago.
Matt Kollasch’s book A Worn Path: Pristina Photographs is a collection of photos and stories about the people of Pristina, Kosovo. He lives in Berlin and is learning to speak German.
Juan Laden has been shooting black-and-white film since the late 1960s. He lives in Lander, Wyoming.
Susan Lirakis is practicing aging gracefully. She lives in rural New Hampshire.
Andrew Mangum lives with his wife and children in Maryland. His work has been published in Léte, The Washington Post, and Baltimore’s City Paper. He credits his sense of determination to the hours he’s spent on his skateboard, falling down and getting up again.
Stephen Voss takes photographs that speak to our current time. His photographs are held in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Washingtonia Collection.
Whit Wales is a photographer who lives in Holden, Massachusetts.
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