Skip to main content


A Different Tune with the Same Notes: Guitars, Parkinson's, and People Along the Way—creative nonfiction from Mia Hinkle

The love of my life, and I do mean this in the biggest way possible, came down with Parkinson's about four years ago. W. T. actual. F. Big, strong, and vibrant  when we met forty years ago, and now, weak as a kitten and racked with pain. I cannot stand it! We recently had a virtual appointment (one benefit out of this COVID mess) with his neurologist, and after we described the new laundry list of ailments, the doctor looked straight into the camera, into Karl's eyes, and said, "It looks like we have reached a new level in the progression of your Parkinson's. I don't like it. And I can't stop it.  Karl when we met, in 1981 I don't like it  and  I can't stop it . His words rattled around in my head for days. That is true about a lot of things, I guess. It is certainly true of all the losses that pile up as the years fly by. Gerald Sittser said it best in his book  A Grace Disguised , a book in which he describes the deep grief he encountered after his mo
Recent posts

Sing Hildegard, Sing Mechthild, a poem by Norbert Krapf

  Sing Hildegard, sing Mechthild Sing Hildegard, sing Mechthild, sing Julian, bring Isaiah and Jeremiah along for the holy prayer gathering in the forest. May all birds sing and most of us listen and respond. Open ears and eyes. The false prophets tweet ugly, vindictive, soulless song. Sing together our soul-saving song. Turn our eyes away from ugly greed. Sweet soul song, save us in our need. Former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf' 's most recent of fourteen collections are Indiana Hill Country Poems (2019) and Southwest by Midwest (2020), both from Dos Madres Press. Next year his Homecomings: A Writer's Memoir , will appear.

Pushcart Award Nominations 2020

Indiana Writers Center is honored to provide a platform for writers from Indiana or with strong ties to Indiana through our literary journal the Flying Island , and through our publishing imprint INWords . Each year we support the writers we publish by submitting their works to the Pushcart Prizes. This year we submitted the following works for consideration of the Pushcart Prize Anthology. The Pushcart Prize celebrates writing published by small presses. Prose from What Was and What Will Be: Life in the Time of COVID-19 Leah Lederman, “My Bleeding Heart” Ania Spyra, “…But Some of Us Are Looking at the Stars” Poetry from the Flying Island David J. Bauman, “Home” Laurel Smith, “Loaded” Bethany Brengan, “Kitchen Romance” Roger Pfingston, “Pausing for Beauty”  

Mascara and a Funeral, fiction by James Matthew Lee Wilson

Leaving the gentle din of the church behind, Mattie pushed past the vestibule door and plunged headlong into the painful glare of day. She descended the concrete steps, ignoring the handrail while bringing a hand up to shield her eyes. Behind her, the heavy wooden door swung shut, and then her heels were cracking loud against the fractured asphalt of the parking lot. Mattie tugged at her hemline. For a moment the tanned, smoothness of her thighs disappeared beneath the formfitting black fabric. She allowed herself a rueful smile. Dress too short; her heels too long. But the color was right. At the far end of the parking lot, her faded red hatchback waited. At the sight of her misshapen ride, Mattie’s jaw tensed. “Goddamn it, Carl.” It had been several months since her boyfriend had backed into her car, yet the sight of the dented driver-side door still managed to infuriate her. She quickened her stride, already anticipating the familiar struggle. The passenger side door had never opene

Pheromones, a poem by Skye Nicholson

Pheromones Before you were the sharpness of Jameson and cologne (the seduction and conquest kind) of cigarettes freshly lit and love freshly made Then later you were the faded longing of pillow memories and anticipation of abrasive government-issue detergent and seasalt and (too often) hops and pungent rage Now you are the comfort of treebones citrus and skunky like your medicine rubbed soft by sawdust of sage or armpits I am no longer bothered to know the difference Skye Nicholson is a mother, writer, teacher, tree-hugger, and magic-seeker. She writes about life: her years of drinking, her awakening, trying to be present and figuring out how to be a parent.  She uses words to heal herself.  She currently lives in Columbus, Indiana, with her husband and two small children. Her writing appears on her blog, , under the pseudonym Vixen Lea. 

Shield, fiction by Joel Fishbane

Victoria comes from Victoria and she's small with a dreamy gaze that's always looking out the window. She arrives on a Wednesday and by Thursday I'm thinking of her in lengthy, PG-rated films. We're all eleven - I want Victoria but I don't know what I'd do if the daydreams came true. She has a magnificent lisp. I imagine her saying, "Teddy, I'm yourth." One day, she asks if she can rent a square on my desk. The school board bought new ones and they’re all too small but I still have one of the older ones and I've been leasing sixteen square centimetres for ten cents an hour. As far as independent businesses go, I'm doing well. The boys rent space for their liquid paper. Jenny gives me her mood ring, since it interferes with her writing. So far, Miss McConachie is letting me get away with it but I’m worried one day she’ll want a piece of the pie. For days, Victoria from Victoria doesn't give me anything and I'm thinking she looks down

Beginning with a Line from Ernie Pyle, a poem by Matthew Graham

  Beginning with a Line from Ernie Pyle                        --- from The Indiana Series And yet you know. Always in your heart… You have never really left. When Ernie Pyle walked the high tide line Of Omaha Beach the morning after D-Day, Of all that he stepped over what he remembered most Were the cartons of soggy cigarettes, stationary, French phrase books, sewing kits, snap shots, Playing cards, metal pocket mirrors, A tennis racket still clamped in its rack, A broken banjo. Sea birds circled What history brings. What history leaves behind. Matthew Graham is the current Indiana State Poet Laureate.

Jack-O’-Lantern, a poem by Hiromi Yoshida

                                       Jack-O'-Lantern Jack of all trades, of shivering, shriveling Indiana summer days & nights, the jagged mouth spews forth orange shadows-- grins syrupy candy corn sweetness, the hollowed head a  luminous void, its moist, fibrous, pulpy rind a house for a blackening candle stub--flickering Cinderella, her askew        ballgown petticoats reeking soot & ash--hot molten striptease of dripping wax, the jack-o'-lantern a leering promise of plump, uncouth        autumn days--pumpkin seeds spilling into meat grinders of the fairy-taled imagination. Hiromi Yoshida , one of Bloomington’s finest and most outspoken poets, was a semi-finalist for the 2018 Wilder Series Poetry Book Prize. Her poems have been published in The Indianapolis Review, The Asian American Literary Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Evergreen Review, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. She is the author of Joyce & Jung: The "Four Stages of Eroticism" in