Summer 2020

Summer 2020 A Letter To Our Readers by The Editors Dedicated to Nicholas Johnson and Maureen Holm, co-founders of BigCityLit Convalescence by Nicholas Johnson Poetry Fiction Nonfiction Reviews

Damaged Heritage, The Elaine Race Massacre and A Story of Reconciliation by J. Chester Johnson (with Foreword by Sheila L. Walker)

Review by Melinda Thomsen Books, ISBN, 9781643134666 Call It By Its Name           My copy of J. Chester Johnson’s Damaged Heritage arrived on May 27th, the day after reports of George Floyd’s murder at the knee of a police officer. I finished the book in three days because Johnson’s compelling story gave me hope. In

Come On Now

by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright Evening stoops under its sodden shawl. A siren broods; its caterwaul snarling over blackened roofs. Someone’s on the run. Wet tires whisper to Avenue C. “I’m lost without you,” they swear. I wanted to be a matador in Manhattan, dancing with horns. I wanted to be a genie smoking in your

Title in Search of a Better Life

by Sarah Sarai “Pantyliner Notes.” It’s yours, my hands are washed for at least twenty seconds. “Girl with a Pearl Jam Earring.” “Tess of the Rosenthals.” Confidence lost in bluster is gained by belief in cohesion. Sense is altogether different and who cares not me. “Dombey and Son from Another Mother.” “A Midsummer Night’s Cream.”

Sonnet of Goodbye

by Reneé Salandy against the backdrop of a cradled moon footprints across the sky—they gone too soon and galaxies like shutters from within eclipse the earth and block the devil’s sin what happens to black souls after the day? botham, atatiana, freddie gray philando must’ve greeted them with food known as one to be far


by Sarah Nichols I am the girl who had my mouth sewn shut. I whir in swarms, all teeth and unquiet, my whole body, all shrieking, all radioactive, a ray of night. I am the woman collating bones. A nervous system brought back to life, a little disaster burned up; a trigger of childhood, a

day 41

by Paul Robert Mullen and most folkstayed at home // followed the rulesprayed for an end in sighttook up new hobbiesbinged on Netflixhad a lie-in (or two)spent valued time with the kidstook a deep breath // time to stare at the wallsmade phone-calls they’d been meaning                to make for monthsstarted to write (…there’s a book in

Peter and the Wolf

by Joseph Mills Most dances are sexual,pretend otherwise                                        all you want, but there’s also the violence,the alpha aggression                    and animalistic desire, which we appreciateeven applaudas long as its stylish,                                                  rhythmic,coupled                                    with the music. Let’s be honest.                                         No one wantsto be Peter. Even the Wolf fantasizesabout being the Wolf. Joseph MillsJoseph Mills, A faculty member at the University of North