Winter 2021

Winter 2021 Dedicated to Nicholas Johnson and Maureen Holm, co-founders of BigCityLit Life in the Slow Lane by Nicholas Johnson Poetry Fiction Nonfiction Reviews

Drive by Elaine Sexton

Review by Diane Schenker Full confession before I begin—the basic passions and points of view winding through Elaine Sexton’s new book, Drive, are ones I share. I am a “person of a certain age.” I’m a dog person. I love driving. Driver training in high school was on automatic transmissions so I then had to

The Outlaw Cowgirl, Setting this Anguished World on Fire: Muddying the Holy Waters by Chocolate Waters

Review by Stephanie Dickinson Chocolate Waters, the “unofficial Poet Laurette of Hell’s Kitchen,” has woven together poetry, prose, and photography to create a compelling memoir that commands our interest not only by the poet’s rich personal story, but by her historical perspective. In a prose time capsule we discover the young woman, who will become

The King of Rock & Soul

by Alan Swyer There are words and phrases so familiar, it’s easy to believe they’ve been around forever. Though the term Soul Music feels that way, in truth its genesis actually owes to one specific person: a singer named Solomon Burke. In the pre-Amazon, pre-download days of actual record stores, music was divided into categories:

My Water Job

by Nina Kossman In one of my classes at Hunter, I meet a young fellow who tells me he’s a New Zealander. He also tells me about two things he has—a motorcycle and a great job. The great job is watering plants in rich people’s homes only two hours a week, and when I hear

Peace Out

A swarm of cars, the frenzy typical of big city traffic, surrounded Dr. Arlo Perkins the day Lily spotted him on her way to the gym. She approached an underpass that harbored a ramshackle community of tents, bags of garbage, and one person, still as death, in a sleeping bag. The trucks and SUVs on

Plaid Couches

by Emily Krauser Did everyone break on a pilly plaid couch? Did everyone break? Was everyone a hollowed-out apparition of their childhood self, or was it just her? Was she a narcissist for thinking she might be the only one? She both accepts and denies this possibility, her personality a spiderweb of contradictions. Everyone was