Based out of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, the newest issue of Zone 3 offers readers an eclectic mix of writing with the common denominator of stunning opening lines that won’t let go. Eneida P. Alcalde’s poem, “Memory Quilt,” begins: “My baby’s napping when what’s left / of you arrives…” Eddie Vona’s story, “Paragon of Animals,” begins: “It was Christmas Eve, so my mother was killing lobsters in our kitchen sink.” Sarah Carey’s poem, “Space Invaders,” begins: “My body homes itinerant ghosts—” Katie Darby Mullins’ story, “Game Theory,” begins: “The baby should mean something to me.” Delving in rewards the reader with more great lines, like “The world is more than pipelines.” from “Transatlantic Flight” by Megan M. Garr, and “He used to step into the phone box, if it was empty, to talk to her ghost.” from “Chess Wednesday” by Andrew Peters. All this to say, check out the newest issue of Zone 3, which also features works by Morgan Hamill, Shannon Hardwick, Rebecca Lehmann, Angie Macri, Nathan Manley, Sandra Marchetti, Ted McCarthy, L.S. McKee, Sarah Fawn Montgomery, Bo Schwabacher, Carrie Shipers, Audrey Spina, Simone Muench and Jackie K. White, Julia Kooi Talen, Vanessa Tamm, Greg Tebbano, John Walser, Gregory Wolff, Danae Younge, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Alyse Bensel, Lisa Compo, Aran Donovan, Jordan Escobar, and Seth Garcia. Cover art by Marc Escalona Gaba.
The Fall 2021 issue of Zone 3 just hit the stands, celebrating thirty-five years of continuous publication! Editor Amy Wright opens the volume with a retrospective look at events from the founding year, 1986, and extols, “For our 35th anniversary issue, we are united in our resolve to create a safe space to hear, heed, and uplift BIPOC issues, joys, struggles, and stories. We are invested in equity. As editors, we want the conversations generated by our pages to demonstrate a full range of human experiences and intend to follow this special issue with additional themed issues dedicated to underrepresented voices.” The opening essay, “This is My American Country” by Allen M. Price is intended to “upset assumptions about what America has meant and can mean, because when our concepts, illusions, and projections break down, we see ourselves as we truly are and are becoming.” and can be read on the Zone 3 website.
What if there existed a span in your memory that wasn’t really your memory at all?
Jeff Ewing goes through this in “Impermanence,” his account of experiencing Transient Global Amnesia (TGA), “a temporary condition marked by the sudden onset of anterograde amnesia, a disquieting inability for a period of 5-12 hours to make any new memories.” During this time, “the brain resets every 30 seconds or so, the slate is wiped clean, [ . . . ].”
Due to TGA, Ewing loses eight hours of his life. While his body moved around an ER and underwent tests, he doesn’t really remember it. And the faint memories he does have may not even be his. Ewing goes on to talk about the ways our memories fail us. We perform “memory thefts,” sometimes subconsciously taking someone else’s memory and believing it’s our own. What he remembers could actually just be what has been told to him. Suddenly intimately aware of this fallibility of memory, he tries to savor moments in his life post-TGA, to “fasten it all down for good.”
This piece of nonfiction is an interesting look at memory and TGA, something I had never heard of before. Ewing’s writing style is inviting, and he casually yet carefully explains TGA and memory, making sure the reader is following along. He doesn’t bask too long in the emotional, but leads us there gently, wrapping up this piece with a reminder to take stock of what it is we’d want to “fasten down” in our own memories.
“Impermanence” by Jeff Ewing. Zone 3, Spring 2021.
In this issue: poetry by Olivia Kingery, Kat Neis, Alyse Knorr, D.C. Leonhardt, Alice Turski, Naoko Fujimoto, John Allen Taylor, Emma Aylor, Jessica Hincapie, Alicia Mountain, Anthony Sutton, Benjamin Cutler, Camille Ferguson, Jennifer Maritza McCauley, Laura Walker, and more. See prose contributors at the Zone 3 website.
In the issue of Zone 3: nonfiction by Hadil Ghoneimj, Steven Harvey, Kathryn Nuernberger, and more; fiction by Scott Brennan, Mary Louise Hill, Sarah Layden, Nathan Moseley, and others; and poetry by Ellery Beck, Jennifer Brown, Jesse DeLong, Jose Hernandez Diaz, Andrew Johnson, Arden Levine, Matt McBride, Leah Osowski, Charlie Peck, Marlo Starr, Dan Veach, and more. Cover art by Jiha Moon.
Magazine Review by Katy Haas
Everything is green and warm outside my window right now, but James Braun takes readers back to winter in his story “The Salt Man” from the Spring 2020 issue of Zone 3.
The story centers on two young sisters mid-winter. They are sent outside to wait for the salt man to come salt their roads before they’re allowed to play outside their yard. This is a dark piece. Poverty hangs heavy over the story. What once was green and beautiful has been covered by rocks. They have no heat in the house. Their neighbor loses fingers to frostbite. A woman cries on a couch while they go door to door asking if they can shovel driveways for cash to pay for a doctor bill. And the person they’re told will bring them a level of safety—the salt man—ends up being a source of danger in himself.
I enjoyed Braun’s writing style. There’s a level of flippancy with all the characters who view their lifestyle as ordinary. The story is short but holds a lot inside it. We’re able to discern as much meaning in what isn’t said as in what is clearly stated. And even though it is warm enough that I have my window open, a warm breeze blowing into my living room as I write this, Braun’s writing still makes a reader feel that inescapable cold of winter.
The issue of Zone 3 includes poetry by Darius Atefat-Peckham, Colin Bailes, Brian Bender, Daniel Biegelson, Christopher Citro, Lynn Domina, Alexandria Hall, Lauren Hilger, Angie Macri, Martha McCollough, A. Molotkov, Kell Nelson, Amy Seifried, Pui Ying Wong, and more; fiction by James Braun, Janice Deal, Tammy Delatorre, Maura Stanton, and Terry Thomas; nonfiction by Rebecca McClanahan, Katherine Schaefer, and William Thompson, and art by Khari Turner.
Find the Fiction and Poetry winners of the 2019 Zone 3 Literary Awards in the Fall 2019 issue. Winners were chosen by the genre editors.
“Five Variations on Parnell’s Blues” by Matthew Fiander
“Sandy” by Jasmine Dreame Wagner
For more contest winners, readers can pick up the Spring 2019 issue to check out the winner of the nonfiction prize: “In Praise of the Plains” by Sarah Fawn Montgomery. The Literary Awards are currently open until April 1.