Salt Hill 39 

While it’s tempting to find an overarching theme to this issue of Salt Hill, it’s really the diverse array of voices, formal inventions and aesthetics that give it a coherent life. There’s an inquisitiveness in these pages, a probing unwillingness to remain satisfied with the surface of things. These impulses challenge us to enter strange, emotionally uncertain and sometimes uncomfortable territory. Heidi Reszies’ poems carry us, literally, into  the  margins, toward  what  is  normally  left  unsaid,  with  footnotes that redirect us from the site of an ordinary table into “everything that is insoluble: questions about being & becoming.” The client in Patrick Lawler’s story echoes to his psychologist a similarly fringe experience, this one of the strangeness of love. “Even today,” he writes, “I respond emotionally to the maternal nature of the woman’s voice that comes out of the car wash machine.” And in “Water Tower Inn,” Meghan McEnery disrupts the notion of static surfaces altogether, with an aside about the atom: “they never stay still. They’re always jumping from one thing to another. Hopping around. Bonding with new things.” Such is the work in this issue.

With  plainspokenness  and  emotional  forthrightness, Emma Timbers’ poem “Lake” gives us a window into the true discomfort of intimacy, an ambiguous space where “For the first time / I am afraid / to say your name.” In “from Occasional Chainsaws in the Valley of Eternal Sorry,” Gina Keicher uses humor, surrealism and myth to create a dense, claustrophobic, constantly shifting world where “we stitch thready constellations into story” and “some monster with a million eyes watches us.”

We hope you enjoy the miscellany of this issue as much as we enjoy giving its voices a place to speak. In that spirit, the protagonist of Ryan Ridge’s “Echo Park” feels like the perfect declaration with which to leave you.  “‘Hasta  la  vista,  baby,’  I  sometimes  think  as  I  drive  away  from people, trying to look fearless.”

Jonathan Aprea, Patrick Dundon, Abbey Numedahl, and Rachel Wakefield



Rennie Ament, Nicole Balin, Karina Borowicz, Doug Paul Case, Margaret Cipriano, Brian Clifton, Dorothy Chan, James Haug, Julie Henson, Gabriel Jesiolowski, Gina Keicher, Eve Kenneally, Brenna Lemieux, Bill Neumire, Heidi Reszies, Mary Robles, Brittney Scott, Emily Skaja, Tyler Sowa, Julia Clare Tillinghast, Emma Timbers, Danielle Weeks, Jim Whiteside, John Sibley Williams


Mark Budman, Meghan McEnery, Patrick Lawler, Ryan Ridge, Anna Silverstein


Sean Ironman, Monica Mamchur, Chloe Manchester


Afton Love, Peter McCollough

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Editors: Jonathan Aprea, Patrick Dundon, Abbey Numedahl, and Rachel Wakefield