Midwest Review 4

featuring a new name, a new look, and more of best contemporary writing and art from the Midwest: new work by Erika Mueller, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Agate Nesaule, Rita Mae Reese, Jon Ballard, Lindsey Griffin, Susanne Markgren, Shoshauna Shy, Melissa Olson-Petrie, Richard King Perkins II, Sara Burr, Kimberly Suhr, Jacob Boyd, Guy Thorvaldsen, Julie Franki, Helen Klebesadal, Emi Morita, and more. Cover art by Jamie Heiden.



in this issue

April 13, 2016

Silver-Bearded Man in the Waiting Room at the Dental Clinic

I’ve never seen him before but I’d like to look at him across a breakfast table while sunshine orangens a pitcher of juice, a light wind adds a soundtrack of patio wind chimes, the young day at our feet like a sheltie anticipating an open gate. None of this is going […]
April 13, 2016

Flower Texture

-Travis Anderson
April 13, 2016

Wendt Road and Thyme

After the funeral I returned, a widow, to our old house on the road’s south end. In the garden we had planted milkweed and asters for the Monarchs, rosemary and sage for love. Our place bordered an ancient and well-tended pasture where curious cows still grazed. Evenings they paraded peacefully […]
April 13, 2016

Foggy Road

– Corey Hoppenrath
April 13, 2016

The Adventure Ranger’s History of Surprises

My hands shook, not so much from holding a dead rattlesnake as from the possibility that the snake wasn’t dead. Not all the way. A ranger found it on the road, its head flattened by a tire. The length of it, however, looked undamaged and so the ranger put it […]
April 13, 2016

Midnight Train

He stands on the stairs leading to the platform and a rush of wind holds him upright. He feels a flush as if an empathetic trace of all those coming and going, running and wandering. He feels their anticipation, their notions of dread, pushing toward the turnstiles, heading back to […]
April 13, 2016

The Grove

-Helen Klebesadel
April 13, 2016


I decided to rent a wood chipper. I need mulch for the strawberry and asparagus beds. I need something to spread in thick layers between the rows of bi-color sweet corn and jewel-toned chards, around the fruit trees and under the hydrangea. I will rent a chipper and clear brush: […]
April 13, 2016


-Emi Morita
April 13, 2016


Entering the Chicago Art Annex on Wednesday evening felt like trespassing. Normally this would have bothered Jayne, but the sugar binges and atonement fasts of the past few days had left her feeling rinsed out. All she could do was trudge forward, which at this moment meant finding a sliver […]
April 13, 2016

After the Rain

-Margaret Jankowski
April 13, 2016

Hide & Seek

O Lord, you create darkness, & it is night & her love is night, is summer girls outside while inside bride & groom sleep in stiff dominion You have never been able to love what you were supposed to love When she closes her eyes & counts, aren’t you careful […]
April 13, 2016

Revising History

– Julie Franki
April 13, 2016

A Classical Education

In the 1950s, I sat by the River Jordan, the creek meandering through the Indiana University campus, and translated. I was a DP, a displaced person, as those of us who could not go home a er World War II were called, and so I might have been expected to […]
April 13, 2016

Two Girls

Because I am running out of ways to speak to you, I let your hands move inside me like desperate wings. I steal your light and watch it roll out, your thunder tongue, my Mississippi. You are a bridge laced over me. We are parked outside homes, dark sills where […]