Issue 24

Emerge Literary Journal: 2022

Editor’s Note

Just like the beginning of the calendar year is at its heart a fantasy of newness and clean slates—of the chance to do things differently and with more attention to purpose, Emerge Literary Journal marks the beginning of its next anniversary year in November. As our 10th year of publication ends and looks to the future, the journal has come to an intersection in its growth, a place where paths cross and new roads are taken. Though this issue was not curated around a theme, when reading it, one could, at times, breathe in confluence.

In this issue the junction of poetry and prose is well-marked; at you read through the creative nonfiction, we challenge you to watch for the turns. As the pieces walk beside and against each other throughout the issue, we ask that you stop and let them cross your path. Occasionally, you’ll meet a contributor who makes your heart sing and your stomach flip. Something electric happens as soon as you lock eyes: you know immediately that this is your new lover. The two of you don’t just gravitate towards each other – you are sucked into a love affair that envelopes every cell in your body and lights up the happiest parts of your brain. All you can think about, talk about and dream about is this new work, the one you didn’t realize you needed until it came into your life. The one you read and find yourself nodding and thinking, yes. That line. That stanza. That paragraph. That beauty.

Issue 24 is a call to take a breath and remember what it is that we’re doing, and why. So, while you won’t find any New Year’s resolutions in our last issue of the year, you will encounter many different angles on the idea of storytelling: It’s about experience, about showing you things you’ve never seen, or never seen this way. It’s about curiosity and discovery, exploration, and craft. But most of all, it’s the human side of these things that we want to show you. Something that you can experience and be part of. Everything here is meant to take you places. We’re not here to change the world, but we’re going to add as many voices as we can to it. And I think that, in these voices, you’ll hear something of yourself, too. So, with that, I say read and listen, and not just this issue, not just this journal. Read every journal; read all the books. Make that connection. Your ticket’s right here.

Be Well. Write Well. Read Well.



Body Language II | Pebble || Allison Thung

threshold scriptures | waiting tones || aq hanna

we have no ritz crackers left in the kitchen || Dina Folgia

In What In-Between || Hollie Dugas

In Photographs from Last Year || Brooke Harries

TERREMOTO | Hannah Loeb

garwyn at the precipice of the rest of her life | the care and keeping of your dead lover’s plants || Melissa Anne

the senses of touch and trust | keeping face for a twainese vulture || Ethan Hsaio

Pain’s Erasure Reconsidered | Ode to the Artichoke || Bobby Parrott

Spring That Year || Maryam Shadmehr

Esperanza Corner

because, there is gold || Melissa Boles

Kurt Cobain || Hesse Phillips

ELJ believes that #mentalillnessawareness and #endingthestigma are of paramount importance. We believe in the necessity of sharing our mental illness and trauma stories to facilitate writing through illness and create broader awareness. We’ve created this corner to allow writers to not only share their stories but to be home to those who share in their experiences.


Too, Only, Only || Karen Walker – Winner

All these oceans || K.A. Honeywell – Runner-Up

Creative Non-Fiction

I’m More My Father Than My Mother || Kathryn Silver-Hajo

Locating the Body in Space || Lisa Alletson

The Bethesda Angels || Tara Flaherty Guy

Camille || Susan Zueger

Farewell, Chantimelle || Camille U. Adams

The Last Supper || Brenda Klingenmaier

Phone Support || Debbie Feit


calculate for the sum of it all || Rachel Abbey McCafferty

Sunflowers || Maureen Aitken

Asian American Battle Royale || Eliot Li

Sun Rising Behind Grimy Tower Blocks || Amanda Saint

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