Issue 19

Emerge Literary Journal: 2021

Issue 19

Editor’s Note

I’m always amazed at how quickly the time passes between issues, particularly when they’re delayed (I know. I’m sorry). It’s a marvel to me we are publishing yet another one. When I founded Emerge Literary Journal in 2011, I didn’t have a Magic 8 Ball to ask whether or not this venture might be successful, how successful, or even whether or not it would still be here a decade later. What I do know is this: turns out running a small literary magazine is harder than it looks. Submissions pour in, submissions that need to be reviewed, responded to and agonized over. Yet, we’ve managed to put out yet another issue, one we’re very proud of.


When I founded this journal, I never imagined it would ever go on hiatus, but after my battle with cancer and overcoming personal struggles, I was able to revive it, and later the press, with the help of just one man, Damon McKinney. Damon worked hard, grew a tremendous following, and curated the best eight issues I ever imagined. He didn’t just volunteer his time and effort, he volunteered his heart, and over the course of time he became a confidant and a friend. Without his constant encouragement I couldn’t have kept going at times, but he came up with new ideas for me to focus on and always pointed out the simplest of successes.


Today, I forget the history of the journal, what it was, what it’s become, and will always focus on its evolution, on the amplification of its contributors and living out its mission. Today I can think of no other way to end this editor’s note than to dedicate this issue, Issue 19, to the one and only Damon McKinney. Much love to you, my friend. Best wishes. So long and thanks for all the fish.

Be Well. Write Well. Read Well.


Dogs on the Roof, Samantha DeFiltch

Mint, Charlotte Hamrick

Things I already know, Megan Cannella

tearing down my body to find god, Kevin Hüttenmüller

I may not be the Jesus Christ I once fondly imagined myself, but I think I must make a good cup of tea, Mary Rose Manspeaker

eden underwater | apologia, Ella Rous

Why We’re Here, Rebecca Macijeski

We are eating autumn, Erin Mizrahi

Heartwood, Terri Linn Davis

My Ideal Self as a Thick, Square Wooden Cutting Board, Ashley A. Mabbitt

Learning German, Lynne Schmidt

bathing, Robert Rinehart

The changing room, DS Maolalai

Paranoia/Pronia, Sean Cho A

Middlemost, Kalyn Livernois

self-portrait as lady vengeance |self-portrait as loneliness, Ashley Hajimirsadeghi

Inherited Beliefs, Erin Schallmoser

2:00 a.m. and I am Thinking About the Black Hole from Interstellar | Growing Pains, Matthew J. Andrews

a list of texts i never sent you | The Fight, Vic Nogay

Esperanza Corner

When I Hear a Train, Amy-Jean Muller

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.

Creative Non-Fiction

The Magician’s Garden, Jared Povanda

Changes, Victoria Buitron

SorryLoveYou, Kristen Zory King


an ear, a heart, a life a life a life, Rachel Abbey McCafferty

When The World Announced It Was Ending, L Mari Harris

The Caregiver, Carolyn Oliver

Fire & Other Raging Things, Todd Clay Stuart

Pink Tutu on a Barstool |Unnerving Houseplants, Madeline L. Taylor

Shelved | The Storyteller, Sara Solberg

House of Dust, Arielle McManus

This Life | An Analysis of Random Phenomena, Cath Barton

Stella, Jamie Etheridge

The Heart Surrenders, Elizabeth Grierson

God, Sean Cunningham

Turning Into Ratigan, Evan James Sheldon

A Guide for Day Trips to the Sea, Stella Lei

Mango Madness, Kim Steutermann Rogers

Odd Bird, Chelsea Stickle

Boy in the Attic, Gabrielle McAree

Featured Writer

Interview with Amy-Jean Muller

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