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Bryant Literary Review

Volume 20 (2019)

Editors' Notes


In Following the Equator, Mark Twain wrote, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” I remembered this quote when the semester provided me so many opportunities to read about life’s daily dramas. Usually, I consider myself a man of science fiction—you can find me writing about futuristic worlds full of robotic AI. I like to explore the endless possibilities of technology and how to write a meaningful story made out of seemingly-impossible parts. There’s a certain joy in trying to make the implausible plausible. Yet Mr. Twain is right: it is hard to imagine web-slinging through Manhattan, finding out who shoots first at the Mos Eisley cantina, or trying to survive in the Hunger Games as a normal human being. What makes the stories we chose for this year’s Bryant Literary Review so compelling is their connection to the woes of everyday reality. We may be safe from the supervillains of a fictional universe, but we aren’t immune to the dangers of ‘normal’ life.

This is the BLR’s twentieth edition, the twentieth time we have curated a diverse collection of voices from America and abroad. A special thanks to each and every one of you who reminds Bryant of its literary roots by reading this magazine. Your loyalty inspires us, and we are hopeful for the next twenty years.

Thank you to my fellow student editors, Professors Matthew Neill Null and Sarah Kruse, and members of Bryant University staff for helping make this issue possible.

Matthew Yuen
Student Fiction Editor


I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Student Poetry Editor for the Bryant Literary Review, and I enjoyed reading the variety of poems. Although I am a Business major, after being selected for the position, it truly opened my eyes to the world of Liberal Arts. Whether I was reading a haiku, a free verse, or a narrative poem, the experience was one of a kind. All of the submissions were unique in their own way. The selections featured here vary in scope from observations of the mundane, to memories of the past, to family dynamics, to questions of politics and the social in the current moment. The voices range from some well-established authors to others who are budding new writers. In honor of Bryant Literary Review former Rhode Island Poet Laureate Tom Chandler’s recent retirement, we are delighted to include a new poem from current Rhode Island Poet Laureate, Tina Cane.

We appreciate your time and hope you enjoy reading the selected poems as much as we did!

Shannon Flaherty
Student Poetry Editor

Title Page

Table of Contents

Editors' Note

Contributors

Fiction

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The Good Son
William Torphy

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Saying Goodbye in Brussels
Lawrence F. Farrar

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Little Mercies
Terry Sanville

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Young Tragic Heroines
Elaine Little

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Judge
John P. Kristofco

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The Commandment
James Armstrong

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Home Visit
Jesse Mardian

Poetry

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Monkey Time
Eric Greinke

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Vaya Con Dios
Russ Allison Loar

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When Fall Arrives
David James

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Dog Whistle
Tina Cane

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Saudade
Lisa Russo

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All I Know About Pool
Charles Harper Webb

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The Help
J. Tarwood

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God and God's
Sandy Weisman

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Night Shadows
Jimmie Pennington

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Copy Cat Music
John Krumberger

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Living Dolls
Andrena Zawinski

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Lachrimae
Allen Strous

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Tiny Bills
Susan Johnson

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Learning from Her
Emily Madapusi Pera

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Object Permanence
Jacob Nelson

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Chicago - 1966
Michael Walls

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Mastery
Ken Victor

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The Lariat
Marc Pietrzkowski

Editors

Editor and Fiction Editor
Matthew Neil Null
Poetry Editor
Sarah Kruse
Managing Editor
Ron Pitt
Associate Editor
Lucie Koretsky
Student Poetry Editors
Shannon Flaherty, Alexandra Miernicki-Dufresne
Student Fiction Editors
Lena Erauda, Danielle Veith, Matthew Yuen

Additional Information

Design and Layout
Rebecca Chandler, studio@beccachandler.com
Printing
Pucino Print Consultants, pucinoprint@verizon.net
Cover Art
"I have never been here before," by Martha Kuhlman, 2019