Leah Beckhoff currently resides in the mountains of Vermont but is originally from Northeast Philadelphia. Every morning she digs a notebook out from under her pillow and records her dreams. Bridget Bradshaw: First, congratulations on your first publication in Contrary’s Spring 2019 issue! How does that feel? Did you submit much before submitting to Contrary? […]

Libraries have a history going back thousands of years. One of the most famous libraries, the Library of Alexandria, is believed to have been founded in 295 B.C.E. and was supposed to have held the greatest collection of ancient literature ever gathered. Thinking more modernly, the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. is the largest library […]

Contrary Summer 2019 issue is here! And it is headed by “And the Wounded Disappear” by Douglas Cole, a mysterious story about brotherhood and memory. See how our contrarians write about pain, loss, and redemption in the new poems by Emma Depanise, Laura Lee Washburn, Sally Zakariya, and Nicholas Alti, and new stories by Jim Gash, […]

Carolee Bennett lives in Upstate New York, where –after a local, annual poetry competition –she has fun saying she was the “almost” poet laureate of Smitty’s Tavern. She has an MFA in poetry and works full-time as a writer in social media marketing.    Bridget Bradshaw: Did you write these three poems specifically to submit […]

Review: Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

by Bridget Bradshaw June 22, 2019

Gravity is the Thing is a novel by Jaclyn Moriarty that follows Abi Sorenson, a woman whose life changes drastically on the days preceding her sixteenth birthday for two reasons. The first is that her brother and closest confidant, Robert, disappears. The second is that she receives the first of many chapters from The Guidebook, […]

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Interview with Best of the Net 2018 Winner, Abby Minor

by Bridget Bradshaw June 20, 2019

Abby Minor lives in the ridges and valleys of central Pennsylvania where she works on poems, essays, paintings, quilts, and projects for reproductive justice. The recipient of fellowships, residencies, and awards from Bitch Media, Split this Rock, The Rensing Center, The Penland School of Crafts, and the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust, Abby is an advisory […]

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Art of the Letter

by Bridget Bradshaw June 13, 2019

It seems the more technology that gets invented, the less hard-copy communication we have. Mailboxes are now full of advertisements and bills, and sometimes not even that; everything is moving online. I am not saying this is a bad thing, not at all. The convenience that comes with the internet is unparalleled. I could never […]

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Review: The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

by Bridget Bradshaw June 8, 2019

Christina Henry’s The Girl in Red takes the well-tread story of Little Red Riding Hood and combines it with today’s fascination with dystopian apocalypse scenarios. It’s not necessarily new to put a dark and gritty spin on old fairy tales, but it doesn’t always stick the landing. In this case, I think it does. Instead […]

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Modern Adaptations – To Make the Old New Again

by Bridget Bradshaw June 6, 2019

What is it about some stories that we want to hear them again and again? When looking at the realm of modern storytelling, a good amount of content, whether written, filmed, or otherwise, has been adapted from somewhere else. Book to movie adaptations have become more and more popular lately, but that is a conversation […]

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Review: The Outer Cape by Patrick Dacey

by Tyson Duffy April 16, 2017

The Outer Cape by Patrick Dacey Henry Holt & Co., June 20, 2017 First, a little trivia. See if you can guess which canonized American literary heavyweight wrote this gem: Amory selected a blade of grass and nibbled at it scientifically. “I never fall in love in August or September,” he proffered. “When then?” “Christmas […]

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Review: Chapbooks– Beautifully Whole & Badass

by Lee Gulyas March 24, 2016

Years ago, in a bar, talking about poetry, a friend of mine said, “Poetry. What do you do with that? I guess you could always write chapbooks.” Things have changed since then, and chapbooks (usually fewer than 30 pages of poetry) are not just plentiful, but proliferating. See chapbooks from Tupelo Press, Sarabande (authors Louise […]

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Review: The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud

by Shaun McMichael October 26, 2015

The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud Other Press, 2015 Kamel Daoud’s debut novel is a relentless reply to Camus’ The Stranger. It’s told from the perspective of the murdered Algerian’s younger brother, Harun, now an old man. A young Algerian, presumably a stand in for the author, has pinned down the old man in one […]

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In Defense of Voice

by Hannah Baggott July 5, 2015
Photo by dorena-wm via flickr. Creative Commons license.

One of my poetry workshop professors likes to start fights—to see us all twist a bit in our seats. I generally like being bothered in his workshops—his righteousness even admirable at times. He asks us to talk casually about our rhythmic values and tendencies. I say I value poetry as an oral/aural art. I say […]

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Idling with Dmitry Samarov

by Shelby Kling July 5, 2015
Dmitry Samarov (photo by Paul Germanos)

I met up with Dmitry Samarov at Hopleaf Bar in Edgewater for their Tuesday Funk reading series. Dmitry, a former Boston and Chicago taxi driver, is the author and illustrator of the work memoirs Where To?: A Hack Memoir (Curbside Splendor, 2014) and Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab (University of Chicago Press, 2011), and has also had essays and artwork […]

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Fourteen New Poems, Four New Stories For Spring

by Contrary Magazine March 17, 2015
Janet McNally

Janet McNally’s poems captivated us—viscerally—from the first lines, not just the imagery, but the sounds: “kick past coral,” “conch shells,” “plate glass.” As we read on, we entered a web of thematic strings that tie the poems together: flower petals, pomegranates, rubies, shades of red, myth, and fairy tale. These poems are so beautifully interwoven, […]

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