SmokeLong Weekly for August 15, 2018:

We Lose Our Virginities

by Diana Clarke

We make pacts to lose our virginities together by taking a nail file and slicing, a whisper of a line, through our palms, bisecting the juncture where heart meets head. The wounds open wide, baring all, the salacious whores, and love and intellect will never again interact without that slim scar to remind us of … Continue reading We Lose Our Virginities

More stories:

The Way to Reach YouBy Janelle Williams

Sky Like ConcreteBy Mike Riess

The PhotoBy Svetlana Beggs

SwansBy John Mancini

This Week’s Reader:

Mel Bosworth and Ryan Ridge

Mel Bosworth is the author of the novel Freight, the poetry chapbook Every Laundromat in the World, and co-author with Ryan Ridge of Second Acts in American Lives. His work has appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Per Contra, New World Writing, Santa Monica Review, Melville House, American Book Review, and elsewhere. A former series editor for the Wigleaf Top 50 and a former assistant editor for The Best Small Fictions, Mel curates the Small Press Book Review, an online archive. He lives in Western Massachusetts.

Ryan Ridge is the author of four books, including American Homes (University of Michigan Press, 2014), which was the Michigan Library Publishing Club’s inaugural book club pick. His next book, WEIRD WEEKS, a collection of stories coauthored with Mel Bosworth, will be released by Cupboard Pamphlet this fall. Past work has appeared in Tin HouseDIAGRAMMississippi ReviewPotomac ReviewLos Angeles ReviewLuminaMiracle MonoclePost Road, and numerous others. An assistant professor at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, he co-directs the Creative Writing Program. In addition to his work as a writer and teacher, he edits the literary magazine Juked.

Read the interview with Mel Bosworth and Ryan Ridge

Review: Karen Donovan’s Aard-vark to Axolotl

by Ashley McGreary Opening any collection of short fiction is like losing your senses to a curio cabinet of wonder, but Karen Donovan’s Aard-vark to Axolotl (Etruscan Press, April 2018) takes this precept to an almost literal interpretation. Based on a set of illustrations from the pages of her grandfather’s 1925 Webster’s New International Dictionary, … Continue reading Review: Karen Donovan’s Aard-vark to Axolotl