Featured Writer: Evan James


Current Web Edition

Submit to our Upcoming Web Edition

Ninth Letter will be accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a special online edition to be published at ninthletter.com in Winter 2018.  Submissions will be open from January 22 to March 31.

The theme for this issue is climate. Subjected to climate change both in our localities and at a distance, how does our literature recognize and respond? Snow in Saudi Arabia. Bleached coral reefs. Bomb cyclones and a weakened polar vortex. Drought and unprecedented wildfire. Longer hurricane seasons. We hear this all around us, but what does it mean to you?




Journal – No. 4

Fall/Winter 2005 – Vol. 2, No. 2

Sample Spreads




Matthew Yapchaian


Brian Evenson, Ismail Kadare (trans. by David Bellos), Alan Rossi, Keith Lee Morris, Will Boast and Mary Austin Speaker, Dana Johnson, H.G.Carrillo, Eleanor Henderson


Jeremy Huggins, Floyd Skloot, Catherine Jagoe, Jim Kaler, Penny Susan Rose, Lynn Kilpatrick


Christopher Cunningham, Claire Bateman, David Kirby, T.R. Hummer, David Wyatt, Henry Israeli, Joanna Goodman, Sharmila Voorakkara, Ben Lyle Bedard (Booklet), Sarah Maclay, Matthew Gavin Frank, Shirley Stephenson, Stefi Weisburd, Tim Kahl

Editor's Note

The opening pages of this, our fourth issue and the culmination of two volumes of Ninth Letter, seem the perfect place for me to indulge in a little self-congratulations on behalf of the magazine. We have been fortunate to publish many extraordinary works of prose and poetry by emerging and established writers, including the following award-winners:

"A Taste of Dust," a short story by Lynne Sharon Schwartz, published in our Spring/Summer 2004 issue (our premiere), which was selected by Michael Chabon for The Best American Short Stories 2005

"Terra Firma" by Amy Lingafelter and "Traveler," by Janice N. Harrington, poems appearing in our Fall/Winter 2004, each of which received a Literary Award from the Illinois Arts Council

Ismail Kadare, author of the novel The Successor from which "The Autopsy" in this issue is excerpted, was awarded the inaugural Man-Booker International Prize for achievement in fiction.

Congratulations to these writers, and my personal thanks to the editorial staff of Ninth Letter for striving and succeeding in finding the best writing imaginable to appear in our pages.

And congratulations and thanks, too, to our fine design team, who took home not a few accolades themselves in the past year for their work on this journal. The premiere issue of Ninth Letter won two gold medals in the 2004 Annual Design Competition of the University & College Designers Association, for Cover Design and for Magazine Design as a Complete Unit. The journal was also a winner in the Type Directors Club's annual competition for the best work in typography and type design, and will appear in Typography 26, forthcoming from HarperCollins at the end of 2005. And our companion website, www.ninthletter.com, was a finalist in the art section of the 2005 South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Kudos to all the artists and designers who toil and slave for Ninth Letter.

And thanks to you, readers, for hanging with us. Turn the page and see what other delights are in store.

— Jodee Stanley


HOW Magazine's International Design 2006

Editorial Merit award for design

Print Magazine Regional Design Annual 2006

Pushcart Prize 2006

For Sharmila Voorakkara?s poem "The Eternal Immigrant"



Jodee Stanley

Creative Nonfiction Editor

Steve Davenport

Fiction Editor

Philip Graham

Poetry Editor

Michael Madonick

Art Editors

Joseph Squier and Nan Goggin

Art Director

Jennifer Gunji-Ballsrud

Photo Editor

Tirzah Rose


Aditya Bhargava, Patrick Doran, Angela Egan, Fabiola Elias, Daniel Goscha, Mark Hauge, Joohyun Kang, Katelyn Kappel, Jennifer Mahanay, Jeffrey Merrick, Kacey Morrow, Katie Quinn, Annette Rotz, Nikita Sorokin


Cristen Leifheit, Jennifer Mahanay, Tirzah Rose

Assistant Editors

Laura Bandy, Kristen Davidson, Patrick Lane, Jacqueline May, Robert McCarthy, Harmony Neal, Anne Owen, Rick Pierce, Ben Stephens, Rebecca Weber

Editorial Assistants

Christine Bryant, Laura Koritz, Paul Riegel, Ted Sanders, Leslie Singleton, Erin Elizabeth Smith


Erich Hehn, Linus Gog, Emma Ott, Jessica Rubennacker

Now Available! Volume 14, no. 2 - Fall/Winter 2017-18

Featuring new work from:
D. J. Thielke, Rachel M. Hanson,
Becka Mara McKay, Kimberly King Parsons,
Jeanne Larson, Oliver Baez Bendorf,
Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley, Aaron Baker,
and more. Plus: The winners of our 2017 Literary Awards!


Submit to our print edition

Purchase an issue or a subscription

Featured Writer: Mimi Schwartz


Submit to our 2018 Literary Awards!


This year's Literary Awards are now open for submissions. Our esteemed guest judges are Michele Morano, fiction; Elissa Washuta, creative nonfiction, and sam sax, poetry.

Winners in each category will receive $1000 and publication in Ninth Letter. All entrants will receive a one-year subscription.

Go here for complete guidelines and to submit your work!

Feature: Cuban Voices



Dream Game, Memory's Palazzo

The Sun Yat-sen International Writers Residency Special Edition

edited and with an introduction by Katherine Scott Nelson

featuring poetry, essays, and stories by Ravi Shankar, Fan Dai, Larissa Boehning, Rúnar Vignisson, and more

  © Ninth Letter, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.