Fall/Winter 2014-15 – Vol. 11, No. 2



Justin Bigos, To the Management at IKEA: 

Naira Kuzmich, Woman Amid Ruins

Andrew Milward, What is to be Done?

Laura Van Etten, Questions Before we Start

Charles Wilkinson, How Can We Eat Amongst the Dead?



Liz Arnold, After a Suicide, A Search

Nathan Jandl, Studs

Michael Larson, A Colossal Swell

Mara Naselli, Horse in Hand 

Lynda Sexson, Melancholy Meat 

Kate Washington, Abide With Me 



Sarah Barber, The Only Imagery is Frost or Fire

Grady Chambers, The Life; Explaining the Resurrection in Simple Words; Syracuse, October 

Jennifer S. Cheng, from Letters to Mao

Benjamin Goldberg, The Comedian's Therapy Session; On Meeting Your New Roommate in an Adolescent Psych Ward

Benjamin S. Grossberg, Facing It

Sara Eliza Johnson, Rapture

Taylor Harrison Micks, Imago 

David Mohan, Portrait with a Dog

Susannah Nevison, My Father Dreams of Horses; My Father Dreams of Horses (II)

James Schiller, Poetry Friends Forever/Mammal Holocaust, Afterward

Matt Sumpter, Wind Up 

Jake Syersak, Orison Was an Either-image, Arisen; If There Was any Iota, It Was Roiling Too; Stretching Nil to Nail to Hammer out a Whole; In Which Of Is More Centrifugal than Dove; Of Is the Zero the Horizon Makes, if World-Shaped 

Noel Thistle Tague, Theory of the soul in storm, 1909-2013

P.J. Williams, My Father Grows Up with a Black Dog Named Nig 


2014 Contest Winners

Poetry: Anders Carlson-Wee, The Low Passions; Dynamite 

Fiction: Rachel Goldman, Steps 

Creative Nonfiction: Nick Neely, The Book of Agate

Literature in Translation: Ho Nansorhoon, Poem Given to a Nun While Staying in a Taoist Monastary



Art Feature

Brian Ewing


Where We're At

Calgary Martin, A Series of Waves 

Zachariah McVicker, Death in the Midwest


Editorial Staff

Editor: Jodee Stanley

Creative Nonfiction Editor: Steve Davenport

Poetry Editor: Michael Madonick 

Assistant Editors: Sara Fan, Khaleel Gheba, Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Editorial Assistants: John Dudek, Nolan Grieve, Ceridwen Hall, Avery Irons, Roya Khatiblou, Calgary Martin, Yael Massen, Sean MacIntyre, Zachariah McVicker, Natalie Mesnard, Katherine Scott Nelson, Kristin Walters, Lucilena Williams

Art Directors: Márit McCluske, Maurice Meilleur

Designers: Meme Betadam, Brendan Blaber, Stephanie Carlson, Dane Georges, Daniel Harmon, Size Ma, Emily Ogden, Courtney Podgorski, Bella Reinhofer, Kaity Tighe, Laura Today, Lisa Vuong

Special Thanks: John Dayger, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; Gary Frantz and Original Smith Printing, Inc. (; Robert Heneghan and Unisource/Veritiv (; Laney Ontiveros; and Stephen J. Wanzek, UIUC / Willard Airport.


Support at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

College of Fine and Applied Arts
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of English
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
LAS Humanities Council
Office of the Chancellor
Office of the Provost
School of Art and Design


Individual Sponsors

Patron: Sarah Knox, M.D., John Hall, M.D. 

Friend: Raina Bahns, Joan Golder, Kathleen Harleman

This project is partially supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council.

Information about supporting Ninth Letter can be found at; all donations and gifts to Ninth Letter are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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