“Colony Collapse Disorder in Honey Bees as Eschatology”

25 February 2012

Oliver de la Paz is a poet of ambition. He operates on a mythic scale, even in the microcosm. But he’s not too busy staring at the world inside his fingernail. He takes his readers into a strange new world and brings them back, whether he’s transmuting all the worst generals into imperial ants in Names Above Houses, or honeymooning with scorpions in Furious Lullaby, or staring into the abyss of a vacant bee hive on the pages of Sou’wester.

Read the poem.


“Bees on Beans”
LavenderCreek, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.


Lest We Forget “Gunner”

18 February 2012

"Bullet Proof" Joseph Levens has a way of messing with your head. What’s in a name, he asks. Where is the line between the literal and the metaphorical? What’s all this about sex and death?

Joseph’s fiction has appeared in Sou’wester numerous times, including the Spring 2012 issue.

“Gunner” begins:

My boyfriend’s name is Gunner and there is a reason for this. The sex is good, great even, but when he comes, boy and girl here have a little problem: a bullet is shot out instead of semen, at the same velocity as if fired from a rifle.

Read the story.


“Bullet Proof”
John Linwood, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Our first guest = Kyle Minor

25 February 2012

Kyle Minor's HandI’m told Sou’wester is throwing a Come As You Are Party. Well, here I am, or my hand, anyway, at my mess of a work desk. Reason #1 for the mess: I’m eyeballs-deep in the final revision of my novel-in-progress, which will be titled The Sexual Lives of Missionaries. Reason #2: This is how messy my desk always gets, and the only reason it ever gets less messy is because I keep a to-do list, and on the fourth Thursday of every month, I tend the line item that reads: “Clean your desk.”

The stack of books on the left is part pleasure reading, part research. The Atlas of Anatomy and Gray’s Anatomy are for the novel that will follow the novel I’m writing. Its construction requires me to know more than I now know about bodily organs, their natures and appearances, and how they decay after death. (There’s a stack behind this stack on the subject of “morbid anatomy,” which means that every time I leave the library I get funny looks from the desk clerks, who surely wonder whether I’m a medical student or an axe murderer.)

Continue Reading

Origin Stories

If “Turnagain” was a bird, what kind would it be?

25 February 2012

Jamey Bradbury responds to a few question about her story, which appears in the Fall 2011 issue.

How did this story come to be? When is its birthday?

This story’s honorary birthday is Thanksgiving because the idea for the story was born out of a real-life trip I took to Trout Lake (on the Resurrection Pass Trail in Alaska) over Thanksgiving Day weekend: Four days, a weekend-high temperature of -5 degrees, and an incident during which my co-campers nearly burned down our public-use cabin.

If this story was a bird, what kind would it be?

The state bird of Alaska: the ptarmigan. (A male ptarmigan’s mating call sounds like he’s laughing at a bad joke.)

What was the last thing you read that took the top of your head off?

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I did not expect to be swept away by this book, but it completely transported me.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to your younger writing self?

There’s never going to be enough time, so steal every minute you can.


Read an excerpt.

Q & A

Kellie Wells says, “Why bleed for bupkis?”

25 February 2012

"Lego House"It’s hard to disagree with that.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that this comment was yanked from the middle of  a detailed answer to a question regarding the writer’s compulsions that appeared in the fall 2011 feature, “Ten Questions for Kellie Wells.”

While we’re unsure how Kellie feels about Lego (a topic for another interview perhaps), she does have quite a bit to say about dogs, motifs, omniscience, and sentences.

Read the entire Q & A.


“Innovative Design”
Peter Trimming, used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Strange Warnings

Reading labels, because that’s what writers do.

02 February 2012

banana in a ziploc bag

Remove Plastic Before Eating

Last summer, at an editorial-ish meeting, we were delighted to see this on a certain beverage label: “Contains live yeast; a sediment may form.” Thus arose the inspiration for one aspect of our new cover look – the incorporation of the odd and/or absurd product warning.

We encourage you to send us your own odd finds, as text or image.


It Works Like This

23 February 2012

man wearing party hatOur “come as you are party” works like this. SW shoots an email to a writer requesting an impromptu photo along with a “what’s up” update, letting us know what s/he is doing or cleaning or repairing or writing or reading or feeding right now. The plucky writer (we hope) responds within a few hours and we post. Voila! Writers – stand by for your invitation!

“Party Hat” Used under CC BY 3.0.