Attention all literary lovers: Natural Bridge Issue #31

Cover art by Nathaniel Gibson

All literary lovers out there: Natural Bridge Issue #31, guest edited by poet Steve Schreiner, is here! Get your copy today! The latest issue contains 160 pages of excellent fiction, poetry, and translation from around the world. The beautiful cover art is from Nathaniel Gibson (

Our literary journal contains the best fiction, poetry, and translations we received from over a thousand submitters.


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Natural Bridge Issue #31 is here! Get your copy today!

Here is a poem from Natural Bridge Issue #31: Recovery by Dustin Junkert

A swallow gulps a bread crumb

and the heart rises to meet it at the window.


Everything is half-shut! eyes and curtains!

The swallow flutters against the half-glass.


Lover, you have touched a blind

clock-worked mind. Cobalt spiderwebs


cling to the porch rails, rubbed with sun

flashing red and settling on yellow.


Imagine playing them with a smooth violin bow

the way one forgets to sign a paycheck.

Readings/Events 4-21-14

Readings / Events


April 21 | The Library of Dreams: Poetry & Song  


UMSL Monday Noon Series 12:15   402 J.C. Penny


Howard Schwartz and Gloria Attoun entertain and enlighten us in this program of poetry and song. Schwartz is the author of five books of poems, VesselsGathering the Sparks,Sleepwalking Beneath the StarsBreathing in the Dark, and his newly published The Library of Dreams: Selected Poems 1965-2013. His other books include Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, winner of the 2005 National Jewish Book Award, and Leaves from the Garden of Eden: One Hundred Classic Jewish Tales. Attoun has been writing songs and singing them since she was 15 years old. She accompanies herself on guitar, banjo, mandolin and harmonica, and performs in the bands Augusta Bottoms Consort and the Texas Giants. Many of her original songs are featured on four albums, including her latest solo CD Seeds, which has been played all over the United States, Germany, Ireland, Australia and Israel. Books and CDs will be available for signing.

Congratulations to our poetry winners!

Here are the results of the UMSL MFA Graduate Prize in Poetry.

First Place goes to Matthew Freeman for “The Procovery Sequence.” Here is the judge’s blurb:

I love how the poet re-mixes ancient myths in these poems (“Finally a Consistent Poetics,” for example, or “Condition Center”) and makes them relevant. I also admire how the poet can fit a perfect iambic line right against a line broken with slang diction (“Condition Center,” again). I’m impressed by the rhythm in these poems, and I found “Speaking Old and Young” particularly moving in that regard. I’m also impressed by the variety of forms and kinds of rhyme. Above all, I was taken by the disarming honesty in these poems, and how they confront raw subjects with great awareness and even humor. Great stuff!

Runner-Up goes to Kasey Perkins for “Those Who Breathe Once, and Never Stop.” Here is the judge’s a blurb:

I admire these poems very much, and I felt transported by the imagery. In the true spirit of elegy (most of these poems feel elegiac to me), I felt that each profound loss was answered by the consolations of beauty, and a keen sense of place and identity. Great sensory details and a wide-scoping imagination at work here!

A taste of our journal

In the Rain – Horses

A poem by MariJo Moore from Natural Bridge Issue #26, which was part of “The Living Earth” theme:

“Four horses keep running in the pasture
enjoying the rain

seemingly oblivious to the sound of the splintering heart
inside the little cabin

but then
the man has never tried to hear beyond the sound

their hooves make
wet or dry, running.”

GWA presents Joe Benevento

Joe Benevento will be in town for a fiction and poetry reading hosted by UMSL’s Graduate Writers Association at 7 p.m. on February 28 at Melt, 2712 Cherokee Street. This event is free and open to the public.

Mr. Benevento is author of two novels, The Monsignor’s Wife and The Odd Squad, a short story collection, Some of My Best Friends and Other Fictions, and four collections of poetry, Tough Guys Don’t Write, My Puerto Rican Past, Willing to Believe, and Holding On. His books will be for sale, and he will be available to sign copies after the reading.

Please join us for this reading! We’d love to see you there!