Michele Morano, “My Mother Was A Beauty Queen”

Roy Kesey, “Something” and “Fire”

David James Poissant, “The Story”

Chelsey Johnson, “You and Your Healthy Libido”


Soraya Palmer, “For the “Black Baldy Half-Dyke Who Fits in Nowhere: A Visibility Spell”

Jaquira Díaz, “Monster Story”

Robert Brunk, “Talking to a Stone Wall”


Rebe Huntman, “Mother with Paul Newman and Small Axis”

Tracy May Fuad, “For the Fisherwoman”

Tom Minogue, “Yacht Rock”

Kendra DeColo, “Self-Portrait with the Virgin Mary and Magic Mike,” “There Are Things I Won’t Tell My Daughter,” “Donald Trump Rides the Escalator of My Erotic Dreams”

Conor Bracken, “Love Poem with Mamba”

Joshua Myers, “[city]” and “[sardine]”

Heather Bartlett, “Will You Come In?”

Jessica Roeder, “The Tree in the Garden” and “Weather Also Expands and Contracts”

Jenny Sadre-Orafai, “We Buried the Fathers in Northville” and “Language of Signs”

Colby Cotton, “Fuel”

Kaitlyn Duling, “I-57 2:15 AM”

Emma Hine, “Tornado Warning in Horse Country”

Madeleine Wattenberg, “Elegy” and “Transubstantiation”

Lena Moses-Schmitt, “Removing the Dirt” and “Not Happiness”

Mark Lee Webb, “After You Drove”

Caylin Capra-Thomas, “Uncertainty Principle,” Uncertainty Principle II,” “Uncertainty Principle III,” “Uncertainty Principle IV,” “Uncertainty Principle V”

Special Feature: 2015 Literary Award Runners-Up

Julie Marie Wade, “The Regulars” (runner-up, Creative Nonfiction)

Zach VandeZande, “Status Updates” (runner-up, Fiction)

Monica Sok, “Here Is Your Name” (runner-up, Poetry)

Rachael Katz, “All About Flash” (runner-up, Poetry)


Matthew Baker, “Based on a True Story: An Interview with Nina Freeman”

Art Feature

Laura Elizabeth Shea, “The Outhaus: An Interview with Bert Stabler and Katie Fizdale”

Where We’re At

Caitlin McGuire, “Detroit: City of Evolution, City of Rebirth”

Jess Williard, “Another Country”

Editorial Staff

Editor: Jodee Stanley

Fiction Editor: Philip Graham

Poetry Editor: Michael Madonick

Assistant Editors: John Dudek, Nolan Grieve, Katherine Scott Nelson

Editorial Assistants: Chekwube Danladi, Ceridwen Hall, Michael Hurley, Damian Johansson, Roya Khatiblou, Katherine Kendig, Skyler Lalone,Calgary Martin, Caitlin McGuire, Zachariah McVicker, Natalie Mesnard, Taylor Micks, Laney Ontiveros, Annah Sidigu, Will Schwartz, Kristin Walters, Jess Williard

Editorial Intern: Randi Clemens

Art Directors: Nan Goggin and Joe Carpenter

Designers: Nichole Best, Sydney Friedman, Christine Ha, Amanda Mei, Juliany, Nakazato, Arjun Reddy, Madison Ross-Ryan, Adina Sayef, Grace Sullivan

Special Thanks: Gary Frantz and Original Smith Printing

Support at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

College of Fine and Applied Arts
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of English
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, Gladys Justin Carr, 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.