Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics: Poems Responding to the Photography of Hal Fischer

Jeanette Lynes – 1979 

Jacques J. Rancourt – Crossed Signals

Joshua Garcia – Self- Portrait as Three Archetypal Media Images

Brett Hanley – Bondage Device: Meat Hoist

torrin a. greathouse – Bondage Device, Cross

drawing of a man in a cap carrying a giant banana on his back

Creative Nonfiction

Patrick Clement James – Transgressive Jesus

Joshua Harmon – Modest Sacrifices


John McCarthy – Potatoes and Buckshot

Kelli Russell Agodon – Endless Summer

Kathryn Smith – Ink Poems 

Chelsea B. DesAutels – When My Daughter Says God

Suzanne Manizza Roszak – In Which I Learn Early that Loathing Is a Strong Word

Rachel Richardson – Nomenclature

Patrycja Humienik – There’s What I Think and What I Feel; The Pipe Organ

Maria Zoccola – new year’s eve; horatio to his father

Stephen de Búrca – Traces

Tara A. Elliott – Clingstone

Steven Espada Dawson – Leticia Knows Your Weight

Kara McKeever – Body Electric

illustration of male and female pictogram figures standing under street lights


Colleen Mayo – Incantation

Bill Smoot – Hetrick’s Army

Ted McLoof – The Freaks Who Could Never Love Anyone

Devon Halliday – Just in Case

In Time Bloom: Selected Writings from the Education Justice Project

Chaka T. Richblood – ROSE

Raylan Gilford – My Brother

William Pierce – Inner Nature

Where We’re At

Chelsea Hill – Station


Editor: Jodee Stanley

Creative Nonfiction Editor: Christopher Kempf

Poetry Editor: Ángel García

Assistant Editors: Madeline Furlong, Chris Vanjonack, Isaac Willis

Editorial Assistants: Amanda Bales, Claire Christoff, Liz Harms, Chelsea Hill, Drew Jennings, Carrie Johnson, Weston Morrow, Deon Robinson, Nina Sannes, Alixandra Shuger, Eric Shumacher, Andrea Sielicki, Zach Simon, Chris Vanjonack, Isaac Willis

Editor-at-Large: Philip Graham

Advisory Board: Amy Sayre Baptista, Traci Brimhall, James Brunton, Lindsey Drager, Matthew Minicucci, Marcus Wicker

Collage art and cover design by Weston Morrow. 

Hal Fischer’s photographs use by permission of the artist. 

Support at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Creative Writing Program

Department of English

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Individual Sponsors




Delysa Burnier

Alma Gottlieb and Philip Graham

John Hall, M.D. and Sarah Knox, M.D.



Rev. Charles Matz

Special thanks to Professor Tim Dean Hal Fischer Chelsea Catt, Aumaine Gruich, the James M. Benson Professorship, the Education Justice Project, Allerton Park and Retreat Writer-in-Residence Program

Information about supporting Ninth Letter can be found at