Ninth Letter is published semi-annually in June and December by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Copies are available for $14.95. A one-year subscription may be purchased for $21.95; a two-year subscription may be purchased for $37.95. Subscriptions and single-copy orders may be sent with check or credit card information to Ninth Letter, Dept. of English, University of Illinois, 608 S. Wright St., Urbana, Illinois, 61801. Credit card orders may also be placed via our secure web site.

Ninth Letter accepts submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from September 1 to February 28 (postmark dates). For complete guidelines and to submit online, visit our print submissions guidelines page.


Matthew Gellman, “Snipe”

nicole v basta, “still life with bickering”

Hannah Rego, “Still Life without Fruit”

Emma Cairns Watson, “The week Mama left”

Devon Wootten, “O tempter— O eye-white streak of burning star—” and “What goeth, ghosteth & hastily”

Alison Thumel, “vocabulary lesson”

Erin Adair-Hodges, “Variations On”

Michael Lawson, “Doubting”

Millie Tullis, “body my house”

Emily Nason, “First Serpent Poem”

George David Clark, “Imaginary Friend”

Jenny Molberg, “Self Portrait as Nothing”

Ojo Taiye, “Poem”

Ellen Boyette, “[In this one the obituary is a necklace with lettered beads reading SHE ALWAYS LOVED THOSE LETTERED BEADS]”

John Patrick McShea, “After Wading Through the Marsh of Gilgo Beach for Nineteen Months, the Good Old Boys Eventually Uncover the Skeletal Remains of Shannan Gilbert Tucked in a Very Tough, Desolate, Tangled Mess, as Well as the Bodies of Other Women”

Alan Chazaro, “580 West”

Special Features

The Audacity of Language: Eight CantoMundo Poets

Suzi F. Garcia, “The Boundary between Science Fiction and Social Reality is an Optical Illusion”

Michael Torres, “The Pachuco Himself Considers the Audacity of Language”

Ángel García, “Mourning”

Michelle Moncayo, “esta navidad”

Roberto F. Santiago, “In response to an old white woman saying ‘I guess we’re on Puerto Rican time” and “Selfie at a Gift Shop in Old San Juan”

Florencia Milito, “Lattice”

Anthony Cody, “Standing in line to take a passport photo, an old white man looks at me and claims I am running” and “Elegy of Skin, in Kerosene & Mesquite, Antonio Rodriguez, a Mexican Lynching, November 3, 1910”

Leslie Sainz, “Sonnet with Ogun” and “Sonnet for Eleguá”

Art Feature

Interviews with musicians Steve Lamos, CJ Run, and Tito Carillo

Where We’re At

Aumaine Gruich, “Toward Conversation”

Jess Tanck, “A Geography of Sound”


Editor: Jodee Stanley

Creative Nonfiction Editor: Ted Sanders

Poetry Editor: Michael Madonick

Art Director: Brock Landrum

Designers: Becca Alexander, Abrielle Bujack, S. E. Choi, Morgan Dunn, Lindsay Endres, Mahshid Farzinfar, Pascale Grant, Ryan Hock, Rija Khan, Casey McGinnis, Erika loret de Mola, Hayley Peterson, Yewon Shin, James Tran, Becca Vahldick, Deneé Webster

Assistant Editors: Liz Howey, Nicholas Molbert, Jason Nafziger

Editorial Assistants:Kyle Callert, K. James D’Agostino, Katrina Gaffney, Aumaine Gruich, Amelia Hawkins, Sebastián Maldonado-Vélez, Benjamin Miller, Elizabeth Pearl, Cole Piedimonte, Kent Quaney, Erich Slimak

Editor-at-Large: Philip Graham

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

Special thanks to Amy Sayre Baptista, Carmen Giménez Smith, and the members of the CantoMundo organization for collaborating with us on the special Latinx Poetry feature included in this issue

Support at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

College of Fine and Applied Arts

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Office of the Provost

School of Art + Design

Individual Sponsors

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

Gladys Justin Carr
Joan Golder