Skip to main content

The Drum

small (67)

Happy Hour

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A tattoo on a woman's body becomes the locus of a complex interaction between power and passivity in Kate Wisel's short story "Happy Hour". Within a relationship marked with bruises and broken bones, the tattoo raises questions of independence and escape. [...] more

Two Poems and an Interview

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Football and a bong are the ostensible subjects of Austin Segrest's two poems "Wingback" and "The Big Bong". Segrest's poetry is both playful and serious here, classically grounded and utterly contemporary. After reading the poems, he speaks with Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur about his sources of ideas, his approach to writing, and his current non-poetry obsession: tennis. [...] more

FEBRUARY FLASH MIXTAPE

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Since February is the shortest month, we think it's the perfect time for the shortest of stories. And so, we bring you that icon of long-ago pop culture, now modified for the post-cassette era: the mixtape. In one track, we've compiled six short pieces from The Drum's archives, from writers Matt Bell , Ron MacLean , Michelle Seaton , Cumi Ikeda , Allison Williams , and Nathan Poole . These are tales of snakes and tidepools, butchers and fish, identity and danger. [...] more

Fairyland

Monday, December 4, 2017

A young couple, a little girl, and a seaside carnival come together in this short piece by Lisa Piazza. They come together and they come apart, while the mother who narrates the piece ponders the funhouse-mirror quality of the new land she finds herself in after divorce. [...] more

Riptide

Friday, December 16, 2016

The narrator of Jo-Ann Bekker's "Riptide" insists we can believe her. 'Believe me when I tell you,' she says, many times. The story asks us whether we can trust this tale of infidelity, and whether even the woman telling us the story is certain of anything beyond the strong pull of desire. [...] more

Three Poems

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Major Jackson reads three poems from his latest collection Roll Deep : "Cries and Whispers," "Mighty Pawns," and "Cordoba: Mezquita". The Drum 's Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur introduces the poems. [...] more

Dispatch: Saskatchewan

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A road trip across Canada settles in and on Saskatchewan as Kyla Haninhgton speaks of the pull of that province's open spaces, the tug even of its place names, its evocation of belonging. [...] more

Dispatch: Dummerston

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

From a clearing in southern Vermont, Alison McGhee talks about the invention of a life, summoned from an idea and fashioned from the woods, the river rocks, and in the tiny house that rises up on the land. [...] more

What Matters

Monday, June 8, 2015

A hospital fundraiser is the scene of a chance meeting in Linda Cutting's "What Matters". Ailments small and large spark a lighthearted flirtation that leads a man and a woman to connect. [...] more

Bluebird

Monday, June 8, 2015

In "Bluebird," Louise Houghton explores the fraught relationship between two siblings, a younger sister and her older brother. This is sibling rivalry rendered with nuance and yielding to the author's curiosity and insight, set in the specifics of an English childhood. [...] more

Cold Winter

Monday, June 8, 2015

We can arm ourselves against cold and snow, but how do we defend against a family member's death? Stephen Dorneman's "Cold Winter" evokes the talismanic power of all our winter equipment and hints at precisely where it can fail to protect us. [...] more

Things in Boxes

Monday, June 8, 2015

When she and her partner pack up to move, a woman discovers she has brought to her new home more than just the objects she has boxed. Stacey Resnikoff's "Things in Boxes" is a tidy contemplation of what we own, what we collect, and what we discover as we move on. [...] more

Cover Story

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A child's complicated response to complicated power--her own and that of her parents--underlies the critical moment Tracy Hahn-Burkett narrates in her short story "Cover Story". Hahn-Burkett's fiction is a terse investigation of the violence in self-assertion. [...] more

Me And My Orion

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ethan Gilsdorf finds perspective and a sense of belonging in the night sky. His essay "Me And My Orion" recalls the stars in that constellation and links him, and us, to the vast movements and the stillness above us. [...] more

two poems

Monday, November 3, 2014

Carrie Green reads her poems "Cochina Rock" and "Test Drive" and answers Kirun Kapur's questions on a variety of topics--including the origins of her work, the experience of writing about historical subjects, and her non-poetry obsession (which features nests). [...] more

MuseFlash 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

The careful parsing of a phone message leads to a blossoming but perplexing romance. Caitlyn Kinsella's "It's Me" finds humor and poignancy in the intricacies of interaction. [...] more

Drone

Monday, July 21, 2014

"You must never make the mistake of believing that readers just want to be passive recipients of whatever it is you want to say." So says James Arthur in his conversation with Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur. His poem "Drone" engages readers--and listeners--in thought-provoking exploration of power and threat. [...] more

Poems Read by Gov. Patrick and Former Police Comm. Ed Davis

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's not every day you hear a former Police Commissioner reciting a poem by heart--or hear a Governor intoning someone else's persuasive rhetoric. But at a foundraiser in March for last weekend's Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick performed a powerful recitation of Emma Lazarus'  "The New Colossus" and former Police Commissioner Ed Davis recited Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Wreck of the Hesperus" almost entirely by heart. [...] more

excerpt from The Fifty-First State

Monday, April 28, 2014

A handful of sentences form the opening chapter of Lisa Borders' novel The Fifty-First State , setting her characters on an inexorable course towards tragedy and connection, and sending her readers into a world of lush detail and intensely-felt emotion. Hallie and Josh Corson share a father but little else—until a grisly highway accident at the novel's outset leaves them both without parents. Forced to come together on the family's struggling tomato farm, Josh and Hallie grow in ways they never expected, and discover that even in death’s wake, lives can change for the better. [...] more

poems

Monday, March 24, 2014

Zombies, weapons, and terrors of a darker, more pervasive sort: these are the subjects of Jill McDonough's poems "Horrors All Around" and "Also, Homemade Flamethrowers". What are the threats, McDonough's work asks, and do they come from within or beyond us? McDonough offers answers, too, in her interview with Kirun Kapur. [...] more

Poem

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"At Hundred Islands National Park, I Count Only One Island" is The Drum's inaugural poem, by Aimee Nezhukumathatil. Nezhukumathatil reads the poem and then answers questions from Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur, about the poem's origins, her non-writing obsessions, and more. [...] more

excerpt from The Other Room

Monday, February 24, 2014

A pink mitten and a balky boiler are some of the poignant details of this scene from Kim Triedman's novel The Other Room. The loss of a child registers through the eerie combination of the normal and the uncanny, adding up to mounting pressure on the husband and wife who have survived. [...] more

Sea Monster Blues

Monday, December 23, 2013

Existential angst takes a darkly humorous turn in Ryan Britt's short story about a man and a monster on a beach. "Sea Monster Blues" offers a variation on the Jekyll and Hyde tale, the drama compressed to one summer afternoon amid the sunscreen and the paperbacks. [...] more

Going as a Ghost

Monday, November 25, 2013

Halloween provides a touching backdrop for Erik Doughty's flash fiction piece about the emotional aftermath in a family dealing with loss. "Going as a Ghost" offers a bittersweet look at how we "go as" those who are gone. Doughty's piece is a featured selection from The Drum's Flash Fiction Open Mic held at last month's Boston Book Festival. [...] more

Before the Fall

Monday, November 25, 2013

A chair held aloft at a Jewish wedding is the perch from which the narrator of Leah Berkowitz' "Before the Fall" observes a key moment in her life in poignant and vivid detail. The mundane, the good, and the worrisome are all before her--in what measure, she doesn't yet know. "Before the Fall" is a featured selection from The Drum's Flash Fiction Open Mic held at last month's Boston Book Festival. [...] more

Twelve

Monday, November 18, 2013

Adam Renn Olenn's "Twelve" is paced by the chime of the town bells in this western-ish tale of a man looking for a way to stay out of trouble. Trouble, though, has a way of breaking out around him. "Twelve" is a featured selection from The Drum's Flash Fiction Open Mic held at this year's Boston Book Festival. [...] more

Vodka and Duct Tape

Monday, November 18, 2013

How to fix what's broken--in a person, a relationship, a home? Stephen Dorneman's flash fiction "Vodka and Duct Tape" offers moving and heart-breaking answers to these questions. "Vodka and Duct Tape" is a featured selection from The Drum's Flash Fiction Open Mic held at last month's Boston Book Festival. [...] more

Gabe Bamforth

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gabe Bamforth was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. He recorded his essay at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Jane Zhao

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Jane Zhao was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her poem at the conclusion of the 2013 program. Her poem was one of The Drum's four featured pieces from the 2013 YAWP collection. [...] more

Ethan Aronson

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ethan Aronson was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. He recorded his story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. The story is one of The Drum's four featured pieces from the 2013 YAWP collection. [...] more

Emma Trujillo

Monday, August 5, 2013

Emma Trujillo was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Tara Rahman

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tara Rahman was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Caroline Brink

Monday, August 5, 2013

Caroline Brink was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Sabrina Priestley

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sabrina Priestley was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Amariah Condon

Monday, August 5, 2013

Amariah Condon was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Noah Riley

Monday, August 5, 2013

Noah Riley was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. He recorded his story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Quddos Rodrigues

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quddos Rodrigues was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. He recorded his story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Christina Wiese

Monday, August 5, 2013

Christina Wiese was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her essay at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Gaelle Rigaud

Monday, August 5, 2013

Gaelle Rigaud was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Arthur Galstian

Monday, August 5, 2013

Arthur Galstian was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. He recorded his story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Emma LeBlanc Perez

Monday, August 5, 2013

Emma LeBlanc Perez was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

John Glasfeld

Monday, August 5, 2013

John Glasfeld was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. He recorded his story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Ashley Lee

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ashley Lee was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. She recorded her story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

Marquis Knight-Jacks

Monday, August 5, 2013

Marquis Knight-Jacks was a 2013 Summer Fellow at Grub Street's 2013 Young Adult Writers Program. He recorded his story at the conclusion of the 2013 program. [...] more

excerpt from Cubop City Blues

Monday, June 24, 2013

With rich language and striking images, the narrator of Pablo Medina's novel Cubop City Blues introduces himself, from the moment of his birth. His mother's infidelity, his aunts' various devotions, his father's cuckolding, and the rhythms and voices of this creative and created version of New York City--all of them come powerfully to life in this vivid excerpt. [...] more

LAURIE JACOBS The Call

Monday, May 20, 2013

Laurie Jacobs' flash fiction piece "The Call" is a MuseFlash selection from The Drum's Third Annual MuseFlash contest, recorded at Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace conference earlier this month. "The Call" is an early morning phone call that alters the life of Jacobs' college-student narrator. The brevity of the piece belies its dense emotional impact and its moving tone. [...] more

WENDY DARWIN WAKEMAN Identity Theft

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wendy Wakeman's "Identity Theft" was a selection from The Drum's Third Annual MuseFlash contest at Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace conference earlier this month. Financial dire straits and the pressures of college and work form the setting for the piece, in which a ten dollar bill and a grandmother's handwriting come together to alter the narrator's life. [...] more

MARCIA DOUGLAS Boy With a Watergun in his Schoolbag

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In Marcia Douglas' "Boy With a Watergun in His Schoolbag", a boy finds power and poetry in something so basic as the multiplication tables. The number seven becomes the source of discovery of his own greatness and of his identity in the face of the confining world of school and a teacher with a ruler in her hand. "Boy With a Watergun in His Schoolbag" was The Drum's selection from our Third Annual MuseFlash contest, recorded at Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace conference earlier this month. [...] more

KELLY ROBERTSON The Characteristics of Dirt

Monday, May 20, 2013

Kelly Robertson's "The Characteristics of Dirt" is one of The Drum's selections from our Third Annual MuseFlash contest, recorded at Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace conference earlier this month. Robertson's piece takes an intriguing and almost eerie look at a woman with an intense need to dig. This short work brings the listener in close, focusing on vivid sensory details of the loam the character sifts through. [...] more

ELLEN FREEMAN ROTH Going's Tough in a Storm, But Don't Mention It

Monday, March 18, 2013

Before winter leaves us behind completely, and while memories of the latest snowstorms are still fresh in our minds, we offer Ellen Freeman Roth's tale of a predicament many snowbound drivers fear. In "Going's Tough In a Storm, But Don't Mention It," Freeman Roth recounts her car-bound adventure with liquids, frozen and otherwise. [...] more

STEVE ADAMS The Fish

Monday, March 11, 2013

Steve Adams's "The Fish" opens as a woman realizes her husband has killed his entire herd of cattle. This brief and powerful story goes on to sketch an entire marriage strained by the hard life of the land. It offers a poignant look at loss as well as the tenuous promise of a new beginning."The Fish" was originally published in Glimmer Train . [...] more

PAGAN KENNEDY How to Get High On Compost

Monday, February 25, 2013

New York Times columnist Pagan Kennedy takes a whiff of her backyard compost pile and examines the science of terroir . In the seemingly lowly M. vaccae, she finds a rich scientific history and a personal memory--all tied to the soil beneath her feet. [...] more

VIJEE VENKATRAMAN Improbable Cargo

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Improbable Cargo" follows the "frozen-water trade" connecting India and the northeastern United States--from a personal perspective. Vijee Venkatraman muses on her life at each end of this journey of blocks of ice across oceans, and on how something as transient as ice could create a bond that lasted centuries. A version of this essay appeared in the Harvard Book Store's essay collection Paige Leaves . [...] more

JOANNE BARKER How To Be Naked

Monday, December 17, 2012

The frailty of the human body and the strength that emerges from one woman's self-scrutiny are the subjects of Joanne Barker's "How To Be Naked". A swimming-pool locker room sets the scene for this unflinching assessment of nakedness in many forms. [...] more

BEN LURIE Looking Forward

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ben Lurie's "Looking Forward" tells the story of a young man dealing with the loss of his memory. An encounter with someone from his past--a stranger to him now--gives him an ominous sense of who he was and who he might become. [...] more

LISA KORZENIOWSKI The Summer of Nathan Nicky

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lisa Korzeniowski's "The Summer of Nathan Nicky" watches two young sisters watching a boy--a shirtless boy mowing a lawn next door. As the narrator ogles the boy, she engages in a curious seduction, displaying herself as desirable. This brief story paints a vivid picture of adolescent sexuality and the sensuality of the gaze. [...] more

KAMELA JORDAN Fried Locusts

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kamela Jordan's "Fried Locusts" evokes a childhood spent in Thailand and a child's world of discovery, rivalrly, and allegiance. Jordan's essay hints at the ways in which the distinction between the exotic and the familiar blurs and shifts. Through a tale of children catching locusts to eat, she raises interesting questions about the nature of home. [...] more

JAMES CLAFFEY Placenta

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Placenta" completes the trio of flash fiction pieces from Irish writer James Claffey for The Drum . Here, a son watches as his parents react to a miscarriage. Themes of pain and nourishment run through this narrative which concludes with a strange communion between mother and child. To hear the other two flash fiction pieces by James Claffey, click here . [...] more

JAMES O'BRIEN Penned Up

Monday, March 5, 2012

James O'Brien's "Penned Up" tells a soldier's story. In a laconic tone that still hints at the pain of his experience, the narrator describes the heat, the smells, and the tragedy of his tour in Iraq. "Penned Up" is about detachment and loyalty, isolation and belonging, and expectations met and withheld. [...] more

JAMES CLAFFEY A Hoor of a Day

Monday, February 20, 2012

James Claffey returns to The Drum with the second of three short pieces. This one, "A Hoor of a Day," finds the narrator confronting his Da in his coffin. Even from his box, the man has the power to intrude on his son's thoughts and his memories, the father's phrases and aphorisms serving as an unsettling coda to his life. [...] more

EMMA FORREST excerpts from Your Voice in My Head

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Emma Forrest's memoir Your Voice in My Head chronicles her descent into darkness and her relationship with the therapist who helped her find her way back out. In the Prologue and the excerpt of Chapter Four that she reads here for The Drum , Forrest writes movingly of being a teenaged girl with a dangerous fixation on Millais' painting of Ophelia. She writes with restraint of powerful emotions, and describes her younger self's disturbing desire for annihilation with intensity and insight. [...] more

David

Monday, May 23, 2011

In Nina Badzin's short story "David," a post-delivery hospital room is the setting for a skirmish between husband and wife as they debate their new son's name. The decision is rife with social, cultural, and religious implications, seeming to set husband and wife apart even as it brings mother and child together. [...] more

JULIETTE FAY excerpt from Deep Down True

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Juliette Fay's novel Deep Down True follows Dana Stellgarten as she finds her feet after a divorce. In this excerpt, Dana encounters an unusual--and unusually-colored--addition to her usual array of daily parenting challenges. [...] more

JONATHAN PAPERNICK First Night

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jonathan Papernick's essay "First Night" imagines his parents' wedding night and contemplates the marriage and eventual divorce that grew from that first evening. The essay is a brief but poignant snapshot of a young couple stepping into a new life. [...] more

BRUCE HOLLAND ROGERS Snow and Lemons

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bruce Holland Rogers' short story "Snow and Lemons" follows Tibor as he tries to lend purpose to his retirement. His two goals--to bring pride to Hungary's younger generation, and to make his neighbor smile--prove to be more challenging than even he might have expected. A Budapest snowstorm is the backdrop for this story about an older man's persistence and his inspired adaptation to the routines of his life. [...] more

JESSICA YEN Coming Up For Air

Monday, March 21, 2011

Jessica Yen's essay "Coming Up For Air" gives us a glimpse of an intriguing social ritual among a group of Beijing men, and looks further outward to notions of community and family both in China and in the US. [...] more

FAITH SALIE Four Stories Introduction

Monday, November 22, 2010

Faith Salie welcomes the crowd at Cambridge's Enormous Room to the November 15 Four Stories event in collaboration with The Drum, goes over the ground rules--and opines on The Great Gatsby , pageants, and catheters. [...] more

theme: comedy

theme: crisis

theme: relationships

theme: family

genre: essay

novel excerpt

short fiction

poetry

under 10 min

under 20 min

under 30 min

under 40 min
ADVERTISE WITH THE DRUM
«
»