Skip to main content

The Drum

small (173)


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Maya Detwiller's short story "Toads" explores the pains and rewards of adolescence through a child's habit of collecting toads. A giant supervising and creating miniature worlds, the story's narrator finds herself looking for a place--a place to fit, to belong, to grow in and away from. [...] more

Keep in Touch

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Great Confusion has occurred, and in its aftermath, Bea is looking for her daughter. Her husband has gone missing, too. Kari Lund-Teigen's "Keep in Touch" vividly evokes a dystopian world, as well as the lengths to which its inhabitants will go to to communicate and connect. [...] more

Two Poems

Monday, January 28, 2019

What better way to start off 2019 on The Drum than to fill our January issue with poems by January Gill O'Neil. O'Neil speaks with Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur after reading aloud two poems from her new book Rewilding . [...] more

Feeding Champion

Monday, December 31, 2018

When a robber encounters a hungry Golden Retriever while breaking into a house, the encounter evokes a poignant monologue about how to treat a dog and how not to stock a refrigerator. And Andrea Johnston's "Feeding Champion" is about much more than that. It's about the responsibilities we have towards each other, and about how we do what's right even when promises change. [...] more

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

But That's Not The Way It Feels

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Wednesday Fiasco is how Eva Dunsky refers to the sudden end of an adolescent relationship. "But That's Not The Way It Feels" is a wry account of a break-up, tinged with the melancholy wisdom of Jim Croce and youthful perspective. [...] more


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A swamp is home to an imagined panther named "Fen" in Kate Lassell's eponymous story. Narrated by a precocious kid named Judith, the story follows a father and daughter fighting to preserve a threatened marsh--and working to sustain their small family after a tragic loss. [...] 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


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


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

Parking Garage Late at Night

Friday, July 28, 2017

How fearless can you be? How fearless can you afford to be? In the "Parking Garage Late at Night" of Val Maloof's flash fiction, one woman's fear and imagination twine together as she faces danger. Maloof explores how the story the woman tells herself and the stories she's been told all her life--by her mother, by society--combine to save or abandon her. [...] more


Friday, July 28, 2017

In Josh Sheridan's complicated story "Faith," a woman negotiates the hypocrisy and exploitation of a small religious group. Whether you see the group as a cult or a religion, and whether you see the woman as a heretic or a believer will depend on your own ideas about faith. But Sheridan renders vividly the tense and passionate world in which his unnamed character wields the power of surrender and control. [...] more

Raking the Lizards

Friday, December 16, 2016

There is a woman raking lizards down from a tree. There is a family to care for. There are errands to run. Our narrator wages war against the lizards who return each day, undefeated, but she fights other things, too, in a much more complicated battle. [...] more


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

Letting Him Go

Friday, December 16, 2016

Alysia Abbott's essay tells the story of romantic risk--the risk of letting someone go in the hope and belief not only that it's the right thing to do, but also that it may be the only way to hold on. A Cat Power song, a striped shirt, and a Ukrainian restaurant all play a role in this tale of love. [...] more

Five Wishes

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Five Wishes" unfolds in as many episodes, each one telling a linked variation on a tale of a boy, his mother and father, a stream, a shovel, and a piece of purple quartz. Taken together, these episodes are like facets on a stone, revealing new insights on this little family while at the same time allowing us to see the heart of the story. [...] more

In Texas

Thursday, September 22, 2016

In her essay "In Texas," Christi Craig recalls her teenaged self facing a dilemma of faith and family. Should she admit to her grandmother that she cannot speak in tongues, or should she pretend she can so as not to reveal her distance from the religion that has always bound them together? Looking back, Craig examines the connections that have endured. [...] more

The Man on the Train

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A train makes the perfect setting for this story about a woman in limbo--between jobs, between countries and cultures, between homes. Aine Greaney's "The Man on the Train" turns a conversation with a stranger into a study of belonging, as Lorna, Irish and recently arrived from her home in England, travels into Boston from her sister's suburban home. [...] more

If I Could Try It On, For Size

Monday, July 18, 2016

Cumi Ikeda's essay explores identity and race through the lyrical rhythms of poetry. The essay asks us to contemplate how we see one another and how we see ourselves--how we exist through and beyond categories. [...] more

The Children's House

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A group of children and their slightly inattentive parents are the time-honored ingredients for narrative mischief. In KL Pereira's "The Children's House," the mischief involves the slipping and sliding boundaries between one space and another, one family and another, one person and another. Pereira evokes an eerily calm world in which families and identities can be pilfered and misplaced as easily as an object from a mantlepiece. [...] more

Some Plastic City Beyond

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The accidental meeting of former lovers shapes Daniel Higgins' "Some Plastic City Beyond. " Told mostly through dialogue, the story offers us the careful cadences of two people negotiating old wounds and new discoveries. [...] more

What The Spirit Rabbits Know

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

An earthquake shakes the narrator's world just as she is shocked by news of a friend's death. But it's in the violence done to the natural order that she registers her loss. Tending for a rabbit, the narrator of Katie DePasquale's "What The Spirit Rabbits Know" comes to understand some part of what makes us mortal and alive, what gives us a fragile resilience. [...] 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


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

In this expanded version of her Dispatch piece from our September issue, Kyla Hanington writes of a road trip across Canada with her husband and children. As she moves eastward with her family, Hanington is driven by hope and curiosity, wondering if their eventual destination of Saskatchewan will yield what she seeks. "Saskatchewan" was recorded in Dispatch style, with ambient noise. [...] more

Fish and Spoons

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A lesson in fly fishing focuses the relationship between an Irish father and son. Looking for ways to connect, a son sees his own value weighed against everything else his father holds more beautiful. [...] 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

Spice Memory

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Eson Kim ponders the language of spices and scents that passes between her and her mother as Kim tries to learn her mother's recipes. Kim evokes the power of the ingredients to summon memories and connection, and contemplates the poignant difficulty of mastering what her mother knows. [...] more

How To Club A Fish

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A young woman sees lessons in survival and violence handed down on a frozen Canadian lake. Ron MacLean's "How to Club A Fish" offers a vivid portrait of one family's dynamics in the world of a cramped cabin. [...] 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


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

De Leon writes movingly about her grandfather's seeking forgiveness from the woman he abandoned in Guatemala. In "Lucky Woman," Luisa, De Leon's grandmother, meets him upon his return, passing defiant judgment upon him. [...] more

MuseFlash 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

In Stephen Dorneman's "Country-Line Dancing in Bridgeport, CT," a aloof widower finds himself in bemused participation during an evening's unexpected dance. [...] more

MuseFlash 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

In "A Thousand Cuts," Calvin Hennick turns a young boy's haircut into a taut revelation about the chaos of his mother's life, hinting at the history of this small family and intimating its perhaps ominous future. [...] 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

MuseFlash 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

A mother's wartime theories, two daughters' misunderstandings, and the issue of sexual control as it's wielded by a mother and a father: combat and choice resonate here in Carol Sandel's "Birth Control". [...] more


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

excerpt from Gone

Monday, July 14, 2014

A husband's disappearance while taking the babysitter home precipitates the crisis in this excerpt from Cathi Hanauer's novel Gone. Eve Adams embarks on a first day of her new normal, fending off inquiries from children surly and clueless, and navigating the too-zen-to-be-mean streets of her artsy Massachusetts town. [...] more


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A boy's silence, a sister's bicycle and a "misaligned world with skewed meanings". Gregory Spatz' "Brace" immerses us in the consciousness of a narrator thinking about ruin and loss as he remembers a childhood aphasia, a freewheeling car, and the urge to make a physical mark on and within the world. When you listen to the whole story, you'll understand the title. [...] more

A Notion I Took

Monday, June 16, 2014

For a hundred dollars, a young woman jumps into the Rio Grande, a river so filthy, it's dyed blue for the tourists. Money, risk, and self-invention intersect in Joy Castro's "A Notion I Took" as the story's narrator thinks about what is at stake for her as she leaps and descends through the water. [...] more

Do You Have a Place For Me

Monday, June 2, 2014

Two people meet at a half-way point between their homes and lives. But the encounter in Roxane Gay's "Do You Have a Place For Me" is no simple escape, but a shared confrontation--of the self, the body, and the heart. Gay's prose is both analytical--is this cheating? --and intensely figurative in this short and powerful story. [...] more

The Games They Played

Monday, May 12, 2014

These are not the fairy tales our mothers told us. The four episodes of Matt Bell's "The Games They Played" focus on Younger and Older, siblings whose rivalries offer an education in hidden and not-so-hidden violence. Bell experiments with the cadence and the content of fairy tales, making them at once new and ancient. [...] 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


Monday, April 7, 2014

The threat of violence hangs in the air as a young boy waits in a hotel room for his bookie father to return from a fight in Ben Warner's "Sandcastles". Guarded by an ally, the boy, Snake, is full of questions about what can truly protect him. Guns, knives, or fists? Or possibly, the men entrusted with his care. [...] more


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


Monday, March 17, 2014

The balky knobs on a Czech stove, the quirky signage on a Prague building, or the smile of a stranger on a train: these are the starting points for Allison Williams' essay about decoding the mysteries of life abroad. But more than geographical foreignness, Williams writes of the potential estrangement from one's partner and from certain crucial parts of one's identity. In "Courtesies," she explores how we navigate as we try to turn the right way. [...] more


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

The Wurlitzer

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The tuning of a piano becomes the catalyst for a relationship between two unlikely individuals. Christ Craig's "The Wurlitzer" makes subtle use of its narrative voice to bring two lonely people together in a bond created through music and memory. [...] more

Ways to Break Me

Monday, January 6, 2014

In the hung-over aftermath of New Year's Eve, the narrator of Kate Wisel's "Ways to Break Me" finds herself exactly where she always is: in an apartment and in a relationship that is at once playground and cage. There are three people in these confined spaces, pushing and shoving at each other to assert themselves and get what they want. Wisel's story is striking for its physicality and its rendering of the drama of the body. [...] 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


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

Sleeping Over

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chris Wiewiora's essay "Sleeping Over" explores the many complications of exactly that, when the people in question are teenagers, and one of them is presided over by his father. Trust, the truth, and independence are just some of the issues at stake not just in the event but in the messages surrounding it. [...] more

JEAN RYAN What We Are Given

Monday, September 16, 2013

In "What We Are Given," Jean Ryan recounts the experience of taking in her mother-in-law despite the older woman's condemnation of Ryan's and her partner's sexuality. Ryan's essay asks us to consider the limits of obligation, and offers a moving exploration of the challenges of allegiance and commitment. [...] 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

Richard Njoroge

Monday, August 5, 2013

Richard Njoroge 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

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


Monday, July 22, 2013

In Alix Ohlin's "Taking," the memory game played by two sisters in childhood finds heartbreaking resonance in the events of their lives. "Taking" explores the often painful connections between memory and loss, possession and disappearance, in prose of melancholic power. [...] more

MITALI PERKINS Writing Race in Novels

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mitali Perkins' essay "Writing Race in Novels" is both a collection of practical advice on a matter of writing craft, and a philosophical analysis of how our treatment of identity--our own or that of others--reveals how we approach otherness. Though this essay is directed towards writers, it bears thought-provoking ideas for non-writers as well. [...] 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


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


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


Monday, April 29, 2013

Aine Greaney's "Sanctuary" is an eloquent meditation on the people and places that give us comfort, often in unexpected ways. With her mother's death as starting point, Greaney explores the notion of the individual in place and time, the connections that link us to history and to the present. [...] 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


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


Friday, September 1, 2017

On May 19, 2017, GrubStreet hosted Boston's first Write-In. The Drum was on the scene to record some of the many stories told by recent immigrants and refugees. Here are stories by Yanley Francois, Zach Ben-Amots, U-Melgn ‘Mhlaba-Apebo, Dana Lopes, Carolyn De Jesus, Christelle Narcisse, and Aseret Laparra. Write-In audio was recorded by Ilya Methot and Jordan Fischer. [...] more

ROBERT ALAINE COUTURE Moment of Forgiveness

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Robert Alaine Couture's "Moment of Forgiveness" turns a Williamsburg, Massachusetts orchard into the setting for a fraught moment between lovers old and new. In just three minutes, Couture evokes the complications of long relationships and offers an intriguing twist on the idea of the snake in the garden. "Moment of Forgiveness" is our selection for the February 2013 round of Zip-Code Stories. [...] 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


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

D.J. LEE Collage

Monday, February 4, 2013

D. J. Lee's essay "Collage" contemplates the difficult intersection between mothers and daughters, dramatized in the placement of photographs in a collage. Lee's essay explores how a two-dimensional image "can express the depth of pain and love between generations. " [...] more


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Frequent Drum contributor Steven Brykman strikes a serious tone in his essay "The Box" about a childhood visit to his older brother's residence  in a home for people with autism. Brykman tells a dramatic story of his long-ago encounter with a frightening element of his brother's life, and muses on the nature of shared experience, isolation, and love. [...] more


Monday, January 21, 2013

The narrator of Ioanna Mavrou's "Lucky Cat" invests the eponymous figurine with hope, bravado, and fear in this flash fiction piece about a relationship challenged by illness. [...] more

MARY O'DONOGHUE Honest, Or Nine Precious Insights

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's only one sentence, but "Honest, Or Nine Precious Insights" offers a vivid portrait of a man looking for companionship. As he weighs the merits and disadvantages of a blind date at "a tea place," Mary O'Donoghue's narrator expresses both vulnerability and confidence, confusion and insight. [...] more


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


Monday, December 10, 2012

Jonathan Starke's "Sling and Stone" looks at Michelangelo's David with the eyes of a bodybuilder--and finds poignant mortality in the timeless statue. [...] more


Monday, October 15, 2012

A plate of eggs, a map, and a greasy table top inspire a new journey for the young narrator of Elizabeth O'Brien's "Over Easy". O'Brien's vivid and concise writing, and her evocative reading performance, give the listener a strong sense of the narrator's need to just go. [...] more

ANDREW SULLIVAN The Lesser Half of Sir John A. Macdonald

Monday, October 8, 2012

Andrew Sullivan's narrator names the lesions on his body after the cities where he has endured the loneliness and pain of homelessness. "The Lesser Half of Sir John A. Macdonald" paints a world in which people can be torn in two, like the eponymous Canadian banknote, by the longing to stay put and the need to keep moving. Sullivan's story follows a young man struggling through the consequences of one bad turn, as he makes his way across Canada. [...] 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

L.E. MILLER Zip-Code Stories

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

L. E. Miller's "The Sea Gives" begins with a shard of china floating in the water off Plum Island and ends with a young girl questioning her place in an older woman's life. Along the way, in a brief 500 words, Miller depicts a bond between the two women, a coming together of two different worlds, and the fragility of that relationship. The prompt for this round of Zip-Code Stories was an opening line of "She saw something at the water's edge and. . . ". Listen to hear [...] more


Monday, August 27, 2012

At this time of year in 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the surrounding area. Joan Kane Nichols's flash fiction "Treasures" sets us down in one woman's home as she and her husband Darryl prepare to evacuate, one of them more readily than the other. The story is a vivid dramatization of the pull of belongings--treasures--as both burden and rescue. [...] more


Monday, August 20, 2012

Get some audio inspiration from our regularly changing audio prompts and record a three-minute story for The Drum. Send us the audio on our Soundcloud Dropbox--over there on the left-hand side of our home page--and share with Drum listeners and writers. [...] more


Monday, August 6, 2012

If you missed the July 19 Transgressions event with The Drum , the Boston Book Festival , and WBUR , don't worry! We've got local writers Chris Abouzeid, Chris Castellani, Holly LeCraw, Ethan Gilsdorf, and Drum founding editor Henriette Lazaridis Power recorded from the Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge, MA. Hear them read their short essays and stories about transgression, introduced and hosted by WBUR's Adam Ragusea. Law-breaking, rule-bending, convention-busting, paradigm-shifting. It's all here. [...] more


Monday, July 30, 2012

Prairie Markussen's "Nothing Special" tells the short, moving story of an old Korean woman fighting for permanence in her changing city. Am-yeong Im, given the name for babies not expected to survive, patiently and insistently works for the survival of her home. In Markussen's story, a woman's small act of erasure turns into an attempt to make something last. [...] more


Monday, July 9, 2012

In Charles Rafferty's "Dump," a simple garbage trip becomes a test of a newly single father's need for his children's safety. While he worries, they are carefree. He is left to ponder his daughters' responses to a world in which people leave--sometimes without returning. [...] more

KIM SAVAGE Zip-Code Stories

Monday, June 18, 2012

The narrator of Kim Savage's "The Fells" tells the chiling story of her abduction from this remote part of Winchester, Massachusetts (01890). Describing a routine fells run turned dangerous, the story hints at the complicated relationships between the abductor, the intended victim, and the girl who took her place. "The Fells" is the featured Zip-Code Story for June 2012, as part of The Drum 's project with WBUR's Radio Boston. [...] more

STORIES ON THE STREET Prospero from The Tempest

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Drum's Stories on the Street project brings Shakespeare to Coney Island. This place of temporary pleasures was a fitting location for Sara Fetherolf to record visitors reading Prospero's well-known speech from The Tempest . This recording may be the only time that "our revels now are ended" is captured with the ambient sounds of a roller-coaster. To read along from Shakespeare's text, click Project Gutenberg here . [...] more

2012 MuseFlash Contest: Flash Fiction and Non-Fiction

Monday, June 4, 2012

Announcing the winners of our Third MuseFlash Contest , recorded during Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace conference May 5-6. Paula Chu Patrcia Sollner R. J. Taylor Collin Tobin Betty Yee MuseFlash invites writers to read their 500-word pieces aloud in The Drum 's recording room at the Muse conference. The Drum staff selected the [...] more


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


Monday, April 30, 2012

Stories on the Street went underground in April to record Dante's Inferno. Dante's journey through the underworld begins at the gateway warning of the horrors awaiting within. The Drum's Sara Fetherolf went into the New York City subway to ask ordinary people to read from this classic text. Click here to read along on Project Gutenberg. [...] more


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Daniel Roberts' story "Sandwich" is our Zip-Code Stories winner for this month--and our first piece of fiction to win in the Zip-Code Stories project. "Sandwich" is set in the eponymous Cape town, where Eugene's wife Jan has decided to take him to resolve certain issues in their long marriage. Is Eugene a victim of hypochondria, or an aging American man plagued by the standard ills of body, mind, and psyche? In Sandwich, he takes matters into his own hands. Listen to the piece to see if you think it's a lighthearted or [...] more


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

STORIES ON THE STREET Three Poems by Emily Dickinson

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stories on the Street gives several voices to three poems by Emily Dickinson, read aloud near the national-debt clock in New York's Union Square, by New York's Con-Ed building, and in front of the Waverley Social Security office. Click here and here to follow along as you listen to passersby recite the poems "'Remember me' implored the Thief! ", "There's a certain slant of light," and "I'm Nobody! Who Are You? ". Stories on the Street intern Sara Fetherolf recorded and [...] more


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


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

STORIES ON THE STREET Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

To celebrate Valentine's Day, The Drum 's Stories on the Street project presents Andrew Marvell's 17th-century poem "To His Coy Mistress," read aloud by the denizens of two East Village singles bars on the weekend before the notorious holiday. The first reader fights off tears in his eyes; the second is the bartender, who brings drama and emotion to the text; all the readers offer a contemporary take on Marvell's poem about love, lust, and desperation. This audio of "To His Coy Mistress" was recorded and produced by Stories on the Street intern [...] more

LISA ROGERS Zip-Code Stories

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lisa Roger's "Off the Map" is our selection for the January round of our Zip-Code Stories project with WBUR's Radio Boston. Rogers' "Off the Map"--about Wellesley's 02482--plays with the very idea of zip codes, describing the ways in which Morse's Pond transcends categorization, connecting two towns, and multiple communities, especially in winter when the ice forms a beautiful link. [...] more

JAMES CLAFFEY A Clip on the Ear

Monday, January 30, 2012

James Claffey's "A Clip on the Ear" blends a Catholic litany with the rituals of a boy's Sundays at home in Ireland. It's a home presided over by a violent father who, when not away on the North Sea oil rigs, maintains strict control--over his wife, his children, the household rituals, and the litany itself. The boy seeks refuge in the hiding places of his home and in his fantasies of revenge. [...] more

STORIES ON THE STREET James Joyce's "The Dead"

Monday, January 16, 2012

James Joyce's "The Dead" takes place on or around the New Year and Epiphany, January 6, and that is when The Drum ventured into Times Square to record Joyce's story for our Stories on the Street Project. Listen as passersby and New Year's Eve revelers take their turn reading Joyce's prose aloud, each one in his or her own unique accent. This Stories on the Street audio of the final paragraphs of "The Dead" was recorded and produced by Sara Fetherolf . [...] more

E.R. CATALANO Trying Lessons

Monday, January 23, 2012

In E. R. Catalano's "Trying Lesson," a young girl's search for Titian in the hair-color aisle is the starting point for more than a superficial transformation. Looking for a sense of home and belonging, the narrator of this excerpt from Catalano's novel-in-progress Becoming the Girl Detective seeks identity through her admiration of Nancy Drew. Perhaps if she can model herself after the girl detective, the narrator can solve the mysteries surrounding her own family. [...] more

LIZ MOORE Zip-Code Stories

Monday, December 5, 2011

Liz Moore's "The Start of Something" is our featured Zip-Code Story for the month of December. Moore's piece about Framingham's 01702 captures that feeling of being pulled into new experiences and new places even as we yearn for what we know. As she contemplates her own relationship with her hometown through adolescence and young adulthood, Moore gives us a vivid sense of the excitement and wistfulness in realizing that there's always the start of something new. [...] more

KIMBERLY ELKINS Laura Bridgman, The First Famous Blind Deaf-Mute

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kimberly Elkins' "Laura Bridgman" offers a fascinating fictionalized account of an actual historical moment. As she meets the young girl who is being groomed to take her place as a celebrity, Bridgman muses on the vagaries of fame and reputation. Elkins' piece raises interesting questions about the rivalry among the senses (or their loss), and the strange power that can be wielded by disability. [...] more


Monday, November 14, 2011

Lauren Carson's "The Ironing" takes a domestic scene as the setting for a domestic undoing. Carson paints a detailed portrait of a woman's experience as a pair of pants becomes a wry battleground. [...] more


Monday, November 14, 2011

In Lisa Korzeniowski's "While You Were Gone", a mother's night out leaves her children to do whatever they want, thrilled to be free from a parent whose weaknesses and failures are all too apparent.  But their experience of exhilaration quickly slides into yearning for their mother's love and for the return of her questionable authority. [...] more

LEAH HAGER COHEN The Grief of Others

Monday, October 31, 2011

The New York Times Book Review called Leah Hager Cohen "one of our foremost chroniclers of the mundane complexities, nuanced tragedies and unexpected tendernesses of human connection. " Her reading of the prologue from The Grief of Others clearly demonstrates why she deserves the label. In this brief opening scene, Cohen describes with microscopic and eloquent detail the features of a newborn and the love his mother feels for him. Cohen raises moving questions about the fragility of life and about the limits of our [...] 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


Monday, October 10, 2011

Vanessa Tardiff's "Brookline Night" was one of our featured stories for the October round of Zip-Code Stories . "Brookline Night" describes just that. A story of a mother and a daughter, Vanessa's piece explores the connection between place and person, and the shifting between the familiar and the strange. To hear more Zip-Code Stories submitted by listeners to WBUR and fans of The Drum , listen to our playlist on Broadcastr , an innovative platform for sharing geo-tagged audio. [...] more


Monday, October 10, 2011

Daniel Gewertz' "Revere, 1972" is one of our featured stories for the October round of Zip-Code Stories . "Revere, 1972" involves a carnival game, a revelation, and a stranger's kindness. To hear an interview with Daniel in which he talks about the motivation behind the story, click here and listen to the Radio Boston program for October 10, 2011. To hear the other Zip-Code Stories submitted by listeners to WBUR and fans of The Drum , visit The Drum's playlist on Broadcastr . [...] more


Monday, September 26, 2011

The teenaged narrator of Erin Kelly's "Shhh" has decided to stop talking. It's an eloquent protest, conveying independence and resistance to her mother, affection for her younger brother, and a nuanced sensitivity to the world around her. While her brother builds tiny walls to protect the backyard ants, the narrator builds a connection that requires almost no words. [...] more


Monday, September 19, 2011

Caralyn Davis' short story "Wallow" is the Winner of The 2011 Drum/Side B Magazine Dual Publication Award . "Wallow" depicts an evening in the life of a sin-eater, a woman with the ability to consume and absorb the sins of the dead. Following the traditions of the ancient Egyptians, Davis' contemporary sin-eater dresses in style, makes keen social observations about her customers and clients, and contemplates the balance of good and evil. [...] more

RANDY ROSS One Day in Thailand

Monday, September 19, 2011

Randy Ross' "One Day in Thailand" is the Finalist in the 2011 Drum/Side B Dual Publication Award . Brief, clever, and with a final twist, "One Day in Thailand" presents a comic observation on the experience of the ex-patriate in Asia. [...] more

HAU NGUYEN Immigrants

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hau Nguyen's story "Immigrants" is a young man's advice to himself on how to navigate a new life in a new world. Part reminder, part exhortation, part warning, "Immigrants" conveys the newcomer's desires for assimilation and independence, and his embrace of the new while holding onto the old. "Immigrants" appears in The Drum as part of our selection from Grub Street's Young Adult Writers' Program . [...] more


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In Molly Zimetbaum's "Balloons," an older sister tells the poignant story of the birthday celebration for her little sister that seemingly goes awry. This family of three--two daughters and a weary but caring father--finds a sweet balm for disappointment. "Balloons" appears in The Drum as part of our selection from Grub Street's Young Adult Writers' Program . [...] more

CATHERINE ELCIK Why We're Swimming With The Fishes

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In Catherine Elcik's "Why We're Swimming With The Fishes," there are three people in one marriage: the husband, the wife, and Marlon Brando's Godfather. Over a North End dinner, the wife wants romance while the husband wants intrigue, simply the latest trouble in a failing marriage. [...] more


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In Dawn Dorland Perry's "Do Us Part," a simple question posed to an old friend about his wedding reveals the complicated layers of a relationship, and the longing. ambivalence, and regret for what might have been. [...] more


Monday, June 27, 2011

Michelle Seaton's "Low Tide" takes a tide pool as the starting point for its study of independence and growth. A child's discovery becomes the source for a mother's discovery too, as parent and child explore the water's edge. [...] more

NADINE LYNN KENNEY How to Meet Your Future Husband (and Almost Scare Him Away)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nadine Lynn Kenney's "How To Meet Your Future Husband (and Almost Scare Him Away)" presents a nightmare mother on a Florida beach vacation. An oversexed parent, her parents' troubled marriage, her own attraction to a young vacationer, and an excess of alcohol are all ingredients in the narrator's bad trip. [...] more

LAURA PACKER Running Away With Greta

Monday, June 27, 2011

Laura Packer's "Running Away With Greta" focuses in on one night in the life of a little girl experiencing the temptation of escape and the pull of home. In miniature, this flash-fiction piece examines the complicated relationship between danger and comfort, risk and safety. [...] more


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


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


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


Monday, January 10, 2011

Steven Brykman's essay "You Know How It Is" puts a comical spin on Jewish identity, Hasidic fashion, and the perils of running errands when your girlfriend finds you annoying. [...] more

KATRINA GRIGG-SAITO The Original Feminist

Monday, December 20, 2010

Katrina Grigg-Saito's essay "The Original Feminist" provides a tender portrait of her grandmother Mimi who did it all--worked as a hairdresser, raised five children, tailored stylish clothes, and advocated for education--in the pre-Civil-Rights South. [...] more


Monday, December 13, 2010

Veronique Hyland's short story "Orchard", inspired by the Wineville Chicken Coop murders in 1920s California, is an evocative study of complicity, guilt, and the cost of a young boy's confused loyalty. [...] more


Monday, November 29, 2010

Bret Anthony Johnston closes his reading at the November 15 Four Stories event by announcing he will be plagiarizing Jamaica Kincaid's famous story "Girl". Here is his short piece "Boy". [...] more


Monday, November 29, 2010

Bret Anthony Johnston spins a story about loss of innocence, loyalty, and betrayal from a simple prompt: one sentence from an author's correspondence. Bret's sentence? "Sex doesn't start on an eighteenth birthday at midnight. " [...] more


Monday, November 29, 2010

Bret Anthony Johnston starts off his reading at the November 15 Four Stories /Drum event with "Porn Star," his entry for a dictionary of dirty words. [...] 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

ANN KING Plumbing Problems

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ann King's "Plumbing Problems" sets a cancer diagnosis in the world of a plumbing supply company, where the bright white of a porcelain tub, and the cramped space of a backroom toilet give us a fresh look on an all too common event. [...] more


Monday, September 13, 2010

In an excerpt from her novel BURN, South Carolina-based Alexis Stratton writes about a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of a fire and her mother's curious take on fate. [...] more


Thursday, September 9, 2010

As a young girl faces the break-up of her home town, she confronts a larger tragedy in her own family. The competing forces of dissolution and re-collection meet in journalist and fiction writer Leslie Schultz's short story "Drowning". [...] more


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pennsylvania writer Jamye Shelleby's short story "Twenty Five" contemplates the metaphysics of loss through a brother-sister relationship remembered through markers in time. [...] more

STORIES ON THE STREET The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Monday, July 19, 2010

Who better to read aloud Kenneth Grahame's famous passage about the delight of "messing about in boats" than the rowers and staff at Boston's Community Rowing, Inc. ? The Drum stopped by the boathouse early one morning last week and found a group of willing--and even enthusiastic--participants just coming off the water. Community Rowing is one of the largest public boat clubs in the United States, introducing people of all ages and all abilities to the sport of rowing. Visit their website for more info. [...] more


Monday, July 12, 2010

Allison Williams’ “Snake” finds two children playing in a muddy yard. Their game turns to a scuffle made dangerous when their father returns, sure to be angry at the mess they’ve made. Williams’ brief piece offers an intense study of the blurred line between protection and harm. [...] more

VESTAL MCINTYRE Tickle or Torture

Monday, July 5, 2010

In his essay “Tickle or Torture,” Vestal McIntyre recounts his Wednesday-night teasings as the youngest of seven in an Idaho town. While his parents are attending Bible study, McIntyre is poked, prodded, tickled, and tortured by his siblings, although all he really desires is to be left alone. [...] more


Monday, July 5, 2010

While her parents are attending her baby cousin’s circumcision ceremony, the teenage narrator of Jonathan Papernick’s “Skin for Skin” invites an intriguing new boy from school over to her home. The narrator is not Jewish, as her parents are, but her views on religion and family begin to change as she contemplates sleeping with the boy, demanding of him an intriguing bargain. [...] more

BEN PERCY The Neighborhood

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In Ben Percy’s “The Neighborhood,” economic stress leads suburbanites to rather sinister acts against one family unable to keep up appearances. The Petersens become the focus of neighborhood concern, and their house becomes the target of a destructive communal activity. [...] more


Monday, May 24, 2010

Nathan Poole’s “Raw Milk Fever” begins at the turn of a young girl’s fever, brought on after she drank raw milk on a dare. Her brother narrates the piece, evoking the daze of heat and anxiety that lingers over this farm family during the girl’s illness. [...] more

JASON M. RUBIN In the Nickel of Time

Monday, May 24, 2010

The narrator of Jason M. Rubin’s “In the Nickel of Time” works at a convenience story where the weight of a roll of nickels comes in handy for an act of late-night self-defense. [...] more


Monday, May 24, 2010

A palace guardsman speaks for his battalion in Ellen Meeropol’s “Watching Her,” describing how the soldiers’ affection for a young noblewoman must give way to obedience during a civil war. Following orders, they must punish the woman’s allegiance to the rebel cause, and to her rebel lover. [...] more

DEBORAH BLICHER Gotta Move the Cow

Monday, May 24, 2010

In “Gotta Move the Cow,” Deborah Blicher recounts her work as a patient registration receptionist in a remote African hospital. The essay excerpt paints a vivid picture of a rural community as western medicine tries to help a desperate mother and her sick son. [...] more

GRACE TALUSAN The Girl in The Red Dress

Monday, May 24, 2010

In Grace Talusan’s “The Girl in the Red Dress,” Rodrigo sees the eponymous girl. But is it a ghost or a hallucination—or perhaps a sign of illness? During a visit to the doctor with his mother, Rodrigo tries to understand the intricacies of affection and intimacy and ponders what wealth means. [...] more


Saturday, May 1, 2010

In “Caiman,” Bret Anthony Johnston’s narrator details a parent’s fear over a young girl’s abduction from a Texas town. Johnston story examines the nature of evil, and explores the limits of our ability to protect against it. [...] more

MAMEVE MEDWED How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life

Saturday, May 1, 2010

https://drumlitmag. com/index. php? page=bio&display=161 The Café Pamplona in Harvard Square is the setting for a showdown between Abby and her ex-boyfriend Clive. In this excerpt from Mameve Medwed’s novel How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life, Clive is intent on making amends for various wrongs in his life—and Abby must endure his copious amending. a bout the author [...] more


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Elinor Teele’s “Covenant” offers a modern retelling of the story of Noah’s Ark. Teele’s Noah packs his family’s pets, his wife, and their three grown children into a dingy scallop boat, along with a few beers. [...] more

theme: comedy

theme: crisis

theme: relationships

theme: family

genre: essay

novel excerpt

short fiction


under 10 min

under 20 min

under 30 min

under 40 min