June 22, 2018

Friday Night Audio Adventure: “Magus Elgar”

Friday Night Audio Adventure: “Magus Elgar”

For the next three weeks, Fictional Cafe is proud to entertain you with an audio adventure starring Magus Elgar. It’s a comedic fantasy that will entertain your socks off, inspired by the works of Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Simon R. Green, J.K. Rowling, and other great authors. After a magical spell throws an eccentric magi named Magus Elgar and his student into a world of science, they must apply all of their skills to find the scientific tools that have appeared in their world – before they end up in the wrong hands. Please click on the arrow below to listen to the first episode of “Magus Elgar.” If you’re dying to know more, please visit the website by clicking here. We’ll play episodes 2 and 3 consecutively on the next two Friday nights.

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June 18, 2018

“Juneteenth” by Sarah Kersey

“Juneteenth” by Sarah Kersey

Editor’s Note: On June 19, 1865, the last emancipation of the black people of the United States took place. Occurring in Texas, slavery was that day finally and completely abolished. Although little known or recognized, this final act of abolition was named “Freedom Day” and is often remembered today as “Juneteenth,” for June nineteenth. We are honored to offer you this poetic narrative  entitled “Juneteenth,” commissioned especially for the Fictional Café to recognize this day, written by Sarah Kersey.   Juneteenth I must have died, because now I am free. I couldn’t have. Not today. That general—Galveston is his name?—rode in on his steed. For some reason, I pictured Michael on the white horse in Revelation. General looked defeated. A savior’s a savior, no matter what. How could my master be free, but I am…

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June 3, 2018

Blake Brasher: Creating A Sense of Wonder

Blake Brasher: Creating A Sense of Wonder

Blake Brasher is a visual artist working in mixed media painting and installation. His colorful abstractions are reflections on the nature of reality and what it is like to be a thinking being in a universe that is at once beautiful and terrifying. Blake came to Cambridge to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997 and has lived in the Boston area ever since. Feeling pulled between the fine arts and the sciences, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Art and Design at MIT while cross-registering for painting classes at Harvard and doing robotics research at the MIT Media Lab. While Blake would not mind earning fame and fortune from his artwork, his primary interest is in the work itself and in exposing his work to as large an audience as possible. He…

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May 27, 2018

Hotfoot It to Read Poetry Every Day This Summer!

Hotfoot It to Read Poetry Every Day This Summer!

a guest post by Sarah P. Kersey Writers are readers, and most of us are starting to compile our summer reading lists. A great opportunity for reading poetry is to subscribe to Ghost City Press’s Summer Micro-chapbook series. StackExchange, a writer’s Q&A website, considers a standard poetry chapbook to contain 20-30 pages, or 25 shorter poems. A micro-chapbook has significantly fewer poems, averaging about 10 pages. Click to see some of Ghost City’s previously published micro-chaps from 2016 and 2017. Starting today, May 28th, Ghost City Press is releasing its third annual series, one micro-chapbook each day for 75 days, ending on September 7, 2018. The full roster of poets can be found here. All of the books are free and will be sent to subscribers via email. Contributions/donations are welcome. As stated on Ghost…

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May 24, 2018

Philip Roth, 1933-2018

Philip Roth, 1933-2018

“No two words are more precious to a writer than, ‘You’re free.’” – Philip Roth The Ghost Writer (1979) Zuckerman Unbound (1981) The Anatomy Lesson (1983) The Prague Orgy (1985) The Counterlife (1986) American Pastoral (1997) I Married a Communist (1998) The Human Stain (2000) Exit Ghost (2007) Novotny’s Pain (1980), published by Sylvester & Orphanos The Facts: A Novelist’s Autobiography (1988) Deception: A Novel (1990) Patrimony: A True Story (1991) Operation Shylock: A Confession (1993) The Plot Against America (2004) The Breast (1972) The Professor of Desire (1977) The Dying Animal (2001) Everyman (2006) Indignation (2008) The Humbling (2009) Nemesis (2010) Goodbye, Columbus (1959) Letting Go (1962) When She Was Good (1967) Portnoy’s Complaint (1969) Our Gang (1971) The Great American Novel (1973) My Life as a Man (1974) Sabbath’s Theater (1995)

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April 30, 2018

“Haeleigh,” a Short Story by Channie Greenberg

“Haeleigh,” a Short Story by Channie Greenberg

Haeleigh was an angry flannel sheet. Until The March of Linen, she fussed and fumed, shedding copious amounts of lint and feigning an inability to have neatly matching corners. As per hospital squares, forget it. Such precision wasn’t going to happen as long as the laundry service repeatedly overstarched her. That company was cheap. It didn’t steam clothes, but washed them in tepid water. Plus, rather than apply industrial soap, that business used questionable surfactant compounds purchased through Third World middlemen. To boot, that service, which reprehensibly ran mixed loads of darks and lights, caused Haeleigh and many of her kin to become splotched with pink or grey. Additionally, that slipshod cleaner batched together orders from multiple clients, thereby sending some of Haeleigh’s nearest and dearest to foreign addresses. It was rumored that Haeleigh’s brother,…

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April 24, 2018

The Poetry of Pain by Barbara Lawrence

The Poetry of Pain by Barbara Lawrence

Breaking the Silence A boy cowers in the corner as his mother raises a belt high into the air. A girl clings to her teddy bear as Daddy enters her room in the middle of the night. A woman fights for her life as a stranger drags her into a vacant alley. So many voices Silent. One voice pierces the darkness, coaxes courage. A second voice emerges from the shadows then another then another… An angry choir swells: No longer will we remain silent. No longer will we hide in secrecy, shame, and fear. Tonight is the night we shout  NO MORE! NO MORE!     Hypervigilance She surfs the edge of dreams dares not sleep too deep the Bogeyman lurks in every shadow eager to tear flesh from bone. Snap of twig outside the…

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April 18, 2018

Emily Brodrick’s Fanciful Constructions

Emily Brodrick’s Fanciful Constructions

Many thanks to Steve Sangapore, our Visual Arts Barista, for introducing all of us to Emily Brodrick’s dynamic, colorful textile art. Emily graduated from Hampshire College in 2014 where her study of fiber art culminated in a solo show titled “Why Color Makes Me Giggle.” Her knitted and crocheted works are often repetitive, vibrantly colorful, with an organic feel. With them, she explores themes such as gender stereotypes, craft traditions, functionality and play.  She is currently exhibiting in the Neoteric Abstract Art VI show at the Limner Gallery in Manhattan. Emily’s Artist Statement: “After 4 years of primarily working in fiber, over the past year or so my work has become steadily less textile-focused. I have been trying to deconstruct my practice to understand what drives my need to create on a psychological level and to…

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April 16, 2018

Barista Rachael Allen’s Literary Vacation in Italy

Barista Rachael Allen’s Literary Vacation in Italy

Who says reading is an activity limited to your couch and a cup of tea? Over spring break, I had the chance to travel around to the homes, museums, and fictional locations of authors whose works I have been reading in my Italian literature course. My class teamed up with a Latin class to travel to Sicily, Italy. Over the course of ten days, we toured around the island, visiting ancient sites as well as literary sites related to the 20th century Sicilian writers we were studying. From statues to tombs to street signs, these Sicilian towns have all chosen different ways to preserve the legacy of these writers and their fictional characters, providing ample evidence (not that any of us needed it) that characters really do live off of the page. We began in…

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