September 12, 2019

“True Blue,” Every Man’s Fantasy – A Short Story by Paul Lewellan

“True Blue,” Every Man’s Fantasy – A Short Story by Paul Lewellan

For fifty-three years the Hilltop Diner on College Street fed the academic community of the University of Southern Iowa (USI). Dr. Benjamin “Blue” Boru’s usual table occupied the back corner by the bathrooms underneath the giant wheezing room air conditioner. Blue arrived daily at six a.m. and ordered The Special: two eggs (fried hard), two slices of buttered toast, hash browns, pork sausage links, and black coffee. After breakfast, Sheila Morgan, the owner’s redheaded daughter, cleared away his plate while Blue poured over Nag-Hammadi manuscripts. She left him alone, except to refill his coffee. She waitressed mornings, cooked for the lunch crowd, then called in the produce orders. Late afternoon and evenings she studied. Sheila began a master’s degree in religion the year she turned forty-three. Her first class was Blue’s. He’d been a regular…

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April 16, 2019

FC Anthology in Production

FC Anthology in Production

Hello everyone, we are excited to update you all on the forthcoming FC Anthology – our first print edition! We’ve begun book production, including layout, cover design and printing sources. For those of you familiar with self-publishing, you understand it’s a lot of work (and learning). This anthology will include the baristas’ handpicked “best of” from 2013 until 2017: the first five years of our existence. We’ll include short stories, novel excerpts, poetry and visual art from over 50 members! I’m happy to report that we are moving along with the manuscript layout thanks to friend and fellow member of IPNE, Eddie Vincent of Encircle Publications. He has been working in book production and design for over 30 years! This will be the second Fictional Café Press book. We published the first, Where Are the…

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February 21, 2019

New Hybrid Art from Hank Keneally

New Hybrid Art from Hank Keneally

I had the pleasure of meeting long-time Fictional Cafe member Hank Keneally at “FOG” (Far Out Gallery) in San Francisco this month. This neat little gallery, high in the hills of the Sunset District of SF, is only a few blocks from the actual fog of Ocean Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Hank graciously showed me his art and described how he got each of his shots and then how the images transformed into the hybrid art we see here. It’s always great to see someone’s art in person and have them explain the images or the inspiration behind the piece. If you’re in the bay area, or looking for an excuse to go there, his hybrid art is on display through February 24th. Artist Statement – “FOG” Gallery Exhibition by Hank Keneally As I…

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July 3, 2018

Virtuality: Steve Sangapore’s Skateboard Art

Virtuality: Steve Sangapore’s Skateboard Art

Congratulations to Steve Sangapore, our Visual Arts barista, for his new line of Skateboard Art! Steve has had a passion for skateboarding since he was a kid, so combining it with his artistic talents was a perfect blend. His foray into selling his art in a totally different way than most painters gives him a new audience for his work and a new outlet for his work to be on display. Below you can see preview photos of his new work. You can buy his Virtuality series of skateboard decks online or in stores in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Click any image to enlarge.     Steve Sangapore is the Visual Arts barista at the Fictional Café. His paintings and new skateboard decks can be found on his website. You can follow him on…

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June 24, 2018

Congratulations to Artist Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord!

Congratulations to Artist Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord!

Fictional Cafe member and former featured artist Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord has an exhibition in Boston at the beautiful Arnold Arboretum Hunnewell Building Visitor Center through July 22nd. Her Spirit Books combine the aesthetics of the natural world with the art of bookmaking. Susan displays these beautifully and spiritually powerful books all across the country.   Susan was also recently interviewed on WGBH, the local PBS station in Boston, about her work and its meaning to her. Listen to her on the WGBH “Arts This Week” feature to learn more. You can follow Susan’s work on her website as well on Instagram.      

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June 12, 2018

Barista Rachael Allen Moves on to The Atlantic

Barista Rachael Allen Moves on to The Atlantic

Our congratulations to Rachael Allen on her graduation from Bowdoin College and her new job as an Editorial Fellow at The Atlantic, one of the best, most respected American magazines. The Atlantic Monthly was co-founded by Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson in Boston in 1857. Rachael will be hanging up her barista hat to take this great stepping-stone into her burgeoning writing career, moving to Washington, D.C., to work on The Atlantic print magazine, fact checking, copy editing, pitching stories, and more. We are going to miss her smiling countenance, superb writing, and knowing we would get every assignment from her on deadline. Rachael has been a Fictional Café contributor since her sophomore year in college, writing engaging pieces on the challenging world of English majors in college, the difficulty finding creative time in this busy…

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May 22, 2018

“The Beginning of a Tradition” by Rachael Allen

“The Beginning of a Tradition” by Rachael Allen

The Beginning of a Tradition  On Friday night, the eve of my best friend’s birthday, we all drive twenty minutes to the ocean. It is 10 p.m. and we are armed with chocolate chip cookies, hot pretzels, cubed cheese, and an assortment of chips from our college’s late night snack offerings in the dining hall. Though it is mid-May, we dress in winter coats and hats, sitting cross-legged in a circle on the dock, a blanket draped over our laps. We look at the stars and laugh about nothing, cheering for my friend when it is finally midnight. This is tradition, even though it is only the second time we have done this. Having known each other less than four years, the traditions my college friends and I practice are echoes of the ones we…

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May 21, 2018

Fictional Cafe Turns 5 Birthday Update

Fictional Cafe Turns 5 Birthday Update

Hello everyone, here’s a quick birthday update. We are so excited for our Facebook event today, Fictional Cafe Turns 5, and we wanted to make sure everyone has an opportunity to join in the fun. Please visit the event page and wish The Fictional Cafe happy birthday and share a photo of the scenery near you, a historical landmark nearby or simply your smiling face, then tag your location by clicking the “Check In” button so we all can see just how geographically diverse our members are. We hope you all can drop by our event as we serve “Fresh Java” all day long from contributors that span the globe. Here’s a preview of just some of what you’ll see: The kickoff event at Galerie ZonZon in Brest, France with our dear friend Danièle Maguet…

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May 8, 2018

“Seismometers Feverish & Blue” and “My Truth” by Joanne James

“Seismometers Feverish & Blue” and “My Truth” by Joanne James

SEISMOMETERS FEVERISH & BLUE the clock is black and ticking gold-flecked velvet inside this mystery earth fringed-edged mycelium push out for miles underground one mushroom the entrance to our world mycelium not fragile attuned like seismometers lacey fungal veil holding strong over molten core the core where I live there’s so much difficulty in burning I always took it for granted that your heart I’d melt those years my heart was lava in the time of the rooster in the time of the coconut when we couldn’t make it to the bed we’d take it on the kitchen floor when the ground moves in increments our hearts seismometers feverish and blue I learned that what burns with such intensity has fragility your mouth my delicacy root hairs that push us out of ourselves into another’s…

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May 3, 2018

“I am not a criminal” a poem by Lizzi Lewis

“I am not a criminal” a poem by Lizzi Lewis

I am not a criminal I am ducking my responsibility Before it comes To telling my grandchildren (For I shall have none) That I am the one who did these things;   I am the one who choked the sea With plastic, wrapped conveniently Around everything I could ever need (And some things I didn’t) To keep them sanitary, clean Never mind the lungs and eyes The breaking hearts of those unseen, Never mind the damaged soil Pits of poison, smoke’s toxic roil, Death dripping from the very pores Of those I never knew, never heard of before. It was me.   I am the one who chained the men The women, and the children when I bought the things which owned their lives Paid their captors, swallowed the lies, Ignored the truths I didn’t…

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