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3:33 Sports Short #14 // Snatch and Drop

by Catherine A. Brereton

The house shudders when Evan lifts. He lifts upwards of 300lbs, maybe even 350lbs, he told me, when he apologized in advance for the noise. I told him it was fine because, really, how do you tell a man of his size, of his strength, that it isn’t fine, that the house trembles and the cats are anxious and you can’t sleep. He lifts at night, always at night, and although he’s promised that he’ll be finished by nine, he never is.

The thuds come ten minutes apart. In-between, when the house is quiet, the bass of his music thumps in the background. It’s almost soothing. Then, he lifts—snatches, I think, is the correct term—then, he drops, onto the concrete floor of the garage, and the whole house quakes.  

3:33 Sports Short #13 // Heroes

by Benjamin Blickle

In the cement tunnel to the parking lot, David Bowie’s “Heroes” piped in through the stadium speakers.  Even at seventeen, I didn’t think we’d have been heroes if we’d won the state soccer championship.  But an oblique bolt of clarity struck through the cumulus of loss.  I remembered how much I liked that song, how the lyrics went deeper and weirder than the title or the chorus would let on.  Dolphins, royalty, love, ramparts, alcoholism.  All the beautiful strangeness would forever be overshadowed by our 4-0 defeat.  Why couldn’t they have just played Queen like they always do?

Alberta Clipper: 3/01/16: "The Girls They Burned" by Adrienne Celt

Salem Witch Trials

March 1, 1692, was the start of one of the darkest and gloomiest times for the early United States. It was the date that the infamous Salem Witch Trials began. In a historical event made famous by Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, three women (Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba) were brought before the local magistrates in Salem Village after three young girls accused them of witchcraft. Those girls claimed that Good, Osborne, and Tituba afflicted them, afflictions that resulted in bodily injury. Interestingly, the three women singled out were social outcasts. Good was a beggar whose impoverished state was caused by the loss of her inherence and her first husband’s debt, for which she and her second husband were held responsible. Osborne was likely accused because she had not attended church for almost three years (although she had the excuse of a long-standing sickness).

'You will lose yourself': the rituals of grief in the poetry of Ashaki M. Jackson

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize is now open! In honor of the 2016 Book Prize season, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson will interview authors about the process of constructing a manuscript and bringing it to publication. This week, Katie interviews brilliant poet and Prairie Schooner contributor Ashaki M. Jackson about grief rituals, submission rituals, and her two forthcoming chapbooks.

I Write Sad Things

3:33 Sports Short #12 // Young & Scrappy

by Judy Sobeloff

I accidentally joined the cross country team on my first day of high school, having never run a mile. My new art teacher was the coach, and I happened to be in his office when he was passing out permission slips, which I thought were for art.

My father had died on the last day of school two and a half months before, and I would cry during practice when we did fartlek, or any drills with a funny name. I came in last in one of our first big meets when the other girls I was running with toward the back all cheated by cutting across a field, and I kept going on the course. About half the people who came out for the team quit, a point of pride for those of us who stayed.

My friends and I made t-shirts that said “young and scrappy,” a phrase used to describe our team in the local paper. I got faster and stronger and stopped crying. “See how her body has changed!” my art teacher announced to the class.

3:33 Sports Short #11 // Safe

by Jessica Roeder

The stillness of right field. Bees in the clover, your mitt giving off its companionable calf scent. Talk it up out there. It’s a known fact that you don’t have to talk it up from right field. If you talk it up, no one will hear, or you will seem ambitious, and you would rather do your time in right field than become embroiled anywhere more active. Your knees lock. Your elbows knock. Left-handed batter, and Mr. Gleason gleams an eye, talks it up to you, Look lively, Rowder. One, two, three, she’s out. Mr. Gleason’s daughter is on the mound. You knew you didn’t have to look lively, but you looked it, anyhow.

So much stillness in girls’ little league, socially mandatory in your suburb, so much eye-on-the-ball, so much shouting, so little time learning to do anything. Four years will pass before you walk into the storefront Academy of Movement and Music for your first ballet class and jeté yourself out of right field forever.

3:33 Sports Short #10 // Explain: Fois Gras

by Julia Shipley

Our final 3:33 Sports Short this week is the second part of a Julia Shipley two-peat and the first post to explore the strange barbarism of the eating contest. Thanks for reading, and, I've said it before and I'll say it again, for more great sports writing purchase our Winter Sports Issue for just $9.

3:33 Sports Short #9 // Hustle

by Julia Shipley

Don't be a shrinking violet, her field hockey coach still yelps from the sidelines of her memory. Don’t be… that shout, still chiding her inclination to contract when the world ongoingly asks, insists, demands: expand!

Then, too, she remembers coach’s warm reward for aggression, or, was it only assertion?

Insertion: when she wasn’t shrinking, oh, how she whacked that solid ball—heavy as a lead egg—at the pad-covered goalie, how she rushed toward that shut door of a girl, (Go! Don't be....), how she took her stick and flicked and tucked that stone bolus behind the goalie's squeezed knees. 

Every game, it seemed, was about forcing a protective female to accept something she didn't want, again and again.

3:33 Sports Short #8 // Tribal Bands

by Justin Brouckaert

This Christmas, my parents bought me a watch that tracks steps and monitors heart rate, syncs the data to an app. I trek around my city trying to take pride in stairs climbed, calories burned, badges earned, but usually the numbers feel empty. I feel like I’m posing in a world I don’t belong to—or worse, like I’m pretending to be someone I left behind long ago.

*     *     *

One night during my first winter running seventy miles per week, I found myself at a party in a smoky basement with one good friend and a swarm of strangers.

“This guy,” my friend introduced me, “he loves running. Running is his life.

One man asked why I wore my running watch upside down, the face on my wrist’s underside. I told him it was easier to hit the lap button, a quicker flick to check my pace.

'The strange spinning that is...grief': An interview with Lisa Fay Coutley

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize is now open! In honor of the 2016 Book Prize season, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson will interview authors about the process of constructing a manuscript and bringing it to publication. This week, Katie interviews poet and Prairie Schooner contributor Lisa Fay Coutley about confessional poetry, the public, collective joy of hearing you've won a book prize in an airport, and about her book Errata, which won the Crab Orchard Series Open Competition in 2014.

How many books have you published, and where?

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