Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Error message

  • Deprecated function: Return type of DateObject::__wakeup() should either be compatible with DateTime::__wakeup(): void, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in include_once() (line 143 of /var/www/html/prairieschooner.unl.edu/public/sites/all/modules/date/date_api/date_api.module).
  • Deprecated function: Return type of DateObject::format($format, $force = false) should either be compatible with DateTime::format(string $format): string, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in include_once() (line 143 of /var/www/html/prairieschooner.unl.edu/public/sites/all/modules/date/date_api/date_api.module).
  • Deprecated function: Return type of DateObject::setTimezone($tz, $force = false) should either be compatible with DateTime::setTimezone(DateTimeZone $timezone): DateTime, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in include_once() (line 143 of /var/www/html/prairieschooner.unl.edu/public/sites/all/modules/date/date_api/date_api.module).

3:33 Sports Short #31 // Introduction to Dodgeball by Jenn Koiter

The game wants to be played. The way a story presses you to tell it. Without you, it is the mancala board’s dusty hollows, is pitz or faro, is dice in Egyptian tombs. You play because you want to, because, from the opening rush to the last woman out, your body knows exactly what to do. The court simplifies. Catch. Drill. Hold the corner, scamper, hunker down.

Whether you forget yourself in a flurry of purple no-sting dodgeballs, or move with conscious delight at being in a body, being in your body, is entirely up to you. If you sit down, the balls will come. If you want to be the best, learn how best to submit, how best to be complicit with the game as it moves you.

3:33 Sports Short #30 // Game Seven Overtime by Abigail Mitchell

At twenty-two I don’t think often of my history at ice rinks–salty fries, my uncle cheering at Raiders games, how the air smells and blades sound– but when I return it feels like a homecoming. I’m at my first hockey game in Anaheim and everything is bright, orange, loud. The Raiders no longer play at the Romford rink, and Romford is thousands of miles away, and tonight I’m surrounded by a sea of red as Blackhawks fans swarm the Honda Center. I’m thinking about how good it feels to shout like this, to want something so simple. I am thinking about how the cold air feels in my lungs, which is goddamn liberating. When Patrick Kane skates past us during warm ups, my voice joins the litany of support pouring through the glass, and I feel like I am a part of something for the first time since I came to California, since I ran away from everybody and everything for this soul-sucking desert of a godforsaken city.

3:33 Sports Short #29 // Perspective by Shelley Johansson

Today's pair of 3:33 Sports Shorts also focus on a sport that recently wrapped up in America... hockey! Although we don't have any fond memories from a writer who grew up loving the Penguins in the glory days of Mario Lemieux, we do have Shelley Johansson's lyrical recalling of the iconic "Miracle on Ice" and a harrowing recollection of what it felt like to be a fan on the losing end of an intense seven game Stanley Cup finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, courtesy of Abigail Mitchell. Enjoy!

3:33 Sports Short #28 // Small Meditations by Michael Wasson

Crushed in the hands, the scent of pine needles & the smear of sap on the ball. My jump shot comes to me from hours behind my childhood home shooting at the hoop that my long-haired uncles drilled into the face of the pine. No real court to dribble on. That’s okay. I just shoot under the large pine that I mistake for a fatherly skeleton crucified at dusk. After a few weeks, the ball lies half-discolored. A face I’ve not touched in years it seems. Flattening. But I pick it up again & arc through the low hanging arms of this skeletal, living tree.


3:33 Sports Short #27 // Loop Recovery by Michael Nye

I said basketball, and the technician just laughed. He looked up from selecting the appropriate cast to wrap around my right ankle.

“Let me guess,” he said. “Shooting a layup.”

Here’s what happened: a jump shot had gone up strong side; I had been standing at the free throw line. The shot bricked, ricocheted high, and the rebound was batted in the air like a balloon, once, twice, then tapped to the corner. I turned to race after it. One player made a last leap for the ball, missed it, and landed directly on the back of my ankle. His weight anchored me, and his weight and force ruptured my Achilles.

The technician shook his head. “That’s crazy. I’ve never heard one like that.”

The paper underneath me crinkled as I shifted on the examination table. It occurred to me that if the guy was an inch or two to the other side of my leg, we probably just tangle up, crash, and my Achilles remains intact.

3:33 Sports Short #26 // Vanished Cathedral, Recollections from a Cavaliers Childhood by Doug Cornett

The 3:33 Sports Shorts series is back! We're kicking off this week with a trio of posts about basketball. The first comes courtesy of the recently vindicated Doug Cornett, whose lifelong fandom of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers has just been rewarded with a championship! We've also got great work from Michael Nye on recovering from Achilles surgery after a basketball injury, and Michael Wasson on growing up playing basketball where hoops and courts are hard to come by.

It’s the early round of the NBA playoffs, 1992. I’m ten years old, settled into the belly of the Richfield Coliseum, the Palace on the Prairie, to watch our boys do battle.

Evil and Joy and That Other Mushy Part In-Between: An Interview with Kiese Laymon

by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

The deadline for our Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest is August 1st. The winner will receive a prize of $250 and publication in our Spring 2017 issue. Read below to get a sense of what contest judge Kiese Laymon is looking for. Click here to submit.

Your recent essays address Mississippi House Bill 1523, the conversation surrounding Bill Cosby and sexual assault, the hopes you have for your daughter, Mississippi football, and the church shootings in Charleston. In one essay you write that you are “concerned about any and all things relating to my body, your body, our feelings, power, sexual history, sexual imagination and intimacy.” What drives these concerns? What sets an essay in motion? How or why does the genre facilitate these conversations?

3:33 Sports Short #25 // Quitter by Brooke Randel

The first sport I quit was softball. I had been playing since elementary school, but by junior high, everyone had become bigger and stronger. They outgrew me. My bat speed wasn't fast enough, my fielding wasn't fast enough, I wasn't fast enough. I didn't even quit fast enough. The last season I played I got beaned in the head by a foul ball from another game.

3:33 Sports Short #24 // So Far by Mindy Misener

Today's pair of 3:33 Sports Shorts both concern one's relation to sports as time passes. Mindy Misener's piece below and Brook Randel's piece "Quitter" both explore loss, albeit in interestingly contradictory yet complementary ways. Enjoy!

I am in first grade and I am running full-tilt after a boy who has—as is the custom—seized and taken off with some girl’s plastic headband. My own teacher steps in front of me, intercepting me.

"Why are you doing this?” she asks me.

“If I don’t get them,” I say, “who will?”


There’s a scrawny, pale boy in my fourth-grade class. We are both on the track team, a connection I treasure. I am an industrious, rule-abiding student; this boy tells dirty jokes when the teacher leaves the room.

3:33 Sports Short #23 // “Mad Man” Pondo by Dylan D. Debelis

Screams. Drowned out by the weedwacker whirr slicing skin off “sick” Nick Mondo’s chest.

Light-tube graveyard. Florescent ghosts lodging themselves inside the gummy throats and wounds from barbed wire that replaced the ring ropes.

I called in sick to school more than once to stay home and watch Cage of Death matches.

Looking back on my skinny arms I’m not sure what drew the lines in like fish hooks through my eyes.

How far the knee will bend before the bone pokes through.

Two bodies, just over forty years between the two of them, sticking their veins with tacks and glass for a fifteen hundred person sellout crowd in a high school gym.

The reverence of violence. When his skull cracked against the concrete I heard the crowd let out a gasp of solemn prayer.


Subscribe to The Prairie Schooner Blog