POEM BY BRIT WASHBURN
PHOTO BY TAYLOR SCHUELKE
We’re excited to round out our categories of stories by adding poetry. Enjoy this first poem, and watch for more to come!
On the kitchen counter, three ripe tomatoes
a heap of sweet onions, a pile of potatoes
caked with dirt, but sacred for that,
like hands calloused from work, or the skin’s
star-chart of scars—here, where the nail went in,
here the dog’s teeth, here the knife;
here, where the scalding water spilled, here,
where the car door slammed closed; here
where our children grew ripe like fruit,
here, where your mouth named the hurt—
faint now, like the taste of rain in wine,
or the sense of something missing,
or the memory of our bodies
as gardens before the harvest.
Brit Washburn is a creative writing graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan, where she was born and raised, and Goddard College in Vermont, with further studies at Eugene Lang College in New York City and the University of Hawai’i. She lived in Brazil, France, and Charleston, South Carolina, before moving to Asheville, North Carolina, in 2017. The winner of two consecutive Albion Prizes for Poetry, Brit's poems and essays have appeared in such journals and anthologies as Alexandria Quarterly, Art Mag, Controlled Burn, The Dunes Review, and Manoa. Brit has been a resident of the Vermont Studio Center, served for many years on the board of the Poetry Society of South Carolina, and was co-director of the literary salon Poets House South. The mother of four, Brit’s additional work includes editing, indexing, ghostwriting, cooking, and teaching yoga. Her blog consists of “a reader's reflections on religion and relationship, with recipes.”
Taylor Schuelke pursues human emotion on a daily basis through still photography and video. She crafts stories for a living and is on a constant quest to spread joy. Instagram: @tayschuel
STORY AND PHOTOS BY MAHBOOB FAIZI
In the newest installment in our roving View From Here series, Mahboob Faizi takes us to a quiet spot near Kabul, Afghanistan. With this article, we’re excited to add a new language in our Sans Frontières series of articles published in multiple languages. Mahboob has written for us in both English and Dari, which is the version of Persian spoken in Afghanistan.
TEXT BY DONNA FORD
PHOTOS BY SARAH CONNER
Donna Ford lets us come with her to revisit a poignant season in her life that continues to resound nearly two decades later. We’re happy that through the photography of Sarah Conner, who is currently in the Guatemalan community that was so formative for Donna, we’re given extra glimpses into the scenes of this place.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JC JOHNSON & STORY BY KAMI L. RICE
A real life scene turned miniature through the magic of photography has inspired a tiny fictional tale that invites you to discover the other stories hiding in this image. Explore the world with us and let your imagination play along as you do.
STORY BY HEATHER M. SURLS, WITH TRANSLATION HELP BY MARADI AYED ALHAWARI
PHOTOS BY HALA MAHMOUD
Our resident correspondent in Amman has been working on this story for ages. As she ran into road block after road block, we thought we might have a mysterious mini-series on our hands, complete with legends, cracked-open doorways, and classical Arabic to decipher. But our intrepid writer persisted and now brings you a delicious story of the power of a multi-generational love affair with books.
POEM BY E. AMATO. TRANSLATED TO GERMAN BY ZISKA KILLAT. IMAGE BY JOANNA WINOGRAD.
E. Amato once overheard two people conversing in Spanish on the Tube in London, and the musical quality of their exchange captured her attention. So she listened in, though she is not a Spanish speaker. Among the few recognizable words were “la luna.” And thus, this Spanish moon gave birth to a poem recounting the conversation E. Amato imagined her fellow commuters were having. “La Luna” comes from E. Amato’s chapbook Will Travel and has been translated to German by Ziska Killat.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY CAT NORMAN TAHIROVIĆ
Cat Norman Tahirović is particularly gifted at learning of the hidden treasures of her adopted home in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Here, she takes us on a stroll to one of them, in the newest installment in our roving View From Here series.
COLLABORATION BY KAMI L. RICE, OLIVIER PEYROUS, AND JC JOHNSON
Since part of our Culture Keeper team is based in France, it seems appropriate to bring you a Culture Keeper take on one of France’s biggest news stories in the waning weeks of 2018: the Gilets Jaunes (“Yellow Vests” or “Yellow Jackets”) movement that made it into foreign news outlets when the protests turned violent in Paris. We’re not a breaking news outlet by any stretch of the imagination, but we are in the business of offering a bit of cultural context where we can. Which is what we seek to do here as we experiment with a new-to-us storytelling format that we hope to perfect over time.
STORY BY JANE POTTHAST
In a holiday season full of the wonder of childhood delight mixed with the hopes and burdens of adults, our contributor Jane Potthast stumbles upon a favorite painting from childhood and wonders whether it holds something new for her now.
ARTICLE BY MIRTHE SMEETS
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY SOLKO SCHALM
Before being translated to English for our Culture Keeper audience, Dutch journalist Mirthe Smeets’s interview with painter Solko Schalm was first published in Vers Beton, a Dutch online magazine focused on engaging the people of Rotterdam in understanding their city as it changes and develops. Rotterdam is the Netherlands’ second largest city and Europe’s largest port. Enjoy this interview with one of its artists!