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MER VOX Quarterly – Summer 2020

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 MER VOX Quarterly –  Summer 2020




Flash Fiction

curated by Tara Lynn Masih

Emma Bolden, Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Kathy Fish, Sherrie Flick, Rosie Forrest,Tara Laskowski, Dawn Raffel, Mary McLaughlin Slechta, Claudia Smith, Julia Strayer

“The reality is, global warming and pandemics are intertwined. Because civilizations are encroaching on wildlife territory, we’re being exposed to animal viruses we’re not accustomed to. Everything is connected. Protect the wild, we protect ourselves….I hope you read these poetic, dreamy, sometimes magical flashes that are packed with vibrant images and that explore women’s issues with skill, sensitivity, depth, and even humor . . . slowly. Savor their words and wisdom, and I hope you’ll find the stories reflective and healing. These women are “Riding the Dangerous Wind,” an allusion to a JFK quote that morphed into an anonymous one: “A crisis is an opportunity to ride the dangerous wind.”” –Tara Lynn Masih



Poetry and Prose

curated by JP Howard


Kim Brandon, Nicole Callihan, Jennifer Franklin, Anna Limontas-Salisbury, Patricia Starek, Danielle Stellutto

“This pandemic has caused enormous loss of life, incredible stress and collective grief; as I write this, thousands of protesters are marching and chanting outside of my Brooklyn, NY window seeking justice for black lives, violently taken away from us too soon, due to police brutality and racism, an insidious pandemic in this country. … Nurturing Through a Pandemic sought work from both mother and/or grandmother writers, reflecting on their experiences, including their parenting journeys, during this pandemic… The voices included here reflect a diverse rainbow of Mamas, Grand (Mama) Divas; all powerful writers sharing their stories/their poems/their narratives during a time when our voices deserve to be lifted up.” — J.P. Howard




curated by Jennifer Martelli and Cindy Veach


Eileen Cleary, Karen George, Jen Karetnick, Tina Kelley, Ellen Kombiyil, K.T. Landon, Marjorie Maddox, Twila Newey, Sarah Sarai, Sarah Dickenson Snyder, Sunita Theiss

“It doesn’t take a pandemic to create isolation. Grief and depression can cause it, as can bullying and separation. Motherhood can also result in aloneness despite being in the company of others. And at times we seek out solitude through seclusion and privacy. …The poems in this folio seek to name “that vacancy”, to speak to the varied faces of isolation, to our need for social and physical contact, for a way to live with unanswerable questions and a future we can’t foretell. It is our pleasure and honor to present the work of these poets. We hope you enjoy this folio. Thank you for the time you spend with it.” –Jennifer Martelli and Cindy Veach

Features, Book Reviews


Legacy: On Our Poetry Mothers
Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie’s Strut and Arielle Benjamin’s Paper Bag Poems
by Ana C.H. Silva

“Every poet has a legacy she draws from, essential and overlapping with the poetry communities she frequents. I have the honor here to spotlight one such connection, between Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie and Arielle Benjamin…” — Ana C.H. Silva



Truth Has A Different Shape by Kari L. O’Driscoll;
review by Emily Webber

Well-chosen details and immersive writing make this memoir an intimate portrait of a fractured family and how one may approach forgiveness and healing even as childhood trauma threads through one’s life.


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