New York Tyrant

I Understand by Chelsea Hodson

Bryan Woods

    Last week, thousands of writers traveled to a convention center in Washington, D.C., to "do a reading" or "go to a panel" or "meet internet friends IRL"—yes, I’m referring to AWP, the annual event so difficult to explain that it’s best to not bother telling anyone in the "real world" you even went. At the end of the week, I did a reading on the largest escalator in the Western hemisphere (which is located in the Wheaton metro stop in Silver Spring, Maryland), along with Jordan Castro, Juliet Escoria, David Fishkind, Zachary German, Emma Heldman, Precious Okoyomon, and Nicolette...


Thanksgiving in Palm Beach by Michelle Lyn King

Bryan Woods

Thanksgiving in Palm Beach by Michelle Lyn King

Two years ago, my dad and I went out for dinner in Fort Lauderdale. The host brought us to a small table in the corner of the restaurant. This is more intimate, they said before winking and walking off. In the host’s defense, I was dressed like someone’s third wife, in a stark white jumpsuit, cut low enough to reveal a black velvet bra. It is possible I’m the one to blame.

Eleven years ago, though, when I was 14 and wore only Delia’s graphic tees, my dad took me to see Jewel in concert. Halfway through “Who Will Save Your Soul” a woman in the row behind us tapped his shoulder, hard. Why don’t you date someone your own age? she wanted to know. My dad insisted that I was his daughter, but she didn’t believe him. That’s Florida.


Album Reviews of 1994 by Julia Dixon Evans

Bryan Woods

Album Reviews of 1994 by Julia Dixon Evans
Someone other than the athletic director had control of the music and we secretly loved it. Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to. And I looked at the crowd and wondered how many of us would grow up to kill someone. I wondered how many of us were capable.

THE NIGGER KNOCKERS by Rion Amilcar Scott

Bryan Woods

THE NIGGER KNOCKERS by Rion Amilcar Scott

The knock, knock joke, much like the negro spiritual, began as a means of clandestine communication, a way for slaves to pass information to each other beneath the radar of hostile whites. 

—Hiram Skylark Rollicks

Signifyn’ Revolt: Black Rebellion in the Antebellum South  


Something Great About The Sun by Meredith Alling

Bryan Woods

Something Great About The Sun by Meredith Alling
What is wrong with me? I suspect: I go through hard times and I say “I’m going through it.” I’m not so restrained. I’m not all that feminine. I’m not polished and I feel that — the shame of it in certain company. I don’t respond well to baby talk. When I hear it, it’s like I’m trying to swallow a pin. My body becomes stiff and my voice rock-like. I want to be seen.

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