Stonework is published by Houghton College, a Christian liberal arts college located in New York’s rural Genesee Valley. Stonework seeks a diverse mix of mature and emerging voices in fellowship with the evangelical tradition. Published twice a year, the journal reflects the arts community at Houghton College where excellence in music, writing, and the visual arts has long been a distinctive.

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  • Issue 6
    Poetry by Paul Willis and Thom Satterlee. Fiction and interview with Lori Huth. Essay by James Wardwell, and student poets from Christian campuses.
  • Issue 5
    Poetry by Susanna Childress and Debra Rienstra. Fiction excerpt by Emilie Griffin. Art from Houghton's 2007 presidential inauguration and a forum on women writing.
  • Issue 4
    Matthew Roth--new poems. Diane Glancy--from One of Us and an interview. John Tatter-on gardens and poetry. The Landscapes of John Rhett. Stephen Woolsey--on the poetry of Jack Clemo. James Wardwell--on Herrick.
  • Issue 3
    Poetry by Julia Kasdorf, Robert Siegel and Sandra Duguid. Fiction by Tom Noyes. The portraits of Alieen Ortlip Shea. An anthology of Australian Poets
  • Issue 2
    Thom Satterlee - Poems from Burning Wycliff with an appreciation by David Perkins. Alison Gresik - new fiction and an interview. James Zoller - Poems from Living on the Floodplain.
  • Issue 1
    Luci Shaw — new poems with an appreciation by Eugene H. Peterson & Hugh Cook — new fiction and an interview

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mother as Water-Damaged Book

~ Susanna Childress

When the rains came late in October, angry

as a muzzled dog, seven boxes of my books

were ruined. Mother told me at Thanksgiving

after I’d found Thoreau, Nabokov, Joyce

Carol Oates belly up on the washer, I was

drying them out for you, she said, and a great feral

weight slipped from her eyes, rolled helplessly

like cobble into a stream, to her knuckles

bending and scurrying over hundreds

of marred pages. Without warning, the entire

basement was covered in open books, Sappho

propped on the blender box, Midnight’s Children

like a tentative palm on the old VCR,

Norton Anthologies and periodicals lined

the 2x4 planks at the window. When I started

to cry, my own fingers uncertain how to touch

the Leaves of Grass I’d marked up in college,

Dr. Marj Elder having lent 48 years to the green ink

of my marginalia, my mother, also, began to cry.

She led me upstairs, where she pulled from under

her bed the most substantive volumes: Moby Dick,

my autographed Gwendolyn Brooks, a thickly bound

Great Gatsby, the golden-edged Pocket Sonnets,

all of them halved and breathing, tended to

by my mother’s cautious culpability. I was afraid,

she said, I was waiting for the right time, she said. And then,

there in my hands, I was turning the dampened,

molding sheets of my mother, her bleak ubiety,

unable to recover the ironed-flat flick

of the chapter’s end, some delicate scrawl on papyrus.