NONFICTION: issue one

photo: Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello

Teach Me Tonight

In 1941, the Embassy Music Corporation printed “Tips on Popular Singing by Frank Sinatra,” a short text—little more than a pamphlet, really—by the singer and his coach, John Quinlan. “Everyone can sing a little,” the manual insists, assuring its reader that “the popular vocalist who has had voice training, beyond a few simple exercises, is the exception rather than the rule.”   [keep reading...]

photo: Aaron Gilbreath

Aaron Gilbreath

“Just Move Around” (Eddie)

TRANSCRIPT FROM THE AUDIO ESSAY:  The city of Portland, where I live, is the urban center of a county with more than fifteen thousand homeless people. That figure includes not only people who sleep on the streets and in shelters, but also people who sleep on friends' couches, in cars, and in transitional housing. [...] In 2009, Oregon ranked first in the nation for homelessness per capita. I wanted to investigate this, to see who these people are, and how they get by. So I spent the summer of 2011 talking to some of the homeless population here in town. That's how I met Eddie.   [listen to the essay...]

photo: Alexandra Kimball

Alexandra Kimball

Here: On Twitter,
Writing, & Buzz

Back in 2010, I had a tedious but pleasant at-home gig as a creator of corporate blog copy. Let’s say it was for a company that sold chocolate syrup. For this purpose, I had an account on Twitter, in whose placid blue screen I spent several hours a day, cutting-and-pasting links into the platform’s compose box and then releasing them into the thicket.   [keep reading...]

photo: Alison Stine

Alison Stine

West Coast Loneliness

Snowfall, this is my goodbye to you. Already there is a chip on one of the black-striped bowls I bought at the discount store in the Mission on Friday. I find it comforting. Already it’s worn, already familiar. Already, I broke it. The hallway of my new apartment smells of England.   [keep reading...]

photo: Laura E. Davis

Laura E. Davis

Submission Bombing (interview)

Here at Better, we spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how culture, and especially literature, will change as a result of social networking and other online technologies. So when we heard about a group of writers calling themselves “Submission Bombers,” who swarm literary journals, flash-mob style, in the spirit of social change, we wanted to get the inside story from the group’s founder, Laura E. Davis.   [keep reading...]


ART: Zachary Tate Porter, Jeannie Vanasco

FICTION: Katya Apekina, John Henry Fleming, Lacy Arnett, Claire Harlan Orsi, Chantel Tattoli

NONFICTION: Emily Carr, Nancy Singleton Hachisu, Johanna Stoberock, Steve Wasserman

POETRY: Janelle Adsit, Ryan Bender-Murphy, Monica Berlin & Beth Marzoni, Dan Chelotti, Lisa Ciccarello, Christopher DeWeese, Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney, Tyler Gobble, Fanny Howe, Lo Kwa Mei-en, Nick Lantz, Matthew Lippman, Aditi Machado, Alice Miller, Marc Paltrineri, Christopher Rey Pérez, Allan Peterson, Jessica Poli, Lynne Potts, Dan Rosenberg, M. C. Rush, Ed Skoog, Cindy St. John, Russel Swensen, Emily Toder, Laurie Saurborn Young


ART: Rachel Day, Terrell James, Mr. Let’s Paint TV, Peter Van Hyning

FICTION: Paula Bomer, Andrew Brininstool, Chaitali Sen, R. T. Smith

NONFICTION: Anna Journey,
David S. MacLean

POETRY: Claire Becker, Heather Christle, Darin Ciccotelli, Jennifer Denrow, Jessica Farquhar, Farnoosh Fathi, Stephanie Ford, Geoffrey Nutter, Brian Oliu, Thibault Raoult, Anne Marie Rooney, Tomaž Šalamun, Jordan Sanderson, Jacob Sunderlin, Gale Marie Thompson, David Wojciechowski

ET CETERA: Eric LeMay's 'Threat Lexicon, Death Row Records Presents The Waste Land


ART: Jenn Brehm, Jason Polan,
Grant Willing

FICTION: Kirby Johnson, Anjali Sachdeva, Chad Simpson, S. E. Smith

NONFICTION: Laura E. Davis, Aaron Gilbreath, Alexandra Kimball, Elena Passarello, Alison Stine

POETRY:Samuel Amadon, Will Arbery, Elizabeth Arnold, Melissa Broder, Kara Candito, John Lee Clark, Graham Foust, Kit Frick, Paul Killebrew, Kyle McCord, Shane McCrae, Geoffrey G. O'Brien, Sandra Simonds, Bruce Smith

ET CETERA: Flannery O'Connor Soundboard, Poetry Bingo