POETRY: Too Much by Jason M. Thornberry

He gave them too much of not enough, So they brought an empty birthday card And lay it against his wet headstone. Jason M. Thornberry’s writing appears in JMWW, Los Angeles Review of Books, North Dakota Quarterly, Harbor Review, Entropy, TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. Assaulted by strangers, he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Relearning to walk and speak—and navigating post-traumatic epilepsy—Jason earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University. He’s currently seeking a home for his first novel. Jason lives in Seattle with his wife and dog and teaches writing at Seattle Pacific University.

POETRY: Death Is a Dress Never by Ellen Devlin

Death is a dress never worn, waiting in our closets linen or wool we can die in any season a dress too important to wear, pushed into a dusty corner of occasion dresses bridesmaid dresses don’t fit dresses sale dresses dresses the moths got dresses bought in bad light drunk dresses pooled on the floor worn out dresses worried dresses we never get it right. Ellen Devlin is the author of the chapbooks Rita and Heavenly Bodies at the MET. Her recent journal publications include Beyond Words (2023), Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art (2023), Muleskinner Journal (2023), Rock…

TCR Talks with Mathieu Cailler, author of Forest for the Trees

By Chih Wang If something seems familiar about Mathieu Cailler’s new short story collection, Forest for the Trees, maybe it’s because one of its pieces, “Quickenings,” was first published here at The Coachella Review. In this collection—his seventh book and second of short stories—he brings us intimate moments of people’s quiet suffering, their little joys, losses, and revelations, from a wife passively defying her husband (“Party of Two”) to a taxi driver protecting his passenger from an abusive date (“Highway 111”), from a war veteran’s rescue gone wrong (the title story, “Forest for the Trees”) to a gun’s silent witness…

DRAMA: Write What You Know by G.A. Milnthorpe

  G.A. Milnthorpe is an author, playwright, and comedian. His latest novel, Archibald Mountbank and the Miniscule Miracles, is his best, and shortest, to date. He lives in Bury St. Edmunds, UK. You can find him on Facebook and  X/Twitter.  

Voice to Books: Magical Realism and BIPOC Authors

  Magical realism is often associated with the works of Latin-American authors such as Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, and Jorge Luis Borges. However, in an essay for the New York Times titled “Saying Goodbye to Magical Realism,” Silvia Moreno-Garcia describes how the term can be problematic and limiting, not just for Latin-American authors, but for writers as a whole. By mislabeling works as magical realism, she says, we lose our chance at having more “nuanced, complex conversations about books”—e.g., how stories might fit within multiple genres, moods, aesthetics, and textures beyond easily marketable categories that unintentionally strip them of…

FICTION: Accident by Brian Ellis

I was struck from behind by a solid gold car. Well, gold as in painted gold and solid as in made of matter. It was really more of a piece of crap on closer inspection. Cracked side-view mirror, dimpled hood, dented grill, rusty caps. The car wasn’t without charm, though. I mean, it was gold. The owner of the vehicle (Molly, according to the name tag on her black vest) exited the car and asked if I was all right. I said I was all right. She said the collision had surprised her because her attention had been drawn toward…

TCR Talks with Sara Marchant, author of Becoming Delilah

By Shannon Glass Fans of Sara Marchant’s work will find the setting and characters of her first novel, Becoming Delilah, familiar. The Coachella Review recently spoke with Marchant about how she expanded her previous novella, The Driveway Has Two Sides, to create the new book. The story follows Delilah Ortiz as she moves to a village on an island off Cape Cod, where she must navigate her new neighbors’ reactions to her vibrant garden and her married lover. It’s a delightful journey to selfhood for Delilah, filled with equally moving depictions of plants and people. During our chat, we also…