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Please note we are not accepting unsolicited submissions at this time. Manuscripts submitted via this contact form will not be read. Please submit via our Submittable portal if you'd like your work considered, or if you would like to apply to The Writer's Hotel writing conference. Our contests in fiction and poetry will reopen in January or February. Please check back then if you'd like to enter a contest. We do accept submissions year-round for our BANG! online author feature. 

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BANG! authors are showcased individually here online for a month. Each author installment is made up of three pieces in any combination: poetry shorts (20 lines) or fiction or nonfiction (500 words each) for a month. All work on must be previously unpublished. Submission period runs all year round. BANG! pieces are not published in The New Guard. Work should be very short: flash-short. Pieces on BANG! are meant to serve as a kind of calling card for the author.  $22 submission fee. :: Our next installment will be posted on August 1, 2018. ::


Elena Tomorowitz is a BANG! Selected Writer. 

 Elena Tomorowitz. Photo by Justin Vaughn.

Elena Tomorowitz. Photo by Justin Vaughn.


Elena Tomorowitz


Elena Tomorowitz received her MFA from Cleveland State University's NEOMFA, and PhD from The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers. Her work appears in Guernica, The Collagist, Hayden's Ferry Review, Fugue, Thin Air Magazine, and others. She lives in Boise and is a business consultant at Hewlett Packard, Inc.



prose poems

by Elena Tomorowitz





It’s in the fish plant where anything found in the river comes out breaded. Box trucks pull in and out at a

regular frequency that can be predicted down to the minute. The flesh is shaped into squares or into the

similarity of swimming fish, sometimes like human fingers. The scales are removed, polished, sewn into

dresses. The smell is inescapable, like the priest who fills his church with smoke and tells us to inhale the

holy spirit. That this is literally the breath of the lord. Count how many fish we have now. The oil is

processed and used for dehydrated bodies. It doesn’t even matter that we don’t know what to call the meat




The Woodchopper


Sunday is the day you prop the logs on a block, raise the hatchet (you have already dragged the children

out of bed to watch) then lower the blade, your precision to the veins is impeccable. You place the handle

into the palm of the youngest boy. Joke about bloody fingers and missing limbs. My grandmother lost her

middle finger but told a different story about its absence each time. We are enveloped in fog up here,

wrapped around us like a lake-soaked towel. My sleeves hang, damp, past my wrists. You tell me to hold

onto this cast iron pan just in case. About a mile away a wolf mother licks her cub and tells him he will

never be a dog. The youngest boy tugs on my sweater and asks when it’s time for the fires to be lit.



Beaver Dams and Mammograms


On a morning covered with damp leaves and your boots may slip (the over eager), the mammogram truck

rattles up the dirt roads then waits for patients. The women stand in line, they are expecting results, yet

they don’t know what to expect. Inside the truck is a mystery, a glowing cleanliness, told it will make

their lives better. The doctor holds out his palm to guide them in, one by one. The more you know about

your bodies, he said, the more anxiety you may have. Please sign here. The beavers divert the waters,

their muscular little bodies move upstream. It had been years since this mountain town had seen men in

white coats. No need for cold feet here, but when the boots have holes, the boots have holes. When will

the cobbler come?


Poetry © Elena Tomorowitz, 2018.  All rights reserved by the author.