The Observer

Breaking a Leg

April 24, 2012

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By JOSEPH HARRIS Published: April 24, 2012 Excerpt from Performing & Telling Your Life The lights come up. The stage is set. The microphones are hot. The pimply-faced techies are waiting for cues. I had a simple direction: cross stage left, hit my mark, wait for my next scene. I knew this very well. My legs, however, were gi...

The Calling of the Fall

April 24, 2012

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By TAHJ WATKINS Published: April 24, 2012 Excerpt from Performing & Telling Your Life The calling of spring emerges a joyous breeze that flows through my canary scalp ever so gingerly. The calling of fall tumbles the trees into a deep slumber and digs the hole of a six-foot melancholy ditch, forcing the trees to weep. ...

Prologue: LOVESONG: ENUMA ELISH (Part I)

April 23, 2012

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By SAM STOKES Published: April 24, 2012 Excerpt from Performing & Telling Your Life (SAM enters, holding a book,“Brideshead Revisited”) SAM I have a culture! I have a culture! Hey! I never knew that I belonged to a group! For so long I’ve been so confused, milling about on a shore with all these naked shivering...

English

April 23, 2012

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By YUMENG LIU (LIZ) Published: April 24, 2012 Excerpt from Performing & Telling Your Life CHARACTERS: 1. Lise – 12th grade high school student, 17 years old 2. Keith Moore – English composition teacher from U.S. 3. Paul King – English literature teacher from Britain 4. Ron – Exchange student from Australia, Lise...

Cutting Out and Cutting Off

April 23, 2012

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By RACHEL WILLARD Published: April 24, 2012 Excerpt from Performing & Telling Your Life Excuse me? Am I here alone? Oh, no, no….with a friend. She’s over there, somewhere. There she is—black tank top, long hair—see? I don’t know who that man touching her back is, though. And I certainly don’t know why he...

What The Hell Happened?!

April 23, 2012

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By JUAN ESCALANTE Published: April 24, 2012 Excerpt from Performing & Telling Your Life   ACT I Begin with JUAN sitting at a table. JUAN I turn 20 this year. Looking back on nearly two decades of professionally being myself, one thought persistently dawned on me: I had so much potential.           (show depre...

Ash Wednesday

April 18, 2012

By KRISTEN SHARP Bernice Kilduff White & John J. White Creative Writing Prize Winner (Fiction) On ...

On the closing of the last hospital in Braddock, PA

April 18, 2012

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By SARAH J. ROGERS Ully Hirsch/Robert F. Nettleton Poetry Prize Runner-Up The dead in Braddock are piled on streets; the smell sticks to your clothes. In pleasant places the dying are ripened grapes – dried and put in boxes. Limbs bent from work are the new barked branches; Do they trim the ones that block t...

This Poem is for my Grandfather

April 18, 2012

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By SARAH J. ROGERS Ully Hirsch/Robert F. Nettleton Poetry Prize Runner-Up When I take the train to Pennsylvania it winds in at night, through those hills, past those porches Your dreams lit the fires of steel mills that now seem mere scenery, stubborn and decorative It tastes like slate and I still have nigh...

Three Days of a Slowed Heart in Words

April 18, 2012

By KRIS ULER Ully Hirsch/Robert F. Nettleton Poetry Prize Co-Winner Thus I Spoke, Thus I Chose ...

Halsey Street, An Excerpt From A Novel

April 18, 2012

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By NAIMA COSTER Margaret Lamb/Writing to the Right-Hand Margin Prize Co-Winner (Fiction) Mirella could not rest. It was too quiet in the residence, too far from the road. She heard only the humming of the generator downstairs, the crickets tuning up their legs. Her lover breathed hard beside her, his hands on the back of h...

Almost

April 18, 2012

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By WILLIAM BRENNAN Margaret Lamb/Writing to the Right-Hand Margin Prize Co-Winner (Fiction) The car lurched onward, a ruby beetle seeking refuge from an impending seasonal shift, and the exhaust which trailed it seemed a desperate smoke signal. Guiding the bug on its doomed path was Anthony, and to his right, his seven...