A Tale of A Hungry Beauty, fiction by A.A. Balaskovits

A.A. Balaskovits is the author of Magic for Unlucky Girls (SFWP). Her fiction and essays appear in Indiana Review, The Southeast Review, The Madison Review, Apex Magazine, Shimmer and many others. She is the Co-Editor in Chief of Cartridge Lit. On twitter @aabalaskovits 

            Some children are born believing that there are monsters under the bed, witching and wheedling their way from their dark confines towards the light of a baby’s eyeballs. If they make it that far, past screams and parents armed with brooms, the monster will settle in the child’s head and make a gallery of terror and wonder to keep them entertained for the rest of their lives. “It’s only your imagination,” their parents will tell their weeping children, frustrated at the bed wetting and screaming once the moon rises, but it is only because they too forgot that they have monsters living behind their eyes as well, and have long grown used to the presence.

            For the children who grew up in the village surrounding the high tower on the top of the hill, they knew the monster did not wait under their beds or behind their eyes, but was biding its time.

The Wanderer, etc.

Oh hey,

This is Colette. Over two years ago now, I started The Wanderer because I felt that there weren’t enough spaces that showcased the poetry I love in a way that didn’t feel exploitive. At the beginning, I thought it was going to be interesting enough putting trans poets, who were (and in a lot of ways still are) vastly underrepresented in “mainstream” literary magazines, in conversation with cis poets, unburdened by the notion that trans poetry in specific needed to be cordoned off into its own section or issue so that the reader *knew* the work they were engaging with was trans and could react accordingly. The only other things I knew about The Wanderer is that I wanted to pay people for their labor, I wanted to publish on a regular schedule, and I didn’t want to charge people for submissions.

The Wanderer would have been successful in all of that, but it would have folded after its first year were it not for the now former co-editor of this space, Raquel Salas Rivera. They gave The Wanderer a shimmering, urgent energy, be it in the form of the people they were soliciting, the poetry they were translating for the site, and the work they found in our e-mail queue. When Raquel told me they had to step down, I didn’t know whether or not The Wanderer could keep going. There is, in fact, a different version of this post in my Google Drive, where I announced that we were closing for the foreseeable future. It’s been there for two months. I sent it to Raquel. We both cried. But, obviously, it never went up, and here I am, writing this post about how The Wanderer will keep going. Here’s what’s up:



Joining me as co-editors are June Gehringer, Sara Bess, and Prairie M. Faul. I’ve been privileged to publish all three in the past, and I’m stoked beyond words that I get to work with them in this context. Their bios, should you need them:

June Gehringer is the author of “I love you it looks like rain” (Be About It Press 2017) and “I don’t write about race”, (Civil Coping Mechanisms 2017). She is the winner of the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and other games. She tweets @june_gehringer.

Sara Bess grew up in the rural mid-south but they don’t live there anymore. They were a 2017 Lambda Literary Poetry Fellow and a recipient of the Bryn Kelly Scholarship for Trans Women/Trans Femme Writers. They keep a little garden and release their music at sarabess.bandcamp.com.

Prairie M. Faul is a Cajun poet and flagrant transsexual currently living in Philadelphia. She is the author of In the House we Built (bottlecap press) and Burnt Sugarcane (gloworm).


Publishing Schedule and Payment

For the time being, The Wanderer is moving from once a week to once every other week. This will allow us more lead-time for editing, coding, and promoting work via social media. It will also allow us to raise what we pay from $25 to $35.


Are closed for the time being. We have a massive backlog to get through and don’t want to keep you waiting. We’re not super concerned with genre distinctions. Poetry might be on the marquee, but we’ll publish your fiction, your essays, your comic strips, your field recordings, whatever it is that currently moves you.

I’m pretty sure that’s everything. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to everybody who has read this site, sent their work, or published with us. The Wanderer has completely changed the way I look at and engage with literature in a way that goes beyond my own work as a writer and an editor. That it’s meant as much as it has to a lot of y’all wasn’t something I anticipated. I hope you stick with us. Let’s find out what happens next.


Colette Arrand, co-editor

don’t ever play yourself, poetry by mica woods

mica woods teaches at Columbia College Chicago, where they are an MFA candidate and editor for Columbia Poetry Review. She received the Merrill Moore Prize for Poetry in 2015 from Vanderbilt University. Her most recent and forthcoming works can be found in JukedFoothillHollowPretty Owl PoetryHeavy Feather ReviewYes, PoetryThe New Territory, and Minute Magazine

I Have Lain in the Dirt and Known this Bed, poems by Michelle Lin

Michelle Lin is a poet, community arts organizer, and author of A House Made of Water (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017).  She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s MFA program and of the University of California Riverside’s Creative Writing program. She is a Kundiman fellow and co-curator of Kearny Street Workshop’s reading series “KSW Presents.”  Recent work can be found in Underblong, The Margins, and HEArt. 

Americana, three poems by Lindsay Maruska

Lindsay Maruska was born in 1985 in Princeton, New Jersey. She has a graduate degree in World History she very rarely uses. Her poems have appeared in The Furious Gazelle and Rising Phoenix Review. When not writing or playing with her cats, you can find Lindsay on Twitter @ellle_em.

“My kin,” poetry by Noah Burton

Noah Burton was born in Kansas, grew up in Virginia, and now lives in New Hampshire. His poems have appeared in the PEN America Poetry Series, Yes Poetry, Paperbag, among others. He is a recipient of the 2015 Dick Shea Memorial Prize in Poetry judged by Tanya Larkin. His forthcoming book, Look Out Animal (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), is due out in June. More at www.noahburton.com. (Photo by Tristan Labrie)

STORY OF MY SONG, Kirwyn Sutherland

Kirwyn Sutherland is a Clinical Research Professional and poet concerned with black people in all aspects. He has made two National Poetry Slam Teams in 2015 (made the Semi-Finals) and 2016. His work has been published in APIARY Magazine, Drunkinamidnightchoir, BlueShift Journal, Bedfellows Magazine, Voicemail Poems, and Public Pool. Kirwyn has served as Poetry editor for APIARY magazine and is currently serving as List Editor/Book Reviewer for WusGood magazine.

How to make something: Poetry by Brittany Tomaselli

Brittany Tomaselli holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Fairy Tale Review, Columbia Poetry Review, and Black Tongue Review. She currently lives and works in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Phil Spotswood is a queer poet living in Louisiana. His most recent work can be found in tenderness, yea, Five:2:One, and Tagvverk. He is the recipient of the 2017 William Jay Smith MFA Poetry Award judged by Daniel Borzutzky, and co-edits Cartridge Lit.

Mosaic, by Gabriella Torres

Gabriella Torres is the author of two chapbooks, Sister (Lame House Press, 2005) and The Emergence of Brood III (Delere Press, 2014). Her poems have recently appeared in Josephine Quarterly or are forthcoming in The Equalizer: Third Series. Her work is largely informed by her experience of growing up Latinx in the rural Midwest. She currently lives in Iowa and co-edits the tiny with Gina Myers. You can find her at https://gabriella-torres.com/.