Volume 4, Issue 1

Purchasing and Subscriptions

This issue may be purchased from our online store.
Subscriptions to The 3288 Review are available from Caffeinated Press.

Table of Contents


6. From the Editor’s Desk


16. Andrea Thorsen – “The Novelty,” “To Whom it May Concern:,” “Dear Whom:,” “How the Goddess Became a Woman“

22. John Hilla – “Tram #1: Frankenslag”

35. Kelly Granito – “Manhattanhenge,” “Retrofuturism,” “On Losing It,” “When Your Kids Ask About Intelligent Life”

40. Dorothy Dickinson – “Persephone’s Song,” “Saint Petersburg”

42. Katherine Edgren – “October Bike Ride on the Kal-Haven Trail”

44. Ian Haight – “Salt Silver,” “The Discourse”

50. Julie Hiller – “Old Photo,” “Hunting Blind,” “Lust,” “The Dark, “Brunch”

55. Eva Sabolcik – “Bird Brains”

63. Claire Oleson – “all-black photographs with girls in them, somewhere,” “self-portrait while dissociating,” “claiming dependents,” “when they are out of blue capsules”

73. Cameron Morse – “Custody Agreement,” “Daylight Savings Time”

75. Garrett Stack – “Cleaning out the study,” “Some mornings,” “Yeoman’s work”

78. Liam Strong – “Requiem,” “Stay Away, But Come Close”


56. Melanie Van Weelden – “Lake Michigan Lighthouses”


9. Kelsie Donaldson – “Big G, Little g”

23. Hannah Ford – “Nine”

46. Charleen Hurtubise – “On the Dying of Stars”

69. Marc J. Sheehan – “The Happiness Equation”


81. Contributor Information

85. Submission Guidelines

Cover Imagery

The front cover image, “Muskegon 1,” is courtesy of Melanie Van Weelden.

Michael Rensi’s poem “Washing the dish of an ex-lover” graces our back cover.

From the Editor’s Desk

You grasp betwixt your fingers a two-issue double-header: Volume 4 of The 3288 Review, which originally was supposed to be two issues, planned for release in April and October, 2018.

As the long-suffering contributors to this volume are aware, no such issues hit the newsstands, and the mea maxima culpa belongs to me, alone.

Some history is in order. Picture it: Grand Rapids, December, 2017. After a hard-slog couple of months that witnessed the release of a copy of the journal and five long-form titles, life and stress and such kicked in. We lost two members of our board of directors (AmyJo Johnson and Tabitha Maloley) and another, John Winkelman — the erstwhile champion of this fine journal — requested to take a year-long sabbatical. Given that one of our board members, the fabulous Jennifer Brown, has never participated in the operations of the company, that left all of Caffeinated Press’s day-to-day affairs to just two people: Me, and Brittany Wilson.

In fairness, Brittany and I got a lot done. In fact, the first half of 2018 — which marked the fourth year of Caffeinated Press — was mostly a quiet heads-down affair, solidifying business processes, streamlining electronic infrastructure, doubling down on our academic partnerships through our internship program, and poring through the files to make sure that we didn’t miss anything important.

But one person cannot single-handedly run the editorial operations of an active small press, even with the support of astonishingly brilliant interns, and consequently many editorial projects fell behind schedule despite my overly optimistic projections to the contrary. This journal numbers among the victims. On the bright side, though, John is now back from his sabbatical; he cheerfully assumed responsibility for the final layout and production of this volume. I owe him … well, “big time,” I suppose.

In This Issue

I trust you’ll agree that the final product was worth the wait. In this issue, we welcome poetry from Dorothy Dickinson, Katherine Edgren, Kelly Granito, Ian Haight, John Hilla, Julie Hiller, Cameron Morse, Claire Oleson, Michael Rensi, Eva Sabolcik, Garrett Stack, Liam Strong and Andrea Thorsen. Several of these poets have previously graced these pages.

Of note, this release marks the debut of Eva Sabolcik, a talented poet with a great taste in mead.

On the prose side, we welcome fiction pieces from Kelsie Donaldson, Hannah Ford and Marc J. Sheehan, as well as a beautiful essay from Charleen Hurtubise. Ford’s story is part of a series she’s written, and we’ve published, that explores familial relationships; it’s a privilege to support such beautiful work in serial fashion.

Like the cover? Thank Melanie Van Weelden, a photographer from Grand Haven. Under her pen name, Melanie Meyer, she’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her short fiction.

Masthead Changes

Eagle eyes no doubt have caught that we’ve said goodbye to some old friends and welcomed some new ones. Our former poetry editor, Leigh Jajuga, has left us to pursue bigger and better things. We’re grateful for her leadership over our first few volumes. Departing, too, is Elyse Wild, who after getting married and doing more school and working more jobs, has pivoted to a new phase in her life. The 3288 Review parts ways with them with profound gratitude for their contributions and with sincere best wishes for all their future endeavors.

We welcome KT Herr as our new poetry editor. She’s still dutifully discharging her obligations with aplomb, despite having moved “out East” to join the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College. When she was in Grand Rapids, she was a co-host of the Electric Poetry show on WYCE. A passionate ball of positive energy, we’re fortunate to retain her, even after she’s decamped to where all the cool kids are.

We also welcome Lisa McNeilley, Ph.D, as our prose editor. Lisa has taken the lead on all of our fiction and creative non-fiction submissions, despite working full-time as an independent book editor and part-time as the executive director of Write616. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a gentle touch to her work. Plus, she often brings food to meetings.

We also acknowledge the thoughtful insights that recent Caffeinated Press interns have contributed toward vetting the slush pile. We thank — in alphabetical order — Mitchell Boyatt (Grand Valley State University), Jonah Chickering (Aquinas College), Alissa Rabideau (GVSU, recently matriculated) and Rose Treutle (Aquinas College).

Upcoming at Caffeinated Press

John’s re-entry into the publishing world means this august journal of arts and letters returns to its normally scheduled dependability. In addition, he’s graciously agreed to help me get our house anthology, Brewed Awakenings, back on track. Come to think of it, I probably owe him a case of fine Michigan wine.

At the time I write this, we’re in the final “advanced review copy” phase of Trust, the first book of The Narvan trilogy by Jean Davis. Our two Aquinas College interns are working with Jennifer Morrison, author of The Open Mausoleum Door, to get it ready for publication; she happens to be the college’s archivist, so their work is especially meaningful. Work from Arnie Johnson (Swept Away) and a few others also looms large on the horizon.

To ensure that progress steams ahead unimpeded, I’m stepping away from all editorial oversight operations of Caffeinated Press. In my place, Brittany Wilson — our chief financial officer — will serve as the project manager for all of our editorial projects. Too often, variation in my schedule, and freelancers failing to honor their promises to me, has adversely affected our timeliness relative to our authors. Brittany will bring fresh energy and a discerning eye to this work. Meanwhile, I’m pivoting to revenue generation.

In your “the more you know” segment of the month, consider this: A typical book has a less than 1 percent chance of ever being stocked on even a single bricks-and-mortar retail shelf. Distribution connects publishers with wholesale book buyers, but most distributors siphon off a hefty percentage of a book’s retail price for the privilege. Caffeinated Press is therefore launching a new subsidiary company, Lakeshore Literary Logistics, to build a meaningful small-press distribution service that includes not only our titles, but titles from peer small presses across the country.

We joined the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses in early 2018. CLMP’s listservs have been well worth the registration cost. With more than a dozen small presses and lit journals eager to join us, we can open more doors for local talent while earning the margin to advance our mission of showing the world just how much literary brilliance shines in West Michigan.

A Final Thought

Last week, I recorded a video training about the economics of publishing. One of my themes is that traditional publishing is a “high-cost, low-margin business bedeviled by incoherent market signals and sandbagged by fundamental stakeholder misalignments.” Depressing, huh?

Then I remember: One reason John wanted to take this journal to a local-only model is because so many West Michigan natives are so brilliant as authors and poets.

It’s a privilege to work with the talented contributors gracing this issue. It’s a joy to work with emerging literary talent in our community. Every time it seems like a bazillion conflicting priorities threaten to derail all of my carefully laid plans, I get to see an author or a poet or a photographer take real pride in his or her first publication. Often, we’re the vehicle of that success. Then I realize how worth it all of this is. I wipe away a tear, then get back to the grindstone, soul refreshed.

Thank you for that privilege. And thanks for your patience with this long-delayed issue.

Jason Gillikin