Featuring poetry and prose, Capsule Stories Autumn 2022 Edition explores the theme Falling Leaves through melancholy yet hopeful writing about falling, leaving, and letting go. These stories and poems reflect on a season of change in life. Read about grieving a loved one, leaving the only place you’ve ever known as home, falling out of love, and learning to let go of something you once thought would last forever. Capsule Stories Autumn 2022 Edition: Falling Leaves is the perfect book to read on a crisp autumn day as leaves fall outside your window.
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As you walk home, the leaves swirl around your feet, crunching beneath your shoes with each step. Reds, oranges, yellows, and browns color the street so vibrantly that you stop and take a photo. For a brief moment, you want to send her the photo, to share this beauty with her, and then you remember that she’s gone. You put your phone back in your jacket pocket and shuffle down the sidewalk, lost in memories. You don’t look up until you’re home. The big oak tree in the front yard welcomes you, its yellow-sleeved branches rustling in the wind and waving hello.
The oak is dying. The arborist said it wouldn’t last much longer and that he would come back before spring to cut it down. You agreed and set up the appointment, though the thought of losing the tree stung your eyes with tears. The oak shades half the house, dapples the wood floors with patterned sunlight in the late afternoon, covers the sky in a canopy of green half the year, blankets the ground in color each fall. It’s part of your home, a constant in your life, the way you tell the seasons. Its whispering branches lull you to sleep each night. But the oak, too, will leave you sooner than you’d expected—at least you have time to say goodbye.
You make a cup of tea and sit on the window seat in the living room facing the oak. A squirrel scurries up the thick trunk to some unseen hiding place to store its food for the winter. Does it know the tree is dying, that its days are numbered? Next year, the front yard will look empty without the oak. Maybe you’ll plant a new tree, full of hope and promise. But for now, you’re content to sit and watch the tree unclench its tight fists and let go, golden leaves floating from tree to ground.
Capsule Stories Autumn 2022 Edition Contents and Contributors
“Ashes” by Sam Neboschizkij
Sam Neboschizkij is a writer and filmmaker based in Montréal, Québec. Her work gravitates toward exploring the interior lives of women, experiences of becoming, and liberation struggles large and small.
“Shorter Days” by Mary Clements Fisher
Mary Clements Fisher relished careers as an educator and businesswoman and celebrates her current mother/grandmother, sweetheart, student, and writer status in Northern California. Writing makes sense of her mad and muddled moments. She’s published in Quail Bell Magazine, Adanna Literary Journal, Passager Journal, The Weekly Avocet #450, Personal Story Publishing Project, Prometheus Dreaming, and The Closed Eye Open. Join her on Instagram at @maryfisherwrites and on her website maryfisherwrites.squarespace.com.
“Mother Tree” by Cynthia Landesberg
Cynthia Landesberg was born in Busan, South Korea, adopted by Jewish parents, and grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where she still resides. She is a mother, lawyer, and writer. You can find more of her writing in the Washington Post and Witness Magazine and on her website adoptionsquared.com.
“Try to Remember” by Emma Thom
Emma Thom is a graduate of Sweet Briar College with a BA in English and creative writing. She received her master’s in secondary education from Vanderbilt University and teaches English in New Mexico. Although she enjoys living in the Midwest, she continues to reflect on her East Coast upbringing through her short fiction pieces.
“Dental Records” by Isabel Glass
Isabel Glass (she/her) is a healthcare worker from Massachusetts. As a graduate of Middlebury College, she spends much of her time dreaming of Vermont Octobers. Isabel also loves struggling through Sunday crosswords, running with her rescue dog, Phoebe, and listening to rainfall. “Dental Records” is her first published piece.
“Stop-Motion” by Kim Weldin
Kim Weldin is a writer living in Charleston, South Carolina. She earned her BA in English from College of Charleston. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Maudlin House, 3Elements Literary Review, and Apple in the Dark. You can find her on Twitter at @WeldinKim.
“The Definition of Home” by Taylor Stanton
Taylor Stanton works as a content marketer in Springfield, Missouri. She studied English and creative writing as an undergraduate at Drury University and was once called a copy wizard. She tries very hard not to kill her houseplants and has a loud laugh. Seriously, you can recognize her by this happy cackle.
“The End of Summer” by Anna Kibbey
Anna Kibbey is a food copywriter, journalist, and poet living in London with her current husband and children. Her work has appeared in the Evening Standard and Between the Lines. You can find more of her poetry on Instagram at @by_annakibbey.
“Feuilles d’automne,” “Fall,” “Hometown, or Trees,” and “Down Down Down” by Mary McColley
Mary McColley is a writer and poet originally from Maine. She lived and wandered around Paris, France, for a number of years, and is working at the moment in Thailand. Mary is fascinated by languages and migrations; she loves running, art, and the sea. Her work has appeared in the Paris/Atlantic literary journal, Maine Magazine, multiple anthologies of the Telling Room, and on public radio broadcasts. She authored the mystery novel A Wrinkle in Crime and occasionally boils lobsters.
“Gray Day” by Paul Hostovsky
Paul Hostovsky’s latest book of poems is Mostly (FutureCycle Press, 2021). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net awards and have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. You can find him online at paulhostovsky.com.
“Empty Spaces” by Nancy Huggett
Nancy Huggett is a settler descendant who lives, writes, and caregives in Ottawa, Canada, on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people. Thanks to Firefly Creative, Merritt Writers, and not the rodeo poets, she has work out or forthcoming in Citron Review, Five Minute Lit, Intima, Literary Mama, One Art, Pangyrus, Prairie Fire, (Re) An Ideas Journal, and Waterwheel Review.
“To the Woods” by Katherine D. Perry
Katherine D. Perry is a professor of English at Perimeter College of Georgia State University, where she teaches writing and American literature. Her first book of poetry, Long Alabama Summer, was released in December 2017 by Finishing Line Press and draws heavily on her childhood experiences of growing up on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Her poems have been published in journals such as Fresh Words, Writers Resist, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Poetry Quarterly, Southern Women’s Review, Bloodroot, Borderlands, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and 13th Moon. She is also the cofounder of the Georgia State University Prison Education Project, which brings college courses to incarcerated students in Georgia prisons. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her spouse and two children and identifies as a Southern writer, even when that label is complicated. Her website is katherinedperry.com.
“September’s End” by Ann Weil
Ann Weil is a retired professor who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Key West, Florida. Her poetry can be read or is forthcoming in Crab Creek Review, Whale Road Review, The Indianapolis Review, Third Wednesday, Eastern Iowa Review, Shooter Literary Magazine, Halfway Down the Stairs, and San Pedro River Review. She earned her doctorate from the University of Michigan and writes poetry for obvious reasons: glory and big bucks. Visit annweilpoetry.com for more information.
“This Life” and “The Season for Sowing” by Eve Croskery
Eve Croskery is a writer, mother, and primary school teacher. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with her partner and two young children, who have helped her to rediscover her creativity and passion for writing. You can read more of her work on Instagram at @evepoetry_.
“The North Garden” and “Dust” by Susan Alexander
Susan Alexander is a Canadian poet and writer living in British Columbia on Nexwlélexm/Bowen Island, the traditional and unceded territory of the Squamish people. Susan’s work has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines throughout Canada, the US, and the UK. She is the author of two collections of poems, Nothing You Can Carry (2020) and The Dance Floor Tilts (2017) from Thistledown Press. Her suite of poems called Vigil won the 2019 Mitchell Prize for Faith and Poetry, while some of her other work has received the Vancouver Writers Fest and Short Grain awards.
“How to Let Go” by Mona Anderson
Mona Anderson is a retired mental health therapist living in the New Hampshire countryside with her husband, cats, and various other sentient beings. She is coauthor of The Art of Building a House of Stone. Her work has appeared in Penning the Pandemic: An Anthology of Creative Writing from the Beginning of the COVID Era, Post Script: An Anthology of Postcard Poetry, and Pleasures Taken, a Writing It Real anthology. Other poems will be published in the fall 2022 issue of Constellations: A Journal of Poetry and Fiction and in the spring 2023 issue of Soul-Lit, a journal of spiritual poetry.
“October Arrival” by Jodie Duffy
Jodie Duffy (she/her) lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and daughter. She is a Chinese studies graduate and works as a publications manager. Much of her poetry is inspired by motherhood and nature. Her poems can often be found in the notes app of her phone in between her shopping lists. You can read some of them on Instagram at @chrysanthemum_poetry.
“Assimilation,” “Mid-Autumn,” and “Parting” by Emerald Liu
Emerald Liu is the poetry and prose editor at Asians in the Arts and poetry editor at Kluger Hans. Her debut poetry chapbook, Double Happiness, was published by birdbeakbeast press. She was selected to attend the Paris writer’s residency of deBuren this summer.
“Deer Visits” and “Dear Tree Committee” by Jennifer Clark
Jennifer Clark is the author of a children’s book and three full-length poetry collections. Her newest book, Kissing the World Goodbye (Unsolicited Press, 2022), ventures into the world of memoir, braiding family tales with recipes. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her website is jenniferclarkkzoo.com, and you can also find her on Instagram at @jenniferclarkbooks.
“The Quietness of Litterfall” and “Searching for Remnants” by Veronica Nation
Veronica Nation (she/her/hers) is a Colorado poet and artist whose work has been featured in Capsule Stories, The Allegheny Review, 300 Days of Sun, and other literary journals. In her spare time, Veronica enjoys drinking iced coffee, immersing herself in yellow, and taking pictures of things she loves. You can read her writing on her website at veronicanation.com and on Instagram at @rainandpoetry.
“The Trouble with Tenderness” by Gita Labrador
Gita Labrador (she/her) writes from the Philippines. You can find her work in Honey Literary, FERAL, Glass, Scum Mag, and elsewhere. She lives in Quezon City, where she teaches high school English and tries her best to keep her houseplants alive.
“Cold beneath the Mountain Ash” by Shaun Anthony McMichael
Shaun Anthony McMichael has taught writing to students from around the world in classrooms, juvenile detention halls, mental health treatment centers, and homeless youth drop-ins throughout the Seattle area. Over fifty-five of his works have appeared in literary magazines, online, and in print. He lives in West Seattle with his wife of over ten years and his son with special needs.
“City of Hope” and “Sixi Field” by Aiden Heung
Aiden Heung (he/they) is a Chinese poet born in a Tibetan Autonomous Town, currently living in Shanghai. He is a Tongji University graduate. His poems written in English have appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, The Missouri Review, The Orison Anthology, Parentheses, Crazyhorse, and Black Warrior Review, among other places. He also translates poetry from Chinese to English, and his translations were recently published in Columbia Journal and Cordite Poetry Review. He can be found on Twitter at @aidenheung.
“Meet Me under the Birches,” “Rebuilding,” and “8 Beck” by Beck Anson
Beck Anson (he/they) is a mad frolicker and dandelion picker. His work appears in Rattle, RHINO, Humana Obscura, and others. Their poem “I Admit Myself to the Psych Ward in a Pandemic” was a finalist for the 2020 Rattle Poetry Prize. They live in Northampton, Massachusetts, and are pursuing a PhD in botany at University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“If This Is How It Has to End,” “Ride to Work,” and “Same Old, Same Old” by Marisa P. Clark
Marisa P. Clark is a queer writer whose prose and poetry appear in Shenandoah, Cream City Review, Nimrod, Epiphany, Foglifter, Rust + Moth, Texas Review, Sundog Lit, Air/Light, and elsewhere. Best American Essays 2011 recognized her creative nonfiction among its notable essays. A fiction reader for New England Review, she hails from the South and lives in the Southwest with three parrots, two dogs, and whatever wildlife and strays stop to visit.
“October Morning Raking Leaves” and “Here Comes Another Winter” by Joan Mazza
Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist and psychotherapist and taught workshops on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six self-help books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin Putnam). Her poetry has appeared in The MacGuffin, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Adanna Literary Journal, Poet Lore, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia.
Capsule Stories Autumn 2022 Edition Publication Credits
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