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Capsule Stories Spring 2019 Edition

Capsule Stories Spring 2019 Edition was our first-ever publication of Capsule Stories! It features spring-y poems, stories, and essays that you don’t want to miss.

Atmosphere Edition

The hum of fluorescent lights in your second home. The thrum of the AC in the vents. Or the breeze in the leaves of the trees around you. The weightlessness of the snow in the white mountains. The lightness of the clouds in the sky. The moment time stops after the slam of a bedroom door. The unfamiliarity of a stranger’s bedroom. The tingle of a nicotine high. The preemptive hit to your pride before your face hits the pavement. The red of a sunset that reminds you of home. The heat radiating from your forehead. The thump of the rhythmic bass that shakes your whole being. The contrasting clarity of mind after a breakup. 

You’re the type of person for whom the atmosphere vibrates. 

Capsule Stories Spring 2019 Letters from the Editors

If you’re reading this, thank you. This inaugural edition will always hold a special place in my heart as the very first piece of publishing we’ve accomplished. The Capsule Stories Spring 2019 Edition stands for something larger: the collective human emotions and words that infuse ephemeral life with beauty, with a specific emphasis on spring, nature, love, and what it’s like to be the human that you are. Thank you to everyone who submitted their work to us and trusted that we’d keep it safe. Thank you to Carolina for helping me make this dream come true. To the readers: I hope you find a piece of yourself in the words that follow. 
—Natasha Lioe, Founder and Publisher

Editing a literary magazine—particularly a brand new one—is a tremendous pleasure. I have read submissions for a larger literary magazine, edited my university’s and honor society’s creative writing journals, and proofread for a medium-sized lit mag, but there’s something special about working on a literary magazine that is just beginning to find its voice and carve out its own unique space for readers and writers. Working with Natasha to create that space has been rewarding and inspiring—as a reader, as a writer, and as an editor.

It is so delightful to happen upon a story or poem among the submissions that makes me smile, or nod along, or keep reading without taking a breath. The delight is even greater when I realize we’ll be able to share it with the world by polishing it up and publishing it. In this first issue of Capsule Stories, we are delighted to share pieces of writing from both emerging writers and established writers. All of these pieces spoke to us, and we hope they speak to you, too.
—Carolina VonKampen, Publisher and Editor in Chief

Capsule Stories Spring 2019 Edition Contents and Contributors


“Red” by Susan Pi

Susan Pi is a memoir ghostwriter, copyeditor, and content producer. Her writing has been published in a variety of places, including Earth Island Journal, Bay Woof Magazine, and Take on the Road. In addition to being a writer, she has also worked as a hotdog vendor, bookstore clerk, knife saleswoman, dog walker, and cat wrangler. She currently lives in San Jose, California, with her husband and three cats.


“Finding Len” by Norman Wendell Klein

Norman Wendell Klein is an Iowa MFA graduate who has published twenty stories in the last twenty months. He also has taught writing at UMass Boston, then Harvard, followed by a dream job in Chicago. That said, he currently lives and writes in the woods of New Hampshire. 

“Rachel + Jeremy” by Josh Rank

Josh Rank graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and has had stories published in The Emerson Review, The Feathertale Review, Hypertext Magazine, The Oddville Press, The Satirist, Corvus Review, Inwood Indiana, and elsewhere. He currently eats sandwiches in Nashville, Tennessee. More ramblings can be found at

“Price to Party” by Natasha Lioe

Natasha Lioe graduated with a BA in narrative studies from University of Southern California. She’s always had an affinity for words and stories and emotions. Her work has appeared in Adsum Literary Magazine, and she won the Edward B. Moses Creative Writing Competition in 2016. Her greatest strength is finding and focusing the pathos in an otherwise cold world. She founded and runs Capsule Books as well as Capsule Stories, with the selfish desire to publish her own stories.


“Apology Note” and “Nature is Solitude” by Hannah Fortna

Hannah Fortna is a writer and editor for hire by day and a writer and editor for pleasure by night. She lives in a northern-Missouri house surrounded by trees and wildlife, and she enjoys reading and writing nature-inspired nonfiction and poetry and making photographs of outdoor spaces, which she shares on Instagram at @hannahfortna_photography.

“Regarding the Moose at Sunset,” “Coyote Rules,” and “In the White Mountains in Spring” by John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident, with work recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East, and Columbia Review and work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review, and Roanoke Review.

“Unmoored” and “Flicker” by Hannah Clay Worrell

Hannah Clay Worrell is from the Midwest but has spent most of her twenty-five years wandering around the United States and beyond. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in English, focusing on creative writing, and began a career in education. Hannah loves reading and writing about complicated relationships with locations, issues of diversity and inclusion, and beautiful, melancholy essays.

“Like the Sky” by Rosa Canales

Rosa Canales is a student at Denison University in Ohio studying English literature and German. She enjoys running, hiking mountains not found in Ohio, reading with her two cats, and practicing low-quality iPhone photography. 

“father & son — and uncanny likeness,” “the way the day unfolds,” “the poem i wrote for myself,” and “but we stayed in the area because it was safer” by Marya Layth

Marya Layth is an emerging voice whose poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Riggwelter journal, After the Pause, fantasy anthology Fireflies & Fairy Dust, and poetry platform Introspective Collective. The poems featured in this issue of Capsule Stories are from her upcoming autobiographical poetry collection, Hadal and the Daystar. When she is not writing, Marya is enduring moody glances from her cat in New Jersey. You can find her living on the internet at @marya.layth.

“absolution” and “faith.” by Jacqueline Le

Jacqueline Le is an English literature student part of the time and a bookseller the rest of it. She has always been captivated by the magic and power that words can hold and hopes to someday join the ranks of the artists she deeply admires. You can find more of her work on her Instagram at @catharticism.doc.