Featuring poetry and prose, Capsule Stories Summer 2022 Edition dives into the theme Swimming. Read smooth, flowing writing that explores slipping into the water and finding yourself. These stories and poems take you to pools, lakes, rivers, oceans, and more as writers sink into the memories and sensations of swimming. Capsule Stories Summer 2022 Edition: Swimming is the perfect book to read at the waterside after a quick dip on a sweltering summer day.
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You go to the edge of the water and wade in, slowly at first. The waves lap at your toes, then your calves, then your thighs and hips and stomach until you give in and let the water carry you. The water gently cups your body, lifts you, and you feel weightless for the first time in years. The stress sinks away until it’s just you and your body and the water.
You feel strong as your body pulls you smoothly through the water, farther from shore. You remember the games you used to play as a child, seeing how long you could hold your breath, diving for toys in the deep end, racing your cousins across the pool. Big breath in. And then you let yourself grow heavy, sink further and further from the surface until your feet hit the bottom. No one can see you down here. It’s different underwater, quieter and smooth, everything muffled and distorted. You glide around, discovering a whole new world, until your lungs are screaming and you push off toward the surface to come up for air.
You float and float, the waves washing over your skin, the sun beating down, your mind on nothing at all, until at last it’s time to go. You vow to come back again soon, to return to this feeling, to return to the water.
Capsule Stories Summer 2022 Edition Contents and Contributors
“Aqua” by Kerry Langan
Kerry Langan has published three acclaimed collections of short fiction, the most recent being My Name Is Your Name by Wising Up Press. Her short fiction has been published in dozens of literary magazines, including StoryQuarterly, Cimarron Review, West Branch, American Literary Review, The Seattle Review, Other Voices, Reflex Fiction, Fictive Dream, Syncopation Literary Journal, and others. Her fiction has been anthologized often, including in Solace in So Many Words, XX Eccentric: Stories about the Eccentricities of Women, and others.
“Cold Spot” by Karen Sadler
Karen Sadler (she/her) is a geriatric millennial living in Toronto with her husband and two young kids. She writes about grief, nature, parenthood, and the occasional ghost. You can find more of her writing on Instagram at @kallorywrites.
“Good Heat” by Emma Bider
Emma Bider (she/her) is a writer and PhD student living in Ottawa. She writes poetry and speculative fiction about the future of our world in the climate crisis. Her first book of short stories, We Animals, was published in 2020. Her short stories have been published in Capsule Stories, PACE Magazine, and State of Matter. Her poetry has been published in 3 Moon Magazine and Northern Otter Press.
“Somewhere Upstate, I Watched My Child Find His Lungs” by Belle Gearhart
Belle Gearhart is an emerging writer and a creative writing student at the University of Redlands. A displaced New Yorker, they live in Southern California with their child, partner, and pet rabbit Scully.
“On Water” by Kristine Scarrow
Kristine Scarrow (she/her) is the author of four young adult novels and spent the last five years as a hospital writer in residence. She is in her final year of the MFA in writing program at the University of Saskatchewan. She is working on a short story collection and lives in Saskatoon.
“Blood in the Pool” by Mariah Eppes
Mariah Eppes (she/her) is a writer in New York City. You can find more of her work around the internet and at birdbyrocket.com. She’s on Twitter at @BirdByRocket and Instagram at @bird.by.rocket.
“The Light and the Lake” by Dana Getka
Dana Getka is a master’s student pursuing a degree in history. Her work circles around notions of memory and the archive during the early twentieth century.
“Madison Park, July” by Betsy Sharp
Betsy Sharp (she/her) works with words and clay on a small off-grid island in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, The Sun, Quiddity, Crab Creek Review, and other places.
“Mother Superior” by Chelsie Kreitzman
Chelsie Kreitzman lives in Kentucky with her husband, two young sons, and a tuxedo cat named Cookie. Her poetry has been published in literary journals, including Poetic Sun, Stick Figure Poetry, The Purpled Nail, and MockingOwl Roost.
“Cradled,” “Twenty-One Weeks,” “Gold Dipped,” “Always,” and “When Grandparents Come to Visit” 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_.
“Slide” by Ali Sharman
Ali Sharman (she/her) lives in the northwest of England with her husband, two sons, and fluffy dog. She is an English teacher and former journalist, but her real passion is writing poetry and fiction.
“Freedom Is,” “A Six-Year-Old Has an Anxious Dream,” “My Dad Swims His Evening Laps,” and “Our Family Swims across the Lake” by Matthew Miller
Matthew Miller teaches social studies, swings tennis rackets, and writes poetry—all hoping to create home. He and his wife live beside a dilapidating orchard in Indiana, where he tries to shape dead trees into playhouses for his four boys. His poetry has been featured in Whale Road Review, River Mouth Review, EcoTheo Review, and Ekstasis Magazine.
“Following Sunfish on the Luxapallila” by John Dorroh
John Dorroh has never had to use a defibrillator, nor has he fallen into an active volcano. He did manage to bake bread with Austrian monks and consume a healthy portion of their beer. Two of his poems were nominated for Best of the Net. Others have appeared in journals such as FERAL, Burningword Literary Journal, Tilde~, and Selcouth Station. His first chapbook, Swim at Your Own Risk, was published in 2022.
“An Ode to the Doctor Who Saved Me” by Bianca Grace
Bianca Grace is a poet from Australia. She is completing a graduate certificate in editing and electronic publishing. She is a reader at Full House Literary. Her work has appeared in Anti-Heroin Chic, Selcouth Station, Capsule Stories, The Daily Drunk Mag, Postscript Magazine, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @Biancagrace031.
“The Pool” and “Surfacing” by Jo Angela Edwins
Jo Angela Edwins has published in various venues, including Mom Egg Review, Grand Little Things, Halfway Down the Stairs, and Amethyst Review. She has received awards from Winning Writers, Poetry Super Highway, and the South Carolina Academy of Authors and is a Pushcart Prize, Forward Prize, and Bettering American Poetry nominee. She lives in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina and serves as poet laureate for the region.
“Summer Shivers” by Ed Ruzicka
Ed Ruzicka knocked around the country and globe a bit before settling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he lives with his wife, Renee. Ed has two books. The most recent, My Life in Cars, addresses the marriage between desire and the American highway. Ed has been published in many journals and anthologies. He is an occupational therapist. More at edrpoet.com.
“No Lifeguard on Duty” by Benjamin Malay
Benjamin Malay works in a variety of mediums to create deeply personal images of people and places, embracing imperfect memory and fleeting life. In 2017, his creative nonfiction work “Agates” was featured in the Solitude’s Spectrum issue of Cahoodaloodaling. Benjamin’s nonfiction short story “Postcard from Reno, May 1980” was published in the January 2019 edition of Cagibi Express. He is the sole proprietor of a fine art framing business in Seattle, Washington. You can find him online at benjaminmalay.com.
“Anonymous” and “Forte dei Marmi” by Cindy Milwe
Cindy Milwe is a writer, teacher, and swimmer who lives in Venice, California, with her husband and three children. Her work has been published in many journals and magazines, including 5AM, Alaska Quarterly Review, Poetry East, Poet Lore, The William and Mary Review, Flyway, Talking River Review, and The Georgetown Review, among others. She has poems in two anthologies: Another City: Writing from Los Angeles (City Lights, 2001) and Changing Harm to Harmony: Bullies and Bystanders Project (Marin Poetry Center Press, 2015). In 2018, her poem “Hunger” was selected as first prize winner for the Myra Shapiro Poetry Prize, sponsored by The International Women’s Writing Guild. She was awarded first prize for her poem “Legacy” by the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and received the Parent-Writer Fellowship. Her poem “Memorial” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first full-length collection, Salvage, was published in 2022 by Finishing Line Press.
“The Girls Are Back in Town” by Callie S. Blackstone
Callie S. Blackstone writes both poetry and prose. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Plainsongs, Lily Poetry Review, Rust and Moth, Prime Number Magazine, West Trestle Review, and others. Callie is a lifelong New Englander. She is lucky enough to wake up to the smell of saltwater and the call of seagulls every day. You can find her online home at calliesblackstone.com.
“folk tales” by Michelle Cadiz
Michelle Cadiz is a poet, biologist, and climate activist. She was born, raised, and resides in the Philippines. You can find her on Twitter at @michellyfishal.
“The Betweenness of All Things” by Alex Grehy
Alex Grehy’s sweet life is filled with narrowboating, rescue greyhounds, singing, and chocolate. Her work has been published in a range of anthologies and zines worldwide, including Red Penguin Collections, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, and Gnashing Teeth Publishing. Her work is also available via a global network of prose and poetry dispensers run by French publisher Short Edition. She is recognized for her vivid prose, thought-provoking poetry, and original view of the world.
“Tankas without Walls” and “Swimming out the Squall” by Patricia Behrens
Patricia Behrens was born in Massachusetts and now lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. She is a lawyer and writer and also enjoys open water swimming. Her work has recently appeared in publications such as Naugatuck River Review, Split Rock Review, and The Literary Bohemian.
“Swimming Lessons,” “Underwater,” and “It’s on Them” by Charlene Stegman Moskal
Charlene Stegman Moskal is a teaching artist for the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project in Las Vegas, Nevada under the auspices of the Las Vegas Poetry Promise Organization. Charlene is published in numerous anthologies, print magazines, and online publications, including TAB Journal, Humana Obscura, Kosmos Journal, Griffel, Gyroscope Review, and Sandstone & Silver: An Anthology of Nevada Poets (Zeitgeist Press, 2020). Her first chapbook is One Bare Foot (Zeitgeist Press, 2018), and her second is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in fall 2022.
“wishing we were anywhere but the high school swimming pool” by Alejandra Medina
Alejandra Medina is a Latina writer, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a WriteGirl alumni and recipient of a Scholastic Art and Writing Award, and her work has appeared in Lucky Jefferson, WriteGirl’s Lines & Breaks, The Incandescent Review, Unpublished Magazine, Alebrijes Review, and elsewhere.
“Confessions of a Non-Swimmer” by Barbara Simmons
Barbara Simmons grew up in Boston and now resides in California. The coasts inform her poetry. A graduate of Wellesley College, she received an MA in The Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins and an MA in education and counseling from Santa Clara University. A retired educator, she continues to savor life and language, exploring words as ways to remember, envision, celebrate, mourn, and try to understand more. Publications have included Santa Clara Review, Hartskill Review, Boston Accent, New Verse News, Soul-Lit, 300 Days of Sun, Capsule Stories, Journal of Expressive Writing, Second Chance Lit, Ekphrastic Review, and Writing It Real anthologies. Her first volume of poetry, Offertories: Exclamations and Disequilibriums, was published in 2022.
“Underside” by Suyin Du Bois
Suyin Du Bois (she/her) is a poet and tech startup consultant of mixed Chinese-Malaysian and Belgian heritage who lives in London with her South African husband. There are many places she calls home. She studied for her BA in English literature and creative writing at the University of Warwick. Find her on Instagram at @suyin.du.bois.
“dreams of luminous gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals may prove surprisingly therapeutic when experiencing profound grief” by Jane Ayres
Jane Ayres (she/her) is a UK-based neurodivergent writer who completed a creative writing MA at the University of Kent in 2019 at fifty-seven. Her work can be found in Lighthouse, Streetcake, The North, The Forge Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. In 2021, she was nominated for Best of the Net, was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, and won a Laurence Sterne Prize. Her first collection, edible, was published by Beir Bua Press in 2022. You can find her online at janeayreswriter.wordpress.com.
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Capsule Stories Summer 2022 Edition Publication Credits
Disclosure: Capsule Stories is an affiliate of Bookshop.org and Amazon, and we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Please consider buying your books through Bookshop.org to support independent bookstores—and Capsule Stories!