Featuring poetry and prose, Capsule Stories Winter 2022 Edition explores the theme Hibernation. These stories and poems ruminate on hunkering down for the winter and resting. Read about long days spent alone in bed and cold nights snuggled up on the couch, about stretching the holiday season to fend off gray days and lifting your spirits by braving the cold and snow with the people you love. These quiet, lingering pieces are full of longing and patience as you hide out, slow down, and wait for the end of winter. Capsule Stories Winter 2022 Edition: Hibernation is the perfect book to cozy up with as the winter wind howls outside.
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You wake up cold despite the layers of quilts atop your bed. Snuggling closer to your warm partner, who’s sound asleep, you remember you don’t have to work today. You try to remember what day it actually is. But it doesn’t matter. Today, for the first time in weeks, you have nowhere to be but here. Home.
The wind howls against your window as you pull on warm socks to guard against the cold of the kitchen tiles. As you pad down the hallway into the kitchen, your cat weaves between your legs, chasing your warmth. The coffee machine whirs, breaking the calm quiet of the house, and you look out at the freshly fallen snow blanketing the ground in sparkling white. You couldn’t go anywhere today even if you wanted to. The roads are covered, and the snow is still falling thickly. A silence has fallen over the street; even the squirrels that usually hustle and bustle around your neighbor’s bird feeder are tucked away in their homes this cold winter morning. Everything seems to be saying slow down, there’s no need to be productive today. Just rest.
Steaming mug in hand, you burrow into the couch, surrounded by a pile of books you got for the holidays and a brand-new notebook. A tin of fudge from your grandma. A candle that smells like Christmas. A string of lights glowing. A warm blanket your friend knit and your purring cat. All you need to rest and hunker down for the rest of the winter as the cold lingers in these short, dark days.
Capsule Stories Winter 2022 Edition Contents and Contributors
“Frost on Windowpanes” by Anastasia Arellano
Anastasia Arellano is originally from California but now lives in Dublin, Ireland, as a freelance writer. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and holds a master’s in creative writing. She’s had short stories published in The Honest Ulsterman, Honey & Lime, The Hellebore, Anti-Heroin Chic, Dragon Soul Press, and DarkWinter Lit Magazine, as well as some poetry published in Smithereens Press. She recently completed her first solo YA novel, which is now making the querying rounds. When she’s not writing, she’s cooking, plastering her bedroom walls in storyboards, or seeking inspiration from the Irish landscape. You can follow her on Instagram at @writeranastasia26 and Twitter at @aarellanowriter.
“Promise and Potential, 1881” by Valerie Hunter
Valerie Hunter teaches high school English and has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in publications including Room, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The Quiet Reader, and Edison Literary Review. You can find her on Instagram at @somanystories_solittletime.
“we would happen in the winter” by Jillane Buryn
Jillane Buryn (she/they) is a queer Gemini writer from unceded Lheidli T’enneh territory in so-called Canada, currently based in Venice, Italy. Their interests include tarot, astrology, translation, taking pictures of the sunset, and reading the same books as their friends.
“The Stillness and the Change” by Claire Doll
Claire Doll studies English education and creative writing at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She is editor of her school’s literary magazine, Lighted Corners, and her short fiction and poetry have won several awards.
“In Velvet” by Jenny Dunbar
Jenny Dunbar is a published writer of poetry based in the UK. She has work included in several literary journals and anthologies, including Superpresent and Vine Leaves Press. Her novel, Sweet Earth, was published in 2014, followed by an anthology, Thoughts of Time, in 2016. She writes each day, always fascinated by landscapes of all kinds and the juxtapositions of life. At present, she is working on a collection of very short stories.
“Unexpecting” by Anna Dobbin
Anna Dobbin is an author and freelance copy editor, proofreader, and conscious language specialist. Her writing has appeared in the middle grade anthologies The Hero Next Door and Totally Middle School. When she isn’t writing, she copyedits middle grade and young adult books, as well as fiction and nonfiction for adults, graphic novels, cookbooks, and more.
“My Father Takes Me for Donuts” by Grace McGory
Grace McGory is a queer artist and storyteller from New Jersey. She is working toward two bachelors of arts degrees in theatre and writing arts at Rowan University. Grace is the proud winner of a New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, a Denise Gess Literary Award in short fiction, and the Kean Stages Senior Endeavor Award. When she’s not writing, Grace enjoys baking, embroidery, and telling anyone who will listen about how cool ravens are.
“Picking a Christmas Tree” by Lotte van der Krol
Lotte van der Krol is a Dutch writer who writes stories and poetry that range from fantasy to horror to everyday-but-not-quite-normal fiction. She likes to walk in the woods and swim in rivers, and then write about those things. Her work has been published by Popshot Quarterly, Second Chance Lit, Small Leaf Press, and others. Online you can find her at lottevanderkrol.wordpress.com and on Twitter at @lottevdkrol.
“Sanctum” by Maureen Adams
Maureen Adams is a retired public-school teacher who has lived her whole life in the upper Midwest. She has gratitude for family, friends, and health insurance. She spends her leisure time gardening, hiking, and working to tell small stories of life and death and many points in between. Her poems have appeared in Trouvaille Review and Creative Wisconsin Magazine, and she was a prize winner in the 2022 Muse Prize through Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.
“[december],” “[swan song],” and “[rađljóst]” by Katelyn Grimes
Katelyn Grimes (she/her) studied English and creative writing, psychology, and history at Carthage College. She now lives in Chicago, where she works for an immigration law firm while continuing to write fiction and poetry.
“Solstice Shivers” by Evie Groch
Evie Groch, EdD, is a field supervisor/mentor for new administrators in graduate schools of education. Her opinion pieces, humor, poems, short stories, recipes, word challenges, and other articles have been widely published in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, The Journal, Games Magazine, and many online venues. Many of her poems are in published anthologies. Her short stories, poems, and memoir pieces have won her recognition and awards. Her travelogues have been published online with Grand Circle Travel. The themes of travel, language, immigration, and justice are special for her.
“The Waiting Year,” “Human Composition,” and “Resolution” by Danielle Weeks
Danielle Weeks earned her MFA in poetry through Eastern Washington University’s creative writing program. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Crab Creek Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Missouri Review, and Salt Hill, among others. Read more about her and her work at daniellekayeweeks.com.
“Autism in the Wintertime” and “We’ve Been Waiting” by Izzy Amber Wyskiel
Izzy Amber Wyskiel is an autistic writer living in Oregon. She loves reading literary fiction novels and story collections, watching horror movies, and cooking plant-based food. Her work is inspired by the beauty in mundanity, quiet yet vivid memories, and the neurodivergent lens. Her work is forthcoming in Apple a Day Volume 1 by Bitter Pill Press. You can find her on Instagram at @kriziaamber.
“Catnap” by Michelle Yim
Michelle Yim (she/her) is a young Korean American writer. She plans to study English literature in college and has been published in young adult literary magazines. She enjoys art and wants to publish her own YA novel in the future.
“Cocooning” by Caitlin Gemmell
Caitlin Gemmell (she/her) is a poet and witch living in a woodland in Upstate New York. Her poetry has been featured in Rue Scribe, One Sentence Poems, and the minison zine and is forthcoming in an anthology by Querencia Press.
“Forecast on a January Evening” by Erin Jamieson
Erin Jamieson holds an MFA in creative writing from Miami University of Ohio. Her writing has been published in over eighty literary magazines, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches at Ohio State University.
“Hibernation” by Esther Lim Palmer
Esther Lim Palmer is the author of two chapbooks, Stellar (Finishing Line Press, 2021) and Janus (Finishing Line Press, 2020). Her work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including California Quarterly, Plainsongs, White Wall Review, Poetry in the Time of Coronavirus Volume 2, The Hungry Chimera, Brief Wilderness, and Oberon’s Seventeenth Annual Issue—selected to be archived in the EBSCO Humanities’ database for universities and cultural entities interested in contemporary literary work.
“The End of November,” “Something Sturdier than Stone,” and “The Love That Used to Move Me” by Andrew Calis
Andrew Calis is a Palestinian American poet, teacher, and father. His work has been published in America, Dappled Things, St. Katherine Review, Presence, and elsewhere. He teaches at Archbishop Spalding High School in Maryland. True hibernation is dear to him, but he will settle for what Frost called “just some human sleep.”
“Thief River Falls” by Abigail Frankfurt
Abigail Frankfurt is a writer and artist from New York. Her poetry has been published in LIT Magazine, Unbroken literary journal, New York Quarterly, The Yale Review, Dead Skunk, and Three Room Press.
“Four Walls and Fifteen Heartbeats” by Tammy Pieterson
Tammy Pieterson is a twenty-six-year-old South African student, poet, artist, and photographer. Creativity is all she’s good at. Enthusiastic, passionate, and opinionated, she uses each day to learn more about herself, and therefore, more about each of her crafts and how to better apply herself. She believes in authenticity and vulnerability when writing, as it helps to connect with the reader—with the soul. So far, her poetry has been published in Blue Daisies, Sunday Mornings at the River, decurated, Color Tag Magazine, Eclipse Zine, Pile Press, and Querencia Press, and her artwork has been published in Talent Spark Magazine and Stuck in Notes. She’s grateful, eager, and only getting started.
“Sugar Maple” by Erika Seshadri
Erika Seshadri lives on an animal rescue ranch in Florida with her family. When not caring for tame critters or feral children, she can be found writing.
“Winter’s Sweet Solace” by Ginger Dehlinger
Ginger Dehlinger writes in multiple genres. She has self-published two novels (Brute Heart, Never Done) and a children’s book (The Goose Girl’s New Ribbon). Her poetry has appeared in over two dozen journals and anthologies, and her short story “Francine” was first runner-up in the 2022 Saturday Evening Post’s Great American Fiction Contest.
“In Winter, the Trees” by Lesley Sieger-Walls
Lesley Sieger-Walls holds a PhD in English from the University of Illinois. A Kansas native, she now lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she teaches college writing classes and conducts walking tours for the Missouri Historical Society. Her poetic focus is typically rooted in the landscapes of the Great Plains and Midwest.
“if winter was a berry” and “the canopy is home to me and the squirrels” by K. S. Baron
K. S. Baron (she/her) is a freelance writer, a poetry editor at Last Leaves Magazine, and a budding digital artist. She loves the nitty gritty of editing—a misplaced comma here, a misspelled name there. Her work has previously appeared in Spire Light, Havik, Burnt Pine Magazine, and others. She has a soft spot for sharp things (like cats and cacti) and always finds herself drawn to the moon.
“Small Wanderings” by Russell Thorburn
Russell Thorburn is the author of five books of poems, including Somewhere We’ll Leave the World (Wayne State University Press, 2017) and his newest book, Let It Be Told in a Single Breath (Cornerstone Press, 2024). He has received numerous grants, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His radio play, Happy Birthday, James Joyce, was aired on WNMU-FM three times, and his one-act play, Gimme Shelter, was scheduled to premiere at Northern Michigan University’s Black Box Theatre on March 13, 2020, but was canceled because of the pandemic. Thorburn was nominated and chosen as the first poet laureate of the Upper Peninsula in 2013.
“Hibernaculum” by Frank William Finney
Frank William Finney is the author of The Folding of the Wings (Finishing Line Press, 2022). His work has been featured in Livina Press, Pocket Fiction, Quibble.Lit, Taint Taint Taint, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Massachusetts, he taught at Thammasat University in Thailand from 1995 until 2020.
“Winter Song” by William Reichard
William Reichard is a writer, editor, and educator. His seventh poetry collection, Our Delicate Barricades Downed, was published by Broadstone Books in 2021.
“Pausing” 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.
“Cold House” by Michael Colonnese
Michael Colonnese is the author of a hard-boiled detective novel, Sex and Death, I Suppose, and two poetry collections, Temporary Agency and Double Feature. He lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Hendersonville, North Carolina.
“A Lingering Languor” by Baylee Pawsey
Baylee Pawsey is a writer from the Midwest who spends her days crafting marketing content for a global tech company. As a freelance writer and editor, she works with local authors, entrepreneurs, and professionals. Outside of work, Baylee enjoys escaping into novels and video games, and she’s always looking for good recommendations of both! Follow her on Twitter at @BayleeWrites and check out her work at bayleewrites.com.
“Return of 200 Rotations” by Kat Smith
Kat Smith (@material.drifter) is a queer multimedia artist drawn to fibers, printing, and writing, often times melding these mediums together. Their work drifts toward natural and mystic worlds with their process serving as a meditative act.
“February, A Honeyed Existence,” “Nor’easter,” and “April Snow” by Therese Gleason
Therese Gleason is author of two chapbooks: Libation (cowinner, South Carolina Poetry Initiative Chapbook Competition) and Matrilineal (honorable mention, 2022 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize). Recent work appears in 32 Poems, Indiana Review, New Ohio Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, and elsewhere. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Therese lives in Worcester, Massachusetts, with her family. She teaches literacy and works as a dyslexia therapist. Find her at theresegleason.com.
Capsule Stories Winter 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!