Welcome to Issue No. 17 of Prime Number: 

A Journal of Distinctive Poetry & Prose

Letter from the Editors (or jump to the Table of Contents)

Dear Readers,

First, the big news. When we launched Prime Number, we promised “an online quarterly with a print annual” and we have now delivered on that promise! Our first print annual, Editors’ Selections Volume 1, is now available for order from Press 53. The book includes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from Issues 2, 3, 5, and 7. (As I write this, it’s time to begin work on Volume 2!)

Second, here we are with Issue Number 17, our 7th issue since we launched the magazine in July 2010. We continue to bring you distinctive poetry and prose: short stories by Daniel B. Meltzer, John Carr Walker, Brandon Patterson, and Gleah Powers; essays by Kathryn Rhett, Ellen Kirschner, Jessica Erica Hahn-Taylor, and Mary Alice Hostetter; poetry by Kat Henry, Brian Simoneau, and Katherine E. Young; reviews of books by Benjamin Buchholz, Xu Xi, Donna Miscolta, and Bruce Guernsey; and a craft essay by Buzz Mauro.

Our cover photo for the issue is by photographer Peg Duthie, who also provided the cover for Issue 13.

We are currently reading submissions for the Issue 17 updates, Issue 19, and beyond. Please visit our Submit page and send us your distinctive poetry and prose. We’re looking for stories and essays up to 4,000 words (including flash under 1,000 words), poems, book reviews, craft essays, short drama, ideas for interviews, and cover art that reflects the number of a particular issue (we’re looking for a “19” right now). If we’ve had to decline your submission, please forgive us and try again!

A number of readers have asked how they might comment on the work they read in the magazine. We’ll look into adding that feature in the future. In the meantime if you are moved to comment I would encourage you to send us an email ( and we’ll pass your thoughts along to the contributors. Similarly, if you are a publisher and would like to send us ARCs for us to consider for reviews, please contact us at the above email address. We’re especially interested in reviewing new, recent, or overlooked books from small presses.

One more thing: Prime Number Magazine is published by Press 53, a terrific small press helping to keep literature alive. Please support independent presses and bookstores.

The Editors

Table of Contents, Prime Number Magazine

Issue 17, January-March 2012


Kat Henry

The Vagrants

Brian Simoneau

My Father's Garage as Resting Place

Morning Mass

Taking Flight

Katherine E. Young


Soul Food



Daniel B. Meltzer

Minutes of the Last Meeting

John Carr Walker


Brandon Patterson

At the Edge of the Earth

Gleah Powers

Art Lessons



Kathryn Rhett


Ellen Kirschner


Jessica Erica Hahn-Taylor

Chop Wood, Carry Water

Mary Alice Hostetter

The Road to the Correctional Center



Melissa Bashor

Review of When the de la Cruz Family Danced by Donna Miscolta

Sybil Baker

Review of Access by Xu Xi


Review of One Hundred and One Nights by Benjamin Buchholz

John Guzlowski

Review of New England Primer by Burce Guernsey



Buzz Mauro

Expanding the Powers of First-Person Narration



Peg Duthie

Waiting at Bercy


Prime Number Decimals

Prime Decimals 17.2

Prime Decimals 17.3

Prime Decimals 17.5