Pen 2 Paper: The Ones that Got Away

Every year, Pen 2 Paper receives so many entries that we love, but that never make it to the finalist round. This year, we wanted to recognize some of those from 2017, so we present a monthly web feature: The Ones that Got Away. From January through October, P2P co-coordinators Susie and Laura will each post one of our favorite non-finalists from the 2017 contest. Enjoy!

All entries posted with permission, authors retain all rights.

June 28, 2018

Laura's Pick: Disturbances Hannah Wells

Wells’ delicate Disturbances unfolds in two sections: first, from the point of view of "Him," whose mental faculties are intact, and then from "Her," whose memory is deteriorating. Recounting a brief encounter between the two, Wells employs masterful sensory descriptions to explore the ways they experience each other and time. The author noted that she seeks to be “honest” with the re-creation of her parents’ interaction and the circumstances that surround it. We see a lot of incredible writing about Alzheimer’s and dementia at Pen 2 Paper, and I think she’s hit on something honest indeed. It’s no surprise that Wells is also a poet, whose work can be found in All the Sins, The Big Windows Review, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, and Avatar Review (forthcoming).

Susie's Pick: Getting to, "No, You" Bill Cushing

Raising children with disabilities is hard. There are millions of books about parenting, but only a small percentage talk about children with disabilities. So, when stories like Getting to “No, You” come along, they can be priceless. Bill Cushing points out that the people and agencies who are supposed to help children with disabilities get the services and adaptive equipment that they need to live life as normally as possible say no. I love the honesty in the specific examples from his own life that he uses to reveal the secret to getting around this issue.

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