Contributors

Julia Alvarez
Contributor History

Biography
Julia Alvarez
Photograph © Bill Eichner
Julia Alvarez has written novels, collections of poems, nonfiction, and numerous books for young readers. She has most recently published a new novel for adults called Afterlife (Algonquin) and a new picture book for young readers, Already a Butterfly: A Meditation Story (Macmillan Books for Children). The recipient of a National Medal of Arts, Alvarez is a founder of Border of Lights, a movement to promote peace and collaboration between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She lives in Vermont.

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In Print

Vol. 82
Works & Days
Spring 2024
Bradford Morrow

Online

May 15, 2024
The boy watches me tend the fry pan. First of November in a warm year. I was an old man this morning. Now it is night and I am still an old man. The good stink of hot fried whitefish rises in the kitchen and oak leaves have fallen, painted the hill red. I am an old man because my body does not move fast. I am an old man because I have seen change that is large enough to fit inside my body. The change I have seen is like a bent stick I have swallowed. It sits inside my chest. It might make a hole in something soon.
May 8, 2024
Why my mother don’t like me?
     I ask Ansin, my grandmother. I say, How it is my mother never did like me?
     She steups. Kiss she teeth. And smooth-out that news she was reading in. Raise it up again to give it a little flip. At the top. And you could feel the vexness in that flip too.
     I say, Is cause I ent got no father?
May 1, 2024
“You have fifteen minutes,” the cashier says. Repeats it, runs your card, matter-of-factly smiling like Iowa girls do. Brenda smiled that smile too—pleasant, courteous. No faking, no strain.
     “Any questions?” she asks.
     You poke a carousel rack of baseball caps in front of her register. It creaks a clockwise inch. Stiff-billed, nylon, mesh. Lots of American flags. This one with the cabin patch, stitched with “Home Sweet Home.” It’s a deep bluish plum, a color Brenda likes.