Backchannels No. 5 / Summer 2020

Dear Readers, 

With this edition, we offer you our fifth formal edition; our sixth edition when you count the Pandemic Edition we did as a response to the early days of the Covid-19 crisis. The world, and especially the United States seems to be standing at a roundabout with so many choices about the direction we can go. 

At Backchannels, we don’t claim to have any answers. However, there are a few things that we will always stand for: making space for artists of all backgrounds; art and writing that challenges and uplifts; and, a group of editors who understands the courage it takes to share your heart with the world. 

This edition has been put together amidst the on-going pandemic and the absolute need to dismantle systemic racism in the United States. These times are not easy. These times are necessary. It is our hope that this edition of Backchannels helps you to connect with our contributors and their art, and with the world at large. 

Be well, 
Laura, Leslie & Mary

William Doreski – Freewheeling (poem)

Yash Seyedbagheri – Illuminating Darkness (flash fiction)

Valery Krupnik – Dr. Xe (fiction)

Steve Sibra – Lavender (poem)

Mike Moran – Three Tales from The Iowa Goatsinger (fiction)

Michelle Hollander – The Loveliest Season (fiction)

Kathryn Hamilton – A Lesson at the Piggly Wiggly (fiction)

Jefferson Carter – Two Poems & “Whispering” by Sandy Coomer (art)

James Piatt – Wintertime Shore (poem)

Corey Mesler – My Obituary (poem)

Chris Dungey – Before the Cortege (fiction)

Carolyn Geduld – Who Shall Be Uplifted (fiction)

Robert DiLillo – How Earth Loves Water (poetry) & Christopher Woods – Blue Heart (art)

Cami Stenquist – In the Aftermath (nonfiction)

Barbara Brooks – Mother’s Stapler (poem)

C.W. Bigelow – Stepping Away From Yesterday (fiction)

C.M. Lanning – Hayseed Rumble (fiction)

Howard Skrill – Figure Looking Backward (art) & Meg Karl – Gravel and Lint (poem)

Babitha Marina Justin – Ekphrastic Challenge (poem)

James Willsey – Lilbabydoll (non-fiction)

Ave Jeanne Ventresca – Portrait in Coral and Ocher/woman contaminated (poem) & Howard Skrill – Crone with Globe (art)

Joanne Alfano – Two Poems

Winston Derden – Torture (poem)

Star Anderson – Two Poems

Brian T. Marshall – The Date (fiction)

Joe Balaz – Da Buggah Bugs Stay Mutating (poem)

Heather Sager – Cosmos (poem)

Jai K. – Oktoberlee Love (poem)

About the cover art and artist:

Images and method: Florida is a constant botanical spectacle and feast for the photo-artist’s eye, in color and black and white. I work with material from all sources from fancy conservatories to roadside wildflowers, often in photomontage. The cover piece is one of a five part series about “green”, the color and all of its connotations.

With international online, print, and gallery credits from a long career as an artist, teacher, and curator, publisher, and promoter, Roger Leege lives and works in Venice, Florida.  In addition to his own practice, he gives back to the photo-art community as the publisher of Dek Unu Magazine. See more of his own work at and contact him via email at rleege[at] gmail[dot]com.


Mary Bardsley, Editor
Leslie Caton Frey, Editor
Laura Johnson, Editor

With special thanks to our steadfast reader, Erick Brucker

Cover art by Roger Leege

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