The Lit Issue 

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Corey Adams

Last year, the Charleston City Paper unveiled its first Literary Issue. Featuring work from S.C. Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, sci-fi phenom and one-time Charlestonian Hugh Howey, and the late, great Ken Burger, the issue was a blast. And so this year, we decided to give it a go again — fingers crossed, fingers crossed. This year we have an exciting combo of poets, playwrights, and prose writers, including young adult author Ryan Graudin and PURE playwright in residence David Lee Nelson. Enjoy.

Why can't his name be Stipe?
Why can't his name be Stipe? The Lit Issue

It's been 12 1/2 years now and that question still pops up in my head. In fact, on most occasions when I'm enjoying a beer (or two) with friends and my wife is around, the story ends up popping up like Christmas elves at the mall. — Ayinde Moir Waring


Closing Ceremonies, Crescent Beach
Closing Ceremonies, Crescent Beach The Lit Issue

Twin divers launch from their platforms,
fold, tuck, extend, before the water accepts them

in unison, the splash as quiet as the light rain
that begins to fall on this house that is not ours,

Anna Claire Hodge


Up All Night
Up All Night

I wonder, sometimes, how much love we need to sustain ourselves. What kinds of love keep us going? What kinds of love knock us down? — Connelly Hardaway


Pay Attention to Me
Pay Attention to Me

Jabeau and I had turned the couch cushions over to look for change, and we'd found enough to go to Back Tracks II. It was a bar up the road from my house that let anybody in, 21 or not, and everybody knew about it. We'd all heard how Janet Grottmeyer's mom was so drunk one night she drove her car through the bar's back wall. — Lindsay Bower


No We Can't Take It Back
No We Can't Take It Back

Christmas in my house was always an exercise in overcompensation. My parents were both middle children and felt slighted all their lives, so they made up for that by spending way too much money on their kids at Christmas. — David Lee Nelson


The Sharp Below
The Sharp Below

"There's magic in this marsh." This is what your Gram says, one evening at the dock's end. She sits at the very edge of the boards and lets the current tug her toes. Brown water, quick hunger. She watches the waters pass, her eyes creased and darting, as if the swirls hold a secret language only she can read. — Ryan Graudin


May It Last
May It Last

The light in our hearts
Ignite with a candle
Be right from the start
No truth will dismantle
May it last forever — Matt Bostick


A Monologue from <i>In Memoriam</i>
A Monologue from In Memoriam

CAL: When I was a freshman in college, is a really cliched way to start a story. I really can't believe I just started that way. "When I was a freshman in college." "When I was your age." Wow, I sound like such an asshole. I'm sorry about that. — Michael Smallwood


Please Tell My Wife I Believe in Santa Claus
Please Tell My Wife I Believe in Santa Claus

This is the story of how I came to believe that Santa Claus is real. My parents never told me there was a Santa Claus. They didn't want me finding out that Santa Claus wasn't real and then think maybe Jesus wasn't either. So one day, they sat me down and told me two things: 1) Santa Claus is "pretend fun like Bert and Ernie," and 2) if I told the other kids about No. 1, they'd spank me. (As it turns out, I got spanked a lot.) — Jeremy McLellan


Magellan
Magellan

If your body is a map,
Then I am its cartographer.
I want to explore the wilderness of your hair,
Slide down every curl like it's a waterfall,
Zip-line across each strand of your Costa Rican rainforest until I find dark roots bleached by the sun. — Liz Coralli


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