Citron 10: Celebrating 10 Years of the Short Form

Letter from the Editor


“A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”
Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

The magic of the short form is that its strength lies in its ability to draw us into a single, present moment. It allows us to experience snapshots of stories like and unlike our own, that we are not alone in this world that often seeks to divide us. As Maya Angelou wrote, “A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”

The Citron Review was founded by a cohort of friends and writers, the Citrons, at Antioch University Los Angeles. Aaron Gansky, Antonia Crane, Trish Fallin, and Judy Sunderland created an online journal and social media presence for writers and readers to “celebrate the short form.” They published their first issue in September of 2009. To hear more about our beginning, read the 10th anniversary letter written by founding editor, Aaron Gansky. I hope you also make the time to read our current issue, Citron 10: Fall 2019. You might also enjoy a visit to our Previous Issues.

The Citrons were one cohort before mine. A Sage, I was scheduled to graduate in December. At that time the words of Horace Mann, American educator and first president of Antioch College, were everywhere, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” At Antioch we were encouraged to pursue that victory through community engagement.

How does that engagement inform the work of Citron? While we often hear that form follows function, at Citron, the (short) form revealed literary friendship as the driver for publication and promotion. The short form sparks an awareness of small moments, and we turn our attention to the next story. More than anything, at Citron we celebrate the short form as the first hello.

For the longest time all of the editors were graduates of Antioch, and so it was easy to think the friendships were tied to alma mater, but this spirit of generosity continued as writers from other programs joined us. I could reach out to any current or former members of Citron if I needed guidance, and I would be there for them too. That’s Citron.

Former editors include: Amye Archer, Jennifer Ettelson Besmehn, Jeff Edwards, Zach Jacobs, Heather Luby, Erica Moody, Jacqui Morton, Nicholas Olson, and Lee Stoops. Now I have the pleasure of serving alongside: Eric Steineger, JR Walsh, Marianne Woods Cirone, Nathan Elliott, Elizabeth De Arcos, Hedwika Cox, and Marcena Hooks.

A special thank you to Kolleen Carney Hoepfner who joined Citron as the first Social Media Coordinator in 2016 and showed us how it’s done. Also, special thanks to Anna Kelley for serving as social media coordinator. She started our Instagram account, and created the first author features embedded in an image. Their work is what inspired the creation of the Online Editor role currently staffed by the amicable JR Walsh.

I am with Citron today because years ago Managing Editor and Senior Poetry Editor Eric Steineger encouraged me to send work to Citron and other publications. Later, he invited me to apply to Citron when there was an opening on the team. My creative work at Citron and professionally has long been supported by his unwavering support, and his incredible skills as an editor and writer. I am grateful for all of the editors, and I could tell you of such generosity from each of them. They don’t even mind when I make alphabetized, color-coded spreadsheets for every idea we have, or that I love to make citrus-y references when I write to them.

In recent years when new editors have joined Citron or someone has asked me about it I say, “We want to be good friends to writers and readers.” What happens in the next ten years, you might ask. In the spirit of Horace Mann’s words, our victory is and will continue to be the widening circle of friendship among writers and readers. Now more than ever, we must use our words and lift up the words of others for good. For the near future, you can count on us for more reviews at Zest, and maybe new and updated genres in the next year.

To our writers, readers, founders, and former editors, on behalf of The Citron Review, this September we celebrate you. Thanks for ten years of friendship.

Be sure to write.

Angela M. Brommel
Poetry Editor
The Citron Review

ABOVE IMAGE CREDIT: Elizabeth Blackwell. The Lemon Tree. 1739.
RIGHT IMAGE CREDIT: Nathan Elliott. Les champignons sauvages. 2019.




Table of Contents


Notes on the selections by Eric Steineger

Alina Stefanescu Sabotage (or So Much for the Revolution)  [Spring 2019]
Kelly R. Samuels Petrichor  [Fall 2018]
Lisa Eve Cheby If I Were the Daughter of My Mother and Wim Wenders  [Spring 2018]
Jim Daniels Astronomy  [Winter 2017]
Danielle Hale 9/32  [Summer 2017]
Ellen Stone In Wisconsin  [Fall 2016]
Laura Madeline Wiseman Flesh Charm for Waifs and Strays gleditsia triacanthos  [Fall 2015]
Roy Bentley Lee in the Orchard, 1865  [Summer 2015]
Charles Rafferty The Man Remembers the Only Cummerbund He Has Ever Worn  [Fall 2012]
Xochitl Julisa Bermejo End of Summer  [Fall 2009]
Creative Nonfiction

Notes on the selections by Marianne Woods Cirone

Emanuele Pettener The Snake  [Summer 2019]
Amye Archer One Week  [Spring 2019]
Victoria Buitron The Translator  [Winter 2018]
Ben Greenlee Baton  [Winter 2017]
Jennifer Lang Collateral Beauty  [Winter 2017]
Charles Kaufmann An Elegy for Your Cat  [Fall 2017]
K.G. Waite Prelude  [Summer 2017]
N. West Moss Abroad  [Fall 2015]
P.J. Sambeaux Cheap  [Spring 2014]
Vivian Faith Prescott First Contact at Dog Point  [Spring 2012]
A.D. Carswell Pretty in the Right Light  [Winter 2012]
Patrick O’Neil The Scent of Death  [Fall 2009]

Micro Fiction

Notes on the selections by JR Walsh

Erica S. Arkin It Comes in Waves  [Spring 2015]
Heather Bourbeau The Charcoal Maker  [Spring 2015]
Helen Chambers White Wedding  [Spring 2019]
Nathan Douglas Hansen Father’s Day  [Fall 2009]
Jennifer L. Freed The Lesser  [Fall 2016]
Christopher J. Gaumer He Died We Left Him Til Morning [Winter 2018]
Tim Hawkins The Townsfolk in Winter  [Spring 2018]
Nicholas Marcus First Kiss  [Fall 2017]
Steven Ostrowski Wish You Were Somewhere  [Summer 2012]
Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera Swirling Debris  [Fall 2019]

Flash Fiction

Notes on the selections by Elizabeth De Arcos

Matthew Brennan The Water is Wide  [Fall 2012]
Sara Estes I Thought You Were An Anchor in the Drift of the World  [Winter 2017]
Babak Lakhomi The Closet-Woman  [Summer 2016]
Shauna Mackay Constance, failing  [Summer 2018]
Kathryn McMahon It Would Not Have Our Bones  [Spring 2017]
Victoria Miller Deep Waters  [Spring 2018]
Jennifer Popa A Flesh Like Ours  [Fall 2014]
Alan Stewart Carl Remaining  [Fall 2013]
Kate Vander Wiede Close Like We Used to Be  [Summer 2016]
Tara Isabel Zambrano Enfold  [Winter 2018]
Letter from the Founding Editor, Aaron Gansky


Anthology Contributors


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