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Mariflo Stephens

Mariflo Stephens’s fiction is included in Worlds in their Words: Contemporary American Women Writers and her essays appear in The Barbie Chronicles: A Real Doll Turns Forty and Successful Writing Strategies. She has received grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and has won prizes from the Virginia Highlands Festival, the Irene Leache Literary Contest, and The Gamut at Cleveland State University. Her work has also appeared in the Washington PostIowa Woman, and Zone 3.


Polio Summer

I grew up listening to stories. Our family seemed to live on them. I picture us around a table. We are slightly hunched, with our arms forward, as if we're ready to work. We think we are at work. We're working in a family business. We are in the bu [...]

Stone Swans

The principal of Peter J. Jeffres High School finished locking the trophy cabinet and put the tiny key in his pocket. For a second he just stood there, light refracting off the bifocals he couldn't get used to. The gold wavered like a candle flame, [...]

Safe In Her Heart

The worst thing is when the founder of the sorority come down. Last year those girls they wanted turkey, dressing, the works like a big Thanksgiving dinner right smack in the middle of May where here in Virginia it's hot as Hades. Those girls. Drin [...]

Mary Lee Settle: the Lioness In Winter

To read Mary Lee Settle is to be airborne. Airborne in a small plane with a group of people determined to tell you stories, and not merely the stories of their lives, but the stories of their land, their country; they show you their wounds. You ar [...]


Every year when I was growing up, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the stern adults who peopled the landscape of my childhood, making me miserable much of the time, became almost sweet-faced each year as they asked this question. "Is your mother [...]

Still There, Lying Gently

Every day I waited outside the double doors for the deputies to bring him in from the holding cell. The first day I turned my head away when I heard the hollow bang of the metal. I was afraid to meet the naked eyes of a murderer; afraid it would ji [...]