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Venita Blackburn

Venita Blackburn received the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, which resulted in the publication of her collected stories, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, in 2017. In 2018 she was a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award, and she received the PEN America Los Angeles Literary Award in fiction. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at California State University, Fresno.


Illustration by Arianna Vairo

Bear Bear Harvest

Winter 2018 | Fiction

The house is on a twelve-acre lot that Mom Mom thought cozy. She has a map of the land and surrounding properties to prove that it isn’t a corner lot, as if anyone could tell. Corner lots draw too much energy and are considered bad feng shui. The aquarium, on the other hand, is on the southeast wall for wealth, and the wall of ficus and bamboo in the east for health or maybe luck. No cacti: They bring aggression. I believe the cousins are also bad feng shui, but no one will ever actually say so. Like everything, that, too, must be in the stars.