A New Era

Our fearless leader, Mike Good, has moved away for his MFA program.  Even after just one workshop without him we all miss him dearly. Still, we must forge ahead. Many of our journal editors have stepped up to take his place.  Lea Bridi is now coordinating the After Happy Hour Review, Christina Ailor will be point person for the workshop, Jason Peck will be taking over the Facebook page, and Charlie Brown has volunteered to distribute our publicity materials.  Mike Lambert continues to be our layout and design guru.

This past Thursday’s workshop felt a little empty without Mike Good, but we still had a lovely two hours. Jess McNally submitted more of her autobiographical prose poetry (lyrical prose? She tries not to worry about defining the genre). Melissa Luvisi submitted 3 prose pieces.  In one hour we were able to fit in an impressive amount of feedback in on a blog post, an excerpt of fantasy creative writing, and an excerpt from her e-book on social media.

We were also excited to welcome two newcomers to the group – Karla and Dave. They had no problem jumping right into the discussion, which is what we love to see in new members!

We are inching closer to our release of the second issue of the After Happy Hour Review.  Although we have already determined which workshop pieces will be showcased in this issue, our call for submissions is still open.  Act now!

Next week we look forward to what is sure to be a lively workshop with Charlie Brown and Craig Martin!

Writer of the Week: Lea Bridi

Lines and Curves
by Lea Bridi

At 5:15 pm on April 3rd, 2008, Emily sat in the lobby of State College’s transportation center, waiting for a bus. The transportation center was a proposed solution to the city’s parking and traffic problems. The idea was that people who lived in the suburbs could drive to the transportation center (which was basically a parking garage), park their cars, and take the bus or a shuttle into town. State College’s parking and traffic problems were two things that were wrong with the world, but they were not, by any means, the only things. In fact, by 5:15 pm, on April 3rd, 2008, almost everyone agreed that so many things were wrong that the world was mostly ruined, but no one could agree on what those things were.

For example, Emily’s parents believed that the most important world-ruining thing was changing weather patterns. According to them, increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide were causing extreme droughts and extremes floods, which were, in turn, causing slums and riots and wars. Emily’s parents were both professors of ecology at the University. They had fallen into something almost like love while collecting marsh water samples and had been married for thirty years, but Emily had never seen them kiss. For a long, long time, she had never seen either of them cry, until one late summer afternoon, right before she moved into her college dorm. The talk show that Emily and her mother were watching was interrupted by a cookie dough commercial. As cherubic children wielded rolling pins and gazed at their television mother, Emily’s real life mother had allowed several tears to escape her scientist’s eyes. It had been deeply embarrassing for both of them.

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Writer of the Week: Steven Klepetar

Laughing Gas
By Steven Klepetar

I laughed all the way to the river, 
my cheeks aflame, laughed

until my belly hurt and my breath
broke in coughs and gulps, laughed

at the strangest things: a red squirrel
who looked to be from out of town,

a VW bus painted gold, a woman
with a crown of silvery glass.

Even when the day turned serious,
I laughed at pigeons streaming

through a threatening sky.
At noon I laughed at sandwiches

and milk, peanut butter left me
writhing on the ground. I laughed

at ghosts, at cows, at butter slowly
melting in a blue dish, at clocks

and at the sparkly devil’s mask
my brother pasted to his furious face

last time he whispered my secret
name to the cold, brutal, humorless stars.

Steven Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.  Recent collections include SPEAKING TO THE FIELD MICE (Sweatshoppe Publications), BLUE SEASON (with Joseph Lisowski, mgv2>publishing), MY SON WRITES A REPORT ON THE WARSAW GHETTO (Flutter Press) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (e-chap from Kind of a Hurricane Press).

As AHHR editors lay out fall’s edition of the review, we will share selected pieces from March 2014’s debut After Happy Hour Review.  This week features poet Steven Klepetar. Read more poems and stories in the After Happy Hour Review.

Jason Peck published in SmokeLong Quarterly!

I’m most pleased to share a piece that recently traversed the workshop by long-time HAHH contributor and AHHR editor Jason Peck, a short fiction piece called, “The Age of Discovery,” in SmokeLong Quarterly.

According to SmokeLong’s guidelines:

“SmokeLong publishes flash fiction up to 1000 words.

The SLQ aesthetic remains an ever-changing, ever-elusive set of principles, but it most likely has to do with these kinds of things:

  • language that surprises
  • narratives that strive toward something other than a final punch line or twist
  • pieces that add up to something, oftentimes (but not necessarily always) meaning or emotional resonance
  • honest work that feels as if it has far more purpose than a writer wanting to write a story

Congrats Jason!

Writer of the Week: Lois Williams

Cooking with Fat

BY Lois Williams


My mother and her sisters cook lamb shank,
rib roast, souse potatoes in pork grease,
rub butter into pastry, then add lard—

Their men come in from being carpenters,
soldiers, by-the-hour haulers, eyes glaring
vigilance and deep fatigue. The table
is their solitude—

Four mouthfuls into the plate they look up,
their faces now the faces of boys
of whom nothing fearful has yet been asked.


Lois Williams grew up along the Wash coast and traveled widely, teaching English in university and community writing programs in the US. Her poems and essays have appeared in many venues, including Verse Daily, 5 A.M., Fourth River, Antiphon, New England Review, and Granta.



As AHHR editors lay out fall’s edition of the review, we will share selected pieces from March 2014’s debut After Happy Hour Review.  This week features poet Lois Williams. Read more of Lois’ work in the After Happy Hour Review on issuu.com



Writer of the week: Andy Chen

A. Rethinks Seduction

by Andy Chen

Her earrings are feathers of gold, the veins forever fixed. She snaps a match to life. He looks up to find moths everywhere, with names he will never know: Hairstreak, Antler, Pale Grass Blue. Their tiny applause drying out the air, sending in spirals a gasoline smell. You knew it would come to this. And he did.

Andy Chen is a native of the pretty part of New Jersey. He is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis.


As AHHR editors begin to lay out fall’s edition of the review, we plan to use the blog to share selected pieces from March 2014’s debut After Happy Hour Review.  This week features poet Andy Chen. Read the more by Andy and additional writers featured in the After Happy Hour Review on issuu.com



Where we’re calling from…

Updates have been sparse lately. We’re sorry!

Thank you to the artists and writers who’ve contributed to the second After Happy Hour Review. Editors have really enjoyed reading and discussing your work and continue to debate fervently.

If I hadn’t mentioned, the reading period for the second  issue of the After Happy Hour Review ends September 12th (6 weeks away). Don’t wait, submit today! The journal will be released on October 30th, with time/location TBD.

Internally, AHHR editors are working to upgrade and reorganize our website and many more aspects of the After Happy Hour Review and ourselves. Many good things to come.  Thank you all for reading the very first After Happy Hour Review.

Tomorrow’s workshop will feature two wonderful poets – Bryan McCarthy & Thao Nguyen – still @ Lot 17 every Thursday from 7pm-9pm.

- Mike G.