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Literary works by seventy-three authors finalists of the Adelaide Literary Awards Contest for 2017 in three categories – best poem, the best short story, and the best essay. Adelaide Literary Magazine is an independent international bimonthly publication, based in New York and Lisbon. Founded by Stevan V. Nikolic and Adelaide Franco Nikolic in 2015, the magazine’s aim is to publish quality poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, and photography, as well as interviews, articles, and book reviews, written in English and Portuguese. We seek to publish outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and to promote the writers we publish, helping both new, emerging, and established authors reach a wider literary audience. We publish print and digital editions of our magazine six times a year, in September, November, January, March, May, and July. Online edition is updated continuously. There are no charges for reading the magazine online. (

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Published by ADELAIDE BOOKS, 2017-06-23 10:27:28

Adelaide Literary Award Anthology 2017

Literary works by seventy-three authors finalists of the Adelaide Literary Awards Contest for 2017 in three categories – best poem, the best short story, and the best essay. Adelaide Literary Magazine is an independent international bimonthly publication, based in New York and Lisbon. Founded by Stevan V. Nikolic and Adelaide Franco Nikolic in 2015, the magazine’s aim is to publish quality poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, and photography, as well as interviews, articles, and book reviews, written in English and Portuguese. We seek to publish outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and to promote the writers we publish, helping both new, emerging, and established authors reach a wider literary audience. We publish print and digital editions of our magazine six times a year, in September, November, January, March, May, and July. Online edition is updated continuously. There are no charges for reading the magazine online. (

Keywords: fiction,poetry,nonfiction,books,literature


short stories



2017 ANTHOLOGY Stevan V. Nikolic & Adelaide Franco Nikolic

Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine EDITOR IN CHIEF / EDITOR-CHEFE
Stevan V. Nikolic
2017 ANTOLOGIA [email protected]

Edição especial da revista literária Adelaide MANAGING DIRECTOR / DIRECTORA EXECUTIVA
Adelaide Franco Nikolic
June / Junho 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1548308582 Istina Group DBA
ISBN-10: 1548308587

Adelaide Franco Nikolic

Adelaide Literary Magazine is an independent BOOK REVIEWS
international bimonthly publication, based in New York Heena Rathore
and Lisbon. Founded by Stevan V. Nikolic and Adelaide Jack Messenger
Franco Nikolic in 2015, the magazine’s aim is to publish Ana Sofia Pereira
quality poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, and
photography, as well as interviews, articles, and book Scott Morris
reviews, written in English and Portuguese. We seek to
publish outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction, and Published by: Istina Group DBA, New York
poetry, and to promote the writers we publish, helping
both new, emerging, and established authors reach a e-mail: [email protected]
wider literary audience. We publish print and digital
editions of our magazine six times a year, in Septem- phone: +351 918 635 457
ber, November, January, March, May, and July. Online
edition is updated continuously. There are no charges Copyright © 2017 by Adelaide Literary Magazine
for reading the magazine online.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
( reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written
permission from the Adelaide Literary Magazine Editor-
A Revista Literária Adelaide é uma publicação in-chief, except in the case of brief quotations
bimensal internacional e independente, localizada em embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Nova Iorque e Lisboa. Fundada por Stevan V. Nikolic e
Adelaide Franco Nikolic em 2015, o objectivo da revista
é publicar poesia, ficção, não-ficção, arte e fotografia
de qualidade assim como entrevistas, artigos e críticas
literárias, escritas em inglês e português. Pretendemos
publicar ficção, não-ficção e poesia excepcionais assim
como promover os escritores que publicamos, ajudan-
do os autores novos e emergentes a atingir uma
audiência literária mais vasta. Publicamos edições
impressas e digitais da nossa revista seis vezes por ano:
em Setembro, Novembro, Janeiro, Março, Maio e
Julho. A edição online é actualizada regularmente. Não
há qualquer custo associado à leitura da revista online.




Michael Garcia Spring / Maria João Marques

Pierre Sotér
Timothy Robbins
Shirley Jones-Luke
Steven Pelcman
Gloria Monaghan
Susan Cossette

Jim Zinaman

Shortlist Winner Nominees

Anne Whitehouse
Michael J. Coene
Laura DellaBadia

Masha Sukovic
Toni Fuhrman
Steven Sherwood



Raymond Fenech

Michelle Cacho-Negrete
Alice Lowe

Ronald McFarland
Marc Simon
Jason James

Royce Adams

Patrick Hurley
Anwer Ghani
Idalis Nieves
Shari LeKane-Yentumi
Claire Petrichor
Laura DiCarlo Short
Isabelle Marlene Serna
Katharine Coggeshall
Faleeha Hassan



Dr. Peter Scheponik
Billy Malanga
John Ronan
Mark Taksa
Sean Howard
Bill Shultz

Shraddha Anand
Amber McCready

Danielle Garner
Kathryn Gesser
Clark Holtzman
Henry Reneau
Judah Cricelli
Tanner Harshman

Rachel Cohen
Richard Dokey

Denis Bell
Jason D. Grunn
Dustin Pickering
Stephen Gallas
Chelsea Ruxer
Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz
Melanie Pappadis Faranello
Robert McKean
Heide Arbitter



Vicki J. Bell
Dennis Nau
Joshua Hren
Neil D. Desmond
James Santore
Nya Jackson
Lynette Yu
Harold Barnes
Andrea Lorenzo
Krista Diamond

Best Essay Finalists

Adrienne Pine
Holley Hyler
Erin Conway
Rona Frye

Kurt G. Schmidt
Sally Miller
Jeffrey Kass

Thomas Hackney


seventy-three winners
Stevan V. Nikolic
When it comes to judging literary contests sub-
missions, there are several well-developed and After selection of the shortlist winner nomi-
tested methods that help us apply numerical nees, “the ball was in my court” to choose the
values to often abstract criteria for evaluation winner in each category. My first thought was -
of literary excellence. By giving numerical val- this will be impossible. It wasn’t only about the
ues from 1 to 10 or more to author´s creativity, shortlists. I read works by all 73 finalists and
premise or idea behind the written work, after each poem, each short story, each essay, I
presentation (spelling, punctuation, grammar, felt like I just read the best piece of work in the
and usage), structure, style and tone, theme, competition. I still have in my head the story
characters & dialogue, or in the case of poetry by Kurt G. Schmidt “On Becoming J.D. Sal-
to additional elements like poetic devices, inger.” Oh, what a wonderful writing by a skill-
rhyme and/or rhythm, comprehension and ful wordsmith! Or Claire Petrichor’s poem –
coherence, word selection, and universality of so much power and depth in only eight lines!
the message, we arrange judged literary works But the reality was that we had to pick only one
in accordance to accumulated points and those winner in each category.
with the highest number of points are winners. So, with the important understanding that we
These “numerical” methods are used in most really have seventy-three winning literary
of the literary competitions and are very effec- works, I congratulate all authors finalists on
tive when it comes to separating “the best” their success and express my best wishes for
from the rest. The problem arises when we end their future work.
up with too many works with the maximum My choice of winners was based on following
number of points. What are the rational criteria elements: The best poem - Maria João
that we can use to justify the selection of the Marques, the translator, gave us a brilliant
greatest among the equal? Of course, there is translation into Portuguese of the poem by
always the possibility of the “Wow! – effect” Michael Garcia Spring, an American poet.
caused by some original or powerful element of Their work represents in the best possible man-
the particular work that would help us choose ner what our magazine is all about – a bridge
the winner. between two cultures and two languages. The
In the case of our literary competition in three best short story – “The Thinking Man” by Jim
categories – best poem, best short story, and Zineman is the contemporary story dealing
best essay, after two rounds of readings, we with the classical human experience. The best
ended up with 30 poems, 28 short stories, and essay “The Mysterious Monk” by Raymond
15 essays, each with the maximum number of Fenech, a writer and journalist from Malta,
100 points. So much for having an easy job of bring us to the gates of unknown and to the
choosing the winner. At least, we had our final- eternal questions about life, death, and our ex-
ists and the contents of our anthology. istence.
The third round of reading with the aim of se- All in all, this year’s Adelaide Literary Awards
lecting the shortlist winner nominees was all Contest was a rewarding and fulfilling experi-
about the scope and the significance of the ence. Many thanks to all participating authors,
written work. Does (and how) the literary work contributing editors, and judges.
deals with the human experience as an everlast-
ing theme, and to what extent is the work suc-
cessful in adding to our understanding?



Michael Garcia Spring


Maria João Marques


Michael Garcia Spring ganhou a bolsa Maria João Marques é licenciada em Escrita
luso-americana 2016 do Projecto DISQUIET de Argumento pela Escola Superior de Teatro e
International. É autor de quatro livros de Cinema, mestre em Estudos Ingleses e Norte-
poesia de língua inglesa. O seu quinto livro, Americanos pela Faculdade de Ciências Sociais
Corvo Azul, o primeiro em língua portuguesa, e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa. A
será publicado em 2018 e está actualmente a ser sua dissertação foi distinguida com o JRAAS
traduzido por Maria João Marques. Os seus Quality Seal for Outstanding Achievement pelo
poemas já figuraram em várias publicações Centre for English, Translation, and Anglo-
portuguesas, incluindo as revistas NEO, Portuguese Studies (CETAPS). É tradutora
Vértice, The Portuguese Times, Gávea-Brown desde 2008, tendo já traduzido alguns poemas
e o jornal Açoriano Oriental. Michael vive no de Michael Spring, publicados nos jornais
estado do Oregon, nos EUA, onde é agricultor, Açoriano Oriental e The Portuguese Times.
instrutor de artes marciais e editor de poesia
para a Revista Pedestal.


noticed that a woman near the pond was medi- “For the best, though, right?” Emmett mut-
tating. Casey realized that he had never tried to tered to the grass.
meditate before. He decided to give it a shot.
Casey didn't know. “Probably,” he
Casey closed his eyes. He formed his guessed. “Most things are, I think.”
hands into that a-okay shape he'd seen meditat-
ing people use, and put the hands on his knees. Emmett grunted like a person who'd
Maintaining the pose, Casey waited. Nothing been told something boring. He ripped grass
happened. He held the pose for what he from the earth, sprinkled grass in such a way.
thought was a really long time. His lunch break No breeze came. The thin green blades fell life-
only lasted half an hour, and they'd already lessly, and straight.
been out there a good ten minutes before he
had decided to meditate. Emmett would've said “Eventually,” Casey climbed down from
something if their lunch break had ended, the big beige rock to sit next to his friend. He
though. Casey hadn't been meditating for even sat right in the grass Emmett had just ripped
close to as long as it felt. out. Grass would cling to Casey's pants. Pas-
sengers on the bus would notice. No one
Casey opened his eyes. The sun above would point it out. “Somewhere, you know?
the park looked a little bit brighter. He sup- It'll happen, bro. Stuff usually does.”
posed the meditation could have done some-
thing to his vision, made his cones soak up “Yeah...” a pair of hot joggers jogged by.
more of the light, or something. Casey doubted Emmett watched them go. He reached up to
it. Most likely, his eyes had stayed closed for tousle his hair, but he stopped midway. His
long enough to become more sensitive by the hand fell to his lap. Emmett scratched his leg,
time he opened them again. Maybe that was the instead, which was raw and pink from all the
whole scam—a simple trick of the light. Casey scratching he had already done that day. “Stuff
wondered why it was so hard to just know a usually does, I guess.”
thing for sure.




Laura DellaBadia

Laura DellaBadia graduates UNCW in May 2017
with a B.A in Communication Studies, a B.F.A in Cre-
ative Writing in fiction, and the Certificate in Publish-
ing. Her future career positions include attorney, politi-
cal commentator, and fiction novelist. When not stud-
ying, this Sagittarius finds hearts and angel wings in
clouds and raindrops while counting stars and flipping
pennies to heads.



By Laura DellaBadia

Over a span of long years blended through four in awe at a snowflake an inch away from his
seasons in twelve months, you do not notice dark eyes, thinking if only that line would be
the small changes happening to a person. Only erased. He has waited for the snow all season,
once a period of time ends, and you look down sleeping with his winter coat and hat on, never
upon the past, you see how the people around leaving his big boots more than a room’s dis-
you have changed, outwardly, inwardly— tance away from him. Now, he waits for his
height, weight, skin and hair color and texture, parents to let him run out to touch his moment
clothing preferences, accents, beloved catch of peace.
phrases, beliefs, values, and their spirit. While One heartbeat. The little boy sees something
we don’t see these small changes happening new other than the snow that forever alters his
until long passed, the bigger, monumental life, setting forever that line between peace and
changes happen between two heartbeats. chaos. A girl, lying in the snow that desires to
Every breath divides between the concept of comfort her, doesn’t move. Only inches away
before and after, as clear as that white line on on the wooded deck coated with snow, the girl
paved roads separating lanes and lives. Unlike stares up at the snowflakes latching on to her
these painted lines, this new line can never be short eyelashes, long hair, and bruised and
crossed, no matter how you might beg, plead, bared skin. Her white dress becomes the snow.
cry, and pray. Sometimes, though, you won’t He thinks she is an angel.
want to go back to the other side, and if you One heartbeat. To understand.
don’t, you’ve been granted a moment’s luck. One heartbeat. Then, he runs.
One heartbeat. The first snow of the winter Tripping over boots that his mom said he
falls, white, soft, and elegant. Pure. As pure as would grow into, he rushes around his sets of
innocent newborn babies. The snowflakes lie cars, trains, boats, and castles. He can’t avoid
on the few stubborn tree leaves remaining, on the crayons that snap beneath his steps and
the black seat of the new gray bike forgotten ground into the dark colored carpet. He nearly
outside, and on the wooden deck waiting to be falls into a wall as he makes a sharp turn out of
repainted red but for now takes pleasure in be- the game room and into a long hallway. He
ing painted white. pauses one heartbeat to listen for the voices.
One heartbeat. The snow layers like blankets in Entering the large kitchen, his shoes squeak
the yards of every house circled in by the against the polished hardwood flooring. His
clouds. The world finally, for one single mo- parents dimmed the lights to see the graceful
ment, feels blissful, peaceful, and magical, be- snowflakes dancing, but the boy only sees the
cause we all know this rare sensation proves unmoving angel in the cold snow.
too hard to hold on to for the possibility of He stomps up to his parents and sister gathered
eternity. on the far side of the room with the beige-
One heartbeat. A little boy presses his hands stoned wallpaper.
and face against the cool glass window, staring


“Mother,” his older sister whines sitting on the “Mommy!” the little boy tries again, but his sister’s
marble countertop, having the same argument groaning noises are too loud. He tries shouting,
she’s been fueling for weeks. “I’m nineteen. “Daddy! People!”
That’s a year older than eighteen, a year older “You’re ruining my social status!” his sister cries
than being a legal adult, and that’s three years out.
older than sixteen.” The little boy gives one last tug on his mom’s apron
“Daughter,” his mom says slowly to mimic his before turning away from her. He runs to his dad,
sister’s speech. “Nineteen is still too young, circling his arms around his long leg.
especially for a clumsy girl like you.” She “Hey,” his father says and brushes a hand through
chuckles and washes pots. the boy’s curly brown hair. “This is for you, little
“Mom,” he says, but his sister’s vocal cords are man, but you’ll have to let go.” His father holds out
bigger and louder than his. a smaller hot cocoa mug painted with trains.
“Mom!” She pouts and checks her phone when The little boy shakes his head and shouts, “Daddy!”
it beeps. The large pink heart painted on the “Hey,” the father says and pats the boy’s back.
back of her phone speaks for her to him. “Champ, what’s wrong?”
He pinches her swinging legs, but she doesn’t The little boy has achieved the attention his sister
react. always has. Even his mom has stopped washing
“I’m old enough for college,” she continues. “I dishes and approaches. Even his sister staying on
could be living by myself in a dorm or apart- the counter has quieted. Now, he can tell them what
ment! Then, you’d have no say over what I do he saw.
every day. You wouldn’t even have to know. I One heartbeat.
should move out and into a dorm!” His parents exchange those silent looks he never
Stirring cocoa powder into a big mug, his father understands, then words.
laughs and asks, “With what money?” His mother runs to the backdoor as his sister jumps
“Mommy,” the little boy tries again and pulls off the counter and his father sets down the mugs to
and pulls on her apron, but his voice drowns scoop up his son in to his arms. His sister grabs the
because of the pots banging together. keys that their parents forgot before joining them at
She glances down at him and smiles, but she the back door. His mom grabs the keys while his
doesn’t look long enough to see how his eyes sister taps on her phone’s flashlight app.
water and his shoulders quake. As soon as his mom unlocks and unlatches the
“The one I earned babysitting,” his sister re- wood door, the wind tears the door open.
marks. While snowflakes accumulate at their feet, his sister
“You mean the money you’re going to use for shines the flashing yellow light across the backyard
this skiing trip that you’re trying to convince us coated in a white substance that no longer appears
to let you go on?” his father asks. “The one pure, but stained and eerie.
with a bunch of boys and no parents?” One heartbeat.
“You know them all!” she shouts and throws There, lies the girl with hair feathering out around
her arm over her face before groaning and lying her. His mother and his father, a step behind after
down on the counter. Unlike the still angel in setting the boy down, run toward the girl. Without
the snow, his sister kicks her legs and types on their winter wear, his parents delicately dig her out
her phone. “And they’ll be other girls. I’ve been of the snow.
wanting to go since I was sixteen!” The boy thinks she no longer resembles an angel,
“Maybe once you’ve graduated college,” his but a lost, broken teenage girl.
mother offers. His father carries the girl in his arms as his mother
supports the girl’s head. They bark out orders to his
sister—they need blankets and hot water and the
portable heater and a thermometer. They bring her


inside, and while they carry her to the master His sister hugs him from behind, her fingers
bedroom, the little boy trails behind them. His hurting his arms from the hold. Together, they
fingers grip onto the girl’s swinging hand but watch their parents comforting the fallen angel
opens when her coldness bites his skin. and they listen to the approaching sirens.
His parents lay her down on their bed and take His parents implore the girl to talk—to tell
care of her. He can no longer approach her, them what hurts and what she’s been through.
and guilt, guilt too heavy for a boy of five years, One heartbeat, and the girl says she doesn’t
seeps into his heart. He shouldn’t have let go of remember anything. Her tears cloud her eyes.
her hand. He should have made sure his par- The girl will take one heartbeat days later to feel
ents heard him earlier. He should have gone she has a family with the people who rescued
out himself. He should have seen her sooner. her, and then one heartbeat to be adopted into
He should have… their family and for the feathers to heal, and
His mother takes the girl’s temperature and then one heartbeat to feel that family had never
when she sees how low it is, she cries and yells been hers to have. Time will take only one
at his sister to call for an ambulance and de- heartbeat for the father to die four years later
mands his father get hot towels. They obey her, from a drunk driver colliding into his car, and
and his mother squeezes the girl’s hand and only one heartbeat for the mother to realize she
doesn’t let go. With her other hand, she brush- has broken and doesn’t know how to heal. On-
es away the girl’s dark, dirtied, tangled hair that ly one heartbeat will be taken for the oldest
reaches her knees. daughter to understand she has to be the one to
The snow that once stuck to her hair, to her wrap her family together in bandages. And only
pale skin, to her scratched legs and arms, and to one heartbeat each time for the son to know
her torn summer dress, melts off her and pools his life has altered, and a clear line has been
on to the gray comforter and gray pillows. created, serving his life in sections, and know-
No, the little boy thinks as he wishes he could ing another line will appear again at any mo-
help her, she isn’t an angel or a teenager, but a ment.
fallen angel with broken wings. He hopes he Heartbeat.
and his family can help heal her feathers.
His father brings the hot towels and his mother
begins wiping the girl’s skin down while leaving
one towel on her forehead. His father brings in
blankets through multiple trips because he can’t
carry as many blankets as this girl needs.
One heartbeat.
The girl’s eyes flutter open, and his parents still.
They stare into her unfocused pale blue eyes.
Her blue lips part, and his parents cling to her
side, cooing how everything will be okay, how
she will be okay, how help will be here soon,
and how they won’t ever leave her alone.
His parents said similar words to him when he
fell off his bicycle with training wheels causing
his knees to bleed. Everything had been okay
once he stopped crying and bleeding. Now,
when his parents say this, he knows she will be
okay. He wants to tell the girl to believe them.




Masha Sukovic

Masha Sukovic is a writer, a university professor (she
teaches on issues concerning gender, health, culture, and
social justice), a mom, a chef, a singer, a performer, a
researcher, and a visual artist.



By Masha Sukovic

Vida third grader who gets sent to my office every
The Gift other day, Vida. What was it this time?
I sucked air in through my teeth. “I told Teach-
June 18, 1998 er Dragan that his cologne smells like sadness.
Belgrade, Yugoslavia So he sent me here.”
Gifts are strange things. Sometimes you receive “I see. Anything else?”
one you never asked for or wanted in the first “And that Teacher Divna likes blue, so he
place. You can keep such an unwanted gift in a should wear his blue suit more often. But not
dusty box you seldom open or simply give it to the cologne.”
someone who would appreciate it more. But a “Why do you feel compelled to say such things,
gift from God is not something you are allowed Vida?”
to re-gift, my mother told me a long time ago, “Because I like Teacher Dragan’s voice. And
when I was but a little girl. Rejecting it would because he’s lonely.
be a sin. You cannot return it. You cannot ex- “Hmmm. Tell me, Vida, do you know who
change it. You can only learn to live with it and painted that picture on the wall?”
love it, like you need to learn to live with and “No.”
love yourself. I remember recognizing my gift “It’s by the Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky.
for what it was for the first time, nine years ago. It’s called Yellow, Red and Blue. What does it
remind you of?”
October 21, 1989 “Food,” I said.
Belgrade, Yugoslavia “Did you know that Kandinsky heard tones
and chords as he painted? For him the color
“Why are you here today?” the school psy- yellow was the same as the color of middle C
chologist asked. I was nine and stubborn, so I on a piano. Black was the color of closure, the
kept quiet. She took off her horn-rimmed glass- end of things. He had a rare condition called
es and started rubbing her eyes with her knuck- synesthesia. This is a condition in which one
les. I stared at the painting on her wall. The sense, for example hearing, is at the same time
brush strokes felt silky and smooth, like a newly perceived by one or more additional senses,
laid egg. The colors tasted like cheese crackers such as sight.” The psychologist pointed to her
dipped in raspberry jam. right eye. “Some people see letters, shapes, or
The psychologist sighed. “You are the only numbers as colors. Others can taste people’s
names. Can you taste people’s names, Vida?”
“Yes,” I said, very quietly, like I was confessing
to a crime.


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