UNC Student Spotlight

  • Sarah-Kathryn Bryan
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    When It Happens Our Limbs Will Be Cool. She Will Lie On Top of Me And I Will Strain My Neck to Get At Her.

    On a cold day the smell of haybale is soft

    it is everywhere ...

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Girl Meets Language

By Caitlin Bailey

Bring me to the lip of the evening again, again;
palm my best parts. If we’re lucky, rain. You like talking
your way inside me, swelling the dark with spondee.
I am split air, tessellated sky. Tell me how it used to be.
Let me gorge myself even on truth, your crooked verbs.
Words forever the best meal, gorgeous mash of syllables.
Here our bodies lead secret lives, cusped and crashing.
Know everything dazzles in the right light.


Caitlin Bailey’s work has previously appeared in Bateau, Lumina, Paper Darts, Poetry City USA, Vol. 2, and elsewhere.
She is learning to live in the woods after many years in the city. More of her poems appear in the Carolina Quarterly 62.2.

Trust, Monotony & Infidelity (with 50,000 Strangers) – An Interview with Dan Jones

Dan Jones will be reading from Love Illuminated: Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject (With The Help of 50,000 Strangers) at Flyleaf Books on Monday, March 24, 7pm.

Dan Jones, editor of the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column, which is featured in the Style section of the Sunday paper, has been sifting through other peoples’ love stories for nearly 10 years. “Modern Love” is neither an advice column, nor a dumping ground for lovers spurned. Rather, it showcases essays by people of all ages, from all over the globe, who have something poignant to share about love. Be they retirees who are finally finding love for the first time, or young divorcees whose failed love has led to unexpected self discovery, Jones attempts to include essays that are as varied as they are well written.

Jones assured me that he has no advice to give and that his power lies solely in the ability to choose the right stories to share, at the right time. Nonetheless, I felt the urge to confess to this man I’d never met. Having been confessed to by so many others over the years perhaps he had mystically come to possess both the absolving qualities of a priest and the pathologizing abilities of a savvy psychiatrist. How many Hail Marys, Dan? What exactly is wrong with me, anyway? How many bouquets of flowers am I in debt for?

One of the most attractive qualities of “Modern Love” is how the writers’ experiences are as unique as they are relatable. Even in the essay about an Indian couple in an arranged marriage, aspects of their experience felt universally relatable. Now married for two decades with two children, Farahad explained, “the slow discovery of another person and the unraveling of layers of mystery are part of the fun of arranged marriage.” Jones concluded that, “…in arranged marriage the goal is to figure out how to be married, not whether to marry.” Every piece has something to teach. No love story is too taboo.

“Modern Love” is a vehicle by which the confessions of people like you and I, who have something valuable to share, make it out into the world. Dan says of storytelling, “We’ve learned how to live from shared narratives and stories retold for thousands of years. Learning from the stories of others has so much more meaning than just trying to follow a set of rules.”

Dan’s passion for representing a broad range of love-related experiences in all their forms, combined with encouragement from colleagues and friends, drove him to write Love Illuminated, a book which explores the search for a long term relationship in today’s world of buzzing electronic distractions.

“On the way (to love), there are all kinds of ways of delaying, and ways people have relationships that seem to be a series of short term experiences, but most of what I hear from people, by far, is that people are looking for the love of their life and then trying to figure out whether they can hold onto that love once they’ve found it, or eventually have to let it go and move on again.”

Love is a grind, and Dan tries, through thorough curation and thoughtful interpretation, to present what he has learned from all his years reading about the experiences of over 50,000 people who all want, as Eden Ahbez once said “… just to love and be loved in return…” forever and ever, Amen.

This month, Monday, March 24, Jones will be reading from Love Illuminated at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill at 7pm and I spoke with him to get some behind the scenes insights about his experiences both with writing this book, and curating Modern Love over the years.

- Ryan-Ashley Anderson


Ryan-Ashley Anderson (RAA): Who and what gets published by “Modern Love”?

Dan Jones (DJ): “Modern Love” is a reflection of what’s submitted. The story has to be one that is well told enough to be considered, and typically about 1 out of 100 gets published. The column generally reflects the readership which consists of people who are actively interested in writing about and exploring these issues of love. This impulse to figure out the formula for love is more experimental than traditional because there are so many new problems. As my father said, “Relationships are so much more complicated than I ever would have thought they were.”

Continue reading Trust, Monotony & Infidelity (with 50,000 Strangers) – An Interview with Dan Jones

An Interview with Leslie Bazzett

Leslie Bazzett’s story, “Preludes,” was published in Issue 63.2 of The Carolina Quarterly. Her work has been published in New England Review, where it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received special mention, in addition to West Branch (also nominated for a Pushcart Prize) and New England Review Digital. Her novel, Abandon, was a finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, and was nominated for a Pushcart Editor’s Choice Award. Preludes will be her first publication in the Quarterly. Leslie grew up in a family of artists and was trained as a classical musician but, from the age of 10, has always wanted to be a writer.

- Moira Bradford, Fiction Staff


Leslie Bazzett (LB): I have always written, but I only recently attended my first writers’ conference. A friend of mine—a playwright—mentioned to me that people would be obsessed with point of view. I definitely found that to be true!

Carolina Quarterly (CQ): What do you think the obsession with point of view is?

LB: I think… I was a little astonished. I read a lot of work where there is shift in the narrative point of view, and I’m married to a poet, and so I’m used to approaching reading with verve. I respond to that (the obsession with POV) with a certain amount of bafflement and amusement. I think people who go to workshops are attuned to talking about point of view shifts, but I don’t think it throws readers. I think this is a case where writers are being lazier reader than readers are!

Continue reading An Interview with Leslie Bazzett

AWP 2014

Thanks to everyone who made this a great AWP!

Did you pick up one of our teaser postcards? Click below and enter the password from your postcard to read the rest of the piece:

Aaron App’s “Barbecue Catharsis”

Suzanne Marie Hopcroft’s “Turn and Return”

Philip Holden’s “Stranger”

Like what you see and ready to submit? Find our submission guidelines here.

Need to get in touch? Here’s how.

See you next year!

El Dorado

By Michael Leal García

A Carolina Quarterly web exclusive


    From birth until the sixth grade, home was a room on the tenth floor of the Hotel El Dorado in downtown Los Angeles. During its heyday in the 1910s and the 1920s, the hotel stood at the foot of the Spring Street Financial District—the Wall Street of the West—amidst the Braly Building (at twelve stories tall, the city’s first skyscraper), the Hotel Alexandria (frequented by Humphrey Bogart and Greta Garbo), and, just blocks away, City Hall, all regal and white, looming over the blooming metropolis. For a brief period of time the El Dorado even laid claim to its own celebrity resident in Charlie Chaplin. By the 1960s the financial institutions had mostly fled west to Wilshire and Figueroa, and the burgeoning quarter was rendered hollow, splendor laid waste.

    By the 1980s the El Dorado was home to rats and roaches, and the elevator was jumpy, alternately lurching and painfully still. Apprehensive of those on the other side of our thumping walls, Mom wouldn’t let my siblings and I venture alone into the hallways, cast in the dingy, unsaturated hues of seventies film stock. The fire escape creaked under the rumbling footsteps of anonymous neighbors. The rats, with their tiny pink feet, scurried along our walls. At midnight sirens wailed angry and sorrowful songs, occasionally in response to a neighbor free falling to earth – or at least that was the story concocted by my father before he up and left.

Continue reading El Dorado