Silhouettes of people in a cave
Shadows Long and Shadows Short by Jeremy Gadd

Shadows do not own their shape but rely on that of their origin— whether alive or inanimate stone— a shadow cannot survive alone.

Photo of an antique bathtub in front of a bright window with plants growing out of it
Lead: Three Poems by Jessica Martin

Our golden apparitions decay and leave the poisonous lead behind

Silhouette of a woman with a train of lanterns behind her walking into the sunset
Tell Them (the song all of me sings) by Meghan K. Strapec

I’ll alight on this wing, my own song to sing, til darkness makes its call

Silhouetted human standing alone looking up at the night's sky lit by an unimaginable number of stars
Space Signals by Mackenzie Hurlbert

He was a quiet man, with a quiet life in small town Middlebrook, Pennsylvania. He could count on two hands the number of times he’d ventured beyond the county borders. He had Chip’s Hardware down the …

Black and white photo of a surgical mask discarded in the grass
The Poet’s Mask, a Poor Yorick Special Issue

  Editor’s Note     The theme for this special issue emerged from multiple sources of inspiration and observation that came together in a way that just made sense. I’d obser…

Photo of a sign that reads "closed" in a classy script font with warm lights in the background.
Submissions Closing May 1-September 1

Poor Yorick will be closed to new submissions between May 1 and September 1.

Skull with a heart on the forehead on a stack of books.
Remembering Yorick by Elizabeth Sylvia

Often, at home, I unpinned Yorick’s bells and put them on myself, taking a bit of laughter’s weight, for being teased requires greater patience than you think.

Painting of Jake the Dog from Adventure Time standing triumphantly in front of some mountains.
Bacon Pancakes by Mercury-Marvin Sunderland

They may not be French onion soup or chicken parmesan or banana bread, but I’m going to enjoy my bacon pancakes.

Black and white low angle shot of a ship mast.
“From the Found Journal of Captain Miles Standish” by Richard LeBlond

A fictional reenactment of the pilgrims’ first day ashore in the New World, on what is now the Provincetown Peninsula at the end of Cape Cod.

Close-up of illustration of the U.S. Capitol building as printed on the back of the $50 bill
“Words Matter” by Ellen O’Donnell

When history unfolds before our eyes, someone captures in words what our emotions cannot articulate. Words curate history.

Red carnation next to Vietnam Memorial
“I Don’t Know Anyone in the War” by Karen Schubert

Walter Cronkite ends the news with the number of American & Viet Cong dead, so older girls in bell bottoms fear for their boyfriends and brothers

Woman in black gloves making handprints on a wall in black paint
Two Poems by R. S. Mengert

The Assistant Vice-President of Student-Teacher Adversity examined your contents, looked for abnormalities and mutations, slapped a label on you: “Hazardous,” and filed you inside a sealed contain…

Monochrome photo of person standing in a hallway
Two Poems by Darren Demaree

I tend to see horses on the second floor of this new house, which we bought with money that wasn’t ours

Submissions Closed: The Poet’s Mask

Announcing our latest call for submissions in honor of National Poetry Month

Four Poems by Elle Shim

The Moving Man Said This house is haunted, and then he sat down my couch.He said it casually, like a comment on the late Octobersnow, heavy and wet—perfect for pining aloneover a man who will never co…

Three Poems by Tim Suermondt

King Sing Street No king has ever walked the streetor sung there, but it does seem regal,nestled in royally outside the blue house that has become a historic landmark,even if only known by a handful o…

“Windowsill” by Carrie Jewell

Out of one window you can see a whole pasture, waving, the name of which I’m not sure I ever knew.

Hallow’s Eve Horror: a Poor Yorick Special Publication

Our special issue celebrating the spooky, creepy, and downright horrifying.

“Stetson” by Rikki Santer

They say Custer died in his cattleman-creased Stetson. My Annie Oakley knock-off from the local K-mart suited me just fine.

Uncovering My Grandfather’s Past by Michaela Lawlor

As I begin my second semester of the MFA program at Western Connecticut State University, I am excited to start writing my thesis. I’ve chosen to write a screenplay about my grandfather’s life growing…

“The Distance Between Two Points” by Ken Post

I always wondered where the expression “as the crow flies” originated. A crow does a lot of things during a day: scrabbling for a piece of roadkill, fending off territorial interlopers, te…

“Ode to a Lawn Sprinkler in Contoocook, New Hampshire” by Suellen Wedmore

I believe in permanence,your brass head whirlingdroplets into the seared August air,without complaint or growing pains, sans giggles or adolescent drama,but I also believe in the slippery childskippin…

“Beauty, Prayer, and the Sticky Image: My iPhone Practice” by Randall VanderMey

My hand slides into my left front pocket, reaching for my iPhone. It’s not blind reflex or mechanical routine. It‘s a practice. I have decided quite intentionally to do less of other things so I can d…

Now Accepting Submissions: Hallow’s Eve Horror, a Poor Yorick Special Publication

Show us your best flash fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or photo essays that will make our hearts pound and skin crawl–monsters, haunts, gothics, psychological thrillers, or murders most foul.

“An Eternal Light” by Mara Fein

Loss can be a terrible thing, but not always. In some cases, “gone” is good. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder. People who lose weight are happy.But it’s not only what we lose that ch…

In the Time of Corona: a Poor Yorick Special Publication

In May, we invited the writing community to contribute to this special issue addressing the chaos, isolation, and uncertainty the world has been coping with throughout the ongoning COVID-19 pandemic. …

“Inventory” by Claire Van Winkle

one yard of faded pale hair, braided; (tied off with a bow— stored inside the next-to-bottom drawer of the desk near the window with no view)

“This Piece Just Didn’t Grab Me:” Reflections on Rejection from the (Former) Editor

As the Poor Yorick Editor, I didn’t want to wear an ermine cape. I went into the experience steeled against the allure of a power trip, but I didn’t need to worry. When I ascended those steps on which…

“Danish Girl About Town,” by Harvey Soss

Let us postulate Hamlet had knocked up Ophelia, Quietly, on the sly. And, before dying, she gave birth. What would their many-times-great-granddaughter be like, Would she ever be able to make up h…

image of chain link fencing hanging between two cement posts, over slate path
“4 Objects, 21 Lessons,” by Steven Wingate

“Freshly divorced, I drive from Miami, Florida, to Durham, New Hampshire, with my new girlfriend, who is headed for grad school there. We arrive a day early and decide to spend a night at Ogunquit Bea…

Excerpts from THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ADMIRAL DOT, by Nance Van Winckel

This series, which I call The Further Adventures of Admiral Dot, combines two sources. One is a set of newspaper illustrations published in 1915 as part of a publication called “How Man Learned to Fly…

“Curiouser and Curiouser,” by Deborah H. Doolittle

Afterwards, once the neighbors were gone, the curtains shifted back to the places they had occupied before, the water in the potted plants surged into the saucers beneath…

“My Brother’s Brother,” by Austin Adams

At 4:44 a.m. on Monday, May the 2nd, as many as four or as few as two assailants forcibly entered 1319 Paige Ring Court, smashing a plate-glass door at the back of the house to gain entry. Once inside…

“Lost and Found,” by Marlene Olin

Ten years old is the worst age ever. Betsy’s too young to be interested in boys and too old not to be scared of them. She’s too young to drive or get a job and too old to play with her Chatty Cathy. A…

“The Last Eighty-One Seconds,” by David Miller

Pudgy pre-acnoid twelve-year-old. First rock vinyl jacket. Stares at final I’d love to turn you on

“An Amputee Looks Through a Ring,” by Dina Peone

I wore it on my right middle finger: one of ten short but slender, pale, nervous, guitar-blistered fingers which melted in a room on fire during my sixteenth year.

a poem by Christopher Kobylinsky
“May 7, 2017,” by Christopher Kobylinsky

His grandmother’s old Replogle rests by the window. Spinning it around, he finds the pink lip of Chile cracked and a crease, east of the Hawaiian Islands, cresting at 500 nautical miles, according …

“The Book,” by John Bonanni

My father had an unusual book that rested on his work desk. It was worn and brown. The covers looked hard, almost like a box. When I was a child, from my view at four feet, the ends seemed tinted, a m…

“The Nile River: The Holder of Ancient Secrets,” by Gabrielle Frulla

The Nile River, the world’s largest river, spanning 4,132 miles, was considered the source of life by ancient Egyptians. Its fertile reputation may have come from The Osiris Myth, a tale of brotherhoo…

“Along the Nile,” by Heather Bourbeau

Ten years ago, before the protests, before the disguised military takeover, I bought a used photo album at a bouquiniste along the Nile.

A Thousand Words, Give or Take

By Josh Fox             Capturing images has been an art form for nearly as long as human society has existed. From the cave paintings of the prehistoric era to the marble statues of ancient Rome to t…


Seth Copeland examines the story behind the discovery of Antinous in Delphi, Greece.

Protected: So Art Deco

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Ginger Rogers’ Hand in Her Own Legacy

By Briana McGuckin Ginger Rogers knew that the artifacts of her career would outlast her, and that she herself – the Ginger Rogers of the screen – was an artifact. Once captured, this Rogers would hol…

Ginger Roger’s Feathered Gown

Rikki Santer remembers one of Ginger Rogers’ most famous outfits, the ostrich feather dress from Top Hat.

Worth More Dead Than Alive

By Gabrielle Frulla             Most people walk through a graveyard, crowded by crooked and crumbling headstones, and only view it as the final resting place for the deceased. But some people look fo…

Requiescat in Pace

A letter to his Excellency detailing the grave robbery of Father John Doyle.

Jamestown 1609-1610

By Rebecca Shaw                 The winter of 1609-1610 was one that the colonists of Jamestown, Virginia hoped would be lost to history. After first being colonized only a couple years prior in 1607,…

A Curious Case of Colonial Cannibalism

The tragedies of the worst winter in Jamestown’s history haunts one family nearly four hundred years later.

Cluttered Space

By Chelsea Nevin Imagine laying on a blanket in the middle of a cool summer night, a light breeze tickles your cheek as you look up in the sky, the stars twinkling alongside the beams of a full moon. …

Stones Fall from the Sky

Sherry Rind examines our night skies. Is it a shooting star or flying debris?

She Met the Red-Haired Artist

By Gabrielle Frulla Jeanne Calment was a French woman who possessed the title of a super-centenarian, which is rare to obtain in one’s lifetime. Her 122 years and 164 days of life on this earth grante…

Buying Pencils

Marc Meierkort introduces us to the young girl who sold Van Gogh his art supplies and her memories of the great artist.

Contemplating One’s Omphalos

  By Joshua Fox             When it comes to navels, you have your “innies”, where your navel caves in on itself, and your “outies”, where the tip is sticking out for the entire world to see. Finally,…

The Omphalos of Pritchard McCovey

This story follows Pritchard McCovey as he reflects on moments of his life, bouncing between the good times and the bad.

Two Tragedies

M.S. Rooney takes the time to remind us of the tragedies of Sodom and Gomorrah, and how unforgiving nature can be.

The Solid Truth

By Chelsea Nevin There are many cities that have disappeared into the ocean over the centuries. One such city is featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Port Royal is home to William Turner, E…

German Immigration and New York’s Garment Industry

By Lisa Peterson By the turn of the 20th Century, German immigrants, many of them Jewish, were coming to America in droves to start a new life. They landed in New York City equipped with their trade, …

It Doesn’t Cost Anything to Promise Love

Ruth must clean out her deceased Aunt Fanny’s apartment and in the process uncovers the truth about Fanny’s “married man” and how an affair ended in a murder.

Gott Segne Amerika

 By Josh Fox        While America hasn’t been the greatest country in the world for long, it’s been attracting immigrants for centuries. Whether it’s because of difficulties in their homelands or the …

The Stranger in the Box

Sara Etgen-Baker is digging through her grandmother’s attic one day and comes across a box of old photographs of ancestors she’s never met. She learns about their past, their family, and their adventu…

The King’s Well

Rebecca Pyle takes us on a magical journey in search of the king’s well.

The Origin of Wishing Wells

By Rebecca Shaw Wells have inspired everything from songs and ballads to fables and poems. Throughout centuries and across cultures, water has been thought to have healing powers. Therefore, many spri…

The Velvet Album

Barbara Krasner explores an album left behind by her deceased grandmother, whom she has never met.

The Evolution of Photography

By Rebecca Shaw It is the only window we have into the personal lives of our family whom we have lost or may have never met. Many of us have them littered around our house or crammed into a shoebox so…

Fine Arts

In this poem Gayane M. Haroutyunyan explores the lives and struggles of some of the most famous artists of the past and present.

The Life and Times of Artists

By Josh Fox The life of an artist is one that seems undeniably tied to the whims of fate. Sometimes, an artist is able to live a rich and fulfilling life, but other times, they are plagued with nothin…

The Jazz Age

By Lisa Peterson America’s prohibition period and the 1920s overlapped and created a decade known as the “Roaring 20s” or “The Jazz Age.” According to Amy Henderson, curator of the National Portrait G…

The Testimony

This poem by Diane G. Martin memorializes her Great Aunt Lillian’s days as a flapper driving around in her sleek Packard.

Obscure Items in Obscure Places

During one of my many travels through abandoned insane asylums, I stumbled upon a forgotten object that now calls my antique armoire home. Rockland County Psychiatric Center holds a special place in m…

Behind the Film: A Q&A with Sharon Woodward and Stephen Barker

Poor Yorick: What got you and your group interested in the topic of the Indian Army in WWI? Sharon: I worked with Stephen Barker, Heritage Advisor and Consultant on the Alchester Project some years ag…

Museum Spotlight: Florence Griswold Museum

The Florence Griswold Museum is a nationally recognized center for American art and history. The 11-acre site on the Lieutenant River in the historic town of Old Lyme offers visitors a variety art, hi…

The Indian Army in the First World War

The film documents research being carried out by participants from the local Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim community. Here they develop display panels for a touring museum exhibition. They also access archi…

A New Home for a Historic House in Trumbull

I. John Naeher, director of operations at Christian Heritage School of Trumbull, Connecticut, was in balmy Orlando on a school errand in April 2015 when he received a distressing call. Bob Dunn, the b…

The Alchemist’s Bench

In this fiction piece by Josh Woods, a professor in Missouri buys a glossy black wooden bench adorned with ornate letters of the Persian alphabet at a garage sale for a dollar. The catch? The owner sa…

The Art of Alchemy

By Rebecca Shaw The saying, “You can’t turn lead into gold” has been tossed around for generations when someone is trying to say something is impossible. This saying stems from those who practice alch…

Opening a Closed Book

A small box of family treasures given to Gayla Mills by her father sparks a journey through the generations.

Person Behind the Prose – A Q&A with Gayla Mills

By Mattea Heller   Poor Yorick: In your essay, you state, “There’s a story here.” It seems that our lives are made up of a multitude of everyday moments like the one you described in which you we…

Anna’s Billy Club

Grandma always blamed the pain in her arthritic knees on the diner. Anna was a small-framed, round-shouldered, stately old woman dressed in black. She had sunken cheeks on a round, wrinkled face, topp…

Ode to a Bright Idea

A common household annoyance begins with a flash and a small puff of smoke. It’s time to change a light bulb. However, imagine if you had a light bulb that never burned out. My mother has one of those…

Greer County’s Dizzying Colonial History

By Kevin Hudson Ryan Clark’s experimental form for his poems, in which he dismantles his source material and rearranges it using homophonic translation, in some ways mirrors the history of the towns h…

Excerpts from ‘Old Greer County’

These two poems are part of Ryan Clark’s series exploring the history of the part of southwest Oklahoma that was once Greer County, Texas.

The Conjurer

This poem by Susan J. Cronin implores of the reader the same thing painter Hieronymus Bosch, who died in 1516, did of his audience: Look again.

Bosch’s Works: Not What They Seem

By Gina DiGiovancarlo Hieronymus Bosch’s The Conjurer is a genre painting, set in a daily situation rather than a strictly religious one, which depicts a street magician entertaining a crowd. What app…

How to Own a Star

By Dr. Leslie Lindenauer Joyce Munro’s “Let Evening Blush to Own a Star” ranges across time and space. By turns soaring through the heavens and bouncing off the earth, the piece takes us on a journey,…

A Mysterious German Bible from 1898

When I was sixteen, a European exchange student enrolled at my small-town high school for the year. I was, of course, instantly infatuated and placed myself front and center to gain his favor. He was …

Let Evening Blush to Own a Star

By using form, poetry, and visuals, Joyce Munro’s story moves beyond fact and prompts readers to consider a sculpture and its owner in deeper ways.

Campbell Soup Kids

I found a toy that may have belonged to your great-grandparents once upon a time. A little thrift store called Safe Haven sells items that were once held so dear to someone that they were pristinely c…

Skeleton as Cultural Icon

by Josh Fox Skeletons—we all have them. We all know about them. Starting off with 270 bones when we’re born and finishing with 206 when we die, the skeleton is a rather simple part of the human body t…

Velvet Painting

This cheeky poem by Wichita writer Linda Imbler pays homage to a skeleton as a piece of art.

Creative Clothing During the Great Depression

by Melissa Johnson To survive after the stock market crash of 1929, families had to be creatively thrifty when it came to necessities like clothing. One of the ways women outfitted their children and …


Dori Appel reflects on the lives of items, including an old dress, discovered at a rummage sale.

It’s About Time

Terri Elders looks back on her life and reminds us that all we have is this moment right now.

A Time Before Rolex

By Josh Fox If a random person ever walks up to you on the street and asks you to name the first brand of watches that comes to mind, assuming that your first instinct isn’t to simply run away from hi…

A Legacy of Thought

By Rebecca Shaw When buying used textbooks online, it’s not uncommon for the description to include a warning: “May contain some notes in the margins.” Some buyers would write those off as damaged boo…

Margin Notes

This poem by Jane Seitel and the accompanying piece by Rebecca Shaw shine a spotlight on margin notes, those seemingly unimportant scribbles along the side of a text.

An American Lord in the British Court

My boyfriend Travis’s family can trace its lineage all the way back to Sybil Ludington. Having the blood of an original patriot like her running through their veins makes it no surprise that his…

Matriarch in White

This poem by Sam Morris was a response to an older call for submissions featuring a wintry painting by one of our museum partners.

Rattlesnake by Bridget Apfeld

On the mystery of the rattlesnake button at the Milwaukee Public Museum…

Señora Valerio Lays an Adobe Floor

This poem by Susan J. Erickson highlights the artistry of laying an earthen floor.