Archives

Uncovering My Grandfather’s Past by Michaela Lawlor
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 growi…

“The Distance Between Two Points” by Ken Post
“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, terrorizing th…

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

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

Now Accepting Submissions: Hallow’s Eve Horror, a Poor Yorick Special Publication
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
“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 t…

In the Time of Corona: a Poor Yorick Special Publication
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
“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
“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 w…

“Danish Girl About Town,” by Harvey Soss
“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…

“4 Objects, 21 Lessons,” by Steven Wingate
“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
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 F…

“Curiouser and Curiouser,” by Deborah H. Doolittle
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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.

“May 7, 2017,” 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, accordin…

“The Book,” by John Bonanni
“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 brotherh…

“Along the Nile,” by Heather Bourbeau
“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 FoxCapturing 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 a…

Antinous
Antinous

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

Protected: So Art Deco

Over the weekend, I rediscovered an antique chair in my nana’s crawlspace. She purchased it from an antique store in Vermont, and it occupied various rooms in her Connecticut home until she retired …

Ginger Rogers’ Hand in Her Own Legacy

By Briana McGuckinGinger 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 wo…

Ginger Roger’s Feathered Gown
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 FrullaMost 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 …

Requiescat in Pace
Requiescat in Pace

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

Jamestown 1609-1610

By Rebecca ShawThe 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 ye…

A Curious Case of Colonial Cannibalism
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 NevinImagine 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 moo…

Stones Fall from the Sky
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 FrullaJeanne 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 …

Buying Pencils
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 FoxWhen 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…

The Omphalos of Pritchard McCovey
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
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 NevinThere 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…

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
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 FoxWhile 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 hom…

The Stranger in the Box
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
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 ShawWells 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 …

The Velvet Album
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 ShawIt 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…

Fine Arts
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 FoxThe 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 not…

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 Nationa…

The Testimony
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…

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 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
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 Alchemist’s Bench
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 ShawThe 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 prac…

Opening a Closed Book
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 …

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, t…

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 tho…

Greer County’s Dizzying Colonial History

By Kevin HudsonRyan 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 to…

Excerpts from ‘Old Greer County’
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
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 DiGiovancarloHieronymus 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. Wha…

How to Own a Star

By Dr. Leslie LindenauerJoyce 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…

A Mysterious German Bible from 1898
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
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 FoxSkeletons—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…

Velvet Painting
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 JohnsonTo 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 a…

Has-Beens
Has-Beens

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

It’s About Time
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 FoxIf 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 fr…

A Legacy of Thought

By Rebecca ShawWhen 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 da…

Margin Notes
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 famil…

Matriarch in White
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
Rattlesnake by Bridget Apfeld

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

Señora Valerio Lays an Adobe Floor
Señora Valerio Lays an Adobe Floor

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

Adobe Floors: Nothing Between Your Feet and the Earth

by Anna DenischOne of the first things that a would-be homeowner looks at in a new house is the flooring. Is it hardwood or laminate? Would my pets make stains on this carpet? Does the tile clean …

The Crying Ghost

A direct ancestor of a friend was hanged as a witch in Salem, Mass.“My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother,” said Mary Broas, “was accused twice.”Susannah Mar…

Protected: Ekphrastic Evolutions by Sally Flint
Protected: Ekphrastic Evolutions by Sally Flint

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Berlin Letters
Berlin Letters

This essay by Ronnie Hess revisits her journey, through translated letters, to learn about and try to find peace with her Jewish grandparents’ lives in Nazi Germany.

Creating a Racket

A film recently came out starring Steve Carell and Emma Stone titled Battle of the Sexes. It’s a dramatization of a famous tennis match in 1973 between men’s tennis player Bobby Riggs and women’…

Putting Pen to Paper: the Simplicity of Letters

by Christina KinsellaIt’s amazing to think that there was a time when cultures and countries relied on mailing letters as their sole method of communication. When we discover old family letters,…

New York’s Letter System

While I was staying at the Roosevelt in New York for a writers’ conference, courtesy of my dad donating his vacation points, I stumbled upon a U.S. Mail letter chute. It was showcased almost like a pi…

Islands of Refuse

By Diane Van HookGiant islands of plastic garbage are floating in the ocean right now. Within the five major ocean gyres, or large systems of circulating currents (North & South Pacific, North…

Stellar Companions and Objects in New Contexts

By Melissa JohnsonDespite humanity’s eager search for life outside of Earth, space continues to present itself as an inhospitable, frozen vacuum whose only sources of warmth and light are the co…

Person Behind the Prose – A Q&A with Brandon Hansen

PY: Space is clearly an overarching theme in “A Lunar June.” Is it a frequently occurring theme in your other works?BH: This story, I suppose, marks the first time that I have written about space…

Plastic Texas
Plastic Texas

A poem by Jason Morphew about the state-sized islands of garbage in the oceans. Sometimes the things of which we rid ourselves take on lives of their own.

A Lunar June
A Lunar June

A creative nonfiction piece by Brandon Hansen styled as an email to a lost love, with a bit of Russian space history thrown in.

Museum Spotlight: Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center
Museum Spotlight: Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center

Poor Yorick: A Journal of Rediscovered Objects is pleased to announce a partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The museum opened in the summe…

Uncle Aron, His Chairs, and a 103-Year-Old Postcard
Uncle Aron, His Chairs, and a 103-Year-Old Postcard

I was digging around the house recently for something old and vaguely interesting, when I uncovered a white box in the basement. In this box were numerous photographs, some in color, most in black and…

Visiting the Skull Tower of Niš
Visiting the Skull Tower of Niš

A poem by Jake Sheff inspired by a grotesque 200-year-old monument in Serbia.

A Macabre Monument

by Melissa JohnsonIf you want to send a message to your enemy, a tower created with nearly 1,000 of their skulls is a powerful one.In the city of Niš in Serbia looms a fifteen-foot-tall stone…

Person Behind the Poem – A Q&A with Jake Sheff

PY: How did you first hear about the Skull Tower of Niš, and what about it inspired you to write this poem?JS: In all honesty, I went looking for it, but I didn’t know what it was. I wanted to …

The Late Unpleasantness
The Late Unpleasantness

A poem about the war and remembrance.

What’s in a Name?

One day, a random conversation with a friend named Joukje—pronounced “Yaaook”—led to a discussion about birth certificates. Joukje was born on February 17, 1947 in the Netherlands, exactly a day b…