Last month, Melissa Reddish guest edited a special “Fragmented” call for submissions. After careful deliberation, Melissa selected Brian Phillip Whalen‘s “And It Will Be Called the Highway of Holiness” for publication. The piece will be made into a limited-run micro-chapbook, and it will be delivered as a free pre-order bonus with Melissa’s new book, Girl & Flame.

Brian Phillip Whalen’s poems and stories have appeared in Beecher’s, The Chattahoochee Review, Cream City Review, J Journal, Lake EffectMid-American Review, North American Review, RHINO, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Iowa State University and a PhD from SUNY-Albany. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and baby daughter.

Here’s what Melissa had to say about her final selection:

“Brian Phillip Whalen’s story, ‘And It Will be Called the Highway of Holiness,’ is part-hymn, part-celebration, part-dirge for Georgia, poor pup with staples in her gut who eats everything, babies and tinsel and foxes and trikes and Christmas trees, until her inevitable end.  The people who orbit around Georgia have a particular feel: blue-collar rural Americans with F-150 flat-bed trucks and tractors and percolators and steel wool under cupboards, each battling their own particular demons.  More circular than linear, more poetry than prose, the piece skips and glides with linguistic playfulness and clever asides, the format fragmenting then reassembling, creating meaning even as it dismantles it, all while retaining the emotional heart at the center.”

—Melissa Reddish, author of Girl & Flame