Flat Preloader Icon Loading...

Announcing the Vol. 6 authors

The Conium Review: Vol. 6 comes out in December, 2017. We’ve finalized the table of contents, and we’re pleased to introduce the authors and stories slated for this issue:

  • “Ramune,” by Tamara K. Walker
  • “Holy Water,” by Jay Vera Summer
  • “Something Like Feeling,” by Matt Kirkpatrick
  • “A Hunger,” by Rebekah Bergman
  • “I Am Me,” by Kevin Finucane (winner of the 2017 Innovative Short Fiction Contest)
  • “Time Travel for Beginners,” by Stephanie Wang
  • “Maurice,” by Simone Person
  • “Naming Maura Maura,” by Rachel Lyon
  • “Extraterrestrial Science,” by J. L. Montavon


Tamara K. Walker resides in Colorado and writes short fiction and poetry, often of a surreal, irreal, magical realist, experimental, speculative or otherwise unusual nature. Her fiction has previously appeared in The Cafe Irreal, A cappella Zoo, Melusine, Peculiar Mormyrid, ink&coda, Three Minute Plastic, and others. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Star*Line, Lavender Review, Scifaikuest, and indefinite space, among others. Her short story, “Camisole”, which appeared in The Conium Review: Vol. 4, was a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee. She may be found online at http://tamarakwalker.weebly.com

Jay Vera Summer is a Chicagoan living in Florida. She writes fiction and creative nonfiction, and co-founded weirderary, an online literary magazine, and First Draft, a monthly live literary event in Tampa. Her writing has been published in marieclaire.com, Proximity, LimeHawk, theEEEL, and Chicago Literati.

Matthew Kirkpatrick is the author of Diary of a Pennsylvania Farmer (Throwback Books, forthcoming), The Exiles (Ricochet Editions), and Light Without Heat (FC2). His fiction and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, The Common, Puerto del Sol, Denver Quarterly, Believer Logger, Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere. His audio collage and hypertext, “The Silent Numbers” is anthologized in the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 3, and was part of the “Shapeshifting Texts” exhibit at the University of Bremen. He is an assistant professor at Eastern Michigan University where he teaches fiction and new media writing.

Rebekah Bergman’s fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Hobart, Joyland, Passages North, Poor Claudia, Two Serious Ladies, and The Nashville Review, among other journals. She holds an MFA from The New School and is a contributing editor of NOON.

Kevin Finucane was awarded a bronze Solas Award by Travelers’ Tales in creative nonfiction in 2009 and was named a Finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition in the novella category for 2010.

Stephanie Wang is a Beijing-born Australian writer currently living in Melbourne. She can travel in time, but only in one direction. She is currently working on a novel.

Simone Person grew up in small Michigan towns and Toledo, Ohio. She is a dual MFA/MA in Fiction and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University. Her work has appeared in Queen Mob’s Teahouse and Puerto del Sol, among others, and has been anthologized in Crab Fat Magazine: Best of Year Three. Her chapbook is a semifinalist selection for Honeysuckle Press’s 2017 Chapbook Contest. She occasionally uses Twitter and Instagram at @princxporkchop.

Rachel Lyon‘s debut novel Self-Portrait with Boy is forthcoming from Scribner in February 2018. Her short work has appeared in Joyland, Iowa Review, McSweeney’s, and other publications. Rachel teaches for Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Catapult, and elsewhere and is a cofounder of the reading series Ditmas Lit in her native Brooklyn. Visit her at www.rachellyon.work.

J. L. Montavon was born and raised in Denver and lives in San Francisco. Her story “Recursions” was chosen by Joan Wickersham as the winner of the 2016 Salamander Fiction Prize.

“DJ’s Addictions,” by Michele Finn Johnson

Booze Bottle Sketch

DJ’s addictions always begin in the same place—excitement. DJ is first excited over girls. This we feel is natural. DJ dates the girls and dumps the girls, calendar girls we call them because he clicks through them on a monthly cycle. More like period girls, DJ says, and at first we laugh because this is funny, talking about menstrual cycles with a 16 year-old boy. DJ starts to smoke—blowing smoke rings excites him. Hanging a cigarette out the Altima’s window while driving excites him. This is not so funny, but what can we do? We are 50% parents. We are, in reality, weekend parents, as—according to the very inexpensive therapist brought in to de-traumatize divorce and affairs—it is more stable for the children to stay in their own home. DJ’s breath smells like smoke and then it smells like smoke mixed with something else, something pungent and of course it is Captain Morgan or Johnnie Walker Red, and we say DJ, you are grounded, but of course he is only 50% grounded, or maybe 22% grounded because he is very slippery and charming and DJ and October switch to odorless Stolichnaya vodka and Altoids, and we begin to breathe again. DJ and November fuck on our couch. DJ and December—who happens to be the 15 year-old virgin across the street—fuck under our pool table. The fucking has to stop, DJ, and we think he is listening but in case he is not we buy Trojans and put them in his 50% nightstand. DJ’s breath begins to smell again, and this time it reeks of pot, and we are not—NOT—having this and this time we have to tell your mother, as if the promise of communication with DJ’s mother will stop anything, but of course it does not, and DJ’s excitement over pot transcends his excitement over December, who in fact leaves him before the month is out, before Christmas, for fuck’s sake, and DJ shoots up into January, calendar-girl-less, but he opens a whole new gateway of excitement whose symptoms we can no longer diagnose, and his 50% slips to something like 12% us and 20% his mother and the rest at some kid’s house named Christopher—who is of course nicknamed Topher—and we cruise by Topher’s house 100% of the time that DJ is missing, looking for trails of him.

About the Author:

Michele Finn Johnson’s creative nonfiction has appeared in Puerto del Sol and previously won an AWP Introduction to Journals Project award. Her fiction won a 2012 Martindale Literary Prize. Michele lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Special Note:

This story was longlisted for the Wigleaf Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions.

Image Credit: © airdone / Dollar Photo Club