Solos By Year | Ploughshares

  • A solo cover of a black and white drawing of old books with the inside carved out

    Bad Books (Solo 3.6)

    “I am ashamed to own them. You must understand that. And yet, to own them and not acknowledge them is even worse. That’s why I need you.”

  • A solo cover of an old rusted building with balconies and potted plants

    Villa Bohème (Solo 3.5)

    In the summer, your father starts taking in the strays. First come Pete and Jane. They’re from Texarcana and they’re spending a week at the El San Juan Hotel. When they walk into the Trolley, they sit next to your father.

    “This is paradise,” Pete says. He lifts his drink. “You, my friend, have got it made.” He’s got a Navy pension and a scar like a monorail around his neck.

  • Solo cover: one man in a suit duplicated five times (middle duplicate has goat head)

    The Beginning of the End of the Beginning (Solo 3.4)


  • A solo cover with green, red, beige, orange, and black polka dots
  • Solo cover: black and white image of a white man with glasses and a mustache
  • Solo cover: an old black and white photograph of white men and women dancing

    Pie (Solo 3.1)

    She was wiping the counter down for closing when he came and seated himself on a stool, asking for pie and coffee. There was nothing special about that, nothing special about him. He was in working clothes, a heavy cloth jacket, gray to begin with, and blackened now at the elbows and cuffs. He didn’t look especially clean, but what man did after manual work? He smiled at her, asking her what was good.

    “Pretty much all,” she said. “The coconut cream is the freshest.”

  • Solo cover: a kitchen counter with pasta, a rolling pin, eggs, snails, basil, and tomatoes

    Twice Eggs (Solo 2.9)

    Anna is in the orchard wearing a sleeveless housecoat, lifting a stone from the Roman road discovered a few feet away. It was unearthed a week ago during the gas line extension to Taranto. The stone fits a low wall in the garden she’s planted with nightshades—eggplant, tomatoes, firecracker red peperoncini hot peppers whose oil is drizzled over warm waxy potatoes.

  • A solo cover of a colored geometric "V" pattern with simple black and white lettering

    Small Country (Solo 2.8)

    for L.S.K.V.

    “I’m gonna kill you,” Gina says in my ear as our camp counselor, Eunice, shows us around. “Tonight, in your sleep. If I haven’t killed myself first.”

    I shrug Gina off. “It’s one week. We’ll survive.”

  • A solo cover of a woman's drawn profile in orange on a cream and orange background

    Portrait (Solo 2.7)

    In memory of Chinua Achebe 1930-2013

    Aupres de toi j’ai retrouvé mon nom.

    —David Diop


  • A solo cover of a piano drawing inside a floral circle with thick red text

    Urchin (Solo 2.6)

    Chicago, 1960