7 Reads We Recommend — October: The Daring, the Scary, and the Wicked

“Rapping at My Chamber Door” by Leah Cooper in Storgy


Cooper’s nod to Poe here is thick with tension, mystery, and visceral descriptions of the protagonist’s creepy predicament. She gives you a frightening blend of details and questions, leaving you to wonder exactly what is going on, just like the young woman in the story. Though there’s a real strength behind the fear, a story of dealing with otherness, a feeling of one against the world and there’s something scratching and scratching and you can’t exactly tell where it’s coming from and it seems to be getting louder and louder and scarier and scarier until you feel like your blood is just going to flee from your body before someone else tries to take it. Excellent creative visuals here from Cooper that lend to the momentum of the piece. A true Halloween-themed read. ~ Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

“LOBSTER CROTCH” by Courtney Leigh in Menacing Hedge

Leigh’s prose poem is intriguing and strange in the best kind of way. Her language and way of playing with grammatical conventions create a distinct style. It is one of those poems you can’t put down. The piece is also a little scary but not in the way one would typically think of. It’s scary in how it strips humanity bare and displays all its imperfections and deep, dark secrets. Leigh’s other prose poems in this literary magazine go together, spinning a tale of sexual addiction and desire. ~ Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant

Storwm Awst” by Gillian Clarke in The Gull


Oh, Gillian  Clarke’s poetry warms my heart. This brilliant poem is a season of words, a landscape of knowing. With the precision of an expert linguist, she brings such depth to the blackbirds and the “bloody lines.” The title means — August storm, and follows with a descriptor of “after Dylan Thomas.” This scene of red kites and tractor wheels below a broken sky serves as a daring peek into her work. Read on. ~ Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

“The Singing Teeth” by K.C. Mead-Brewer in wierderary

weirderary-logoMead-Brewer’s story of pearl diving (teeth hunting) is bizarre. It’s not your typical spooky story with monsters and ghosts, but it curls your stomach in fear and leaves you anxious, remembering the blood and the way teeth sang. Upon finishing it, I was not able to get the last scene out of my head for hours. Be prepared when you start reading for this one to stay with you. ~ Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant

“October 2015: It Has Been Thirty–Two Years Since The Last Super Blood Moon” by Pat Berryhill in Fall 2016 Issue of Wicked Banshee Press 

wickedbansheeBerryhill created a poem that exhibits the daily horrors of life like depression, pain, and death. She crafts these phenomenal descriptions, and they come to life in all their sadness before your eyes as you read. Yet, she ends with a call that suggests that this is just the beginning, that more is coming. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean that just more pain is on the way—I hope more of Berryhill’s poetry is coming soon. ~ Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant

“Windows without buildings: reflections on the drawings of Perry Kulper, Pt. 1”  by John Trefry in minor literature[s]


Oh, if this piece isn’t a gift from the October sky, I don’t know what is. Whether or not you are a fan of architecture, these “reflections” by John Trefry of Perry Kulper’s work will astound you. This storywalk through his observations is almost paranormal in scope, but with such a humanistic/oneness/art=life thread that it makes me want to cry. Yes, this is saying a lot – but I will use that old cliché of giving credit where credit is due, telling you to read this in the pursuit of brain cell/vocabulary/literary creation celebration. If we cannot lift this world up with embracing the intersections of life, then what the hell are we here for? Loved this piece. ~ Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

“Satan, Bring Me My Guitar: Poems” by Okla Elliot in Numéro Cinq

Elliot’s poems bring a daring, taunting voice to the page here. I love to be challenged by structure and such declarative presence in the tone of creative works. In these selections, he covers such subjects as the complications of desire, unthinkable acts, and the merging of body in/as nature. Elliot delivers verse with a keen interest in the intricacies of darkness in its many forms. A true study in the power of poetry to shine a light, albeit one with a red glowing presence, on what it means to be human. ~ Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

laurel dowswell

Laurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am the Eggman” was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She was a copy editor for an independent feminist newspaper in Santa Fe, NM, after being raised and educated in Florida. She lives and writes in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta with her son. She is currently working on a novel filled with oil paintings, family drama, and the spectrum of sexuality. Follow her on twitter @laurels_idea.

emily ramser

Emily Ramser is an undergraduate studying English, Creative Writing, and Religion at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing, and is expected to graduate in May of 2017. Some of her inspirations include Thornton Wilder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bhanu Kapil, Andrea Gibson, Gabriel Gudding, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gail Simone, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Check out her black out poetry collectionI Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me. You can find more of her work at her blog.

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