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2022 Special Issue on Identity Cover
May 7, 2022

2022 Special Issue on Identity

Volume 50

Editor’s Note

Readers, Contributors, and Friends,

Every moment of our past two years has felt heavy with the weight of the unforeseen, and we have all scrambled to find steady footing in the midst of unimaginable challenges. Life will seem to ease toward a return to normal (whatever that means), and then we are catapulted back to the stark edges of uncertainty. The fear that has been Covid-19, the drama of elections at home and abroad, the violence of invasions and war, archaic new laws targeting our LGBTQ+ loved ones, and most recently the leak of a Supreme Court draft signifying their pending decision to overturn the landmark decision Roe v. Wade.

I overheard a student yesterday, while waiting in the hallway outside a professor’s door, say on the phone, “It really does feel like the whole world is in flames and I’m just out here wondering if my outfit is fire resistant.”  It would have been amusing, but they weren’t smiling when they said it and I didn’t smile when I heard it.

They aren’t wrong.

So what do we do with that?

We could cry (which we have). We could rage and flail (we may have done that as well). We could invent new curse words to shout at the heavens (no comment). But once the energy of those initial reactions has faded, there has to be more.

Here at CMR we choose to forge forward with an even greater determination to provide a platform for those writers who seek to expose, explain, examine, or engage with the great disparities in our world and the myriad ways in which we navigate them. We have formed Cold Mountain Press, a new wing of our eco- and social-justice publishing work that will produce one book of prose and one book of poetry annually through the Cold Mountain Book Contest. In the even years we will publish fiction, in the odd years we will publish creative nonfiction, and as always we encourage submissions from un- and under published writers as well as those from marginalized communities. Submissions open on June 1. You can find more information on our Submittable page, and I hope you’re inspired to send us your work.

As it stands, we must live in the present, and I am personally thrilled to share this issue with you. It is at turns mesmerizing, heartbreaking, stunning, and all kinds of fired up. Just like us. Just like you. Lean into it, if you will, and take some respite from the storm outside.

As Mary Oliver wrote, “Meanwhile the world goes on.”


Katherine Abrams

Book Review

Creative Nonfiction

Kate Cumiskey

Our Waking Ken

by Kate Cumiskey

Elizabeth Fergason

Bogue Inlet

by Elizabeth Fergason

Maggie Hart

Family Matters

by Maggie Hart

Skinning Rabbits

by Christina Holzhauser

Tom Schabarum

Speech Therapy

by Tom Schabarum


Victoria Goff

Suburban Sonnet

by Victoria Goff

Ashley Guadamuz

My Father’s Home

by Ashley Guadamuz

Beth Gilstrap and Jim Warner

Revelation 051

by Beth Gilstrap and Jim Warner



Ignatius Valentine Aloysius

Two Poems

by Ignatius Valentine Aloysius

Matthew Babcock


by Matthew Babcock

If I Introduce Myself

by Ace Boggess

Laura Adrienne Brady

Two Poems

by Laura Adrienne Brady

Scott Ferry

the war is to

by Scott Ferry

Sarath Reddy


by Sarath Reddy

First Word

by Nicholas Samaras

Alfonso "Sita" Sasieta

Musical Conquest

by Alfonso "Sita" Sasieta

Ajay Sawant

Unjustified Violence

by Ajay Sawant

Shauna Shiff

How to Write Fiction

by Shauna Shiff

Kalpna Singh-Chitnis

Two Poems

by Kalpna Singh-Chitnis

Poetry Portfolio

Joseph Bathanti

A Selection of Poems

by Joseph Bathanti

Mark Vogel

Visual Art

Kateryna Bortsova

Three Works

by Kateryna Bortsova


no trienta

by Mafloku

Guliz Mutlu

Two Works

by Guliz Mutlu

Bette Ridgeway

Five Paintings

by Bette Ridgeway

Where From

by Jim Ross

Catherine Eaton Skinner

Poem and Accompanying Visual Art

by Catherine Eaton Skinner

Hanna Wright

Three Works

by Hanna Wright

Robin Young

Seven Works

by Robin Young

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.