Lime Hawk

Lime Hawk is an independent artist collective and literary press based in Redding, Connecticut, producing works that muse on environment, culture, and sustainability. 

2016 Best of the Net Nominations

We're so thankful to the many talented writers that publish their work in Lime Hawk. This year, we're proud to nominate the following works of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry from issues [6], [7], [8], and [9] for Sundress Publication's Best of the Net series. Good luck, writers!


Chief White Bird of Porterville Junction / Doug Cornett

Soft Focus / Simon A. Smith

Creative Nonfiction

Flash in the Pan / Ben Twombly

The Santera in #4209 / Beverly Tan Murray


Chains / Petra Kuppers

Worm and Gold Leaf / Nic Sebastian

Some Women / Terry Ann Thaxton

In Which She Feeds Him the Universe / Anders Villani

Rachel Carson's Ghost / Donelle Dreese

Cracked Earth to Valleys, or All the Flower People / Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

2017 Pushcart Prize Nominations

We're thrilled to announce our nominations for the 2017 Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses. The following fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry appeared in Lime Hawk in 2016. We're incredibly honored to feature such bold and powerful works in our journal and wish our contributors the best of luck!


Soft Focus / Simon A. Smith

Alma Mater / Joanell Serra

Creative Nonfiction

Part-time and Full-time Volunteers Needed! / Johnathan Harper

The Santera in #4209 / Beverly Tan Murray


Topological Memory / Doug Paul Case

Self Portrait As a Shrinking Lake / Ari Wolff


2016 Pushcart Nominations

We're honored to announce Lime Hawk's nominations for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. The following fiction, nonfiction, and poetry appeared or is forthcoming in Lime Hawk's quarterly journal during the 2015 calendar year. Good luck, writers!

Ode to I Said Yes [Dan Alter]

I Walked Out in January [Taunja Thomson ]

Parking Signs/Outside the Pleasure Dome [Jim Brega]

Ideal Village [John Michael Flynn]

Wrecking Ball [William Boyle]

Chief White Bird of Porterville Junction [Doug Cornett]


2015 Best of the Net Nominations


Fall is here, which means Sundress Publication's annual Best of the Net Anthology is in the works. We proudly nominated these ten writers, whose poems, stories, and essays appeared in Issues 2-5 of Lime Hawk. Good luck to them!


Bitter, Sweet [Dan Alter]

Without Understanding or Reason, Disturb the Flesh [Ellen Devlin]

Home for the Holidays [Matthew Burns]

Boston to Japan [Rebecca Macijeski]

Resurrecting [Kelly Andrews]

I Walked Out in January [Taunja Thomson ]


Parking Signs/Outside the Pleasure Dome [Jim Brega]

Ideal Village [John Michael Flynn]


Wrecking Ball [William Boyle]

Poets and Scholars [Neil Carpathios]


It's All Very Festive: A Review of "Easy Laughter"

Nearly twenty-five years after its inscription, Robert Shearman’s “Easy Laughter” made its New York debut this past weekend, premiering Thursday night at the Alchemical Theatre Laboratory.

A political satire set in an alternate totalitarian state, “Easy Laughter” thrusts the audience into the living room of the Simpson family, an uber-creepy, nuclear, Stepfordesque bunch whose propriety and traditions of festivity are founded upon a history of racism, sexism, and religious intolerance. Wavering between suppression and hysteria, the characters prepare for Christtide, the annual holiday celebrating Christ, his ‘infinite compassion,’ and the recent extermination of the Jews.

It’s light, at first, playing with the classic dominant husband/submissive wife dynamic as Patsy and Dennis decide whether Patsy should be permitted to drink just a half-glass, no, a “half of a half-glass” of whiskey, while Dennis guzzles them down because, after all, he works “so very hard.”

By the second act, the gig is up, and the audience witnesses atrocities that are brushednaside, even encouraged, in the sake of social custom.

Shearman’s script manipulates us with comedy, seamlessly transitioning between silly and offensive, causing the audience to examine their reactions, their laughter, and leave the play questioning whether it was funny at all.

And yes, it was. Maria Swisher’s performance as Patsy is over-the-top hilarious, while Michael Broadhurst’s Dennis is understated with a devilish flair. Shearman isn’t tricking the audience by making his characters say funny things about serious things, but rather making a connection, showing us how easily the situation can get out of hand, how blind faith and unexamined norms can mutate over generations to the point of implosion.

Is it OK to laugh at a comedic scene about a husband limiting his wife’s access to alcohol? What if she were stoned to death for defying him?

Some might find the connection between those questions a stretch. “Easy Laughter” suggests otherwise. It begs us to extend our imagination to the far reaches of possibility, not to mention recent history. What if? And then what if? What then?

Certainly “Easy Laughter” as political theatre translates to the current landscape (see any news story), but does a satire written twenty-five years ago offend us, truly upset us, when we’re bombarded daily by the absurdity of our present reality? When real-life senseless violence, religious intolerance, and political farce seep through every media outlet, are we desensitized to the make-believe kind?

Some may feel current productions of “Easy Laughter” could go further to spark audience reaction, perhaps by taking a more nuanced or abstract approach to controversial scenes. Others would disagree, finding this play challenging enough as is. Interpretation is a spectrum, and that’s why “Easy Laughter” is fantastic. It’s controversial and conversational. It prompts you and prods you. How do you react?

Director Stephen Massaro invites the conversation readily into his production with brilliant utilization of space. The theatre is small, with stark white walls. The audience, level with the performers, surrounds the stage on three sides. This arrangement lends itself to an intimacy and transparency that is almost too much to bear. Not only are the actors at arm’s reach, but one sits face-to-face with the audience across the stage. This adds further apprehension to whether the comedy comes easily or uneasily. “Is it OK to laugh if they’re not laughing?” “How could he laugh at that?” “Am I the only one who finds this appalling?

In this way, Dirt [Contained]’s production becomes participatory, making “Easy Laughter” worthy of this generation. In today’s environment of transparency, every Tweet, post, and utterance is accounted for, retweeted, judged. Theatre must keep up, sparking connections on all planes, jumping through the fourth wall and back again. Conversation surrounding a play must extend into the past, present, and future, and “Easy Laughter” certainly does. It begs us to question our own sense of comedy and compare it amongst our friends’. How will you laugh?

“Easy Laughter” is playing through this weekend at the Alchemical Theatre Laboratory at 104 West 14th Street, New York City. Showtimes are as follows: April 30th-May 10th Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm. For tickets and more information, visit Dirt [Contained].

ex nihilo: Issue [5]

What Became  by Jacquelyn Schneller

What Became by Jacquelyn Schneller

"People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive."

--Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

There is nothing more beautiful than spring in full bloom. Outside, the cycle of nature reminds us that even after the coldest, darkest winter, life renews. Lime Hawk's Issue 5 greets the spring with a reflection in three parts on life cycles and how we interpret our purpose and experiences within them.

At the beginning of this issue, we find ourselves in a plane, soaring over the ocean in Rebecca Macijeski's "Boston to Japan." In creation stories, the ocean is a formless void, the primordial pool from which all things emerge and find their shapes. So, here, we begin. In this poem, we reflect on the trajectory of objects as they fall, "Breaking Apart" -- much like the characters in ancient stories, the Adam and Eve of Genesis, representations of humanity in conflict.

Let's imagine we are the plane's passengers, floating onward in our great story to cities "...bereft and torn by wars...," to protests and confrontations with our finite nature, to reflections of what no longer exists, our "mutually observed extinction."

Still, we attach meaning. We continue to the second section, where characters attempt to reconcile with loss, separation, segregation, consideration, responsibility. We find lighter tones, realizing that out of nothing--ex nihilo--we care, love, joke, commune, make mistakes, remember, bless, wonder.

I still look out from
the forty odd years of my life
and wonder why I’m here.
And because I have no answer
I walk each night
to where the city has given out
and lost its breath.

---"Totem" by Sean Sutherland

In the end, we circle back to the ocean, traveling--this time by boat--and looking at our temporality in the face. We acknowledge our place in an endless cycle of creation, existence, and destruction, and we are OK. We are alive.

Things come, things go
as I have done and must again
a firefly, a spark across the sky
---"Last Night on Koh Tao" by Jota Boombaba

Read and enjoy Issue [5].

Pushcart Prize Nominees

Congratulations to our 2014 Pushcart Prize Nominees. Lime Hawk's first year has been a thrill, and we're proud to have such quality work to show for it. Thank you and good luck, nominees.

Poets & Scholars [Neil Carpathios] Issue 2

This is How I Leave You [Taylor Grieshober] Issue 3

Seedy [Lee P. Doptera] Issue 2

Tell Me about Yourself [Dana Shavin] Issue 3

Song of Ourselves [Micki Blenkush] Issue 2

Home for the Holidays [Matthew Burns] Issue 3

Best of the Net Nominees

We're nominating writers for the Best of the Net anthology! We're doing it! Here are some of the pieces from the first issue of Lime Hawk that we think deserve extra cyber props. Check back soon for our Pushcart Prize nominees. Best luck, Lime Hawk contributors!

Wish [Sarah Freligh]

The Big One [Vincent Rendoni & Abby Mendelson]

I Want to Say There's a Difference [Lori Jakiela]

Clear [Karl Sherlock]

Dream Pizza Skyscraper [Susan L. Lin]

Spin & The Poet's Backward Obituary [Nathan Say]

Moon Spit [Sheila McMullin]

Miss Lila Deeds [Janna Vought]

I Left a Package [Steve Klepetar]


How does a word speak to you? Every week on Twitter, Lime Hawk provides a one-word prompt for our followers to interpret and shape into short prose or poems. Our first word was COCOON. Here are our favorite responses from the week of September 7th.


Adjunct faculty office, West Wing cocoon. Five desks with computers. Five thousand hungry students.



my wings are stuck.



After the milkweed pods have

burst, a cotton air spreads itself on


that sing of sex and electricity.



The backhoe hit something solid. The workers grumbled to a stop, stared at the great metallic wings cocooned in the bedrock.



He swaddles the stump in gauze, hoping that this metamorphic cocoon produces a new foot where the diabetes has stolen his.




She thought she was sewing herself wings;

it was a cocoon.



In the aural cocoon of his headphones, Billy walked through the end of the world, a city of fireflies weaving a new big bang.



Follow @LimeHawkArts to see this week's word.

Stories are My Bread and Butter: A Review of "Seascape with Sharks and Dancer"

“The smallest indivisible human unit is two people, not one; one is a fiction. From such nets of souls societies, the social world, human life springs.” –Tony Kushner

What distinguishes human society from those of other animals–of chickens, of sharks? It must be our proclivity for storytelling. Our ability to evolve those slimy strings of emotions–of fear, desire, hope–from the primordial ooze of the mind into shared experience.

For those of us whose emotions and thoughts are ravenous and clashing, do we engage them or do we drown?

This week, in the wake of a beloved actor’s suicide, we are reminded that every human–famous or privileged or not–fights to keep some beast at bay. At some point, all of us succumb to nightmares that leave us trembling, questioning what is real. When we give form to these stories and share them with others, they take shape, and we recognize their patterns and threats. Only then can we hope to overcome them.

Through this weekend in New York City, Strangers at Home Theatre Company shares a story about fighting our demons in Don Nigro’s “Seascape with Sharks and Dancer.” Directed, produced, and performed by Strangers’ Tara Sirois and Glenn Provost, “Seascapeis a drama about our universal need for acceptance. It’s the basic story of our existence. Set on the shore of Cape Cod, Ben, a young librarian/writer, rescues a strange young woman, the tempestuous Tracy, from the sea, though she claims she was not drowning but dancing. Tracy finds herself naked and trembling in Ben’s beach bungalow, where he provides her with clothing and food and tries to make her feel at home.

The two clash violently; Tracy is mistrusting, volatile, and full of hysterical remarks, while Ben suppresses his emotions and submits to all of Tracy’s capricious requests. They engage in splintering yet playful conversation, fighting over trivial matters–like whether it’s “marshmallow” or “marshmellon”–and issues of survival alike.

As they become more entangled in each other’s lives, Tracy fights getting too comfortable with Ben for fear of reliving the horrors of her past, and Ben struggles to avoid confronting his own demons. Both characters share their strong histories of fleeing. “I never finish anything,” Tracy says. “You never lose anything if you don’t finish it. Take my advice. Don’t finish your novel. You’ll lose it.”

Until now, Ben has maintained a system of avoidance. He lives alone and keeps his emotions hidden where he keeps his novel manuscript–in the freezer. At night, he dreams of walking through empty houses. “You must be sick,” Tracy tells him. “Nobody has dreams without people in them.”

On their own, they merely survive. Together, they are forced to tackle their fears and fight them. Like fish thrashing about in a net of reliance, Tracy and Ben both realize that however uncomfortable their relationship may be, beyond the net, in the sea, lurk sharks with bated breath.

In the corner of the bungalow, where the characters throw sharp words, a door hints at the opportunity for escape. But would the outside be better? In Strangers’ “Seascape,” the limitations–or un-limitations–of physical space are ever apparent. The set of Ben’s bungalow is layered with fishing net, backlit in a marine blue. It is a trap. But it’s also a home–the epicenter of shared experience. An ocean of life. Shared life. Why, then, are they so afraid?

Strangers hints that “the net” is the security which we both fear and need. To get caught is to offer your self on a silver platter. There’s the potential for mockery, for abandonment, for rape. Ben will become a shark and eat Tracy alive. But as the story conveys, he will also save her from her inner-sharks, the ones that devour her, inside of their home and out.

Storytelling becomes a means of self-expression (“Stories are my bread and butter,” Tracy says), and Tracy offers her tales of squashed animals, expired relationships, and other traumas of her past, which eventually provokes Ben to share his own fears. Her dialogue is conflicting and confused, and Miss Sirois delivers her lines with a rapid tongue, as if they slip and thrash out from within. The words escape, betraying her defenses with obvious insecurity.

Sirois is a graceful actress, offering subtly rather than melodrama, the incongruous smirk or nervous tremble in place of huffy tears and shouting. Mr. Provost is a strong contrast to Sirois’ effervescent Tracy. As Ben, Provost is self-assured and almost Shakespearean in his calculated movements and intonations. Despite the characters’ complexity, Sirois and Provost portray Tracy and Ben with understatement, allowing a more accessible experience to the conflicts of love and acceptance, our most basic needs.

This directive choice is what elevates “Seascape” from a contained story of a crazy girl and loner to a universal conflict of connectedness. Sirois’ Tracy doesn’t shout because of her anger at men; she’s injured and lashing out. Ben is not misogynistic in his desire to snare her; he’s needy and insecure. It would be too simple for the production to harness the obvious comparisons between man and woman and predator and prey and depict “Seascape” as analogy for codependency, feminism, and autonomy.

Strangers at Home doesn’t do it like that: they show that life is rife with tug-of-wars, whether it’s between lovers or within the solitary depths of our minds.

In the end, are we offered answers? Not necessarily. The story of Ben and Tracy’s relationship surges like the ebb and flow of a tide, and it seems they will confront the same problems and nightmares again and again. Are we to fear that they will destroy each other? Or is it comforting to know that however dark our minds may be, however trapped we may feel, life is the sea and the net and the sharks, and we’re all treading together?

Strangers at Home Theatre Company is sharing “Seascape with Sharks and Dancer” this weekend in the 501 Black Box at CAP21. Go see these talented actors give shape to their own stories through Nigro’s complex piece of drama.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. To purchase, call 1.929.500.2135 or visit

August 13th-14th-15th-16th: 8pm; August 16th-17th: 2pm

501 Black Box at CAP21. 18 West 18th Street, Fifth Floor, NYC.

Strangers at Home Theatre Company