Reprint (Prose): This flash piece was written during my pregnancy with my second child, who, after this false start and a myriad of other scares big and small throughout 40 weeks, was born healthy and screaming on Valentine’s Day, 2017. This piece is a stream of consciousness reflection of my very scattered thought process braided with scientific and psychological research, a theme I utilize frequently. Originally published by Fishladder, a campus literary magazine at Grand Valley State University

What struck me with Cosi’s piece was not only its timeliness, but also its duality of new and old, its thrifty use of The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus to frame a new context, and its implications for the future. Cosi beautifully renders metaphors that ask us to question freedom and truth, and they incorporate a careful amount of irony and humor to guide their poem. We decided to open the magazine with an elegy, because so much had taken place that year and the student body carried a lot of that weight with them. It seemed poetic to use this as an entryway into the magazine and illuminate the setting in which it was created. Cosi encapsulated the entire room when they read their piece at the show opening. It was a powerful moment, and we were proud to have such a powerful piece open our magazine. — Alexandra Madsen, Quarry Executive Editor, St. Olaf College

My inspiration for “Do Butterflies Think on Their Youth” came primarily from a scene I watched in a nature documentary. The footage showed a caterpillar standing on the edge of a leaf and flailing all of its arms into the air. That looked to me like a very emotional scene and so I wanted to write about what thoughts or feelings could provoke a caterpillar to do that. I had also just finished Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein around the time I wrote this piece. The concept of a creature being born into a world all alone but fully cognizant was still very much in my head. Originally published in Catch, a campus literary magazine at Knox College.

Reprint (Prose): This piece began as an assignment in class. I was instructed to take a formal piece of writing and make it into something creative, so I chose a textbook I had in my backpack. As I began to write and compare the portions of that textbook to the portions of my life, it began to take its own form as it grew in meaning and in content as well. Over time, I added in a glossary section and additional exercise sections as I saw fit. Originally published by Fishladder, a campus literary magazine at Grand Valley State University