Jen Michalski is author of the novel The Tide King, winner of the 2012 Big Moose Prize. She is the author of two collections of fiction, From Here and Close Encounters, and a collection of novellas, Could You Be With Her Now. In 2013 she was named one of "50 Women to Watch" by The Baltimore Sun and won a "Best of Baltimore" for Best Writer from Baltimore Magazine. She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww and host of The Starts Here! Reading Series and the biannual Lit Show. She lives in Baltimore, MD



Could You Be With Her Now (Dzanc Books, January 2013)

The Tide King (Black Lawrence Press, June 2013)

From Here (Aqueous Books, September 2014)

Shadow Sonata

Photo by Lynn Silverman
The woman in my dream grew scared of light. It burned her eyes, her skin, betrayed the blemishes on her chin, the wormholes in the apple, and she went inside. She turned on low lamps, lit candles. She found she could do everything by small, artificial light that she could in the sun—read, take a bath, see her face, run across the room, put on her lipstick. Her life became soft with a velvet slab of shadows, shadows that rested in her cheeks, the crook of her elbows, the spaces between her knuckles. If she stood close enough to the tiny flames of the votive candles, she felt heat, tepid, like old tea. She turned on all the lights in the summer and only a few in the winter. By the window the sun bled at the edges of the window shade, a corona of glass promising her heaven or apocalypse. She pressed the edges of the shade tighter against the sill, stepped farther inside.