Short Fiction:

It’s not such a big world anymore, that’s what they said, and I made fun, I said the globe does fit in your hands, but to me the world always felt large and I wanted all of it for myself. Elizabeth got the Internet on her computer; she read the news from fourteen different countries, could tell me the weather in London; the world’s as small as this screen, she said. Esther could lie in the clover and swear she felt the pulse of children and mothers on the other side of the earth, straight through the middle, through all the lava and tar. How could the world be big when she could feel the heartbeat of anyone as if she held them in her arms? And Ron Malynn, my husband of fifty-six years, Ron said it was the transportation systems: the interstate highways that Eisenhower laid out, I-81 right over our town, Lace, Virginia, and anyone from California could zoom past overhead; then the flights, hop a plane for anywhere, like our son the newsman does…

Keep reading: “Edna” in Newfound: An Inquiry of Place (July 2011).


So did you testify? Sandy Pratt asked me, before she quit the diner to go off to beauty school in Blacksburg.

Yes, I said. —I spoke on all the Lord’s done for me.

What about what you done for the Lord? She was smoking, with that real thoughtful, squinty look out toward the trash bins by the funeral parlor…

Keep reading: “Testimony” on Featured Artist page of The Tusculum Review (May 2014).


Creative Nonfiction:

During the hottest dog days of August, Betty mixed biscuits wearing just her bra and slip, no matter who was around. Outside the screen door of the house in Spencer, the kids squatted to shoot marbles—a yarn-string circle in the driveway dust, one kid thumbing the aggie and launching it toward the prettiest cateye with the orange and black ribboned center. When the aim was good, the aggie smacked the cateye and sent it flying to the dog’s dent in the dirt under the porch. It rolled to the center like a bead in a dish, and the dog went after it for his own.

Keep reading: “The Helicopter” in Cheat River Review, Issue 1, Fall 2013.


Write the whole painting and do not stop. Sunday is bitter cabbage and the glimpse of shapes down a brief hallway, involved and intent shapes. I am more cognizant of breath on Sunday—the way, as bodies lying on our sides like long-legged fetuses, we are aware of the heart thudding in the ear. On Sunday (a day welled up with the week past and the week to come such that you experience all the days at once like a person set down, weary, before a painting) breath feels like the respiration of time, like God’s breath. I am losing my morning heat from the down-pocket of bed, enclosing myself in sweaters, but still I cool and require the space heater this day early in Lent. Sunday is breath and chill and stillness, the bitter salted cabbage as I help make the kraut, its tangy smell hazing the hallway.

Keep reading: “Sunday Morning Coming Down” in Willow Springs 79.


List of Published Works (publications before December 2006 appear under the name Jessie Harriman):

“Yoke” essay in Appalachian Heritage , Fall 2017.

The Long Weeping an essay collection, Orison Books, Asheville, NC, November 2017.

Sunday Morning Coming Down” essay in Willow Springs 79, Winter 2017.

“Edna” story in Eyes Burning at the Edge of the Woods: Contemporary West Virginia Fiction and Poetry, eds. Laura Long and Doug Van Gundy (Vandalia Press, 2017).

“This Soul Has Six Wings” essay in A Sense of Wonder: The World’s Best Writers on the Sacred, the Profane, & the Ordinary, ed. Brian Doyle (Orbis Books, 2016).

“Without” essay in Cimarron Review 197, Fall 2016.

“The Cattle Guard” essay in Belmont Story Review, Spring 2016.

My Radio Radio a novel, Vandalia Press, Morgantown, WV, April 2016.

“Writers Are the Drab Lovers of the World” essay in Literature & Belief 35.2, Creative Nonfiction Issue.

“Litany for the Body” essay in Ruminate Magazine 38, 10th Anniversary Issue.

“The Long Weeping” essay in Appalachian Heritage, Summer 2015.


“Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean” essay in Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia, edited by Adrian Blevins and Karen Salyer McElmuray (Ohio University Press, Sept 2015)

“Work Ethic” essay in Ruminate 32, Summer 2014, Winner of the VanderMey Nonfiction Prize.

“Testimony” story on Featured Artist Page of The Tusculum Review, May 2014.

“Swine” in Black & Grey Magazine, March 2014.

“Reliable Outcome” essay in Sou’wester, 42.1, Fall 2013.

“The Helicopter” essay in Cheat River Review, Issue 1, Morgantown, WV, Fall 2013.

“Brothers” poem in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Prose Poem Issue, 14.4, Fall 2013.

“Local Honey” poem in Waccamaw 11, April 2013.

“Beulah House” short story in Rock & Sling Spokane, WA, Winter/Spring 2013 (8.1).

Red Holler

“Woman with Spirits” essay in Red Holler: An Anthology of Contemporary Appalachian Literature, Sarabande Books, Louisville, KY, 2013.

Glorybound a novel, WordFarm, Seattle, WA, October 2012.

“Hem” poem in Black & Grey Magazine, August 2012.

Excerpts of Glorybound in Image, Seattle, WA, February 2012 (#72).

“So Great a Cloud” essay in Ruminate, Fort Collins, CO, Issue 21, Autumn 2011.

“Edna” short story in Newfound: An Inquiry of Place 2.2, July 2011.

“Porches” essay in Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine (Vol 27, No 1), Summer 2011.

“In Billy’s Wake” song lyrics co-written with Steve Bell, Kindness, Signpost Music, Winnipeg, MB, 2011.

Dreams and Inward Journeys

 “Raised Up, Wet-Headed” essay in Rock & Sling, Spokane, WA, December 2010.

“A Good Day” essay in The Literary Review, Madison, NJ, Fall 2010 (nominated for Pushcart Prize).

“Stores of Mercy” novel excerpt in Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction, Issue 14, April 2010.

“Johnny McNear as Glimpsed through a Bus Window” essay in J Journal: New Writing on Justice, New York, NY (Vol 2, No 2), Fall 2009.

“Gourd” essay in Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine (Vol 25, No 2), Winter 2010.

“This Soul Has Six Wings” essay in Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Rhetoric and Reader for Writers, Seventh Edition, eds. Marjorie Ford and Jon Ford, (Longman, 2010).

“Kitchen Table” essay in Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine (Vol 25, No 1), Spring/Summer 2009.

Jesus Girls

“Seamless” essay in The Other Journal, Issue 15, May 2009.

“Seamless” essay in Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical, ed. Hannah Faith Notess (Cascade Books of Wipf and Stock, 2009).

“Among Women” essay selected for The River Teeth Reader, University of Nebraska Press, 2009.

“Contemplation, Action & Writing: Literature in a Hungry World” essay in Geez Magazine, Winnipeg, MB, Winter 2008.

“This Shirt” essay in Geez Magazine, Winnipeg, MB, Fall 2008.

“Boy in a Blue Sweatshirt” essay in Image, Seattle, WA, September 2008 (#59).

“Soul Catchers” essay in The Oxford American, Best of the South III, 2008, Conway, AR.

“Laundry” essay in Ruminate, Fort Collins, CO, Winter 2007.

“The Washing” essay in Geez Magazine, Winnipeg, MB, Spring 2007.

The Best American Spiritual Writing 2006

“This Soul Has Six Wings” essay in Best American Spiritual Writing 2006 (Houghton Mifflin), Oct. 2006.

“This Soul Has Six Wings” essay in Portland Magazine, Portland, OR, Autumn 2005.

“I Come Braided” essay in Clackamas Literary Review, Oregon City, OR, 2005.

“Willingness” essay in The Other Side, Philadelphia, PA, July – Aug. 2004.

“Come Over Here from Over There, Girl” essay in Bellingham Review, Bellingham, WA, Fall 2004.

“Pointing Home” essay in North Dakota Quarterly, Grand Forks, ND, Spring 2002.

“The Story of Famine” poem in Antietam Review, Hagerstown, MD, 2002.

“Mary Lee’s Girls” and “Wonderful Unnatural” poems in Kestrel, Fairmont, WV, Spring 2001.

“Among Women” essay in River Teeth: Journal of Creative Nonfiction, Ashland, OH, Fall 2000.