Lance Sanderson, Fourth Grader cover

Lance Sanderson, Fourth Grader (2023) Simul Books

A year in the life of Lance Sanderson, a fourth-grade boy growing up in Central Washington State during the early 1980s. Lance writes about friends, religion, school, family, race, and sports while trying to make sense of the world around him.

In Beginning front cover

In Beginning: Poems (2021) Simul Books

Sixty-five new poems about a very ancient book, In Beginning goes way back to consider language, family, and divine encounters.

People Live Here: Stories from Yakima (2020) Simul Books

Fourteen pieces of flash fiction and short stories that offer glimpses of life in Yakima, Washington (ca. 2009–2014).

Short Works

“The Parable of Eleanor Perkins and Her Limp” (short story) Peatsmoke Journal

Eleanor Perkins is not exactly like every girl in school. This is one of my all-time favorite stories, and I was honored that it won Peatsmoke Journal‘s 2022 Fiction Contest, as selected by James Tate Hill.

Starlings” (short story) Carve Magazine

This story, set in a farmhouse kitchen, provides a snapshot of assumed views of progress and race between an orchardist and a corporate lawyer. I am very proud that it was selected for the “Editor’s Choice Award” and appears in the first print edition of Carve.

The Last Story I Cared About” (flash) Fiction Southeast

An unusual flash fiction piece about a writer, two cats, a Nazi dog, and an affair between professors. This piece was honored as a finalist in Fiction Southeast’s Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize.

Fire: Summer 2015” (poem) Rust+Moth

This piece began as a letter describing the confining summer of forest fires in Washington State. It evolved into this lovely little poem.

The Granger Spartans Have Not Lost Yet” (short story) Aethlon

A complex piece on how one high school basketball game affects the life of a small town, all unfolding in the small pause as a ball sits on a rim.

Persona Or: All Sanctuaries Smell Like Stockholm” (short story) Santa Clara Review

High school, identity, religion, Swedish films, and winter in central Washington.

The Photographer” (short story) Pacifica Literary Review

When a family’s most famous member dies (the Photographer), his granddaughter must try to find an image of him.

The Risk of Winning” (short story) The Under Review

An athlete recounts his story of the most elusive of all sporting moments: perfect humiliation and infamy.

Pin Oaks” (poem) Clackamas Literary Review

Fifteen lines about the saddest of all trees.

Nesting” (poem) Heron Tree

Perhaps a love poem. At the very least, a meditation on the (welcome) intrusion of the unexpected.

Fruit” (poem) The Purpled Nail

A poem from my In Beginning collection, “Fruit” is a formal experiment in connecting the ancient, the literary, and the personal at a pivotal garden moment.

Mused cover

First Day” (short story) Mused

I always loved this piece but was never sure it would find a home: a delicate story of a mother’s insecurities and conflicts on a supposedly happy day: her daughter’s first day of school.

Don’t Ask” (flash) Flash

It’s probably easier to print the story than to describe it. In short, two women convince their families that they (the women) are not straight.

The Host” (flash) The Fictioneer

A wealthy man hides his true talent as a writer. His talent is easy to hide, given that he’s never actually written anything.

Additional Publications

Arrivals and Departures” (short story) in DoveTales

The Last Shot” (poem) in The Penwood Review

Pedro Gutierrez’s True War Story” (flash) in The Literary Commune


Fiction Contest Winner, Peastmoke Journal, “The Parable of Eleanor Perkins and Her Limp”

Editor’s Choice AwardCarve Magazine, “Starlings”

Finalist, Ruby Irene Poetry Chapbook Contest, ArcadiaThe Insufficiency of Pillows

Finalist, Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize, Fiction Southeast, “The Last Story I Cared About”

Semifinalist, St. Lawrence Book Award, Black Lawrence PressPeople Live Here: Stories from Yakima.

Quarterfinalist, Able Muse Book Award, In Beginning: Poems.