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Joshua Mehigan

Joshua Mehigan’s first book, The Optimist, was a finalist for the 2004 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry and winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. In 2014, Farrar, Straus & Giroux  published his second book, Accepting the Disaster, cited in the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere as a best book of the year. He was the Alan Collins Fellow at the 2015 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and has received writing fellowships in recent years from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

The Smokestack

The town had a smokestack. It had a church spire. The church was prettier, but the smokestack was higher. It was a lone ruined column, a single snuffed taper, a field gun fired at heaven,…