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Tegan Nia Swanson

is a second-year MFA candidate and 2011 Pearl Hogrefe Fellow in Iowa State University’s Program in Creative Writing and Environment. After studying conservation and ecology in Ecuador and teaching environmental education in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, she began writing about the evolving intersections between people and the non-human environment. “The Memory of Bones” is her first published story.

The Memory of Bones

When Marisol Mera de Silva was seven years old, she found her father’s head in a metal bowl at the Leaving Place of Orellana. Like the fruit of a bromeliad, plucked and waiting to be washed. Beside the bowl on…