Thursday, January 31, 2019

MFA writing program at University of Arkansas, Monticello reviews Every Day There Is Something About Elephants

          Gravel is an online journal of art and writing published by the MFA program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. We seek poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and flash prose that is descriptive, evocative, and makes us shake our heads in wonder.
Editor(s): Faculty Advisor: Diane Payne; MFA Students

          The review was written by Renuka Raghaven  who is the author of Out of the Blue (Big Table Publishing, 2017), a collection of poetry and prose, who I've read with multiple times and was a feature at my final Dire Literary Series. 

The review, if you are too lazy to click

Everyday There is Something About Elephants, Timothy Gager’s latest collection of 107 skillfully crafted flash fiction, is not the kind of book you settle down with for a night of easy leisure reading. This is the book you read to be blown away, to be left with a feeling of, “I can’t believe I just read that.” Be forewarned: this collection will give you the feels…all of them. Perhaps that’s because not a single story within this collection can be cast aside as a throw-away or be considered irrelevant to the collection as a whole. The stories resonate with prose as keen and sharp as the lunch lady’s I.V. needle in “What You Dream About.” Watch out!

In “Action Figures”, famous writers make cameos as apathetic dolls looking in on a pair of siblings, one of whom, is undergoing chemo. In “How it Went Down,” a story of nine lines, an entire relationship crumbles before our eyes. In “Multiplicity,” we witness rough mercy delivered by a recovering alcoholic father. The story—like many in this collection— is not quite a full page in length, yet it’s written with concise wisdom that celebrates humanity’s flaws and blemishes, while articulating pain. Expressing emotion of this magnitude with extreme economy of words, is by far, Gager’s most adroit faculty.

Everyday There is Something About Elephants is not a collection of stories, you’ll soon forget. That’s because the author, Timothy Gager, is not an author whom you’ll soon forget. Gager has a talent, or more accurately, the moxie, to write without pretense, without artifice, and most importantly, without boundaries. As you read each story, you’ll find yourself thinking, “Wait, is he really going to go there?” The answer, much to a reader’s shocking delight, is always yes.



Nicole Emmelhainz offers glimpses into farm life.
Brittany Franclemont describes the emotional experience of loss to being numb.
Mary Hanrahan explores being a passenger.
Amorak Huey and W. Todd Kaneko team up to cover rock and roll.
David Dodd Lee transform life into beauty with everyday images.
Jenica Lodde breaks free from the nets of life through song.
David Joez Villaverde shows us Detroit.


Mark Benedict's protagonist sees the god alive in her passions.
Phoebe Cramer gets in a little over her head.
Spencer Litman  writes of drugs and survival.
Christopher Aslan Overfelt  understands an angry teen mom.
S. Craig Renfroe Jr  openly expresses true concerns from a DTB.


Devon Balwit reviews Sleep in a Strange House by Jessica Purdy
Renuka Raghavan reviews Everyday There is Something About Elephants


Rose Holliday Campbell's son shares her artwork with the world, posthumously.
J.E. Crum takes us on a journey filled with self-discovery.
Christy Lorio takes us to the swamp.


Bonnie E. Carlson understands cats.
Eileen Cunniffe keeps in touch through happy hour.
Kathryn Fitzpatrick looks back at the social injustice of high school.
​Mark Spitzer wrestles with alligators.
Benjamin Toche works through relationship with food.
Emily Townsend does think about it.


Chris Milam searches for a smoke.
Kelsie Shaw contemplates past and present conditions.


Dan Brotzel writes an afterword.
Jeff Frawley
 covers gloom with a mysterious ambiance.
John M. Garcia  ponders solitude.
Emily Livingstone  questions if  a lonely man is living in his mom's basement.

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