Embrace Rejection

The following work is a transcript of the keynote speech for Rock Valley College’s 35th Annual Writing Awards Ceremony, delivered by WNIJ broadcaster and author Dan Klefstad (Shepherd & the Professor). Congratulations in advance to the writers who will be recognized tonight. I look forward to reading your work and sharing the stage with you… Continue reading Embrace Rejection

Elevens (2001)

(Excerpt from the novel Fiona’s Guardians by Dan Klefstad)   “You count the money. I’ll count the blood.” Daniel pushes the open case of dollars toward Jesús who in turn opens a large cooler releasing a cloud of mist. The cooler is tied to a dolly. Daniel’s gloves lift blocks of dry ice, revealing pint bags labeled O negative, A negative, A positive, B positive, etc. All… Continue reading Elevens (2001)

Verse & Prose Archive Updated For The Month of November

Our archive has been fully updated for the month of November (featuring new verse and prose). The archive will be similarly updated towards the end of December or directly thereafter (in early January). Additionally, we will be accepting verse, prose and music submissions throughout the month of December. If interested in submitting your work, see… Continue reading Verse & Prose Archive Updated For The Month of November

Venice In The Moment

By Dan Klefstad Imagine painting a portrait of a uniquely beautiful person. Your model is nude, hiding nothing, displaying supple skin and curls of hair that absorb the light. As you sketch and fill in, the sun and shadows keep moving – revealing new details. Now you add tiny lines you didn’t notice around the eyes and mouth. As the sun begins descending, you become aware that the hair is two shades darker and seems to be uncurling. Now the flesh appears a little looser, and you realize:… Continue reading Venice In The Moment

A Siring

By Dan Klefstad “I was starving, I couldn’t help it.” Camilla wipes blood from her chin and points. “He’s in the car.” “How could you be starving?” I put my stump in one jacket sleeve while my left arm hurriedly finds the other hole. “You had at least six pints before you left the house.”… Continue reading A Siring

The Caretaker

By Dan Klefstad Dear Applicant, Congratulations. Out of hundreds of applications, yours stood out for your “unwavering persistence to get the job done.” Well put! No doubt you will deserve the eight-figure salary and opulent benefits that come with this job. But I must warn you: The more you read, the more my employer will… Continue reading The Caretaker

Hauptsturmführer Fillenius (1944)

By Dan Klefstad The Russians knew they had no chance; we surrounded them. They also knew we’d have no mercy, but they surrendered anyway. They gave up their weapons and helmets, hoping for cigarettes which we no longer had. Were they buying time? Somewhere across the drifting snow, their swine-kin prepared another attack, but we didn’t… Continue reading Hauptsturmführer Fillenius (1944)