Words Stay [flash fiction]

Post-apocalyptic, bookworm-centered, and a hint of sapphic something. © Copyright 2022 Alyssa Cokinis. All rights reserved. The piece cannot be republished or used without prior permission from the author. Days drag, and still I move. Days drag despite deliberate efforts to fill them with excessive productivity. In times like these, we need to remind ourselvesContinue reading “Words Stay [flash fiction]”

My Friend the Sunflower [prose]

Trigger Warning: body horror, mention of cutting skin            It wasn’t noticeable. Not at first, anyway, compared to the climate devastation around us.             It grew out of her shoulder, you see. When I first noticed it, it just looked like bumps beneath her black and grey tattoo. “Oh, I think I have some rash,”Continue reading “My Friend the Sunflower [prose]”

What Does It Mean to Make a Difference in the World?

I agonize over this as anyone with existential anxiety does, but especially so as a creator. What does it mean to make a difference in the world? Why are so many of us determined to leave our marks? Who are the people who have reconciled with the marks they will make versus won’t/once wished to?Continue reading “What Does It Mean to Make a Difference in the World?”

Taking a Step Back: Reflecting on Writing and Validation

I’m not discouraged, but I now realize I’m in a place where I need to stop seeking validation. This is something I’ve been working through in my own life and somewhat in therapy, but I believe it’s time I put it fully to practice. For that reason, I’ve decided I’m going to stop submitting andContinue reading “Taking a Step Back: Reflecting on Writing and Validation”

On Payoff in Eudora Welty and James Baldwin’s Works

Written in September 2016.  — In several writing classes I have taken thus far, the idea of ‘payoff’ has been discussed thoroughly and in many different ways. In my understanding of it, it has come to mean not necessarily giving an expected ending but not deviating from the story’s innate trajectory. I find different yetContinue reading “On Payoff in Eudora Welty and James Baldwin’s Works”

Poem “Big Gate” in Poetry Lab Shanghai Spring ’20 Issue

Here’s a short blog post: I’m excited that my poem “Big Gate” was included in Poetry Lab Shanghai’s Spring ’20 Issue! You can read the whole issue online here (mine is the last one). Given the crazy situation of the world, it’s nice to have a connection back to Shanghai even though I’m unable toContinue reading “Poem “Big Gate” in Poetry Lab Shanghai Spring ’20 Issue”

A Reflection on a Sentence from To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

*This was originally a small assignment for my Writers’ Seminar in Fiction, and I couldn’t help but share it because I am so in love with this sentence.  ** “Loveliness and stillness clasped hands in the bedroom, and among the shrouded jugs and sheeted chairs even the prying of the wind, and the soft noseContinue reading “A Reflection on a Sentence from To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf”

Regenerative Iowa City, Part Three: Permaculture, Community, and Culture

In May 2015 I wrote a proposal as a final project for a class called Literature of the Anthropocene. My proposal was in regards in turning Iowa City into a regenerative city. While I hope we as a city take the initiatives needed to make this a reality, I’m going to be posting my longContinue reading “Regenerative Iowa City, Part Three: Permaculture, Community, and Culture”

What a Great Story Should Have

1. A great story should have diversity. This includes having minority characters who play a substantial role and are not just there as a token stereotype.   2. A great story should have ambiguous characters or situations. By ambiguous I mean that the audience should not have all the characters figured out completely, that noContinue reading “What a Great Story Should Have”

An Overview of a Victim Turned Courageous (She Hopes, She Tries, She Can)

This is an overview/reflection paper I wrote at the conclusion of my Theatre Movement class. This class has changed my life in more ways than one, and I wanted to share a snippet of that journey here online. *** The semester commenced in its usual, creeping, quiet way for me. Beginning another set of classesContinue reading “An Overview of a Victim Turned Courageous (She Hopes, She Tries, She Can)”

Deterioration of the Mind to the Animal in You (Me)

It’s climbing over mountains, passing through them, weaving, rooted structures very much a part of the solid ground you walk on, you live on, you breathe on. You are running, pumping your legs, it doesn’t have to be in a rhythm, it just matters that you run. Run, continuously, over and over again, as fastContinue reading “Deterioration of the Mind to the Animal in You (Me)”