Contributors Issue 11

Winter 2016 Issue 11

Theme: Has the Befana ever left charcoal in your stocking?

To our contributors: Tell The Sigh Press if you’ve been naughty or nice this year.


Bob Blesse was director of the Black Rock Press at the University of Nevada, Reno, for thirty-three years. He taught book art courses, and designed and produced books and broadsides published by the press. He was also head of the library’s rare books and manuscript department for twenty-five years. He has an M.A. degree in English Literature from California State University, Chico and a Masters of Library and Information Science from UCLA. He and his wife have lived in Florence, Italy since 2014.

I am fascinated by the natural beauty of our world and try to show this through my landscape images. I view my photography as artistic creative interpretation, rather than the recreation of static visual elements. I present nature as seen through my eyes, offering my vision as a creative composition, which I hope elicits a positive emotional response from the viewer. I also create monochrome images, which I believe are thought provoking, with positive energy and visual tension.

Naughty or Nice? I’ve never been a big fan of the word “nice,” but I always tried to be pleasant, kind, friendly, and polite with friends and everyone I met this past year. I don’t believe I’ve been particularly “naughty.” Keep a steady keel and avoid naughty, bad behavior is my motto. However, if naughty behavior reflects self-indulgence, then perhaps I’m a rather naughty eater at times. But I do watch what I eat—at least until it’s gone.

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Gary Rogowski is the nom de plume of the fictional writer, Giga Roodski. Giga, as he is known only in Paris, has taken to haunting the streets near his favorite restaurant, the little known Pizza de Venise on Rue Montreuil to catch a glimpse of the past. It eludes him as he sits in the copious smells from the oven.

Charcoal? I have found in my stocking old orange rinds, scraps of newspaper clippings, a small plastic rhinoceros, and a password to a forgotten door. No, no charcoal. The dust of years has settled in there comfortably but no charcoal. I must have been nice or forgetful.


Paula McGrath lives in Dublin. Her first novel, Generation, was published in 2015. Her second, A History of Running Away, is forthcoming in 2017. She has a background in English Literature and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Limerick. In another life she was a yoga teacher.

Paula McGrath

My husband says nice, which is nice. Feedback from my kids was more mixed, however, but when I reminded them that I’m in charge of their Santa lists, they revised upwards.


JJ PIglet & John Gerard Sapodilla: This year I haven’t had any time for burlesque and one of the heels on my shoe is loose. I can’t possibly walk in it, let alone tango or climb steps. If I tried to put washing outside it would blow away and end up in the North Sea. Maybe the North is ok for good girls, and I was always brought up to be good. I always wanted to sunbathe on the bridge of a yacht, so long as it isn’t too hot. (I have freckles and burn too quickly, besides I don’t like caviar.) I am always good. I know you are always naughty, John Gerard. That is quite a good combination. The Yin and Yan of the Florence writing club.

Enter Befana and her Agent BX.

“So, Agent  BX, what about J G Sapodilla? has he been good or naughty during the year?”

“Ma’am, people are complicated.”