Jim Wyatt

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"Pi Day"
News from the Republic of Letters 19 (2009)
Pushcart Prize 2011: Best of the Small Presses "Special Mention"

Last night Tierney celebrated his fiftieth birthday, not alone, but in the company of strangers. He spent a long night in a lokanta in central Istanbul, taking drags off a communal narghile, drinking, and arguing with a group of tourists about whether or not Islam is a religion of the sword. This morning Tierney woke with the licorice smell of raki exuding from his pores, a rattle in his chest from the sweet, apple-flavored tobacco, and the conviction that someone must have trepanned his skull without anesthesia.

"Blunt Not the Heart"
Phoebe 38:2 (Fall 2009)
Winner of Phoebe's Winter Fiction Contest

The scene of the crime, Sheila said. She pushed the door open for Reddick.
He walked inside. There, in the middle of the floor, sat a firm turd perfectly centered on a sheet of notebook paper.
Lordy, Sheila said. He's got good aim.
Reddick leaned over to look. The sheet, as always, was filled from top to bottom with profanities.

"Ars Poetica"
Yalobusha Review 14 (2009)
Winner of the Barry Hannah Fiction Prize

Tierney glanced again at the drawing. It looked like nothing--a few squiggly lines. He hadn't expected a Raggedy-Andy kind of heart, of course, but his cardiologist hadn't even bothered to sketch the fist-shaped mass from a biology textbook. The only things that had mattered to him were the arteries stemming from the empty space in the middle of the page, each artery crossed by two harsh lines; each intersection flagged by a number, the percentage blockage.

"Snares" (as James W. Wyatt)
The Greensboro Review 81, Spring 2007
Winner of the Robert Watson Literary Prize for Fiction
Pushcart Prize nominee

Gordon reached across the jumble of plates for the bottle of raki. He'd lost track of the conversation around him. The taverna sat high on a hill, its balcony overlooking the Sea of Marmara, but even at a height the smell of murky water and dead fish reached his nostrils. Citronella candles flickered on the tables. Gordon filled the bottom of his glass with the aniseed liqueur and then splashed in mineral water. He swirled the glass in his hand and watched the mixture cloud. How did it happen? How did two clear liquids combine to form a hazy one?
So many things had become unclear. Three weeks ago he'd been in Missouri; now he was in Turkey, drinking late at night, no longer ensnared by thoughts of wife or child.

Cimarron Review162, Winter 2008
Pushcart Prize nominee

All my children are named after characters from Shakespeare. Toby was my first, named after Sir Toby Belch. He's twenty-six. Cordelia, named after Lear's faithful daughter, is twenty. And Horatio is ten months.
Zoe, my new wife and Horatio's mother, is also twenty-six, which sometimes sounds a little sick to me, too.

"Adult Education"
River Styx 75 (2007)
Pushcart Prize nominee

"We'd never work in children's television again," I say.
"That's the beauty part."
"It would be like Pee Wee Herman getting caught with his dick in his hand. It would be the end."

"In the Middle" (as James Wyatt)
Great River Review 46, Spring/Summer 2007

"Brett, it's no joke. I think he's greeking those boys."
I want to defend Drake, but it's difficult to stand up to Tierney. "You're wrong about him," I say after a moment. "He's a really good teacher. He loves kids."
"That's what I'm afraid of."

Short Articles and Non-Fiction:

"Violence in The Painted Bird." General Themes in Literature. Ed. Jennifer McClinton-Temple. New York: Facts on File, forthcoming.

"The Individual and Society in
The Painted Bird." General Themes in Literature. Ed. Jennifer McClinton-Temple. New York: Facts on File, forthcoming.

"Identity in
The Painted Bird." General Themes in Literature. Ed. Jennifer McClinton-Temple. New York: Facts on File, forthcoming.

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