Welcome to MUDFISH

Jill Hoffman is a phoenix rising from the ashes with each new book she publishes. And yet, there is a particular poignancy and emotional urgency in her most recent collection, Kimono with Young Girl Sleeves. In her poem “Ghosts” after a painting on the cover of Mudfish 22, the literary journal she has edited and published for decades, Hoffman writes, “We are walking on our own graves / and lying down at night / above our buried / selves / And everybody dies / and nobody dies / because / we are only here for a moment / anyway.” Her poems demonstrate that she is happy, she is funny, she is smart and open to whatever comes her way, and she is willing to fight like a warrior for another day, and the chance to rise from the ashes like a beautiful and majestic bird in her colorful and spectacular Kimono with Young Girl Sleeves.

Dell Lemmon, Single Woman / Are You Somebody I Should Know?

18th Mudfish Poetry Prize Contest

To be judged by Vijay Seshadri

Entry Fee: $20

Cash Prize: $1,200

A prize of $1,200 and publication in Mudfish is given annually for a single poem. Winning poem and two honorable mentions will be published in Mudfish 25.
Deadline: January 15th, 2025
We are proud to announce that Vijay Seshadri, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of 3 Sections, will judge. Submit up to three poems of any length with a $20 entry fee ($3 for each additional poem).


An amazing, surprising issue with the winners of the 17th Mudfish Poetry Prize (judged by Deborah Landau), Tim Nolan, Doug Smith, and Francis Klein. Also featuring poetry, fiction, and art by Stephanie Emily Dickinson, Paul Wuensche, Alexander Iskin, Dell Lemmon, Amy Carr, Paul Schaeffer, debut writer Joyce (Chunyu) Wang, and many others.

Cover art by Jill Hoffman (front) and Jasper Krents (back)



Tim Nolan

There were days when I was worried—mostly about money
sometimes about love. Days when the sun lit the snow
and I thought I would burst with the joy of the cold. Days
of brilliant blue skies and soft casual rain. Days travelling
across then country during a heat wave racing above
a soft road. Day-in/day-out days when nothing special
happened—when I just barely survived—when I was
full of possibilities. Summer days in New York City—
a kid dancing by a boom box booming. Days of death.
The days when the kids were born. A day devoted
to an old friend. Thanksgiving days and Christmas Days
and Good Fridays when life seemed on a pivot point.
Those perpetual days of summer as a kid—down at the lake
for the whole day. Not-so-special and very special days.
Days made for no good. Days made of only good.
Sacramental days along with those birthdays and death days
that seemed to mark some passage, as if from here on out
it would all be different. A couple of days in Paris.
I wandered around by myself. I stopped when I wanted.
I sat down at a café table. It seemed endless, for the moment,
that the days would go on and would always somehow involve me.


Cover art by Jill Hoffman

In Jill Hoffman’s irresistible Stoned, the poet Maud Diamond not only indulges in reefer madness in her Beresford bathroom, but takes a much younger live-in lover, a handsome Russian (would-be-famous) artist, to the horror of her precocious children. An explosive triangle, by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, brilliantly drawn with outsized characters worthy of Dickens, lavish imagery, and impeccable comedic timing. Hoffman has written a book so poignant and pleasurable, like a Crème Brûlée for the eyes, you’ll read it again and again. And yet for all its seeming decadence there is a purity here like a fawn running into the water.

Stephanie Emily Dickinson, Author of: Razor Wire Wilderness