The Winter 2015-16 issue of Ploughshares. Ploughshares is an award-winning journal of new writing. Two out of each year’s three issues are guest-edited by prominent writers who explore different personal visions, aesthetics, and literary circles, with the Winter issue staff-edited.

The stories, poems, and essays that comprise this staff-edited issue of Ploughshares are diverse and timely. Visit a South African laundromat in Laurie Baker’s short story, “Here I Am, Laughing with Boers”; fly over the American midwest in George Bilgere’s poem, “Way Above Illinois”; and read about life as a border patrol agent in New Mexico in Francisco Cantú’s essay, “Bajadas.” The pieces jump from Manhattan to China to Idaho, but the common thread of humanity is never lost.

Read new prose from Meng Jin, Ryan Ruff Smith, and Joan Murray, and poetry from Matthew Lippman, Natalie Shapero, and more. The winners of our Emerging Writer’s Contest appear here, along with the announcement of our Zacharis Award winner.

This issue is dedicated to William H. Berman (1936-2015), an advisory board member and Emerson College overseer.