Via emergency c-section at 30 weeks, I gave birth to identical twin boys. They lived in—were kept alive by—the NICU for 44 and 47 days. I kept notes, especially in the first week. Those notes are now a flash feature in Under the Gum Tree‘s October issue.
My friend Laurie Easter, whose essay “Something to Do With Baldness” was published in UTGT and subsequently nominated for a Pushcart, recently interviewed UTGT‘s founding publisher, Janna Marlies Maron, in her Sunday Spotlight series.
Under the Gum Tree is beautiful online and in print. It’s especially lovely in print. The magazine publishes nonfiction stories (“true stories told without shame”) and visual art, and when I placed the October issue on the table on my balcony and came back with coffee, I noticed my piece was accented by green. I’m thinking pale olive or maybe Pantone 366. I often notice printed color and dig around for the right name, which is something I mentioned in my essay “Listing to Love” in PANK, which is the essay Laurie Easter focused on in her Sunday Spotlight with me. Green reminded me of the new life told in my story, and I thank Janna Marlies Maron and the UTGT team for that element of comfort through design. Then I noticed the new beans hanging from my eldest son’s bean plant, which he planted in preschool last spring and which is still hanging on and even growing new life, a miracle to us both. And so I can imagine sitting under a gum tree or in shade somewhere with Laurie and a few others I know who have been published in UTGT, drinking coffee and swapping true stories and linking together in community the way creative nonfiction has us do.