Rekindling the appetite for creative expression
by celebrating radiant art and literature.

Reasons to Hate the Sky

Reasons to Hate the Sky

reason 1: at six or seven
we were given balloons and told
that god might enjoy them.
i cried in anger while i watched
my nephew and niece reach past the car
window, turning palms to cerulean, releasing
ribbons from the ignorant fingers. somehow,
even then i felt that they would never
reach their destination

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O’Hare is a Circle of Hell

O’Hare is a Circle of Hell

It is December in Chicago.

When I step off the train, there’s a palpable cold. The car pulls away, and all the air suddenly goes with it. I follow the other hollow-eyed travelers to the escalator; only small children and middle-aged women with something to prove take the stairs.

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The Girl

The Girl

“Hi beautiful angelfish! Have you had a mermazing day?” The words vomited out of her mouth as if she rehearsed them religiously before my brother and I arrived.

“Yeah it’s been pretty good,” I tossed in to the stale air of that apartment room on the second floor. I was taught to treat everyone with respect.

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To the Girl in my English Class

To the Girl in my English Class

You belonged to the moon
Hidden behind your eye’s blinds
There was no sunlight peeking through small spaces
I didn’t know you
But I knew this much
You have a tongue that traps your words
Silenced stories waiting to be discovered
And hands that hang like the pill bottles I once knew

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Before I do anything, I stand up, walk to the mirror and ask myself: 

        “Would the action I’m about to complete lead me to being diagnosed with female hysteria in the early 19th century?”

“Self-Affirmations (Poetic Edition)”
Joely Ford

 


“while making a cup of coffee i wonder
if our grandmothers will die before we are able 
to buy them any more flowers…

 

…..because she can’t remember that she already opened this one, she will reopen the truth of the future and keep forgetting it…”

“Metaphor for Lilies (on COVID19)”
Jessica Armstrong


CHRISTINE FRIEDLANDER is the author of REPEAT AFTER ME (Winner of the RopeWalk Press Editor’s Prize, 2017) and AVANT GAUZE (Magic Helicopter Press, 2016). In the event of a water emergency, she may also be used as a flotation device. Christine holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and Bucknell University and works as a writer and tutor in the northern New Jersey area.

My virginity does not define me. I do not stand before our campus fire pit, (which is far too reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Goblet of Fire to take seriously,) and declare my virgin-hood for all to hear. Yet, it must be obvious because I am not always treated like other college age women. 

“Snow Leopard”
Emma Brown


My Mom’s Trip(s) to the City Jail

Posted in Featured, Poetry

Can you see the future
like you feel the wind
in your hair-sprayed perm
and under your young knees,
pedaling your bike through
a red Memphis evening
because brother Kenny stole another go-kart?

When you pass the 32nd pothole from the trailer park
across from Pop’s “pretty good” liquor store,
do you envision log cabin countrysides,
or have you always known about
the cigarette college fund?

Metaphor for Lilies (Covid 19)

Posted in Featured, Poetry

if it wasn’t for the old ones,
we’d be dancing through this sickness
with zinfandel wine and stacks of
rice, beans, coffee, milk,
all the necessities to survive
isolation

while making a cup of coffee i wonder
if our grandmothers will die before we are able
to buy them anymore flowers.
every Easter my mother gives Grandmama
white lilies, which could represent doves, signs
of salvation, or any other kind of metaphorical bullshit.
i’ll add my own metaphor: my grandmother’s face,
planted in soil. three lily faces are sleeping
inside a plastic pot

Meet the Team!

NOVUS is a literary journal created and run by undergraduate students attending Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. NOVUS succeeds Cumberland University’s previous literary journal, Lyre of the Phoenix.

As a journal, NOVUS strives to spark inspiration in those who are hesitant to share their work and encourages both new and established writers to experiment with language. Ultimately, NOVUS’s goal is to develop and maintain a community that cherishes creative expression by supporting original, modern perspectives on the human condition.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN