2018 Winter

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives
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Daryln Brewer Hoffstot

Daryln Brewer Hoffstot

Daryln Brewer Hoffstot is a freelance writer. She has a master’s of fine arts in writing from Bennington College.

Trying to Save a Horse

There have been phone calls in my life I wish I’d never received. I was cold and wet from swimming in an Irish lake when I returned to the house to see my husband standing in the driveway. Waiting for me. That wasn’t normal. My father had called. My mother was dead. She…

Hunting Ginseng

“In passing through the mountains, I met a number of persons and pack horses going over the mountain with ginseng.” —George Washington’s Diary, 1784

Beavers Don’t Get Headaches

“A beaver sits on the riverbank watching all of this unfold.” —from “Cairo” by Sara Miller

The Cicadas Are Back

“I think they’ll miss the party,” said John Wenzel, director of Powdermill Nature Reserve when I sent him these photographs of a cicada nymph shedding its skin. The nymph hatched too early, he told me, and will have difficulty finding a mate.

Cigars With Wings

“But one day the swifts are back. Face to the sun like a child You shout, ‘The swifts are back!’ ” —from “Swifts,” by Anne Stevenson

Wild Bones

My daughter brings home bones and piles them on the driveway: femur, rib, jawbone with a few flat teeth attached, dozens of thin arced parts. —from “My Daughter Brings Home Bones” by Jennifer Richter

The Mysteries of Feral Bees

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery, The revery alone will do, If bees are few. —Emily Dickinson

The Secret to Finding Morels

“I can’t seem to give ’em up I just like morels too much I like other ’shrooms and such But I just like morels too much Oyster mushrooms mighty fine Seafood and some nice white wine Chanterelles’re tasty too In a wild mushroom ragout Storebought shrooms can be a crutch but I just…

Making Maple Syrup

What is this? — syrup, maple syrup in a quart jar, syrup my grandfather made twenty-​five years ago for the last time.

Winter Patterns

“Where, twisted round the barren oak, The summer vine in beauty clung, And summer winds the stillness broke, The crystal icicle is hung.” —From “Woods in Winter,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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