The 2018 Issue is Now at Large

We have mailed out copies of the 2018 issue to our amazing and talented contributors. This little printed treasure is now in the hands of folks on every coast and on three different continents. Many thanks to all of you for your continued support. We hope you will help us keep The Finger alive and well by submitting your work for consideration in our 2019 issue. Deadline is April 15, 2019. Click on the submissions tab for details.

Posted by Erin Brewer

Meet Our New Editor-in-Chief

In Upstate New York and in many places around the country, the New Year whipped in like a whirlwind, cold and snowy, howling for a home, and looking for direction. Here at The Finger, we hope you have weathered the storms, dug yourselves out of whatever scenario the sky befell you, and discovered or revisited the muses among you. As the winter solstice fades further into the background, we are looking forward to longer and brighter days, heightened levels of Vitamin D, and a new burst of energy to fuel our creative angels and demons. We can’t wait to get started on our Fall 2018 issue, and we are excited to see what y’all bring to the table! We are also pleased to introduce you to our new editor-in-chief, FLCC alum and part-time faculty member, Erin Brewer. Erin joined our team at the end of December and says that she is “both humbled and honored to be a part of an artistic endeavor founded at a place that always feels like home.”

Erin deeply admires the work of the students, staff, and faculty that have come before her and hopes to continue the legacy of The Finger as a “unique literary publication that connects our little college community to the big and bold artistic world at large in a spirit of comradery, a celebration of diversity, and with a passionate, creative drive.”

So…here she is, folks. Introducing Erin Brewer:




And here’s that bio-spiel-type-thing:

Erin grew up in the Finger Lakes area, having attended Marcus Whitman High School and Finger Lakes Community College, where she pursued Honors Studies and contributed to The Review and Rooted in the Fragments. She completed her undergraduate work at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, with a BA in English and a minor in German Area studies. She received an MA in English Literature and a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from SUNY Brockport, where her research focused on graphic memoir through the lenses of genre and gender theories, and her creative work culminated in a multi-media poetry piece reflecting on the works of Toni Morrison. She is published in the literary magazines of her alma maters, Thel and Jigsaw.

Currently a part-time faculty member of the humanities department at FLCC, you will be sure to run in to Erin somewhere on campus as she divides her time between teaching English courses, providing writing support and mentoring in The Write Place, and editing and promoting The Finger. In colder weather, you might also want to check the café where Erin often sits with her journal, laptop, or lunch, looking through the walls of windows and waiting for the arrival of what she calls “the snow globe effect.” When it’s sunny and warm, she’ll more likely be hiding in the campus arboretum, chatting with trees and documenting their stories.

Academically, these days, Erin continues to research and explore the graphic medium of storytelling and its inclusion in teaching writing in a college classroom. Creatively, she describes herself as “a poet trapped in a personal essay.”

Outside of writing and teaching, Erin feels most at home in the woods or in her garden: “There is nothing more therapeutic than touching dirt, feeling it between your toes and your fingers. It makes you mindful of the stuff you’re made of. It keeps you humble and grateful. And it teaches you that when it comes to the earth, you’re absolutely and completely responsible for its well-being. You really think about that once you feel how much dirt and people are one and the same.”

Erin lives in Farmington with her partner of nine years and their three children: Tristan, 14, Sophie Rainn, 5, and Raven Starr, 2, and their three fur babies: Maya the Chocolate Lab, Oliver the Australian Cattle Dog, and Samsyn The Black Siamese cat.

Erin’s lifelong ambition and ultimate goal is to one day travel the globe as a volunteer and/or ambassador for UNICEF.





Posted by Erin Brewer in News


Well, there you have it. The 5th issue of The Finger is officially out and leaving its prints all over the country, including Hawaii. We’ve been fortunate to have some amazing, edgy, thought-provoking work fill the pages and grace the covers of issues past. But this year feels as though we’ve started to discover who we are and how we’re going to carry ourselves into the future as a professionally-produced literary journal.

This latest issue holds a seriously diverse collection of work. But there’s a continuity between the words and images, the layout and small details, that pulls the entire sheaf into a singular experience. It is greater than the sum of its parts. From Flesh Farm (by Joshua Corey) on the cover to Full Color (a crowd-sourced piece by students at FLCC, curated by Meghan Fellows) rounding out the issue, the student editors of The Finger did a fantastic job of selecting the best of what was submitted and pulling it all together to share with the world. But we’ll leave that up to you to decide.

If you’d like to send us work for the 2017 issue, submissions are now open!


With that, ladies and gentlemen, we’re proud to give you the 2016 issue of The Finger. Flip through the pages by using the navigation at the bottom of the image.

Posted by Matt Smythe in News

Interview with Curt Nehring Bliss

This is another entry in our recent series of interviews by Annie Livingston and Amanda Reed. Our subject this time is Curt Nehring Bliss, one of the English professors at Finger Lakes Community College!


Curt Nehring Bliss

Interviewers: Annie Livingston and Amanda Reed

Have writing and literature always been a big part of your life?

I have a record of my writing all the way back to kindergarten, so yes, writing has always been a big part of my life. It’s how I kind of coped with all of my heartbreaks in high school and junior high. I have been using writing as a way of understanding myself in the world almost my entire life. Literature came a little later; I didn’t really discover literature until the end of my sophomore year of college. I was Chemistry major when I started as an undergrad, and than I took a required literature course and fell in love with poetry. I changed my major that summer, and ever since then I have just been a veracious reader.

Continue reading →

Posted by Amanda Ferguson in Interviews, Student Work

Interview with Trista Merrill

This is the first of a series of interviews by Annie Livingston and Amanda Reed. Our first subject is Trista Merrill, the head of the Honors Studies department at Finger Lakes Community College!


Trista Merrill

Interviewers: Annie Livingston and Amanda Reed


Why did you decide to teach? How did you come to teaching at FLCC?

I have always wanted to be a teacher. I remember playing school as a kid and I always wanted to be the teacher.  One of the things that inspired me was the movie Dead Poet’s Society with Robin Williams. In that movie, the teacher’s ability to excite students to be that thrilled about something they normally would not be was such a huge inspiration for me, and I had a variety of college professors and high school teachers who were the same way. I was so passionate about the things I loved, like reading and writing, that I wanted to be able to excite others about them as well.

I came to FLCC because I had grown up in this area and when I came back through, I was looking at SUNY schools around to see who had opportunities. I realized that there was some really good community colleges around here, and I saw that FLCC was hiring. About a year after I finished my doctorate I ended up here teaching.

  Continue reading →

Posted by Amanda Ferguson in Interviews, Student Work

Moment Flash – Nicole Aruck

We have another Moment Flash entry up for reading tonight; the author of this work is Nicole Aruck!

Thousands of miles away,

Yet, it feels like you’re here.

We sit underneath the stars,

Watching the Red Moon.

This night I hold dear to my heart,

As for once, we can share the same sight.

Three years down the road,

Time goes so fast.

As we are starring at the moon it all comes back.

The moment we met forever changed my life,

I wouldn’t take it back,

As you are now a big part of my life.

The crazy thing is,

We have never even met.

Talking on the phone every night,

You get to know a person well.

You are my best friend, lover, and some could say my better half,

The Red Moon that I see is just a reminder of that.

Keep me close to your heart darling as we are miles apart,

I will be there shortly,

To kiss you goodnight.

Author: Nicole Aruck

Posted by Amanda Ferguson in Moment Flash, Student Work

Moment Flash – Caitlyn Sprague

Welcome back; today’s our next Moment Flash installment! Our author for this installment is Caitlyn Sprague.

I am sitting in a lawn chair, staring around the fire at my family. The fresh summer woods and smell of our camp fire permeate the air. To my left my two girls are playing with rocks and sticks—the way I played as a kid with my sisters, using our imaginations and playing outdoors from sun up till sun down. My parents, sister, my fiancé and I sit circled around the fire sharing funny stories and memories. Summer is winding down and fall is creeping in, causing the air to be cool and crisp. Our hoodies and the fire keep us warm. The sun is sinking lower in the sky. It is a perfect day, and how could it not be? Here surrounded by nature and my family. It is quiet, it is peaceful.

Author: Caitlyn Sprague

Posted by Amanda Ferguson in Moment Flash, Student Work

Moment Flash – Annie Livingston

We of The Finger are back with our third installment of the Moment Flash series! For those who are new, the Moment Flash consists of flash works approximately 150 words or less that capture a moment in time. Tonight’s work is written by Annie Livingston.

I walk along paths lit by lanterns, ferns, and a sliver of moonlight,
towards voices in the distance. The wet stones are slippery and cold underfoot. Steam from the springs rises up and dusts my bare arms and back, making them tingle with cold.

I reach the pool where my friends are, appearing as shadowy figures. I wade into the water, and the warmth surrounds my feet instantly, making the rest of my body crave it too. I wade in up to my hips, then chest and shoulders.

Feeling brave, I take a deep breath, the moist air dampening my lungs, and dip my head under. Underneath the water is so peaceful. I should be afraid here, in a dark hot spring, miles from any city, but I have never felt safer.

Running out of air, my head breaks through the water’s surface and I look up to the stars.

Author: Annie Livingston

Posted by Amanda Ferguson in Moment Flash, Student Work