By Christine Simek

Christine Simek grew up in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. She is a reluctant kindergarten teacher, a poetry acolyte and holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She lives in the Hudson Valley between the river and the railroad tracks.

  1. When I was a kid I spent the better part of August standing with my grandfather on the spongy dirt floor of his basement, canning tomatoes and making sausages amid the smell of mold and mud. Even in the dead of winter, when the earth was frozen and the atmosphere static, the basement’s mustiness was inescapable. If you only went down there for a minute— to grab a jar of pickles or bring up an…