Fifteen of our favorites for our summer hiatus.

By Ed Simon 

We’re now more than a whole week past the longest day of the year. Grills are about to be fired up for the Fourth of July, cars loaded with fuel, and itineraries planned out for road trips to the Sleeping Bear Dunes or the Keweenaw Peninsula, the Isle Royale National Park or Tettegouche State Park. Technically the calendar year ends in December and begins in January, but I’ve always felt like the real year’s end is in the summer, because when the days are long and there are spectacular sunsets lasting deep into the evening, I’ve always felt a natural inclination to contemplation. To taking stock of where we’ve been and where we’re going.

In that summertime spirit, Belt Magazine will be going on a two-month hiatus for July and August. Though the site itself might be briefly in a sleepy afternoon repose during that period, the editors be working on future visions of the site, finalizing details on the ways in which Belt will change while still honoring the work of reporting on, writing about, and imagining this incredible, diverse, and crucial region we all live in. To that end, there are some incredibly exciting developments that I’m looking forward to announcing in the weeks and months ahead in anticipation of seeing everybody in the autumn.

We’re not going to leave you hanging in the meantime, however. Even while we won’t be publishing for the next two months, I did want to curate a selection of some of my favorite pieces that we published over the past year. Some of these had massive readerships, while all of them deserved a massive readership. Some of them won awards, but all of them deserved them. Most importantly, all of them are evidence of what makes Belt so singular and indispensable. If you’ve read them before – read them again. And if some are new to you, now is your chance to give them the attention they deserve. As always, thank you for your support and reading. Looking forward to seeing everybody in September!

Hatchet Throwing in Forgotten Places (August 7, 2023)

by Hannah Kennedy


The Cost of Loss at WVU (August 23, 2023)

by Rachel Rosolina


St. Louis Brick by Brick (August 30, 2023)

by Anjulie Rao


Fighting to Get Home (September 15, 2023)

by Charles Fox


God Damn it Be Kind (October 13, 2023)

by Lori Jakiela


Ring Lardner’s Mysteries of the Central League (October 23, 2023)

by Nicholas Mainieri


The Witches of Columbus (October 25, 2023)

by Cameron Gorman


The Queer Witches of Appalachia (October 30, 2023)

by Emma Cieslik


Derby Season is Almost Over (November 10, 2023)

by Avery Gregurich


H.H. Lewis, a Rebel Poet in the Boot Hell (November 26, 2023)

by Devin Thomas O’Shea


To Be Marquette (December 11, 2023)

by Sharon Dilworth


Bird in Kansas City (January 23, 2024)

by Ian Ritter


Consider the Pawpaw (February 15, 2024)

by Matthew Meduri


Confessions of a Radioactive Man (April 1, 2024)

by Jay Sushil


The Common Prayers of Immoderate Soils (June 27, 2024)

by Jeromiah Taylor

Ed Simon is the editor of Belt Magazine.