The past is open in all ways. We wade into its murky banks, sinking our toes into its silt. We let its waters lap at our ankles, our knees, our waists, until we're carried along by an inevitable current.

The Passenger Pigeon's call once echoed along the banks of the so-called "Pigeon River" in North Carolina. During their annual migration, they would flock in massive murmurations, their bodies nesting snugly into the boughs of American Chestnuts.

The Smoky Mountains begin at the Pigeon River, stretching along its banks until reaching the Little Tennessee River, snaking from Mount Chapman to Tricorner Knob to Shuckstack. They rise out of a wild past, out of salamanders and black bears, out of limestone and schist.

About All Ways Open is a publication aiming to tell small stories about place: stories about pigeons and mountain ranges, stories both real and imagined. It's an experiment in opening writing outwards, directing readers towards visual histories and archives. We aim to think in triplicate: to consider past / present / future, visual / written / read, self / friend /community. We consider arrangments loosely, allowing threads to tangle segments together.

All Ways Open is open for submissions.


Johnathan Woods

Love Song of the Coywolf 

and I’ll be waxwing . . . — William Woolfitt 

Your name like the wild strawberry seed behind my first fang

& its green bone shedding 

hides in the roots. I have at night sometimes asked 

to say it

the one breath in this cold that might cover me until the rhododendron return 

to hold the stars up. After the morning shawl hems

the shadow of its clouded net

after stones frost in the riverlet I begin to make a place

for you 

between the candles of the wind shed branches,

your hide the first restless visit of light.