From Our Soundbooth | January 03, 2022

Hello and welcome to Miller Aud-cast, the Missouri Review podcast where we listen to and discuss the finalists for the 2021 Miller Audio Prize. Happy New Year, listeners. May 2022 be recklessly good to you. Let’s start it off with episode 41 of the Miller Aud-cast, featuring the latest finalist for the 2021 Miller Audio Prize in Prose, “Bittersweet,” from Trevor Stephenson.

Trevor Stephenson is the pen name of Brian Hicks, an enrolled member of the Osage Nation, from the Gentle Peacemaker Clan, with Cherokee and European ancestors. Raised in the shadow of the Osage Hills, born miles from the reservation boundary, Trevor is a recent graduate of the Middlesex University Masters in Novel Writing Program, and a past recipient of The Alumni Scholarship from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is at work on a novel about a mixed blood Indian dealing with historical and generational trauma. His work addresses what it means to live in the liminal position between American Indian culture and the dominant US society.

The following is from his artist’s note:

Much of my personal story emanates from the domain given to my ancestors by the Creator: this piece is meant to demonstrate respect for the land as well as how our current state of being should be understood in terms of our relation to the physical environment. I believe the land, water, and sky speak for themselves, however, understanding what is being communicated requires dedicated awareness.

Stick around after the piece to hear managing editor Marc McKee and contest editor Bailey Boyd talk about how carefully and poignantly this piece does the work of allowing personal feeling to move into broader and deeper reckoning with history and its distortion and erasure.

Aud-cast 42 is right around the corner, so BE ALERT. Thanks as always to the Missouri Review contest editor, Bailey Boyd, and to Patricia Miller, for her generous support for the Miller Audio Prize.

Can I remind you of something before we go? TMR is open for submissions year-round, and we remain dedicated to discovering and publishing the best contemporary writing in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Be heard. Give us the opportunity to discover you: subscribe or submit your work today! In addition, we have tons of marvelous (and free!) creative content to read, listen to, and even watch on our website. Learn more at