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Latest Blogs

Illustration by Robin Richardson
  Robley Wilson’s literary accomplishments were unmistakable and impressive. He was the author of six highly regarded collections of short stories, his last being  Who Will Hear Your Secrets? published in 2012 by John Hopkins University Press. Boyle describes this book as “stories of power and persuasion by one of the living masters of the...
Robert Rauschenberg
The poetic line has never seemed enough to me. No matter how expansive, no matter how musically chiming, no matter how taut, how redolent of lacunae and the presence all that emptiness delivers. I want the song and the swaying backup singers. I want the painting and its artist of flesh and oils. I want the feathers, the nest, the sidewalk’s...
Malin Koort
I was listening to a well-respected editor speak on an AWP panel about the type of pieces he’s drawn to and turned off by in his submission pile. He expressed his dislike for work that sounds like it was written in response to a writing prompt. Being the good student that I am, I took notes, not wanting to forget that my own work should never...
Dushan Milic
My poem “Iconography of a Storm” began in February 2009 at an ekphrastic poetry workshop. The daylong class was held at the San Jose Museum of Art and taught by beloved Bay Area poets/professors, Nils Peterson and Sally Ashton. The main exhibition was “Culture of Spontaneity: San Francisco Abstract Expressionism from the Permanent Collection...
Illustration by Matt Manley
All my life I’ve followed a couple of paths—poetry and poetry in motion. As a dancer-turned-yogi who has always written poems, I used to feel I was doing the splits, straddling two dissimilar and distant worlds—poetry, being arguably the most refined of the verbal arts, and dance, (arguably) the most refined of the physical arts. It felt hard...
Mercado
  Among poems I’ve written, “On Your Way to the Theater” is one of my favorites. This is solely because it expresses something true to my own feelings about aging, and does so in a way that I find pleasurable, that is, I like it’s bemused tone as it laments our universal and inevitable progress toward annihilation. The poem says what it says...
Tremmaglia
When people ask me what I write about, I sometimes tell them that I am drawn to visionaries with blind spots, especially would-be scientists or artists, or especially figures in history whose ideas were progressive for their time, but are now regarded as absurd, or as pseudoscience. One of my first published stories was about Eliza Farnham,...
Manley
  In one of my favorite interviews with James Galvin, he talks about writing out of the fear of not knowing verses writing from a sense of knowing. Though none of us can predict our own futures there are distinctive factors, individual and collective, that may forcibly turn our attention toward the uncertain. In these poems from my...
Kim
North American Review has kindly invited me to say hello.  About me:  I’m so happy you’re there. I write because something is fascinating and there is often no one sitting across the room to tell.  I also work at a performing arts center, and recently I’ve had the joy of meeting two inspiring people. I hope you don’t mind if I talk to them as...
Tremmaglia
One of the common themes of my prose poems is isolation/existential angst. I try not to be sappy about it. Instead, I try to make the darker themes somewhat beautiful, whether through imagery or musicality. Being that I’m from Southern California, beach imagery is common in my work. I also mix in urban imagery. I’m interested in the sudden...
Manley
I’ve been recently asked if it’s possible to reconcile the work of the imagination with mindfulness. After all, mindfulness means observing the actual, not the imaginary, in real time with as much of an accepting, non-evaluative stance as possible. That actuality could mean perceiving changes in the flow of our internal talk, changes in our...
NAR
To clear up some confusion, I’m just going to get this out there: a brand is not a logo, a brand is not a color, a brand is not a tagline. Certainly, these are the elements that come to mind the quickest when branding is mentioned. That’s because these things are the visual expression of brand. It’s what we see and associate with a company,...
Melanie Lambrick
          Thirty years ago, I attended a poetry workshop with Stephen Sandy, who at the time was a fairly well-known poet, a professor at Bennington College. He was kind, generous, supportive, and encouraging. He always had at hand some lines from an important poet to illustrate his points—a couplet from Wallace Stevens, a particularly...
Piatkowski
          My story “Where Have the Vanished Girls Gone?” begins with the following line: “The doctor examines me because I am still here.” I wound this sentence 'round and 'round in my mind, like twirling a strand of hair around my finger, for weeks before I knew what to do with it. For me, new fiction rarely begins with a line. Instead, my...
Three Sisters, walking with umbrellas
                  I’m working on a novella called "Halli’s Boots".  Originally HB was supposed to be a short story, but it wanted more out of life, so I caved in and set aside the other novel I was working on—called "Monsterology".             Halli’s Boots is actually two wings joined by an interlude, during which everything that does not...
Alvarez
  It always begins with listening. There are some days I wake, listen, and hear only suffering. The world seems wounded, colossal, and entirely out of reach. Time has shown me that in order to heal a wound, you must first look at it-then plant the seed that begins the work towards recovery. A recognition. Within a poem, we can travel from...
Dushan Milic
Most of this story is taken from my own family history. In her twilight years, my Great Aunt Mickey had a poodle whom she loved beyond reason. She doted on that dog hand and foot 24/7. There are so many funny stories about Mickey and her poodle, starting with the name itself. The dog's name was Puddin' and she was very particular about the...
Faye Rogers
What we remember from poems, as well as the beauty or excitement of the language, is often an image. It is that way with dreams too. I dream vividly every night and often carry around with me a feeling and an image that came to me in a dream from the night before. It is like a ghost that inhabits me for a while. It has no language but speaks...
Illustration by Christian Ruiz of an explorer in the jungle
  I wrote “Parallelism” as I thought about the animals of Sri Lanka. I lived there for a year while teaching at the University of Colombo, the capital city (Fulbright Fellowship). Sri Lanka had an absolutely marvelous wildlife population, many of these endemic. Many of the others, such as the sloth bear, the M. meminna, the world’s tiniest...
Overlooking mountains
  WOODCHUCK LODGE AND SLABSIDES ON THE SAME DAY Text and Photographs by Mathew Tekulsky               On June 13, 2009, I drove down from my house in Vermont to attend a quiet, introspective celebration of John Burroughs Community Day in Roxbury, New York. By about 1:00 P.M., I arrived at Woodchuck Lodge, which had served as John...
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Cover Design
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Published North American Review Press, 2018 $14.95 paperback ISBN: 978-0-915996-14-8 As a reader and a writer, my go-to definition of noir has always been “little people making big mistakes.” The classics of the genre, such as the books of James M. Cain or Jim Thompson, focus on that tiny sentence and take us to the...
Falling stars off of a tree by Vlad Alvarez
My father is from Montevideo, Uruguay, and I never met anyone from his side of the family besides my abuela, whom I spent a handful of hours with when I was five, and never again (she died when I was seven). His bloodline is riddled with telenovela-worthy drama—decades-long affairs, biological and non-biological parentage, turbulent poverty,...
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Cover Design
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Published North American Review Press, 2018 $14.95 paperback ISBN: 978-0-915996-14-8 Mary Frisbee’s novel, Black Fin, inaugural winner of North American Review Press’s new Gas Station Pulp fiction contest, is a book that pays homage to its own crime noir tradition while also moving forward to modernize the pulp...
Illustration by Matt Manley of man looking through a square frame, hidden by shadows.
          I was fortunate to be born into a family that emphasized the importance of story.           The first story they told me was my name. Next came my great-grandfather cutting watermelon into quarters as he and my father walked a field in Kentucky. Then came my mother running and jumping on the basketball court, powerful and balanced...
horse painting by anne-marie brown
          I am one of those unlucky people to whom falling asleep does not come naturally. When I close my eyes, I am immediately beset by slews of thoughts—they fly in like volleys of tiny arrows through my bedroom window, finding me, pricking me, keeping me awake. However, I’ve learned that sleeping well (when I’m able to do it) contributes...

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