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Latest Blog Posts

Latest Blog Posts

Photo by Tyler Nix
For a couple of summers during college, I worked as a lot boy at one of the massive car dealerships on South Tacoma Way (Neko Case wrote a song about the area, which nails the neighborhood’s lingering depression). As far as summer jobs go, it wasn’t a bad gig. I labored alone in a warehouse, detailing recently sold Buicks and Chevys, tearing...
Illustration by Hokyoung Kim
  I’ve nestled “Mary and the Machine,” published in Spring 2018 in the North American Review, into a Magical Stories folder on my computer. There are a few there. I never set out to write a “magical” story. A story, if it needs to be told, determines itself. These magical stories tend to be impossible to some degree, I suppose—the characters...
Photo by Aaron Burden
  The North American Review is proud to be published at the University of Northern Iowa, located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. In keeping with our pride in our academic community, the North American Review is sharing interviews conducted for the Final Thursday Reading Series in Cedar Falls. Now in its 19th season, the Final Thursday Reading Series...
Illustration by Mohammed Amin
  Most living things in West Tennessee evolved to blend with browns and greys in the winter, a snowless season of dead, shedded skins. That’s the color of deer and most snakes there. It’s the reason white squirrels were almost hawk-hunted to extinction in Kentucky a few years back. It’s easy then to notice daffodils late in the season, the...
Illustration by Matt Manley
  It’s a familiar idea—the smallest difference having a huge impact. It seems to come up especially often in sports conversations. While discussing the mechanics of Roger Federer’s game, for example, David Foster Wallace writes, “tennis is… a game of micrometers: vanishingly tiny changes around the moment of impact will have large effects...
Illustration by Daniel Zender
I am the harsh sound a tool makes, a small cutting wheel scoring a surface, scribing a line. Briefly, intense heat is generated, briefly, the glass cries out, a hurting sound; they wound each other in their touching: steel and annealed glass. The glazier is angry but careful, he taps along the line he’s made and breaks the glass with his...
Illustration by Matt Manley
The key components to a writing life—one would think they would be simple. A person sits down and writes. Alas, let’s admit from the outset that it’s more complicated than that. There is a life to live, and a living to earn. Thus one has a job, a family, perhaps a dog, a yard to mow, leaves to rake, a house to clean, a spiritual life to tend...
Illustration by Brianne Burnell
My grandfather was a professional fighter. My father, brother, and uncle were Division I college athletes. My father went on to coach high school athletics for many years, and my uncle spent a summer bouncing between NFL training camps before the Cowboys finally cut him during preseason. To say I was raised in a culture of sports is an...
Photo by Tobias van Schneider
Mary Frisbee’s Black Fin immediately draws us in with a gripping situation and holds our interest throughout. Twenty-seven year old Olive, given a probable medical death sentence, decides to take her own life to spare herself from an agonizing end, but in the very process of trying to kill herself, her plans change abruptly when she takes on...
Photo by Nong Vang
  Reading helps me through my highs and lows. It helps me shape my view of the world, helps me describe the ineffable, helps me make sense of old mysteries while stirring up new ones. I don’t always know the right thing to say to someone, but I usually have a poem or story to share. Some of my favorite books have disappeared into the hands...
Original North American Review
  Happy Holidays from the North American Review! In December of 1923, the North American Review published Winifred Kirkland's piece, "A Christmas City of the Old South". Winifred Kirkland wrote on a variety of subjects, including; religious pieces, histories on the girlhoods of famous women, and several juvenile books. Today we bring you "A...
Illustration by Christian Ruiz
  I found a deer in the backyard today.  It was dead. I had gone out to mow the back terrace, a section of the yard that slopes down to the next street, and there was this deer there.  I don't know if it was male or female, or how old it was.  There were lots of flies around its head, especially around its eyes.  I think the flies were...
Illustration by Daniel Zender
  Last year, on Christmas Day, the poet Dick Allen passed away. The author of nine books of poetry and a former Poet Laureate of Connecticut, Dick was a formidable presence in American literature. It was fitting that he died on Christmas, a day of birth. He would have appreciated the cyclical implication of that. His last published book was...
Photo by Martino Pietropoli
  It is 2016 in the middle of winter. However, MoMA is warm. I am part of Star Black’s “Writing in Response to Art” class which meets on Saturdays. The course involves our ragtag team of writers heading to the museum of the day to write pieces inspired by the works there. Often, we head to the locations with only Professor Black’s prompts...
Illustration by Youheum Son
  My primary interest as of recently is the manner in which a “dream narrative” functions. The visions we have in dreams seem to reflect the surrealist nature of our minds, and also seem suited to the writing of the dream as a poem. I have been working on dream narratives for the past few months and plan to compile them as a collection. It...
Illustration by Kateryna Bortsova
  The line as a not necessarily articulate unit of sensation—a breath, a strain of cerebral activity, the muffled speech of a mother vibrating through the womb to reach a fetus—this is more important to my experience of a poem than anything else. I’d venture to say that, as a poem is a felt thing, these visceral elements are most important...
Illustration by Matt Manley
  Reading Ted Kooser's work, I often think of what Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggeman wrote in his book, Sabbath as Resistance: "Worship that does not lead to neighborly compassion cannot be faithful worship." This same sense of "neighborliness" has been apparent in the poetry of Kooser, who also served two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate,...
FTRS
  The North American Review is proud to be published at the University of Northern Iowa, located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. In keeping with our pride in our academic community, the North American Review is sharing interviews conducted for the Final Thursday Reading Series in Cedar Falls. Now in its 19th season, the Final Thursday Reading Series...
Illustration by Mary Ann Smith
When I turned 60, after years of writing poetry and attending poetry workshops, I fell into a funk; I didn’t have a single book to show for all my work.  But despair takes you just so far.  With the help of a friend who was also a publisher, I put my first book together, found a striking cover, and voila—oh wait—my would-be publisher has gone...
Black Fin cover
Repost from article "Noir, noir" by Melody Parker printed in The Courier May 23, 2018 Mary Frisbee Johnson is pretty certain about one thing: Her sister-in-law isn’t going to like reading Johnson’s new book, “Black Fin.” “She loves reading mysteries, and she’s told me she wants to read mine, but ‘Black Fin’ is dark. It’s not a cheerful,...
Illustration by Jessica Mercado
I was very pleased to find that the short story assigned to me for the Fall 2018 issue of the North American Review was about food. I have a passion for not only cooking food, but also drawing and painting food. I have always found that food and art are very similar in that people eat with their eyes. The texture, shapes, and colors in food...
Illustration by Mary Ann Smith
  The act of confession reveals the soft underbelly. But what are acceptable topics?  I have heard a certain male writer is famous for saying Sharon Olds would be a great writer if she only got out of bed once in a while.  I have been told many times by male teachers and fellow writers that no one wants to read about my experience as a...
Illustration by Vlad Alvarez
  The North American Review is proud to be published at the University of Northern Iowa, located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. In keeping with our pride in our academic community, the North American Review is sharing interviews conducted for the Final Thursday Reading Series in Cedar Falls. Now in its 19th season, the Final Thursday Reading Series...
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...

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