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Midwestern

Sometimes poems start with nouns. Could we even go so far as to say all poems begin their at-first fragile lives with the solidity of nouns? In the dark we move, and that moving matters when we bump into something or when our bare foot, warm from the bedclothes, comes down flesh against angle, onto a Lego block. Through the day we touch nouns: a pen, a handlebar, a coffee cup, our ear, a book’s spine, our beloved’s spine; or we long to touch, dream of touching, imagine touching,...

Drinks next to a window

I ate a dead man’s tiramisu this past summer.  I did not plan such a macabre act; one rarely does.  My husband Ryan and I had just become new residents to New York City and new regulars to a French patisserie and café two blocks from our apartment—when the owner and head chef, Jean-Francois, dropped dead from a heart attack.   He was forty-five.  I had seen Jean-Francois several times.  A no-nonsense man, he brought out warm trays of croissants, scones, and baguettes, even in the...

James Hearst

[B]urned in the bold air above you
in Black Hawk County
are the proudest words we can speak:
Here is a man.

Let the earth be lucky.

from Paul Engle’s poem “James Hearst” in the ...

Human shadow

Felicia Zamora’s Poem “A Long Road Never Takes Us” Will Appear In Nar Issue 302.1.

What brings you to the page? The incessant lull of the image? Perhaps the habitual pace around the desk, in taunt of your time? The spark of unexplainable inspiration that requires you to bolt toward any mechanism of capture to get it down? The guilt...

Freaky Dance Party Illustration

The lines/images that trigger my poems rarely stick as the entrance to the final product of my poems. Something that interests me about “Tips for Your Quarter-life Crisis” is that its first line has always been its first line. Well, the first line actually used to be “Don’t feed your kale salad to the wolves,” but when the poem went through a workshop, one of my peers pointed...

Illustration by Jeannie Phan

I write for free or for fees we call nominal. Not as a matter of principle. Certainly not in pursuit of an ideal.

I write for free because the economic structure of my country dictates the necessity of this arrangement and institutions (of education, of publication), their agents being people much like myself, admit no alternative.

At first I wrote for free because I believed that “getting my name out there” was a worthwhile use of my time,...

Cover of the North American Review

I would like to write a little something about my picture “King Pest” which is on the cover of 301.4. It is an illustration for Edgar Allan Poe’s darkly comic story about a plague, two sailors, and a group of remarkable characters who each had one of his or her features (nose, head, ears, etc.) distorted (enlarged) by the pervasive plague. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of pictures I have...

Piatkowski illustration

“Pieces of Bennet” by Shelly Owens was published in NAR issue 301.4.

I think my writer brain might be toast. I’m a sunburnt snake swimming in my own crackly skin trying to shed myself of myself. Or maybe it’s like Miss Havisham’s house: cluttered with moldy old cake and all the stuff I’ve wanted to get down on the page but...

Nightfall

Our Thanksgiving Series Comes To An End With A Piece From Our 290.6, Nov-Dec Of 2005 Issue

By Richard Cecil

The Night After Thanksgiving

As freezing wind made branches whip and snap,
a silver—rat? raccoon? no,possum—stopped
on the sidewalk up ahead and looked back
at me and I looked back at her and stopped....

Sweet Alaska image

Thanksgiving Day – November 24, 2016 – #Givethanks


Today’s Poem Was Selected To Remind Us All Of How Truly Special Thanksgiving Is. Cherish Those Around You And Again, Happy Holiday!


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