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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...

A barnyard under water

“Moss Called Pond” First Appeared In Nar Issue 301.4.

 

“Moss Called Pond” chronicles a conversation with water pondering, among other subjects: consumption, wonder, space, temporality, and people known only through pond, by layer and suspended sediment. So, in speaking with a small pond near where I...

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...

Two boys

“Scenes from a Life of Sport” by Robert Shuster was published in NAR issue 301.3.

Some years ago, a friend of mine asked the writers she knew to compose a short piece, on any subject, as a gift for her thirtieth birthday. I found the request delightful—I was, I must admit, rather smitten with Jan’s charms—but didn’t quite know what to do. Something philosophical? Something funny? A page of...

Gouache

The story about Beauty came to me in a conversation with a good friend who was asking about the origins of Louisiana Creole people. One thing that kept rising to the surface was this idea that Creoles (especially women) are generally known for their beauty and not much else. Of course, Louisiana Creole women have so many other attributes, as women of other cultural and ethnic backgrounds have, but our supposed beauty is something that arrives over and over again in our family narratives. So...

Unnamed

Some time ago, a prominent poet and critic posted a question to social media asking for names of Native American poets publishing now. Curious, I followed the thread. The query was met with a variety of responses: A very few people suggested actual contemporary Native American poets, others put forward the names of 19th century tribal orators, long dead. The names of known ethnic frauds, pretendian poets...

Power line

When I was younger, the inability of strangers to guess where I was from satisfied my ambition to hide, to conceal, to cover up everything that had made me into who I was. Perhaps then I could convince myself that I was something else. However, after my mother’s death, I found no comfort in the fact that no one could guess I was from where she had been from, that I was from her. It seemed as if, in fact, it might not be true at all.

My mother was born in Jasper, right in the county...

The North American Review would like to wish everyone a very special Happy Halloween Weekend. Today we have a poem featured by Anne Barngrover from issue 300.4, Fall 2015.

ventura

...

I hate to start out with a cliche, but art really can make you starve. You can be a stalwart perfectionist when it comes to fine art, be it writing, music or the like. Fine, in that I mean something that builds on our love of the world in which we live, that speaks to the conscience, that speaks to the heart’s struggles, that builds on the true temperament of the human experience.  But, it can make you starve, when you don’t know when to put the pen down, the instrument that bends your will...

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