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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 Black Fin is the wonderful first release of North American Review’s new noir imprint Gas Station Pulp. The book centers on Olive Wiley, a street-smart,...

One of the most salient revelations in The Great Gatsby, the origins of Jay Gatsby, née James Gatz, is embedded in Chapter 6 of the novel. We learn of Gatsby’s upbringing: a farm boy from North Dakota raised in poverty. He goes to college but drops out because he’s ashamed of having to support himself as a janitor.

Edward Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald’s father, whose wicker furniture business failed and who then lost a subsequent job with Proctor and Gamble, was reduced to living...

Michael Spence discusses perseverance throughout his career and the success it brought him, and ultimately what he learned from Carol Channing. He last appeared in the North American Review with his poem "Consensus" in issue 298.2, Spring 2013. He also discusses "Consensus" in an...

About ten years ago I wanted to write an article about how writers, who often teach composition courses, are the last people on Earth who should be teaching composition courses. I had good arguments: First of all, it’s hard for writers to understand and communicate with people who so dislike writing that they only take a writing class when it’s required, and, second, we don’t spend as much time thinking about grammar as administrators might like. Above all, I thought, people who write...


Danger. Intrigue. Escape.

Individualism. Suburbanization.  An Interstate highway system. And the American zeal to zoom.


The morning following my first night in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a young man drowned in the river behind our home. I was out for an early morning jog when I noticed a police car pulled to the side of the road running parallel to the river. I rerouted and peered down the ravine, where I spotted a rescue team gearing up to retrieve a body that wouldn’t be found for days.

In the time between, my dog and I regularly walked the riverbanks, scanning the water for clues. But there were no...

Poetry was my first genre.  The pleasures of metaphor, compression of expression, and the controlled line appealed to me in ways that prose did not, and when I first began writing—and then publishing—I never thought I would write anything but poetry.  Of course, critical essays and book reviews were part of my work, but those always felt as though they came from a different quadrant of my brain.  Poetry was my genre.


I’m writing this post—and a few other things—on my first summer day of liberation from teaching and administration, and it feels wonderful! Of course, by the time this post appears (in a month), the summer will feel half over—it will indeed be half over, as classes start mid-August. But for the moment, I’m reminded that writing is fun, especially when it’s not squeezed into the hour here or there available during the school year. And that I’m lucky to be able to write poems and prose,...

A_1395571552_furrytiger_-_na_konkurs_sobolya_animaciya - john's blog

As the author of over 45 books, I’m here to tell...

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