Happy Pre-Thanksgiving From The North American Review
Artwork by: Clay Rodery
Been there, done that...
MOST ACCIDENTS OCCUR AT HOME
Nobody tells you this:
Every day is a creation story.
You’ll make a dome of light over waste and welter
some of the time, then wake one night
on your side of the bed and remember:
There weren’t many happy endings.
First the ripe fruit. Then the way he turned from her,
said it was her idea.
Nobody tells you this will happen again
Seventy years after the ten minute jury deliberation that sent him to the electric chair at age fourteen, George Stinney, Jr., was exonerated of the murders he had been convicted. When I read the story, I was, of course, deeply disturbed. Disturbed by the glaring injustice. Disturbed by the similarity to the circumstances surrounding the recent deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner at the hands of law enforcement.
What upset me most, though, was the description of...
On June 16, 1944, George Stinney, a fourteen-year-old black boy, was executed by the state of South Carolina for the murder of two white girls. George was so short he had to carry a Bible to use as a booster seat when sitting in the electric chair. He was so young the death mask would not fit his face. He took five full minutes to die, the mask slipping off to show his eyes melting, his body convulsing.
There was no evidence...
I’ve been thinking lately about fiction and nonfiction, how they can merge and separate until one becomes the other. Especially I’ve been thinking about the technique of pause in nonfiction, a liberal stepping outside, pausing the narrative, to pursue a possibly fictional what if this had happened?
Most of us have two eyes. And with those two eyes we see things that others see. But
because my eyes are different from yours and hers and his, nothing we see can ever be seen the
To make matters worse, when we try to communicate what we see, the reality we try to capture is never accurate. It can’t be. It’s impossible to see something and communicate exactly what we see because the words we use to describe an image are just, well, words. Take the human...
Reginald Dwayne Betts wrote in a recent issue of Poetry magazine, “Don’t write about being white,” a quote the editors thought important enough to reprint on the back cover of the magazine. Certainly Betts and the editors wanted to raise a few eyebrows, and certainly a careful reader will relate the...
I am very grateful to North American Review for publishing the poem “I Heard They Were Queer for One Another,” featured in the 2015 spring issue of NAR, as it is part of a project that is very near and dear to my heart. In the introduction to Carolyn Forché’s landmark anthology Against Forgetting, Forché advocates for a space between the...
"Man in Flower" was an Honorable Mention in the 2015 James Hearst Poetry Prize contest.
With “Man in Flower,” I was attempting something of an urban pastoral. Yet rather than celebration, I was interested in something...