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creative writing

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
same way.


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...

In one of the best rejection letters I’ve ever gotten, an agent told me recently, I honestly don't have a clue who'd be a viable publisher for this.

A line like that is a condemnation of sorts. In 2015, this agent goes on to declare, there is no market for the kind of literary fiction I am trying to write.

That she said this about a manuscript I spent nearly three years writing means I should feel some heavy mix of defeat and depression. Hopelessness and hatred....


New York City never sleeps, but late at night it pauses to take a breath. Deep underground, on the subway platforms, the floods of people empty out; those who remain keep their distance from one another, for safety. You stand and wait...

I wrote this story when my husband was dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Diease). Until then, I’d thought of myself as a novelist, but I no longer had the mental bandwidth to immerse myself in long work. So I turned to the short story, a form I immediately fell in love with for its vast array of possibilities. “The Cop, the Hooker & the Ridealong” was the first story I wrote close to...

The ground, of course, does move under your feet. Ask the astronomers: it moves a thousand miles per hour, if you’re talking about the speed of the Earth’s spin; it moves more than sixty thousand miles per hour if you look at our laps around the sun; the speeds get even higher if you think about us sailing through the galaxy or the universe at large. On top of that, we move inexorably through time. Our bodies refuse to stop changing. The world transforms and retransforms around us, as people...

Amy Glynn gives us an excerpt from her in-progress essay collection "Knotweed, Bindweed, Crabgrass, Thorn: Field Notes on Making Your Bed and Lying in It, Bolting, Reaping What You Sow, and Other Useful Domestic Metaphors."


I see humanity now as one vast plant, needing for its highest
fulfillment only love, the natural blessings of the great
outdoors, and intelligent crossing and selection.


During the mid-to-late-eighties I worked for two oil field companies, Oilfield Rental Service Company and later Petco Fishing and Rental Tools, both in Morgan City, Louisiana. Both businesses fabricated, tested, and delivered to the docks blowout preventer stacks and manifolds*, configured and tested various combinations of spools and flanges, and...

In this over-the-top literary Western, to honor his deceased mother's wishes, the protagonist Jim O'Brien writes the quixotic saga of his ancestors who grew up with a tribe of Comanches.  Not quite in line with his mother's wishes, he weaves into the tale modern day stalkers, drug dealers, secret agents, strippers, a mad linguist, an imaginary therapist, the ghost of...

As a soon-to-be graduate from the University of Northern Iowa's Bachelor of Fine Arts program in early 2007, I was only too delighted to receive an illustration request for the North American Review. Having studied under the art direction of Roy Behrens, I looked forward to contributing to the publication.

After reading and re-reading Steve...

Secret WomenEric Piatkowski
Anchors on chiefs’ and officers’ hats blaze
bronze, gold. Fear holds us, though technically
seamen are navy property. But sex?
Dismissed. Inspection done. Red stripes. White crow.
Each left sleeve flies one. Our navy blue wave
falls apart. First...


North American Review
1200 West 23rd Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Phone: 319-273-6455


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