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Justin Perkins

WAKE: WORLD, ARRIVED

Reality, divided into light and matter.
A moment travels from the universe’s birth.

A massless noun converts into light, then reverses.
This, the moment when the universe begins

to shine. Mother’s voice whispering by the crib,
brushing with my first series of particulars.

A probability turns true, tips and flashes
slicing the light into particles it daringly

hails through. Father, teaching me to...

My poem “The Cheshire Cat Effect” reflects my interest in the intersection of quantum mathematics and poetry. This is an interdisciplinary field that’s really got me excited these days because I feel like there’s a lot of productive thinking to be done about the relationship of the arts and the sciences. And also our culture, whether it’s reflected through the arts, or through psychology or religion, still has barely begun to come to terms with the implications of quantum physics although it...

“Don’t be afraid to get really strange,” my dad told me several summers ago, while helping edit my first novel. “You can always scale back later.”

As always, I took his advice to heart. For, as a writer and creative writing professor, Dad’s editorial input was invaluable.

These would be his last words of advice to me about writing.

Dad, along with our actress mom, raised my sister and me in sleepy Midwestern towns, enlivened with magical bedtime books, such as Thomas...

Joan Colby's poem "The Lunar Year" was a finalist in the 2010 James Hearst Poetry Prize. The poem appears in issue 295.2 of the North American Review.

...

Thirteen years since I started teaching my Creative Writing class at Douglas County Jail just outside Lawrence, Kansas.  Thirteen years, hundreds of classes, thousands of inmates in my class over the years.

I’ve taught for over twenty years at the University of Kansas.  I’ve taught in France, Senegal, Zambia, Japan and England.  But there’s no doubt at all that my writing class at Douglas County Jail has been the best teaching experience of my life.

I was there again on...

In the early morning hours of October 24, 2005, I got up to watch the news; little did I realize it would be the last time I’d be using electricity for over a week.

For weeks, we'd been watching the progress of Hurricane Wilma. We had just finished cleaning up from Hurricane Katrina, which hit Florida on its way to New Orleans. We had a huge...

sunlight-justin perkins

I’m always on the lookout for writing inspiration. When something, anything, strikes me as funny-odd-interesting-sick-creepy-fantastic-ridiculous, I take note. I have many quarter sheets of paper with...

justin

One of the things I like most about my illustration assignments is that I have the opportunity to face challenges that get me out of my creative comfort zone. My first assignment from North American Review did just...

My poetry often siphons science for inspiration. Scientific American, Nature, “Best of” series all provide me with gifts like “humans taste brown” and “the measures we use depend on what we are measuring.”For the past five years, I’ve taken a special interest in human descent with modification, which has turned into an interest regarding literary evolutionists and what they have to say about why we spend so much of our time in the land of narrative. According to...

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