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Martha Silano


Gift Tower

When I read Siddhartha in Mrs. Stevens’ World Lit class,

the problem I had was reconciling the somber, skinny,


beneath-the-lotus-tree Buddha with the smiling,

fat-bellied, shiny golden Buddha beside the register



A Room of One’s Own?

The truth is, I haven’t had a room of my own in almost twenty years.

The truth is, since 1996 I’ve been writing in a low-ceilinged attic that also serves as our ‘master’ bedroom.

I’ve written in parks and zoos and museums, in a writer friend’s poetry barn (she was with me, writing too), in my ki...

I remember watching this video of Robert Bly when I was in my early twenties. He was asking the audience, “So, you want to be a poet? Do you have about fifty years?” Yes, of course, I thought to myself. I do have fifty years if that’s what it takes. I’d been writing poems since I was seven, and I knew I still had quite a few more bad poems to write—real stinkers—before I got any good.


Martha blog

In the early 1990s, when I was enrolled in the MFA program at the University of Washington, I sometimes found myself sitting in traffic, chilling out to NPR, when the announcer would butt in to warn us all about...


About four years ago, I had the honor of spending a week in residency at a scholarly retreat center in the far Northwest corner...

North American Review
1200 West 23rd Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50614

Phone: 319-273-6455


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