instagram logo tumblr icon

Poetry

Illustration by Christian Ruiz of an explorer in the jungle

 

I wrote “Parallelism” as I thought about the animals of Sri Lanka. I lived there for a year while teaching at the University of Colombo, the capital city (Fulbright Fellowship). Sri Lanka had an absolutely marvelous wildlife population, many of these endemic. Many of the others, such as the sloth bear, the M. meminna, the world’s tiniest deer, and the star tortoise were well-known—but not to an Iowan farm girl. With this enormous wealth of animals I had never seen or known...

Falling stars off of a tree by Vlad Alvarez

My father is from Montevideo, Uruguay, and I never met anyone from his side of the family besides my abuela, whom I spent a handful of hours with when I was five, and never again (she died when I was seven). His bloodline is riddled with telenovela-worthy drama—decades-long affairs, biological and non-biological parentage, turbulent poverty, alcoholism, anarchists, all topped off with a violent and oppressive military coup d'état that sent him fleeing the country to post-Franco Spain, where...

Illustration by Matt Manley of man looking through a square frame, hidden by shadows.

          I was fortunate to be born into a family that emphasized the importance of story.
          The first story they told me was my name. Next came my great-grandfather cutting watermelon into quarters as he and my father walked a field in Kentucky. Then came my mother running and jumping on the basketball court, powerful and balanced.
          Growing up, my little brother, Nathan, and I shared a room. Both Dad and Mom would come and read to us. They sat on the floor...

Illustration by Matt Manley of man looking through a square frame.

          What else do we have except story? To say how we love one another. To offer comfort. To prepare for grief, for suffering. To try to remember joy.
          In the beginning was the word and the word was made flesh. And what were those words? Mostly the language of the body. Breast and thigh, curve of back, ankle’s stem and neck’s graceful turn like the limb of a willow nudged by the wind.
          We were young, only twenty-three when we...

woman on fire

By Patricia O'Brien

Introduction

“Mother’s Love is bliss, is peace, it need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. If it is there, it is a blessing; if it is not there, it is as if all the beauty had gone out of life.” – Eric Fromm

Patricia O’Brien is our mother, our bliss. In advance of Mother’s Day, let us all honor the beauty that all mothers give us. In celebration, we want to share insight into our...

Illustration by Tom Moore

This blog is about Betsy's poem "nails and wings" which appeared in NAR issue 302.2 and is available here.

            Dog paddling across a gigantic sparkling lake while weeds grab at my legs—that’s the metaphor for marriage that floated to the surface this morning. Unlike falling in love, which is generally effortless, delicious, deliciously frustrating, frustratingly rewarding, but most of all finite,...

Art by Matt Manley

    I wrote “I, Beast,” a poem honored by the North American Review, after reading a New York Times article in 2014, which explained that the soil in one particular Russian city had preserved ancient documents, some as mundane as a shopping list and a child’s fanciful drawing. The drawing was made in approximately 1260 by a boy named Onfirm, believed to be six to seven years old and includes the words, “I, beast,” as well as the...

Illustration by Tom Moore

In the summer of 2014, while traveling to Greensburg, Pennsylvania for a poetry retreat,  I sat to write a poem as a reply to a Father’s Day letter I had received from my son, Patrick. The response eventually became a book-length manuscript. The poems of Soul Be A Witness, my latest collection, attempt to speak truth of and to boys and men of color as only an African American son, father, and...

Self by Ciara Shuttleworth

Images by author

 

Courtney by Ciara Shuttleworth     I went to school for painting before I went for poetry. I kept a notebook in my painting studio, but the act of writing in a notebook is more like painting than editing a drafted poem: the body...

Illustration by Melanie Lambrick

     I had the good fortune to be a finalist in Five Oaks Press’s poetry chapbook competition last spring, and because of that, had my collection published this March. In the past, when my work has been accepted for publication, I’ve felt a combination of excitement and relief: someone liked it! And also: now I can stop revising.

     With the chapbook, though, my experience was different. The pages were smaller than the standard Word doc I...

Pages

FIND US:
North American Review
1222 West 27th Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50614

CONTACT US:
Phone: 319-273-6455
Email: nar@uni.edu

FOLLOW US:

instagram logo tumblr icon

 

SUBSCRIBE TO US:

Go to Online Store

Up to Top