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"Faith" was written during a transitional period for me as a poet. I had recently left academia to take a full time position at my family's pest control business. As I worked to figure out how to write about roaches and bedbugs and the tenants at the public housing complexes where I spent most of my working hours, I found myself and my poetry shifting. Perhaps it was liberal...

My story “I Was Shot by Someone in a Grey Sedan,” which appeared in NAR 298.3, is one of four I've written using hooks borrowed from pop fiction. I've always tried to vary my stories by using different methods to get them started, and I suppose I've had about five or six generation...

“Brief History of Midwestern Civilization” clearly has its origins in nostalgia and memories of my beloved grandfather, who ran a series of hatcheries in central Illinois, the last in tiny Graymont, ten miles from the farm I grew up on. The warmth of those memories is complicated (I hope) by my adult awareness that what seemed a mundane, sometimes boring, arduous life on the prairie, filled with hard work and smelly chickens, was also quite secure and privileged...

Jeanne Emmons's poem "Polio Water in 1955" was the James Hearst Poetry Prize winner in issue 291.2, Spring 2006.

Notes from the author:

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My wife has a fellow teacher friend who has a friend who writes an occasional column for a Swedish newspaper.  Evastina Bender was born in Sweden but has lived in the U.S. for many years now.  She thought it might be interesting to run a piece on me, emphasizing the connection between my writing poems and having driven public-transit buses in the Seattle area for thirty years.  We had a nice, long talk. ...

COURAGE, CLARITY, TRUTH, UNCERTAINTY

Sympathetic and unsympathetic voice is about intent: whom and what one is writing for. It is what separates the likably mediocre from the uncomfortably moving. 

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I recently told an artist friend how I had finally finished the book I had been writing for years, but that I couldn’t stop tinkering with it out of obsession because it was all I had...

Today's Throwback Thursday pick is, "Tanning", a poem from Mariette Landry. The poem was originally published in issue 291.2, Spring 2006. The poem landed Third Place in the James Hearst Poetry Prize.

 

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One of the most salient revelations in The Great Gatsby, the origins of Jay Gatsby, née James Gatz, is embedded in Chapter 6 of the novel. We learn of Gatsby’s upbringing: a farm boy from North Dakota raised in poverty. He goes to college but drops out because he’s ashamed of having to support himself as a janitor.

Edward Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald’s father, whose wicker furniture business failed and who then lost a subsequent job with Proctor and Gamble, was reduced to living...

Wyatt Townley discusses her poem "Striptease," first featured in issue 291.2, Spring 2006. It was a finalist for the James Hearst Poetry Prize

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