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I always have good intentions when I start writing poetry. It all begins nicely—all naturalist, homespun vignettes on Beatrix Potter-esque subjects—purple finches and green linnets chit-chattering on telephone wires about weather forecasts and sky map coordinates. Beneath the wires, a red fox slinks through gnarled, twiggy underbrush. A shaggy-haired goat forages in the vernal, peaceful glen.


Ian Randall Wilson discusses his history with the North American Review and how it demonstrates determination during his early career. His short story, "The Great Lermentov," appeared in our most recent issue, 300.3, summer 2015.  


Michelle Cacho-Negrette reflects on writing the piece "First Husband," published in our latest issue, 300.3, Summer 2015.

Daniel Zender

How long did it take me to write "First Husband...

Today's Throwback Thursday pick is "Cleaning the Octopus," a poem by Arlene Distler. It was originally published in issue 291.2, Spring 2006. It was a finalist for the James Hearst Poetry Prize.

A note from the author: The publication of "Cleaning the...

"STANDING DEADWOOD" originally appeared in issue 294.3-4, May-Aug 2009. The first half of Thomas M. Atkinson's short story "Standing Deadwood" was featured yesterday June 6, 2015.


Thomas M. Atkinson's short story "Standing Deadwood" was featured in issue 294.3/4, spring/summer 2009. This is the first half of the story and the conclusion will be posted tomorrow, Sunday June 7, 2015.


The raccoon took a crap in my truck last night. Inside the cab, in the cup-holder. I was still a little bleary this morning and my coffee...

[NOTE: click on the hyperlinks for added fun]

Hello, my name is Laurie and I am attached to outcome.

Everyone: Hello, Laurie!

Watering GirlIt all started when...

Ann and I were staying at a VRBO apartment on the edge of Austin, visiting our daughter, when I picked from the bookshelf there, mildly curious, a paperback copy of Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore; I remembered having read a review when it first appeared. The title had caught my attention, and kept it even after I realized that there was no...

Often, when I teach fiction writing workshops, I feel a bit like a guy peddling fortune cookies, each with a classic saw about craft inside. Show, don’t tell . . . Put your character in a tree and throw rocks at them . . . A problem with endings is a problem with beginnings. My students nod kindly. Many of them are science majors, taking a detour into humanities (or more often fulfilling a requirement) and they take notes, as if they plan on returning to these sage pearls of wisdom...

Flashback to 1973. Rich Ives is a young student in the Creative Writing program at Eastern Washington University. He has stacks of photos he’s taken of various subjects (coeds, mainly, in abstract postures) and a freezer full of cheap corn dogs.  He plays keyboard in a rock blues band. We share an office as teaching assistants and travel the road with Professor Jim McAuley and Dick Hugo in the Poets...


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