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Latest Blogs

Three Sisters, walking with umbrellas
                  I’m working on a novella called "Halli’s Boots".  Originally HB was supposed to be a short story, but it wanted more out of life, so I caved in and set aside the other novel I was working on—called "Monsterology".             Halli’s Boots is actually two wings joined by an interlude, during which everything that does not...
Alvarez
  It always begins with listening. There are some days I wake, listen, and hear only suffering. The world seems wounded, colossal, and entirely out of reach. Time has shown me that in order to heal a wound, you must first look at it-then plant the seed that begins the work towards recovery. A recognition. Within a poem, we can travel from...
Dushan Milic
Most of this story is taken from my own family history. In her twilight years, my Great Aunt Mickey had a poodle whom she loved beyond reason. She doted on that dog hand and foot 24/7. There are so many funny stories about Mickey and her poodle, starting with the name itself. The dog's name was Puddin' and she was very particular about the...
Faye Rogers
What we remember from poems, as well as the beauty or excitement of the language, is often an image. It is that way with dreams too. I dream vividly every night and often carry around with me a feeling and an image that came to me in a dream from the night before. It is like a ghost that inhabits me for a while. It has no language but speaks...
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...
Overlooking mountains
  WOODCHUCK LODGE AND SLABSIDES ON THE SAME DAY Text and Photographs by Mathew Tekulsky               On June 13, 2009, I drove down from my house in Vermont to attend a quiet, introspective celebration of John Burroughs Community Day in Roxbury, New York. By about 1:00 P.M., I arrived at Woodchuck Lodge, which had served as John...
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Cover Design
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Published North American Review Press, 2018 $14.95 paperback ISBN: 978-0-915996-14-8 As a reader and a writer, my go-to definition of noir has always been “little people making big mistakes.” The classics of the genre, such as the books of James M. Cain or Jim Thompson, focus on that tiny sentence and take us to the...
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,...
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Cover Design
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Published North American Review Press, 2018 $14.95 paperback ISBN: 978-0-915996-14-8 Mary Frisbee’s novel, Black Fin, inaugural winner of North American Review Press’s new Gas Station Pulp fiction contest, is a book that pays homage to its own crime noir tradition while also moving forward to modernize the pulp...
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...
horse painting by anne-marie brown
          I am one of those unlucky people to whom falling asleep does not come naturally. When I close my eyes, I am immediately beset by slews of thoughts—they fly in like volleys of tiny arrows through my bedroom window, finding me, pricking me, keeping me awake. However, I’ve learned that sleeping well (when I’m able to do it) contributes...
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Cover Design
Black Fin by Mary Frisbee Published North American Review Press, 2018 $14.95 paperback ISBN: 978-0-915996-14-8 Mary Frisbee’s Black Fin is the wonderful first release of North American Review’s new noir imprint Gas Station Pulp. The book centers on Olive Wiley, a street-smart, slightly shady young woman who happens upon a little girl, Sarah...
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...
painting of a small child sitting in grass
Laurie Lamon​ The making of this poem took a very long time. I did not write about my father's death for almost twenty years. I was always interested in my father's tools, especially his level, which now is mine. It is big and heavy, and over seventy years old. To barely move it is to disrupt equilibrium.  So much of working with poetry makes...
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...
Matt Manley artwork
My poem “Southside” was inspired by an amazing book titled Truevine written by Roanoke-based writer Beth Macy. Macy spent years building community relationships and conducting research that would enable her to speak to the particular story of racial pain detailed in the book as well as our community and country’s genocidal history toward...
Jellyfish
I wrote "Not a Beautiful Poem" about one of my longest and dearest friends who has frequently been a muse for my writing. This particular piece came to life for me through both conversations and my own lived experience with my muse-friend; and also by way of these photos she sent to me while diving in Southeast Asia. The story of the poem is...
Frozen by Anthony Tremmaglia
I am often asked about the relationship between—specifically the intersection of—poetics and philosophy. Usually, the question begins with the ontological: the notion of “the poem” and “philosophy” (what  the poem/philosophy is rather than what it does). The question of “what a poem is” should, I believe, go unanswered (and ultimately it...
Natasha Dennerstein and Kaye Freeman
Process Note on my Poem "Aspic Lipstick Fabric District Prayer" Natasha Dennerstein I have been collaborating with LA painter, Kaye Freeman. A detail of her large painting “The Emperor’s Twit” was used as the cover of my last book from Norfolk Press in San Francisco, a novella-in-verse “About a Girl.” I have also read poems at one of Kaye...
Ghost by Christian Blaza
I was scrolling around the internet today, looking for articles about envy and writers—long story—when I came across a web posting with the following title: “Do You Ever Feel Jealous of Other Writers?” What a stupid, stupid question. Writers are jealous of other writers always, all the time. Except the proper word here, I may point out, is “...
Books by Hokyoung Kim
When the events I relate in “Noir Girl: An Essay in Two Takes” happened to me, I was in a big transitionary period. I’d recently decided to take a break from fiction, having finished writing a 440 page novel six years in the making (at least four of which consisted of me pacing, pitching imaginary baseball games for which I supplied the...
Bookwood by Faye Rogers
  Is what is named not already lost? -Albert Camus (tr. N) He had two rooms on the same floor. -Ingeborg Bachmann (tr. Mary Fran Gilbert) If a translator stands both before and after, it is in part out of desperation. And so why not, in such an instance, (I mean in an instance in which one is called upon to speak of something when one has...
Galaxy of Resolutions by Chris Ruiz
                  The trick of the fiction writer is the beautiful lie, writing words to create experiences that never happened.  When the novel was still “novel,” writers often imitated nonfiction forms: diaries, like the great Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; or letters, like Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; or travelogues, like Daniel...
Abyss by Vlad Alvarez
​Emötoma in Spanish sounds like something in between hemotoma and the cancer of emote; thus, I have translated it as (H)emötoma. Before my diagnosis of cancer, I had fallen in love with Minerva Reynosa's playful language and exuberance, so after my confrontation with cancer, (H)emötoma boosted my will to live. The surprising juxtapositions...
Greening by Mary Ann Smith
     “The poet says, Here, let me show you something. That is, let me help you to see      something as you have not seen it before.”                              —N. Scott Momaday Before I launch into a typical day of teaching, I want to include a couple of passages I use every year to illustrate the idea of gestures, their importance,...

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