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Latest Blog Posts

Latest Blog Posts

James Hearst
[B]urned in the bold air above you in Black Hawk County are the proudest words we can speak:Here is a man. Let the earth be lucky. from Paul Engle’s poem “James Hearst” in the NAR Fall 1974 issue “Time for bed, Carl. It’s late and you have a long day tomorrow.” That was the only time I heard James Hearst change his voice to try to sound...
Buildings
My arsenal when I enter my poetry workshops is seemingly innocuous: a pen, a 99¢ notebook, and a clay mug that contains a stapled together tea bag.  The tea, bought in bulk, doesn’t hint toward a distant land like Masala Chai nor does it promise a feeling like Calm Chamomile. No, my stuff is just stuff that one could have purchased, and did...
A candle tree
Jeannine Hall Gailey’s Poem “Repeton In Winter” Appeared In Nar Issue 301.4. While writing my newest book, Field Guide to the End of the World, I was careful to balance its darker themes – including mass extinctions, conspiracy theories, ecological disasters, and plagues – with lighter influences, from Cupcake Wars to Anthropologie catalogs...
People of the Broken Neck
Readers of the North American Review may remember from the Summer 2010 issue Silas Dent Zobal’s story “Wretchedness,” which begins with this virtuoso sentence: Salvation goes like this: I’m bulleting snowballs single handed—the right’s occupied with a tumbler of gin—at two youngsters, whose forgotten names cause me to question the nature of...
art
Here's Part Two of "Goodwill" by Jason Lee Brown The Austin mansion had sixteen rooms, including eight bedrooms, and Dee said she wanted to see them all. The two parlor rooms were packed with guests and a white noise of chatter that hung in the air. She held Ed’s hand and pulled him into the butler’s pantry, away from everyone else. Ed...
Illustration by Matteo Gallo
‘Tis The Season! Today We Begin A Story By Jason Lee Brown That Was First Published In Issue 299.1, Winter 2014. We Hope You Enjoy This Two Part Series Which Continues- Tomorrow. Ed and Dee crashed parties, and when they crashed parties, Dee flirted with older married men, and when wives got in her way, she flirted with them, too—eye...
Human shadow
Felicia Zamora’s Poem “A Long Road Never Takes Us” Will Appear In Nar Issue 302.1. What brings you to the page? The incessant lull of the image? Perhaps the habitual pace around the desk, in taunt of your time? The spark of unexplainable inspiration that requires you to bolt toward any mechanism of capture to get it down? The guilt that...
Freaky Dance Party Illustration
The lines/images that trigger my poems rarely stick as the entrance to the final product of my poems. Something that interests me about “Tips for Your Quarter-life Crisis” is that its first line has always been its first line. Well, the first line actually used to be “Don’t feed your kale salad to the wolves,” but when the poem went through a...
Illustration by Jeannie Phan
I write for free or for fees we call nominal. Not as a matter of principle. Certainly not in pursuit of an ideal. I write for free because the economic structure of my country dictates the necessity of this arrangement and institutions (of education, of publication), their agents being people much like myself, admit no alternative. At first...
Cover of the North American Review
I would like to write a little something about my picture “King Pest” which is on the cover of 301.4. It is an illustration for Edgar Allan Poe’s darkly comic story about a plague, two sailors, and a group of remarkable characters who each had one of his or her features (nose, head, ears, etc.) distorted (enlarged) by the pervasive plague....
A barnyard under water
“Moss Called Pond” First Appeared In Nar Issue 301.4.   “Moss Called Pond” chronicles a conversation with water pondering, among other subjects: consumption, wonder, space, temporality, and people known only through pond, by layer and suspended sediment. So, in speaking with a small pond near where I lived, I was able to reconnect with...
Piatkowski illustration
“Pieces of Bennet” by Shelly Owens was published in NAR issue 301.4. I think my writer brain might be toast. I’m a sunburnt snake swimming in my own crackly skin trying to shed myself of myself. Or maybe it’s like Miss Havisham’s house: cluttered with moldy old cake and all the stuff I’ve wanted to get down on the page but haven’t. I’m a...
Woman sitting
“The Study” by Stuart Greenhouse was published in NAR issue 301.4. As I remember it, when I was very young, my mom liked to ask me idle questions in our backyard. Maybe we were reading, maybe watering the garden, maybe watching the dog snuffle around. She was relaxed about it, but there was an urgency too, as if it really mattered what I...
Nightfall
Our Thanksgiving Series Comes To An End With A Piece From Our 290.6, Nov-Dec Of 2005 Issue By Richard Cecil The Night After Thanksgiving As freezing wind made branches whip and snap, a silver—rat? raccoon? no,possum—stopped on the sidewalk up ahead and looked back at me and I looked back at her and stopped. “What are you doing here?” must’...
Sweet Alaska image
Thanksgiving Day – November 24, 2016 – #Givethanks Today’s Poem Was Selected To Remind Us All Of How Truly Special Thanksgiving Is. Cherish Those Around You And Again, Happy Holiday! Thanksgiving He’s thankful for SUVs high enough to hide under like the night in the parking lot when the cops came. Thankful for what memories he has of...
Image of a person
Happy Pre-Thanksgiving From The North American Review Artwork by: Clay Rodery  Kindness Been there, done that. Senses multiplied like accordion bellows, the earth lay flat. I feel my body start to equalize as I smoke, my crew cut a jet stream before I realize the drugs have changed – synapses dimmed like gold bubbling in glasses of...
Today
Tuesday’s Poem Was First Published In Issue 296.4, Fall 2011.   Preserve A tall animal has printed the snow drift on this pond’s roof of ice. Incautious to the risk of falling through, it has crossed. Emerson assured a version of me more integral awaits my determination to meet it in woods. He uses me to meet himself in woods in me. On...
cornucopia
In Honor Of The Thanksgiving Holiday, The North American Review Would Like To Start A Series Of Posts This Week And Hopefully Continue Throughout This Season To Show Thanks To All Of Our Contributors For Their Works Of Literature And Art.  We Are Starting This Week Off With A Poem By Trevino L. Brings Plenty Called “Family Ties” Which...
Two boys
“Scenes from a Life of Sport” by Robert Shuster was published in NAR issue 301.3. Some years ago, a friend of mine asked the writers she knew to compose a short piece, on any subject, as a gift for her thirtieth birthday. I found the request delightful—I was, I must admit, rather smitten with Jan’s charms—but didn’t quite know what to do....
Gouache
The story about Beauty came to me in a conversation with a good friend who was asking about the origins of Louisiana Creole people. One thing that kept rising to the surface was this idea that Creoles (especially women) are generally known for their beauty and not much else. Of course, Louisiana Creole women have so many other attributes, as...
Inga Poslitur
I was arguing with my friend Isaac about prose poems, about the line between poetry and prose, and if we should care. This was several years ago. We were in my kitchen, and everyone else at the party was drunk. He pulled out Robert Hass’s wonderful prose poem, “A Story about the Body,” and launched his defense of its poemhood: It’s...
The power of surrender
I live a double life as a poet and a yoga instructor. It’s a curious intersection. The forms are different, but the process surprisingly similar: shedding the unnecessary to find the essential. There’s a lot of unnecessary to surrender. In yoga training, there is continuous undoing, from the narrowed brow to the tightened shoulders, held...
Unnamed
Some time ago, a prominent poet and critic posted a question to social media asking for names of Native American poets publishing now. Curious, I followed the thread. The query was met with a variety of responses: A very few people suggested actual contemporary Native American poets, others put forward the names of 19th century tribal orators...
Power line
When I was younger, the inability of strangers to guess where I was from satisfied my ambition to hide, to conceal, to cover up everything that had made me into who I was. Perhaps then I could convince myself that I was something else. However, after my mother’s death, I found no comfort in the fact that no one could guess I was from where...
  Our Halloween blog features a poem in light of our James Hearst Poetry Prize Contest called "Maria Callas' Tapeworm" from issue 300.4, Fall 2015 by Frank Paino. It's a must read.   Maria Callas’ Tapeworm For Dan Hoyt She loves the way he comes in the sweet tang of blood & raw flesh, how he coils inside her— the way he never says...

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