Craft of Writing

Fracture

 

J. D. Schraffenberger: Maybe I’m over-identifying as an editor myself, but I think Fracture is an impressive literary achievement, one that I think most people won’t realize was a huge undertaking requiring a lot of different kinds of meticulous work. You and Stefanie (Brook Trout) have brought together so many remarkable pieces of writing while also creating a feeling of community, which I think is unusual for a publication like this—a beautiful rarity....

Midwestern

Sometimes poems start with nouns. Could we even go so far as to say all poems begin their at-first fragile lives with the solidity of nouns? In the dark we move, and that moving matters when we bump into something or when our bare foot, warm from the bedclothes, comes down flesh against angle, onto a Lego block. Through the day we touch nouns: a pen, a handlebar, a coffee cup, our ear, a book’s spine, our beloved’s spine; or we long to touch, dream of touching, imagine touching,...

Drinks next to a window

I ate a dead man’s tiramisu this past summer.  I did not plan such a macabre act; one rarely does.  My husband Ryan and I had just become new residents to New York City and new regulars to a French patisserie and café two blocks from our apartment—when the owner and head chef, Jean-Francois, dropped dead from a heart attack.   He was forty-five.  I had seen Jean-Francois several times.  A no-nonsense man, he brought out warm trays of croissants, scones, and baguettes, even in the...

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 purchase, decades ago.

After I arrange my supposedly timeless things, it doesn’t take long before I start in on a...

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...

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 leaned against the all-white pantry, and she, still holding his hand, pulled herself into him, as if slow dancing....

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 contact, compliments, smiles, light hand touches. She was...

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...

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 workshop, one of my peers pointed...

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 I wrote for free because I believed that “getting my name out there” was a worthwhile use of my time,...

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