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I’ve been sending out a lot lately—submitting my work like wet spaghetti flung hot onto a wall—seeing what sticks. Recently, I learned I was a contest finalist—whoot. First prize was publication in a top-notch lit. mag, one thousand dollah-make-you-hollah and the opportunity to read at a conference. Did the website detail 2nd- and 3rd-place prizes? Yes. Did I read them? No. I figured (wrongly) that if they were giving $1000 for the 1st place then, like every other contest I’d ever read about...

I have never been able to write at home. I can edit at home, but I cannot create. “Writing at home” is code for doing laundry, watering plants, googling my name, grooming my eyebrows, checking email, researching anti-frizz product, eating chocolate, decoupaging planters and petting the dog. Because of my complete lack of at-home-self-discipline I have always written at a Starbucks. This practice started in 1999 when I lived in Seattle, WA, which makes sense given Seattle is the birthplace of...

Year of the snake

As guest editor of the recent Native American poetry feature for North American Review, I solicited indigenous poets whose work I admire and whose national and cultural ties to Native American nations are clear. These are their names:

b:william bearhart, Eric Gansworth, LeAnne Howe, Mark Turcotte, Trevino L. Brings Plenty, Tiffany Midge.

I wanted no doubt that the diverse group of poets who agreed to be published...

I wrote this story when my husband was dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Diease). Until then, I’d thought of myself as a novelist, but I no longer had the mental bandwidth to immerse myself in long work. So I turned to the short story, a form I immediately fell in love with for its vast array of possibilities. “The Cop, the Hooker & the Ridealong” was the first story I wrote close to...

The ground, of course, does move under your feet. Ask the astronomers: it moves a thousand miles per hour, if you’re talking about the speed of the Earth’s spin; it moves more than sixty thousand miles per hour if you look at our laps around the sun; the speeds get even higher if you think about us sailing through the galaxy or the universe at large. On top of that, we move inexorably through time. Our bodies refuse to stop changing. The world transforms and retransforms around us, as people...

Amy Glynn gives us an excerpt from her in-progress essay collection "Knotweed, Bindweed, Crabgrass, Thorn: Field Notes on Making Your Bed and Lying in It, Bolting, Reaping What You Sow, and Other Useful Domestic Metaphors."

5.28

I see humanity now as one vast plant, needing for its highest
fulfillment only love, the natural blessings of the great
outdoors, and intelligent crossing and selection.

–...

During the mid-to-late-eighties I worked for two oil field companies, Oilfield Rental Service Company and later Petco Fishing and Rental Tools, both in Morgan City, Louisiana. Both businesses fabricated, tested, and delivered to the docks blowout preventer stacks and manifolds*, configured and tested various combinations of spools and flanges, and...

"Man in Flower" was an Honorable Mention in the 2015 James Hearst Poetry Prize contest.Roy Batty

With “Man in Flower,” I was attempting something of an urban pastoral. Yet rather than celebration, I was interested in something...

Our first interview went something like this.
“So, what can you tell me about being a dog?”
Cici, my 14-pound mutt, remained mum.
“Not talking, eh?”

She cocked her head in confirmation.
It was a rare moment for us, not the “me-talking-to-a-dog”part (that’s standard practice these days), but her refusal to offer so much as a bark in reply. For the eight years we’ve known each other, my Chihuahua/spaniel/[insert your best guess here] mix-breed had always excelled...

As a soon-to-be graduate from the University of Northern Iowa's Bachelor of Fine Arts program in early 2007, I was only too delighted to receive an illustration request for the North American Review. Having studied under the art direction of Roy Behrens, I looked forward to contributing to the publication.

After reading and re-reading Steve...

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