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"Faith" was written during a transitional period for me as a poet. I had recently left academia to take a full time position at my family's pest control business. As I worked to figure out how to write about roaches and bedbugs and the tenants at the public housing complexes where I spent most of my working hours, I found myself and my poetry shifting. Perhaps it was liberal...

lucindaI don’t believe I can talk about why I wrote the poem “Orogeny” without first explaining why I set myself the task of writing about mountains.  In some ways, it was a deliberate act. But in other ways, as it always is with poetry, it was about instinct and passion, about how the words felt as they stood to...

If You Awake After I've Gone

I cleaned the glass to the woodstove
with wet newspaper. I didn't mean to
use the comics or the front page,
but you didn't miss much—

Summary: The world’s problems
are still the same and Sally hit Linus
in the head with her lunchbox
because he threw away her valentine.

A salmon laid her eggs this morning.
She turned sideways and glistened
silver. If the big white rock was Nevada...

Last spring, shortly after my story, “Borders”, was published in issue 299.2 of The North American Review, I received a check through the mail as payment for the rights to use the work.

It’s an odd thing, being paid for writing stories. It’s the same when I get royalty statements from my publishers for my latest novel,...


I will start with all the history I can said in as few words as possible… this poem came on the last day of a...

My story “I Was Shot by Someone in a Grey Sedan,” which appeared in NAR 298.3, is one of four I've written using hooks borrowed from pop fiction. I've always tried to vary my stories by using different methods to get them started, and I suppose I've had about five or six generation...

plutocracy revised proof

    In my accompanying essay, I discuss the continuing relevance of nineteenth century political economist Henry George’s discussion of the corrupting influence of money in politics. The decisive event in the history of money in US politics of the intervening years between...

Just out of graduate school, only a few reasonable publications under my belt, I landed a job at a small Lutheran College in the upper Midwest. That neither my wife or I knew that far, flat land of small towns, corn farms, and dying industry didn't matter. What mattered was that we were off on a new adventure, that we were starting this new, gainfully employed part of our lives....

My mother may have been the first American practitioner of feng shui. Before this ancient Chinese philosophy of bringing harmony to the home by moving furniture and other objects to create a balance – sort of an external chi thing – became popular among the trendy, New Age, upper-class, my mother was moving things around our home to restore balance and harmony. During the 1950’s when I was still in grade school, my...


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