302.2 Spring Issue 2017



Buy this Issue

Never miss
a thing.


We publish all 
forms of creativity.  

We like stories that start quickly 
and have a strong narrative.

We appreciate when an essay 
moves beyond the personal to 
tell us something new about 
the world.


As a quarterly publication, the North American Review can rarely be topical. Back in October 2015, when we began planning this issue’s section on Arab American Poetry, guest edited by the editors of Mizna, we could have predicted neither the election of our current president nor his executive order commonly referred to as the Muslim ban. The poems presented here by Lana Barkawi and Moheb Soliman may not be explicitly political, but they resonate more loudly and vitally than ever given the backlash of Islamophobic isolationism in the US. The vocal response from the millions of Americans in solidarity with immigrants and in resistance to a policy based on hate and fear—from demonstrations at airports to rallies in towns and cities across the country—has been somewhat heartening in a time when hearts have suffered. For years the NAR has stood in a similar spirit for diversity in art and literature. The current political climate only bolsters our resolve and confirms our conviction that as citizens, as people, as artists, we are empowered when we listen to and promote the many different voices ringing soundly around and among us.

              —GT & JDS



Cover   Pants on Fire [mixed media] • Gary Kelley

16   A Great Fire [ink] • Eric Piatkowski

27   Shell Game [ink and brush, Micron pen and digital coloring] • Jared Rogness



16   A Fire to Make Things Right • Annie Shepherd 

27   The Empty Shell: Heart Mountain, 1942 • Sharon Hashimoto 



34   Thistle • Cynthia Brandon-Slocum



3   Black Boy • Jordan Franklin

4   Visitation on a Red Line Train • James Crews 

5   Back in Captivity • Christa Romanosky

6   Cunnilingus • Erika Brumett

7   My Love Is to Me as Water in the Desert • Sheila Sanderson

8   Strike • Leonard Kress

9   When God Wore Seersucker • CR Callahan

9   Instead • Nick Bertelson 

10   Geographic Tongue • Jennifer Militello

10  I, Beast • Susanna Lang

11   Time Was • John Hodgen

12   There were Two Unanswered Voicemails from You • Carlos Andrés Gómez

12   Ways to Kill a Bird • Vicky Santiesteban

13   Reincarnation • Jenny Burkholder

13   Ponytail Ode • Rochelle Hurt

14   Is There Anything on Your Person that can be Used as a Weapon? • Mark Wagenaar

15   Infestation • Meghann Plunkett

26   Poland, 1916 • Ryan Teitman

26   Sonnet with My Father as Richard Burton • Ryan Teitman 

30   New Age Lament • Sparrow

30   Not the Thing but a Fossil of the Thing • Rebecca Foust

31   Blossom • Alex Simand

31   Moving Men • John Warner Smith 

32   nails and wings • Betsy Johnson-Miller 

32   The System Works • Gary Dop

33   A Waiting Room in Kuwait • Danielle Sellers

33   Christmas in Knoxville • Luke Marinacw 

38   Through the Rain  • Ciara Shuttleworth 

38   Gift Tower • Martha Silano

39   I’m like a story someone told • Peter Grandbois

39   Bones • Kelly Dolejsi

39   Line • Jess Williard

40   In James Blake Sr.’s House at the Corner of Broad Street and Marshall • Geoffrey Babbitt

40   Prometheus and Pandora • Timothy Dailey-Valdés

41   Soldier-Ants • Philip Dacey

41   I’ve started naming the landscape: sweet • Lauren Camp



42   Introduction to Arab American Poetry • Lana Barkawi & Moheb Soliman

43   Self-Portrait as Sister • Hala Alyan

44   The Socratic Method • Hala Alyan

44   Stone Machine • Glenn Shaheen

45   Crystal Den • Glenn Shaheen

46   Patton • Glenn Shaheen

47   The Night the Dog Died • Hayan Charara

47   With Time You Will Understand • Hayan Charara

47   The Other Woman • Hayan Charara

47   The Domestic Life • Hayan Charara



48   Crosscuts: Brief DVD Reviews • Grant Tracey

49   Synecdoche: Brief Book Reviews • Rachel Morgan

52   Vietnam Redux? [Past Perfect]Perry Glasser



2   From the Editors

50   Contributors