Additional Selections from This Issue

The Thread That Makes the Cloth: An Interview with Brandon Lingle

As my life becomes more intertwined with conflict, I find it more complicated to write about war.

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I thought you were in Afghanistan

Years ago an invading army built a bridge across the Tigris out of Iraqi books. They turned the river red with ink.

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The Stronger One 

It used to be that her father was the most important fact about a girl like me. 

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A Month of Sundays

According to the old fortune-telling rhyme, I was a child meant to be bonny and blithe and good and gay. 

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The Thunder of Our Histories: Revising the Storm by Geffrey Davis

Davis’s couplets are fleet and conversational, relaxed in their deceptive delivery of thickly layered images...

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Just These Kinds of Questions: An Interview with Marcia Aldrich

All art that is worth anything is connected to courage and truthfulness, to cracking illusions, and to emotional stamina. But much is explicitly made of the personal risk-taking of creative nonfiction and memoir.

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Stay Gone by Jill Talbot

Sometimes I think I was missing Kenny before I met him. He was always ready to get going, stay gone. It’s as if my natural state is missing, and he came along and said, “Yes.” Always that space between us. Our first kiss a fissure. The Eagle River and the moon an erosion. The back porch all those nights a split-trail to distance. When I slept beside him, I’d stumble down a jagged trail, a canyon. I settled into where he unsettled me.

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An Interview with Bob Hicok

. . . I have almost no belief in myself as a writer. It’s just not there. I know it’s supposed to be, and that many hold the notion that you can’t write (or paint or make excellent snow cones) if you don’t have faith in your abilities. But again, away from the act of writing, I don’t see myself as anything special. And it’s not that I see myself as special while I write—more that I don’t see myself at all. There is a disappearance into the act, into the desire or need to speak, that erases—I mean, completely obliterates— the doubts and personal bullshit that tools around with me. Doing becomes being. Plain and simple, or fancy and I guess not so. And because of this, I begin most days having quieted my most cannibalistic tendencies. So yeah—give me that gift every day and I’ll treat it with respect and humility. And I give it all the coffee it wants.

 

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Meditations on Monsters by Ira Sukrungruang

When I was six, I visited Thailand and made my cousin Ant draw me monsters. He was a far superior artist, and all he wanted to do was to please his American cousin. He sketched pages and pages of mons

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Before You Go: Five Notes to My Daughter by Marsha McGregor

1. Advice Upon Waking All day your head will be filled with someone else’s jangle. Don’t give away this precious hour, too. Move through it with the soft-focus eyes of an infant who wakens and scans

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I thought you were in Afghanistan by Brandon Lingle

Years ago an invading army built a bridge across the Tigris out of Iraqi books. They turned the river red with ink. When I retire, I’ll take what I learned in the military and dump it in the river. –

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Cruel Things by Moira Crone

I didn’t know the woman very well. It was at a party, one June in New Orleans. We were taking a walk on the lawn, under live oaks. A sudden intimacy arose partly from the gin and tonics in ou

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Void of Course by Polly Buckingham  

I drag the suitcase through the rainy street, cursing and muttering. It scratches and thumps on the pavement because one of the back wheels is busted. Henry’s carrying a laundry bag over his s

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Flutter Point (An Essay In Three Acts) by Erik Anderson

If you were to look for a person whose biography most reflected the twentieth century, you could do worse than Fritz Haber. The chemist who discovered how to fix Nitrogen from the air, thereby creatin

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The Stronger One by Marcia Aldrich

It used to be that her father was the most important fact about a girl like me. All to follow in her life would grow from that root cause—the world according to fathers. Such would not be the case wit

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Kayaking, Early Morning by T. J. Sandella

Surely, if god exists / he will choose now to speak with me. / Now being the perfect time, / considering just ahead on the river / there is the crane’s cadence— / how it weaves in and out of the continue reading >

Six Flags by M. Brett Gaffney

The steel and wooden / monsters lie in scraps, / limbs and teeth, tiny screws / scattered at the bottom of a dumpster, / termites burrowing into grains, / marrow of rollercoaster bones.

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Remarriage by Andrea England

Half-way through July, three ceases to be a magic number. Sibling rivalry is as natural as the desire to throw your inconsolable toddler out the second story window. Even the social worker says as

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Child Watching a Nature Documentary by Alex Chertok

If my mother were a mother leopard, / she’d never blink at rain, not at the ripped scrim / of its first seconds or, head back, into the / floodlight of its full-blown fall. She’d spy a fawn continue reading >