The Sewanee Review
"In postwar Los Angeles, the putative birthplace of noir, there was rampant corruption in the police, rampant racism . . . a low hum of hysteria in the air. We can feel it now. Even if crime is, say, here in New York City, at a historic low, the threat of domestic terrorism—school shootings, lone gunmen—feels palpable. In eras tinged with chaos in the popular imagination, noir thrives."
Fiction Online Feature
Lisa Taddeo
There are wolves and there are foxes and there are ptarmigans and there are agents and there are women you can pay to kick you in the balls with the sharp patent toe of a shoe you bought them for that express purpose. There are politicians who are famous. There are famous actors and then there are men who are not only beautiful and charming but are born with something extra.
Dan O'Brien
I’m reminded / of this one time a rebel was cutting / open the body of a loyalist / in a crater. Hacking like a husband / at a barbecue. Gouging a fish mouth / into the lifeless breast, through which he / plucks / a heart and lays it on a plank across / the corpse’s solar plexus. —You’re carving / him a Valentine! cries the cameraman / perhaps. Embarrassed birdsong, light shredding / of human meat.
Fiction Online Feature
Megan Abbott
Later, too late, I would understand how important my first encounter with Diane Fleming was. How everything was right there, if I chose to look. It was more than a dozen years ago, at cross-country camp, the summer after my sophomore year. She was running next to me, and you don’t forget a gait like hers. Legs that went on for miles; she seemed to float.
Francine Prose
As Faye hears these stories, the novels create a kind of liminal space, one we all experience when strangers tell us stories, where the point of view belongs to neither the teller nor the listener. It’s not so much that Faye’s a cipher; more accurately, the stories she hears are more like an environment in which she dwells, her novelist’s natural habitat—the very air she breathes or water in which she swims.
Craft Lecture
Jim Shepard
Nearly every writer I know was stricken to some extent by the news of Denis Johnson’s death. Given the inadequacy of any possible response to a loss like that, maybe Margot Livesey’s reaction, in an email, seemed to best get to the heart of the matter. She wrote: “How could this be? No more of those sentences.”
Simon Armitage
After the Friday market on the wharf, / dark-eyed peasant women from the east / go down on their hands and knees / with knitting needles and bird-bill pliers, / gleaning the quayside, flossing between cobbles // for dropped coins, lost keys and the like. / Whatever they winkle out that isn’t currency / they sell as trinkets and charms . . .
Heather McHugh
Out of a wet sack, into chilling airs / and hands of thumping analysts you’re then / held close to the whisperings of one big fan— // your very own post-peristaltic over-supervising mom, / who first appears merely a part / of the wet world’s new // exterior décor but who has spent / so many months you can’t imagine just to make / this possible . . .
Andrea Lee
Rokely Beach was a five-mile curve of sand white as table salt tracing the eastern coast of a small mountainous island of vehement green jungle and sugarcane. Far across the Mozambique channel rose the headlands of Madagascar, and in between lay reef and deep water in a million translations of blue.
Erin Adair-Hodges
Everybody’s husbands fall in love with me. / It can’t be helped, they know / I’d look good turned to sea foam, / the shell of my pink voice / tumbling till lost on the ocean’s dark floor. / Once a man at a bar told me / my hair made him hard so I borrowed a blade from the / bartender, / hacked it off in clumps, / and gave it to him.
Justin Taylor
Twice in my life I have heard God’s voice, made witness to His shattering majesty. The first time—don’t laugh—was spring break of my junior year of high school, on a camping trip I took with a couple of guys who shared my enthusiasm for LSD. Thanks to the South Beach rave scene, you could pretty much always get cheap, decent acid in Miami in the nineties.
Craft Lecture Online Feature
Alexander Chee
The question came amid some more ordinary ones: How long did the book take to write, and did you do any research? Seven years, and yes. And then: Were you a victim of sexual abuse yourself? Yes. Why didn’t you just write about your experience? the reader asked me. Why isn’t it a memoir? I looked at him and felt confused for a moment.
Archival Content Poetry
Howard Nemerov
On a cold evening, summer almost gone, / I walked alone down where the railroad bridge / Divides the river from the estuary. / There was a silence over both the waters, / The river’s concentrated reach, the wide / Diffusion of the delta, marsh and sea, / Which in the distance misted out of sight.
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