• Nonfiction, Online Feature
    Ross Gay

    Let me start with devotion. Let me start with love. For instance: how I love this poem, and will be displaying a considerable, even admirable amount of restraint by not delving into every last aspect of it, every nugget of poetic glory: its range of dictions and registers, its broad scope of knowledge (mathematical, cultural, spiritual, ecological, vernacular); its ability or gall to signify, which just means talk shit (“look up the word southing before you use it in a sentence”; “One monkey don’t stop no show”) and a few breaths later say careful how you talk that shit (“Hey! Watch your language!”); its rhythms built out of short and long sentences, staccato and legato phrasings, the beautiful sensual mouthwork of “let your fat belly be quilts of quietus”; “Hogon. Dogon. Hubble. Stay hot”; those long sentences at the end (I have theories!); the poem’s palpable love for everything it lays its eyes and pencil on. (Excellent assignment, by the way: have students look up everything this poem carries in its sky-sized satchel, and then have them write something so full!) You are thinking my restraint flew out the window, but believe me, I’m not even started.

    The Conglomerate
    The Sewanee Review

    The Sewanee Review is pleased to announce that Vievee Francis is the recipient of the 2021 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry.

    The Conglomerate
    The Sewanee Review

    This essay gave me my first taste of the singular sense of peace that arises from satisfactorily explaining things to myself through writing, and I think I’ll be chasing that magic for the rest of my life.

    Nikky Finney

    silently watching for the arrival,

    the most golden mortise of after
    afternoon sunlight, Such are the
    vicissitudes of life
    , my girl
    fingers tracing the glass of here,
    past there, in between green-blue


    Tara K. Menon

    The Booker Prize shortlist this year is unprecedented: four of the six novels are debuts, the majority are by women, and half are by Black authors. No straight white men. Nobody is English. (Douglas Stuart, the only British author on the list, was born and raised in Scotland.) By most measures, it is the most diverse shortlist in the history of the prize. Depending on who you are, it is either a welcome surprise or pandering to the scourge of political correctness.

    Allan Gurganus

    She made me look up Mr. Winstead, forty. Like his famous storm—I see I had started circling Larry long before I found him. Why had it taken almost four years to bother tracing him? I hadn’t believed the thing really happened—unassisted human flight. But, too, maybe this very delay strengthened me into the writer-interviewer-detective needed for landing such a tale? 

    Now I can finally leave Falls with a clear conscience. For years I’ve been here, listening so hard I couldn’t hear. The best true stories? They are the most unlikely. I learned that here in Falls. 

    Michael Robbins

    The star that looks awry upon the sinner
    orients the temple. Mother Kate places
    the wafer in my hands, a story
    about a body.

    Justin Taylor

    The characters in a given DeLillo novel are part of a common emanation, a metaphysical idea about language parsed through—and, crucially, by—language itself. It is not just the givers and claimers of names but the names themselves that assume the attitude of Adam. When Adam eats fruit from the tree of knowledge, he realizes that he is naked. When language becomes similarly self-aware, it realizes that its music is as essential as its meaning, and this is the core subject—the deep truth—of all DeLillo’s novels.

    Craft Lecture
    Laura van den Berg

    For both sparring and novel writing, I have found no solution to fear. Experience has not helped ease my fear when I am sparring. I feel the same tightness in my stomach each time I step into the ring. I am working on a new long-form project now, and I know that period of fear will descend at some point in the process. I have decided that the presence of fear is, more often than not, a good thing. Fear is really only a problem when it derails our ability to work, undermines our sense of well-being, or when it compels us to make fear-based decisions. Once while sparring, compelled forward by my fear of getting trapped in a corner, I lunged at my opponent with a messy three-punch combo and was countered by a crisp and powerful jab, resulting in my first bloody nose.

    Kara Olson

    If I speak of the fire at the center
    of my palms, would you let me
    touch you with them? My hands?

    Mary Ruefle

    I had a friend I loved for twenty-five years, and then the earth opened between us, and now we have not spoken in twenty-five years. But nearly every week I dream of her, so there is this sense, for me at least, that we still know and love each other, but only late in the night, behind closed eyes.

    Brandon Taylor

    One of the men had gone to the bathroom and was returning, taking his can from the top of the ATM near the back hall. Martine was stretching when her arm hit him as he was passing by. He dropped his can and let out a call, and Martine said Oh shit, buddy, I’m sorry. The man said Fucking bitch, and Martine stood up so fast that the table shook. She was taller than him, he looked up at her with a face of tight, white fear, and Vasek reached out for her wrist.

    Web Design and Development by Riverworks Marketing