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A Conversation with Gina Ochsner

By Mary Kenagy Mitchell Interview

Gina Ochsner is the author of the short story collections The Necessary Grace to Fall (Georgia) and People I Wanted to Be (Mariner), as well as a novel, The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight (Portobello/Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt). Her awards include the Flannery O’Connor Award, Oregon Book Award, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and fellowships from the National…

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Adrian Wiszniewski: A New Heaven and a New Earth

By Richard Davey Essay

ON MAY 29, 1996, Glasgow City Council opened its new Gallery of Modern Art in the Royal Exchange Building. At a cost of almost 10 million pounds, the renovation transformed what had once been Glasgow’s great temple of commerce into a shrine to modern art. The Exchange Building stands on Queen Street, long ago a…

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Spontaneous

By Daniel Tobin Poetry

Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going. ——————-—Stephen Hawking And so it has been accomplished, the way worms wriggle miraculously from a leftover cheese, rats from…

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Late Bloomer

By Daniel Tobin Poetry

Something whispered I wanted more of myself. That’s how I turned into the fleur of myself. The lake. The ripple’s shimmer. That lilting face. I’ll guzzle the infinite pour of myself. What is this flow I feel, its course through soft bone? The current? The mother lode? The ore of myself? Fill me with all…

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Tobacco, Psalms, and Bloodletting

By James Harpur Poetry

I sometimes think back to my youth Remembering the heavy sack of sin on my shoulders And I bent double so it seemed Across the fields, with scarecrows hung on crosses, Along straight roads that led to nowhere, Weighed down in ditches, barns, the hollow trees I slept in; And how I searched like a…

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Deserted

By James Harpur Poetry

Prayer means shedding of thoughts. ——————–—Evagrius Ponticus My heaven is a stripping of the mind. I make this glittering desert be a desert The burning rock, rock, blue sky just sky Until they are pristine; but then I find The desert leads me to its opposite Noise-vomiting Constantinople, And sky reminds me of the boundless…

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World

By Valerie Wohlfeld Poetry

An old Jewish tradition, dating back to the Talmud, records that the world is sustained by the presence of at least thirty-six tzaddikim. These people do their good deeds quietly: their neighbors do not know who they are. If, however, that minimum of truly saintly people does not exist, then the world itself will perish.…

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Running the Whale’s Back

By Samuel Thomas Martin Short Story

The following excerpt is from the novel A Blessed Snarl, forthcoming from Breakwater Books in 2012.   THE WEATHERMAN’S HAND sweeps from Labrador down Newfoundland’s fanged north coast to Saint John’s, his finger squiggling from there down to Renews: the sea white against green land. He’s talking about winds rifling in from the north. The…

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Speak, Rain

By Pattiann Rogers Poetry

Sound with the cries of Rachel’s children. Moan over empty hillsides and river runnels, among the broken stones of abandoned streets and fallen fences, through empty channels and sharp-ledged ravines resonant with echo. Rasp and rattle with the integrity of a perfect reckoning down the metal roof onto the splash pans of gutters, down the…

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Hail, Spirit

By Pattiann Rogers Poetry

A weaver, this spider, she plays her eight thin black legs and their needle-nail toes across the threads faster, more precisely, than a harpist at concert can pluck the strings in pizzicato. Although blind at night, she nevertheless fastens a thread to a branch of chokecherry on one side of the path, links it to…

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