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How Long the Long Winter

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

Awake in the middle of the night, the river cracked with language, the ice of it a heave of squares and oblongs. Only the waterfall, its cold spray frosting nearby juts of stone with lace, continued to tumble as if it would never cease to move and be. Once it was, we lay down together,…

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Name and Nature

By John F. Deane Poetry

Your name, Jesus, is childhood in the body, at times a single malt upon the tongue, Vivaldi to the ears; your name, Christ, forgiveness to the heart, acceptance to the flesh, a troubled joy across the soul; at ever my very best I will plead to you, closest to me, for kindness. Perhaps the silence…

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The Grackles

By Betsy Sholl Poetry

Down the block, our new neighbors, not unlike the old, could be named the Grackles, given the way everything they have is loud: cars, children, stereos, parties. It all spills out into the street—broken bikes, pizza boxes, a nasty looking dog with nothing to restrain it but the owner’s curse. Giving the mutt wide berth,…

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Being the Song

By Jeff Gundy Poetry

             And I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song.                                                    —Rilke So I could be a song. But a great song? Or a bluegrass tune with a decent chorus and a shift to the minor to savor every time, and a break I can almost…

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Meditation on the Evangelista

By Karen An-Hwei Lee Poetry

He does not shampoo your carpet or show you how to brush it clean. He does not shower you with roses for Sunday’s wedding or funeral. He does not put his hand in your hair or ask if your spouse is at home. He only opens a book of words in two columns, one in…

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Grace in Action or Murphy’s Law in Reverse

By Karen An-hwei Lee Poetry

                 Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. It is what the law says. However, the summer of our prayers was one of grace in action. An outage from nine in the morning until three in the afternoon never occurred despite all the signs. I witnessed utility men working in the street as well…

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You Who Seek Grace from a Distracted God

By Luis Alberto Urrea Poetry

You, who seek grace from a distracted God, you, who parse the rhetoric of empire, who know in your guts what it is but don’t know what to call it, you, good son of a race of shadows— your great fortune is to have a job, never ate government cheese, federal peanut butter— you, jerked…

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Learning to Live on the Spiral Jetty

By Jeffrey L. Kosky Essay

IN JULY OF 2014 I went to find Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty in the Utah desert, about two hours by car from Salt Lake City. Massive, remote, and seemingly useless, Spiral Jetty has the feel of a lost work—one so far out of sight as to be out of mind:  most of us don’t even…

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Augustine’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Writers

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

The following is adapted from a commencement address given at the Seattle Pacific University MFA in creative writing graduation in Santa Fe on August 9, 2014.   IN THE RAPIDLY CHANGING, cutthroat literary marketplace—where it’s easy to get published but harder to make any money or sustain a career—my usual commencement address, based as it…

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