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A Private Letter

By Michael Symmons Roberts Essay

A Private Letter A Poet on Writing for Composers NOT LONG AGO, I was giving a reading with another poet who has written libretti for composers. I hadn’t heard anything of his musical collaborations for a few years, and asked him if he was still working in the opera world. “I’m doing something for television,”…

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Rogue Madonna

By Daniel Tobin Poetry

National Geographic Explorer You swing through the broad high-branching trees and what hangs from your breast, your stolen charge, flounces like a rag doll clung to by a child whose parents disappeared behind a train’s ashen door. You hover above, primate Eve, as if what you hold could forever be held past passing eons and…

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The House that Agnes Martin Built

By Joanna Weber Essay

A Grant of the Divine— That Certain as it Comes— Withdraws—and leaves the dazzled Soul In her unfurnished Rooms. ——————————Emily Dickinson PAINTER AGNES MARTIN, who died in Taos, New Mexico, in 2004, had the ability to make seemingly restrictive, minimalist forms pulse with life. Her paintings are nearly all made up of straight lines and…

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The Fire Tower

By Carrie Jerrell Poetry

Eight, mouthy, and proud, you didn’t want his help, so while you watched the stairs revolve below your feet with every gust, your father watched you climb the last three flights dizzy, on your hands and knees, before your brother, crouched by the door, jumped out to scare you, and you missed the step. Which…

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In an Indiana County Thick with Copperheads

By Carrie Jerrell Poetry

Tweaked out on her mother’s meth, the twelve-year-old walks the county roads of my childhood, sees stars in a sky crow-feather black, finds the pack of wild dogs, the teeth of the mottled Lab less frightening than her uncle and his bristle-brush whiskers. There’s little left to do here but grow long and mean, to…

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A Conversation with Tim Gautreaux

By Dayne Sherman Interview

  Tim Gautreaux was born in Morgan City, Louisiana, in 1947. He attended Nicholls State University and the University of South Carolina, where he earned a PhD in English literature. In 1972 he began teaching creative writing at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he directed the creative writing program until his retirement in 2003. His books…

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Peace Like a River

By Robert A. Fink Poetry

I ran down the emergency-room ramp, holding Jon in one arm, pressing the cut with the other, and passed through the sliding glass doors into a narrow corridor lined with Saturday-night gurneys and men and one woman, all slumped or lying down on the black and white checkered tile, all clutching what seemed concussions and…

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Guy Kinnear: Male Call

By Gordon Fuglie Essay

IN THE MID-1980s, just shy of my fortieth birthday, I found myself out of work and divorced. It was a crash landing of all my aspirations, and crawling from the wreckage of two traumas, I was grieved, confused, desperate—cut off from the world I thought I understood. In the fragile years that followed, I tried…

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Ian’s Angels

By Nancy Willard Poetry

The first angel Ian drew was silent as the sun on empty fields of snow. Nothing was fast or slow, the world not yet begun. The second angel Ian drew sang green out of the ground. Birds of the air, rejoice. Let fire find its voice, each river its own sound. The third angel Ian…

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The Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

By Nicole Miller Short Story

IT HAD BEEN a church once, no, had been a home for the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which is the name she finds stamped on the inside of the missal. In the vestry, off the small chapel in back, she finds a pair of candlesticks inside of a drawer, along with the…

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