June 05, 2015

From the summer fiction issue.

At half past ten the guy from the corner mart came into the shelter. Naomi had only seen him a few times, but he had a distinctive look, to say the least. He was young but rugged, with short-cropped hair and broad shoulders. It figured that the most attractive man in town her age was also a triple amputee.

July 30, 2015

“Of Thorns,” “Trundle,” “Liquid Assets,” “The Hill Itself”

. . . in that shabby closeness, that’s where whatever it is that saves me is,
where, praise to be something, it waits in briars like Jesus or literature.

July 29, 2015

For so many years I thought of myself as a Kentucky poet, and for many years, I proudly wrote about Kentucky, or at least my small, cave-hollowed corner of it. 

July 02, 2015

Letters from Little Rock

We are shaped by the era and the family into which we are born, but what can be a greater act of self-definition than making you my wife, my chosen family?

September 18, 2013

The way I listened to music began to twist on me, becoming less theatrical, more interior, and a time came when I needed to be spoken to more than I needed to speak. And that was when I found Iris DeMent.

September 05, 2013
There are six sisters in this story, and one brother, all educated in a one-room schoolhouse, eighty children and one teacher. It’s a story that comes from slavery, which Americans don’t like to talk about any more.
June 04, 2015

Among my mother’s effects that I found after her death was a datebook for the year 1944: her diary. An erratic diary keeper myself, I noted the neatness of her initial entry—even lines, full loops in cursive letters, thoughtful punctuation—a common enough trait at the start of a writerly journey, all optimism and hope and clarity, before the messiness of life intrudes.

May 08, 2015

The sun rises over the mountains. A young girl wakes up and pads to the kitchen, where a pot of coffee has been left alone to brew. A plane passes close overhead. Out on the deck, a frayed hammock swings in the breeze.

April 08, 2014
All the main characters in “literature” were from London and New York and St. Petersburg, but the book with the character from Little Rock was the funniest book you’d ever read, including your previous funniest book, Lucky Jim. And because Little Rock is little, your parents lived in the same apartment complex as this writer, and so you had his address.
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