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Oenophilia by Jehanne Dubrow
 originally appeared in NER 30.2.


Those months away from you, I teach myself
to cook with wine, admiring the change
a Beaujolais enjoys inside the pot,
its sly divestment of alcohol, slowly
from the heat, like a girl unbuttoning her blouse.
I’m indiscriminate. All reds will do
because you’ve never had a taste for white,
the frigid chardonnay or pinot gris
so chilled it makes the crystal goblet sweat.

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New Books From NER Authors

Lori Ostlund’s wonderful novel After the Parade should come with a set of instructions: Be perfectly still. Listen carefully. Peer beneath every placid surface. Be alive to the possibility of wonder.  Richard Russo, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Empire Falls.

81hmrXVScaLNew England Review congratulates Lori Ostlund on the publication of her debut novel, After the Parade (Scribner). Ostlund’s stories “The Children Beneath the Seat” and “Domestic Interiors of the Midwest: Two Stories” were published in NER 27.1 and 30.3.

“Written over the course of 15 years, Ostlund’s debut novel follows a broken and empty man who embarks on a six-month journey to make sense of his past, in hopes of comfortably inhabiting his present.” —Publishers Weekly 

Ostlund’s collection, The Bigness of the World, was the recipient of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, the California Book Award for First Fiction, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award. Her stories have appeared in many literary publications including Best American Short Stories, O Henry Prize Stories, New England Review, Southern Review, and Kenyon Review. She has been a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference fellow, and currently lives in San Francisco.

After the Parade is available from Powell’s Books and other independent booksellers.

The most striking element of Saer’s writing is his prose, at once dynamic and poetic … It is brilliant. Harvard Review

41rgVmsHZaL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_New England Review congratulates Juan José Saer on the publication of The One Before (Open Letter Books). Saer’s novel excerpt “Thursdays at La Giralda” appeared in  NER 35.1.

From the publisher: “From the story of the two characters who decide to bury a message in a bottle that simply says “MESSAGE,” to Pigeon Garay’s attempt to avoid the rising tides and escape Argentina for Europe, The One Before evocatively introduces readers to Saer’s world and gives the already indoctrinated new material about their favorite characters.”

Juan José Saer is a leading Argentinian author of stories and novels, and received Spain’s competitive Nadal Prize in 1987 for his novel The Event.

The One Before is available from Open Letter Books and other independent booksellers.

A brilliant demonstration that less can be more and that readers can find entire worlds in a page or two.—Alan Cheuse, author of Prayers for the Living

Congratulations to Robert Shapard, Christopher Merrill, and James Thomas on theUnknown publication of their very-short-stories collection, Flash Fiction International (W. W. Norton). NER has published Shapard’s short story “The Old Bathysphere Film” (NER 12.4), as well as  Christopher Merrill’s review, “Reclaiming the Frontier: New Writings from the West” (NER 12.2).

From the publisher: “What is a flash fiction called in other countries? In Latin America it is a micro, in Denmark kortprosa, in Bulgaria mikro razkaz. These short shorts, usually no more than 750 words, range from linear narratives to the more unusual: stories based on mathematical forms, a paragraph-length novel, a scientific report on volcanic fireflies that proliferate in nightclubs. Flash has always—and everywhere—been a form of experiment, of possibility.”

Robert Shapard directed the University of Hawaii MFA program and now lives in Austin, Texas. Christopher Merrill directs the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

Get your copy of Flash Fiction International at W.W. Norton & Company or at independent booksellers.

The mystery of the process of expansion and the state of never having enough are expertly envisioned and tested in Teague’s powerful, relevant poems, which give us a glimpse of our past and mirror our present. Booklist

51aiKZPdF9L._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Alexandra Teague has released a new book of poetry, The Wise and Foolish Builders (Persea Books). Teague’s poems have appeared in both NER (29.2 and 25.1), and NER Digital—”Stone Disease” and “Safe.”

“These detail-rich poems possess both the attractions and the dangers of popular prose histories, even as they break out into lyricism that connects era to era, as when an early photographer’s “portable darknesses/fill with faces we keep hoping to/like.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Teague’s poetry is included in Best American Poetry 2009 and has been published in Missouri Review, Iowa Review, New England Review, Threepenny Review, and Southern Review. She was the 2014 winner of the Jeffrey E. Smith Missouri Review Editors’ prize and is Assistant Professor of Poetry at the University of Idaho and the editor of Broadside Press.

Purchase The Wise and Foolish Builders at Powell’s Books and other independent booksellers.

41VZVnYLRsL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Matthew Vollmer has a newly published book of short stories, Gateway to Paradise (Persea Books). Vollmer’s essay, “Keeper of the Flame,” appeared in NER 33.1.

From the publisher: “In these bold stories set in the mountains and small towns of the south, men and women looking for escape from dull routines and a culture of hype (whether of consumerism, sex, or religion) are led to places of danger and self-reckoning. A dentist on a tryst is seduced by and impregnates an impetuous ghost. A beleaguered young writing professor follows his imagination one step too far while escorting a famous writer he finds darkly alluring . . . Gateway to Paradise surpasses the promise of Vollmer’s first collection.”

Vollmer is the author of Future Missionaries of America, a collection of stories, as well as Inscriptions for Headstones, a collection of essays. He is the editor of A Book of Uncommon Prayer, and with David Shields is co-editor of Fakes; An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, “Found” Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts. His work has appeared in, among others, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, Epoch, Best American Essays, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and New England Review. He directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Virginia Tech.

Gateway to Paradise is available from Powell’s Books and from other independent booksellers.

NER Classics | Democracy and the Demotic

Between Jazz and the Blues, Dr. Ernest Williamson IIISydney Lea‘s nonfiction piece, “Democracy and the Demotic: Reflections on the ‘lingua franca et jocundissima’ in American Poetry,” appeared in NER 16.3 (1994).

The title of my remarks is high sounding enough, yet in fact I do little more here than muse about a tradition in American poetry that my friend Stanley Plumly describes as “speech barking back at song.” More poet than scholar myself, I offer a kind of reverie.

In a journal entry for 1837, Ralph Waldo Emerson, engaging in a reverie of his own, imagined himself “a professor of Rhetoric–teacher of the art of writing well to young men.” “I should use Dante for my textbook,” Emerson surmised: “Dante knew how to throw the weight of his body into each act, and is, like Byron, Burke, and Carlyle, the Rhetorician. I find him full of the nobil volgare eloquenza; that he knows ‘God damn,’ and can be rowdy if he please, and he does please.” What Dante could teach was that daily surroundings were “the very best basis for poetry, and the material which you must work up.”

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Congratulations to all from NER


Congratulations to all who have been recognized in
Best American Essays 2015, including
Kate Lebo for her essay “The Loudproof Room” (NER 35.2)

Notable selections in this year’s list include:
“Village Bakery” by Ben Miller (NER 35.2)
“The Haircut” by Larry I. Palmer (NER 35.1)
“Kindle 451” by Jeff Staiger (NER 34.3-4)

to all those recognized in
Best American Short Stories 2015,
including Laura Lee Smith for her story “Unsafe at Any Speed” (NER 35.1)

Other Distinguished Stories selections include:
“Sloth” by Charles Baxter (NER 34.3-4)
“Studies in Composition” by Leslie Bazzett (NER 34.3-4)
“At the Bedside” by Ricardo Nuila (NER 35.1)
“Clear Conscience” by Christine Sneed (NER 35.3)

Congratulations to all featured in
Best American Mystery Stories 2015, including
Steven Heighton for his story “Shared Room on Union” (NER 35.1)