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Updates, Awards, and Selections

We are always excited to celebrate our NER authors. Here are our most recent reasons to applaud them:


Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 10.44.10 AMJenny Johnson was selected as a 2015 Whiting Award recipient in poetry, given annually to ten superb emerging writers. The selection committee said of Johnson’s work: “There’s a sinuous, shape-shifting quality to this work that makes her poetic explorations of sex and selfhood all the more resonant.” Johnson’s poetry appeared in NER 34.3-4.



Anne Raeff was honored as a 2015 recipient of the Flannery Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 11.23.42 AM
O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her collection The Jungle Around Us. Nancy Zafris praises these stories for their “ultimate simplicity and intimacy even as they weave together numerous global threads.” Two of the stories appearing in the collection were first published in NER 26.2 and 32.3. Her nonfiction work also appeared in NER 33.3 and NER Digital.



Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 11.07.12 AMNER author Ellen Bryant Voigt has been awarded the distinct honor of a 2015 MacArthur Genius Grant. Voigt is one of 24 fellows selected in 2015 to receive $625,000 over five years. Voigt’s poetry has appeared in several NER issues including 35.3, 25.3, and 14.3. Voigt also served as a 2015 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Faculty member.


Announcing NER 36.3

New Issue New AuthorsNew Website


NER Front Cover-363
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 Three first-time-ever publications from new names in fiction.
Six new-to-NER authors in nonfiction.
Four new-to-NER poets.
And a brand new NER website 


New England Review 36.3







explores how the tiger hunt inspired an empire and decimated a species

URSUAL HEGI borrows from the present to imagine her way into the past

ROBERT HAHN hears the voice of Nick Carraway in the novels of our time

PAULA SCHWARTZ considers the strength and resilience of Fanny Dutet, Resistance fighter, Holocaust survivor, and friend

MAXIMILIAN VOLOSHIN‘s literary hijinks end in a duel
 (translated by Alex Cigale)

JOHN MILTON EDWARDS remembers the “fiction factory” in the days before the MFA

NER Classics | From Bishop’s Blue Pharmacy | Marianne Boruch

Marianne Boruch‘s Essay, “From Bishop’s Blue Pharmacy,” was published in NER 13.2.

Wasp_Nest_03-1In 1978, a year before her death, Elizabeth Bishop finished a poem, “Santarém,” which placed her in the crux of the marvelous, at the conflux of two of the world’s great rivers, the Amazon and the Tapajos. The poem rings with exotic, chaotic life – carts hooked up to zebus, those curly-horned oxen; young nuns waving, still in their blinding white habits, off to a downriver mission by steamer; a whole lovely racket of departure and arrival. But this is mere overture; the revelation lies in wait, and the poem gradually narrows to its delivery. Entering a “blue pharmacy,” as she calls it, the poet discovers the real fortune – a wasps’ nest, empty, and placed lovingly on a shelf: “Small, exquisite,” she tells us, “clean matte white and hard as stucco.” Even-tually, the pharmacist gives it to her, and she carries off her prize to the waiting ship. There, a Mr. Swan, fellow-passenger and retiring head of Philips Electric – “really a very nice old man” Bishop assures us – blurts out, simply, “What’s that ugly thing?” And so, on such a question, the poem ends (Complete Poems 185).

I can play this movie in my head a hundred times, and I still return to that moment amid the dusty bottles and boxes, the peculiar shade of that “blue pharmacy.” It is the surprise of that gleaming, tidy relic – the wasps’ nest high in its honored place – that triggers my wonder at how a simple image presses itself into memory as fuse and heart to make a poem, to demand that it unfold as it keeps unfolding.

Surprise. How that is linked to finding, to finding out. I think of once finding a similar unexpected treasure, a map, but a wholly different kind of map, a quick, aerial re-take on the earth, calling itself ‘The Top of the World,” its living center not Asia or America or Europe, but the north pole and its arctic air, frozen islands by the hundreds, strips of cold blue – a map, in short, governed by nothing but surprise, that love of the odd angle. There it was at a garage sale a couple of summers ago, leaning against the paint-dripped bookcase, next to the sprung wing-back chair. I stood and stared; I still stand and stare in my own upstairs hall, transfixed. This may be one of those indulgent, dream-lit moments, but I am thinking Elizabeth Bishop would have loved such a map, not as much as the wasps’ nest, perhaps, but probably enough to have outbid me for it at the edge of that slow backyard, overgrown with anthémis and delphinium and poppy.

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NER Classics | A Dream of Ezra Pound | J. Allyn Rosser

J. Allyn Rosser‘s poem, “A Dream of Ezra Pound,” was published in NER 13.2.


yarn-DSC03957I’d eaten dark chocolate, reading late at night.
They introduced me, and I still hadn’t read
All the Cantos. Somehow he knew this on sight.

Still, his large old hand shook mine; I stayed
With him to kiss that wistful dented cheek;
He was shyly pleased, beard glowing, and said:

(I couldn’t hear. His voice was oddly weak,

As if it came from behind him.) Police
Were there. He’d come back down, or up, to speak

On God. So he was not completely at ease
When my colleagues nattered on and on
About their flatly mispronounced bêtises;

But he was polite- extremely- to everyone!
Had he learned the hard way from his long bed
In Saint Elizabeths, lying there alone,

To nod when it was best to nod? He did.
It went over well with the academicians,
Beamish boys. At last he shook his head-

His voice resumed the vibrant, hallowing insistence
I’d expected, though much softer, bereaved,
In earnest response to some jargonous nonsense:

“Yes yes, we think in order to know, or perceive-
And in this we are sometimes, it seems, successful-
But we believe in order to believe

He said this in worn sorrow, in sorrow distressful.
He said this, E.P. No madness up his sleeve.
“No god,” he said. “Nothing but what we may leave.”

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