New Books from NER Authors: Holding Ground

NER contributor Bruce Willard has published a new poetry collection. Afaa Michael Weaver says: “In Holding Ground the poet touches the world and senses nuances in the terrain of what lives in the heart and in the mind. In a simple eloquence, Willard’s poems articulate ordinary and difficult moments to strike the genuine pitch of what it means to be fully alive. The poet celebrates our possibilities even as he knows our lives are filled with all the spirit’s dangers. The poems are clear and evocative, an elegant accomplishment.”

Bruce Willard is a Middlebury College graduate and read from his work at NER’s Middlebury College reunion reading in 2012.

Holding Ground is available via Four Way BooksAmazon and other booksellers.

New Books from NER Translators: Psalms of All My Days

Cover image for Psalms of All My DaysNER contributor Jennifer Grotz has published Psalms of All My Days, a translation of Patrice de La Tour du Pin’s poetry from Carnegie Mellon.

Maurice Manning says: “The very idea of pursuing faith leads to the possibility of missing it or mistaking it or going wrong and, thus, one must learn to become comforted by uncertainty and paradox. Such is the tone of these songs of faith by Patrice de La Tour du Pin – anguish and hope are voices in the same choir. The justice Jennifer Grotz has given these difficult poems is clear – they shine with import and originality and the heart is in them still. It is a joy to have this book.”

Jennifer Grotz’s poetry was published in NER in issues 32.3 and 33.3.

Psalms of All My Days is available on Amazon and other booksellers.


New Books: The Best of the Best American Poetry

This special edition of the Best  American Poetry series celebrates twenty-five years of publication. Guest editor Robert Pinsky chose 100 poems from prior years to include in this anniversary edition anthology, including a poem by our own C. Dale Young. Publishers Weekly writes, “No doubt, some readers will discover new favorites here.”

C. Dale Young has published three books of poetry and is the Poetry Editor for NER.

The Best of the Best American Poetry is available on Amazon and other booksellers.

Realism’s Housewives

realhousewivesOCFrom Emma Lieber’s “Realism’s Housewives,” an essay in the current issue:

There’s something going on with women on television these days. As the TV critics have noticed, shows about the lives of women have been proliferating over the past few years: the fall 2011 lineup featured several such debuting sitcoms (Whitney, New Girl, and Two Broke Girls), and that spring saw the airing of Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls, a sly, self-mocking portrait of twenty-something girlfriends muddling their way through life in New York City (clearly a challenge to Sex and the City, though Dunham’s vision is very much her own). The fall 2012 lineup added to the roster The Mindy Project (about a gynecologist with a barren romantic life), and this year’s mid-season listings gave us the premieres of Red Widow (featuring a housewife forced to carry out the mob work of her late husband) and The Carrie Diaries (a Sex and the City prequel). And though Carrie Bradshaw’s show itself, certainly one of the mothers of these more recent additions, went off the air almost a decade ago, various other women-centered shows (The Good Wife, Gossip Girl, and Desperate Housewives among them) are now well into their mature years. In a rather literal enactment of this general phenomenon, Two Broke Girls has recently displaced Two and a Half Men, taking over the time slot previously occupied by that show.

[read more]

The Red Dress

Precision_Farming_in_Minnesota_-_False_Colour_(part)From Theodore Worozbyt’s “The Red Dress,” a poem in the current issue:

At the Sound, the rocks were gray.
The rocks were gray against the water.
Rose quartz filled the yards, at dusk.
The needles rose and fell in the firs.
The noises from inside stayed quiet,
Music and steam. A brindle pit bull
Gave up barking, far away.
A hammer lay beneath the bed.

[read more]

Kelly Kathleen Ferguson

The Texas Project

Fiction from NER 33.4

[View as PDF]

File:Pencil 357.jpgLora meets Derek at Measurement, Inc., a grading service for standardized tests. In a basement below the mall, tables of college graduates judge preteen thoughts on gun control and personal liberty. This job is considered better than temping. Should Smithtown build a park or a library? Support your argument with evidence. The Texas Project is a crucial assignment. The first batch of scores was contaminated; this is a retest. For five weeks 373 readers will assess 200,900 essays written by Texas ninth graders. The scores determine who moves up and who gets held back, the first sorting of the college bound from the cashiers. The topic: drunk driving.


[Read more]


Kelly Kathleen Ferguson is the author of My Life as Laura: How I Searched for Laura Ingalls Wilder and Found Myself (Press 53, 2011). Her work has appeared in Mental Floss, Poets & Writers, Gettysburg Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Witness, among other publications. She has an M.F.A. from the University of Montana, and is now at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing at Ohio University.

When War Came

All of us associated with the New England Review mourn the loss of the writer A. J. Sherman, who died on April 6, 2013, just before the current issue was released in print. He was a person of extraordinary discernment, an accomplished author, and a generous friend.

From A. J. Sherman’s “When War Came,” an essay in the current issue:

For my parents, as for many New Yorkers, the countryside was invested with almost magical healing and protective powers: it was the only safe place for young children to spend the summer months, especially in the years when polio threatened all of us and seemed to lurk with greatest menace in crowded urban areas. Those perennial enemies, city dirt and city crowds, were deemed especially dangerous in hot weather; and the wholesome features of country life, including fresh milk and eggs, obligatory exposure to sun, and brisk walks, were expected to extend their benign blessings throughout the bleak winter months of cold and snow.

[read more]

New Books from NER Writers: Centaur by Greg Wrenn

NER contributor Greg Wrenn’s poetry debut is Centaur. From the publisher: “Greg Wrenn’s collection opens with a long poem in which a man undergoes surgery to become a centaur. Other poems speak in voices as varied as those of Robert Mapplethorpe, Hercules, and a Wise Man at the birth of Jesus. Centaur skitters along the blurred lines between compulsivity and following one’s heart, stasis and self-realization, human and animal. Here, suffering and transcendence are restlessly conjoined.”

Katie Ford, author of Colosseum: “Centaur testifies to the grave fact that humans can harm each other until they want to trade in their bodies: ‘I want to feel alive,’ says the man seeking to become a centaur as the book begins. This is a masterful poetic debut marked by lyric brilliance and difficult, yet gleaming, wisdom.”

Centaur is the winner of the 2013 Brittingham Prize in poetry, selected by Terrance Hayes. It is available at Powell’s and other booksellers.

Wrenn’s poem “Northwest Passage” appeared in NER 32.2.

New Books from NER Writers: Pacific Walkers

NER contributor Nance Van Winckel’s new book is Pacific Walkers. From the publisher: “Nance Van Winckel’s wry, provocative slant on the world and her command of images and ideas enliven these stunning poems. Presented in two parts, Pacific Walkers first gives imagined voice to anonymous dead individuals, entries in the John Doe network of the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Records. The focus then shifts to named but now-forgotten individuals in a discarded early-1900s photo album purchased in a secondhand store. We encounter figures devoid of history but enduring among us as lockered remains, and figures who come with histories – first names and dates, and faces preserved in photographs – but who no longer belong to anyone.”

Van Winckel’s poem “In the Old Man’s Favorite Soap Opera” appeared in NER 24.4.

Pacific Walkers is available at Powell’s and other booksellers.

n+1 at Middlebury

On Thursday 21 March at 4:30 PM, three editors from the literary magazine n+1, Carla Blumenkranz, Elizabeth Gumport, and Dayna Tortorici, will be at Middlebury College to discuss the trials and tribulations of making a living as a writer, the role of the literary magazine in today’s world, and the nature of current intellectual dialogue in the United States. The presentation will take place in the Orchard Room, Hillcrest 103. This event is sponsored by the new student literary magazine Room 404.