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Introduction

Watch our virtual reading from this issue here.


WE ARE HONORED to present to you the very first Massachusetts Review issue focused on Native American writing. We are thankful to Associate Editor N. C. Christopher Couch and the rest of the MR team for dreaming up this issue and for asking us to be guest editors, and we are especially thankful to the writers and artists whose work we’ve chosen for this special issue. Their words and images are a gift.

This issue, as it was first imagined, was set to coincide with and push back against Massachusetts’s planned celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the settlers’ arrival at Plymouth. Instead of commemorating the settler colonial narrative that surrounds the founding of Plymouth Colony, we sought instead to celebrate Indigenous narratives, not only from the Northeast but also from...

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MR Jukebox

We are thrilled to share the Denver Art Museum's video of their artist-in-residence, Rose B. Simpson, who we were happy to feature in our current special issue, A Gathering of Native Voices (Winter 2020). 

 

“We are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest [...] the teachings of Thoreau are alive today, indeed, they are more alive today than ever before.”

—REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (MR 4.1, Autumn 1962)

From the Blog

Interviews

10 Questions for Summer J. Hart

- By Edward Clifford

In the end days, eyes
turn around,     softened

mouth like fog on the window.

 

The first tongue to catch the new language is a rotten egg
—from "Salt for the Stain," Volume 61, Issue 4 (Winter 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
At first, my poems were basically a catalog of thoughts or lists (lists of lists) tapped into the notes app on my phone: 12 vultures, 3 crows, the dog’s impossibly coiled tail. The first piece I wrote for publication was in response to a call from Northern New England Review with the theme of “True North.” The dog’s impossibly coiled tail became “Verses for a Double Murder,” the first in a series...


Interviews

10 Questions for Shaina A. Nez

- By Edward Clifford

‘Ałk áą́’i’, long ago.
Bąą, on account of, before our people emerged to the fourth world, Nihalgai, Glittering world.
Chahałheeł, darkness, happened, and we would adapt to newness, the light, ‘adinídíín.
Ch’ah and the western wear—the urban Indian cowboy, and for some, ranching became routine and we honored the animals since we emerged with them. Now we live to serve the łíí’, beegashii, dibé, tł‘ízí, na’a’ho’he, na’a’ho’hebiyazhi.
—from "Diné Abecedarian," Volume 61, Issue 4 (Winter 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
In elementary, I was...


Interviews

10 Questions for Stephen Graham Jones

- By Edward Clifford

This is the story of when I stopped trusting people.

I'm seventeen, living the life. Work all day, drink all night, never worrying about bills or tomorrow. The songs I was listening to were my script. We've all been there; I don't need to go into it. What happened, though, was that one bleary bright morning I run into a guy in a parking lot who tells me somebody I know got raped last night, maybe at a house I'd been in for a few minutes.
—from "The Guy with the Name," Volume 62, Issue 4 (Winter 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Called “The Gift.” I wrote it when I was nineteen, sitting in an ICU for three days. It’s a girl waking up in the ICU after a car crash in...


Interviews

10 Questions for Esther Belin

- By Edward Clifford

Hosteen dibé bitsą́ą́' yiyą́ą́—hey ya
Hosteen dibé bitsą́ą́' yiyą́ą́—hey ya
Hosteen dibé bitsą́ą́' yiyą́ą́—hey ya
Hosteen dibé bitsą́ą́' yiyą́ą́—hey ya
—from "Sonnet 1," Volume 61, Issue 4 (Winter 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I took a creative writing class in high school. I wrote a poem about my father. It was a short image poem. My teacher was impressed. She entered it in a contest. I did not win the contest but I did receive recognition. I did not think much about creative writing at the time but it was a special feat for me because the poem honored my father.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?...


Broadsides

2020 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize

- By Edward Clifford

The 2020 winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Samuel Taylor for his poem "Postcards from Babel," published in Volume 60, Issue 1.

Sam Taylor is the author of three books of poems, Body of the World (Ausable), Nude Descending an Empire (Pitt Poetry Series), and the forthcoming The Book of Fools: An Essay in Memoir and Verse (Negative Capability). A native of Miami and a former caretaker of a wilderness refuge in New Mexico, he currently tends a wild garden in Kansas, where he directs the MFA Program at Wichita State. His poems have appeared in such journals as The...


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