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Introduction

THOUGH UNFINISHED, the most necessary Kafka masterpiece today—as we slowly sort through where we’ve been for the past year or so—is surely “Der Bau,” first translated into English by Edwin and Willa Muir as “The Burrow.” Told from the point of view of a burrowing animal, what Herbert Blau has called the tale’s “manic intensity” is focused—as its original title suggests—on construction. In the seventies, Blau’s experimental troupe KRAKEN staged the story as a frenetic, constant work of building, or “burrowing,” and the latter word quickly became a term of art for his actors.

No one could miss how Kafka’s tale speaks to our plague year: “the most beautiful thing about my burrow is the stillness. Of course, that is deceptive. At any moment it may be shattered and then all will be over.” Isolation, gnawing worries, the obsession with (or invention of) enemies, the...

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2021 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize

The 2021 winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Abigail Chabitnoy, for her poem "Girls Are Coming out of the Water," from our Gathering of Native Voices issue (Volume 61, Issue 4).

ABIGAIL CHABITNOY is the author of How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the international category of the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry. She was a 2016 Peripheral Poets fellow, and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, ...


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Watch our 2021 Anne Halley Poetry Prize-winner Abigail Chabitnoy read from her collection of poems as well as the winning poem "Girls Are Coming Out of the Water" from MR's A Gathering of Native Voices issue. Purchase a signed Broadside of the poem today!

ABIGAIL CHABITNOY is the author of How to Dress a Fish, winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the international category of the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry. She was a 2016 Peripheral Poets fellow, and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, LitHub, and Red Ink, among others. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Witter Bynner-funded Native Poet Residency at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, CO, and is a mentor for the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA in Creative Writing. She is a Koniag descendant and member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak.

“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 David Ricchiute

- By Marissa Perez

Near a creek where his mother said don't dare go, a young boy spots a garter snake, jaws surrounding a half-swallowed worm, compelling the boy to bend at the knees, starting the descent toward the lumbering snake. It's then that he buckles from weakness in his legs, ignored for days as a nuisance that passes. . .
—from "Indifferent Limbs," Volume 62, Issue 3 (Fall 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
A first story, drafted in beginner’s haste, saw many iterations and an avalanche of richly-deserved rejections. But in the early 1990s, the poet and editor A. Wilbur Stevens plucked a version from the slush pile at Interim, a semi-annual he’d resurrected from years of dormancy. Truth is...


Interviews

10 Questions for Annette Oxindine

- By Marissa Perez

Tell me, what does dusk do
to Sydney Street, spent of all
our afternoons, and I'll teach you
how to say November
until it's rent of moth and flame,
its every last leaf a rhetorician,
asking what is tether without float?
—from "Leaving Chelsea", Volume 62, Issue 2 (Summer 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
As a child, I wrote a story about a sister and brother befriending a Martian. It was my first and last foray into science fiction. But the desire to explore various kinds of connectedness has remained constant—although it took me years to figure out I was the Martian.

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


Interviews

10 Questions for Matthew Tuckner

- By Marissa Perez

Sitting next to me on the airplane is a man with a tattoo of a swastika.
He is digging his thumbnail into an orange, dropping bits of skin onto
the carpet between our legs. Below the tattoo of the swastika is a tattoo
of a window with a view looking out onto a field with a few grazing heifers.
—from "Being There," Volume 62, Issue 2 (Summer 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I came to poetry first and foremost as a reader, and as is often the case for early readers of poetry, I didn’t always know what it was I was reading, what it meant, what I was supposed to gather from it, etc. I often just basked in the beauty of it, the delightful confusion of it. Considering this, a lot of my early...


Interviews

10 Questions for April Goldman

- By Marissa Perez

Happiness: a wind through a blight of poppies.

It takes a long time to unlatch something like that. To open up a parenthesis
that looks like a burning
red poppy.
—from "[Longing]," Volume 62, No. 2 (Summer 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
The first poem I wrote in what felt like my own voice was when I was in my early thirties. Long, long after I completed my MFA. I'm really susceptible to other people's opinions, so it took me a long time to be brave enough to write in the way I liked. This particular poem was about pumping gas and looking at the weeds and flowers and bees around the gas station.

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


Interviews

10 Questions for Mag Gabbert

- By Edward Clifford

annunciation is what we call the day when Mary conceived a son

blue has been known to belong to the gods even though it bespangles both men and death and

cloaked in it Mary was told she'd be blessed at least among women
—from "Blue," Volume 62, Issue 2 (Summer 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Anyone who’s encountered other interviews with me or kept up with my posts on social media might be somewhat familiar with this story already, but when I think of my earliest “work,” I always go back to a little poem-essay I wrote while visiting my grandparents in North Carolina for Christmas one year. At the time, a small herd of deer lived near their house, and they often grazed in...


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