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For Tio, the worst part about burying horses is having to quarter them, to cut them up so thay fit in the hole. That’s what gets to him most, even more than the shock and disappointment of finding them dead.

“Roan” by Diza Sauers

Featured as an Editor’s Pick, April 9, 2008:

Animals figure prominently, even disturbingly, in Diza Sauers’ story “Roan.”  Not content to fixate only on the way humans deal with death at an emotional pitch, “Roan” employs a harsh naturalism that reduces death to its biological, or animal, level.  A vast livestock cemetery on a family farm serves as the imaginative space in which Sauers’ characters contemplate the death of Bear, a beloved son and father.  The role of this field in the family’s grieving process looms large from the outset where we are told that the patriarch Tio has buried here “everything that’s died on him, his horse, his first wife, some dogs.”  Furthermore, Tio can’t shake the beauty of a past experience involving rabbits in a prairie fire that informs his sense of the easiness and naturalness of death.  What, then, will become of Bear, whose body lies in state at the local church; whose mother wishes a ritualistic burial for her eldest son?  This tension between familiar death-induced anxiety and a farmer’s obstinate acceptance of death lends to Sauers’ characters a grittiness that is as visceral as the dirt they subsist upon.  Such skillful attention to character and detail on Sauers’ part provides an atmosphere of inevitability that foregrounds the shocking solutions with which her characters resolve their dilemma.

–Ryan Haas

An Interview with Linda Hogan

This interview is not currently available online.

Interviewer: Can we begin by talking about your background — where you grew up and the things that you did?

Hogan: My family is from Oklahoma, near Ardmore. My father had a job driving a woman to Denver and he ended up staying there. He met my mother and they got married and I was born in Denver. At that time my father was a carpenter. He later went into the military to feed us, so we did some travelling around.

Poetry Feature: Rick Campbell

Featuring the poems:

  • To Jennifer, Thinking of Li Po
  • Setting Pins, 1996
  • Even the Ohio Can Change
  • On Missing the First Step on the Moon
  • The Spring in Tevebaugh Hollow
  • Morrison’s

Poetry Feature: Robert Gibb

Featuring the poems:

  • Night Moves
  • First Day
  • At the Steelworkers’ Monument During the 100th Anniversary of the Homestead Strike of 1892
  • The Employments of Time in Homestead

All Summer Long

This story is not currently available online.

Your grandmother can’t stand the lobster smell stinking up the curtains and furniture and clothes so your uncle Eddie boils the lobsters outside. Eddie enjoys the job.

Poetry Feature: David Jauss

Featuring the poems:

  • Improvising Rivers
  • After the End of the World
  • The Master Musicians of Joujouka

This Town Won't Be in the United States

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On the morning of August 10, 1861, miners at the Morkan Quarry heard thunder. They stepped from the shade of a tool shed and gazed west. Lime powdered them white and matted their hair gray with sweat.

The Gazette Girls of Grundy County

This History as Literature feature is not currently available online.

The first problem was to find a paper we could buy with a down payment of $500.00 and a debt of not more than $1,500.00. That would leave us with a few hundred for operating expenses until we “started making a profit.” We knew we wanted a Linotype machine, since setting type by hand, as some country newspapers of that eara were still doing, would leave us little time to write, interview, and pursue the more interesting phases of newspaper work.

Someone Like Jane

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Ellen Gladney, starched an jewel-bedecked, swooped suddenly upon Delia and Katy, who were mopping up spilled punch.

Things That Go

This essay is not currently available online.

I suppose in the old days of Western range a boy started riding a horse at an early age, and the horse, centaur-like, became an extension of his body, and was centrally, almost unconsciously involved in all the trials, losses, gains and exultations that ultimately defined his character.