Issue No. 33

From the Blog

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Struggling Through Karl Ove Knausgaard

Let’s be clear. There is no way I’m reading all 3500-plus pages of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-part novelistic memoir—there are, simply, too few reading hours in the day to devote such a share to a single writer. I did make it through the first 200 pages, about halfway through the first volume of Knausgaard’s My Struggle—a [...]

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On Proxies

At the AWP conference in Los Angeles earlier this year, I was on a quest for writers with a different style and approach to craft than I’d been exposed to. I browsed the various presses in attendance and asked them to point me to the writers they publish whose work would likely get thrown out [...]

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Making the Horses Drink

A few mass shootings ago—that is, a few months ago—I faced my freshman comp students and asked them why. Why was it, did they think, that gun violence was such a problem for the United States? A hand shot up. “It’s because our gun laws are too strict, so it’s hard to get weapons to [...]

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Hard Poems for Hard Times

In the last few weeks my emotions have been all over the place. At first I was sad. This story is not a new story. They have been killing us without consequence for hundreds of years. Then I began looking at the way these events were portrayed in the media, and reading the comments beneath [...]

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Dropping the Velvet Rope

I’ve heard more times than I’d like about how the call for diversification of submissions for literary magazines is making it harder for white, male, heterosexual (WMH) writers to find homes for their work. As the Nonfiction Editor of Blue Mesa Review and a WMH writer, I’m calling for exactly that, more diversity in our [...]

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Summertime Management

I had a dream last night. My soccer team––well, football, ‘cause we use our feet, and I’m in Spain––were playing in an international tournament in Tarragona. In the morning, much like Iceland, our team, the scrappy underdog, beat the favorite, say England. Blame it on Brexit. Our team was having a big tavern lunch, preparing [...]

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4 Reasons You Should Submit to Literary Magazines

Some mornings I wake up channeling my favorite movie or book characters. This morning, I woke up feeling very Voila Davis’s character, Aibileen, from The Help. And when I allowed my imagination free reign, this is the message she gave me, as Blue Mesa Review’s poetry editor, to give to you: 4 Reasons You Should [...]

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Good Writing Days: On Being a New Father and a Poet

For me, a typical writing day looks like this: two hours of generative writing, an hour of revision, and an hour or so of reading. To wrap up a session, I save all the poems in their various stages to appropriately-named Google Drive folders. I have one for the “nearly there” poems. I have one [...]

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