Dead Last Is a Kind of Second Place

Jell-O Pudding Pops that preserve the wavelike peaked shape of your lips. Little Debbie Fudge Brownies that break in half along a groove in the frosting. Summer sausages like No. 2 pencils, cling-wrapped together on a Styrofoam platter. Strawberry Fruit …

Kevin Brockmeier is the author of nine books, including The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories (Pantheon, 2020), from which the three stories in this issue are taken. Some of his earlier contributions to The Georgia Review were reprinted in the Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Prize Stories anthologies. His work has been translated into eighteen languages. He teaches frequently at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was raised.

Fiction That Performs As Only Fiction Can: An Interview with Ann Pancake

John Brown Spiers: To what extent do you think a novel needs to be dependent upon plot? You’ve spoken of what you perceived to be your own deficiencies with plot while writing Strange As This Weather Has Been, but …

The Forest Was Loaded with Untold Stories: An Interview with Julie Riddle

John Brown Spiers: An early paragraph in “Shadow Animals” describes your reaction to your father laying sand on a wild-game trail on your new property in northwest Montana. He does this to capture hoofprints and determine what sort of wildlife …

Material Memories

Combining elements of family photos, still lifes, and grand manner portraiture—think of idealized and elite historical subjects depicted life-size and full length—New Jersey native Celeste Rapone’s paintings explore how human behavior, over time, frequently becomes performance as a result of …

Celeste Rapone received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in New York City, Chicago, Providence, and elsewhere, and is one of the winners of New American Paintings’ 2012 MFA Annual Competition, juried this time by Dominic Molon, chief curator at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis.

Maxine Kumin: Making Contact

The Concord Monitor recently ran a two-part interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Maxine Kumin—here are parts one and two—and we were reminded of the wonderful package of photos Maxine sent us to go through when we were preparing to …

Reading The Purpose Driven Life, with Schopenhauer

                                                                                                           —December 2012

Really—I don’t know what the meaning or purpose of life is. But it looks exactly as if something were meant by it.
—Carl Jung

 

i.

 

The Truth will make us miserable, Rick Warren says. That sounds

Bruce Beasley is the author of eight collections of poems, including his most recent, All Soul Parts Returned (2017) and Theophobia (2012), both from BOA Editions. A native of Macon, Georgia, he lives in Bellingham, Washington, and is a professor of English at Western Washington University.

Honeymooners

I miss the grain of Ralph, and the grain

of Ed, and Trixie’s grain, and especially

the grain of Alice, whose pretty, pointed body

would never, ever land on the moon. Alice

was earthbound; Alice was of 

the street, and

Laura Newbern’s Love and the Eye was selected by Claudia Rankine as the winner of the 2010 Kore Press First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, the Oxford American, TriQuarterly, and Stand, and in the anthologies Best New Poets and Urban Nature. An associate professor of English and creative writing at Georgia College and State University, Newbern serves as the poetry editor of Arts & Letters. Her other honors include a residency at Yaddo and a Writer’s Award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation.

Shadow Animals

I.

On any afternoon in Stein’s grocery store parking lot in Troy, Montana, a truck—American made, four-wheel drive, dented and dirt-streaked, axles riding high—will pull in and park. A young sawyer will jump from the cab. His beard is trimmed …

Julie Riddle is the craft essay editor for Brevity and the creative nonfiction editor for Rock & Sling at Whitworth University, where she works as senior writer for marketing and development and associate editor of Whitworth Today. Her essay in The Georgia Review is her first publication.

Creative Responses to Worlds Unraveling: The Artist in the 21st Century

In 2007 I published a political novel. I’d never intended to write it. 

Until I was in my late thirties, I kept my political concerns segregated from my creative writing. Of course, they crept in anyway, but always indirectly and …

Ann Pancake’s first novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been (2007), was one of Kirkus Review’s Top Ten Fiction Books of 2007, won the 2007 Weatherford Prize, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award and the 2008 Washington State Book Award. Her collection of short stories, Given Ground (2001), won the 2000 Bakeless Prize, and she has also received a Whiting Award, a NEA fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize. Her fiction and essays have appeared in such journals and anthologies as Orion, The Georgia Review, Poets & Writers, and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best. She teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.