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cover art A.R. Ammons

cover design Dana Ezzell Lovelace

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Nominations from this issue:

Best of the Net
essays by
Faith S. Holsaert (selected as finalist)
Kelly Madden-Lunsford
poems by
Fred Chappell ("Mission")
John Haugh
Robert Hill
Anna Lena Bell Phillips
Mark Smith-Soto
Marley Youmans

Faith S. Holsaert

Orison Anthology
Emily Banks
Fred Chappell ("Judgment Day")
Betty Ritz Rogers
Maryly Youmans

Other 2020 nominations are listed on the print issue web page.



Editorial Assistants
Megan Brown
Max Kilgore 
Laura Pittman
Ashten Shope
Mayee Zhu

Emily J. Bolton
Matthew Giordanoan
Lily Johnson 
Amber Knox
Devin Raines 




NCLR Online 2020 Contents

NCLR Online is open access.


Writers without Borders
section introduction by Margaret D. Bauer, Editor

Born Southern [but] Restless:
An Interview with Kat Meads

by Pam Van Dyk

A Reconstruction of Logics Past
a review by Monica Miller
Armistead Maupin, Logical Family

Circus Gone Off Line: Fade to Black
a poem by Robert Hill
art by Kirsten Stolle

You Are What Owns You:
Short Fiction by Lionel Shriver

a review by Eric Walker
Lionel Shriver, Property

North Carolina Native Mary Robinette Kowal Awarded Triple Crown in Speculative Fiction
by Helen Stead

Missing Ernestine, My Mountain Mother
an essay by Kerry Madden-Lunsford

a poem by Priscilla Melchior
art by Michael Klauke


flashbacks: Echoes of Past issues


Flashbacks of Past Topics and Continued Community
section introduction by Margaret D. Bauer, Editor

Philip Gerard Honored with the
North Carolina Award for Literature

by Michele Walker

Understanding the Present through the Past
a review by Angela Love Moser
Philip Gerard, The Last Battleground:
The Civil War Comes to North Carolina

and Cape Fear Rising

Old Tractor Equipment
a poem by Melinda Thomsen
art by Jonathan Bowling

Fred Chappell, Fabulous Fabulist
a review by John Lang
Fred Chappell, As If It Were

Judgment Day and Mission
two poems by Fred Chappell
art by Bongsang Cho and Charlotte Foust

"Wide Awake Red"
a review by Catherine Carter
Kathryn Stripling Byer, Trawling the Silences

Herd Animal
a poem by Tori Reynolds
art by Foozhan Kashkooli

The Close Harmony We Sing
a review by Robert M. West
Shelby Stephenson, Our World, Nin’s Poem,
and Paul’s Hill: Homage to Whitman

Taking Steps to Understand Jim Grimsley
and Randall Kenan

a review by Gary Richards
James A. Crank, Understanding Randall Kenan
David Deutsch, Understanding Jim Grimsley

“Ask Mike”: Michael Hill Receives
Crittenden Award

by Kevin Cherry

North Carolina Poet Laureate Receives
North Carolina Humanities Council’s
Highest Honor

a poem by Gina Malone
art by Brie Castell

Music of Words
a review by Jim Clark
Lenard D. Moore, The Geography of Jazz
David Rigsbee, This Much I Can Tell You

When the Music’s Over
a review by Christy Alexander Hallberg
Jeff Jackson, Destroy all Monsters

People as Part, Community as Sum
a review by John Hanley
Anna Jean Mayhew, Tomorrow’s Bread
De’Shawn Charles Winslow, In West Mills

Look Closer, Listen
a review by Christie Collins
Becky Gould Gibson, Indelible
Susan Schmidt, Let Go or Hold Fast

Haunted Lives: Wrestling with the Past
a review by Lisa Wenger Bro
Therese Anne Fowler, A Good Neighborhood
Charles Dodd White, In the House of the Wilderness

Gentile Bellini, John the Baptist (Istanbul, 1479)
a poem by J.S. Absher
art by Jarrett Burch



Congratulations and Gratitude
section introduction by Margaret D. Bauer, Editor

How I Was Mothered 
the 2019 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize essay by Faith S. Holsaert
art by Dawn Surratt

The Sacred Strangeness of the Mother
a review by Helen Stead
Samia Serageldin and Lee Smith, Editors, Mothers and Strangers: Essays on Motherhood from the New South

Credit Where It’s Due
a poem by Emily Banks
art by Carolyn DeMeritt

A True Spectrum of Queer North Carolina Writing
a review by David Deutsch
Wilton Barnhardt, Editor, Every True Pleasure: LGBTQ Tales of North Carolina

Treatise on Whether to Write the Mango
a poem by Eric Tran
art by Kenny Nguyen

Stories of Ordinary People in Uncomfortable Situations
a review by James W. Kirkland
George Singleton, Staff Picks

Mount Zion Cemetery
a poem by Betty Ritz Rogers
art by Angela Franks Wells

Finding Hope and Goodness among Life’s Twists
a review by Barbara Bennett
Belle Boggs, The Gulf
Kathryn Schwille, What Luck, This Life

At Carolina Beach
a poem by Anna Lena Phillips Bell
art by Mitchell Lonas



Melodic Musings
a review by Fred Chappell
Susan Laughter Meyers, Self-Portrait in the River
of Déjà Vu

To Give Voice to Everything
a review by Jim Coby
Michael Parker, Prairie Fever

A New South Morality Tale
a review by Paula Gallant Eckard
George Hovis, The Skin Artist 

Sex, Tattoos, and the New South:
An Interview with George Hovis
by Paula Gallant Eckard

The Woman in the Walls
a poem by Marly Youmans
art by Jan-Ru Wan

A Virtual Road Trip Interview:
Conversations with Five Expatriate North Carolina Writers

by George Hovis






Giving Voice to Place
a review by Wayne Johns
Celia Bland, Cherokee Road Kill
Tyree Daye, River Hymns

Bubbie Jenny and the Lone Ranger
a poem by Mark Smith-Soto
art by Carolina Coto

The Memory of Water: Searching for Faith, Family, and Familiar Places
a review by Cameron Bynum
Michael Chitwood, Search & Rescue
Al Maginnes, The Next Place

Kathryn Kirkpatrick Receives a Second Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize
by Georgann Eubanks

Her Eyes Abroad
a review by Rebecca Duncan
Diane Chamberlain, The Dream Daughter
Lee Zacharias, Across the Great Lake


Time and Touch
a review by David Clinton
Judy Hogan, Those Eternally Linked Lives
David C. Tillinghast, Sisters, Cousins, and
Wayward Angels

Still Life with Monoclonal Antibodies
a poem by Jon Obermeyer
art by Chieko Murasugi

Two-way Mirror
a review by Meagan Lucas
Joseph Mills, Bleachers
Krystal A. Smith, Two Moons

Good Stories that Shouldn’t Be True
a review by Dale Bailey
Jen Julian, Earthly Delights and Other Apocalypses

Images of Mystery
a review by Marly Youmans
Valerie Nieman, Leopard Lady and To the Bones

Summertime Detours
a review by Anna McFadyen
Cindy Baldwin, Where the Watermelons Grow
Gillian McDunn, Caterpillar Summer

The Road to Change
a review by Brianne Holmes
Brenda Rufener, Where I Live and Since We Last Spoke

Lyons and Minter Receive NC AAUW Young People’s Literature Award

North Carolina Foods and Foodways,
a Consuming Passion

a review by Lorraine Hale Robinson
Nanette Davidson, The Folk School Cookbook
Georgann Eubanks, The Month of their Ripening:
North Carolina Heritage Foods through the Year

Journey Among Strangers a review by Marjorie Hudson
Scott Huler, A Delicious Country:
Rediscovering the Carolinas along the Route
of John Lawson’s 1700 Expedition





No Other Stories Like These:
The Liminal Lives of Other(ed) Women

a review by Savannah Paige Murray
Mesha Maren, Sugar Run
Etaf Rum, A Woman is No Man

The Tender
a poem by Barbara Campbell
art by Jane Cheek

Sensible Solutions to Discomfort
a review by Laura Sloan Patterson
Maura Way, Another Bungalow

Baba Yaga After a Bad Tinder Date
a poem by John Frank Haugh
art by Jean LeCluyse

On the Demise of a Bibliophile
a poem by Michael Gaspeny
art by Daniel Essig

“We will never forgive one another /
for being human”

a review by Hannah Crane Sykes
Emilia Phillips, Empty Clip
Kevin Rippin, Amber Drive

After the Acquittal
a poem by Amy Elsie Parkes
art by Taylor O. Thomas

The Memory of Objects
a review by Joseph Mills
Mark Cox, Readiness
Holly Iglesias, Sleeping Things

My Life in Shreds
a poem by Jonathan Giles
art by Thomas Schmidt