Online Issues

Click the cover above to read the issue.

cover art Cynthia Bickley-Green

cover designDana Ezzell Lovelace

Read the NCLR Online 2021 Press Release.


Watch a video to see how to download an NCLR Online issue.

Watch a video to see how to share a link directly to a particular page of an NCLR Online issue.


Nominations from this issue:

Best of the Net

Creative Nonfiction
Glenis Redmond 
Carol Scott-Conner

Rose Himber Howse
Nancy H. Williard

J.S. Absher
Janet Ford
Shari Crane Fox
Janis Harrington
Maura High
Christopher Shipman

Cynthia Bickley-Green
Mary Edna Fraser
Damian Stamer 

Rose Himber Howse
Nancy H. Williard 

Orison Anthology
Carol Scott-Conner

John Burroughs Nature Essay Award
Carol Scott-Conner
Hannah Towey

Other 2021 nominations are listed on the print issue web page.



Editorial Assistants
Drake Heath
Bethany Holmes
Max Kilgore 
Nija Knight
Mary Myers

Elizabeth Currin
Lily Johnson
Vedika Modi 




NCLR Online 2021 Contents

NCLR Online is open access.

Click the cover (left) to read the issue (live now).
Or click the titles below for a direct link to content.


A Time to Heal
section introduction by Margaret D. Bauer, Editor

On Beauty, The Reluctant Beauty Queen Sound button linking to a reading of On Beauty, The Reluctant Beauty Queen.
an essay by Glenis Redmond 

Promised Land
a poem by Maura High
art by Damian Stamer 

At Home in North Carolina: An Interview with Belle Boggs
by Barbara Bennett 

The Courage to Face Your Truth
a review by Loren Ashten
Rachael Brooks, Beads 

leftover women
a poem by Lisa M. Pursley
art by Catharine Carter 

Next to Godliness Sound button linking to a reading of On Beauty, The Reluctant Beauty Queen. (hear excerpt)
a short story by Rose Himber Howse
art by Patricia Steele Raible 

Love and Death in North Carolina Poetry
a review by Catherine Carter
Jessica Jacobs, Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going
Wayne Johns, Antipsalm
Eric Tran, The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer 

Always Timely, No Matter the Time
a review by Ashley Daughtridge
Kati Gardner, Brave Enough
David Brendan Hopes, The Falls of Wyona 

a poem by J.S. Absher
art by Vandorn Hinnant 

At the End of the Causeway Sound button linking to a reading of At the End of the Causeway.
an essay by Hannah Towey
art by Mary Edna Fraser 

a poem by Christopher Shipman
art by Kenn Kotara 

Directing Our Attention to the Finite Things of This World
a review by Amber Flora Thomas
Catherine Carter, Larvae of the Nearest Stars  

The Battle of Relationships through Different Eyes
a review by Jim Clark
Daynne Romine Powell, In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver
Sandra Ann Winters, Do Not Touch 

an essay by Susan Wilson 

Hypnopompic hallucination of you and your ex in a horse pasture five miles outside of Greensboro
a poem by Shari Crane Fox
art by Malu Tan 

Love and Marriage
a review by Brandy Reeves
Judy Goldman, Together 

a poem by Richard Betz
art by Christopher Lambert 

a poem by Janis Harrington
art by Rebecca Aloisio 

Time to Start Over 
a review by Max Kilgore
Dale Neal, Appalachian Book of the Dead 

a poem by Janet Ford
art by Juan Logan 

Tallying the Cost of Addiction in Appalachia
a review by Dale Neal
David Joy, When These Mountains Burn
Meagan Lucas, Songbirds & Stray Dogs 

Wherever You Go Sound button linking to a reading of On Beauty, The Reluctant Beauty Queen. (hear excerpt)
a short story by Nancy H. Williard
art by Robert Boyd 

The Battle Inside
a review by Meagan Lucas
Katey Schultz, Still Come Home 

The Great Dimming of the Year 2020
an essay by Carol Scott-Conner
art by Tim Christensen  


flashbacks: Echoes of Past issues


Sharing North Carolina's Rich Literary History
section introduction by Margaret D. Bauer, Editor

Ammons Among North Carolina Friends
a review by Eric C. Walker
Emily Herring Wilson, “When I Go Back to My Home Country”: A Remembrance of Archie Ammons 

2021 Ehle Prize Awarded to Essay on Ehle
Finding Ehle’s Mountain Novels 
by Savannah Paige Murray

Something (More) Rich and Strange
a review by Jimmy Dean Smith
Ron Rash, In the Valley
Frédérique Spill, The Radiance of Small Things in Ron Rash’s Writings 

A Little Bit of Suffering in Common
a review by Jim Coby
John Hart, The Unwilling
Charles Dodd White, How Fire Runs 

Short Story Sequencing
a review by Sharon E. Colley
Leah Hampton, F*ckface and Other Stories
Rhonda Browning White, The Lightness of Water & Other Stories 

2019-2020 Manly Wade Wellman Award Winner 

A Map to Everlasting and Liberating Truth
a review by Philip Gerard
Wayne Moore, Triumphant Warrior 

Angelic Voices Sing in North Carolina
a review by Reginald Watson
Randall Kenan, If I Had Two Wings
Lenard D. Moore, Editor, All the Songs We Sing 

Remembering Randall
by Margaret D. Bauer 

Michael Parker Awarded 2020 Thomas Wolfe Prize 

Jill McCorkle and Lee Smith Mine the Past, and Both Find Gold
a review by Barbara Bennett
Jill McCorkle, Hieroglyphics
Lee Smith, Blue Marlin 

The Heart of the Story
a review by Tanya Long Bennett
Monique Truong, The Sweetest Fruits 

In Search of “Wonders Hidden and Huge”
a review by James W. Kirkland
Peg Bresnahan, Hunger to Share 

Homage to Hawthorne: A (New) Wonder Book
a review by Lorraine Hale Robinson
Marly Youmans, Charis in the World of Wonders 

Love, Power, and Beauty in an Aspirational Rome
a review by Mayee Zhu
David Brendan Hopes, Night, Sleep, and the Dreams of Lovers 

Discovering Who We Are
a review by Angela Love Moser
Sarah Dessen, The Rest of the Story 

Make Your Own Kind of Happily Ever After
a review by Savanah Paige Murray
Sophie Gonzalez, Only Mostly Devastated
Mary Cecilia Jackson, Sparrow 

Debut Novel by Meg Cannistra Wins NC AAUW Award 

Secure Invitations
a review by Robert M. West
Keith Flynn, The Skin of Meaning
Al Maginnes, Sleeping Through the Graveyard Shift 

2020 Caldwell Award Winner James W. Clark, Jr., North Carolina’s “Johnny Appleseed of the Humanities” 



Welcoming New Writers and Making New Plans
section introduction by Margaret D. Bauer, Editor

Yearning Over Yonder
a review by Susannah Hedley
Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing
art by Marjorie Pierson 

Themes That Persist: Coming of Age Tales of Race, Family, and Identity
a review by Amanda Shingleton Robles
Sion Dayson, As A River
Molly Dektar, The Ash Family 

Resilience and Connection
a review by Kristina L. Knotts
Rebecca Hodge, Wildland  

If This Be Life
a review by Rebecca Duncan
Judy Dearlove, Play On! 

Building a Better Birdhouse: Clifford Garstang’s Troubled Men
a review by Dale Bailey
Clifford Garstang, House of the Ancients and Other Stories and The Shaman of Turtle Valley 

2020 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award Honors Eastern Cherokee Stories 

Caught in the Teeth of Love
a review by Jim Coby
Nathan Ballingrud, Wounds: Six Stories from the Borders of Hell 

When We Talk About Love, There’s Pain
a review by Helen Stead
Shuly Xóchitl Cawood, A Small Thing to Want
Ray Morrison, I Hear the Human Noise 

Triad Stage of Greensboro Receives Hardee Rives Award 

Yesterday and Today
a review by Emily Herring Wilson
June Sylvester Saraceno, Feral, North Carolina, 1965 and The Girl From Yesterday

To Speak in Your Own Voice
a review by Janice N. Harrington
Dorianne Laux, As the Day Is Long
Annie Woodford, Bootleg

Lessons in Persistence
a review by Anna McFadyen
Kay Bosgraaf, The Fence Lesson
Patricia Hooper, Wild Persistence 

Voice and The Reliable Narrator
a review by Patrick Bizzaro
Malaika King Albrecht, The Stumble Field
Michael Gaspeny, The Tyranny of Questions