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number 30 2021


cover art Cynthia Bickley-Green 

cover design Dana Ezzell Lovelace


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Molly Sentell Haile
Keely Hendricks
Andrew D. Scrimgeour
Gideon Young

Orison Anthology
Keely Hendricks
David E. Poston
Gideon Young - selected for inclusion in Best Spiritual Literature (Orison Books, 2022)

John Burroughs Nature Essay Award
Mildred Kiconco Barya

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


Senior Editorial Assistants
Max Kilgore

Editorial Assistants
Drake Heath
Bethany Holmes
Nija Knight
Mary Myers

Elizabeth Currin
Lily Johnson
Vedika Modi

NCLR 2021 Contents


Writing the Darkness Away 
section introduction by Margaret D. Bauer, Editor

The Art of Healing: An Interview with Lee Smith
by George Hovis

Kaleidoscopic Swirls of Lee Smith
by Sharon E. Colley
art by Catherine Edgerton 

The Hope of "dark-night songs": Music and Healing in Charles Frazier's Nightwoods
by Paula Rawlins
photography by Susanna Euston

Teaching the Darkness Away: Humanities, History, and Education  
by Christie Hinson Norris

Being Here in This Body 
2020 Linda Flowers Award essay by Mildred Kiconco Barya

The Culprit: Reflections on the Bleeding Edge 
essay by Daniel James Waters
art by Nancy Marshburn

Finding the Heart of Medicine:
Teaching at the Intersection of Healthcare and Writing
by Laura Hope-Gill
art by Justus Harris


New Voices Exploring Old Territory 
section introduction by Margaret D. Bauer, Editor

An Ethic of Everday Nature in John Ehle's The Road
2021 John Ehle Prize essay by Savannah Paige Murray

She. Being Holy Ghost Sound button linking to a reading of She, Being Holy Ghost.
a poem by David E. Poston
art by Teri Leigh Teed

Wearing Pants: Reclaiming Masculinity in Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain and Ron Rash's Serena
by John Hanley
photography by Bayard Wootten

kwansaba crown Sound button linking to a reading of kwansaba crown.
a poem by Gideon Young
art by Dare Coulter

Making Sense of "Cornsilk":
Identifying Intertexts in Randall Kenan's Short Story

by Timothy Nixon
art by Barbara Ellis

At the Grey Dog in Chelsea Sound button linking to a reading of At the Grey Dog of Chelsea.
a poem by Jodi Barnes
art by Chris Watts

"It's based on nothing but fear, by a compulsion to catastrophize":
A Conversation with Nathan Ballingrud

2021 Randall Kenan Prize interview by Jim Coby
art by Barbara Ellis 

The Newsy
a poem by J.S. Absher
photography by Vivian Maier


Mission Accomplished: Introducing More New Writers
section introduction by Margaret D. Bauer, Editor

Many Identites, One Voice: An Interview with Cherokee Novelist Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
by Kirstin L. Squint

Little Things Sound button linking to a reading of Abundance. hear excerpt
2020 Doris Betts Fiction Prize story by Molly Sentell Haile
art by Diana Bloomfield

Abundance Sound button linking to a reading of Abundance.
2020 James Applewhite Poetry Prize poem by Keely Hendricks
art by Amy Herman

Trouble in the Heartland Sound button linking to a reading of Trouble in the Heartland.
2020 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize essay by Andrew D. Scrimgeour
art by Ben Long

After Perfecting a Coconut Cream Pie, I Fail Sound button linking to a reading of After Perfecting a Coconut Cream Pie, I Fail.
a poem by Terri Greco
art by Andi Steele


The 2021 issues of the North Carolina Literary Review are supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

East Carolina UniversityNorth Carolina Literary & Historical AssociationUniversity of North Carolina Press