STORY OF THE WEEK

How to Defy Gravity By Lauren Hebert Duncan

How to Defy Gravity

“What do I like?” No one has ever asked him. “I guess I like possibilities. I like imagining things better than they are.”

POEM OF THE WEEK

[The sparrows keep hurling themselves against the windowpanes] By Kaitlyn Airy

[The sparrows keep hurling themselves against the windowpanes]

when he tells me he’s unwell I know I should believe him

ENTER TODAY

ENTER TODAY

30 BELOW 30

New and Emerging Authors

New and
Emerging Authors

A vital part of Narrative’s mission is to support young writers and artists. Here we’ve collected some of the writers under thirty we’ve published in the past year.

Spring Issue

FICTION

FICTION

FICTION

Spring Issue

FICTION

Big Mary By T. Coraghessan Boyle

Big Mary

What she did behind that microphone made everything I’d ever done and everybody I’d ever played with seem like filtered water.

FICTION

Daddy’s Girl By Cally Fiedorek

Daddy’s Girl

What had she been thinking, that they’d be poisoning her Stroganoff ’cause she was Jacob Cohen’s daughter? The Russian mob wasn’t like that anymore.

FICTION

The Forgotten One By Madelena Grossmann

The Forgotten One

It was the eve of my fifty-eighth birthday. I needed an ethical accounting of all the romantic affairs woven through my longish life.

FICTION

FICTION

FICTION

FICTION

Commis By Don Lee

Commis

“There are no other restaurants I want to work for, no other chefs,” I said. “There’s only this restaurant, and you.”

FICTION

Mercury Pictures Presents By Anthony Marra

Mercury Pictures Presents

Whenever Maria thought of Rome, she returned to that final summer when every Sunday her father took her to the air-conditioned cinema instead of church.

FICTION

The Paperboy By Mary Morris

The Paperboy

Suddenly they see a car coming toward them. It’s as if a spaceship is barreling down from above. “I think that’s him,” Chet says. “Our paperboy.”

FICTION

FICTION

NONFICTION

FICTION

Winter’s Gate By Shann Ray

Winter’s Gate

He was too urbanized now. He’d forgotten sinew, flesh, and bone. When he rose from the kitchen table he vowed to get back to the Beartooths.

FICTION

Little Ships By Sandra Scofield

Little Ships

The girls woke and came and stood and watched them, neither curious nor upset, only witnessing the end of life as they knew it.

NONFICTION

The Most Dangerous Book: Ulysses at One Hundred By Bill Barich

The Most Dangerous Book: Ulysses at One Hundred

Those were heady days for me, newly in love and eager to explore the city, with Joyce as my guide.

FEATURES

NONFICTION

GO BEYOND
THE MFA

FEATURES

The Runaways By Elizabeth Spencer

The Runaways

Supper finished, she was about to shower and go to bed, legs aching from the effort of the afternoon, when she heard a knock at the windowpane.

NONFICTION

Borderlines, Real and Imaginary: Elizabeth Spencer’s “The Runaways” By Ann Beattie

Borderlines, Real and Imaginary: Elizabeth Spencer’s “The Runaways”

Little things—gestures, inhibitions, slipups, contradictions—reveal and betray us.

GO BEYOND
THE MFA

GO BEYONDTHE MFA

INTERVIEWS

NARRATIVE 10

SIX-WORD STORIES

INTERVIEWS

Narrative 10 with Marie Myung-Ok Lee

Narrative 10

Q: Your cure for when the spirit flags?

A: Reading poetry. Going outside. Korean dramas, especially zombie movies (try it!).

NARRATIVE 10

Narrative 10 with Ottessa Moshfegh

Narrative 10

Q: A line that continues to inspire you?

A: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

SIX-WORD STORIES

I’m Hot By Laura Judge

I’m Hot

A story about midlife transitions and waning human desire—all in just six words.

CLASSICS

POETRY

POETRY

CLASSICS

The Weary Blues By Langston Hughes

The Weary Blues

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

POETRY

Return and Other Poems By Rachel Edelman

Return and
Other Poems

Descent jumps and jostles, nausea drops me back to the floodplain I fled. The taxi driver asks, Do you have some mixed blood?

POETRY

I Miss Somebody Still Alive and Other Poems By Loisa Fenichell

I Miss Somebody Still Alive and
Other Poems

Time punctures the air like sounds from the old city. People leave.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Grand Island, Nebraska By Matthew Gellman

Grand Island, Nebraska

There was a ladder planted dead center in a field of high, thin grass.

POETRY

Worksong By J. P. Grasser

Worksong

“Like a Virgin” scaled the same air trumpet vines climbed, and “Smooth Criminal” settled like dust over the endless, rockbound, dusty ground.

POETRY

After the Shooting By Henry Hart

After the Shooting

At the memorial service, I could barely hear the student read: After great pain a formal feeling comes. The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Intertext By Ambalila Hemsell

Intertext

I am reaching for another poet’s heartbroken AI. I am reaching for another poet’s dead lover.

POETRY

I Search for Koreatown By Megan Kim

I Search
for Koreatown

and find it     the last shreds of fish on the bone     fanned out like fine filigree

POETRY

Homily and Other Poems By A. D. Lauren-Abunassar

Homily and
Other Poems

In June the wheat got blue, and you got drunker still: on imagining the mudflats, the fields where sugar burned.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Shadow in My Bed By Kiran Masroor

Shadow in My Bed

The human body can do more than breathe and bend. It can become heavy as a diving board or slick as rain.
Animals & Instruments by V. Penelope Pelizzon

Animals & Instruments

If nipped by even the smallest smiling baby mamba, you’ll want just three things: shade, some paper, and a pencil.

POETRY

Shamisen and Straw By Amy Uyematsu

Shamisen and Straw

Tsunami

Snow on blue roof tiles—
sleeping village
     awakened by waves

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Northern California By Oswaldo Vargas

Northern California

Boys taller than me warned not to meet the river at its mouth. The reservoir insists I write a song for my breaking.

POETRY

Phosphenes By D. S. Waldman

Phosphenes

When it comes to elegies, I just—I can’t anymore. If it’s going to be night, let it be night absolutely.

POETRY

Arguing with Myself By Nikki Wallschlaeger

Arguing with Myself

“I know very well what happened last time,” says the heart. “You were there and didn’t listen to me when I told you something was wrong.”

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Redwoods Up the North Coast By Edward Wilson

Redwoods Up the North Coast

We came among those trees—each an epoch with its origin and history, rising into night.

POETRY

Having Never Said the Kaddish By Laura Budofsky Wisniewski

Having Never Said the Kaddish

Having dreamed endless dreams of trains, always pulling away as I came too late to the station.

iPOEMS

IPOEMS

iPOEM

iPOEMS

Finch Me By Michelle Bitting

Finch Me

I’m forced to telescope my lens, close up capture your needled feeding, thistle sock teat your sharpened beaks pierce.

IPOEMS

The Absent Father By Joshua Coben

The Absent Father

Three lives I flicked alight with a few match scrapes. I cupped them till they caught, singed my hand—

iPOEM

Why Are You Afraid? By Yasmine Ameli

Why Are You Afraid?

I gulped water in a bar then assessed a man’s height and weight, how hard a fight I’d give.

CARTOONS

CARTOONS

CARTOONS

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2022-07 By Various Artists

Cartoon Art Volume 2022-07

Zen rooms, painting by number, and more, from Juan Astasio, Tyson Cole, Maddie Dai, David Gomberg, and Teresa Burns Parkhurst.

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2022-06 By Various Artists

Cartoon Art Volume 2022-06

Cranky clams, lax security, and more, by Pat Byrnes, Dan Misdea, Teresa Burns Parkhurst, Sam Patnoe, and Mick Stevens.

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2022-05 By Various Artists

Cartoon Art Volume 2022-05

The road not taken, bad lighting, and more, from Pat Byrnes, Mary Lawton, Dan Misdea, Mick Stevens, and P. C. Vey.