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The above slideshow contains lines, sentences, and ideas from writers whose work confronts literature’s complexity, beauty, and necessity. Images confronting our made worlds and our given worlds, from Manhattan to Michigan to the unmitigated ocean.





 


Confrontation News and Excerpts

This Believer

A doctor once suggested that I use hypnosis to gain access to a self-critical inner voice that has plagued me since childhood. She said that the issues that had led me to seek treatment were unlikely to respond to conventional talk therapy.

A Very Small Cemetery

Border Days in Grangeville have been held annually since 1911. Three days—July 2, 3, 4—of parades, cowboy breakfasts, pretty girls on horseback, and the oldest professional rodeo in Idaho.

To Swim Infinitude

My cottage on the western edge of the Great Basin fills with a 5 a.m. sunrise, a flood of orange light I can sip from my bed. Awakening, I remember that I heard a coyote during my sleep—a serenade from the underworld. Trickster Coyote gliding into the slipstream between the daylight touchstones and darkened dives. ...

The Night-Heron

It’s a little before six in Denver on a Thursday morning in April. People are starting their cars, including a diesel truck Disability Dave next door has to let idle for twenty minutes.

Issue 119, Spring 2016: Table of Contents

The Spring 2016 issue is available now.

Christopher Thornton’s Global Spotlight: Letter from Lalibela

It is Christmas Day in Lalibela, Ethiopia—December 25, the day chosen to commemorate the birth of Christ in the world of Western Christianity. In Ethiopia, the celebration won’t arrive for another fifteen days because the Ethiopian Orthodox Church adheres to the Eastern calendar.

The Unraveling Wind-up

There is sand on the sheets of the bed in this room. No matter.

Dusk/the piano

There is a pause. You consider what I’ve said, then you begin playing Für Elise. I am lonely in a way no nearness can alter.

The Names

In the beginning, from the inky black mouth of God, into a darkness so deep that any subsequent darkness seemed ironic, a pale simulacrum of true night, there was a word.

A Simple Life

My wife and I moved upstate when we retired from our former jobs: I from newspaper reporting on poor people’s crimes, and she from event planning for rich people’s weddings.

Snake River Story

In the shade of a tall locust in Pioneer Park, sharing a blanket, Deena Lee was on her feet performing a stretch and Montgomery Bolt was on his back, in plaid Bermuda shorts, reading a book.

Arctic Fox

Imagine you were born in a box. A big box, you can walk around in it, you have food and whatever. That’s not the point. You grow up in this box.