Your Source for Literature and Criticism Centering America’s Heartland



By Laura McPherson The widow Joline nods from her armchair as visitors file by, the old farmhouse floors creaking under their hurried steps. Those who were not already on their way here for the family reunion were shamed into last-minute road trips upon hearing of Arnold’s accident. Hit by a steel-studded tire falling off a flatbed, they clucked quietly. As if he could have stopped it. Several of them drove over the exact spot on the highway where he died, on the way up. The service will be closed casket. Joline wonders:…

Dark Matter: Review of Rue, by Kathryn Nuernberger

Reviewed by Monica Monk “God, I found an explanation for why it always seems I have/walked into a library and been handed just the book I needed.” For a beginning poet learning to express authentic voice and emotion, for anyone craving a “real” conversation with a friend about topics such as marriage, imaginary affairs, motherhood, or middle age, the poems in Kathryn Nuernberger’s 2020 collection Rue feel like walking into a library and being handed just the book you have needed. The speaker of “The Threshold of the Unseen World” as in other poems…


By Michael Anthony Reflections can reveal truths or distort reality. For Charlie Hubner, they do both. This particular day the seventy-eight-year-old wanders Littleton’s Main Street. Like so many small communities across the Midwest, its downtown is more an echo of the past than a present day destination. The pharmacy that had been there for over a century, the hardware store, the garden center, and the bakery are just some of those gone. All replaced by big-box stores out on Highway 49. Townsfolk no longer stroll Littleton’s sidewalks to browse new displays in…

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