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Watch our virtual reading from this issue here.

WE ARE HONORED to present to you the very first Massachusetts Review issue focused on Native American writing. We are thankful to Associate Editor N. C. Christopher Couch and the rest of the MR team for dreaming up this issue and for asking us to be guest editors, and we are especially thankful to the writers and artists whose work we’ve chosen for this special issue. Their words and images are a gift.

This issue, as it was first imagined, was set to coincide with and push back against Massachusetts’s planned celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the settlers’ arrival at Plymouth. Instead of commemorating the settler colonial narrative that surrounds the founding of Plymouth Colony, we sought instead to celebrate Indigenous narratives, not only from the Northeast but also from...

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We are thrilled to share the Denver Art Museum's video of their artist-in-residence, Rose B. Simpson, who we were happy to feature in our current special issue, A Gathering of Native Voices (Winter 2020). 


“We are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest [...] the teachings of Thoreau are alive today, indeed, they are more alive today than ever before.”

—REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (MR 4.1, Autumn 1962)

From the Blog


10 Questions for Stephen Graham Jones

- By Edward Clifford

This is the story of when I stopped trusting people.

I'm seventeen, living the life. Work all day, drink all night, never worrying about bills or tomorrow. The songs I was listening to were my script. We've all been there; I don't need to go into it. What happened, though, was that one bleary bright morning I run into a guy in a parking lot who tells me somebody I know got raped last night, maybe at a house I'd been in for a few minutes.
—from "The Guy with the Name," Volume 62, Issue 4 (Winter 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Called “The Gift.” I wrote it when I was nineteen, sitting in an ICU for three days. It’s a girl waking up in the ICU after a car crash in...


10 Questions for Esther Belin

- By Edward Clifford

Hosteen dibé bitsą́ą́' yiyą́ą́—hey ya
Hosteen dibé bitsą́ą́' yiyą́ą́—hey ya
Hosteen dibé bitsą́ą́' yiyą́ą́—hey ya
Hosteen dibé bitsą́ą́' yiyą́ą́—hey ya
—from "Sonnet 1," Volume 61, Issue 4 (Winter 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I took a creative writing class in high school. I wrote a poem about my father. It was a short image poem. My teacher was impressed. She entered it in a contest. I did not win the contest but I did receive recognition. I did not think much about creative writing at the time but it was a special feat for me because the poem honored my father.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?...


2020 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize

- By Edward Clifford

The 2020 winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Samuel Taylor for his poem "Postcards from Babel," published in Volume 60, Issue 1.

Sam Taylor is the author of three books of poems, Body of the World (Ausable), Nude Descending an Empire (Pitt Poetry Series), and the forthcoming The Book of Fools: An Essay in Memoir and Verse (Negative Capability). A native of Miami and a former caretaker of a wilderness refuge in New Mexico, he currently tends a wild garden in Kansas, where he directs the MFA Program at Wichita State. His poems have appeared in such journals as The...


Elegies, Activism, and Aubades

- By Maria Nazos

A Review of Martín Espada, Floaters (Norton, 2021).

From the moment you open your copy of Martín Espada’s Floaters, you hear echoes of Whitman—and Espada’s own unmistakable, bold voice.

Responding to our past presidential administration, this collection tackles the hot-button themes. In addition to being a voice for the voiceless, with booming, resonant, sinewy lines, Floaters takes on other difficult topics as well. From immigration and racism to love and death, the reader is swept from the wreckage from the Trump years into the speaker’s love poems and elegies.

Along the way, Espada’s lines respond to the callous...


10 Questions for Carter Meland

- By Edward Clifford

On December 17, 2019, Lou Reed suspended his wild walk with death long enough to show me the cover art for the vinyl version of the extended single he had just recorded, a seventeen-minute-and-twenty-nine-secon rager called "Koy A'hoga." The only image I have from this dream is the cover with Lou's thumb clasping on the lower right corner.
—from "Crossing Cuyahoga," Volume 61, Issue 4 (Winter 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Fifth grade. It was an English class back in the 70s, back when we weren’t woke enough to call it language arts. We had to write a piece of fiction and I wrote something about an amazing invention that could do some sort of amazing thing. So amazing I can’t...

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