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Introduction

THOUGH UNFINISHED, the most necessary Kafka masterpiece today—as we slowly sort through where we’ve been for the past year or so—is surely “Der Bau,” first translated into English by Edwin and Willa Muir as “The Burrow.” Told from the point of view of a burrowing animal, what Herbert Blau has called the tale’s “manic intensity” is focused—as its original title suggests—on construction. In the seventies, Blau’s experimental troupe KRAKEN staged the story as a frenetic, constant work of building, or “burrowing,” and the latter word quickly became a term of art for his actors.

No one could miss how Kafka’s tale speaks to our plague year: “the most beautiful thing about my burrow is the stillness. Of course, that is deceptive. At any moment it may be shattered and then all will be over.” Isolation, gnawing worries, the obsession with (or invention of) enemies, the...

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2021 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize

The 2021 winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Abigail Chabitnoy, for her poem "Girls Are Coming out of the Water," from our Gathering of Native Voices issue (Volume 61, Issue 4).

ABIGAIL CHABITNOY is the author of How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the international category of the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry. She was a 2016 Peripheral Poets fellow, and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, ...


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Watch our 2021 Anne Halley Poetry Prize-winner Abigail Chabitnoy read from her collection of poems as well as the winning poem "Girls Are Coming Out of the Water" from MR's A Gathering of Native Voices issue. Purchase a signed Broadside of the poem today!

ABIGAIL CHABITNOY is the author of How to Dress a Fish, winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the international category of the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry. She was a 2016 Peripheral Poets fellow, and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, LitHub, and Red Ink, among others. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Witter Bynner-funded Native Poet Residency at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, CO, and is a mentor for the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA in Creative Writing. She is a Koniag descendant and member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak.

“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)

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annunciation is what we call the day when Mary conceived a son

blue has been known to belong to the gods even though it bespangles both men and death and

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—from "Blue," Volume 62, Issue 2 (Summer 2021)

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Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I wrote a poem about mud in fifth grade that I was really proud of; it was a pretty good poem and my teacher asked me to read it at our spring festival, this auditorium filled with kids and parents. And I got nervous and decided to read it in this ironic, self-mocking way, I really sold myself out. And I felt terrible afterward about myself, because I knew I had dishonored the poem, and somehow I knew that this was a serious thing, a big deal, to pretend that I had this lightweight and cynical...


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Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
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Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
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