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the top 15 most-read posts

1 Oct

We’re always grateful when gorgeous, deep, necessary work comes our way, or when a fascinating person chooses to spend time talking with us. And this journal is our opportunity to share that work, and those conversations, with readers who get it, people who need it. A readership has grown around this collection of artifacts and ideas, and within that readership a little community. Thank you for being part of it. We tend to celebrate the thing you might have otherwise missed. But today, we’d like to celebrate the most-read (thousands of reads each), most-accessed, most-shared writing at Pea River Journal. Think of this post as a little party for these 15 pieces.

Thank you, writers and conversationalists and makers and readers, for bringing this list into being. And if you’ve not yet read these pieces, here’s your chance.

The 15

Amanda Miska’s story Slow Wave

Win Bassett’s poem Only You Can Prevent Nothing

Our interview with Rachel Hyman

Robert Gray’s poems The Day I Was Born and Humidity

The Prints Project

Our interview with Matthew Rouser

Ray McManus’ American Poem #2

Our conversation with Marium Khalid

Robert Fanning’s poem The House We Almost Bought

Grant Clauser’s poem Objects in Motion

Our documentary photographs for the Stay Fly mural in Phoenix conceived and painted by Sentrock and Mikey Jackson

Al Maginnes’ poem How Things Break in This World

Anthony Martin’s story Ill Not in the Mind

Richard Heby’s poem The Plum

Rafael Alvarez’ story Burdens of Home


Catch them elsewhere:

Amanda Miska

Win Bassett

Rachel Hyman

Robert Gray

Ray McManus

Robert Fanning

Grant Clauser


Al Maginnes

Anthony Martin

Richard Heby

Rafael Alvarez

last lines from Lyrical Ballads

23 May

It is an ancyent Marinere, he rose the morrow morn.
I never saw the man whom you describe.
He lived and died among the savage men.
Nay, Traveller! rest. This lonely yew-tree stands in lowliness of heart.
No cloud, no relique of the sunken day Sweet Nightingale! once more, my friends! farewell.
By Derwent’s side my Father’s cottage stood, of that perpetual weight which on her spirit lay.
Oh! what’s the matter? what’s the matter? of Goody Blake and Harry Gill.
It is the first mild day of March: we’ll give to idleness.
In the sweet shire of Cardigan, has oftener left me mourning.
I have a boy of five years old, of what from thee I learn.
A simple child, dear brother Jim, and said, Nay, we are seven!
I heard a thousand blended notes, what man has made of man?
There is a thorn; it looks so old, Oh woe is me! oh misery!
In distant countries I have been, it is the last of all my flock.
And this place our forefathers made for man! by the benignant touch of love and beauty.
Her eyes are wild, her head is bare, and there, my babe; we’ll live for aye.
‘Tis eight o’clock, — a clear March night, and that was all his travel’s story.
How rich the wave, in front, imprest by virtue’s holiest powers attended.
Why William, on that grey stone, and dream my time away.
Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks, that watches and receives.
The little hedge-row birds, And there is dying in an hospital.
Before I see another day, I shall not see another day.
The glory of the evening was spread through the west; would plant thee where yet thou migh’st blossom again.
Five years have passed; five summers, with the length more dear, both for themselves, and for thy sake.


(Thank you, Wordsworth and Coleridge.)


If this belief from Heaven be sent, If such be Nature's holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What man has made of man-


(You can also download the image as wallpaper.)


Peter Repka. Responsorial Psalm (an excerpt).

25 Jul

Hoar-white doves with a crumbbetween the


Eric M.R. Webb. Goldfinch.

15 Dec



John G. Rodwan, Jr. What Makes Detroit Detroit.

14 Dec



Laura Esckelson. on his last, best day.

6 Dec


Greg Brown. Unnatural Disasters.

4 Dec

mostrecentFINAL111028PRJ mostrecentFINAL111028PRJ


Cheryl Dumesnil. When There’s No Money Left.

3 Dec


Pushcart nominee: Sean Thomas Dougherty. Willing to Exchange:

2 Dec

Six of our beautiful writers have been nominated for the 2013 Pushcart prize. Over the next week, we will feature each of them, along with the nominated work.

Our last nominee is Sean Thomas Dougherty. Sean is the author or editor of 13 books including the forthcoming New and Selected All I Ask for is Longing Poems 1994-2014 (2014 BOA Editions) Scything Grace (2013 Etruscan Press), Sasha Sings the Laundry on the Line (2010 BOA Editions), the novella The Blue City (2008 Marick Press) and Broken Halllelujahs (2007 BOA Editions). His awards include two PA Council for the Arts Fellowships in Poetry, and a Fulbright Lectureship to the Balkans where he appeared on National television in Macedonia and Albania. He works in a pool hall, gives readings around the country, and teaches creative writing part-time.

Willing to Exchange:

Jeans for a dress, slacks for a shirt,
a torpedo for turmeric: your voice
for all the things you never said. Shoes
the wrong size. Old boyfriends for old bosses.
An anthology of sighs for a calendar
of false rumors. Heels for flats. Ravishing
for plain. Plain for vanilla. Vanilla f
or blue Italian ices we shared. The unchartered
for a map, lighting for a lightning bug (firefly
for a last match). A light bulb
for a shadow—one to keep you company.
The ATM for Ms Kolokowski the bank teller
you always wanted to kiss. Jasmine
for myrrh. Night for blur. Blur for clear
as a day of childhood sunlight
at the playground and your mother
is still alive, smoking a cigarette
by the chain-link fence. Your mother
for your drowned brother. Your drowned brother
for your overdosed friend. The dead
for the living. Please forgive me. Forgiveness
for sacrifice. Sacrifice for a trip to France.
The weight of magnesium for a thimbleful of salt.
The salt inside tears for a fifth of Scotch.
At the funeral of your drowned brother.
The day you told me you were leaving. To be left
at the train station. For taxi fare to Coney Island.
For a Coney with all the works. For a walk on the boardwalk
alone. For the argument that lasted into the AM,
the one where you threw the clock at my head
and yelled I was taking too long,
and how you didn’t understand why
I was laughing because it was metaphor. Any metaphor
for the weight of your hand. The rain, for near
any light. Three days of being seven, for five years
of being a teenager. The year seventeen
for the year thirty six (but would thirty six
have sucked if not for seventeen?) Any precise
and honest answer for the most obtuse question.
A knife to cut the rope. Duck tape to fix it.
Bound for freedom. Freedom for sanctuary. Body
for Ethereal. Ethereal for the black earth, a hemp robe,
and paraplegic braces. A wood stove in winter
for a garden of sunflowers in summer. Lilacs
for lilies. Lilies for orchids. A dozen orchids
for a Chinese dragon kite. Eating Duck Chow Fon
slowly with my father (for the silence, any wrong word).
Three nights in jail for disorderly conduct for a bladder infection
on the crowded Amtrak. (That one’s a steal—remember
where we were going, we couldn’t find a urinal
but the city was full of sparklers), just before they burnt out
the children would throw them
like shooting stars. How they disappeared
into the dark. A broken thing
for the black itself. A rechargeable battery for a free pass
to the Museum of Laments. Your absence
for anything, anything—

Pushcart nominee: Robert Daniels. County Employee.

30 Nov

Six of our beautiful writers have been nominated for the 2013 Pushcart prize. Over the next week, we will feature each of them, along with the nominated work.

Today’s nominee is Rob Daniels, a creative writing major at Cleveland State University. His major focus for writing is in both poetry and playwrighting. He is a long term vegetarian, avid bike rider, and out and proud comic book nerd. 


 County Employee

Enough with paper trail chains. Enough…five years
treading through shit without much luck. Five years-

early mornings- this is life?- quick coffee driving
end to end of this crooked county for a buck. Five years

spent, elbow deep, latex connections, other peoples’ time.
Ceil blue waders, fade with the murk and the muck. Five years,

mourning in afternoons, and in the night- permanently
raw- hearing Mr. Daniels!!! In tuts and clucks. Five years

in windowless pink and green basements, casting now shadows,
drifting- smile face façade- left to dodge and duck. If I’ve years

robbed from me- you do not think of me- mornings,
maybe mourning shouldn’t be why I wake up. Five years?

Badger, Party of 7


james (w) moore

poems, and the poet who poems them

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Daily Discussions of craft and the writing life

Vinita Words

It's always about writing...

David J. Bauman

Co-author of Mapping the Valley

MarLa Sink Druzgal

Freelance Creative Professional

Beth Gilstrap

Writer * Editor * Educator * Weirdo

Anthony Wilson

Lifesaving Poems


Just another site

Grant Clauser

(poetry and other stuff, but mostly poetry)

Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics

Just another site

Largehearted Boy

a roominghouse for the servants of the duende