December 15, 2018

Reading Lorca’s essay on duende has me thinking about the brink. When the bullfighter faces the bull, he faces death. Lorca writes that duende “won’t appear if he can’t see the possibility of death, if he doesn’t know he can haunt death’s house, if he’s not certain to shake those branches we all carry, that do not bring, can never bring, consolation.” When thinking of death, I think of a blade. I...

November 30, 2018

There was nothing special about the morning — in fact, thirty-two years later I remember only a little of it: how the sun was bright and hot and it was the last day of May and I had just graduated from the sixth grade the day before. I hadn’t slept well, the kind of deficit that would crush me today then was merely the blurred excitement at a life opening up. In my mind, in my imagination, the fut...

October 27, 2016

We are thrilled to announce that final judge Rebecca Gayle Howell has selected In the Temple of Shining Mercy by Robin Carstensen as the winner of our 2016 chapbook competition. Congratulations, Robin Carstensen—we can't wait to share this wonderful collection of poems with all of our readers. 

Here is what our judge had to say about Robin Carstensen's winning manuscript: 

"Where do you find/yo...

October 20, 2016

The 2016 IHLR Trifecta are finally available!

As we announced earlier this semester, we had a long, hard summer, and we've been racing to catch up. We're very pleased to announce the release of our 2016 Trifecta winners: Kate Norris's "Collateral Damage" (fiction), Sarah Pape's "Grand Avenue" (nonfiction), and Tiffany HIggins's "The Apparition at Fort Bragg" (poetry).

Norris's short story, "Collater...

September 26, 2016

A celebration of poetry, poets, and all the people who make this ancient art form still utterly vital, National Poetry Month occurs every April. The event was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets and will be entering its twenty-first year in 2017. Many journals contribute to National Poetry Month, or NaPoMo, in their own lively, idiosyncratic ways. Here at...

September 16, 2016

Photo Credit: David West

“…my brain is a strange archive.”

Jess: How did you spend your summer? And how are you today?

Kate: I spent my summer in a bit of a daze. I’d planned to finish a draft of my nonfiction manuscript, a collection of essays that explore personal experience through the lens of folklore and myth, but instead--other than a trip to Michigan to see my family and one to Maine to hang...

April 25, 2016

Chen:First, thank you for agreeing to do this interview, and welcome to Iron Horse. You've described in other interviews how your second collection, Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions), is a turning toward the dirt, an act of digging, asking, What strange and crucial relation do we/can we have to our dead? Your third collection of poems, the black maria, is out now (also with BOA) and is oriented towa...

February 29, 2016

The following interview with poet Monica Sok continues the series I began back in December when I interviewed fiction writer and visual artist Swati Khurana. The series explores the intersections between the literary, the ethical, and the activist in the contemporary landscape, in light of Best American Poetry 2015 and other moments of problematic representation, appropriation, or erasure. I hope...

February 12, 2016

"How to Kill a Hog" by Rebecca Gayle Howell


Our gates are currenty open for Video Literature submissions until March 15. Perhaps reminiscient of the music videos on MTV during the ninties, video litertature is a versatile form for writers of all genres and is featured prominently in established journals such as TriQuarterly, Blackbird, and Rattapallax. Blackbird, too, has a brief but informat...

February 11, 2016

The new year (Gregorian as well as Lunar now) has brought some exciting changes to the Iron Horse office. In this post, I'm extending a big welcome to our new poetry editor, Camille T. Dungy, and our new nonfiction editor, Elena Passarello. We feel so lucky that these two stunningly talented writers have joined our editorial team. 


At this same moment, I want to give many,...

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