“Oysters” by Seamus Heaney

For your birthday, an oyster poem. ‎-Michael Ratcliffe‎ Our shells clacked on the plates.My tongue was a filling estuary,My palate hung with starlight:As I tasted the salty PleiadesOrion dipped his foot into the water. Alive and violated,They lay on their bed of...

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Literary Manifesto

Literary Manifesto

If I think a poem or collection of poems is good and I want to be certain, I measure myself in the doorway. If I was 71 inches before, I am at least 71.001 after my encounter. Or, I’m wider. On the scale, it depends. Is it calibrated to record the gain or loss of a...

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Amy Watkins

Amy Watkins

From our forthcoming issue. Running   It was spring and the garden was just green. On the porch, purple petunias, moss roses, and you, baby sister, between blooming and crying. Our mother was already running. I lifted you to my skinny hip and ran as far as I could...

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Meeting Jennifer Porter

Meeting Jennifer Porter

Our new fiction person collects American pottery, which she finds at estate sales for a quarter or two. Her secret pleasure is true crime, but the homicide detective enthusiast still has an ear cocked for the Detroit rock and roll she was raised on. Jennifer Porter...

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Escaping Every Danger Except the Past

Escaping Every Danger Except the Past

by Derek Berry In her debut short story collection Orders of Protection, Jenn Hollmeyer cartographs an ecology of escape in the state of Illinois—from fraught divorces, from crumbling marriages, from disappointing careers, from the past. At times messy or acute, these...

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The Look

The Look

It is Thanksgiving more than a yearafter your wedding, for which I had triedto write an epithalamion and failed.I walk the fields of your father-in-law’s farm,among leftover shreds of cottonmixed with busted stalks. The peanuts,which the bears ravaged, are sold,but...

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Lived Life, One Good Book

Lived Life, One Good Book

The Geography of Home Matthew Graham Galileo Press (South Carolina) 2019 Reviewed by Roy Bentley Excuse my needing to begin by saying, and bluntly, that some books are just sage-calm. Matthew Graham’s The Geography of Home is such a book. It maps Imagination’s...

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Transitions

Transitions

We’re excited to announce that Sorrah Edwards-Thro will be our new Transitions Editor.   Sorrah Edwards-Thro is a queer, trans masc, and autistic writer. He lives in a Maryland community of twelve people and holds jobs as a...

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About Me

Free State Review is a literary journal that comes out every 8 months. Want to know what we're into? Peruse our site and/or order a copy, then hit us up!

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