The Blog


Austin Hughes

We are delighted to present Austin Hughes's poem "Similes," winner of the inaugural David Hamilton Undergraduate Creative Writing Prize. This prize is sponsored by anonymous donors who wish to honor the mentorship and support they and other students at the University of Iowa received from Emeritus Professor of English David Hamilton. In addition to publication online, Hughes will will be awarded a $500 scholarship.


I’m like a riddle in nine sylla-
bles—like some bullet train derailed and 

akimbo, I’m like a skinny sea-
horse so gravid with grief and with salt- 

water—a backward seahorse—or e-
ven like some sunk soufflé—too much heat 

or moisture or air; or perhaps I’m
just as Adam’s other, far less fruit- 

ful bones: a digit, vertebrae, or
even his skull—then again, maybe 

The Creative Process Interview with Hilary Mantel

By Mia Funk

Hilary Mantel is the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for her best-selling novels, Wolf Hall, and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies—an unprecedented achievement. The Royal Shakespeare Company recently adapted Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the stage to colossal critical acclaim and a BBC/Masterpiece six-part adaption of the novels.

The author of fourteen books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, and the memoir Giving up the Ghost, she is currently at work on the third instalment of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy.

Mantel delivered this year’s Reith Lectures which will be broadcast this month on the BBC.

Harriet Levin Millan’s HOW FAST CAN YOU RUN

Nicole Banas

In 2000, the U.S. government granted political asylum to almost 4,000 unaccompanied minors from South Sudan. These so-called “lost boys” had survived deadly fighting between the Sudanese government and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army during the country’s second civil war. Many had walked thousands of miles, seeking shelter in Ethiopia before being expelled back to Sudan or to refugee camps in Kenya. Some of these children saw their families killed in government-led attacks on their villages. They fled wild animals and survived days without ample food or water. Resettlement in the U.S. provided Sudanese refugees access to education, employment and valuable resources. It could not, however, ease the gravity of their loss.

I Don’t Blame You for Attempting Escape

Parke Haskell

I too did not ask for this skin.

But the land made, like a bug trapped
​beneath a glass, your breathless 

boundary.  Inside, insidious
fish dart and glitter, 

greedy appetite of the dumb—  

these envelopes of bodies

You deserve better
than to disappear  

into a vast and teeming

We know our world.


Parke Haskelllives in LA, where she directs plays and writes poems.


Photo by Jeremy Bishop


Subscribe to The Blog