Spanish moss; photo by author
July 10th, 2014 | 6:00am

Your name: Diane Roberts

Current city or town: Tallahassee, Florida

How long have you lived here? A slightly more complicated question than it would seem. I was born in Tallahassee and lived here till I went abroad to university. I spent ten years in England and fourteen years in Alabama and then came back to Tallahassee. The short answer is that, in my head, I’ve lived here all my life. 

Best time of year to visit? Late February or early March. It’s spring and that ain’t no joke: azaleas, dogwood, redbud, daffodils all going boom at once.

Three words to describe the climate: hot wet towel.

Photo by author
July 9th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by author

A year later, and I’m up at dawn again on the longest day. Last time it was driving you to a job you tried so hard to like. This time, it’s me, delivering papers in the limbo between yesterday and today. The date on the front page is tomorrow in my mind because I haven’t slept, but today hasn’t started until someone steps out onto their front porch and picks up this carefully rubber-banded scroll.

It’s not summer break but an economic layoff with no definite return, and I try not to think too much about how it sounds when people ask what I’m doing these days and I say excitedly, “I have a paper route,” as if I’m some golden-age TV kid who’s waiting to hang out with Wally and The Beav. A few months ago when people asked, I could say, “I teach writing at the college.” Like that means anything. But people seem to think it does.

Eye to Eye by Maria Terrone
reviewed by Sarah Wetzel
July 8th, 2014 | 6:00am

Eye to Eye by Maria Terrone

“Once / a single cell / found that it was full of light / and for the first time there was seeing.” With these words from W.S. Merwin, Maria Terrone opens her third full-length collection of poetry, Eye to Eye. If the unifying theme of Terrone’s book is seeing, as this quote and the book’s title imply, then Terrone sees the world in all its blemished and brutal multiplicities. She sets the stage with the collection’s first poem, “Spaccanapoli.”

Western Massachusetts photo from Creative Commons, user Maxine 2
July 2nd, 2014 | 9:39am

Western Massachusetts photo from Creative Commons, user Maxine 2

Two men scrape blue paint from the wall of the building across the street. They sit cross-legged, each plying his scraper with energy. The one on the right is thickset, wearing a gray t-shirt stained with sweat. The one on the left is more striking. His tight white t-shirt rides up his torso, baring his muscular lower back and the crest of black underpants. His long army-green shorts droop, exposing still more of that black arc. His hair is black and spiky, sideburns visible when he turns his head.

Gainesville, FL
July 1st, 2014 | 6:00am


Justin Taylor is the author of the short story collection Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever (2010) and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy (2011). His latest collection Flings is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Melody Nixon caught up with him in Brooklyn, New York, to discuss the progression of his work, fiction like a warm bath, and riding reindeer into rivers.