June Read of the Month: “Abraham Anyhow,” by Adam Van Winkle

Reviewed by William Bernhardt I am particular about how Oklahoma is portrayed in fiction. Perhaps I’m unduly defensive, but at this point, having written more than almost thirty novels set in Oklahoma, in a variety of time periods, I think I’ve earned the right. I chafe when I hear editors, upon hearing that the novel takes […]

November Read of the Month: “Don’t Try,” by Nathan Brown and Jon Dee Graham

Reviewed by William Bernhardt Though many contemporary poets pen wonderful work, this is not an age characterized by innovation. The free verse/blank verse modern poem looks much the same from one page to the next. Consequently, when a couple of artists jointly produce something genuinely innovative, we should all sit up and notice. This is just […]

August Read of the Month: “Punch,” by Ray McManus

Reviewed by William Bernhardt I should have seen it coming. The book opens with an epigraph from Philip Levine that provides fair warning: “You’ve never done something simple, so obvious…because you don’t know what work is.” That quote is a clear indicator of the informative and enlightening pleasures to be found in Ray McManus’s fascinating […]

William Bernhardt Interviews Amy Susan Wilson, Author of “Want v. Need: Stories From Pottawatomie County”

WB: First of all, congratulations on your first collection, Want v. Need. It’s a magnificent achievement. You write exclusively about community and bonds rooted in contemporary, small-town American South, specifically, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, in rural Oklahoma. Where did these characters come from? ASW: The different protagonists sprang to life when the factual world of Pottawatomie County […]

December Read of the Month: “Want v. Need: Stories from Pottawatomie County,” by Amy Susan Wilson

Reviewed by William Bernhardt Just when the cynics begin to wonder if the short story as a literary form is lost, moribund, or permanently encased in amber, Third Lung Press presents a collection that reminds us how rich, how enriching, and how truly American this form is. Want v. Need: Stories from Pottawatomie County is […]