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2014 National Book Award Longlist for Fiction

Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman, Grove Press

Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans, W.W. Norton & Company

John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See, Scribner​

Phil Klay, Redeployment, The Penguin Press

Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven, Alfred A. Knopf

Elizabeth McCracken, Thunderstruck & Other Stories, The Dial Press

Richard Powers, Orfeo, W.W. Norton & Company

Marilynne Robinson, Lila, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Jane Smiley, Some Luck, Alfred A. Knopf

National Book Award 2014 Longlist for Poetry:

Linda Bierds
Roget’s Illusion
G. P. Putnam’s Sons/ Penguin Group (USA)
Brian Blanchfield
A Several World
Nightboat Books
Louise Glück
Faithful and Virtuous Night
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Edward Hirsch
Gabriel: A Poem
Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House
Fanny Howe
Second Childhood
Graywolf Press
Maureen N. McLane
This Blue
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Fred Moten
The Feel Trio
Letter Machine Editions
Claudia Rankine
Citizen: An American Lyric
Graywolf Press
Spencer Reece
The Road to Emmaus
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Mark Strand
Collected Poems
Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House

Ruins

The sand dotted with trash and detritus,
and out over the horizon the first hint of light
betrayed the coming sunrise, the Atlantic
not as wine dark as it had been an hour earlier. 
One walks among ruins to remind oneself

that progress is made at any cost. You
had come to the beach late the night before
because a man had promised you 
he could walk on water, had promised
to show you this, you doubting Thomas.

You believed the gin-soaked detailing
of how he could slowly and carefully float out 
over water, and you thought he was like you.
But all he did was walk on the sand, earth-bound
and unbalanced. He had neither wings

nor the ability to fly. And when he removed 
your shirt and felt the stumps between your 
shoulder blades, the wings dormant, buried beneath 
the flesh, he wanted to show you every ability he had 
except that of flight. People lie. Lessons like these

are always difficult. The reckless sun tilted at the edge 
of the horizon, and then the gulls arrived to begin 
their studies, their lonely scavenging.
And my small lesson? Human to want the company 
of others, and human, too, to find loneliness among them.

—C. Dale Young

(appeared originally in Quarterly West)

Just

after the downpour, in the early evening,
late sunlight glinting off the raindrops sliding
down the broad backs of the redbud leaves
beside the porch, beyond the railing, each leaf
bending and springing back and bending again
beneath the dripping,
			between existences,
ecstatic, the souls grow mischievous, they break ranks,
swerve from the rigid V’s of their migration,
their iron destinies, down to the leaves
they flutter in among, rising and settling,
bodiless, but pretending to have bodies,

their weightlessness more weightless for the ruse,
their freedom freer, their as-ifs nearly not,
until the night falls like an order and 
they rise on one vast wing that darkens down
the endless flyways into other bodies.

Nothing will make you less afraid.

—Alan Shapiro

(via the Academy of American Poets)

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