A journal of humanity and human experience

Coming up next

Subscribe now to be among the first to get our theme issue on Taking Care, coming this fall.
Join BLR and The Paige Fraser Foundation at the historic New York Academy of Medicine September 18th as we bring our recently created film, Reading the Body: Poetry and Dance on Recovery, to a live audience.
This November, BLR takes to the stage at the legendary Thalia Theater at Symphony Space for a live storytelling event on the theme of “Taking Care,” in collaboration with The Nocturnists.

As featured on NPR's Morning Edition

NPR’s Neda Ulaby reported on BLR‘s 20th Anniversary, featuring BLR Editor Danielle Ofri, along with author Celeste Ng. Long before Celeste Ng reached stratospheric popularity with Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere, she was an emerging author, whose story “Girls, at Play” appeared in BLR and then won a Pushcart Prize.

Whiting Award Winner

BLR was awarded a Whiting Literary Magazine Prize for
“excellence in publishing, advocacy for writers, and a unique contribution to the strength of the overall literary community.”

BLR Off the Page


The Little Things

The rule of conduct for freshmen confronted by a homeroom teacher rarely varies. Shaniece chooses the most common move…

Looking at Aquaman

Something nobody warns you about, when you get very sick, is that you have to be polite. You have to be Emily f-ing Post every minute of the day,

Dispatch From Bewilderness

Probes puncture my scalp, surveying my mind. Temporal lobe, occipital lobe, you name it; there’s a probe for the lobe.

Off The Page: June Bugs

Ingeborg Riedmaier reads “June Bugs,” a poem by Prartho Sereno

Walking, No Longer Your Patient

A decade after we burned through the mysteries / and you taught me cartography’s other dark /
arts, I dreamed of you coming for a garden tea…

Out Back, Behind the Hospital

We shared cigarettes and jokes / talked about anything except / what we’d seen, the baby we’d X-rayed, / his bruises…

Born on Sunday 

All of the Peace Corps medics are male and white. The most retiring of these, Claude Renner, is the one unlucky enough to be nearest the entrance when the soldier bursts inside, carrying his unconscious son in his arms.

Letter to a Dead Mother

Thinking of you as I pick up flecks of oats from the kitchen floor, / put them back in the container. You know, the five-second rule.

Mad Love

You don’t know hunger. Not like we did. You don’t know hunger that surpasses pain. When your body is too weak to send distress signals. When your organs have shifted from fight to flight, to surrender. When you don’t even have energy to fuel the aching. I’ve been there.

Praise & Recognition