A journal of humanity and human experience

Coming up next

We are currently seeking applicants for the positions of Poetry Editor and Nonfiction Editor.
Subscribe now to and get our latest issue featuring the winners of the 2024 BLR Literary Prizes.
Join us online on Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 7 PM ET for a night of readings and interviews with the 2024 winners of the BLR Literary Prizes, featured in Issue 46.

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 Bottom Drawer

Tucked beneath my mother’s shirts
and camisoles, a paper bag
of prayer cards, I find

A Spring Without Us

The playground has been locked for months. / A swing coughs dryly in the shade.

The Only Fat Man in Lascahobas

Georges, the owner of St. Gabriel’s Funeral Enterprise, is the only fat man in Lascahobas.

If Brains Was Gas

I turned thirteen that week. I assumed that it came with some new liberties, but no one had specifically said so, and I was too uncertain to ask. Still, the night after my birthday, Elmo and me made plans to go out.

Above the Angels

A row of corrugated gray huts/
hunkering down in the November rain./
Across the way the fire burns night and day

The Tribulations of Uncle Ned

I knew years ago that the paternal gene was missing. I should not, would not, be relied on by other humans, especially small, defenseless ones


We tell our kids to give it their best shot before their big exams—calculus, say, or French—or before the championship game on a crisp autumn night, the stands filled with fans in the school colors, the stadium lights bright.


Some of y’all pray to God/
I pray to the yellow warblers/
and their frail whistling 


My husband has been into town./
I can smell the out of doors/
in his hair, on his cheek

Praise & Recognition