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Birch Skin

The girl holds her thin bark
against the paling sun
in the overcast sky.

Don’t scratch your scab. Foxes
are drawn to the smokey smell
of your healing wound.

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

Comments: 0

Yellow Berries

I stop to peer down into the undergrowth–
a tangle of bushes,
small yellow berries in clusters,

a sudden reminder
that no scalpel is whizzing
along my abdomen this morning,

nor have I been taped to a chair
in order to be questioned, slapped,
and asked the same question again.

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

Comments: 0

Lost & Found: Matthew Specktor on Eve Babitz

Babitz serves the beauty of her subject and manages to write about Los Angeles—that Los Angeles of hipsters, actors, producers, musicians, managers and maître d’s—both as someone subject to its laws and lures and as someone comfortably above them. Addressing her own beauty, which was no slouch, Babitz writes, “The truth is that when you’re as voluptuous and un-hairsprayed as I am, you have to cover yourself in un-ironed muumuus to walk to the corner and mail a letter. Men take one look and start calculating . . . where the closest bed would be.”

Posted in From The Vault, Lost & Found

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We All Must Live by the Rules

Literature, read on the sly, gave the author her first taste of the strange world of that mysterious being, the adult.  From Issue 63, Rejection.  What I remember is a park in Boise, a summer picnic in the late 1960s, and my father lurching to a stop on the sidewalk to let a girl pass. […]

Posted in Essays, From the Magazine, From The Vault, General

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Before Surgery

Keep it on the DL, but a little bird told us Dorianne Laux might appear in our Summer 2016 issue. In celebration of these rumors, here is one of her fine poems from Issue 48. In another life you might hear the song of your neighbor clipping the hedges, a sound oddly pleasant, three coarse […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Heaven

1. It’s a book full of ghost children, safely dead, where dead means hidden, or wanting or not wanting to be known.   2. Heaven is symmetric with respect to rotation. It’s beautiful when one thing changes while another thing remains the same.   3. Fading redundnacies. Feathery runs. Alternate wisps. Imaginary sprung striations. Imaginary meaning […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Nite Nite

None of the dolls could sleep. The braided rug dreamt of being a traveling companion. The snow stopped, briefly, on its way past the window. The mother and father did not touch each other, but each felt they could hear laughter coming from China, and the child felt knocked by the earth, and though she […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Sardines!

  They age well, too. Jeff Koehler on the briny pleasures of sardines, from Tin House #39: Appetites. Few things travel as well as canned sardines. The familiar flat tins end up on shop shelves in every dusty nook and far-flung cranny across the globe, as I discovered as a young, itinerate backpacker in some […]

Posted in Essays, From The Vault

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Fire

As we continue to take applications for our upcoming fiction and nonfiction coastal workshops, we have been rolling out a series of posts featuring our stellar faculty. Today we get close to the heat with Nick Flynn’s poem from our Evil Issue. more the idea of the flame than the flame, as in: the flame of […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry, Writers' Workshops

Comments: 0

Jason Who Will Be Famous

As we continue to take applications for our upcoming fiction and nonfiction coastal workshops, we have been rolling out a series of posts featuring our stellar faculty. Today we revisit Dorothy Allison’s contribution to our Anniversary Issue.  Jason is going to be famous, and the best part is that he knows he will be good at […]

Posted in Fiction, From The Vault, Writers' Workshops

Comments: 0

Winehouse

  From Issue #58, a poem by Kevin Young.   Winehouse   I’m sick of Maybe, my baby daddy. Folks, I’m fed up with loss. With lists. First place with a bullet. My shoulders bear   Valerie, Valerie   a picture of my mother. Let us lose one another, our tattoos the only reminder. Far […]

Posted in From The Vault, General, Poetry

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I Like Weird-Ass Hippies

When we reach the other world
We will all be hippies
I like your weird-ass spirit stick that you carry around
I like when you rub sage on my door

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

Comments: 0

Disneyland

The glory of the park’s food is what brings me to Disneyland today: I am in LA on vacation and have detoured to Disneyland to revisit the dining options that held my preadolescent self in thrall.

This is the day I will learn that memory is a form of self-deceit.

Posted in From The Vault

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Two Poems: Baby of the Mistaken Hue & It Creeps Back In

  From our Memory Issue, two poems by Patricia Smith. Baby of the Mistaken Hue   Baby of the mistaken hue, child of the wrong nose with its measure unleashed, baby of the nappy knot, I am your mother. Mad at your whole damned face, I swear to the task of torching the regrettable Delta […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Lost and Found: Alexander Chee On Julian May

From Issue 54, speculative fiction’s blast from the past. On Julian May’s Saga of the Pliocene Exile Tetralogy ddd In the origin story of my favorite science fiction novels, Julian May attended a party in 1976 at a science fiction convention in Los Angeles, dressed in a jewel-encrusted space suit she’d made herself. At the […]

Posted in From The Vault

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Bottoms Up

There was a noticeable buzz (and a few hoots) in the office yesterday as we learned that Namwali Serpell had been chosen as the winner of the 2015 Cain Prize. Namwali contributed one of the more memorable stories in recent memory for our Science Fair issue. “Bottoms Up” tells the story of, well………just give the first few lines […]

Posted in Fiction, From The Vault

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Mirror, Mirror: A Guide to Pathos

From our 50th Issue, Crystal Williams navigates our culture’s notions of beauty and race.  Mirror, Mirror: A Guide to Pathos I. I have a friend whose voice changes when he talks about his wife. Each time he says her name, it moves from hard to wispy. Sometimes he whispers, “beautiful,” and it is not awe […]

Posted in Essays, From The Vault

Comments: 2

Lost and Found: Cheston Knapp On C. P. Snow and John Brockman

From our Science Fair issue, Cheston Knapp on C. P. Snow’s The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution and John Brockman’s The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution. I was born into a house divided. In college, Mom studied history and English, and Dad did biology. Growing up, when we needed help with our homework, […]

Posted in From The Vault, Lost & Found

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When I Was About Your Age

 From our Memory Issue, a poem by Caroline Knox. When I was about your age, ffff my great aunt, who was the librarian of Vassar College, gave me an old navy-blue book, The Oxford Book of English Verse. It was from 1942. Back then, it was amazing that a girl could have a major librarian […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Existential Scavenger Hunt

From Issue 44 aaaa Existential Scavenger Hunt aaaa Salt Lake City, I love yr Mormon versions of my favorite gay men, tailored to make me nostalgic for pussy & God!                   Both come in hundreds of flavors—cowboy, purple-haired, crying   at a Sex Pistols concert. I could have loved them all. The purple-haired one tasted […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Oyster Bar

As we get set to welcome Will Butler to Portland this Sunday, we thought we’d share his contribution to last year’s Summer issue.   Oyster Bar A businessman blowing an octopus for the pure taste of the sea. A glad man eats a writhing fish— fingernails scrape out a cheek. Through a cut in the […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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2015 Winner of The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Gregory Pardlo

Everyone here at Tin House is excited to give a giant congratulations to Gregory Pardlo upon the announcement of his book “Digest” receiving the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. We were honored to publish his poem “Philadelphia, Negro” in our 2012 Winter issue.   Philadelphia, Negro   Alien-faced patriot in my Papa’s mirrored aviators that reflected a […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Lost and Found, Eduardo Galeano

We were sad to hear of Eduardo Galeano’s death on Monday. He both described and shaped the cultural landscape of our hemisphere and our planet, and we are lucky to have those maps he left us in the form of journalism, novels, and poetry. Here, from Issue 37, is one of those in both English […]

Posted in From The Vault

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The Wild What

From our Science Fair issue, an amateur astronomer daydreams about constellations and lets her imagination run rampant. Bright star, you’re a gas!   Several centuries ago the stars reconstellated into figures more relevant to the times. The Earth had been industrializing, mechanizing, electrifying, while the stars were still trotting out swans and goats and bears […]

Posted in Essays, From The Vault

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Dimension 5

From our Science Fair issue, Donna Hunt dons an identity crisis. Dimension 5 ddd In this dimension you are not in love with me anymore. I wish it were another. In infinite dimensions you are not in love with me. Those donnas handle it better. Other donnas accept the cycles of relationships. Some donnas dye […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

Comments: 0