Interview with Andrew Bourelle


Andrew Bourelle’s debut novel, Heavy Metal, has a heart of its own, and its heart beats fast. Winner of the 2016 Autumn House Fiction Prize, the book is a rush, a total submersion in the verve and fog of youth. Danny, the protagonist, seems to be hurtling through space—an adolescent asteroid dressed in a Judas Priest t-shirt and ripped blue jeans—a loaded gun tucked in his waistband. This gun is a crux, and it is far from weightless—“Empty, the gun weighs four pounds. Loaded with six bullets, …the weight increases exponentially.” Danny has decisions to make, demons to face, and himself to find. Steeped in themes of betrayal, revenge and the unnegotiable inevitability of death, this novel grips the reader by the shoulders on page one and does not let go.  Continue reading…

Interview with Natania Rosenfeld

Rosenfeld_Wild+Domestic_Cover“Some of the poems are statements about history—in ‘For Omm Sety’ the English woman, Dorothy Eady, ‘recalls’ being the mistress of a pharaoh. This is a way of imagining having a completely different relationship with history. Eady was able to lead archeologists to amazing finds in Egypt. I’m fascinated that she could have had a totally different history than the one she was born into. Just once, as in my poem ‘Fantasia,’ I would like to imagine not being a Jew, not being burdened by my parents’ history, or my own. I try to imagine what it would be to have a neutral relationship to history.”

Isthmus was proud to feature an interview with Ruth Danon a while back, and now, we are equally proud to bring you a complementary piece, wherein interviewer becomes interviewee. Here, Ruth asks Natania about her recent book of poems, her essayistic versus poetic impulses, her views on domesticity, and much more.


In addition to the above mentioned interview, we are delighted to share these poems with you.

“Apocalypse” and “Floridian” by Ruth Danon

“What I Want for My Birthday” and “Earthward” by Natania Rosenfeld


Isthmus 6 Front cvr web versionOur special issue on Politics is now available!

bell hooks wrote, “For us, true speaking is not solely an expression of creative power, it is an act of resistance, a political gesture that challenges the politics of domination that would render us nameless and voiceless.”

We hope that Isthmus no 6 will create a new awareness of perspectives and voices and, in turn, ignite creative energy toward common good. Our contributors have met this challenge head-on. Some delve into the lives of the marginalized—slaves, immigrants, refugees. Others look squarely at themselves in order to make sense of the past and define a present and a future. And many address the collective “we” and the individual’s place and responsibility within that realm. (order a copy here).


Isthmus has two Notable essays in Best American Essays 2016!

“Hope, Change, Etc.” by Patrick Mainelli appeared in issue no 3, Spring/Summer 2015.

“I Slept Well If You Slept Well” by Alison Condie Jaenicke appeared in issue no 4, Fall/Winter 2015.

Follow the links above to read an excerpt.

Congratulations, Patrick and Alison!