a literary review
the museum of americana is an online literary review dedicated to fiction, poetry, nonfiction, photography, and artwork that examines, revives, or repurposes the old, the dying, the forgotten, or the almost entirely unknown aspects of Americana.
the museum of americana was founded on two core beliefs. The first is that, while certainly not all aspects of Americana ought to be praised or celebrated, there is still great value in holding even that which is embarrassing or difficult up to the light to see what it is made of. The second is that there is much to love and celebrate in historical American culture. It is published out of fascination with the big, weird, wildly contradictory collage that is our nation’s cultural history. the museum will appear three times a year, in the winter, summer, and fall.
Executive Editor Allison Blevins is the author of Slowly/Suddenly (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021) and the chapbooks Susurration (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), Letters to Joan (Lithic Press, 2019), and A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). Her books Handbook for the Newly Disabled (BlazeVox, 2022) and Cataloging Pain (YesYes Books, 2022) are forthcoming. Her collaborative chapbook Chorus for the Kill (Seven Kitchens Press, 2022) is also forthcoming. She is the Director of Small Harbor Publishing and the Executive Editor at the museum of americana. She lives in Missouri with her partner and three children. For more information visit her website here.
Managing Editor Amy Drayer grew up a free-range kid on a charming island in the Pacific Northwest, then migrated south to attend Scripps College in California. She later moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked in politics for far too long. Amy is a graduate of the inimitable Lighthouse Writers Workshop Book Project and her debut novel, Revelation (RAJE Press), released in 2020. She also pens shorts stories, is a previous contributor to the museum, (Humor, Issue 22), an enthusiastic member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime, and the Editor of the 2022 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers anthology. Learn more about Amy and her work here.
Poetry Editor Karrie Waarala hails from Michigan, where she curates and co-hosts the Skazat! Poetry Series and lives with and is vastly outnumbered by her books, pets, and circus memorabilia. Her work has appeared in journals such as Blackbird, Iron Horse Literary Review, PANK, The Collagist, and Southern Indiana Review, and she holds an MFA from the Stonecoast Program at University of Southern Maine. Recipient of the 2012 Pocataligo Poetry Prize, a Best of the Net finalist, and a multiple Pushcart nominee, Karrie has also received critical acclaim for LONG GONE: A Poetry Sideshow, a one-woman show based on her collection of circus poems. She really wishes she could tame tigers and swallow swords. For more information, visit Karrie here.
Poetry Co-Editor Clara Burghelea is a Romanian-born poet with an MFA in Poetry from Adelphi University. Recipient of the Robert Muroff Poetry Award, her poems and translations appeared in Ambit, Waxwing, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. She is the author of The Flavor of The Other, published in 2020 with Dos Madres Press and Praise the Unburied, published with Chaffinch Press in 2021. She is the Review Editor of Ezra, An Online Journal of Translation.
Prose Co-Editor Lauren Alwan’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Southern Review, StoryQuarterly, the Alaska Quarterly Review, the Sycamore Review, and the Bellevue Literary Review as the recipient of the Goldenberg Prize for Fiction. Her essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, the Northwest Review of Books, The Rumpus, and The Millions, and have been recognized as Notable in the Best American Essays (2016). She lives in Northern California. Learn more here.
Prose Co-Editor Lindsey Griffin hails from the Chicago area. She holds an MFA from the University of Miami and is a graduate of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop Book Project. Her fiction has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Epoch, Cimarron Review, Epiphany, Image, Midwest Review, and other journals. She lives in Iowa.
Reviews/Interviews Editor Ann Beman, co-publisher and nonfiction editor of Tahoma Literary Review has been writing a book about thumbs forever. Or at least since she earned her MFA from the short-lived but sweet Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Her work has appeared in DIAGRAM, The Literary Review, Bombay Gin, Stone’s Throw, and Canoe Journal, among others. She lives in California’s Sierra Nevada with her husband, a chihuahua, and two whatchamaterriers in Kernville, on the Kern River, in Kern County. Cue the banjoes.
Music Editor Cal Freeman was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He is the author of the books Brother Of Leaving (Marick Press) and Fight Songs (Eyewear Publishing). His writing has appeared in many journals including New Orleans Review, Passages North, The Journal, Commonweal, Drunken Boat, and The Poetry Review. He is a recipient of The Devine Poetry Fellowship (judged by Terrance Hayes); he has also been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and creative nonfiction. He regularly reviews collections of poetry for the radio program Stateside on Michigan Public Radio. He is the lead singer and chief songwriter of the Detroit-based Americana group The Codgers.
Humor Editor Sue D. Gelber is a New Englander turned Chicagoan now living in Colorado where she writes fiction, humor, and grocery lists. Her work has appeared in several publications including The New Yorker Daily Shouts, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Electric Literature, The Belladonna, The Chicago Tribune, and Weekly Humorist. You can track her down here or follow her on Twitter at @suegelber.
Art Editor Sapira Cheuk is an ink painter and installation artist interested in proprioception, ways of knowing through the body, and how these modes of knowledge reflect or internalize external experiences. Her practice incorporates traditional Chinese Sumi painting techniques and geometric elements to depict the complexity of the Subject, agency, and corporeality, while building an alternative narrative of not only bodily experiences, but also intersubjective relations. Cheuk has exhibited in numerous exhibitions, including those at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Orange County Contemporary Art Center, Center for Contemporary Art Texas, Masur Museum, The Netura Museum, Yellowstone Art Museum, Rochester Contemporary Art Museum, and Culver Center for the Arts. She currently works as an instructor for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and received her BA at University of California, Riverside and MFA from California State University, San Bernardino.
Founding Editor Justin Hamm lives near Twain territory in Missouri. He is the author of a full-length collection of poems, Lessons in Ruin, and two poetry chapbooks, Illinois, My Apologies and The Everyday Parade/Alone With Turntable, Old Records. His work has appeared, or will soon appear, in Nimrod, The New York Quarterly, Cream City Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Sugar House Review, and a host of other publications. Recent work has also been selected for the 2013 Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize from the St. Louis Poetry Center. Justin earned his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2005. You can find more information about his poetry and other creative activities here.