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Volume 60, Issue 1

Front Cover by Toyin Ojih Odutola. What Her Daughter Sees, 2018. PASTEL, CHARCOAL, AND PENCIL ON PAPER. © Toyin Ojih Odutola.
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

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AT TIMES DESPAIR is hard to resist. Last semester, for instance, at the very moment when my students were reading Nunca más—the report by the Argentine national commission on the disappeared—along with testimonials about the war crimes committed by the military dictatorship, the citizens of Brazil elected a new president who describes the two decades of similar rule in his country as “glorious.” What’s past is prologue, indeed. In this country, as I write these lines, the Bolsonaro rhetoric of violence, racism, and fear is being offered as justification for a government shutdown, as if political debate, democratic power-sharing, and international law were simply obstacles to circumvent, not categorical imperatives. And, even worse, an elected member of the U.S. Congress has asked, in an interview with the New York Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?...

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Beyond the Point

by Caio Fernando Abreu, translated by Bruna Dantas Lobato

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“We are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest [...] the teachings of Thoreau are alive today, indeed, they are more alive today than ever before.”

—REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (MR 4.1, Autumn 1962)

From the Blog

Favorite Things

What is a Classic?

- By Mark Franko

Photo: Ballets-USA program cover in 1958 (from the collection of Mark Franko)

In its continuing celebration of the 100th anniversary of Jerome Robbins this past winter season, New York City Ballet has revived one more Robbins work, a piece dating back to 1958—New York Export: Opus Jazz.[1] An ensemble work for sixteen dancers with a jazz-inspired score by Robert Prince and sets by Ben Shahn, New York Export: Opus Jazz was first shown on a tour of Robbins’s Ballets U.S.A. in Europe and later had its New York City premiere in an all-Robbins Broadway season.[2]


10 Questions

10 Questions for Jim Daniels

- By Abby MacGregor

At the Saturday market, enormous eye-
bulge of skinned rabbits. My son, nine,
bulges back, looking, but not.
—from “Natural Selection”, Spring 2019 (Vol. 60, Issue 1)


Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I’ll tell you about the first two pieces I got published, in the same issue of my high school literary magazine, because they led me down a path I continue on today. One was a horrible piece of teen angst that was written based on what I thought poetry was supposed to be about and sound like: “I who am about to die/I who weep but cannot cry…” The other, “Growing Up in a Party Store,” was my first real poem—it was set in the store I worked in for...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Dana Alsamsam

- By Abby MacGregor

With grapefruits & apricots. Without a cat or a dog.
With my father who wanted a son. With my mother who wanted
nothing but closed lips, nothing but nothing. With my father’s head
shaking slightly. With photographs sealed in boxes in the closet.
—from “Self Portrait With & Without”, Spring 2019 (Vol. 60, Issue 1)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I don’t remember when my writing turned into “pieces” per say—but I used to write a lot about trains and bridges.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
My literary lineage has given me so much; particularly queer folx, Muslims, and immigrants or children of...


An Interview with Alice Guthrie and Corine Tachtiris

- By

Corine Tachtiris interviews Alice Guthrie, winner of the 8th Annual Jules Chametzky Prize for Translation for her translation of Atef Abu Saif's "The Lottery".

Corine Tachtiris: I thought we could start by talking about “The Lottery.” One of the things I noticed is that there’s a balance between this really intimate voice, where you feel like you’re part of a community, and these larger political forces that are outside of people’s control. So I wanted to ask you about creating that balance in the translation.

Alice Guthrie: Yes, that...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Cody Kucker

- By Abby MacGregor

Something in the river’s vexed beyond the torque
of tide returning to the sea, wherefrom
this thing must too have come, thrashing like all’s
apt to meet a fate of tatters in its teeth.
—from “Great White”, Spring 2019 (Vol. 60, Issue 1)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Actually, it was recently returned to me as a Christmas gift from my stepmother. It was a story—illustrated and all—about a family of dinosaurs and how it was all Baby Dinosaur’s fault that Mommy and Daddy Dinosaur were parting ways. I must have been six or seven when I wrote it, my brother was two or three and our parents were getting divorced. But I must say, there was an actual narrative arc to it....

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