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10 Questions

10 Questions for Jennifer Kwon Dobbs

- By Abby MacGregor

While Professor Jeong explains a poet

should work with farmers to write of harvest,

you recall 195 kilometers away Professor Kim

said there’s no poetry in the north.
—from “Northern Korea Postcard”, Winter 2018 (Vol. 59, Issue 4)


Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
As a child growing up in Oklahoma, I developed an ear for prosody by reading Best Loved Poems of the American People, an anthology tucked in between my mother’s cosmetology textbooks. Later, on a Tandy 2000 Radio Shack computer, I tried my hand at imitating what I read in that anthology. But my first serious poem was “Terms for Adoption,” a poem in two voices braiding and juxtaposing the...

Working Titles Excerpts

The Tombs of Guy Debord (Working Title 3.3)

- By Jean-Marie Apostolidès, translated by Laure Katsaros and René Kooiker

The Massachusetts Review presents the latest Working Titles e-book: THE TOMBS OF GUY DEBORD by Jean-Marie Apostolidès, translated by Laure Katsaros and René Kooiker—available this week!

“Montaigne had his quotations; I have mine,” Guy Debord claimed in his autobiography, ...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Alicia Upano

- By Abby MacGregor

“She is a beacon in the dark night, dressed from nape to heel in white. Standing at the threshold, she is a study in contrasts: her black hair blunt against her chin, the ivory of piano keys, while her red lips take shape to mouth the name of a friend inside. The bar is closed and it’s well past curfew. It is January 1942. A few miles west, the Pearl Harbor shipyard remains aglow with destruction. Battleships will burn for months.”
—from “Ada, After the Bomb”, Winter 2018 (Vol. 59, Issue 4)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I made a book in first grade with construction paper and that felt like magic. My father said, around this time, that I would cross into oncoming traffic with...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Arthur Sze

- By Emily Wojcik

Stopping to catch my breath on a switchback,
I run my fingers along the leaves of a yucca:

each blade curved, sharp, radiating from a core —
in this warmest of Novembers, the dead

push out of thawing permafrost: in a huge
blotch of black ink that now hangs, framed. . . 
—from “Ravine,” from Volume 59, Issue 4 (Winter 2018)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
One of my earliest poems was titled “Li Po.” In the Tang dynasty, Li Po supposedly reached over the side of a boat to embrace the reflection of the full moon on the water and fell in and drowned. The poem I wrote, like many ancient Chinese poems, has no “I” in the poem: it was about being out...

Our America

Peace, Love, and Understanding

- By Jim Hicks, for the editors

The Hampshire College Seal and Motto ("to know is not enough")

Frankly, when I read the shocking news from Hampshire College this week, it brought back memories. Shortly after I got anointed or conned into taking the job as MR editor, I received an email from my Dean at UMass, asking me to give her a few talking points about the history and importance of the magazine, in order to prep the Provost for a meeting with the Deans Council. Oh shit, I thought, this is trouble. I quickly cobbled something together, of course, but also immediately began doing some serious spadework. Eventually, with the help of our friends, we put...

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