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10 Questions

10 Questions for James Haug

- By Sarah Lofstrom

"The river was collecting snow on itself. Almost nobody  was coming to see it. Its banks were either slick and muddy, or frozen and rutted. The river was letting itself go. Here and there it was jammed with branches that trapped chunks of ice from the current, and plastic jugs and scraps of chicken wire, and here it was that snow collected...." —from “Dismal Levels,” Summer 2018 (Vol. 59, Issue 2)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Early on I tried little stories in a Jack London vein: dog stories, man and dog stories, man and wolf stories, man alone in the wilds playing harmonica near a campfire stories, man hallucinating in the driving snow stories. It seemed pretty heady and elsewhere. It was all...


A Friend, Guide, and Comrade: On the Passing of P. Sterling Stuckey (b. March 2,1932, d. August 15, 2018)

- By John Bracey

I first met Sterling Stuckey in Chicago fifty-five years ago. In the spring of 1963, Sterling and a group of high school teachers—graduate students at the University of Chicago—were in the process of forming a community-based organization to address the “lack of a proper consideration of the role of the Negro in American history.” Sterling at the time, along with Don Sykes and Thomas Higginbotham, was teaching history at Wendell Phillips High School, located in a predominantly Black neighborhood on the Southside. I was among a group of undergraduates at Roosevelt University undertaking a similar project, who were asked by Sterling to join the newly named Amistad Society. I participated in the workshops and panel discussions, introduced guest speakers and served...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Jonathan Weinert

- By Sarah Lofstrom

But she was never coming through the snow.
The cottontail’s earth door gapes
And in its cold
Her kitten waits. 

            -From "Origins of Poetry " Summer 2018 (Volume 59, Issue 2)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I’ve been writing poems, on and off and falteringly, ever since I was about seven years old, so there are countless unremembered poems that I can’t account for, and many of the first poems I wrote when I became serious about it were either never finished or abandoned.

I began writing poems in earnest just after the attacks of September 11, 2001. I heard Stanley Kunitz and W. S. Merwin on NPR...

10 Questions

(Not Quite) 10 Questions for Anne Milano Appel

- By Sarah Lofstrom

It’s almost four o’clock and the hour hand quivers.

They told Mr. Ignazio Coppola to sit here and be a good boy now, and wait. And Mr. Ignazio sits waiting sedately as he was told to, his back straight and his hands spread on his knees. Every now and then he looks at the wall clock: it’s almost four o’clock, Arturo and little Camilla will be there at any moment. 
—From"  If I Don't Come Back, Don't Go Looking For Me ," Summer 2018, (Volume 59, Issue 2)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you translated.
While not the first, one of the earliest projects I remember was a book by Enzo Fontana called Tra la perduta gente (Mondadori, 1996). I was attracted to the book...

Our America

Those Boys in the Hoods

- By Jim Hicks

(photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

If you’re reading this blog, one of two things can be assumed: either that you made a point of seeing the new Spike Lee film this past weekend, during the first anniversary of the march on Charlottesville, or that you’ve read at least a review or two, and so already suspect that we may be talking about a masterpiece here. We are. Let’s skip the plot summary, then, so we can move on to what matters more—to this country, and therefore the world, and, I suspect, even to Spike himself.

I don’t need to remind you all that the title of the filmmaker’s breakthrough movie was a call to action, written...

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