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Volume 60, Issue 4

Front Cover by Anna Schuleit Haber, Bloom, 2003. WHITE MUMS AND ORANGE TULIPS ON THE FIRST FLOOR OF AT THE MASSACHUSETTS MENTAL HEALTH CENTER, BOSTON. Commissioned by the Harvard Medical School and the Department of Mental Health of Massachsuetts.

Courtesy of the artist.

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SIGMUND FREUD ONCE offered an outline of the relations between poets and their dream-worlds. Unlike much of his work, his words on this subject still seem as rich and insightful as they must have appeared in December of 1907. For this issue, which celebrates our magazine’s sixtieth year of publication, the psychoanalyst’s observations are particularly relevant. The influence of history on the poetic imagination, Freud comments, “hovers, as it were, between three times—the three moments of time which our ideation involves.” First, the imagination encounters “some current impression, some provoking occasion in the present”; from there, he notes, “it harks back to a memory of an earlier experience”; and finally, “it now creates a situation relating to the future.” He concludes, “Thus past, present, and future are strung together, as it were, along the thread of the wish that runs through them.”


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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

10 Questions

10 Questions for Matt W. Miller

- By Edward Clifford

How they get you is first they give you more
to do by rolling out two more machines
but slowing down each loom to 100 beats
a minute to mitigate the impact of working


My Anthropocene

- By Giacomo Sartori, Translated by Frederika Randall

(Editor’s note: With this post from the Italian novelist Giacomo Sartori, the Massachusetts Review inaugurates “After Us,” a new blog series that will focus on the climate crisis and the ongoing, devastating toll wrought on our planet and all of its creatures by the human species.)

It was beginning to rain in Genoa, just as I left the bookfair where I’d come to take part in a roundtable about literature and the Anthropocene. In the following days Genoa was deluged with rain and floods that brought the city to a standstill, floods caused by heavy construction on the hills above that has shorn the mountainside of its natural defenses so that every few years the rivers swell up and dump their muddy load downstream.

We can certainly...


Call for Submission of Native-authored work

- By

With the '20s rolling thunderously into place, we at the Massachusetts Review are seeking unpublished work for our first special issue of the new decade. MR's editors and guest editors—Tacey Atsitty, Laura Furlan, and Toni Jensen—are looking for new Native-authored work of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and hybrid texts for a special issue responding to the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth landing. Submissions can be sent (as Word or PDF files) to Please put the genre and title in the subject line ("FICTION: Title").

Deadline: March 31, 2020.


10 Questions

10 Questions for April Blevins Pejic

- By Edward Clifford

“If Pappaw hadn’t been murdered, I wouldn’t even consider doing this test. Yet, here I am. Against my better judgment, I spit into the plastic tube then check to see if I’ve reached the fill line. Not even close. I suck the inside of my cheeks to produce more saliva and spit again and again until the tube is full.”—from “Genetic Driftwood” Volume 60, Issue 4 (Winter 2019)
Tell us about one of the...

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