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Introduction

THOUGH UNFINISHED, the most necessary Kafka masterpiece today—as we slowly sort through where we’ve been for the past year or so—is surely “Der Bau,” first translated into English by Edwin and Willa Muir as “The Burrow.” Told from the point of view of a burrowing animal, what Herbert Blau has called the tale’s “manic intensity” is focused—as its original title suggests—on construction. In the seventies, Blau’s experimental troupe KRAKEN staged the story as a frenetic, constant work of building, or “...

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2021 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize

The 2021 winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Abigail Chabitnoy, for her poem "Girls Are Coming out of the Water," from our Gathering of Native Voices issue (Volume 61, Issue 4).

ABIGAIL CHABITNOY is the author of How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the international category of the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry. She was a 2016 Peripheral Poets fellow, and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, ...


MR Jukebox

Join Gina Apostol, Omar El Akkad, Shailja Patel, and Joseph Earl Thomas, alongside Roy Scranton and Noy Holland to launch MR's Climate issue. Click here to register and receive a Zoom link for the virtual event.

To celebrate the launch of our winter 2021 special issue on the climate crisis, the Massachusetts Review is pleased to announce a reading with contributors Gina Apostol, Joseph Earl Thomas, Shailja Patel, and Omar El Akkad, alongside guest editors Roy Scranton and Noy Holland.

GINA APOSTOL has published four novels. Gun Dealers’ Daughter won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award. Publishers Weekly named Insurrecto ,one of the ten best books of 2018. Her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, both won the Philippine National Book Award. “At the Hotel Sirena” is an excerpt from her forthcoming novel, La Tercera. She lives in New York City and Hadley, MA.

OMAR EL AKKAD is an author and journalist. His debut novel, American War, is an international bestseller and has been translated into thirteen languages. It was selected by the BBC as one of 100 Novels That Changed Our World. His new novel, What Strange Paradise, was released in July 2021 and is long-listed for the Giller Prize.

SHAILJA PATEL is a queer, radical, internationalist feminist from Kenya, and the best-selling author of MIGRITUDE, currently taught in over 150 colleges and universities worldwide. Patel’s poems have been translated into seventeen languages and featured in the Smithsonian. Her performances have received standing ovations on four continents. Honored by the Nobel Women’s Initiative with a Global Feminist Spotlight, Patel is currently a research associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, and a Civitella Ranieri 2021–23 Fellow.

JOSEPH EARL THOMAS is a writer from Frankford, whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Philadelphia Stories, Gulf Coast, The Offing, and The Kenyon Review. He has an MFA in prose from the University of Notre Dame and studies English in the PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania. His memoir, Sink, won the 2020 Chautauqua Janus Prize, and he has received fellowships from Fulbright, VONA, Tin House, and Bread Loaf. He’s writing the novel God Bless You, Otis Spunkmeyer, and a collection of stories, Leviathan Beach, among other oddities.

To support MR's efforts in climate change mitigation (such as using 100% PCW paper) click here.

 

“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

Interviews

10 Questions for Amy Shea

- By Edward Clifford

When someone is brought back from an overdose by Narcan, it can be a violent business: the body goes into immediate and intense withdrawal, and it can feel like you've had the shit kicked out of you. The person may be confused and terrified, and so it seems a reasonable repsonse to be angry. A lot like what it must feel like to be born: ripped from nonexistence and unconsciousness into the bright, noisy, messy business of living.
—from "Deaths of Disparity," Volume 62, Issue 3 (Fall 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
The first pieces I really remember writing were in junior high, when I wrote lots of Goosebumps-inspired short stories. The first piece I ever had published titled,...


MR Jukebox

The Climate Crisis: A Reading and Discussion

- By The Massachusetts Review

Join Gina Apostol, Omar El Akkad, Shailja Patel, and Joseph Earl Thomas, alongside Roy Scranton and Noy Holland to launch MR's Climate issue. Click here to register and receive a Zoom link for the virtual event.

To celebrate the launch of our winter 2021 special issue on the climate crisis, the Massachusetts Review is pleased to announce a reading with contributors Gina...


Interviews

10 Questions for Bernard Capinpin

- By Edward Clifford

As soon as the lamp was lit at six every evening and the chickens fluttered down from the cacao and jackfruit trees, Father would leave/ He wore shabby military fatigues, boots as large as my legs, and an antique amulet on which was inscribed an Angelus that only Father could read and understand: Que cecop, deus meus, deus noter.
—from "Santiago's Cult" by Kristian Sendon Cordero, Translated by Bernard Capinpin, Volume 62, Issue 3 (Fall 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you translated.
One of the first pieces I translated was Luna Sicat-Cleto’s “The Logic of the Soap Bubbles.” Sicat-Cleto was part of the Katha (lit. ‘Story’) collective who pushed back against the then-dominant...


After Us

Pismo mom malom bratu

- By Jim Hicks

Dragi Nane,

On this side of the pond, it’s Veteran’s Day, so I decided to write you a letter. Since we last talked, I’ve been planning to follow up, and since the main issue is surely not ours alone, I’ve decided to make it an open letter. Perhaps a few others might find some sense in what I have to say. Frankly, I’d be surprised if there weren’t more than a few veterans who have made decisions like yours, for similar reasons. So I suppose, at least indirectly, I’m writing to them all.

As you know, I deeply respect your decision to fight for your country. In fact, I’m somewhat in awe of what you did in those years when the barbarians were in the hills all around Sarajevo. At the time, you were still just a kid yourself, really...


Our America

Happy Veterans Day

- By Doug Anderson

(Children and teachers in the Village of Dong Loc, Vietnam, where there are memorials to children and road workers killed by American bombing. Photo by Doug Anderson.)
 

Happy Veterans Day, brothers and sisters, especially those of wars that turned out to be unjustified and incompetently led.

I speak from the Vietnam generation of vets. We were young and dumb and following our parents—inhabitants of the “Greatest Generation.” It was in our cells, and the pull to serve overpowered whatever reflection we might have been capable of at that time. Some refused to serve, some went to Canada. I also consider them brothers, veterans not only of a war but of a historical moment we should have...


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