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Preaching to the Choir

- By Jim Hicks

(Photo: "Because I have company." Carl Hancock Rux, in an interview about activism, conducted by Carrie Mae Weems)

The poet, playwright, director, musician, actor, and activist Carl Hancock Rux grew up in foster care. His older brother Ralph owned a restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and Ralph managed to locate Carl, who was still living with his foster parents. And then, as Rux puts it, they “had a brief, wonderful, beautiful time together.” One day, though, Ralph disappeared; when Carl chanced upon him, months later, he was almost unrecognizable, suffering from dementia, and dying of AIDS.

The younger brother cared for the older, at a time when AIDS patients were feared and shunned even by the hospital workers entrusted with their care. On the day...


Interviews

10 Questions for Aga Gabor Da Silva

- By Edward Clifford

Corrosive times
can always happen. Forever young
old servant of morality.
Catches trout with bare hands.
A slippery salacious sin.
—from "Can Always Happen," Translated by Aga Gabor Da Silva, Volume 62, Issue 1 (Spring 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you translated.
It was the poem “Soneto de fidelidade,” written by the famous Brazilian poet and lyricist Vinícius de Moraes. I translated the piece as part of a translation workshop. I remember how I struggled to recreate the rhymes and the rhythm imposed by the sonnet, but the end result was pretty good.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
When I was in graduate school, I took...


Reviews

When Grit Meets Soap:

Mare of Easttown

- By Alexandra Swanson

(Photo: Kate Winslet as Mare in a scene from Mare of Easttown)

I was surprised, and more than a little perplexed, when I realized that Mare of Easttown is a soap opera. I consider myself well-versed in soapy television (I’m currently in the weeds of a dissertation about melodrama), but I had trouble reconciling Mare of Easttown’s gritty dialogue and earthy palette with the plot’s soapy twists and turns. The soaps I know and love, like General Hospital, have historically had a more candy-colored hue.

Each episode of Mare of Easttown got detective Mare Sheehan a little closer to solving the murder of seventeen-year-old Erin McMenamin, and, for me, each episode ushered in a new level of wide-eyed incredulity. My...


Interviews

10 Questions for Ewa Lipska

- By Aga Gabor Da Silva and Edward Clifford

Corrosive times
can always happen. Forever young
old servant of morality.
Catches trout with bare hands.
A slippery salacious sin.
—from "Can Always Happen," Translated by Aga Gabor Da Silva, Volume 62, Issue 1 (Spring 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
It was a text about loneliness, titled "Street. The Street Emptiness,” sort of an image from the Italian metaphysical artist and surrealist Giorgio de Chirico. The empty streets in his paintings help me relax from the current excess of humankind, but back then, when I was seventeen years old, those empty streets were symbols of loneliness and abandonment.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write...


Interviews

10 Questions for Beth Uznis Johnson

- By Edward Clifford

My brother and I sign the hospice paperwork for our father on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, I fly to San Antonio for a conference even though half of the attendees cancel due to growing concerns about something called coronavirus. There are no travel restrictions or warnings in the United States. Public health officials have deemed it safe. I need to get away from the dread-infused days of my career writing cancer magazines, my personal time caring for my father with dementia and blindness.
—from "Penance and Pandemic," Volume 62, Issue 1 (Spring 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I wrote a short story in elementary school titled, “Revenge of the Nerds,” and remember thinking of the title first. I must...


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