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Interviews

10 Questions for Mike White

- By Marissa Perez

God sees me
as a bird
sees an airplane

moving at a great
distance.
—from "God Sees Me", Volume 62, Issue 2 (Summer 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
When I was in tenth grade I had an English teacher who asked the class on a regular basis to write short stories that would be graded by our classmates (he was getting very close to retirement). Given that an A was guaranteed, there was no academic or creative pressure, and so I’d write outrageous, mock-serious tales designed to amuse my friends. I can’t recall any of the narrative details now, but I’m sure it was the best writing I’d done to that point, and for at least a decade thereafter.

...


After Us

Ordination of the Cherry Trees

- By Greg Snyder and Ruth Ozeki

Warfield Place, Northampton

12 July, 2021

Editor’s note: Below are opening remarks delivered by Kanshin Ruth Ozeki, novelist, Zen priest, Smith College professor, and resident of Warfield Place, followed by an abbreviated description of the ordination ceremony, and concluding with remarks delivered to the trees by Kosen Greg Snyder, senior Zen priest, co-founder of Brooklyn Zen Center, and Senior Director of Buddhist Studies at Union Theological Seminary.

Kanshin Ruth Ozeki:

Thank you all for coming. We are here today to ordain these seven venerable Kwanzan cherry trees that...


Reviews

The Murakami of Our Times

- By Z.L. Nickels

First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami. Trans. Philip Gabriel (Knopf, 2021)

The most significant story I have ever read was a Murakami story. I cannot say which one, only that it appears in the collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. Consider this withholding a sacrament in the name of preservation: once you admit what is most important to you, you have committed an indelible act. I am not willing to surrender myself in this way. I have come too far (and taken far too long) to give up the ghost of the writer I wish to one day be. To relinquish this possibility would require my being fully convinced of myself. It would require being Haruki Murakami.

Not enough is...


Interviews

10 Questions for Katie Berta

- By Edward Clifford

The biggest snake
is an albino so huge his scales, when they lift from his body

as he curves around a rock or rodent, look like big, dry, flakes of oatmeal.
—from “The Rattlesnakes They Keep in the Life Sciences Building Remind Me of My Dog”

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
When I was a kid, I was flagged for a pull-out program in my elementary school. They’d take us into the library and, as far as I remember, let us work on whatever we wanted. That’s where I first remember writing a lot, and many of those childhood attempts were imitations of Ray Bradbury stories, written from the perspective of an alien kid. When I transferred to a private, Catholic school after 5th...


Reviews

The Heart and Power of Cuba and Its People

- By Christopher Louis Romaguera

A Review of Dariel Suarez’s The Playwright’s House

In his debut novel, Dariel Suarez takes the reader into the heart of Cuba, of Havana, of the people of the island. As a Cuban American, I notice how the people of the island are often erased from the stories set in Cuba, the stories written “about” Cuba. Cubans often suffer from a dehumanizing romanticization if not utter erasure from an imperial gaze that doesn’t know how to fit the people into their view of the island they vacation in or dream about. Yet Suarez is too skilled a writer, knows the people of Cuba too well, and The Playwright’s House has too much heart and power, to do anything other...


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