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10 Questions for Daniel Barnum

- By Edward Clifford

in 1980, my father saw my mother’s photo in a magazine, then
     left connecticut.

road-tripped to meet her where she lived in arizona. who would
     stay in connecticut?
—from “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” Volume 62, Issue 2 (Spring 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
How far back are we going? In first grade, I wrote and illustrated a story about my cats, Rosie and Marmalade, going on a road trip to visit my extended family in the southwest. One night, they went out camping out in the desert, then woke up the next morning and realized that, exhausted and surrounded by the spare landscape’s utter darkness, they’d set up their tent at...


In Memoriam: Adam Zagajewski

- By Piotr Florczyk

(Photo: Adam Zagajewski, New York Times, 03/25/2021, Alamy)

Adam Zagajewski, the great Polish poet and essayist, who died on March 21, wasn’t aloof, as some tried to paint him, especially in Poland, where he had many detractors in the poetry world; he was kind and generous with his time and advice. Was he as erudite as he appears in photographs? Or as his writings, which span the full gamut of so-called high culture, suggest? Absolutely. However, he was also genuinely curious about other people and their pursuits. Having cut his teeth as a writer and intellectual in Communist Poland, he fought falsehoods, especially of the political sort, with truth until the very end,...


Intersectional Voices for a New Generation: How A New Young Adult Anthology in Verse Continues a Conversation Started Decades Ago

- By Shanta Lee Gander

"The very act of writing then, conjuring/coming to ‘see’, what has yet to be recorded in history is to bring into consciousness what only the body knows to be true. The body—that site which houses the intuitive, the unspoken, the viscera of our being—this is the revolutionary promise of 'theory in the flesh…' (xxiv)"—Cherríe Moraga, co-editor of This Bridge Called My Back

You Don't Have to Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves Edited by Diana Whitney (Workman, 2021)

I was three years old when the voices of women of color came together and created living history with the anthology, This...

Working Titles Excerpts

Bird Girl (Working Title Vol 6.1)

- By Avital Balwit

The Massachusetts Review presents the newest e-book in our Working Titles series: Bird Girl by Avital Balwit. Available now!

"It was August, and the days came damp and hot. The morning air shone so that you knew the afternoon would swelter. Sasha had AC, but kept her windows open anyways to let in the mild nights. It was 8 a.m. and time to close them. A faint buzz caught her attention, “11:48 p.m., Selby Street and 10th, 547XD1IY,” less than a mile away. She clicked accept and checked the map again. It looked like she’d be off-roading. She found her hiking boots in the closet and set out.

The job worked with her hours. She could do it early in the morning, or she could do it in the middle of the night. The light made...


10 Questions for Gloria L. Huang

- By Edward Clifford

The glass under her forearms was smudged with cloudy fingerprints. An ant wandered aimlessly across the counter, island-hopping from one oily smear to another. She watched as it shuffled, the quick movements of its legs and constant swivels of its antennae creating the impression of a creature lost and blind. Is it thinking? she wondered. Does it know I'm here?
—from "Scattered Islands," Volume 62, Issue 1 (Spring 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
“First” first? I’ve been writing stories since I was a child, but I assume you don’t want to hear about my third-grade story “Mr. Tabblesworth The Cat Drives to the City”. (Or do you?) One of the first stories I had...

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