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The Heart of the Ironbound

- By Briana Bhola

A Review of I’ll Give You a Reason by Annell López (The Feminist Press, 2024)

Annell López’ short story collection, I’ll Give You a Reason, brings us to the heart of the Ironbound, an immigrant neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. These stories explore race, colorism, Blackness, identity, sex, and gentrification, among other topics. López gives us gritty and complex characters with their vulnerability on full display; her stories are often devastating, yet empowering. Through López’s expressive and captivating writing, these characters and their hardships feel tangible. Her pages are a portal: readers fall into them and walk the streets of Newark. We feel...


Natalia Ginzburg’s Essay “The Jews” and Its Trials

- By Domenico Scarpa

Editor's note: The full version of this essay will be published in a new collection of essays: Natalia Ginzburg's Global Legacies, edited by Stiliana Milkova Rousseva and Saskia Elizabeth Ziolkowski (Palgrave Macmillan, 2024). [1]

For a long time Natalia Ginzburg avoided talking openly about her Jewish origins. She interrupted her silence, or rather, her reticence, for the first time in “The Jews” (“Gli Ebrei,” 1972), an essay published on the third page of the daily La Stampa, on September 14, 1972. Her collaboration with Turin’s newspaper had begun in December 1968.[2] Whether she...


When, Where, And How to Belong in a Portrait: Big Questions in Countée Cullen’s Harlem Renaissance

- By Shanta Lee

Review of Countée Cullen’s Harlem Renaissance by Kevin A. Brown. Forthcoming in 2024 from Parlor Press.

Will our life’s work be considered a lead melody or an accompanying harmony in the symphony of history? Does it matter if one plays first or fourth chair in the orchestra if we are talking about a piece that forever changed modern music? Or perhaps it does not matter how large or small of a role one played as long as one was in the room, because that symphony was situated within a period that created a lasting legacy for music. This metaphor applies to some of the persistent questions posed by Kevin A. Brown in Countée Cullen’s Harlem Renaissance. By the author’s own admission, this collection is not “. . . an...


Beers for Brrr!

- By Marsha Bryant

One must have a mind of winter . . . 
—Wallace Stevens


Have a beer in cold weather—just see
How it counterintuitively
Warms the blood with cold fire
As the winter transpires.
If you try one of these, you’ll agree.

Here’s a bottle-fermented delight,
For ’tis Trappist and English bedight
With rich, flavorful malts
That Tynt Meadow exalts
With a sweetness and spice that’s just right.

A DIPA for winter? Hell yes!
The trifecta of flavors so bless-
edly blends hops with spruce,
And spiced pear brings a boost
To this Bone Chill—cool brew, I profess....


Myriam Chancy: Toward Black Liberation

- By Jim Hicks

A Review of Myriam J.A. Chancy, Harvesting Haiti. Reflections on Unnatural Disasters. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2023.

If I weren’t invariably late with everything, this review would have been posted at 4:53 p.m. yesterday, January 12, 2023. Like most events that break time and begin a new calendar for some portion of the world (what Jalal Toufic has termed a surpassing disaster), what happened in Haiti at that exact time, in just forty-five seconds exactly fourteen years ago, has no doubt been forgotten by nearly everyone else everywhere else. That’s just how it is. Time is a mother.

For that very reason, along with a host of others (including at least a...

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