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Volume 65, Issue 1

I’VE NEVER HAD the patience for careful, comparative analysis, so I don’t really know. Finding the word “life” sixty-one times in these 200 pages, though, strikes me as significant, and I’m relieved that “death” is mentioned only twenty. To see that “river” is used sixteen times, that “tree” or “trees” have eighty-one occurrences, and that “wind” appears twenty times might also mean something, even if one of those “winds” is a verb. Quicker than a hiccup, of course, so-called large language models with their so-called deep learning could surely tell us whether having ten histories and fourteen pasts really matters, or only to me.

However, as I write these lines, much of the world’s population seems content, even enthused, to be led by sociopathic strongmen, as if watching, funding, and fighting wars, as if waging genocide is truly the way of the world. If today does turn out to be a global version of what Jalal Toufic has called a “surpassing disaster,” where tradition withdraws and becomes unavailable to artists, writers, and thinkers, what good could possibly come from algorithms based on everything we’ve said and done till now? Isn’t everything what got us here? How could it possibly take us anywhere else?

The answer, it seems clear, will not come from computation. Yet it must be created. If the authors in this issue have answers, as I believe they do, those answers come from invention, hidden in figures and sources from the past, or in the natural world, shored and marshaled against our pending ruin. In times like these, one looks for what may last. The verse forms of Patrick Donnelly and Natsume Sōseki have that much in common, as does the wind that blows through the lines of Geffrey Davis and Chard deNiord. Trees are certainly mobilized by Amba Azaad and noam keim to differing effect, yet both are bringing Birnam wood to Dunsinane. Saadi Youssef, as translated by Khaled Mattawa, takes us from England to Palestine, reminding us in all cities some things are forbidden. And when Korey Hurni’s brother shoots that buck naked, our fascination is other than that of Katherine Vondy, with her bears feeding at the river, yet for both we do pause and pray for the fire to cease. In the end, perhaps, we must look to performance and art for the way forward, in Virginia Grise’s excavations of family and culture or Tariku Shiferaw’s explorations in mark-marking, mythology, and erasure. Only in art will we find such exemplary efforts.

Just days after the slaughter at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Natalia Ginzburg penned an essay, here translated by Jenny McPhee, the first where Ginzburg would overtly claim her Jewish identity. With the wound still open, she meditated on what political stance might stand in a world where justice can be turned upside down in an instant. Such a moment was clearly a high-wire act, one where no one would ever not fall, yet her courage was breathtaking and inspires still.

It had better. Because we’ll need it.

Jim Hicks
for the editors


Entries

poetry

Magpie

By Gavin Yuan Gao

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

THIS SIDE OF YOU, a poem by Chard deNiord

MY BROTHER’S KEEPER, an essay by Korey Hurni

EPITHALAMENT, a poem by Acie Clark

ENGLISH AUTUMN, FORBIDDEN CITY, THE WOMAN
WITH A WALKING STICK, and SHATILA, poems by Saadi Youssef, translated by Khaled Mattawa

THE JEWS, an essay by Natalia Ginzburg,
translated by Jenny McPhee

MAGPIE, a poem by Gavin Yuan Gao

SEND RAVENS FIRST, a poem by Terese Svoboda

FREEDOM TREES, an essay by noam keim

FIRE TO THE GRASS, an essay by Amba Azaad

BRINGING THINGS NEAR, a poem by Geffrey Davis

COAT HANGER, a poem by Chen Po-yu, translated by Nicholas Wong

@JOSEPHBRODSKY, a poem by Alina Khaitlina, translated by Alexandra Berlina

GO UNTIL FAILURE, an essay by Kayla Min Andrews

THE GOOD WORK, a poem by Jill McDonough

THE 67, a poem by Pablo Texón, translated by Will Howard

IN ANOTHER LIFE and TUTOR TO THE PROPHET, poems by John Hennessy

A COMMUNITY OF E-SCAVENGERS, an essay by Abby Manzella

HORACE SILVER HEXAGONAL BLUES and
LESSONS ENDING IN ALLEGHENY PLUM, poems by Iain Haley Pollock

RECENT WORK, art by Tariku Shiferaw

RASGOS ASIÁTICOS, a script by Virginia Grise

ANTI-PASTORALS, poems by Patrick Donnelly

UNCERTAIN WORK, a story by Patrizia Cavalli,
translated by Gregory Mellen

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE and WORLD FAILURE,
poems by Ewa Lipska, translated by Anna Stanisz-Lubowiecka

THE BEARS, a story by Katherine Vondy

SELECTIONS FROM BALLAD OF SWEET JIM,
poems by Ana María Moix, translated by Daniel Byronson

GHAZAL FOR PILL, a poem by Jen Ryan Onken

FORSAKEN DAUGHTERS, a story by Lucy Zhang

UNTITLED POEMS I, IV, and V,
poems by Natsume Sōseki, translated by Ryan Choi

“HELLO,” a story by Maë Schwinghammer,
translated by Lisa Schantl

THIRTY-TWO EULOGIES, an essay by Dan Leach

THINGS SHE WOULDN’T TELL, a story by Nayereh Doosti

QUIET PART OUT LOUD, a poem by Adrian Blevins

GIFTS FROM OUR RELATIVES, an essay by
Marija Knežević, translated by Sibelan Forrester

ALWAYS BESIDE A RIVER, a poem by Daniel Wolff

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

Contributors

KAYLA MIN ANDREWS is a biracial, Korean American writer living in New Orleans. She has been published in Cagibi for fiction, Halfway Down the Stairs for nonfiction, and Asymptote for literary translation. Her flash essay “Old Kleenex” was nominated for a Best of the Net 2020. She was a finalist in the Tennessee Williams and New Orleans Literary Festival’s Very Short Fiction Contest in 2023. Kayla assisted Putnam on the posthumous publication of her mother’s novel The Fetishist (2024), including editing the manuscript.

AMBA AZAAD (she/her) lives in New Delhi, India, and online on Mastodon. Her writing has been published in The New Inquiry, Qwerty, and Strange Horizons.

ALEXANDRA BERLINA translates from and into German, Russian, and English. Her involvement with Brodsky is mostly scholarly (Brodsky Translating Brodsky: Poetry in Self-Translation), but she also dared translate a few poems of his, which brought her a Brodsky/Spender Translation Prize, a Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, and an ALTA Travel Fellowship. Another poem by Alina Khaitlina translated by Alexandra Berlina is to appear in Modern Poetry in Translation in 2024. Currently, Alexandra is trying to write a comedy musical based on The Master and Margarita.

ADRIAN BLEVINS’s fourth book of poems, Status Pending, is forthcoming this fall from Four Way books. She is a professor of English and creative writing at Colby College in Waterville, ME, where she directs the creative writing program.

DANIEL BYRONSON is a translator from Spanish and poet. He was raised in Minneapolis, MN, where he now resides. His reviews have appeared in Rain Taxi. By day, he works in immigration law.

PATRIZIA CAVALLI (1947–2022) was one of Italy’s most beloved contemporary poets, praised by critics and adored by readers. She published numerous collections of verse, from Le mie poesie non cambieranno il mondo (1974) to Vita meravigliosa (2020). A bilingual edition of her poems, My Poems Won’t Change the World, edited by Gini Alhadeff (FSG), was finally made available to English-language readers in 2014. Her only volume of prose, Con passi giapponesi (2018), was shortlisted for Italy’s Premio Campiello.

RYAN CHOI is the author of In Dreams: The Very Short Stories of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa and Three Demons: A Study on Sanki Saitō’s Haiku. He is an editor at AGNI. His writings and translations have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Nation, The New Criterion, Raritan, Times Literary Supplement, and elsewhere. He lives in Honolulu, where he was born and raised.

ACIE CLARK is a trans writer from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. They’re currently teaching as a visiting assistant professor in poetry at the University of Central Arkansas. They recently received their MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama, where they worked as the online editor for Black Warrior Review. Their work can be found or is forthcoming in Poet Lore, Nat. Brut, American Short Fiction, Foglifter, and the Opal Age Tribune.

GEFFREY DAVIS is the author of three books of poems, including the forthcoming One Wild Word Away (BOA Editions). His second collection, Night Angler, won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and his debut, Revising the Storm, won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Davis lives in the Ozarks and teaches for the program in creative writing & translation at the University of Arkansas. Raised by the Pacific Northwest, he is also a core faculty member of The Rainier Writing Workshop and serves as poetry editor for Iron Horse Literary Review.

CHARD DENIORD is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently In My Unknowing (U. of Pittsburgh Press) and Interstate (U. of Pittsburgh Press). He served as the poet laureate of Vermont from 2015 to 2019.

PATRICK DONNELLY is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Little-Known Operas (Four Way Books) and the forthcoming Willow Hammer (Four Way Books). With his spouse Stephen D. Miller, he translates classical Japanese poetry and drama. He is director of the Poetry Seminar at The Frost Place, Robert Frost’s old homestead in Franconia, NH, now a center for poetry and the arts.

NAYEREH DOOSTI is a writer and translator from Shiraz and Booshehr. She graduated from Amherst College and holds an MFA in fiction from Boston University. She is the recipient of the William Faulkner Literary Competition Short Story Prize, Epiphany Magazine Breakout 8 Writers Prize, the St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award, the Key West Literary Seminar Emerging Writer Award, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, and a GrubStreet Literary Grant. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Epiphany, The Common, and Nowruz Journal, among others. Her Persian translation of Aleksander Hemon’s The Book of My Lives will be published by Goman Press in Tehran in September 2023.

SIBELAN FORRESTER has published translations of fiction, poetry, and scholarly prose from Croatian, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian, including a bilingual edition of Marija Knežević’s poetry, Breathing Technique / Tehnika disanja (Zephyr Press). In her day job she is a professor of Russian at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

GAVIN YUAN GAO is a nonbinary poet and translator. Their debut poetry collection, At the Altar of Touch, published by the University of Queensland Press in 2022, won the 2023 Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry and has been shortlisted for the 2023 ALS Gold Medal. They are currently a James A. Michener Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers.

NATALIA GINZBURG was an Italian novelist, essayist, translator, and political activist. She was raised in Turin, in an antifascist haven, and published her first stories at the age of eighteen; she would become one of the most important Italian writers of the twentieth century. She worked as an editor at the Einaudi publishing house, together with Cesare Pavese and Italo Calvino. In 1963 her novel Family Lexicon won the most prestigious Italian prize for literature, the Premio Strega.

VIRGINIA GRISE is a recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts, Yale Drama Award, Whiting Writers’ Award, and the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing. Her published work includes Your Healing Is Killing Me (Plays Inverse Press), blu (Yale University Press), and The Panza Monologues, co-written with Irma Mayorga (University of Texas Press). Her interdisciplinary body of work includes plays, multimedia performance, dance theater, performance installations, guerrilla theater, site-specific interventions, and community gatherings. She is a founding member of a todo dar productions and has been a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, a Matakyev Research Fellow for the Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University, a Jerome Fellow at the Playwright’s Center, and the Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Cara Mia Theatre. She holds an MFA in writing for performance from the California Institute of the Arts.

JOHN HENNESSY is the author of two collections, Coney Island Pilgrims and Bridge and Tunnel, and his poems appear in many journals and anthologies, including The Believer, Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, The Huffington Post, Jacket, The New Republic, Poetry, The Poetry Review (UK), Poetry at Sangam (India), Poetry Ireland Review, and The Yale Review. He is the co-translator, with Ostap Kin, of A New Orthography, selected poems by Serhiy Zhadan, finalist for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, 2021, and winner of the Derek Walcott Prize, 2021, and the anthology Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond (Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature/HUP). Their new translations of poems by Yuri Andrukhovych have appeared in NYRB, TLS, and The New Statesman. Hennessy is the poetry editor of The Common and teaches at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

WILL HOWARD’s writing and translations have appeared in Brevity, DIAGRAM, Passages North, The Offing, Poetry, and elsewhere.

KOREY HURNI was born and raised in Lansing, MI, and is currently an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Waldorf University in Forest City, IA. He earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his MFA from Western Michigan University. Previously he has served as a poetry editor for Cream City Review and Third Coast. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in West Branch, RHINO, Quarterly West, and elsewhere.

noam keim (they/them) is a Jewish Arab trauma worker, medicine maker, and flâneur currently living on Lenni-Lenape land known as Philadelphia. They have received fellowships from Lambda Literary, Roots. Wounds. Words, Tin House, and Sewanee. Their debut essay collection The Land Is Holy, winner of the Megaphone Prize 2022, is forthcoming from Radix Media in 2024.

ALINA KHAITLINA was born in St. Petersburg and, since 2012, has been living in Germany. She has studied linguistics and specialized in sociolinguistics, and currently works as a language specialist with bilingual children. She has been writing poems in her mother tongue since her childhood, liking everything related to the rhymed word (e.g. translation and language games), and uses every opportunity to spread her passion to children and adults.

MARIJA KNEŽEVIĆ (born 1963 in Belgrade) is a Serbian poet, fiction writer, essayist, and translator who has published nine volumes of poetry and thirteen novels and collections of stories and essays. Her work has been recognized with local and international prizes; one story from her collection Fabula Rasa was chosen to represent Serbia in the 2012 Best European Fiction (Dalkey Archive Press). A translated selection of her poetry appeared in New European Poets, ed. Wayne Miller and Kevin Prufer, and in the anthology Cat Painters, ed. Biljana Obradović and Dubravka Djurić (2016). The bilingual volume Breathing Technique/Tehnika disanja, with translations by Sibelan Forrester, appeared in 2020 from Zephyr Press. After graduating with a degree in literature from the University of Belgrade, Knežević earned an MA in comparative literature from Michigan State University. She now lives in Belgrade.

DAN LEACH has published work in Copper Nickel, The Southwest Review, and The Sun. He has two collections of short fiction: Floods and Fires (University of North Georgia) and Dead Mediums (Trident Press). Texas Review Press recently selected Stray Latitudes, his debut poetry collection, as the winner of its 2023 Southern Poetry Breakthrough Prize. He holds an MFA from Warren Wilson and currently teaches writing at Charleston Southern University.

EWA LIPSKA (born 1945 in Kraków) is one of the most accomplished contemporary Polish poets. She has received numerous literary awards in Poland and abroad and her collections of poems have been translated into over a dozen languages. She lives in Kraków.

ABBY MANZELLA is the author of Migrating Fictions: Gender, Race, and Citizenship in U.S. Internal Displacements, winner of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Book Award and the honorable mention for the MLA Book Prize for Independent Scholars. She is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Truman State University who has published with journals such as The Threepenny Review, Colorado Review, HAD, and Pleiades.

KHALED MATTAWA is the William Wilhartz Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. Mattawa’s latest book of poems is Fugitive Atlas (Graywolf). He is the editor-in-chief of Michigan Quarterly Review.

GREGORY MELLEN is a teacher and translator living in Florence, Italy. He has an MA in Italian studies from Middlebury College and a PhD in classical philology from Harvard University. He has published literary-critical studies of Latin authors (Horace and Tacitus), and his translations of 20th-century Italian writers (Mario Luzi, Virgilio Giotti, Patrizia Cavalli) have appeared or are forthcoming in The Journal of Italian Translation, Asymptote, and The Arkansas International.

Three-time Pushcart Prize winner JILL MCDONOUGH is the recipient of Cullman Center, Fine Arts Work Center, NEA, and
Stegner fellowships. She teaches in UMass-Boston’s MFA program.

JENNY MCPHEE’s most recent novel is A Man of No Moon. Her English version of Natalia Ginzburg’s Family Lexicon was shortlisted for the ALTA 2018 Italian Prose in Translation Award, and her translation of a new, complete collection of Ginzburg’s essays, including this one, is forthcoming from NYRB Classics.

ANA MARÍA MOIX, born in Barcelona in 1947, wrote novels, stories, poetry, children’s books, and contributed journalism to popular magazines. From 1969 to 1973, she published two novels, a collection of stories, and three works of poetry, including Baladas del Dulce Jim (Ballads of Sweet Jim). In the later 1970s, she wrote cultural columns for the Spanish magazines Vindicación Feminista and Destino. She continued to write narrative prose, including the collection of short stories Las virtudes peligrosas (translated into English as Dangerous Virtues). Moix’s abiding concern for the imagination and for fantasy life stands out in her work, as does her investigation of gender roles and lesbian desire.

JEN RYAN ONKEN lives and teaches in southern Maine. Recent poems have appeared in SWWIM, Deep Water, Zocalo Public Square, The Night Heron Barks, and LEON Literary Review. Her chapbook, “Medea at the Laundromat” was a 2020 and 2021 finalist for the Larry Levis Post-Grad Prize at Warren Wilson’s Program for Writers, where she recently completed her MFA. Jen was the Maine Poet’s Society winner of its 2019 prize for previously unpublished poets. She reads manuscripts for Persea Books’ Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize.

IAIN HALEY POLLOCK is the author of two poetry collections, Ghost, Like a Place (Alice James Books) and Spit Back a Boy (U. Georgia Press). His work has received the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, and an NAACP Image Award nomination. Pollock directs the MFA Program at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, and lives in the lower Hudson Valley.

Born in 1993, CHEN PO-YU has won numerous literary prizes in Taiwan, including the Lin Rong San Poetry Award and China Times Literary Award. He is the author of The Bubbles Maker (essays) and two poetry collections, mini me and recently The Art of Rivalry. His Chinese translation of Robert Hass’ Summer Snow was published in 2022. He currently lives in Taipei.

LISA SCHANTL is the founder and editor-in-chief of Tint Journal and a project assistant at the Institute for Art in Public Space Styria, Austria. She holds a master’s degree in English and American Studies as well as a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Graz and Montclair State University, New Jersey. She is very interested in cultural work beyond borders and uses each opportunity to engage in intercultural exchanges. Her journalistic and critical work has appeared in Anzeiger, PARADOX, The Montclarion, Tint Journal, Versopolis, and more, and her creative work and translations in Artists & Climate Change, Asymptote, Otherwise Engaged, UniVerse, Poetry Salzburg Review, and The Normal Review, among others.

MAË SCHWINGHAMMER (they, them) was born 1993 in Vienna. They studied language arts (creative writing) and gender studies. They’ve had publications in anthologies and conference transcripts, as well as performance readings in the Haus für Poesie (Berlin), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Anatolia Schnitzelhaus (Vienna) and Literaturhaus Wien (Vienna). They are concerned with queer feminism and identities.

TARIKU SHIFERAW is a New York based artist who explores mark-making addressing the physical and metaphysical spaces of painting and social structures. Recent exhibitions include Men of Change, a four-year nationally traveling exhibition with the Smithsonian Institution (2019-2023), and Unbound, at the Zuckerman Museum of Art (2020-2021). Other group shows include the 2017 Whitney Biennial, as part of Occupy Museums; A Poet*hical Wager, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2017); and What’s Love Got to Do With It?, at The Drawing Center (2019). Notable solo exhibitions include Erase Me, at Addis Fine Art, London (2017); This Ain’t Safe, at Cathouse Proper, Brooklyn (2018); and It’s a love thang, it’s a joy thang, at Galerie Lelong, NY (2021). Shiferaw participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program (2018–2019) and Open Sessions at The Drawing Center (2018–2020). He is currently an artist-in-residence at the World Trade Center through Silver Art Projects (2020–2022).

NATSUME SŌSEKI (1867–1916), perhaps the most celebrated novelist of the modern age in Japan, is best known for Kokoro, I Am a Cat, and Botchan. A renowned scholar of English literature, who was among the first Japanese sent to England to study during the Meiji Restoration, Sōseki was also a prolific essayist and poet in the haiku and kanshi traditions. Something of a late bloomer, he wrote the majority of his works in the last decade of his life, which was cut short by a stomach ulcer.

ANNA STANISZ-LUBOWIECKA (born 1993 in Rzeszów, Poland) is an associate lecturer at the University of Reading. She is finishing her PhD in sociolinguistics at University College London. A graduate of the University of Oxford and the Jagiellonian University..

TERESE SVOBODA’s eighth book of poetry, Theatrix: Poetry Plays, was published by Anhinga in 2021. Roxy and Coco, her eighth book of fiction, and The Long Swim, her third fiction collection, will be published in 2024. The Long Swim won the UMass Juniper Prize.

PABLO TEXÓN is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, translator, songwriter, and member of the Academia de la Llingua Asturiana.

KATHERINE VONDY is a Los Angele–based writer working in film, theater, and literature. Her writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals including the Iowa Review, Potomac Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Worcester Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Briar Cliff Review, and Quiddity. She is also the recipient of writing residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Hambidge, Dorland, Wildacres, Tyrone Guthrie Center, Faberllull, and the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, among others. Kat currently heads the new play development program of The Vagrancy’s LA chapter.

DANIEL WOLFF’s fourth collection of poems, More Poems About Money (Four Way Books), came out in 2022. His poetry has appeared in lots of journals, including The Paris Review, APR, and Raritan. He’s done collaborations with sculptors, choreographers, photographers, and songwriters. And then there’s the half-dozen nonfiction books, helping produce three documentary films with director Jonathan Demme, and recently directing a fourth, Guardians of the Flame.

NICHOLAS WONG is a poet, translator, and visual artist from Hong Kong. He is the author of Crevasse, winner of the Lambda Literary Awards in Gay Poetry, and Besiege Me, also a Lammy finalist. His recent work can be found in Georgia Review, Cincinnati Review, Black Warrior Review, and The Rialto.

SAADI YOUSSEF (1934–2021) is considered one of the most important contemporary poets in the Arab world. He was born near Basra, Iraq. Following his experience as a political prisoner in Iraq, he has spent most of his life in exile, working as a teacher and literary journalist throughout North Africa and the Middle East. He is the author of over forty books of poetry. Youssef has also published two novels and a book of short stories, and several books of essay and memoir. Youssef, who spent the last two decades of his life in London, was a leading translator to Arabic of works by Walt Whitman, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Federico Garcia Lorca, among many others.

LUCY ZHANG writes, codes, and watches anime. Her work has appeared in Apex Magazine, Split Lip Magazine, CRAFT, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbooks HOLLOWED (Thirty West Publishing) and ABSORPTION (Harbor Review).

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