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Front Cover by Dorothy Iannone
Flora and Fauna (detail), 1973

from You Who Read Me With Passion Now Must Forever Be My Friends, edited by Lisa Pearson (Siglio, 2014)

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Volume 56, Issue 2

“LADIES FIRST!” This phrase today, perhaps more than the custom it refers to, sounds off, ill-advised, antiquated at best. One can hardly imagine a native speaker — and it would be a man, wouldn’t it? — uttering it at all, except humorously or with thinly veiled hostility. On “ladies,” the OED is loquacious — a very good read, and endlessly instructive. This word dates to the Middle Ages, and among its oldest senses are those that attribute some form of authority, to either a “woman who rules over subjects, a queen” or to the “female head of a household; a woman who has authority over servants, attendants, or slaves.” Chivalrous, religious, and courtly meanings follow in later centuries, with the more general and enduring usage — a mark of respect or courtesy — toward the end of this arc. The pejorative, sexist, and misogynist content implicit in nearly all such forms of address, not surprisingly, seems roughly coeval with the privileges it pretends to bestow. This is the master’s house, after all. The OED notes as well how the word appears, “In later use also (chiefly N. Amer.) in less formal contexts, sometimes with overtones of brusqueness or hostility.” Others may not agree, but I find this comment particularly revealing. The lexicographers cite a Canadian newspaper: “He said, ‘Look lady, you can deal with me or you can deal with the police’” (London Free Press, Nexis 15, July 4, 2007).

Even more striking, perhaps, is the etymology of the term: “lady,” it turns out, comes from the Old English “hláfdige,” or “loaf-kneader,” with “lord,” correspondingly, from the Old English “hláford, once hláfweard,” namely, “loaf-keeper.” On the nature of the loaf, little is said (or needs to be). The through line uniting all these senses, etymological and lexical — the rope woven from each varied strand — is vocative. Throughout history, patriarchy has called women into assigned places and roles for them.

These days, we often hear idle talk about our postfeminist or postracial society; in such moments, I generally think to myself, Well, clearly we’re not yet postidiocy. Certainly the two stories that open this issue, by Elizabeth Denton and Amy Collier, put the lie to that postfeminist fairy tale; both explore creative female lives framed in a world that still prefers its women procreative. Elsewhere, though separated by continents and cultures, Siobhan Phillips and Zaher Omareen (in an ALTA Award–winning translation by Alice Guthrie) map the mystical relations of production and reproduction, demonstrating that the ingestion of food may well be our most deeply political act. And here the psychodelirotogenetical art of Dorothy Iannone — also featured in this issue — can lend a hand: one look at her cookbooks and you’re hooked.

Similarly, in praise of the Folly Cove Designers, Jennifer Scanlon recovers a story from modern feminism’s pupal stage, showing us once again that all real progress is collective. Or perhaps I should say “teneral,” as Taije Silverman puts it in her poem “Grief,” one of this number’s lyrical highlights. The OED tells us that Silverman’s adjective is used to describe “the imperfect imago of a neuropterous insect, when it has just emerged from the pupa state, and is still soft.” We are none of us, ladies or otherwise, there yet: as Christa Romanosky’s second-person recipe for disaster suggests, knowing better is never enough. Such suffering is voiced also during Tim Seibles’s “Walk”: “the suspicion / that life would not / save us, that love itself / was little more than a hook / for the mouth.”

Set inside the force field of feminism, this issue’s most memorable tales by men also stress the chains that still bind us. René Char’s dream of a drowned child, admirably rendered by Nancy Naomi Carlson, tells a tale of womb-envy. And we also note that Daniele Del Giudice’s fable of buying time, translated by the dynamic duo of Liz Harris and Louise Rozier, concludes in a vision of women’s temporality first coined by Julia Kristeva. Martín Espada’s revelation of one of Roberto Clemente’s greatest moments, long confined by racist commentary to near oblivion, is a reminder that we’re not postracist either.

To close, then, let’s note a simple fact. As Amir Ahmadi Arian’s nightmarish, squirm-inducing fiction — half Poe, half Kafka — suggests, when it comes to gender parity and equality, we simply haven’t fully emerged. Though Lisa Furmanski, in these pages, does have her Coleoptera moments, as a culture we still seem at best, well, teneral. The work of the writerly imagination in culture is to record such fragility, and to fly beyond it. Though today new genders may at last be coming up from underground, or out of their cocoons, the question does remain. Will we ever manage to knead our loaves and keep them too?




By Elizabeth Denton


We Called Her Uteri

By Amy Collier


Spiritual Evaluation and Grief

By Taije Silverman


The Mother Liquor

By René Char, Translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson


The Mother Liquor

Nancy Naomi Carlson


Food Work

By Siobhan Phillips



By Zaher Omareen, Translated by Alice Guthrie



Alice Guthrie


Time Merchants

By Daniele del Giudice, Translated by Elizabeth Harris and Louise Rozier


Time Merchants

Elizabeth Harris


Time Merchants

Louise Rozier



By Tim Seibles


The Vermin

By Amir Ahmadi Arian


Clemente's Overzealous Romp: Roberto Clemente and Baseball as Theater

By Martín Espada



By Jason Mastaler


Lashing the Body from the Bones

By Lee Sharkey


You Who Read Me With Passion Now Must Forever Be My Friends

By Dorothy Iannone


On Dorothy Iannone

By Trinie Dalton


The Resurrected Body

Nicholas Samaras


When Coleoptera and When Backlit

By Lisa Furmanski


"The Space Between": Rediscovering the Folly Cove Designers

By Jennifer Scanlon


Your Brother Will Be Born in the Spring

By Nick Narbutas


How to Cope with Risk

By Gary L. McDowell


What to Do When You Are Alone in It

By Christa Romanosky


Why Elizabeth Goes to Suzie

By Jari Chevalier



By Kristin Latour


A Burglary on Quarry Lane

By Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer


There Was No Transition, Only This

By Edward Mayes

Table of Contents


Loud, a story by Elizabeth Denton

We Called Her Uteri, a story by Amy Collier

Spiritual Evaluation and Grief, poems by Taije Silverman

The Mother Liquor, a story by René Char,
translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson

Food Work, an essay by Siobhan Phillips

Milk, a story by Zaher Omareen,
translated by Alice Guthrie

Time Merchants, a story by Daniele del Giudice,
translated by Elizabeth Harris and Louise Rozier

Walk, a poem by Tim Seibles

The Vermin, a story by Amir Ahmadi Arian

Clemente's Overzealous Romp: Roberto Clemente
 and Baseball as Theater, an essay by Martín Espada

Clearance, a story by Jason Mastaler

Lashing the Body from the Bones,
a poem by Lee Sharkey

You Who Read Me With Passion Now Must
Forever Be My Friends, art by Dorothy Iannone

On Dorothy Iannone, an essay by Trinie Dalton

The Resurrected Body, a poem by Nicholas Samaras

When Coleoptera and When Backlit, poems by Lisa Furmanski

"The Space Between": Rediscovering the Folly Cove
Designers, an essay by Jennifer Scanlon

Your Brother Will Be Born in the Spring,
a poem by Nick Narbutas

How to Cope with Risk, an essay by Gary L. McDowell

What to Do When You Are Alone in It,
a story by Christa Romanosky

Why Elizabeth Goes to Suzie, a poem by Jari Chevalier

Advice, a poem by Kristin Latour

A Burglary on Quarry Lane,
a story by Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer

There Was No Transition, Only This,
a poem by Edward Mayes

Notes on Contributors


AMIR AHMADI ARIAN is an Iranian writer and translator, currently living in Australia. In Iran, he published “Fragments of a Crime,” a collection of stories, and “Cogwheels,” a novel short-listed for a Golshiri Award. He has also published extensively in Iranian newspapers, and his published translations include translations into Persian of novels by Paul Auster, E. L. Doctorow, Cormac McCarthy, and P. D. James.

NANCY NAOMI CARLSON is a winner of grants from the NEA, Maryland Arts Council, and Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. Translations of Abdourahman Waberi (Djibouti) and Suzanne Dracius (Martinique) are forthcoming in 2015 from Seagull Books and Tupelo Press, respectively.

RENÉ CHAR (1907–1988) was praised by Prime Minister Jacques Chirac as “the greatest French poet of the 20th century.” He enjoyed a literary career of over sixty years, was a hero of the French Resistance movement, and was a staunch antinuclear protester. His work is infused with mystery and music.

JARI CHEVALIER’s poems have appeared in American Literary Review, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Spillway, Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares, and many other journals. This year she received a Merit Award in the Atlanta Review’s International Poetry contest and was a finalist in Ploughshares Emerging Writers competition.

AMY COLLIER once saw Fabio at an airport. Fabio is an Italian model who has appeared on many classic romance novels, such as Love Me with Fury, Lovestorm, and More Than a Feeling. He has been the spokesperson for the Geek Squad, OralB Sensitive Advantage toothbrushes, Nationwide Insurance, Versace, and the American Cancer Society. He is 6’3” barefoot, but usually wears cowboy boots.

TRINIE DALTON is author of six books that move between fiction, the visual arts, and critical writing. She also writes texts for artists’ monographs: new releases include David Altmejd (Damiani, 2014), Laura Owens (Rizzoli, 2015), two for Dorothy Iannone (Siglio and Berlinische Galerie/Kerber Verlag), and Anna Sew Hoy (Oslo Editions, 2014). She is Faculty Director of the MFA in Writing and Publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, as well as core faculty in Fiction in VCFA’s low-residency writing program.

DANIELE DEL GIUDICE is the author of many novels, essays, and short stories, as well as theater and travel writing. His work has been translated into sixteen languages and awarded many prizes, including the Lincei Academy Award and the European Prize for Literature. His novel Staccando l’ombra della terra (Einaudi, 1994) has been turned into a musical, and his first novel, Lo stadio di Wimbledon (Einaudi, 1984) was made into a film.

ELIZABETH DENTON is the author of the short story collection Kneeling on Rice. Her work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Blackbird, and Yale Review, where her story “Mick Jagger’s Green-Eyed Daughter” won the Yale Review Prize. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and has won several grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. For the past twelve years she has taught fiction writing at the University of Virginia.

MARTÍN ESPADA has published more than fifteen books as a poet, editor, essayist, and translator. His forthcoming collection of poems is called The Leaves of Moriviví (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), and Alabanza (2003). His honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

LISA FURMANSKI lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two sons. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, the Antioch Review, and others.

Born in London and raised in rural Norfolk, UK, ALICE GUTHERIE has been studying Arabic formally and informally since 1997, most notably at Exeter University and L’Institut Français d’Etudes Arabes de Damas (now IFPO). In her translations of contemporary writing from across the Arabophone world, she focuses on literature written in spoken dialect, an important and radical art form.

ELIZABETH HARRIS translates contemporary Italian fiction; her translations have appeared in numerous journals and three times in Dalkey Archives’ annual anthology, Best European Fiction. Her translated books include Mario Rigoni Stern’s novel Giacomo’s Seasons, and Giulio Mozzi’s story collection This Is the Garden. She received a 2013 Translation Prize from the Ministry of Foreign Culture (Rome), and a 2013 PEN/Heim Fund Grant for her translation-in-progress of Antonio Tabucchi’s novel Tristano Dies. She teaches creative writing at the University of North Dakota.

KRISTIN LATOUR’s most recent chapbook is Agoraphobia, from Dancing Girl Press (2013), as well as two others: Blood (Naked Mannequin Press, 2009) and Town Limits (Pudding House Press, 2007). Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Fifth Wednesday, Cider Press Review, Escape into Life, and Atticus Review. Her work appears in the anthology Obsession: Sestinas in the 21st Century. She teaches at Joliet Junior College.

JASON MASTALER held a top-secret security clearance for seven years with various federal agencies, and was a 2014 finalist for the Cincinnati Review’s Schiff Award in Prose. His work has appeared in the Harvard Review and Los Angeles Review, and his nonfiction has received special mention in The Best American Essays. He lives in northern Idaho.

EDWARD MAYES has published poems in Southern Review, Poetry, The New Yorker, APR, and The Best American Poetry, with recent poems in Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, AGNI, Colorado Review, Southwest Review, Blackbird, and Crazyhorse. His books include First Language (Juniper Prize, University of Massachusetts Press) and Works & Days (AWP Prize in Poetry, University of Pittsburg Press).

GARY L. McDOWELL is the author of two books of poetry, Weeping at a Stranger’s Funeral and American Amen, winner of the 2009 Orphic Prize for Poetry. He is also the co-editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice. His essays have appeared in Green Mountain Review, Prairie Schooner, Quarter After Eight, Bellingham Review, DIAGRAM, and Gulf Coast, and his poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, The Nation, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, and New England Review. He is an assistant professor of English at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

NICK NARBUTAS is the Diana and Simon Raab Editorial Fellow of Poets & Writers and is a Creative Writing teaching fellow at Columbia University. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Phantom Limb, [PANK] Magazine Online, Birdfeast, and Crab Orchard Review.

ZAHER OMAREEN is a Syrian researcher and writer who has published articles and short stories in the Arab and English press. He is co-editor of Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline. He has co-curated exhibitions on the art of the Syrian uprising. He holds an MA in media and cultural studies from Sussex University, and is a PhD candidate in contemporary documentary cinema and new media at Goldsmiths College, London. He is completing Tales of the Orontes River, a collection of short stories drawn from the collective memories of the 1982 Hama massacre.

SIOBHAN PHILLIPS has published essays and poems in the Boston Review, Harvard Review, Hudson Review, and other journals.

CHRISTA ROMANOSKY received her MFA from the University of Virginia. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, Boston Review, EPOCH, Crazyhorse, North American Review, and Colorado Review. She teaches poetry at a high school for the creative and performing arts in Pittsburgh, PA.

LOUISE ROZIER is Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Arkansas. Her research interests are in the field of translation and in twentieth-century Italian literature with a specific emphasis on women’s writing. She has published translations of several of Paola Masino’s short stories, and is cotranslator of A Stick in the Eye, a collection of sonnets by Giorgio Roberti. Her translation of Fortunato Pasqualino’s The Little Jesus of Sicily was awarded the 1996 PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award.

NICHOLAS SAMARAS won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for his first book, Hands of the Saddlemaker. His new book, American Psalm, World Psalm, is now out from Ashland Poetry Press.

JENNIFER SCANLON is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of the Humanities in Gender and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College, where she also serves as Associate Dean for Faculty. Her last book, Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown, was named a Book of the Times by the New York Times. She has just completed a biography of civil rights stalwart Anna Arnold Hedgeman, which will be released by Oxford University Press in 2015.

TIM SEIBLES is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Buffalo Head Solos (2014) and Hammerlock (1999). Seibles’s poems have appeared in journals such as Kenyon Review and Black American Literary Forum, as well as in the anthologies Outsiders, Verse and Universe, In Search of Color Everywhere, A Way Out of No Way, and New American Poets in the 90’s. Seibles lives in eastern Virginia, where he teaches in the MFA Program at Old Dominion University.

LEE SHARKEY is the author of Calendars of Fire (Tupelo, 2013), A Darker, Sweeter String (Off the Grid, 2008), and eight full-length poetry collections and chapbooks. Her work has appeared recently in Consequence, Crazyhorse, field, Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, Poet Lore, and Seattle Review. She received the Abraham Sutzkever Centennial Translation Prize, the Maine Arts Commission’s Fellowship in Literary Arts, and Zone 3’s Rainmaker Award in Poetry.

TAIJE SILVERMAN is the author of Houses Are Fields, a book of poetry, and she is currently at work on her second collection. Individual poems have been published in Poetry, Ploughshares, AGNI, and elsewhere. She is also working on a collection of poems translated from the Italian, for which she won a Fulbright and a residency at MacDowell in 2014. She teaches poetry and translation at the University of Pennsylvania.

RUVANEE PIETERSZ VILHAUER’s short stories have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Michigan Quartly Review, Summerset Review, Quiddity, Bluestem, Notre Dame Review, Stand, r.kv.r.y, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Epiphany, Fourth Review, and other venues. She won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2004. She teaches in the psychology department at Felician College in New Jersey.

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