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Volume 60, Issue 4

Front Cover by Anna Schuleit Haber, Bloom, 2003. WHITE MUMS AND ORANGE TULIPS ON THE FIRST FLOOR OF AT THE MASSACHUSETTS MENTAL HEALTH CENTER, BOSTON. Commissioned by the Harvard Medical School and the Department of Mental Health of Massachsuetts.

Courtesy of the artist.

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SIGMUND FREUD ONCE offered an outline of the relations between poets and their dream-worlds. Unlike much of his work, his words on this subject still seem as rich and insightful as they must have appeared in December of 1907. For this issue, which celebrates our magazine’s sixtieth year of publication, the psychoanalyst’s observations are particularly relevant. The influence of history on the poetic imagination, Freud comments, “hovers, as it were, between three times—the three moments of time which our ideation involves.” First, the imagination encounters “some current impression, some provoking occasion in the present”; from there, he notes, “it harks back to a memory of an earlier experience”; and finally, “it now creates a situation relating to the future.” He concludes, “Thus past, present, and future are strung together, as it were, along the thread of the wish that runs through them.”


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“We are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest [...] the teachings of Thoreau are alive today, indeed, they are more alive today than ever before.”

—REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (MR 4.1, Autumn 1962)

From the Blog


Call for Submission of Native-authored work

- By

With the '20s rolling thunderously into place, we at the Massachusetts Review are seeking unpublished work for our first special issue of the new decade. MR's editors and guest editors—Tacey Atsitty, Laura Furlan, and Toni Jensen—are looking for new Native-authored work of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and hybrid texts for a special issue responding to the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth landing. Submissions can be sent (as Word or PDF files) to Please put the genre and title in the subject line ("FICTION: Title").

Deadline: March 31, 2020.


10 Questions

10 Questions for Anita Felicelli

- By Edward Clifford

Paati lived at the edge of a minor fishing village, in a small gray house darkened by caliginous algae stains that streamed down its outer walls and along the edges of its clay roof tiles. She was their mother’s mother, a stern woman, darker than their mother, with a nose curved and knowing like the beak of a hawk. —from “Tent Cinema,” Volume 60, Issue 4 (Winter 2019)

Tell us about one...


10 Questions for Danley Romero

- By Edward Clifford

My mother taught me that music can mean different things each time it is listened to. Sometimes a piece means all the same things it has meant before, but not always. It changes, she told me, depending on where you are in life. “Music is a journey,” she said. “There is a beginning. There’s a middle. There’s an end.” But music never really ends. She said that contradictions don’t always matter in music, that a piece can end and not end because it lingers in your soul and it solidifies into a part of the core of you even if the air you’re breathing gives up all...


10 Questions for James Janko

- By Edward Clifford

If I had really good eyes, I might see the threads that join me to the crowd, or even to one old man, this fellow next to me, for example, his cheeks as flush as a Christmas card Santa, his eyes moist, his hand over his heart as he gazes at the flag and sings. He is, by all accounts, normal.

—from "The Anthem and the Angels," Volume 60, Issue 4 (Winter 2019)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I was a truant in high school, but I began writing a novel my junior year. I stuffed handwritten pages into an empty Tinkertoy box until it was full. I have no idea what my novel was about, but I remember my older sister, who never missed school, read a few pages and said, “This is sick.”


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