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Introduction

THOUGH UNFINISHED, the most necessary Kafka masterpiece today—as we slowly sort through where we’ve been for the past year or so—is surely “Der Bau,” first translated into English by Edwin and Willa Muir as “The Burrow.” Told from the point of view of a burrowing animal, what Herbert Blau has called the tale’s “manic intensity” is focused—as its original title suggests—on construction. In the seventies, Blau’s experimental troupe KRAKEN staged the story as a frenetic, constant work of building, or “...

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2021 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize

The 2021 winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Abigail Chabitnoy, for her poem "Girls Are Coming out of the Water," from our Gathering of Native Voices issue (Volume 61, Issue 4).

ABIGAIL CHABITNOY is the author of How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the international category of the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry. She was a 2016 Peripheral Poets fellow, and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, ...


MR Jukebox

 
Watch a reading and panel discussion with Nicolette Wong, Xu Xi, Sharon Yam, Yeung Chak Yan, and Q.M. Zhang!
 
Amidst the reshaping of Hong Kong’s social, cultural, political and ideological landscapes, how do we re-envisage a city that exists in our memories? For those who have left their hometown—or the place they once called home—the question, “What does it mean to be a Hongkonger?” marks a constant shift between conflicting realities, identities, and perceptions. Beyond the act of remembering, how do we re-imagine our relationship with Hong Kong in the present and the future?
 
To mark the launch of the forthcoming book, Looking Back at Hong Kong: An Anthology of Writing and Art (Cart Noodles Press, 2021), writers who have called Hong Kong home will come together to read from their work and reflect on the profound changes and subtle transitions that have transpired in Hong Kong, both in recent times and over the past decades.
 
Sponsored by The Massachusetts Review and Cart Noodles Press

“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

Interviews

10 Questions for Bernard Capinpin

- By Edward Clifford

As soon as the lamp was lit at six every evening and the chickens fluttered down from the cacao and jackfruit trees, Father would leave/ He wore shabby military fatigues, boots as large as my legs, and an antique amulet on which was inscribed an Angelus that only Father could read and understand: Que cecop, deus meus, deus noter.
—from "Santiago's Cult" by Kristian Sendon Cordero, Translated by Bernard Capinpin, Volume 62, Issue 3 (Fall 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you translated.
One of the first pieces I translated was Luna Sicat-Cleto’s “The Logic of the Soap Bubbles.” Sicat-Cleto was part of the Katha (lit. ‘Story’) collective who pushed back against the then-dominant...


After Us

Pismo mom malom bratu

- By Jim Hicks

Dragi Nane,

On this side of the pond, it’s Veteran’s Day, so I decided to write you a letter. Since we last talked, I’ve been planning to follow up, and since the main issue is surely not ours alone, I’ve decided to make it an open letter. Perhaps a few others might find some sense in what I have to say. Frankly, I’d be surprised if there weren’t more than a few veterans who have made decisions like yours, for similar reasons. So I suppose, at least indirectly, I’m writing to them all.

As you know, I deeply respect your decision to fight for your country. In fact, I’m somewhat in awe of what you did in those years when the barbarians were in the hills all around Sarajevo. At the time, you were still just a kid yourself, really...


Our America

Happy Veterans Day

- By Doug Anderson

(Children and teachers in the Village of Dong Loc, Vietnam, where there are memorials to children and road workers killed by American bombing. Photo by Doug Anderson.)
 

Happy Veterans Day, brothers and sisters, especially those of wars that turned out to be unjustified and incompetently led.

I speak from the Vietnam generation of vets. We were young and dumb and following our parents—inhabitants of the “Greatest Generation.” It was in our cells, and the pull to serve overpowered whatever reflection we might have been capable of at that time. Some refused to serve, some went to Canada. I also consider them brothers, veterans not only of a war but of a historical moment we should have...


10 Questions

10 Questions for Natasha Lvovich

- By Edward Clifford

First, in complete silence, the yellow wall in my room cracks, spreading its spiderweb threads as quickly and as slowly as is possible only in a dream. Chills are crawling down my spine; hot flashes throb into my head. This is panic, fear, terror—a preverbal, pre-Russian sensation that as yet has no name.
—from "Phone Home," Volume 62, Issue 3 (Fall 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
This is a complicated question because in my several lives—Russian, French, and American, with some overlapping—there have been different chronologies. I wrote my first book in Russian at the age of seven; it was called Papa, Mama, Eight Children, and a Truck, and it doesn’t matter that this book...


Our America

On Running. . .

- By Floyd Cheung

(The African American Cultural Center in Brunswick, Georgia. Photo by Bubba73)

Editor’s Note: With this exploration of the tension between privilege and vulnerability, we renew our collaboration with the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program. In September 2020, a panel of local scholars responded to the current violence and racism in the US by connecting APA histories and struggles with those of other communities. Only by building alliances can such violence be stopped.

On Running Through an Unfamiliar Neighborhood the Day After Ahmaud Arbery’s...


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