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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

Favorite Things

Dancing Balanchine's Late Modernism

- By Mark Franko

Photo: Mira Nadon in George Balanchine’s Movements for Piano and Orchestra. Photographer: Erin Baiano. Courtesy of the New York City Ballet.

Amongst the diverse offerings of New York City Ballet this winter season, an intriguing cross-section of Balanchine/Stravinsky neoclassical ballets stretching from 1944 to 1972 were programmed. Provocative pairings and insightful performances increased our understanding of the Balanchine-Stravinsky collaboration. For the inspiring work of this season, credit goes to the dancers who rediscover, animate, and realize before our eyes this distinguished repertoire and its importance, doubtless a weighty responsibility. But credit must also go to coaches Suzanne Farrell and Rebecca Krohn, among others, whose collaboration with the...

The Next Best Thing

The Next Best Thing: Dressed to Kill

- By Janet R. Bowdan

(Editor’s note: What follows is indeed the latest in our “Next Best Thing” series, introducing you to people and events that you’ll wish you hadn’t missed. In this case, though, you’ve been granted a second chance: Karen Skolfield will be reading this weekend, as part of LitFest at Amherst College. Saturday at 11:00 a.m., in the Frost Library.)

Welcome to the Jones Library, and Amherst, and to this book launch/poetry reading. If you are perhaps a Skolfield-Goeckel, or if you know Karen through ice hockey, or through poetry, or if you have wandered in thinking, “A poetry reading! Maybe there will be wine & cheese,” well,...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Matt W. Miller

- By Edward Clifford

How they get you is first they give you more
to do by rolling out two more machines
but slowing down each loom to 100 beats
a minute to mitigate the impact of working


My Anthropocene

- By Giacomo Sartori, Translated by Frederika Randall

(Editor’s note: With this post from the Italian novelist Giacomo Sartori, the Massachusetts Review inaugurates “After Us,” a new blog series that will focus on the climate crisis and the ongoing, devastating toll wrought on our planet and all of its creatures by the human species.)

It was beginning to rain in Genoa, just as I left the bookfair where I’d come to take part in a roundtable about literature and the Anthropocene. In the following days Genoa was deluged with rain and floods that brought the city to a standstill, floods caused by heavy construction on the hills above that has shorn the mountainside of its natural defenses so that every few years the rivers swell up and dump their muddy load downstream.

We can certainly...


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.


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