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Volume 63, Issue 3

Front Cover by Parastoo Anoushahpour
Still from: The Time That Separates Us, 2022
Courtesy of the artist

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Introduction

“RIEN N’ARRIVE ni comme on l’espère, ni comme on le craint”: thus does the Holocaust survivor Jean Améry begin his celebrated anatomy of torture, citing Proust. “Nothing actually happens as we hope it will, nor as we fear it will.” For most folks, I imagine, this was not their first association when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, though it was mine. Améry clarifies his claim: it’s not that torture exceeds our imagination (“it’s not a quantitative question”); actual torture isn’t...

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Performance

I think I should have retired at least ten years ago. My older sister Lucy announced her plans to retire, effective immediately, on the second anniversary of her husband’s death from dementia. She said it gave her the boost she desperately needed after her shock and grief refused to lift.

fiction

Graceless

By Samwai Lam, Translated by Natascha Bruce

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Summer Intern Aviva Palencia interviews translator Aga Gabor da Silva, winner of our annual Chametzky Translation Prize for her translation of Ewa Lipska’s “Can Always Happen” from its original Polish. Published in our Spring 2021 issue, Gabor da Silva’s masterfully translates this poem about longing for one’s country of origin. A transcript of this interview is available here.

Aviva also conducted an interview with Diana Senechal, who received an honorable mention. A transcript of this interview is available here.

 

AGNIESZKA (AGA) GABOR DA SILVA graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studied Lusophone Literatures and Cultures. Aga also holds a Master of Arts in English Literature and Linguistics from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. Her translations have appeared in Lunch Ticket, ANMLY, and Columbia Journal.

DIANA SENECHAL is the 2011 winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities and author of Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture (2012) and Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies (2018). Her translations of Tomas Venclova’s poetry have appeared in Winter Dialogue (1997) and The Junction (2008); her translations of Hungarian literature have appeared in Literary Matters, Literary Imagination,The Satirist, Massachusetts Review, Asymptote, Modern Poetry in Translation, and The Continental Literary Magazine. "Scissors" is included in the collection Always Different: Poems of Memory (Deep Vellum, 2022), her translation of Gyula Jenei's Mindig más (2018). She teaches English and civilization at Varga Katalin Secondary School in Szolnok, Hungary.

AVIVA PALENCIA is an intern at the Massachusetts Review with a specialization in translation. As of 2022, she holds a B.A. in Linguistics, a B.A. in Spanish, and a certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. From 2021 to 2022, she was an assistant at the UMass Translation Center and did English-Spanish translation projects for the Just Words Translation and Interpreting Cooperative.

“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 Rebecca Lehmann

- By Edward Clifford

In the whale's spout, a rainbow.
In my daughter's hair, a rainbow hairtie.
In the holy, holy. Holy, holy.
In a diamond's carbon-shape angles.
In each eye, a stone reflected,
a sore.
—from "In Morning," Volume 63, Issue 3 (Fall 2022)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
When I was in third grade, my teacher had us do an ekphrastic writing exercise based on postcards of paintings in the Chicago Art Institute. Mine was the painting “The Coast of Labrador” by William Bradford, and I wrote a story about a girl with really big feet who gets stranded on an island and is discovered by a fisherman. I was the tallest kid in my class that year and really self-conscious about it....


Interviews

"All reading is performance, all performance is reading."

- By Alison C. Rollins

I've always admired the way Alison C. Rollins's poetry bridges urgency and experimentation. In her hands, objects from the archive are transformed into poetic vectors to imagine other worlds, other possibilities. I've also been following and admiring her recent experiments with creating physical objects from this poetic process. When we received her exquisite poem, "A Bell Is a Messenger of Time" for the Fall 2022 issue of...


Interviews

10 Questions for Mee Ok Icaro

- By Edward Clifford

When I was small like
a selfish idea
I would pick pieces of his hair
off my smooth girl-body
swollen
in the dark places
where he had become light
—from "Triptych," Volume 63, Issue 3 (Fall 2022)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
After a long hiatus from writing after high school, I took it up again when I was 33. The first piece I wrote was an excerpt in what will soon be my memoir, although I didn’t know it at the time because I was about to die. My illness got me into writing again though, and writing in part saved my life.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
I have been a longtime admirer of Donna Tartt’s The...


Interviews

10 Questions for Carol Moldaw

- By Edward Clifford

For years, Sue and I would collapse into hysterics
if one of us said "Stuttgart." We didn't have to say
"Mercedes factory" or "bedroom" or "Mom."
Just "Stuttgart" was enough to set us off,
—from "Stuttgart Revisited," Volume 63, Issue 2 (Summer 2022)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
If I skip over earnest grammar school doggerel, high school self-conscious (and earnest) attempts, college (still earnest, still (more)-self-conscious) glimmerings, then the poem I mark as my first is “64 Panoramic Way,” the first poem (but not the oldest) in my first book, Taken from the River.  I wrote it in graduate school and the title...


Interviews

10 Questions for Megan Pinto

- By Helen McColpin

I try and go back to the bottom
of the placid blue lake, or maybe
the storm’s calm eye. This is how I bargain
for your love in my mind, like a child.
—from "Chiaroscuro after Caravaggio’s Paul," Volume 63, Issue 2 (Summer 2022)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
In 5th grade my local newspaper had a poetry contest. I remember sitting in my backyard and writing a poem about the beach. I still remember the opening lines: “The foamy waves lap the shore/ the salty breeze in my face/ seagulls fly toward their home/ and me, just standing there.” I don’t remember the rest of the poem, but knowing my 5th grade self, I’m sure it was existential....


Read more on the blog

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