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I’VE NEVER HAD the patience for careful, comparative analysis, so I don’t really know. Finding the word “life” sixty-one times in these 200 pages, though, strikes me as significant, and I’m relieved that “death” is mentioned only twenty. To see that “river” is used sixteen times, that “tree” or “trees” have eighty-one occurrences, and that “wind” appears twenty times might also mean something, even if one of those “winds” is a verb. Quicker than a hiccup, of course, so-called large...

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By Tatiana Senkevitch

More than a century ago, in his essay “On the Anniversary Celebration of Dante,” the legendary literary critic Erich Auerbach, observed that, “Dante is far from having achieved his maximum impact even now.”[1] The Dante Project—a recent collaboration between choreographer Wayne McGregor, composer Thomas Adès, visual artist Tacita Dean, and dramaturg Uzma Hameed—demonstrates that Auerbach is still right.



By Gavin Yuan Gao



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MR Jukebox

To celebrate the launch of our Woman:Revisited, an issue looking at womanhood and femininity 50 years after MR first published an issue on the theme, we hosted a reading with editor Shailja Patel and Zoe Tuck, and contributors Carole DeSanti and Kayhan Irani.

“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


The View from Gaza

- By Staff

“What killed my son Abboud wasn’t just an American missile fired by an Israeli pilot. What killed my son was a regime whose very existence is defined by and built on expulsion and genocide.”

                          – Ahmed Abu Artema, co-organizer of Gaza’s Great March of Return

Gaza is asking all of us: what do we want our world to be? Gaza offers us a choice: will we move our world towards liberation and justice for all, or will we allow it to slip ever further into genocidal violence? The Massachusetts Review, under the guidance of guest editor Michel...


The Heart of the Ironbound

- By Briana Bhola

A Review of I’ll Give You a Reason by Annell López (The Feminist Press, 2024)

Annell López’ short story collection, I’ll Give You a Reason, brings us to the heart of the Ironbound, an immigrant neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. These stories explore race, colorism, Blackness, identity, sex, and gentrification, among other topics. López gives us gritty and complex characters with their vulnerability on full display; her stories are often devastating, yet empowering. Through López’s expressive and captivating writing, these characters and their hardships feel tangible. Her pages are a portal: readers fall into them and walk the streets of Newark. We feel...


10 Questions for Chard deNiord

- By Franchesca Viaud

I think you’re still here sometimes
calling to me like the thrush at dusk
inside the woods where I lose my way.
I search for you like a ghost myself
in all the usual places, stand on the shore
this side of you and speak to the river
that flows and stays, stays and flows.
from "This Side of You," Volume 65, Issue 1 (Spring 2024)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I began writing short lyrical poems in my early teens. I had no idea where
they came from or what inspired them. All I remember is that they both mystified and
frightened me. But I kept writing them. They were often self-instructional as well.
Here’s an example of some juvenilia I remember:



10 Questions for Adrian Blevins

- By Franchesca Viaud

Years after it was over and he was gone, I would think of the unfortunate woman
he was living with now and engaged to marry. Poor woman with the face
               so pale and flat

like a slide down a mountain rock. Poor plus-fifty bride-to-be with the voice
               too whispery
and the chin too jutty. The hair too thin and white, the thighs too big, the walk
              so lumbering.
from "Quiet Part Out Loud," Volume 65, Issue 1 (Spring 2024)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
It’s so hard to remember! I started writing at 13 or so, and wrote terribly...


10 Questions for Daniel Byronson

- By Franchesca Viaud

I would have liked to see myself going into the little room at the Café Boscán enraged and pistol in hand looking for his face facing some other face among the tables. He spoke wet, moldy words. I’d have stuck the barrel of the pistol to his forehead and, sublime as he ever was, he would even thank me for granting him the iron’s cool touch in the final moments of his life. Midnight sparrowhawks rose up, shaken, from the tables. Halfway through the foxtrot a shot rang out and when the lights came up they saw me, kissing the blood that ran across the shadow’s face. It tasted bittersweet and when I awoke from my dream I said so. 
—from "Selections from Ballads of Sweet Jim," Volume 65, Issue 1 (Spring 2024)


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