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Introduction

I OWE A GREAT debt of gratitude to the Massachusetts Review for 35 years of joyous hard work and a wealth of education. As I step down from my role as poetry editor, I want to express my fervent thanks and reflect on an experience that has been a huge part of my life.

I first came on board to co-edit the 1986 double issue on Latin America with Paul Jenkins, after we returned from 18 months living in Brazil — where Paul had a Fulbright for which he was recommended by Jules Chametzky, a founding editor of MR. Little did I know then that I would spend half of my life at the magazine, taking on the roles of business manager, managing editor, and then poetry translation and poetry editor. I’m grateful to my many colleagues over the years for enriching my literary life and for the endless high-spirited times we’ve shared.

As Jim Hicks noted in his introduction to the last issue, we now undertake to go beyond our 60-year legacy of seeking...

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poetry

Milk

By Aracelis Girmay

poetry

Herd

By Barbara Ras

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Broadsides

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 our 2021 Anne Halley Poetry Prize-winner Abigail Chabitnoy read from her collection of poems as well as the winning poem "Girls Are Coming Out of the Water" from MR's A Gathering of Native Voices issue. Purchase a signed Broadside of the poem today!

ABIGAIL CHABITNOY is the author of How to Dress a Fish, 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, LitHub, and Red Ink, among others. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Witter Bynner-funded Native Poet Residency at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, CO, and is a mentor for the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA in Creative Writing. She is a Koniag descendant and member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak.

“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 Joshua Garcia

- By Marissa Perez

My therapist asks me why I think I always return to lack,
and it may or may not be related, but it's been on my mind,
so I finally tell him I might have been assaulted by my doctor.
—from "Poem with Starbucks and Kissing and Trees", Volume 62, Issue 2 (Summer 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I received a very generous rejection at age 12 from an unnecessarily kind editor at The New Yorker who must have understood that he was responding to a child. I only remember that the story had something to do with my dad, a school bus, and a sunset. One of the first poems I wrote that I took seriously as an adult, however, was “Wet Dream,” which is about memory and beginning to...


Interviews

10 Questions for Amanda Hawkins

- By Marissa Perez

At first the men thought it was a store of foggy white cum.
I can forgive this mistake-desire can interrupt logic.
—from "Spermaceti", Vol. 62, Issue 2 (Summer 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
In fifth grade I wrote what I now call a feminist version of Pete’s Dragon in verse: A character called Rose befriends a little girl who is going through challenging times and needs a friend. The girl is the narrator and tells of how Rose had to leave to help someone else. I still have the paper.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
I believe where we are and how we write—at any point—is a layering effect of the past, but recently? I...


After Us

Moving Water

- By Doug Anderson

For the last two years I’ve had the privilege of watching Serious Play Theater Ensemble develop its new production, Moving Water. As one of the photographers helping with this project, I have been enchanted by its action and imagery. The subject, however, is far from enchanting: it’s chilling. Fresh water is disappearing from the earth while, paradoxically, global warming is melting icecaps and threatening low-lying coastal areas with submersion.

In Florida, a high rise condo has collapsed killing over a hundred people, and others are in danger. Everything in our daily lives is affected: seventy percent of our produce comes from California and its aquifers are being rapidly depleted during a long and severe drought, in which a spark from a...


Reviews

Literature Doesn’t Stop at the Unspeakable

- By Michael Rothberg

(Cover design by Deste Roosa; cover art by Judith Wolfe, detail from Dans la Lumière de Glace 1, from the series Hommage à Charlotte Delbo, 2013.)

A Review of Ghislaine Dunant, Charlotte Delbo: A Life Reclaimed, translation and introduction by Kathryn Lachman (Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2021).

The work of Charlotte Delbo has accompanied my thinking and teaching about the Holocaust for the last twenty-five years. Her trilogy Auschwitz and After counts among the most searing responses to the Nazi camps that have appeared in any language, and her late work Days and Memory contains some of...


Interviews

10 Questions for Adrian Matejka

- By Marissa Perez

Slowest-footed day of the week,
wrong noted & creaking on
the credenza while the other

influencers gossip in the kitchen's
linoleum.
—from "Tuesday Feeling", Vol. 62, Issue 2 (Summer 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
The first time I wrote a poem was in March 1994. I remember it so vividly because I was in Bloomington, Indiana walking across a field near campus. I was listening to Miles Davis’s version of “Footprints” and for just a moment, I thought I understood his language of trumpets. I got my notebook out and wrote a draft of a poem called “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down” that ended up in my first book 9 years later. That’s one of the...


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