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Introduction

FOR THE PAST DECADE, when introducing a new issue I’ve followed a simple rule, more or less strictly. Even though I do believe that all art emerges from history, just as all consciousness is ultimately biology (and also that we’re more or less equally far from understanding the specific pathways that lead to either), for the intros, I’ve always ruled out references to what’s happening now. Publication is a material process and it takes time, so the now I’m writing in will not be the now of your reading. In this moment, my now, spring has officially sprung only days ago, and yet this issue in your hands, in your now, cannot possibly be opened earlier than mid-June, a few days before summer. 

The reason I mention this rule, as by now you will have understood, is to break it. Thing is, this time it’s different. Time itself is different, frozen in some sense, yet...

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fiction

Xyla

By Nia Imara

poetry

Upright

By Tomas Tranströmer, Translated by Patty Crane

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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

Our America

This Is Now

- By Kwame Ture

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor's Note: On July 3, 2020 ("Independence Day, observed"), the POTUS delivered a speech on illegally occupied land sacred to Native Americans, with a monument sculpted by a friend of the KKK as his backdrop. To many, the aim behind his intentionally divisive words seemed clear: to win reelection by igniting a new Civil War. In response...


Reviews

Back to Basics: Whitman's Brew du Monde

- By Marsha Bryant

A lager is a lager is a lager. Unless it’s a Lager+. And that’s what I deem the sixth beer in the Leaves of Grass tribute series from Bell’s Brewery: Salut au Monde! Bell’s dubs it an Unfiltered Rustic Lager, their version of a Kellerbier. Rustic and unfiltered can also describe the persona that Walt Whitman cultivated in “Salut au Monde!” and other poems from Leaves of Grass. As I mentioned in my review of beer I in this series, the poet frequented...


Interviews

10 Questions for Diamond Forde

- By Edward Clifford

he told me he was glad I wasn't fat yet
but this time, with flesh glutinous on my arms and back,
hips spread like grain, I wax at his bedside and watch
his violeting cheeks, their bruised orchids flutter
with every labored breath and I allow myself
to imagine what he must see:five years and my body
pours like golden-throated honey. We are breatheless.
—from "The Last Time I Saw My Grandfather," from Volume 61, Issue 2 (Summer 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I think early on, writing became one of the places where I could say what I was never confident enough to say in real life. Poetry is a contradiction in that way—it creates a space of vulnerability, but in that...


Interviews

10 Questions for Patrick Barron

- By Edward Clifford

A few days after Italo Calvino's funeral I jotted down the notes that follow, in order to remind myself of the situation and the feelings of the moment. I had just returned from France, and that evening Calvino's wife (Chichita) called to tell me that Italo was dying. I left that night by car toward Siena together with Carlo Ginzburg's wife, Luisa, while Carlo arrived by train from Rome.
—from "Italo's Death" by Gianni Celati, Translated by Patrick Barron, Volume 61, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
When I was a little boy in Montana, I think about three or four years old, I used to dictate my memory of...


Our America

Idolatry

- By Ward Schumaker

In the year 2020, is it still comforting to be assured that God is on our side? Do we sleep better, knowing God put Trump in the White House? That he is the Chosen One? That the people working for him were brought to their position by God's providence? Or that Trump has a spiritual advisor capable of scaring the hell out of demonic spirits?

One nation, under God: that's us!

See Ward's other posts Kids-In-Cages, Trump Papers, and Fiddling during the First 1000,000.

WARD SCHUMAKER is an artist known in particular for his hand-painted, one-of-a-kind books. An...


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