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10 Questions for Paola Bruni

- By Edward Clifford

What do we remember?
I read about a woman who could recall
the womb, who described it as a shiny, mirrored
substance, slick, the purplish hue of an eggplant.
Another suspended in anti-gravity, shuffled
along in a premature moonwalk.
—from "Birth," Volume 61, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
My very first fiction piece was written when I was eleven years old. My Italian immigrant parents had just uprooted us, moved our family from an ethnic tumble of a neighborhood in the Excelsior District of San Francisco, to a white American suburb. I entered sixth grade terribly shy, a plump girl with acne and a strange name no one could pronounce. On the first day of class,...


After Us

The COVID-19 Mirror

- By Ljiljana Djukanović

Late mornings in Spain are particularly grim during the COVID-19 confinement. That’s the time of the day when the entire nation listens to the daily broadcast of the COVID-19 press conference. One hour of densely packed updates: new death and infection counts, modeled predictions, new confinement measures, social initiatives. . . Every day is deadlier than the previous one, and every day seems to bring more stringent isolation measures. By April 3rd, Spain had registered more than 10,000 COVID-19-related deaths and it had become the country with the highest number of infections.

During one of these press conferences, in mid-March, it was announced that the government had just bought 600,000 rapid COVID-19 tests from a Chinese company. These rapid tests were meant...


After Us

Dispatches

- By Erri De Luca

(Photo: Nicoletta Dosio in Torino, March 30, 2020. La Stampa)

March 31, 2020

My cousin Mario has told me about our Grandmother Emma’s memories of the so-called Spanish flu. Between 1918 and 1920, it killed tens of thousands of people across the world, a world that, at the time, had a total population of roughly two billion. Back then, head counts weren’t so precise and neurotic.

This viral form of influenza left young and old with...


Interviews

10 Questions for Charlie Peck

- By Edward Clifford

(Author Photo by Simon Sahner)

Around the courthouse they've built orange and white barricades,
directed traffic to side streets to reduce heads craning from car windows,
and as I walk the dog this morning with Kate, she turns and asks,

What do you think? and I say, Must be a protest. When my dad gave
the eulogy at my granfather's funeral, one woman afterwards
was appalled that he quoted Grandpa's favorite phrase, Smiling like a cat

eating shit. [...]
—from "Barricades," Volume 61, Issue (Spring 2020)

 

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote....


Interviews

10 Questions for Nancy Miller Gomez

- By Edward Clifford

The dress bound my body
like a bandage staunching a wound.
Lace choked my throat.
My arms were cinched in tourniquets of tuelle.

I was a hand grenade of a girl
vacuum packed into a costume,
my fingers poised in the fuselage of my lap.
I'd chopped my hair short.
—from "My First Grade Picture," Volume 61, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I published my first collection of poems when I was ten. It was written in cursive on multi-colored construction paper held together with brass brads and filled with bad drawings of peace signs and flowers. The opening poem in that “collection” was called “Freedom.”

What writer(s)...


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