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Our America

Between Worlds

- By Marya Zilberberg

It wasn’t my choice to leave Odesa. My father decided, my mother agreed, and so it happened. In 1976. We were lucky to get out, lucky to avoid the fates of refuseniks and political prisoners in the Gulag, lucky that my father—who lost his job immediately upon applying for an exit visa—did not get arrested for parasitism, lucky that I would be able to live my life in the relative freedom of America. But part of the bargain was leaving forever and letting others contend with the insatiable cannibalism of the Soviet machine.

How do you put into words what it’s like to know you can never go back?

Think of it this way. You know how it is when your friend has been trying to get a hold of you, and you say to yourself, Well, I’ll get back to them...


10 Questions for Lindsay Sproul

- By Edward Clifford

We knew our answers, but they weren't what you were looking for: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Not married.
A man with stronger arms than mine.
A person with the courage to bite down.
An evil queen.
A horse.
—from "Please Don't Ask Us," Volume 63, Issue 1 (Spring 2022)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
The first words I learned how to write were “cow” and “mom.” In preschool, I distinctly remember writing a picture book about a cow mom who lost her baby in the supermarket.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
Aside from Carson McCullers, Alice Walker, Jo Ann Beard and some other greats, I...

MR Jukebox

Eco Lit: Readings

- By Paperbark magazine and The Massachusetts Review

On March 26, 2022, MR joined Paperbark for a reading at the Augusta Savage Gallery, as part of The Future is Now—Art. Sustainability. Activism. To purchase a copy of the CLIMATE issue of MR, ...


Who Remembers the Burning of Smyrna?

- By Margot Demopoulos

The centennial of the Great Fire of Smyrna is in 2022.

“Today [Monday, 11 September 1922] I saw with my own eyes the Turks taking bombs, gunpowder, kerosene and everything necessary to start fires, in wagonfuls here and there through the streets,” the Rev. Abraham Hartunian wrote in his diary. The fires began in the Armenian quarter and kept the Smyrna fire brigade working nonstop. While hosing down the Armenian Club to protect it from nearby fire, Emmanuel Katsaros, a Smyrna fireman, saw two Turkish soldiers carry tins of petroleum inside the building and empty the liquid on a piano. Katsaros told the soldier standing guard outside: “On the one hand we are trying to stop the fires, and on the other you are setting them.”

“You have your orders...


10 Questions for Aaron Hamburger

- By Edward Clifford

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, late September 2002. A beautiful fall morning. What was once called an Indian summer, but Jacob is learning to expunge such phrases from his lexicon: Indian summer. Dutch treat, French kiss. Is French kiss okay? Not that it matters; he hasn't French kissed a guy in months.
—from "Simple Past Present Perfect," Volume 63, Issue 1 (Spring 2022)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I always loved to read, but I didn’t really think about being a writer until I was twelve years old and we had a writing contest in our English class: The author of the best short story, judged by our teacher, would get to miss an entire day of school to attend a conference for young writers at a local community...

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