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A Public Space

No. 06

Luc Sante translates Arthur Rimbaud; John Ashbery translates Pierre Martory; Italy Abroad, a portfolio by Will Schutt with Antonio Tabucchi, Salvatore Niffoi, Dacia Maraini, and others; an illustrated guide to running for mayor in Chicago by Peter Orner and Eric Orner; Peyton Marshall on famous ancestors and familial bonds; Keith Lee Morris drives blind; Dubravka Ugresic sets off alarms; stories by Gary Amdahl, Sana Krasikov, and more.

Table of Contents


If You See Something

All Foreigners Beep

I was in Stockholm recently.

Dubravka Ugresic


If You See Something

Letters Home

Bright: How I’d describe the sky over Reykjavik at 11:36 pm.

Colleen Kinder


If You See Something

Adventures for the Contemporary Explorer

I was sitting in the living room the other night trying to get through Middlemarch, the same thing I’ve been doing for most of this decade, and my ten-year-old son and his buddy kept interrupting to ask questions as part of this game they were playing.

Keith Lee Morris


If You See Something

The Sound of Being Alone

Inside my head are sounds.

Martha Cooley




Lev has worried all afternoon that his niece and her husband won’t find his house.

Sana Krasikov



Politics Is a Craft

He had them.

Peter Orner



From the Hills of Fauquier County

In September 2003, the descendants of John Marshall, the fourth and arguably greatest Chief Justice of the United States, gathered at the Richmond Marriott for a weekend of cocktails and lectures.

Peyton Marshall



The Stolen Heart

My sad heart slobbers on the deck, / My heart all smeared with navy plug

Arthur Rimbaud



Two Poems

The bridge once passed

Pierre Martory



Two Poems

My friend, I could wander / Around out here for years

Tom Yuill



The Lamps Unlit

It is difficult to write an aubade, / a song about noon, or a few crepuscular lines

Billy Collins




I was almost completed, but I could not blink.

Cathy Park Hong



Two Poems

Mesmerizing / & insistent as they might / be, even educated hands are / not thoughtful.

Zach Barocas




Dusk births a weird teeming.

Claire Hero



Two Poems

I’m glum about your sportive flesh in the empire of blab, / And the latest guy running his trendy tongue like a tantalizing surge / Over your molars, how droll.

Major Jackson



The Situation/Evidence

Open hangs his head and begins to mumble.

Lisa Lubasch



Two Poems

I had a dream I was killed in my sleep

Dorothea Lasky



Flower Cart

The pool was covered by a sheath of leaves

Lisa Fishman



Birch Memorial

Last weekend Sugu went back to Ipoh town.

Preeta Samarasan



Focus: Italy: Detecting New Souls in the Old Forms

Italy is a country awash in contradictions: short on nationhood, long on national heritage; Catholic in name and skeptical by nature; intensely proud yet eager to point out its own flaws; a place too puzzling for words that nonetheless elicits the unequivocal sigh, Only in Italy.

Will Schutt



The Dead at the Table

For starters, he would tell him that what he liked best about the new house was the view of the Unter den Linden, because it made him feel at home still.

Antonio Tabucchi



Feeding on Mystery: An Interview with Marcello Fois re: Noir, Regionalism, and Geography as a Cloak

One evening a few years ago in March, I drove from Bologna to Ferrara.

Marcello Fois



The Eyewitness Effect: An Interview with Antonio Scurati re: The Writer in the Twenty-First Century

For the past few years, Antonio Scurati has engaged in a pointed, provocative controversy with what might be called the old guard of the Italian intelligentsia, which Scurati considers to be locked into useless, obsolete forms of political and cultural engagement. 

Antonio Scurati



Return to Baraule

His eighth novel, Return to Baraule, opens in typical Niffoi fashion: a mysterious figure, Carmine Pullana, sickly, sixty years old, arrives in a backwater island village called Baraule.

Salvatore Niffoi




The child opens her eyes and discovers it’s still dark out.

Dacia Maraini



An Hour of Hate

For a good many years last century I carried weapons.

Erri De Luca



The Cold, Cold Water

Oh, the cold, cold water.

Gary Amdahl

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