Mercè Rodoreda at Carnival; Francis Spufford on the Soviets and the story of an idea; Stephen Burt on new American poets; Julian Gough explains how to fall in love properly; Geoffrey G. O'Brien catalogs three years; Annie Coggan makes a home for Ulysses Grant, and Rachel Cohen takes a tour; Allan Gurganus's Lair and Refuge; Ian Chillag, Maud Casey, Brian T. Edwards, and Aviya Kushner on laughter; and reintroducing Charles Newman.
Issue 11 • Julian GoughComic writers laugh at the folly of humanity (“Poor, sufferin’ Hugh Mannity,” as Flann O’Brien put it).
Issue 11 • Maud CaseyIn Max Frisch’s strange and beautiful little novel Man in the Holocene, an old man named Geiser is trapped in his home in an Alpine valley in southern Switzerland by the collapse of a supporting wall that blocks the highway to the tiny village.
Issue 11 • Brian T. EdwardsNo one jokes with me when I go to Tehran.
Issue 11 • Aviya KushnerOne of my biggest fears is that I will die because I have talked too much.
Issue 11 • Ian ChillagRed blood cell. For twenty-five years, every time I’ve heard or read the term, I’ve thought of Arby Sea.
Issue 11 • Julian GoughSlowed a little by a stone in my shoe, I arrived in Galway City a while after dark. Galway City, the Sodom of the West!
Issue 11 • Annie CogganThe Grants moved into a brownstone on East Sixty-sixth Street—financed by the general's supporters—in 1881.
Issue 11 • Rachel CohenThe house at 3 East Sixty-sixth Street was the third from the end in the Grants’ lives together.
Issue 11 • Geoffrey G. O’BrienToying with a gun as a train goes past / June is what I’d imagined, dark / intermittent woods set off / by the whiteness of a collar, a book / I can’t believe we’re left alone with.
Issue 11 • D. Wystan OwenOn the morning of his ex-wife’s appointment, Kenneth Rivers still owed her an RSVP.
Issue 11 • Stephen BurtPoems routinely solicit—they may even include outright—generalizations about everything from barbecue methods to categorical imperatives, but they raise special puzzles, or paradoxes, when they solicit generalizations about themselves, since good poems try to be as unlike one another as possible.
Issue 11 • Jericho BrownThis is the book of three diseases.
Issue 11 • Jennifer ChangNow the fever root, / the marsh weed, the marigold.
Issue 11 • Arda CollinsIncandescent, black body / your soul is on the floor.
Issue 11 • Katie DegenteshDo you think everything you’re supposed to think?
Issue 11 • Matthew DickmanMy living brother / is treating us to dinner.
Issue 11 • Michael DickmanThe beautiful invisible music falling from the speakers in the other room / is Mahler imitating the snow
Issue 11 • Carmen Giménez SmithYou’re a wet thing in my throat: oyster.
Issue 11 • Aracelis GirmayPraise the Mohawk roof / of the donkey’s good & grey head
Issue 11 • Jennifer KronovetThe ice encases the branches / of trees as if beauty can just.
Issue 11 • David LauThe earliest writing in Golden City / left turn-signal sensors / trafficking / in Variegated Solomon’s Seal
Issue 11 • Chris Martin(April 3) / Not often is it that I grace / my own eyes
Issue 11 • Joseph MasseyTape unspools from a cassette, / collects—a nest—between two / pieces of driftwood
Issue 11 • Anna MoschovakisI don’t know a thing about paradise || In my house nobody ever brought it up
Issue 11 • Fred Motenthe way orchestra sounds in birmingham / that’s my sound.
Issue 11 • Meghan O’RourkeI was lost before I returned.
Issue 11 • Zach SavichHaving fixed the typewriter, / eaten the oranges and eggs / the house’s owner left, I sat / at the white table and tried to tend / to the need for deepening sacrifice / without upsetting my urge / for everything to be responsible / and pure.
Issue 11 • Allan GurganusImagine a happier Miss Havisham.
Issue 11 • Melissa PritchardThe Collector—wearing an oilcloth hat, overcoat, and soaking-wet boots, slogged through rain, a fish-shaped basket of gray willow sealed by a flap of leather across his shoulders.
Issue 11 • Joy WilliamsThe 1970s were Charles Newman’s decade.
Issue 11 • Paul WinnerA decade ago, I was Charles Newman’s student in St. Louis. A celebrated novelist came through that fall to read a list of current faculty when she stopped at a name. “Newman? Charles Newman?” she said. “God, he’s an icon.” By the time I came into his life, he drank too much and ate too little.
Issue 11 • Charles NewmanAll that we know definitely about Purcell’s history as a choirboy is that his voice broke in 1673... beyond that lies the territory of invention.
Issue 11 • Francis SpuffordIt had all taken longer than it needed to, of course.
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