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.
No. 11 • Julian GoughComic writers laugh at the folly of humanity (“Poor, sufferin’ Hugh Mannity,” as Flann O’Brien put it).
No. 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.
No. 11 • Brian T. EdwardsNo one jokes with me when I go to Tehran.
No. 11 • Aviya KushnerOne of my biggest fears is that I will die because I have talked too much.
No. 11 • Ian ChillagRed blood cell. For twenty-five years, every time I’ve heard or read the term, I’ve thought of Arby Sea.
No. 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!
No. 11 • Annie CogganThe Grants moved into a brownstone on East Sixty-sixth Street—financed by the general's supporters—in 1881.
No. 11 • Rachel CohenThe house at 3 East Sixty-sixth Street was the third from the end in the Grants’ lives together.
No. 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.
No. 11 • D. Wystan OwenOn the morning of his ex-wife’s appointment, Kenneth Rivers still owed her an RSVP.
No. 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.
No. 11 • Jennifer ChangNow the fever root, / the marsh weed, the marigold.
No. 11 • Arda CollinsIncandescent, black body / your soul is on the floor.
No. 11 • Katie DegenteshDo you think everything you’re supposed to think?
No. 11 • Matthew DickmanMy living brother / is treating us to dinner.
No. 11 • Michael DickmanThe beautiful invisible music falling from the speakers in the other room / is Mahler imitating the snow
No. 11 • Carmen Giménez SmithYou’re a wet thing in my throat: oyster.
No. 11 • Aracelis GirmayPraise the Mohawk roof / of the donkey’s good & grey head
No. 11 • Jennifer KronovetThe ice encases the branches / of trees as if beauty can just.
No. 11 • David LauThe earliest writing in Golden City / left turn-signal sensors / trafficking / in Variegated Solomon’s Seal
No. 11 • Chris Martin(April 3) / Not often is it that I grace / my own eyes
No. 11 • Joseph MasseyTape unspools from a cassette, / collects—a nest—between two / pieces of driftwood
No. 11 • Anna MoschovakisI don’t know a thing about paradise || In my house nobody ever brought it up
No. 11 • Fred Motenthe way orchestra sounds in birmingham / that’s my sound.
No. 11 • Meghan O’RourkeI was lost before I returned.
No. 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.
No. 11 • Allan GurganusImagine a happier Miss Havisham.
No. 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.
No. 11 • Joy WilliamsThe 1970s were Charles Newman’s decade.
No. 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.
No. 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.
No. 11 • Francis SpuffordIt had all taken longer than it needed to, of course.
Get A Public Space as you like it: the print magazine, the digital version, or a print and digital bundle. The best value? Subscribe to A Public Space and receive three new issues of the magazine as well as exclusive access to the online archive.