Happiness Is Very Hard (Is It); Dark Eye Circles; & God Knows Our Secrets, translated from the Taiwanese Mandarin by Nicholas Wong

 

Happiness Is Very Hard (Is It)

If pain secretly visits and sleeps over
In a zigzagging night 
The body, like a habit-driven curve,
Will become bitter and stiff at the right time
Or it will try to lie flat …

Sun Tzu-ping, a literary editor, prose writer, and poet, is the author of the poetry volume Sentimentalist (2018), the essay collection Knowing Shadows (2015), and the novel Male Bodies (1998), all published in Taiwan, where Sun serves as an editor at the Liberty Times.

Day (with an annotation by Blake Butler)

[an excerpt from our Winter 2020 issue]

 

x.

 

A rhombus

turning 

in a mind.

Fire

without a body,

eating:

air into air.

Looking

without a body.

Sun up.

 

 

x.

 

Reminder of a body,

thinking

Molly Brodak published a full-length collection of poetry, A Little Middle of the Night (University of Iowa Press, 2010); a memoir, Bandit: A Daughter’s Memoir (Grove Atlantic, 2016); and three chapbooks of poetry. Her most recent collection, The Cipher, won the 2019 Pleiades Press Editors Prize. Before her death in 2020, she taught writing and literature at numerous institutions, including Emory University, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Georgia College and State University. An accomplished baker and recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Brodak’s poems appeared in such publications as Granta, Guernica, and Poetry.

Attempts at Order; This Headline Made Me Think of Being Ten; Inspiration; Just Saying; Doppelgänger; & Barangay

Michelle Peñaloza is the author of Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire (Inlandia Books, 2019), winner of the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk National Poetry Prize, and two chapbooks, landscape/heartbreak (Two Sylvias, 2015) and Last Night I Dreamt of Volcanoes (Organic Weapon Arts, 2015). The proud daughter of Filipino immigrants, Peñaloza was born in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She now makes her home in rural northern California.

The Difficulties of Travel; The Procession to Calvary; & In Such a Way That

Eric Pankey has published many collections of poetry. A new book, Not Yet Transfigured, is due out in fall 2021 from Orison Books. He is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University, where he teaches in the BFA and MFA writing programs.

An Extended Public Service Announcement & What Would You Ask the Artist?

Terrance Hayes’s recent publications include American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin, 2018), winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and To Float in the Space Between: A Life and Work in Conversation with the Life and Work of Etheridge Knight (Wave Books, 2018), winner of the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism. He is a professor of English at New York University.

Interstate & Thread

Brent Armendinger is the author of Street Gloss (The Operating System, 2019) and The Ghost in Us Was Multiplying (Noemi Press, 2015), both of which were finalists for the California Book Award in Poetry. He is also the author of two chapbooks, Undetectable (New Michigan Press, 2009) and Archipelago (Noemi Press, 2009). Armendinger’s poems and translations have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Anomaly, Asymptote, Bennington Review, Conjunctions, Ghost Proposal, Green Mountain Review, Interim, and Tinfish. He teaches creative writing at Pitzer College and lives in Los Angeles with his husband and their collection of odd salt and pepper shakers.

Spring View

Arthur Sze is the author of ten books of poetry, including Sight Lines (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), which received the National Book Award for Poetry. A limited-edition letterpress chapbook, Starlight Behind Daylight, was published by St. Brigid Press in 2020. His new and collected poems, The Glass Constellation, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in April 2021. A professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Portrait of Billy

Samuel R. Delany was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame in 2016 and received the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021. A filmmaker, novelist, and critic, he is the author of Nova (Doubleday, 1968), Dhalgren (Bantam Books, 1975), the Return to Nevèrÿon series (multiple publishers, 1979–87), and the award-winning Dark Reflections (Caroll & Graf, 2007), among many other books. Currently, he lives in the Fairmount district of Philadelphia with his partner, Dennis.

A Door Swings Open

READ A CONVERSATION WITH MAUD CASEY ABOUT THIS STORY HERE

 

The female hysteric represents an extraordinarily complicated type, of a completely particular and excessively versatile nature, remarkable for her spirit of duplicity, lying, and simulation. With an essentially perverse …

Maud Casey is the author of four works of fiction, most recently The Man Who Walked Away (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014), and one work of nonfiction, The Art of Mystery: The Search for Questions (Graywolf Press, 2018). “A Door Swings Open” is an excerpt from her forthcoming story collection, The City of Incurable Women (Bellevue Literary Press, 2021).

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