Hasanthika Sirisena’s debut essay collection Dark Tourist won the 2020 Gournay Prize and was released by Mad Creek Books, Ohio State University Press, in December 2021.

Imagination and the Mockingbird

23 February 1996


Outside in the night, a full moon is shining, and in the moon glow, a mockingbird is singing the cadences of all the birdsong it has ever heard. It imitates the raucous jayjay of the blue …

Minnie Bruce Pratt’s new book of poetry is Magnified (Wesleyan, 2021). Recently her essay “The Queer South—where the past is not past, and the future is now” appeared in Scalawag magazine.

What Fiction Means

I have something to confess right here up front. Tonight I feel utterly at home. You might think we’re in a magnificent wedding cake ballroom full of chandeliers and debutante pretensions. But I spring from a long line of Baptist …

Allan Gurganus’s fiction includes Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (1989) and Local Souls (Liveright, 2013). He is a Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Remembering the Queer Literary Conferences of the 1990s

Between 1990 and 1999, eight national OutWrite conferences convened, first in San Francisco, then in Boston, gathering gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer literary luminaries for a weekend celebrating literary culture. Initially, OUT/LOOK, the glossy national gay and lesbian …

Julie R. Enszer is the author of four poetry collections, including Avowed (Sibling Rivlary Press, 2016), and the editor of OutWrite: The Speeches that Shaped LGBTQ Literary Culture (forthcoming from Rutgers University Press), Fire-Rimmed Eden: Selected Poems by Lynn Lonidier (forthcoming), and Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974–1989 (2018) and The Complete Works of Pat Parker (2016), both from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Enszer edits and publishes Sinister Wisdom, a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal.

Elena Gross (she/they) is the Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs at Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and an independent writer and culture critic living in Oakland, California. She specializes in representations of identity in fine art, photography, and popular media. Her research has been centered around conceptual and material abstractions of the body in the work of Black modern and contemporary artists.

Elegy for a City [2021 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize Featured Finalist]

Because names change meaning. Because we hear cries from next door like birdsong at dawn and stay silent. Stay silent on repeat. How unmoved we are when possessors manage their possessions. How accepting we are that there is one. It …

Angelo Mao received his PhD in bioengineering from Harvard University. His first book of poems, Abattoir, was published by Burnside Review in 2021, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, The Yale Review, Lana Turner, and elsewhere. He has also written for Opera News and Boston Classical Review.

Palette [2021 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize Featured Finalist]

From a love poem by Montale
I learned about a bug—cochineal—

A parasite that eats the red 
Fruit of prickly pear 

And then becomes the color carmine.
In another book I found 

Rose madder: softer 
Red, fugitive, from a …

Natasha Sajé is the author of Terroir: Love, Out of Place, a memoir-in-essays (Trinity UP, 2020); five books of poems, including the chapbook Special Delivery (Diode Editions, 2021) and the forthcoming The Future Will Call You Something Else (Tupelo, 2022); and a postmodern poetry handbook, Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory (Michigan, 2014). She teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program.

To Our Readers

October 2021

The muse may be thankless, but sometimes life yields opportunities utterly valuable for literary work already underway with such felicity that one feels rewarded by some spirit for one’s earthly toils. In last issue’s letter to the reader, …

Gerald Maa is a writer, translator, and editor based in Athens, GA.  His poetry and translations have appeared in places such as Poetry, American Poetry Review, and Push Open the Window: Contemporary Poetry from China (Copper Canyon, 2011).  His essays have appeared in places such as Criticism, Studies in Romanticism, A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race (University of Georgia, 2015), and The Little Magazine in Contemporary America (University of Chicago, 2015).  Work from his practice of activated writing have been performed and mounted in Los Angeles, New York, and Sweden.  In 2010, he founded The Asian American Literary Review with Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, where he served as editor-in-chief until starting his job at The Georgia Review in August 2019.


A Fable [2021 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize Featured Finalist]

The trees had taken their crowns away. The birds—those you would need two hands to hold, those you could capture between finger and thumb—had nowhere to rest, so I conveyed them into my house. In my house I had things …

Rachel Abramowitz’s chapbooks include The Puzzle Monster, forthcoming from Factory Hollow Press in 2022, and Gut Lust (Burnside Review, 2020). Her poems and reviews have appeared in Tin House Online, The Threepenny Review, Seneca Review, Kenyon Review Online, Crazyhorse, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Oxford, she has taught English Literature at Barnard College in New York.

The Death of a Tree [2021 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize Winner]

                                      for Diana


The Lost Tree of Ténéré

was the last of a dwindling grove

of acacias that could not adapt


to the changing climate

or to the hungry animals

that traveled upwind


            & yet despite or because

Mathew Weitman, a Brooklyn-based poet and writer, has work published or forthcoming in The Missouri Review, Bennington Review, The Southwest Review, The Evergreen Review, and elsewhere. He received his MFA from the New School, where he was a student poetry editor for LIT, and will begin an artist residency at Bloedel Reserve in 2022.

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