After God, Fear Women

While Mr. Osagie slept, his wife, Maria, lay in chains at the foot of the bed, where he’d kept her for three days now. She’d tried to wrest herself free on the first night, the chains grating and scarring her …

Eloghosa Osunde is a Nigerian writer and visual artist. An alumna of the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop, the Caine Prize Workshop, and the filmmaking and screenwriting programs at New York Film Academy, her short stories have been longlisted for the Writivism Short Story Prize and published in The Paris Review, Catapult, and Berlin Quarterly. Osunde was awarded a 2017 Miles Morland Scholarship and is a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow. Her debut work of fiction, VAGABONDS!, will be published by Riverhead Books in 2021.

Orange Crane

Kazim Ali’s books encompass multiple genres, including poetry, fiction, essay, memoir, and translation. He is currently a professor of comparative literature and creative writing at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems titled The Voice of Sheila Chandra (Alice James Books, 2020) and a nonfiction book, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water (Milkweed Editions, 2021).

My Mother’s Gowns

1.

At some point a few months after my mother’s death I’d become edgy at home, slipping into argumentative fits followed by apology and abjection. I didn’t understand the pain and weakness in my arms. I’d been sleeping only a …

Debra Nystrom has published four books of poems, Night Sky Frequencies (Sheep Meadow Press, 2016); Bad River Road (2009) and Torn Sky (2003), both from Sarabande Books; and A Quarter Turn (Sheep Meadow Press, 1991). Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, Slate, The American Poetry Review, Narrative, Conjunctions, and Yale Review, among others. She teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Virginia.

In Paradise

When I was young and a good listener, a man told me he had lost his soul. 

We sat on a strip of flattened grass outside the gas station I’d cranked my junker car into. I was waiting for a …

Susanne Antonetta’s most recent books are her nonfiction study of spiritualism, physics, and consciousness studies The Terrible Unlikelihood of Our Being Here (Ohio State University Press: 21st Century Essays, 2021) and novel Entangled Objects (Slant Books, 2020). Forthcoming from Counterpoint is another nonfiction work, The Devil’s Castle (2022). Awards include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, a Library Journal Best Science Book, a Pushcart prize, and others. Antonetta’s work has appeared in the New York Times, The Independent, Orion, The New Republic, and many journals and anthologies. She co-authored the nonfiction text Tell It Slant (McGraw Hill, 2004) and is editor of the Bellingham Review.

A Terror Felt Rather Than Seen

In Just Us: An American Conversation, Claudia Rankine’s latest collection of poems, hybrid essays, and photographs, she sets out to ask a random white man how he understands his privilege. I admit, as I read, I’m a mix of …

Julie Iromuanya is the author of Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press, 2015), a finalist for several awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, among others. Her scholarly-critical work most recently appears in Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism; Callaloo: A Journal of African American Arts and Letters; and Afropolitan Literature as World Literature (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020). She is an assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the program in creative writing at the University of Chicago and affiliate faculty of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. She is at work on a second novel, “A Season of Light.”

“How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?”

I finished writing this review of Claudia Rankine’s new book, Just Us: An American Conversation, during the week in which a White mob devoted to “vigilante antidemocratic paramilitary violence” (in Reconstruction historian Gregory P. Downs’s phrase) broke into the …

Virginia Jackson, UCI Endowed Chair of Rhetoric at the University of California, Irvine, is the author of the forthcoming Before Modernism: Inventing American Lyric in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton University Press) and co-editor (with Yopie Prins) of The Lyric Theory Reader (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014). Her first book, Dickinson’s Misery: A Theory of Lyric Reading (Princeton University Press, 2005), won the MLA First Book Prize and the Christian Gauss Award. Her essays have appeared in PMLA, Studies in Romanticism, Modern Language Quarterly, New Literary History, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and elsewhere. She is a founding member of the Historical Poetics Working Group.

Itō Grows Ill, A Bird Transforms into a Blossom, and The Giant Trees Stay Unchanged, translated from the Japanese by Jeffrey Angles

The new year slowly rolled around.

I stayed in Japan until the New Year. Dad’s helpers took three days of vacation for the holiday.

My husband returned to California. I flew back to Kumamoto with my youngest daughter, Aiko. Tons …

Hiromi Itō emerged in the 1980s as the leading voice of Japanese women’s poetry with a series of works depicting women’s psychology, sexuality, and motherhood in dramatic new ways. In the late 1990s, she relocated to California, and since then, she has written a number of award-winning books about migrancy, relocation, identity, aging, and death. Jeffrey Angles has translated her early poetry in Killing Kanoko / Wild Grass on the Riverbank (Tilted Axis Press, 2019) and her semifictional work The Thorn-Puller (Stone Bridge Press, forthcoming in 2022) about her transpacific, bicultural life.

Is It July? & Is It August?, translated from the Japanese by Eric E. Hyett and Spencer Thurlow

Toshiko Hirata, one of Japan’s best-known contemporary poets, has published ten volumes of poetry; she also writes novels, plays, and essays. Her collection Shinanoka (Tokyo, Shichōsha, 2004), which translators Eric E. Hyett and Spencer Thurlow call Is It Poetry?, earned Ms. Hirata the Hagiwara Sakutarō Prize for poetry.

Introduction

Jeffrey Angles is an award-winning translator and poet. His poetry collection written in Japanese, Watashi no hizukehenkōsen (My International Date Line, Shichōsha, 2016), won one of Japan’s most prestigious literary awards, the Yomiuri Prize for Literature, a rare honor accorded only a few non-native speakers since its inception in 1949. He has translated dozens of Japanese writers, focusing on socially engaged, feminist, or queer writers. These include three volumes by the Japanese-born American poet Hiromi Itō: Killing Kanoko (Action Books, 2009), Wild Grass on the Riverbank (Action Books, 2014), and The Thorn-Puller (Stone Bridge Press, forthcoming in 2022).