The Voice of Sheila Chandra


When the sun goes down you move

horizontal you become everything

in the world at once rather than waking

like vertical where you obsess over

ascend or descend or whatever rain

at the edge of the building spit forth

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).

Copies; Continuity; & Deathless

Cynthia Arrieu-King is an associate professor of creative writing at Stockton University. Among her books of poetry are Futureless Languages (Radiator Press, 2018); Manifest (Switchback Books, 2013), chosen by Harryette Mullen as winner of the Gatewood Prize; and People Are Tiny in Paintings of China (Octopus Books, 2010). New poems appear in jubilat, American Poetry Review, and VOLT.


Rajiv Mohabir is the author of The Cowherd’s Son (Tupelo Press, 2017) and The Taxidermist’s Cut (Four Way Books, 2016) and translator of I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara (Kaya Press, 2019). His memoir, Antiman, won the 2019 Reckless Books’ New Immigrant Writing Prize and will be published in 2021. Currently he is an assistant professor of poetry in the MFA program at Emerson College and the translations editor at Waxwing Journal.

The Pleasures of Not Being Lonely


From a talk presented at the Library of Congress on 3 August 2019, as part of the Asian American Literature Festival


“An intimate lecture.” That was how Lawrence-Minh Davis, one of the intrepid, visionary curators of this festival, …

Monique Truong is a Vietnamese-American novelist, essayist, librettist, former refugee, and intellectual property attorney, whose novels include The Sweetest Fruits (Viking Books, 2019), Bitter in the Mouth (Random House, 2010), and The Book of Salt (Houghton Mifflin, 2003). Among her many honors are the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fellowship, as well as the Hodder, U.S.-Japan Creative Artists, and Guggenheim fellowships. She serves as vice president of the Authors Guild.

In Memoriam: Toni Morrison

Because of This Woman, I Plant Marigolds

As a child I wanted to know why God put me in this body that repelled so many people on sight. Why people felt at liberty to pick me apart and wipe off …

Jessie LaFrance Dunbar specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century African American and African Diasporic literatures; she has secondary interests in Russian and AfroCuban history, literature, and cultures. Her current book project, “Democracy, Diaspora, and Disillusionment: Black Itinerancy and the Propaganda Wars,” suggests that scholars recalibrate the earliest notable era of Russian influence on African American politics from the twentieth century to the nineteenth. An assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she carries a secondary appointment as assistant professor in African American Studies.

Khadijah Queen is the author of five books, most recently, I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (YesYes Books, 2017). Her verse play Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press, 2015) won the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women’s Performance Writing, which included a staged production at Theaterlab NYC. Her next poetry collection, Anodyne, is forthcoming in 2020 from Tin House. Individual works appear in Fence, Poetry, Gulf Coast, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at University of Colorado, Boulder, and holds a PhD in English from University of Denver.

Barbara McCaskill is a professor of English at the University of Georgia and associate academic director for the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. Her latest books—both with the University of Georgia Press—are Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory (2015) and the forthcoming The Magnificent Life of Rev. Peter Thomas Stanford: Transatlantic Reformer and Race Man, co-edited with Sidonia Serafini and Reverend Paul Walker. She is the 2019 recipient of the Lorraine A. Williams Leadership Award from the Association of Black Women Historians for mentoring and fostering the professional growth of Black women scholars.

on Monsters I Have Been by Kenji C. Liu

Of the many monsters that walk the landscape of Kenji C. Liu’s second poetry collection, Monsters I Have Been, perhaps the most terrifying are those that have blended into everyday life. Godzilla and Ultraman are featured prominently in the …

Muriel Leung is the author of Bone Confetti (2016), winner of the 2015 Noemi Press Book Award. Her writing can be found in The Baffler, Cream City Review, Gulf Coast, The Collagist, Fairy Tale Review, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of fellowships to Kundiman, VONA/Voices Workshop and the Community of Writers. Poetry co-editor of Apogee Journal and a member of Miresa Collective, Leung co-hosts the Blood-Jet Writing Hour podcast with Rachelle Cruz and MT Vallarta. Currently, she is a Dornsife Fellow in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California

on Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li

The novel Where Reasons End was written, as many people know by now, in the year after the suicide of the author’s sixteen-year-old son, Vincent Kean Li. Noting tonal and stylistic departures from her previous works, reviewers have praised it …

Nan Z. Da is an assistant professor in the department of English language and literatures at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Intransitive Encounter: Sino-US Literatures and the Limits of Exchange (Columbia University Press, 2018) and the editor of Thinking Literature, a series dedicated to literary criticism housed at the University of Chicago Press.

on All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer by Karen Babine

All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer is a collection of essays by Karen Babine about feeding her family while her mother dies of cancer. The book covers the dark winter months in Minnesota, from the moment …

Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she’s an associate professor of English at Muskingum University. Her work has appeared in Muse/A Journal, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the Atlantic, Narratively, Zone 3, and many other publications. She is the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel, 2010); a full-length poetry collection, Raising (Clare Songbirds Publishing, 2018); and three poetry chapbooks, including Making (Origami Poems Project) and Curiosities (Unsolicited Press), both published in 2018.

on Wild Milk by Sabrina Orah Mark

Reading the wry, surreal tales in Sabrina Orah Mark’s short-story collection Wild Milk often feels like navigating an anxiety nightmare dreamt by a wittier half-sister of the Brothers Grimm. The stories are narrated with a matter-of-factness that could be misconstrued …

Lauren Russell is the author of the poetry collection What’s Hanging on the Hush (Ahsahta Press, 2017) and the forthcoming Descent (Tarpaulin Sky Press). A 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow in poetry, she has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, VIDA / The Home School, and others. Russell has published work in the New York Times Magazine, boundary 2, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, the Brooklyn Rail, jubilat, and elsewhere. She is a research assistant professor and is assistant director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh.