Surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope)

From the outset of her career, Jane Alexander—born in 1959 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and reared in the thick of Apartheid—has created sculptures that contain, in their silent, tensely arranged forms, histories of human failures. Butcher Boys (1985–86), part of …

Jane Alexander is a professor at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. Her work has traveled for the DaimlerChrysler Award and the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in South Africa and Germany, and she has been featured in solo exhibitions in New York, Durham, London, Brussels, and Houston. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions and biennials including The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945–1994 (2001–02) in Berlin, Munich, Chicago, and New York; Africa Remix (2004–07) in Düsseldorf, London, Paris, and Tokyo; and Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life (2012–13) in New York.

Watson and the Shark

after John Singleton Copley

 

From the leather bench, legs swinging 

          a foot from the floor, she brings her gaze

to the shark: its hideous teeth, its misplaced

          lips and mistaken shapes, the sinister

               way its mass slips beneath the

Brian Simoneau’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boulevard, Cave Wall, Crab Orchard Review, North American Review, Salamander, and other journals. His work is also included in Two Weeks: A Digital Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (Linebreak, 2011). Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, he lives in Boston with his wife and two young daughters.

Rapture

Brunell Hair lived in a lopsided mill house with her mama and her uncle and her little withered-up critter of a grandmaw. In honor of her eleventh birthday, she was having a slumber party, but so far, only my best …

Julia Elliott’s writing has appeared in Tin House, The Georgia Review, Conjunctions, the New York Times, and other publications. She has won a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, and her stories have been anthologized in Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses and Best American Short Stories. Her debut story collection, The Wilds( Tin House Books, 2014), was chosen by KirkusBuzzFeed, Book Riot, and Electric Literature as one of the best books of 2014 and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her first novel, The New and Improved Romie Futch (Tin House Books, 2015), was a finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Prince of Tides Literary Award.

Reliquaries

reliquary \ֽre-lə-ֽkwer-ē\ n. {Fr reliquaire, from ML reliquaiurium, from reliquia relic + Larium-ary—more at relic}: a casket, shrine, or container for keeping or exhibiting relics (remains, leavings, of a deceased person) 

—Webster’s Third New International Unabridged

Paul Zimmer lives on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin. In the fifteen years since his retirement from a long career in university publishing, he has published two books each of poetry and essay-memoir. His first novel, The Mysteries of Soldiers Grove, is forthcoming from Permanent Press in early 2015, when he will be eighty years old—which surely makes him, he believes, one of the oldest first novelists ever.

Metamorphosis: From Light Verse to the Poetry of Witness

How did I become a very old poet, and a polemicist at that? In the Writer’s Chronicle of December 2010 I described myself as largely self-educated. In an era before creative writing classes became a staple of the college curriculum, …

Maxine Kumin’s seventeenth poetry collection, Where I Live: New and Selected Poems 1990–2010 (W. W. Norton, 2010), won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2011. Kumin’s other awards include the Pulitzer Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Poets’ Prize, and the Harvard Arts and Robert Frost medals. A former United States poet laureate, Kumin lives with her husband on a farm in the Mink Hills of New Hampshire, where they have raised horses for forty years and enjoyed the companionship of several rescued dogs.

“Look at the World as It Is”: An Interview with Sir Salman Rushdie

 

I had the great pleasure of meeting Sir Salman Rushdie at the Four Seasons hotel in Houston on a bleak windy day in December 2010, under considerably more tranquil conditions than when he was last visiting Houston in September …

Anis Shivani is the author of My Tranquil War and Other Poems (NYQ Books, 2012), The Fifth Lash and Other Stories (C&R Press, 2012), Against the Workshop: Provocations, Polemics, Controversies (Texas Review Press, 2011), and Anatolia and Other Stories (Black Lawrence Press, 2009). Recent work appears in Southwest Review, Boston Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Threepenny Review, Green Mountains Review, Harvard Review, and elsewhere.

Once in a While I Gave Up

 

Once in a while I gave up, and let myself 

remember how much I’d liked the way my ex’s

hips were set, the head of the femur which

rode, not shallow, not deep, in the socket 

of the pelvis,

Sharon Olds is the author of eleven volumes of poetry, most recently Stag’s Leap (Knopf, 2012), which was awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her next collection, Odes, is due out shortly, also from Knopf. Named New York State Poet Laureate from 1998–2000, Olds teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and is one of the founders of NYU’s writing workshops for residents of Goldwater Hospital and for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, she was awarded the Donald Hall–Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry in 2014, and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2015.

We Are All of Us Passing Through

I came through Monarch Pass in Colorado, fifteen thousand feet high and fourteen miles out of the nearest town—I came through on a 650cc Triumph motorcycle about dusk dark in late September of 1958. It was snowing lightly. I was …

Harry Crews (1935–2012), born in Bacon County, was the author of nearly twenty novels, from The Gospel Singer (1968) to An American Family: The Baby with the Curious Markings (2006). His published nonfiction includes the first volume of his autobiography, A Childhood: The Biography of a Place (1978), and three essay collections. His papers are collected in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia; he was the subject of a special feature, including previously unpublished work and letters culled from that collection, in our Winter 2007 issue. Crews lived for decades in Gainesville, Florida, where he taught at the University of Florida. (Inducted in 2002)

Two Birds in the Evening

 

When that oriole whistled from the orchard

it seemed frankly to be asking, You got

a problem with that? Its orange and black

was brash as a high-school letter sweater.

No problem, no problem, except I saw

Saturday night

Brendan Galvin is the author of sixteen poetry collections, most recently Habitat: New and Selected Poems, 1965–2005 (2005), a finalist for the National Book Award; Ocean Effects (2007); and Whirl Is King (2008)—all from Louisiana State University Press. His translation of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis appeared in the Penn Greek Drama Series (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998).