on The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein

Elena Ferrante’s new novel, The Lying Life of Adults, is not a book that asks to be liked—at least, not by adults. Adult readers are, after all, just more of those adults who wander through the novel’s pages, telling …

Brianna Beehler, a doctoral candidate in English literature at the University of Southern California, is a 2020–2021 Mellon–Council for European Studies Dissertation Completion Fellow. Her work has recently appeared in Nineteenth-Century Literature and is forthcoming in English Literary History.

Inquiry and Imperative (on Johanna Skibsrud’s The Poetic Imperative: A Speculative Aesthetics and Alice Notley’s For the Ride)

In his 1923 book Spring and All, William Carlos Williams declares that “either to write or to comprehend poetry the words must be recognized to be moving in a direction separate from the jostling or lack of it which …

Julia Bloch is a Pew Fellow in the Arts, editor at Jacket2, and director of the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books of poetry include The Sacramento of Desire (2020), Valley Fever (2015), and Lambda Literary Award finalist Letters to Kelly Clarkson (2012), all published by Sidebrow Press. She is currently writing a scholarly book about race, gender, and lyric in long poems.

Harder and Better: The New Masculinity of Fatherhood Poetry (on Douglas Kearney’s Patter; Oliver de la Paz’s The Boy in the Labyrinth; Craig Morgan Teicher’s The Trembling Answers; and Niall Campbell’s Noctuary)






In a decade of reading and writing about motherhood poetry—including an essay-review in these pages in 2019—I have found no universal truths about motherhood. However, as I’ve worked with poet Nancy Reddy to edit an …

Emily Pérez is the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood (University of Georgia Press, 2021) and the author of the poetry collections Made and Unmade (Madhouse Press, 2019), House of Sugar, House of Stone (Center for Literary Publishing, 2016), and Backyard Migration Route (Finishing Line Press, 2011). A CantoMundo fellow and Ledbury Emerging Critic, her poems and reviews have appeared in journals including Cosmonauts Avenue, Copper Nickel, Poetry, Diode, RHINO, and The Guardian. She teaches English and gender studies in Denver, where she lives with her family.

Psittaciformes Forms, Self-Eating Forms


Yaron Michael Hakim has been painting at the limits of human possibility. Across two large bodies of work, Anthropophagy (2016–17) and Psittaciformes (2017–present), Hakim has used the titular figures, the cannibal and the parrot, respectively, to undertake these tremendous …

Yaron Michael Hakim (b. 1980 Bogotá, Colombia) lives and works in Los Angeles. He has exhibited in Europe and the United States and recently had solo exhibitions at Hernando’s Hideaway in Miami and LAXART, Los Angeles. He has been included in group shows at The Pit, BBQLA, and The Box in Los Angeles and at Art+Château in Ladoix-Serrigny, France.

Song of Suburbia; The Couple; & On Three Hours Sleep

Patrick Phillips’s first book of nonfiction, Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America (Norton, 2016), was named a best book of the year by the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and Smithsonian. He is also the author of three poetry collections, including Elegy for a Broken Machine (Knopf, 2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Phillips teaches writing and literature at Stanford University.

The Black Ugly Duckling & Love Letter to My First Car


The Black Ugly Duckling

So, in first grade in a school 
where I was one in three of Black 
kids in the whole goddamn school,
my teacher (let’s call her Mrs. Snow)
decided her class was going to put…

Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work has been featured in The Nation, Brick, American Poetry Review, Witness, Kenyon Review, Poetry, and others. She is the author of the full-length collections Houses (Horseless Press, 2015) and Crawlspace (Bloof Books, 2017) as well as the graphic book I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (Bloof Books, 2019). She is also the author of an artist book called “Operation USA” through the Baltimore-based book arts group Container, a project acquired by Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. Her third collection, Waterbaby, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2021.

Devil’s Audience Has Always Been the Same; Devil Nags the Blood; Devil Has Spent Years Trying to Get into Lucinda Williams’s Kitchen; & Devil Consoles Larry’s Unacknowledged Son

Charlie Clark studied poetry at the University of Maryland. His work has appeared in The New England Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, Smartish Pace, Threepenny Review, West Branch, and other journals. A 2019 NEA fellow and recipient of scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, he is the author of The Newest Employee of the Museum of Ruin (Four Way Books, 2020). He lives in Austin, Texas.

Genre Theory; Early English History; Stock Character; & Gay and Lesbian Fiction

James Allen Hall is the author of I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well (Cleveland State Poetry Center, 2017), a book of lyric personal essays selected by Chris Kraus for CSU’s Essay Collection Award. His first book of poems is Now You’re the Enemy (University of Arkansas, 2008), which won awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee conferences, he teaches creative writing and literature at Washington College, where he directs the Rose O’Neill Literary House.

Love Poem with Parenthetical; Shift; & What It Means to Forget


Love Poem with Parenthetical 



Shadow branches rise through our bedroom window     
It’s garbage day     Tuesday     We hear squeaky wheels 

a blue jay lifting from the sky      the small sighs of waking
We’ve unplugged the clock      and can’t …

Dana Alsamsam, a first-generation Syrian-American from Chicago, is currently an arts fundraiser in Boston. A Lambda Literary fellow, she received her MFA in poetry from Emerson College, where she was the editor-in-chief of Redivider and senior editorial assistant at Ploughshares. Her poems are published or forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, Poetry Daily, BOOTH, The Journal, The Common, and others.