never give in


Vol.59 Issue 01
Cover Artist: Fazal Sheikh
Cover of TLR's "Fight" issue

The Fight Issue

Minna Zallman Proctor
Editor’s Letter

I’ve seen enough movies to know that charging warrior-like into the face of danger is often the incorrect strategic move—that those unflinching fighters are just as frequently cannon fodder as they are heroes. Retreat and regroup; hide, wait, watch, plan your next move. …read the whole letter here



Christine Sneed
The Junk Drawer

The junk drawer almost always had to be slammed shut, knocked hard into submission, and sometimes, usually when she was already in a sour mood, it burst back open within seconds of being closed, the jumble of folded-over papers, rubber bands, matchbooks, mismatched shoelaces, batteries, creased photographs, business cards and takeout menus, sticks of stale gum and stray.

[read the whole story here]

Tanya Jacob Knox
Work Week for Baby Joe

There is no way the cat can know what will happen to baby Joe Flanagan when he crawls past the sidewalk and into the street…

Dan Bevacqua
The Human Variable

Driving with his high beams on reminded him of certain back roads in Vermont—little pit-stop towns he used to speed through when he was a teenager and first had his license. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d ventured this far out of San Francisco.

[read the whole story here]

Dylan Landis
The Singing Window

Francis posts himself at the edge of the window and peers into her living room. A teddy bear in a dress sits on the sofa and the piano shines like ink. The Singing Window’s shoulder blades dance under her sweater as she plays.

John Kinsella
Golden Gloves

Mid-Ohio, midwinter. Though the snowstorm has passed, there are still flurries. The roads between town and home have been plowed, but black ice has formed on the roads and they are deadly.

Anthony Tognazzini
The Freelance Mariachi

He took his vihuela out of its case. By his own account he was an extraordinary player. In mixed-meter songs he never missed a change-up.

Colin Fleming
Red Sweatpants

Almost certainly speaks to how alone you are when you start referring to yourself in the plural in your thoughts, like you have a friend. But let’s just go with it, trying to figure out this mystery.

Genevieve Yim
Fire Ballerina

I want to ribbon back in the blood, somehow—but these emissions are real, says today’s indomitable Perception. I want them to glitter and boil orange, white-blue: outerspacetemperatureslearnedaboutinsecondgrade, and to come in molten

Stephen-Paul Martin
Extraordinary Subjective States

Dave repeats the magic words: “The laws of history are obscured by the accidents of history.” He’s not sure where he first came across this line, and he’s not even sure he understands it. But he likes the way it sounds




Ruth Ellen Kocher

I’ve always taken Ophelia personally
My first black boyfriend had perfect SAT scores
My first white boyfriend killed the girl he dated after me

[read the whole poem here]

Aaron Anstett
Best Intentions

All we wanted was to make sounds
keen. Forgive us, Lord, our shopping
malls, weapons, cities people people
only in memory. And you, me in past,

Idra Novey
O Earth: An Estrangement in Five Parts

the children want the world
and I assure them they can have it
I just have to find my sunglasses 

[read the whole poem here]

Yi Sang, Korea
This sort of poem
Crow’s-eye view: Poem number thirteen
Translated by Emily Jungmin Yoon

in the mirror i am a left-handed man
who knows not how to accept my handshake—a left-handed man who knows not
    of handshakes

Michael Bazzett

So I was fucking a mirror the other day. It’s not easy

Joey De Jesus
Noct: The Threshold of Madness

I ether into couplet
most evenings

I shatter the expected
to access the page

Ryan Black
At Steepletop

And van Gogh in Arles impatient for Gauguin argues the price of a mirror
to work again from his own image because, at present, he writes, the élan

Ashraf Zaghal, Palestine
A Red Hand
Translated by Ghada Mourad

The hand waving at me on the road is small
As if it just came out of a feast
Small like a warm loaf of bread

Jen Levitt
Sometimes, Gender
Marie Howe’s Love Poem for the Girls She Kissed in Seventh Grade Doesn’t Ring True to My Experience

Girls are quick to turn sour
like milk or lemons. Boys grow antlers.

[read the whole poem here]

Per Aage Brandt, Denmark
From Elegy: Poetry 96; 95
Translated by Thom Satterlee

I kindle a fire with windfallen branches,
the wood moans and whimpers as if it
were reporting from purgatory

Waly Salomão, Brazil
A Legacy of Wallace Stevens
Translated by Maryam Monalisa Gharavi

Just like someone who plurifies
the ferocity of the mind,

[read the whole poem here]

Ed Taylor

Mortar tube mortal,
ignores the coach, rattles the handles on all the doors,

Rachel McKibbens
Ghost Towns
A Brief Biography of the Poet’s Mother

Girl is the worst season.
Mother, no guarantee. 
No clothes. No meat. No heavy tit

Roberto Montes
Ward Suite; Intake

Your hair does it hurt
How would you describe

The polity of your parents
Ten words or less

[read the whole poem here]


Kelle Groom
Destroying Angel

I was on my way to the smallpox cemetery

Richard Reiss

It was the fifth day of a seven day father-and-son trip and I am the father.


Cover Artist: Fazal Sheikh

Afghan Girl Born in Exile, Afghan Refugee Village Urghuch, North Pakistan, 1996. …read more here



Aaron Anstett’s most recent poetry collections are Moreover and Insofar as Heretofore. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Lesley, and children.

Michael Bazzett is the author of You Must Remember This, winner of the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry. His verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, The Popol Vuh, is forthcoming from Milkweed next year. He is a frequent contributor to TLR; his poems can be found in the Machismo Issue, Encyclopedia Britannica, and The Glutton’s Kitchen. TLR Books recently reviewed his collection You Must Remember This.

Dan Bevacqua lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. His stories have appeared in Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, Tweed’s: A Magazine of Literature and Art, and the New Orleans Review online.

Ryan Black has published previously or has work forthcoming in AGNI, The Journal, Ninth Letter, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. He is the director of undergraduate creative writing at Queens College/CUNY.

Per Aage Brandt has published over thirty books of poetry, and several more in semiotics, linguistics, and culture. His many awards include the Emil Aarestrup Medal, the French Academy’s Grand Prix de Philosophie, and the Order of the Dannebrog.

Joey De Jesus is a poet living in Brooklyn. Joey’s work has appeared in Barrow Street, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Cortland Review, Drunken Boat, Guernica, RHINO, Southern Humanities Review, The Volta, and elsewhere. Joey edits poetry for Apogee Journal.

Colin Fleming’s writing has appeared in Boulevard, VQR, AGNI, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and The New Yorker. He’s the author of Dark March: Stories for When the Rest of the World is Asleep, and is completing a novel called The Freeze Tag Sessions as well as a nonfiction work, Same Band You’ve Never Known: An Alternative Musical History of the Beatles. He is a regular guest on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi is an artist, poet, and theorist. Her translation of Salomão’s Algaravias: Echo Chamber appears from Ugly Duckling Presse in 2016.

Kelle Groom’s memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl, is a B&N Discover pick and NYTBR Editor’s Choice. A 2014 NEA Literature Fellow in Prose, Groom teaches in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe, and directs the Summer Program Workshops at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

John Kinsella’s most recent volumes of stories are Crow’s Breath (published in Australia) and In the Shade of the Shady Tree: Stories of the Western Australian Wheatbelt. His latest book of poetry is Firebreaks. He is a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and Professor of Literature and Sustainability at Curtin University.

Tanya Jacob Knox is an author and comedian living in Santa Monica. Her short stories have appeared in The Nervous Breakdown and Raleigh Review. She’s desperate for approval despite rarely deserving it.

Ruth Ellen Kocher is the author of Third Voice, the 2013 Noemi Book Prize selection; Ending in Planes, Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun; domina Un/blued, winner of the Dorset Prize and the 2014 PEN/Open Book Award; One Girl Babylon; When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering; and Desdemona’s Fire. She is a contributing editor at Poets & Writers Magazine, and teaches poetry, poetics, and literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Dylan Landis is the author of the novel Rainey Royal, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and Normal People Don’t Live Like This, a linked story collection. Her stories have appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories 2014, Tin House, Bomb, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere.

Jen Levitt’s first collection of poems, The Off-Season, is forthcoming this fall.

Stephen-Paul Martin has published many books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. His most recent story collections are The Possibility of Music and Changing the Subject. He teaches fiction in San Diego State University’s MFA program.

Rachel McKibbens is a two-time New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow and author of two full-length books of poetry, Into the Dark & Emptying Field and Pink Elephant. She runs a critically acclaimed reading series, Poetry & Pie Night in upstate New York and is founder of Pink Door, a writing retreat open exclusively to women of color.

Roberto Montes is the author of I Don’t Know Do You, named one of the Best Books of 2014 by NPR and a finalist for the 2014 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry from The Publishing Triangle.

Ghada Mourad is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature and a Schaeffer fellow in literary translation at the University of California, Irvine. She translates from Arabic and French into English. Her translations have appeared in Banipal, the Denver Quarterly, A Gathering of the Tribes, The Missing Slate, Jadaliyya, Transference, among others.

Idra Novey is the author of the novel Ways To Disappear. Her poetry collection Exit, Civilian was selected for the 2011 National Poetry Series.

Richard Reiss has written extensively about creating a family through adoption and the joys and challenges of being an adoptive parent. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, ADDitude Magazine, and Serving House Literary Journal, as well as in the anthologies Upstart Crows II: True Stories and The Best of Modern Love. He is the author of Desperate Love: A Father’s Memoir.

Waly Salomão (1943–2003) was a Syrian-Brazilian poet. His book Algaravias: Câmara de Ecos won the 1995 Prêmio Jabuti, Brazil’s highest literary prize.

Thom Satterlee is a writer and translator. His books of translation include These Hands: Poetry of Per Aage Brandt and The Hangman’s Lament: Poems of Henrik Nordbrandt. In 2014, he received a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant.

Christine Sneed has published two novels, Little Known Facts and Paris, He Said, and two story collections, Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry and The Virginity of Famous Men (forthcoming). She has contributed to TLR twice before.

Ed Taylor is the author of the novel Theo, the poetry collection Idiogest, and the chapbook The Rubaiyat of Hazmat. His fiction and poetry have appeared most recently in New World Writing, Southern Poetry Review, St. Petersburg Review, Stone Canoe, and Gargoyle.

Anthony Tognazzini’s fiction has appeared recently in Electric Literature, Guernica, Crazyhorse, and TriQuarterly, among others. His first collection of fiction is I Carry a Hammer in My Pocket for Occasions Such as These. He lives in Brooklyn.

Yi Sang (1910–1937) was born Kim Haekyŏng the year Japan occupied Korea. Deemed a threat to the Imperial State, he was arrested in 1936. He was released on a sick bail but died shortly after. He is one of the most well-known modernist poets from the colonial era.

Genevieve Yim has resided in five countries, and since 2007 has been living and writing in Seoul, South Korea, with her husband, two cats, and most recently, a baby boy.

Emily Jungmin Yoon writes and translates poems. She is the poetry editor of The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and is a Ph.D. student in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

Palestinian writer Ashraf Zaghal has lived in Palestine, the US, and Canada. He is the author of four poetry collections: Wheels of Ashes, Sleeping as I See, A Desert in the Metro, and the Image of the Ugly Family. His poems have appeared in Metamorphoses, NU(e), Interludes Poetiques de Palestine, Iton 77, and Literature Between Two Languages. Ashraf edits an online magazine concerned with progressive Arabic literature and translations.


Afghan girl born in Exile. Afghan Refuge Villa, Urghuch, North Pakistan, 1996.
Used by permission of the artist: courtesy PACE /MACGILL Gallery.


Cover artist, Fazal Sheikh, uses photographs to document people living in displaced and marginalized communities around the world. His principle medium is the portrait, although his work also encom- passes personal narratives, found photographs, archival material, sound, and his own written texts. He works from the conviction that a portrait is, as far as possible, an act of mutual engagement, and only through a long-term commitment to a place and to a community can a meaningful series of photographs be made. His overall aim is to contribute to a wider understanding of these groups, to respect them as individuals and to counter the ignorance and prejudice that often attaches to them.

Sheikh’s latest work, entitled The Erasure Trilogy (Steidl), explores the anguish caused by the loss of memory—by forgetting, amnesia, or suppression—and the resulting human desire to preserve memory, all seen through the prism of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sheikh’s work is shown internationally and he has won great recognition for his work, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2005.

See more of his astonishing work at