TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Flight Issue
We observe flight as crystalline, etched in our minds by the way we fetishize it. Flight brings to mind expansive images of migratory birds instinctively flapping southward and BBC camera crews filming wan, disoriented Syrian refugees debarking from inflatable rafts onto rocky Greek shores. …read the whole letter here
Susan White Norman
He laced up his boots and filled the pockets of his cargo shorts with his keys and wallet and strapped in the nickel-plated pistol Patel had left for him on the bedside table. Underneath it was this message: For the non-friendlies…. read the whole story here.
Before This Decade Is Out
The floor slants from the door down to the window, so that if the occupant is struck with a sudden compulsion to fly through glass and air, this room provides an adequate runway…. read the whole story here.
Elias Khoury, Lebanon
From Broken Mirrors
Translated by Humphrey Davies
Muna came to Pinocchio’s wearing a green dress and everything about her undulated.
The One the Wolf Forgot
My mother likes to tell people he was our neighbor. There is a uniformity in the way their faces blanch, the flickering of their eyes to my face. They say to her, You’re so lucky
She’s been avoiding the subject of Buddy Cooper since she started her podcast Rosemary Talks a few months after his death at the suggestion of her therapist, but now seems as good of a time as any to mention her late husband.
The Rags of Time
But sixty years of marriage have a way of seeping into one’s very bones and we know when something is wrong, especially now, why now, why precisely now?
One last story that I have been trying to tell: what happened to the man who ran away from his kids on the island. When I told my mother the story, she said that, the way it was left, led her to believe he had killed himself.
If you’ll just swipe your card, if you’ll enter your destination, if you’ll look into the camera, if you’ll put your eye to the glass, steady, steady, you will see a light—
The Last Time I Died; A Ceremony; Entering the Desert
I wondered what
The broken bone count would be.
I guessed it was more than four.
The Mirror; Morning in Wyoming; Nothing Moves
Like the child who knows the hand pointing
to the moon, and not the moon itself.
The Bishop of Bamberg; A Difficult and Melancholy Business
This is how he lived, with a messianic faith in his uniqueness.
Every parishioner he touched, he became.
Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaragua
Translated by Jonathan Cohen
The calmness of this lake
silver and blue
more silvery than blue
Paintings and Drawings; Fladry
so I apologize for not inviting my boss
at the New Orleans Museum of Art,
Jacqueline L. Sullivan, to my wedding
Frontier Airlines; Strange Ducks; Canopic Jars
Before Cousin Tim’s service,
my father scared away ducks.
Translation; Sums; Virga; Tied
On the shoulder of St Jerome a bird
speaks but cannot write
Making Jelly; I Walk from Steeple to Steeple; Coal Piles by the Canal; In the Garden
You diagram promises by your advancements
but leave bad things behind—germy wing
Invisible Travel: A Cycle Concerning the Creative Imagination, in Nine Parts
I am in the fourth grade and sitting at my desk in the classroom at the low-slung red-brick Nausauket School in Apponaug, Rhode Island. The school is just a few streets up from a sandy beach, small, on an inlet along the rocky coastline of bluer-than-blue Narragansett Bay. It is 1956.
Chasing a Ghost: Portrait of My Father
A BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2016 “NOTABLE ESSAY”
In my first attempts to reconstruct him, Thomas was a man of diffuse themes bundled by character, a tumble of duets with me, constrained by the name “Father.” Later Thomas became a subject, just like me …read the whole essay here
Viewing the Dead
It’s cold in the warehouse behind the crematorium in an industrial strip mall just outside Burlington, Vermont, and in the reception room at the front of the building, beyond the cremation chamber itself, two Tibetan monks chant for my father’s soul
“Nai Reesan Shehr Lahore Diyan (There Is No Match of the City Lahore)” ˝ 2008 Farida Batool. Used by permission of the artist/courtesy Aicon Gallery
Ernesto Cardenal was born in Nicaragua in 1925. He writes both poetry and prose. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1965 and founded a Christian commune called Our Lady of Solentiname, where he preached liberation theology and encouraged the local peasants to create art. He was an active member of the Sandinistas and served as Nicaragua’s Minister of Culture from 1979 to 1988. He currently lives in Managua, where he continues to write.
Jonathan Cohen has published three collections of Ernesto Cardenal’s poetry, most recently Pluriverse: New and Selected Poems. It is the most comprehensive collection of his work available in English translation. His earlier collection, From Nicaragua, With Love, won the Robert Payne Award from the Translation Center at Columbia University. He recently contributed a translation to TLR Women’s Studies
Humphrey Davies’ translations include Naguib Mahfouz’s Thebes at War and Alaa al-Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building. He has lived throughout the Middle East and is currently based in Cairo.
Ariel Dorfman is a Chilean-American writer whose books have been published in fifty languages and plays (among them Death and the Maiden) have been produced in over one hundred countries. He lives with his wife Angélica in Durham, where he teaches at Duke University.
Kendra Fortmeyer wears many hats, all of them book-shaped. When not writing, she pursues a library science degree and teaches creative writing to high schoolers in Austin. She was born and raised in the woods of North Carolina, and in quiet moments, her heart creeps back to the green and sleepy Piedmont with cicada-thick trees.
James Galvin’s eighth book of poems is due out in August 2016. He has also written two prose works and teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Regan Good’s first book, The Atlantic House, was published in 2011. Poems from her manuscript The Needle have appeared most recently in The Paris Review, Fence, The Ladowich Journal, and Hinchas de Poesia. She currently teaches creative writing at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Erica Hunt is a poet, essayist, and author of Veronica: A Suite in X Parts, Local History and Arcade, as well as three chapbooks: Piece Logic, Time Flies Right Before the Eyes, and A Day and Its Approximates. Her poems and non-fiction have appeared in BOMB, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Conjunctions, and her essays on poetics, feminism, and politics have been collected in Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women, The Politics of Poetic Form, The World, and other anthologies. With Dawn Lundy Martin, she is the editor of Letters to the Future: Black WOMEN/Radical WRITING. Forthcoming in October, Jump the Clock: New & Selected Poems.
Moss Kaplan grew up in Malaysia, New Zealand, Nepal, and India. Previous occupations include circus clown and stage carpenter, and he now teaches creative writing at the Denver School of the Arts. He currently has a play in development in Denver, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Elias Khoury, born in Beirut, is the author of thirteen novels, four volumes of literary criticism, and three plays. He was awarded the Palestine Prize for Gate of the Sun. The piece that appears here is excerpted from his most recent novel, Broken Mirrors
Peter LaSalle is the author of several books of fiction. His new collection of essays on literary travel, The City at Three P.M.: Writing, Reading, and Traveling, includes pieces from publications such as The Nation, Worldview, Profils Américains, Tin House, and The Best American Travel Writing.
Sara Majka’s stories have appeared in A Public Space, PEN America, The Gettysburg Review, and Guernica. A former fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, she lives in Queens, New York.
Susan White Norman is a fiction writer and teacher. Currently, she’s exploring the intersection of humanity and technology in her work and with her students. She teaches at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Her short story Casco on the Foam Planet was included in TLR: Loss Control
Allan Peterson is the author of five books: Precarious, Fragile Acts, As Much As, All the Lavish in Common (2005 Juniper Prize), Anonymous Or (Defined Providence Prize), and multiple chapbooks, most recently Other Than They Seem, winner of the 2014 Snowbound Chapbook Prize from Tupelo Press.
Kevin Prufer is the author of six books, most recently Churches and the forthcoming How He Loved Them. He also co-directs the Unsung Masters series, devoted to bringing great, little-known, out-of-print authors to new readers. He lives in Houston.
Ed Skoog is the author of the poetry collections Mister Skylight, Rough Day, and the forthcoming Run the Red Lights. He lives in Portland, OR.
A. A. Srinivasan’s short fiction has appeared in Triquarterly, The Indiana Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, West Branch, The Chattahoochee Review, and a Puschcart Prize anthology. She is a writer and translator based in California and Germany.
Soren Stockman’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, the PEN Poetry Series, Tin House online, PHANTOM, Bellevue Literary Review, and Narrative Magazine, which awarded him first place in the 2013 Narrative 30 Below Story and Poetry Contest.
Tom Thompson is the author of Live Feed, The Pitch, and the forthcoming Strike Through. He lives and works in New York City.
Lindsay Tigue is the author of System of Ghosts, winner of the 2015 Iowa Poetry Prize. She currently works as assistant to the editors at the Georgia Review and lives in Athens, GA.
A native of Mississippi, Nick White lives and writes and teaches and (sometimes) loves in Nebraska.