No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
—Zora Neale Hurston
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Editor’s Letter by Minna Zallman Proctor
…a cluster of associations and ideas emerged from “granary”: plenitude, agriculture, resources, food, slow steady movement. Images: red barns, tall silos, highways tracing vast low hills for hundreds of miles…
You, Amateur Interpreter
What Good Does It Do You?
You & the Donkey Cart
You had in your cart a disease that needed pulling. You had in it a musical of drunk uncles that slept piled on each other all morning…
Mario Alejandro Ariza
A Poem to Behemoth
…if you want
to talk about something large that resists all the frames
you try to fence it with…
From “The Real Work”
Some days I lay out stake lines in the morning
and by sundown the corridor’s cut clear…
This Was Before the Wedding
The grass hissed so golden in the feral field
down back. The desert growing its dust…
Watch Your Step, Please
All night the dog barked
from behind the red fence…
At the Crossing
On the cusp of the mountain a hawk watches the fields, to repent
is to turn in a different direction…
A Moment of Frustration
A coworker who doesn’t understand
how gender works tells you you aren’t real…
Lords and Masters
I ventured into wild country,
where the tree of heaven grows…
The Death Stare
The gene named for a fruit-fly larva, I read,
which when mutated sprouts bristles all over it…
Ute von Funcke, translated from German by Stuart Friebert
Between the Twain
The Ninth Day
The silence itself invites
a walk of balance…
Failed Essay on Shapes
Mother tells Girl particulars born
of the generalities named love and fear…
Benjamin S. Grossberg
The Finish Carpenter
Half million, and what? Cardboard subfloors—
crap, but all right. Vinyl-sided chimney…
Greens and Purples
They don’t make a sound.
Neither does my staring…
Maricela Guerrero, translated from Spanish by Robin Myers
The Language of Empire
A list of apple trees, medlar trees, guava trees, and pear trees; the inclusion of peppermint in the language of empire…
Maybe, you, too, feel a sickness, now.
Full of chopped-up language, wondering
what katydids, truth, & bluebottles think…
Souad Labbize, translated from French by Susanna Lang and Kay Heikkinen
Drafts of Love
My heart in rings…
While Trying To Meditate
woodpile at the back of the valley
how it’s been
the backcountry’s unstable
with avalanche warnings no travel in the alpine…
From Which I Could See a Great Deal Meant to Be Hidden
With No Bearing on Where I May Be Going
A face is raining a raining face. Maybe a drawer. Maybe a dozen slim glass jars…
because laughing hollows us out
You can lose your brother to Hell
and still be happy inside your house…
Before a Febrile Seizure
there is an aura: a squatting
caterpillar on a mushroom cap
and a very unpleasant state…
Christopher X. Shade
Dogs are dying in Ohio.
When we got back to our friend’s house
we stepped in piss on the kitchen floor…
No matter how many times I unsubscribed I’m still listing leeward, caught in the mower’s maw…
O Fortune, Are You Listening?
Household Spirits of Small Apartments
Dreamscape with Fist of Wisteria
The maps do shift and turn under our eyelids
at night, sometimes the foolishness in your gut…
Cyn Grace Sylvie
I am coming to understand feast and famine
This timeless absurd food chain
Now There Is Only a Station
For every theory, there is a simpler story, more funny…
Something is wrong with the food. Maybe with all of it.
It’s really hard to be an extrovert, Rob tells me. When you live inside here like I do…
The Boobie Trap
“Redwoods,” Hammond said, “hold this earth together. They never lose the dirt.” He stomped. “Roots this wide”…
In Bolivia they had done it once, riding on buses and living out of knapsacks, getting fat from the rice and potatoes and oil…
Case Q. Kerns
They were so sick of hearing arguments from from friends on the culinary and ecological benefits of cooking over a flame-free grill, they gave in and bought one…
Because of the number and severity of the stab wounds and the disorder of his room, which indicated a violent struggle, the death of Horton Smith Juaire Jr. was at first listed as a homicide…
The Common Cold
As for me, no children anywhere, and the idea of having to buy my way out of the locked room of marriage if things went off the rails had always intimated me…
Eva Taylor, translated from Italian by Olivia E. Sears
The place I was born has no name. They call it “Miwepa”—short for Mitteldeutsche Wellpappenfabrik, which means “Central German Corrugated Cardboard Factory”…
The crowd in front of the noodle shop was spilling onto the other side of the street…
We Went to Iceland
Who needed a passport when you could have a gun?
We went to Iceland because it was ice and fire, and we felt like both…
Evolution and Forgetting
In 1953, a scientist named Stanley Miller conducted an experiment in which he showed that complex molecules could be formed by shooting jolts of electricity through a mixture of methane, ammonia, hydrogen, and water vapor…
Toni Maraini, translated from Italian by Hope Campbell Gustafson
Wall of Water
From the Boulevard Pasteur mirador, in Tangier, the view over the bay directs the gaze off into the distance, beyond the Gibraltar strait, toward the Spanish coast, beyond the blending of waters…
Ken Baldwin: Gentleman Cowboy
He worked as a professor of biology at Briarcliff College in Sioux City, Iowa, but he ranched most of his free time, tending to his 150 cows on 2,000 acres of hilly brushland and pastures…
Born in Paterson, NJ, Rosa Alcalá is the author of three books of poetry, most recently MyOTHER TONGUE. Her poems appear in Best American Poetry 2019 and American Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement, among other anthologies. Her work as a translator has focused on contemporary Latin American women poets living in the US. Recent publications include Cecilia Vicuña: New & Selected Poems, which she edited and co-translated. She is the recipient of an NEA Translation Fellowship and was runner-up for a PEN Translation Award. She is professor of creative writing at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Mario Ariza is a Dominican immigrant to the US. His poetry can be found in places like The Cincinnati Review, Gulf Coast, and The Raleigh Review, and his journalism appears in places like The Atlantic and The Miami New Times. His current project is a book-length nonfiction work on sea-level rise and Miami titled Disposable City: Miami’s Doom and How To Avoid It.
Jody Azzouni is allergic to crab, lobster, wheat, rice, and corn. He may have recently developed an allergy to olives, and worse, olive oil. Nevertheless he’s still alive, and he writes about other things besides food. His stories and poetry (and philosophy) have been published in many journals, and he’s appeared in TLR several times.
Christian Barter works on the trail crew at Acadia National Park as a stone worker, rigger, arborist, and crew supervisor. Recent poetry has appeared in Tin House, New Letters, and as part of the Academy of American Poets National Parks Project. His latest book is Bye-bye Land, winner of the Isabella Gardner Award from BOA Editions. He previously appeared in TLR: The Long Issue
James Braziel lives on a ridge that is part of the Cumberland Plateau in Alabama. Together, he and his wife, poet Tina Mozelle Braziel, are building a glass cabin by hand while living in it. His novels Birmingham, 35 Miles and Snakeskin Road look at a future dust bowl where the South is ravaged by an environmental disaster. “The Boobie Trap” was completed while he held a fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
Hope Campbell Gustafson’s translations can be found in Asymptote, The Brooklyn Rail, EuropeNow, Nashville Review, and Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations, as well as in the freshly published Islands—New Islands: A Vagabond Guide to Rome. Hope was a 2018 resident at the Art Omi Translation Lab, and she received a 2019 Pen/Heim grant for Ubah Cristina Ali Farah’s novel Il comandante del fiume.
Samuel Cheney is from Centerville, Utah. His poems are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Western Humanities Review, and Whiskey Island. A teacher and MFA candidate in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, he lives in Baltimore.
James Ciano has been awarded scholarships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. His poems can be found most recently in Prairie Schooner, jubilat, and The Carolina Quarterly. Originally from New York, he lives and works in Los Angeles.
Dalton Day is a preschool teacher and the author of Exit, Pursed. He lives in Georgia.
Heather Derr-Smith is a poet with four books: Each End of the World, The Bride Minaret, Tongue Screw, and Thrust, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award. Her work has appeared in Fence, Crazy Horse, and Missouri Review. She is managing director of Cuvaj Se, a non-profit supporting writers in conflict zones and post-conflict zones. She divides her time between Iowa and Sarajevo, Bosnia.
Michael Farman is a retired electronics engineer. Early in his career he studied Mandarin at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, but began translating Chinese classical and ancient poetry later in life. His translations have since appeared in many literary and translation journals, and in the anthologies Clouds and Rain; A Silver Treasury of Chinese Lyrics; Chinese Erotic Poetry; 300 Tang Poems; and Jade Mirror: Women Poets of China, which he also edited. As a member of ALTA, he has appeared on panels relating to Chinese poetry and contributed articles and reviews to their journal Translation Review.
Rosy Fitzgerald is a recent graduate of Tufts University and the recipient of the Morton N. Cohen Creative Writing Award. Based in the greater Boston area, Rosy is currently working on a collection of short stories. This is her first published work.
Stuart Friebert will publish A Double Life: In Poetry & Translation as well as Shadow of Shadows: Selected Poems of Ute von Funcke early in 2019.
Elisa Gonzalez writes prose and poetry. Her work appears in Harvard Review, Hyperallergic, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. She has received support from the Norman Mailer Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Rolex Foundation, and US Fulbright Program. She lives in New York City.
Benjamin S. Grossberg’s books include Space Traveler and Sweet Core Orchard, winner of the Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. A new collection, My Husband Would, will be published next year. He is director of creative writing at the University of Hartford.
Jennifer Grotz is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Window Left Open. Director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, she teaches at the University of Rochester.
Maricela Guerrero is the author of nine poetry collections; the most recent is El sueño de toda célula, winner of the Clemencia Isaura Prize in 2018, from which these two poems are excerpted. She is a member of Mexico’s prestigious SNCA (National System of Artists). Guerrero’s work has been translated into English, German, Swedish, and French. An English translation of her book Kilimanjaro was published in 2018.
Kay Heikkinen has taught at Concordia University Wisconsin and Middlebury College’s Arabic School. Currently the Ibn Rushd Lecturer of Arabic at the University of Chicago, she has also published translations of several Arabic novels, including Clouds Over Alexandria by Ibrahim Abdel Meguid.
Hannah Jansen’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in jubilat, Southern Humanities Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and elsewhere, and her nonfiction has appeared in Tin House Online. Her writing has been supported by the Vermont Studio Center, and she is at work on her first collection of poems and a novel. She lives in Brooklyn.
Case Q. Kerns lives with his family in Massachusetts. He was raised in Buffalo, NY. This is his first publication.
Born in Algeria in 1965, Souad Labbize lived in Germany and Tunisia before moving to Toulouse, France. She has published a novel, J’aurais voulu être un escargot (I would have liked to be a snail) and several poetry collections, including Brouillons amoureux (Drafts of Love) and most recently Je franchis les barbelés. (Climbing Over Barbed Wire). Very committed to gender equality, she writes in the name of all women who choose exile in order to affirm their independence.
Susanna Lang’s translations of poetry by Yves Bonnefoy include Words in Stone, and she has published translations of work by René Depestre, Paul Éluard, Claude Esteban, Alain Paire, and Yves Bonnefoy in journals such as World Literature Today, New Directions, Massachusetts Review, and Kosmos. Her translations of poems by Nohad Salameh are forthcoming in New Poetry in Translation. Her third collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was published in 2017.
Jessica Lee’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, THRUSH, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is currently an assistant poetry editor for The Nashville Review and an MFA candidate at Vanderbilt University.
Kelly Luce is the author of the novel Pull Me Under, a Book of the Month Club selection, and the story collection Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail. She’s the editor of Electric Literature’s Commuter, and was a 2016–17 fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She lives in an old grist mill in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Karen Luper turned aside from a career in science many years ago to dedicate herself to what might be made of those dismissed and difficult questions that require a very different kind of study. She is at work on a collection of linked lyric essays that explore and appose science and history, science and philosophy, science and the “immaterial” soul. An excerpt from that work, titled Magnet, was included in Kenyon Review’s special issue on “The Poetics of Science”. She is the 2019 recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship and lives in Portland.
Toni (Antonella) Maraini is an Italian writer, poet, art historian, and Maghreb scholar. She was born in 1941 to a notable family of writers and had an unconventional upbringing. Maraini lived in Morocco for twenty-three years, where she taught at various institutions, took part in cultural initiatives, conducted research, and published articles, essays, and poems. Now in Rome, Maraini has continued to write and publish.
David Mucklow was born and raised north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He has an MFA from Colorado State University, and is the author of the chapbook heaved from dirt (Ghost City Press, 2019). You can find his work in Wildness, Timber, grama, Pulpmouth, and elsewhere. He works on a trail crew for the forest service.
Robin Myers is a Mexico City-based poet and translator. Her translations have appeared or are forthcoming from Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, Two Lines, The Offing, Waxwing, Beloit Poetry Journal, Asymptote, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. Recent book-length translations include Lyric Poetry Is Dead by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg, Animals at the End of the World by Gloria Susana Esquivel, and Cars on Fire by Mónica Ramón Ríos. She is currently translating Maricela Guerrero’s Un sueño de toda célula.
Niki Neems lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she owns the stationery shop r.s.v.p. and instigates The Response Handwriting Project: A Convergence of Poetry, Handwriting, and Epistolary Correspondence. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in jubilat, The Iowa Review, Conduit, and elsewhere.
Josip Novakovich grew up in the central Croatian town of Daruvar, and he studied medicine in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad. He left Yugoslavia at the age of twenty. He has published a novel, three short story collections, and two textbooks. He is the recipient of the Whiting Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two fellowships from the NEA, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He is a professor at Pennsylvania State University.
Elizabeth O’Brien is the author of A Secret History of World Wide Outage. Her work—poetry and prose—has appeared in Wigleaf, New England Review, The Rumpus, Diagram, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets 2016, and elsewhere.
Dustin Pearson is the author of Millennial Roost and A Family Is a House. He is a McKnight Doctoral Fellow in Creative Writing at Florida State University. The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and The Anderson Center at Tower View, Pearson has served as the editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review and as a Director of the Clemson Literary Festival. He won the Academy of American Poets Katharine C. Turner Prize and the John Mackay Graduate Award. His work appears in Blackbird, Vinyl Poetry, Bennington Review, TriQuarterly, [PANK], Fjords Review, and elsewhere.
Catherine Reeves has taught English and creative writing in Wyoming schools, and currently she studies at the University of Wyoming College of Law. You may find her work in The Penn Review, Rust + Moth, Rise Up Review, and Plath Profiles. She received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship Prize in Poetry.
Translator Olivia E. Sears has recently published work by Mariangela Gualtieri, Patrizia Cavalli, Chandra Livia Candiani, and Maria d’Arezzo. Her translation of Ardengo Soffici’s 1919 poetry volume BÏF§ZF+18: Simultaneities and Lyric Chemisms is forthcoming from World Poetry Books. She serves on the editorial board of Two Lines Press.
Christopher X. Shade is author of the novel The Good Mother of Marseille. He is co-founder and co-editor of Cagibi, a journal of poetry and prose. He teaches poetry and fiction writing at The Writers Studio. His poems, stories, and book reviews have appeared widely. Raised in the South, he now lives in New York City.
Laura Shaine is a novelist, memoirist, journalist, and playwright. She has published nine books, including two memoirs, as well as hundreds of articles in The New York Times. Her two memoirs, Sleeping Arrangements and A Place in the Country, were excerpted in The New Yorker and The New York Times. She has also written a column for The New York Observer and published pieces in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire, the London Times, and regional US publications and literary journals. Laura’s literary recognition includes two NEA awards, two NYFA awards, a Yaddo Fellowship, and a Ford Foundation award. As a playwright, her play Beautiful Bodies is widely produced. Her new memoir Forbidden Russia will be published in 2020.
Jeff Sirkin is the author of the poetry collection Travelers Aid Society, and his work has appeared in The Shallow Ends; SplitLevel Journal; Forklift, Ohio; and elsewhere. Co-editor of the online poetry journal A Dozen Nothing, he currently teaches in the creative writing department at the University of Texas El Paso, where he also co-curates the Dishonest Mailman Reading Series.
Christine Sneed’s most recent book is the story collection The Virginity of Famous Men. Along with past issues of TLR, her work has been included in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, Southern Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and many other publications. She has received AWP’s Grace Paley Prize, the Chicago Writers’ Association Book of the Year Award, Ploughshares’ Zacharis Award, among other honors. She lives in Pasadena and teaches for Northwestern University and Regis University.
Natalie Solmer is founder and editor-in-chief of The Indianapolis Review and assistant professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. Her recent publications can be found in Briar Cliff Review, Pleiades, North American Review, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry.
Cyn Grace Sylvie is a writer and performer whose work explores the internal drives and subversive desires of the human experience through the lens of personal mythology, sexuality, and mysticism. Cyn is a recipient of Epiphany Magazine’s 2017 Short Nonfiction Prize and was shortlisted for The Best American Essays of 2018. Her poetry has been featured in BRKFST Biannual, MATH Magazine, Tata Magazine, and Aoetearotica Magazine. She is a creative director by profession, an oracle by calling, and a fatalist by design. She resides in Jersey City.
Eva Taylor was born in Germany and lives and teaches in Italy. She is the author of several poetry collections in both Italian and German. “Butter” is an excerpt from her first novel, the prize-winning Carta da zucchero (Sugar Paper Blue) about a family’s escape from East Germany in 1961. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Words Without Borders and The Arkansas International.
Ute von Funcke, who wrote plays for children before turning to poetry in 2004, has published four collections of poems, most recently in den rissen der zeit (in the fissures of time). A selection of her poetry translated by Stuart Friebert, Between Question & Answer, appeared in 2018. A companion volume, Shadow of Shadows, will soon follow.
Jenny Wu’s stories have appeared in The Collagist, wildness, Hobart, and Sporklet, and her debut novel is represented by Thompson Literary.
Lawrence Ypil is a poet and essayist from Cebu, Philippines. He is the author of The Highest Hiding Place and is currently teaching creative writing at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.