Women’s Studies

Vol.57 Issue 04
Cover of TLR's "Women's Studies" issue
A plurality that cannot be integrated into unity is chaos; unity unrelated to plurality is tyranny.
Blaise Pascal


Minna Proctor

Women’s Studies when I was in college was a fairly straightforward, interdepartmental major that, at my school, emphasized continental literary theory and its blunter-edged cousin, identity politics, as well as (interestingly enough) health care from a social-historical perspective…



Kelly Cherry

Valerie Sayers
The Last Days of Peace and Love

Karen Wunsch
The Super’s Son

Christine Rice
Exacting Revenge

Katherine Hill

Paula Bomer
A Private Revolution


Priscilla Becker
the smell of the future
dr hegy’s magic table
one day in winter

Claudia Keelan
In the Primer of Primary Things
In the Primer of Sorrowful Things

Anna Swir
Night Watch
Forgot About His Mother
Only Sand Survived
A Girl Scout’s Dream
Translated from Polish by Piotr Florczyk

Sophie Summertown Grimes
Manmade Shapes
Describing the Texture of Dreams to You
I Am Not a Photographer

Brenda Shaughnessy
But I’m the Only One

Kelly Forsythe

Rusty Morrison
Throw Fallacy

Alejandra Pizarnik
The Only Wound
Only a Love
I Am . . .
Immobile Dance
Translated from Spanish by Yvette Siegert

Lisa Hiton
Reaction Wood

Natalie Shapero
Beauty School

Jillian Weise
Cathedral by Raymond Carver

Paisley Rekdal
William Farquhar’s Natural History Paintings: 
Malay Peninsula, 1803–1818

Matthew Cooperman

Nickole Brown

Kathleen Jesme
[If the rain is everywhere]
[Down the street there is no]

Katy Lederer


Anzhelina Polonskaya
Sylvia Plath’s Room
Translated from Russian by Andrew Wachtel

Justin Mundhenk
River Get Down

Jonathan Cohen
Introducing Waldeen’s Neruda

Diane Mehta
Remember You Must Die


Morgan Parker
Interview with Eileen Myles


Darcey Steinke
Sister Golden Hair
Reviewed by Jena Salon



Priscilla Becker’s personal and poetic style are indistinguishable—spare & abstract, non-linear, unsentimental, like a lonesome antelope.
[spare: poetic—few words, no adjectives
spare: personal—few accessories, no decoration
abstract: poetic—independent of concrete reference
abstract: personal—independent of visual reference
non-linear: poetic—no story
non-linear: personal—color coherence but incoherent patterns—as though the torso & lower body have parted ways
unsentimental: poetic—emotionally non-manipulative
unsentimental: personal—proportionate & critical]

(Priscilla Becker is a previous contributor to TLR: The Rat’s Nest.)

Paula Bomer is the author of Inside Madeleine, Nine Months, and Baby and Other Stories. Her novella, Inside Madeleine first appeared in The Long Issue (TLR, Fall 2012). We also featured her story Breasts online.

Nickole Brown was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. Her first collection is Sister, and Fanny Says is forthcoming from BOA. Currently, she teaches at University of Arkansas–Little Rock and is the editor for the Marie Alexander Series in Prose Poetry.

Kelly Cherry is the author of twenty-two full-length books, nine chapbooks, and two translations of classical drama. Her most recent title is A Kind of Dream, a collection of linked stories, selected as a Best Indie book. A Kelly Cherry Reader is forthcoming. She is a frequent contributor to TLR in Manifest Destiny, The Rat’s Nest, and How To Read Music.

Jonathan Cohen’s latest book is his edition of William Carlos Williams’s translations, By Word of Mouth: Poems from the Spanish, 1916–1959. He is the author of the first and only major biography of poet-feminist Muna Lee, A Pan-American Life.

Matthew Cooperman is author of the text and image collaboration Imago for the Fallen World (with Marius Lehene), Still: of the Earth as the Ark which Does Not Move, DaZE, and A Sacrificial Zinc—winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize—as well as three chapbooks. A founding editor of Quarter After Eight and co-poetry editor of Colorado Review, he teaches in the creative writing program at Colorado State University. He lives in Fort Collins with his wife, the poet Aby Kaupang, and their two children.

Piotr Florczyk is a poet, essayist, and translator of six volumes of Polish poetry, including The World Shared: Poems by Dariusz Sośnicki (co-translated with Boris Dralyuk) and The Day He’s Gone: Poems 1990–2013 by Paweł Marcinkiewicz. He lives in Santa Monica.

Kelly Forsythe is currently living and writing in Washington, DC. Her poetry has appeared in American Poet, Columbia Poetry Review, the Minnesota Review, and elsewhere. Her book reviews have appeared in The Huffington Post and the LA Review. She is the director of publicity for Copper Canyon Press and teaches at the University of Maryland.

Sophie Summertown Grimes has had poems published in Spoon River Poetry Review and AGNI Online. Author of the chapbook City Structures, she lives and works in Oberlin, Ohio, and writes poetry reviews for Publishers Weekly.

Katherine Hill is the author of The Violet Hour, a novel. Her fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Bookforum, Colorado Review, the Guardian, and n+1, among others. She teaches fiction in the MFA program at Arcadia University and is an assistant editor at Barrelhouse.

Lisa Hiton’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Linebreak, THRUSH Journal, and the Cortland Review, among others. She has received the Esther B. Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center and is a Pushcart nominee.

Kathleen Jesme’s latest collection of poems is Albedo. She is the author of four other collections of poems, including Meridian and The Plum-Stone Game.

Claudia Keelan’s sixth book of poems O, Heart, was published this year. A book of translations, Truth of My Songs: Poems of the Trobairitz, is forthcoming in spring 2015 from Omnidawn.

Katy Lederer is the author of the poetry collections Winter Sex and The Heaven-Sent Leaf, as well as of the family memoir Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers. “Love” and “Mortalism” are from a new collection titled The Engineers.

Diane Mehta’s poems, essays, interviews, and articles have appeared in Slate, Prairie Schooner, AGNI, The Believer, BOMB, and many other publications. She lives with her son in Brooklyn and is writing a novel about mixed-race parents in 1946 Indiana.

Rusty Morrison’s new letterpress, limited edition chapbook from speCt! is Reclamation Project. Her books include Beyond the Chainlink, Book of the Given, After Urgency (which won the Dorset Prize), the true keeps calm biding its story (which won the Sawtooth Prize, the Academy of American Poet’s James Laughlin Award, the Northern California Book Award, and the DiCastagnola Award from Poetry Society of America), and Whethering (which won the Colorado Prize for Poetry). She is the co-publisher of Omnidawn.

Justin Mundhenk lives in Ohio with his wife. His fiction has appeared online with Granta. He is at work on a novel.

Pablo Neruda (1904–1973), widely considered one of the greatest Latin American poets of the twentieth century, received the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night, selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize, and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé. A Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor for Coconut Magazine, she lives in Brooklyn.

Alejandra Pizarnik (1936–1972) was a leading voice in twentieth-century Latin American poetry. Born in Argentina to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Pizarnik studied at the University of Buenos Aires and the Sorbonne. Known primarily as a poet, Pizarnik also published reviews, translations, theatre, and short works of experimental prose, and left behind a literary diary that reflects her debt to Kafka, Artaud, and Michaux. She died of an apparent drug overdose at the age of thirty-six.

Anzhelina Polonskaya has been a member of the Moscow Union of Writers and the Russian PEN-centre. She has published translations in World Literature Today, Descant, Modern Poetry in Translation, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, AGNI, New England Review, and The Kenyon Review, among many others. In 2013, Paul Klee’s Boat, a bilingual edition of her latest poems, was shortlisted for the 2014 Best Translated Book Award and for the 2014 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Polonskaya continues to live and work in Malakhovka as a poetry editor for Russian Switzerland magazine.

Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee;  a photo-text memoir that combines poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and photography entitled Intimate; and four books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos, Six Girls Without Pants, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope, and Animal Eye, which won the UNT Rilke Prize. Her work has received the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship, and various state arts council awards.

Christine Rice’s novel, Swarm Theory, was shortlisted in the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. Her stories have appeared in Rusted Radishes, Bird’s Thumb, the Chicago Tribune, Detroit’s Metro Times, and The Good Men Project, and her radio essays have been produced by WBEZ Chicago. She’s a ChicagoNow blogger, the managing editor of Hypertext Magazine, and director of Chicago’s HYPERTEXT Studio writing collaborative.

Jena Salon is the senior editor of The Literary Review and outreach and communications coordinator at Domestic Violence Services Network.

Valerie Sayers is the author of six novels, including The Powers. Her many stories, essays, and reviews are published widely. She is professor of English at Notre Dame.

Natalie Shapero is the author of No Object, and her writing has appeared in The Believer, New Republic, The New Yorker, POETRY, The Progressive, and elsewhere. She lives in Columbus, Ohio and works as associate editor of the Kenyon Review.

Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of three collections: Our Andromeda, Human Dark with Sugar, and Interior with Sudden Joy. Her poems appeared in Best American Poetry, Harpers, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. A 2013 Guggenheim Fellow, she teaches at Rutgers University–Newark and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Yvette Siegert’s poetry and translations have appeared in Circumference, Guernica, Chelsea, Stonecutter, and Aufgabe. She has edited for The New Yorker and the United Nations, and taught at Columbia University and Baruch College of the City University of New York. She received a PEN Heim/NYSCA Grant and a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for her translations of the collected works of Alejandra Pizarnik.

Born in 1909 in Warsaw, Poland, Anna Swir (Świrszczyńska) is widely considered one of Poland’s most distinguished poets. Profoundly marked by World War II, especially the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, during which she volunteered as a nurse, Swir explores in her poems the joys and horrors of human nature and the female body. She died in Kraków in 1984.

Andrew Wachtel is president of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Previously he was dean of the graduate school and director of the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, his interests range from Russian literature and culture to East European and Balkan culture, history and politics to contemporary Central Asia. His most recent published books are The Balkans in World History, Russian Literature (with Ilya Vinitsky), and Remaining Relevant After Communism: The Role of the Writer in Eastern Europe. He has translated poetry and prose from Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bulgarian, and Slovenian. Currently he is working on a project relating to cultural nationalism in Central Asia, particularly Kyrgyzstan.

Waldeen’s previously published Neruda translations appear in his Let the Rail Splitter Awake and Other Poems.

Jillian Weise is the author of The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, The Colony, and The Book of Goodbyes, which won the 2013 Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at Clemson University.

Karen Wunsch’s stories and essays have appeared in the Beloit Fiction Journal, Hotel Amerika, Epoch, Ascent, Confrontation, Willow Springs, and many other publications. A recent essay was selected as a Notable Essay of the Year in Best American Essays 2014.



We regret that Lane Dunlop, a TLR advisory editor for close to three decades, died on August 31, 2014 in New York at the age of 76. His specialty was translating Japanese fiction, contributing a number of stories to this magazine between 1980 and 2002. He also served as guest editor of the Winter 1996 issue (Vol. 39:2) devoted to English versions of Japanese writing.

Lane’s translation of A Late Chrysanthemum won the Japan-United States Friendship Award for Literary Translation. In 1997 the American Academy of Arts and Letters presented him with an Academy Award in Literature, praising the “assertive mastery that is evident not only in his fluent translations but also in his choices of texts.”  Other books include The Paper Door and Other Stories, Palm of the Hand Stories, Autumn Wind, the novellas During the Rains and Flowers in the Shade, and the novel Floating Clouds.

After his graduation from Yale in 1957, Lane began his literary career as a translator of works in French, then studied Japanese and turned to concentrating on pre-1960’s Japanese literature. We considered that time period suited to his sensibility because his contributions arrived on pages from a manual typewriter and our exchanges were always by post because he did not have email.

We are thankful for Lane’s long association with TLR and for his ability to make important Japanese writing available to English readers.

-Walter Cummins