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Issue 90

Featuring Sedrick Huckaby’s loving, monumental portraits of his family and neighbors in Fort Worth. Morgan Meis considers the provocative installation art of confessional British superstar Tracey Emin, whose beds, tents, quilts, and fabric art conceal a warm heart under a prickly exterior. Camellia Freeman reads Ta-Nehisi Coates, Maggie Nelson, and Christina Crosby, and considers what Christians can learn from atheists. In fiction: Uzbek writer Hamid Ismailov’s fable about a holy man and a mermaid, and Valerie Sayers’s story spanning the decades between Black Power and Black Lives Matter—from the point of view of a sleepy lowcountry town. Jonathan McGregor remembers his youthful exploration of the Internet, his ensuing love of Kierkegaard, and how it grew. Martha Park considers electrocution and the pursuit of holiness in Tennessee. Hugh Cook interviews Canadian Mennonite novelist and First Nations advocate Rudy Wiebe. Work in translation supported by a grant from the NEA.

Contributors

Traci Brimhall is the author of three poetry collections: Saudade (forthcoming from Copper Canyon), Our Lady of the Ruins (Norton), and Rookery (Southern Illinois). She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Kansas State University.

Richard Chess is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Third Temple (Tampa). He was recently appointed by the North Carolina Poetry Society as the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet of Western North Carolina.

Hugh Cook is emeritus professor of English at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He is the author of four books of fiction, most recently the novel Heron River (Mosaic). His nonfiction has appeared in Image, Books and Culture, Windhover, and Christianity Today.

Sharon Dolin is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Manual for Living (Pittsburgh), Serious Pink (Marsh Hawk), and Whirlwind (Pittsburgh). A recipient of a 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant, she directs Writing about Art in Barcelona (www.sharondolin.com/barcelona-workshops).

Shelley Fairweather-Vega is a certified Russian-to-English translator and an enthusiastic Uzbek-to-English translator. Her work for Hamid Ismailov has also been published in Words Without Borders.

Jerzy Ficowski (1924–2006) was a poet, songwriter, and scholar who studied the Polish Roma population and the work of writer and artist Bruno Schulz. Translations of Ficowski’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Nation, New York Review of Books, and Ploughshares.

Camellia Freeman’s work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and was last year’s Milton Fellow at Image.

U.Z. Greenberg (1896–1981) is widely recognized as one of the greatest modern Hebrew poets. In 1957 he was awarded the Israel Prize for his contribution to Hebrew literature, and in 1976, on his eightieth birthday, the Knesset held a special session in his honor.

Gemma Gorga has published six collections of poetry. The three prose poems here are from Llibre dels minuts (Book of Minutes, Barcelona), which won the Premi Miquel de Palol. She teaches at the University of Barcelona.

Jennifer Grotz’s third book of poems, Window Left Open, recently appeared from Graywolf Press. She is director of the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference.

Atar Hadari’s Lives of the Dead: Poems of Hanoch Levin (forthcoming from Arc) was recently awarded a Pen Translates grant. His debut poetry collection is Rembrandt’s Bible (Indigo Dreams), and his verse Bible translation is being serialized by Mosaic magazine.

Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek writer whose works are banned in Uzbekistan. Several of his Russian-language novels have appeared in English to critical acclaim. Gaya, Queen of Ants, from which “The Dervish and the Mermaid” is excerpted, is his first Uzbek novel to be translated into English.

Richard Jones is the author of Apropos of Nothing, The Correct Spelling & Exact Meaning (both from Copper Canyon), and King of Hearts (Adastra). He is the editor of Poetry East and its many anthologies, including Bliss, Origins, and Paris.

Hailey Leithauser’s first book, Swoop (Graywolf), won the Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award and the Towson Prize for Literature. Her poems have recently appeared in Field, Gettysburg Review, Poetry, Yale Review, and the Best American Poetry anthology.

Samuel Thomas Martin is the author of story collection This Ramshackle Tabernacle (Breakwater), short-listed for Canada’s BMO Winterset Award, and the novel A Blessed Snarl (Breakwater), long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Jonathan McGregor is a postdoctoral fellow in English at Washington University in Saint Louis. His creative work has appeared in Atticus Review, WhiskeyPaper, and The Curator. He is a founding editor of The Spectacle literary magazine.

Morgan Meis is a contributor to Page Turner at The New Yorker and has written for The Smart Set, n+1, The Believer, Harper’s, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. He won the Whiting Award in 2013 and is the author of Dead People (Zero), with Stefany Anne Golberg.

Joe Milazzo is the author of a novel, Crepuscule W/ Nellie (Jaded Ibis), and a poetry collection, The Habiliments (Apostrophe). He lives and works in Dallas, and his website is www.joe-milazzo.com.

Susan L. Miller lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family. Her first book of poems, Communion of Saints, will be published by Paraclete Press this winter.

Benjamin Myers is poet laureate of Oklahoma. His poems appear in the Yale Review, 32 Poems, Ninth Letter, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. He is the Crouch-Mathis Professor of Literature at Oklahoma Baptist University. His most recent book is Lapse Americana (New York Quarterly).

Martha Park is from Memphis, Tennessee, and holds an MFA from Hollins University, where her work received the Melanie Hook Rice Award for Creative Nonfiction. She was the spring 2016 Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University.

Richard Pierce is an assistant professor of English at Waynesburg University. His poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, Ninth Letter, Ink & Letters, Poet Lore, Windhover, and elsewhere. His chapbook, The Book of Mankey, is available from Cooper Dillon Books.

John Poch’s most recent book, Fix Quiet (Saint Augustine’s), won the 2014 New Criterion Poetry Prize. He is professor of English at Texas Tech University. His poems have appeared recently in Poetry, The Nation, The Common, and many other journals.

Valerie Sayers is the author of six novels including The Powers (Northwestern) and professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. Her stories and essays appear widely.

Piotr Sommer is the author of Continued (Wesleyan) and Overdoing It (Hobart and William Smith). His collected poems, Po Ciemku Tez˙ (Also in the Dark), appeared in Poland in 2013.

John Terpstra is a poet and woodworker whose next book, a collection of prayers written for Sunday morning, In the Company of All (Saint Thomas Poetry Series), will appear in November.

Web-Exclusive

Read a short essay by painter Bruce Herman about the work of Sedrick Huckaby, only available online!

Prayer to the Holy Louse


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The Patron Saint of Losers


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At Heaven’s Rim


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Ecstatic Dislocation: The Art of Sedrick Huckaby


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double exposure of the top of a verdant green tree branching onto a pale blue sky, overlaid with a photo of five-petaled white flowers in a cluster on top.

Imagineer of Variety


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The Empty Bed: Tracey Emin and the Persistent Self


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The Assumption of Miriam from a Winter Street, 1942


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Go Gentle


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A Conversation with Rudy Wiebe


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Pont des Arts


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Salt of Sodom


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The Thorn and the Heart: Anxiety, Irony, and Faith


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Prodigal


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Father Rodney


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The Charged World


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are you my god


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[Do you remember the seraphim]


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Roman Charity


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After Hearing That a Friend Visiting Israel for the First Time Asked Her Private Tour Guide, “Where Is the Garden of Eden?”


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[You bind my hands with saliva]


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Atheist Bodies


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Field


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[A soft, slow smell rises up]


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The Dervish and the Mermaid


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Web Exclusive: A Love Supreme: The Surprising Art of Sedrick Huckaby


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Some Small Bone


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The Death of Barabbas


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Tidal Wave


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Glowworm


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The Wolf of Gubbio


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Fighting Fish


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Every One Such as I


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Manual for the Would-Be Saint


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[Honey lives only]


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