Berfrois

Jessica Sequeira on Xanthi Barker

Jessica Sequeira on Xanthi Barker

The short novel or story can be so condensed it requires multiple scans, just like a poem. I read Xanthi Barker’s nouvelle three times and each time had a different response.

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Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #2

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #2

by Nicholas Rombes From Pond, by Claire-Louise Bennett, 2016. Everybody knows deep down that life is as much about the things that do not happen as the things that do and that’s not something that ought to be glossed over or denied because without frustration there would hardly be...

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Earliest Gestures

Earliest Gestures

I can never go back and know what, as an infant, I first felt, what my original sensations were, nor can I recapture the initial experience of moving, of being touched

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Michael Gottlieb on Drew Gardner

Michael Gottlieb on Drew Gardner

Ronald Reagan dies, goes to hell, eventually earns his horns and pitchfork and comes back up here to bedevil us again. It’s years later now.

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One Perfect Sentence #1

One Perfect Sentence #1

Not “my mother stayed alive” but “my mother’s body.” The sentence comes near the midpoint of the novel as the narrator thinks back to the death of her parents. Her mother is in a coma where...

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Letter to a Young Poet

Letter to a Young Poet

Did you ever meet, or was he before your day, that old gentleman—I forget his name—who used to enliven conversation, especially at breakfast when the post came in...

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Again They Are Scared

Again They Are Scared

When Chinese law professor Xu Zhangrun began publishing articles last year criticizing the government’s turn toward a harsher variety of authoritarianism...

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Paintings and Poems: City on a Hill

Paintings and Poems: City on a Hill

I assumed the Queen Mob’s Teahouse poetry editor position back in April, taking over from Erik Kennedy, Queen Mob’s second poetry editor, from May, 2015...

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Lying Awake At Night

Lying Awake At Night

About once in so often you are due to lie awake at night. Why this is so I have never been able to discover...

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Walt Whitman in Russia: Three Love Affairs

Walt Whitman in Russia: Three Love Affairs

Whitman needed not a mere celebrity endorsement, not just an appreciative aesthete, but a lover in Russia; a passionate, devoted reader who would accept him without judgment.

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Eric D. Lehman: The Real Deal

Eric D. Lehman: The Real Deal

Since David K. Leff’s first book appeared over a decade ago, he has carved out a position in New England’s literary and environmental history. Some of his books, like Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash, reach back to a Thoreauvian past

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Robert R. Bensen Remembers Derek Walcott

Robert R. Bensen Remembers Derek Walcott

Derek defined his place in the great movements of poetry and history. He wrote, “I accept my function/as a colonial upstart at the end of an empire...

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Clubbing

Clubbing

The Literary Club, known simply as “The Club,” was established in early 1764 after the portrait painter Joshua Reynolds became worried about his friend Samuel Johnson...

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Nadia de Vries: A Short History of Ectoplasm

Nadia de Vries: A Short History of Ectoplasm

You test the water with your elbow. You taste the milk before serving it. Is the temperature all right? Tenderness is throwing your body in the ring for someone else, is showing compassion...

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Ed Simon: Novel Prognostications

Ed Simon: Novel Prognostications

by Ed Simon He undertakes to write a Chronicle of things before they are done, which is an irregular, and a perverse way. —John Donne, from a sermon preached at Lincoln’s Inn, 1620 Between 1997 and 1998, representatives of His Majesty’s government stationed in Constantinople, Rome, Paris, and Moscow...

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Joanna C. Valente: Truth or Dare?

Joanna C. Valente: Truth or Dare?

by Joanna C. Valente The 7 train comes to a halt in the tunnel. It’s dark. No one knows where exactly in the tunnel. No one can hear anything except it’s so hot it almost feels like the humidity is cracking our bodies open, apart—is cracking the car walls open...

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Simon Calder on AWP 2019

Simon Calder on AWP 2019

Wondering why the witch has such resonance right now, the panelists agreed that it is in part because she “provides a way of speaking the unnamed, especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

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Jessica Sequeira: Count Crayon & Other Stories

Jessica Sequeira: Count Crayon & Other Stories

by Jessica Sequeira Count Crayon There was once a creature in charge of all the colours in the world. It was Count Crayon. It could decide whether the grass was pale or dark green, the sky blue or overcast. At first it took this power for granted. It even...

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Cultish Childhood

Cultish Childhood

“Where are you from?” For most people, this is a casual social question. For me, it’s an exceptionally loaded one, and demands either a lie or my glossing over facts

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Erik Kennedy on Les Murray

Erik Kennedy on Les Murray

Les Murray, David Naseby, 1995 (detail) by Erik Kennedy One indication of Les Murray’s greatness is the extent to which he has come to represent an entire country’s poetry, at least for many readers in the northern hemisphere. For better or worse, he is to Australian poetry what Slavoj...

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The Gram

The Gram

Researchers have produced mountains of studies on the motivations and rewards that drive the social media user. The craving for attention, the narcissistic self-referencing...

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