Announcement: The Columbia Review’s 100th Volume Literary Prizes!

The Columbia Review is excited to announce that we are offering one-time prizes to celebrate the first issue in our 100th Volume during the Fall 2018 semester. There will be three categories — Poetry, Prose, and Translation — as outlined below. The Kenneth Koch Prizes in Prose and Poetry will be awarded to one prose…

Claiming Holiday Supremacy: A Halloween Blog

October is upon us, and we all know what that means; it’s finally time for Halloween. On the list of the top ten best holidays, Halloween easily fills ranks 1-9. It is truly a peerless event, but October 31 is not just an excuse to eat an entire bag of mini-snickers bars while dressed up…

Water Lilies after Monet

And light— my paint liquid light— the pale flush of rose lustrous daffodil yellow lilac blue and soft electric silver warm blaze colored oil glowing light— shimmering green    mesmerizing blurring    deep and nebulous sheer light   and all I feel is moment… here hazy and    bleary glinting of clouds limpid sapphire flashing sky whirling cloud-strokes…

Read Our Spring 2018 Issue!

The Columbia Review is proud to announce the second installment of our 99th Volume. We would like to thank all of our wonderful contributors, our editorial board, and the Columbia Arts Initiative for their talent, support, and generosity. We are also incredibly proud of our representation of female writers this semester, and we hope to continue in our endeavor to create an inclusive magazine. Every issue is a joy to compile, and a pleasure to read and reread. We hope that you read, share, and relish the work of our astute contributors.

Eating Bread is Wooden Ships Crashing on the Shore 

There is a dial tone in the mirror. In a single room, blue invents a forest, and when the light arrives, it arrives like milk, without origin—white rain erasing fliers on a phone-pole.   Milk is the ranger, transducted through the forest’s million acres, emerging on the other side as a pencil. Milk is a bookmark. Milk reminds you of the sound foreign coins make in your pocket, and gladly, you are near. Milk has a weight in the mouth like a tuba has in the ear, and the chest which is the ear’s private amphitheater.   The moonlit pond…

Anatomy of Absence 

There was a hole at the table where her son used to be. Once he had sat across from her and made reluctant single-syllable conversation, his mouth full of food. When his father left, he stopped speaking. Then he stopped coming all together. After the divorce papers were finalized, she enrolled herself in a cooking…

We Sail These Seas

Long ago, they set fire to their homes. At the end of winter, when the snowdrifts began to deflate and the dead trees began to breathe in the changing air for the first time, they would all stand outside their homes and start a fire in the middle of the village. The homes were so close to one another; a family of homes that kept each other warm, that it never took long for the fire to spread. And while the homes fell into it shouting with glee at the spectacle, everyone stood outside and watched as breath floated into…

Zora Neale Hurston on Racial Identity, Ninety Years Later

Commencement season at Barnard College this year will mark the ninetieth anniversary of Zora Neale Hurston’s graduation with a BA in anthropology. As a graduate of Barnard’s sister institution, Columbia University, I feel the time is more than ripe to reflect on some of Hurston’s contributions. As it happens, I have a second—and third—connection to Hurston, apart from my status as a Columbia alumnus. Her hometown, Eatonville, Florida, lies not far from Gainesville, Florida, where I received my BA in anthropology. I first encountered Hurston, in the company of fellow anthropology undergrads, at Eatonville’s annual “ZORA!” festival. Hurton’s literary and…

On a Collection of Covers

I. My excitement for Luna’s new album—following their decade-long break—had admittedly waned when I found out it would be a series of covers. I started listening to Luna largely for the blend of spacey music and frontman Dean Wareham’s sharp lyrics. The band—which formed following the demise of Wareham’s previous project, Galaxie 500—saw Wareham trade his higher and earnest voice for a more deadpan persona. His lyrics, however, maintained that same looseness, existing somewhere between absurd and sincere—or as both at the same time. Of course both Galaxie 500 and Luna have showcased Wareham’s affinity for covers. In Galaxie 500’s…

The Fall 2017 Issue is Here!

We’d like to thank all of the talented contributors for their great work. We would also like to thank the Gatsby Foundation for their generosity. We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.