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In Support of BLM: Organizations to Donate to

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: https://www.nypl.org/support/membership/schomburg-society “Harlem’s beloved NYPL branch—a research institution, community center, and artistic stronghold dedicated to Black history and thought—dedicates itself as much to historical preservation of Black lives as to present and future activism.” –Ryan Daar The Loveland Foundation: https://thelovelandfoundation.org/ “The Loveland Therapy Fund provides financial assistance for Black women and girls in the U.S. to access mental health professionals and therapy sessions. It is committed to supporting the mental healing and wellbeing of Black women and girls: therapy sessions can cost anywhere from $80-$200, and Loveland works to ensure that recipients will…

Jihyun Yun: On Food, Intimacy, and Language

An interview conducted by Maddie Woda Jihyun Yun was first published in The Columbia Review‘s 100th Volume with her piece, “The Leaving Season.” Yun’s writing uses food—its preparation, consumption, and cultural significance—to reflect on themes like womanhood and familial grief. Her first book of poetry (which includes “The Leaving Season”) won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize…

Starving and Sated

Editor (now alumna) Maddie Woda reviews Jihyun Yun’s first collection, Some Are Always Hungry. In 2016, I stumbled upon Jihyun Yun’s poem “Recipe: Dak-dori-tang” in BOAAT. A freshman in Columbia’s English program, I was beginning to develop my taste for poetry. I liked narration, freshness, unapologetic earnestness. I did not want too much room for interpretation, worried I’d fall through the cracks and say something ridiculous in class. I preferred James Wright to John Ashbery. I could not name any poets who were not deceased white men.  I read “Recipe: Dak-dori-tang” and immediately fell in love with Yun’s style. While…

Review: Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez’s new novel begins with verse, not prose, in a prologue titled “Broken English.” Her narrator Antonia Vega recalls the death of her husband in a car accident a year ago: “she keeps asking / Where are you? / as this is the only way she knows / Can you help me find him? / how to create an afterlife for him.” The prologue’s title points to the racism that Antonia, a Dominican-American literature professor in rural Vermont, faces as she “teach[es] Americans their own language.” But it also depicts poetry, with its line breaks and often unpredictable rhythms,…

Close Reading Series: Morgan Levine on “Sonnet”

The Close Reading Series invites our board editors to write about a favorite piece from our Spring 2020 issue. These readings are not intended to be definitive interpretations; when we read, we bring with us our own histories, experiences, and references, all of which guide our relationship to the work before us. It is possible,…

Everything is Personal, This is Personal Too

Editor Emmi Mack reviews Laurie Stone’s latest collection, Everything is Personal: Notes on Now. In her latest collection of hybrid nonfiction, Everything is Personal: Notes on Now, Laurie Stone presents her thoughtful brand of cultural criticism through deeply intimate snapshots of memoir. Her perceptions of art, both contemporary and what’s stuck with her for decades,…

Close Reading Series: Sofia Montrone on “(46)” and “(47)”

The Close Reading Series invites our board editors to write about a favorite piece from our Spring 2020 issue. These readings are not intended to be definitive interpretations; when we read, we bring with us our own histories, experiences, and references, all of which guide our relationship to the work before us. It is possible,…

Close Reading Series: Spencer Grayson on “Newly, rendered, truly”

The Close Reading Series invites our board editors to write about a favorite piece from our Spring 2020 issue. These readings are not intended to be definitive interpretations; when we read, we bring with us our own histories, experiences, and references, all of which guide our relationship to the work before us. It is possible,…

“My fantasy of a memoir about nothing”: On Kate Zambreno’s Drifts

Kate Zambreno’s latest work of autofiction, Drifts, is a novel about the process of writing a novel, or, at least, the process of thinking about one. The narrator, a lightly-fictionalized version of Zambreno, ekes out a living as an adjunct professor as she attempts to write a novel, Drifts, “that contains the energy of thought.”…

Bryn Evans: On Weight & Time

AN INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY MORGAN LEVINE Bryn Evans received our Spring 2020 Poetry Prize for her poem “Thotiana’s interlude, or Barbara Mason reconsiders settling down.” Bryn and I called each other from our respective hometowns of Decatur, Georgia and Houston, Texas for this interview, which has been lightly edited for clarity. I’ve been a fan…