Current Issue: Fall 2022

Staff Picks

Fred Moten’s perennial fashion presence falling revels in the full sensuous range of poetic language as aural and visual medium. Animated by homonymous play and an ever-shifting typography, Moten’s new book of poems concerns itself with the question of whether a transhistorical self subjected to dehumanizing racial violence can be reclaimed or reasserted through art. How does one craft a black aesthetic toward this aim? What if the poetic “I” as a form of lyrical self-assertion has always been a myth, obfuscating the inherent collaborativeness of the artistic process as a natural complement to the mutuality of human life?   

– Yeukai Zimbwa on Fred Moten


There’s a curious extra-textual layer to “Style,” which is that I started writing it when I was living in the literary wilderness, so to speak. No published fiction to my name—no guide, no map to show me the way out of that place. The story came from a bafflement about who I was as a writer, what it meant to be a writer. By the time I was finishing the story, I hadn’t necessarily landed on a solution to those quandaries, but I had gotten enough approval professionally to have a useful distance from that young-writer distress—to see how the story at heart is sort of a satire of our need to have a self (in the literary world, in the world at large) and how outer recognition does nothing to settle the core angst we’re all trudging through.

– Corey Sobel

Book Reviews

“I need a volunteer. This is a choose your own adventure poem,” says Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo, self-proclaimed “Tall Spy” or so says her Instagram handle, followed by “unfortunately u can’t prove i’m not tall or a spy.” We’re in an era now where our Instagram bios are used to define us, I guess. Gelfman-Randazzo is 5’8” (she tells us) and also a poet. And she’s reading from her latest chapbook, Duh , in the backyard of a small used bookstore in Prospect Heights. 13 minutes past the start time, my friend finds a fortune in his jacket pocket, “Listen these next few days to your friends to get the answers you seek.” 17 minutes past the start time, they bring out wine. 22 minutes past the start time, we begin.

– Sophie Anderson on Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo

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