Amitava Kumar—author, most recently, of the novels Immigrant, Montana and A Time Outside This Time, speaks about writing and visual art, and how they feed each other in his work.
“I kept the rhythm the mathematical construction and the recurrence of tones from music / and I made to spring up on the canvas the sonorous soul of the future,” from “Wassily Kandinsky,” by Constantin Severin
A poet traces fashion editor André Leon Talley’s influence on her work and life.
“We read your family history on lamp-posts: // your escape from Liantang, your ancestral home, / settling for Pink Shek in Kowloon. // You hailed Wen Tianxiang and Sun Yat-sen, / charged the Queen for usurping your land,” from “King of Kowloon,” by Jennifer Wong.
“Beautiful are the shoulders sinking into the shadows / locking her chest, rich as an orchard,” from “A Glance,” by Zheng Min (trans. by Ming Di)
“Jerusalem is closed and sealed, / my daughter’s voice erupts from the cracks, / she understands all languages, / she knocks with her fists on the city gates,” from “My Daughter Who Calls Me,” by Yael Statman (trans. by Shoshana Olidort)
An essay, with the form of a jazz standard, about John Coltrane’s music and the company of a dog named Jazz, lockdown, and a bizarrely acquired concussion.
A woman gives birth in a room where all the windows are covered with pages of a book to be burned. The woman inside, the women outside: all wait for the author.
A countryside flâneuse in search of her deceased grandfather contemplates anchoring, wandering, and the small marks we leave on the world.
In 2019 Todd Anderson journeyed to the Allan Hills with fellow artist Ian van Coller to visit and document an eight-person ice coring science team led by Princeton University professor and geoscientist John Higgins.
The following essay is a memorial tribute to Olga Krause’s friend and fellow LGBT leader Sergey Shcherbakov, who died under suspicious circumstances in 1999. The text situates their friendship within the context of the traumas that defined the perestroika-era lives of Soviet citizens: hunger, homelessness, AIDS, and the horrors of the prison system.
An Afghan American writer recalls her own departure from Afghanistan in 1980 and the weariness she observed on a 2015 visit back to Kabul. Now, having watched events unfold as Kabul fell again, Fowzia Karimi wonders whether the hope she observed while visiting—tenuous though it was—has since been extinguished.
Jennifer Wong is a poet, critic, and translator based in the UK. Here she discusses her poetry, her wide-ranging interest in the visual arts and aesthetics, her understanding of the agency of art, and the notion of ekphrasis, now used to refer to literary descriptions of visual artworks.
To date, the New-Generation African Poets Chapbook Box Set has published about one hundred new poets from Africa and the African diaspora. Nane, the latest box set, is out now from Akashic Books. In the following exchange, Erik Gleibermann engages the series co-editors, Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani.
Managing and Culture Editor Michelle Johnson interviews Masiyaleti Mbewe, a Zambian queerfuturist writer, photographer, and activist.