Tammy Armstrong has published two novels and five books of poetry. Her most recent poetry collection, Year of the Metal Rabbit (Gaspereau Press, 2019), was a finalist for the Atlantic Book Awards’ J. M. Abraham Poetry Award and won the inaugural Maxine Tynes Nova Scotia Poetry Award. Her novel-in-progress, “Ursula,” was a finalist for the 2020 Harper Collins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction. She lives in southern Nova Scotia.
Justin Balog is a writer from Beach Park, Illinois. He holds a BS in biology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. A graduate of the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program with his MFA in poetry, he has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the University of Michigan. He was an assistant editor at Michigan Quarterly Review, where he co-founded MQR’s online, multimodal imprint, Mixtape. He has work appearing in Ploughshares, Narrative, and the Iowa Review. Currently, he is a student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
C. P. Boyko, the author of four collections of fiction, lives and writes in Vancouver.
Wo Chan is a poet and drag performer. They are a winner of the 2020 Nightboat Poetry Prize and the author of Togetherness (Nightboat Books, 2022). Wo has received fellowships from MacDowell, New York Foundation of the Arts, Kundiman, and elsewhere. Their poems appear in Poetry, Wussy, the Massachusetts Review, No Tokens, and the Margins. As a member of the Brooklyn-based drag/burlesque collective Switch N’ Play, Wo has performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1, National Sawdust, New York Live Arts, and elsewhere. Follow their work at @theillustriouspearl.
Terry Eicher’s poetry and prose have appeared in Kenyon Review, Narrative (first place, Winter Story Contest), AGNI, Southwest Review (Marr Poetry Prize winner), Subtropics, the New York Times Book Review, and other publications. His chapbook, Uses of the Baobab, a long poem set in Senegal, where he was a Peace Corps volunteer, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
Megan Fernandes has been published in the New Yorker, Tin House, Ploughshares, LitHub, Chicago Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among many other journals. Her second book of poetry, Good Boys, was published by Tin House in February 2020. She is an assistant professor of English and the writer-in-residence at Lafayette College. She lives in New York City.
Sherrie Flick’s nonfiction has been published in Ploughshares, Creative Nonfiction, the Wall Street Journal, and Belt Magazine. She is the author of the novel Reconsidering Happiness (University of Nebraska Press, 2009) and two short story collections, Whiskey, Etc. (Autumn House, 2016) and Thank Your Lucky Stars (Autumn House, 2018). A senior editor at SmokeLong Quarterly, she also served as series editor for the Best Small Fictions 2018 (Braddock Avenue Books, 2018). She lives in Pittsburgh.
Rob Franklin is a writer living in New York. A finalist for the 2019 Sewanee Review Fiction and Poetry contest, his work has previously appeared in Prairie Schooner, the Masters Review, Fields Magazine, and the Levinthal Anthology, among others. Currently, he’s completing an MFA in fiction at New York University, where he’s wrapping up his first novel.
Castle Freeman Jr. has been a contributor of short fiction to New England Review since the 1980s. He lives in southeastern Vermont.
Mark Harman, emeritus professor of English and German at Elizabethtown College, has translated a range of German-language works, including two Kafka novels—Amerika: The Missing Person (Schocken, 2008) and The Castle (Schocken, 1998), the latter of which won the Modern Language Association’s first Lois Roth Award—and works by Rilke, Hesse, and various contemporary writers. Editor and co-translator of Robert Walser Rediscovered: Stories, Fairy-Tale Plays and Critical Responses (UPNE, 1985), he has written about modern German and Irish literature, with particular emphasis on Beckett, Joyce, and Kafka. He is currently completing an annotated volume of his translations of selected Kafka stories.
Tim Hayward is an internationally acclaimed artist who lives and works in Devon, UK, and is represented by the Jonathan Cooper gallery in London. Prior to joining the Cooper gallery in 2000, he worked as a wildlife illustrator for the Natural History Museum, London; the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; and Zoo Books, San Diego; among many others. His work is included in the Noorder Dierenpark collection, Netherlands, and in prominent private collections worldwide, including those of the Duke of Bedford and the Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai. He exhibits regularly at the Masterpiece Art Fair and at the BADA Art fair, both in London, and in solo exhibitions at Jonathan Cooper.
Niki Herd is the author of The Language of Shedding Skin (Main Street Rag, 2010) and co-editor of Laura Hershey: On the Life & Work of an American Master (Pleiades Press, 2019). Her chapbook, _____ , don’t you weep is forthcoming from Sting & Honey Press. Herd’s poems, essays, and criticism appear in or are forthcoming from Copper Nickel, The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, and Salon, among others. Her work has been supported by Ucross, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Newberry Library, and Cave Canem. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.
Steven Kleinman is the author of Life Cycle of a Bear (Anhinga Press, 2021), winner of the 2019 Philip Levine Poetry Prize. He is the director of the BFA in creative writing at the University of the Arts, and director of the Art Alliance Writers’ Workshop. He is a contributing editor at the American Poetry Review and a co-host of the American Poetry Review podcast. Among other journals, his work has been published in Copper Nickel, Iowa Review, Gettysburg Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and the anthology Best American Poetry 2020.
Sally Wen Mao is the author of two collections of poetry, Oculus (Graywolf Press, 2019), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014). The recipient of a Pushcart Prize and an NEA fellowship, she was recently a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library and a Shearing Fellow at the Black Mountain Institute.
Kim McLarin is a novelist, essayist, and playwright. Her most recent books are Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Life (IG Publishing, 2019) and James Baldwin’s Another Country (IG Publishing, 2020). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, the Washington Post, Sewanee Review, and many other publications. She is a professor of creative writing and interim dean of Graduate and Professional Studies at Emerson College.
Ana Menéndez has published four books of fiction: Adios, Happy Homeland! (Grove Press, 2011), The Last War (HarperCollins, 2009), Loving Che (Grove, 2004), and In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd (Grove, 2002), whose title story won a Pushcart Prize. A fifth book, The Apartment, from which the excerpt in this issue is taken, is set in a mice-infested art-deco building in South Miami Beach. The novel spans the years 1942–2012, offering glimpses into the lives of several tenants of Apartment 2B as they try to come to terms with their haunted pasts. It is forthcoming in spring 2023 from Counterpoint.
Sara Michas-Martin is the author of Gray Matter (Fordham University Press, 2014), winner of the Poets Out Loud Prize and nominated for the Colorado Book Award. Other honors include support from the Vermont Studio Center, the Bread Loaf and Squaw Valley writers’ conferences, a nonfiction grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and a Wallace Stegner fellowship. Recent poems and essays can be found in the American Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review, KR Online, Los Angeles Review, Poetry Northwest, and Terrain.org. She lives east of Monterey Bay and is a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University.
Rosalie Moffett is the author of Nervous System (Ecco, 2019), which was chosen by Monica Youn for the National Poetry Series Prize and listed by the New York Times as a New and Notable book, as well as June in Eden (Ohio State University Press, 2016). She has been awarded the “Discovery”/Boston Review prize, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and scholarships from the Tin House and Bread Loaf writers’ conferences. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, New England Review, Narrative, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor at the University of Southern Indiana.
Marina Pavlova is a native speaker of Russian who holds a Cand. Sc. (PhD) in American Literature from Ivanovo State University. Her awards for translation include the Special Prize for the Best Realization of Intercultural Communication in a Translator’s Work in the 2007 Sensum de Sensu competition (St. Petersburg, Russia). She lives in Russia and is currently working on a book-length collection of Marina Tsvetaeva’s poems translated into English.
Alyssa Pelish lives and works in New York. “Paleontology” belongs to a collection of short stories linked by an unnamed narrator’s accounts of miscommunication and disconnect. The collection, House, Tree, was a finalist for the 2022 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Alyssa’s other writing has appeared in earlier volumes of New England Review, the Paris Review online, Harper’s, Slate, Conjunctions, Cabinet, Denver Quarterly, North American Review, Baffler, and the Smart Set, as well as having been recognized by LitHub, Granta, Best American Essays, and Best American Short Stories.
Hai-Dang Phan is the author of the poetry collection Reenactments (Sarabande Books, 2019) and the translator of Phan Nhiên Hạo’s Paper Bells (Song Cave, 2020). An English professor at Grinnell College, he currently lives in Iowa City.
Anzhelina Polonskaya was born in Malakhovka, a small town near Moscow. Since 1998, she has been a member of the Moscow Union of Writers, and in 2003 became a member of the Russian PEN Centre. Polonskaya has published translations in many poetry journals, including the Iowa Review, AGNI, the Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares, and Kenyon Review, among others. Her awards include a Rockefeller Fellowship, International Words on Borders’ Freedom (Ord i Grenseland) Prize, and a 2016 Pushcart Prize.
Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906–2001), an architect of independence and the founding president of the Republic of Senegal, was the chief cultural, political, and literary theorist of Négritude (developed with Aimé Césaire and Léon Damas). Senghor was a scholarship student at the Sorbonne and became France’s first African professeur agrégé, and a lycée and university professor. During World War II, in the period of his discovery of Saint-John Perse, he was a soldier in the French army, a German POW, and a member of the Resistance. He was the author of Chants D’Ombres (1945), Éthiopiques (1956), and Nocturnes (1961), among many volumes of poetry and essays, and the editor of the seminal collection of modern African poetry in French (1948). He was the first Black African elected to the Académie Française. This essay was written soon after he became president.
Robert Anthony Siegel is the author of a memoir, Criminals (Counterpoint, 2019), and two novels, All Will Be Revealed (MacAdam/Cage, 2007) and All the Money in the World (Random House, 1997). His short work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian, Paris Review, Tin House, Oxford American, and Ploughshares, among other places, and has been anthologized, translated into multiple languages, and recognized with O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan, a Mombukagakusho Fellow in Japan, a writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Paul Engle Fellow at the Iowa Writers Workshop.
Marina Tsvetaeva (1892–1941) is often considered one of the greatest poets in twentieth-century Russian literature. Her legacy includes several collections of lyric poetry and long poems, the most celebrated of which are “Poem of the Mountain” (1926) and “Poem of the End” (1926); verse dramas; translations of Rilke, Goethe, Baudelaire, and other European poets; literary criticism; and autobiographical prose. Broadly described as modernist, her work was not part of any literary movement of the time. Tsvetaeva is known as a technical virtuoso, whose poems combine musicality with highly distinctive elliptical syntax and hectic rhythm.
Andrew Wachtel has served as rector of Narxoz University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and president of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Before coming to Central Asia in 2010, he was dean of the Graduate School and director of the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he translates from Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, and Slovene, and his translation of Anzhelina Polonskaya’s Paul Klee’s Boat (Zephyr Press, 2012) was short-listed for the 2014 PEN Poetry Translation Prize.
Lisa Williams is the author of three books of poems: Gazelle in the House (New Issues, 2014), Woman Reading to the Sea (W. W. Norton, 2008), and The Hammered Dulcimer (Utah State University Press 1998). She teaches at Centre College and is series editor for the University Press of Kentucky New Poetry and Prose Series.
Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian poet and a Cave Canem fellow. He is a recipient of an NEA Fellowship, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, and an Illinois Arts Council Agency Award, and has received both a Kenyon Review Fellowship and a Stegner Fellowship. Additionally, he has received fellowships or grants from Bread Loaf, Tin House, and the MacDowell Colony, among others. His book, Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love (Copper Canyon, 2019), was recognized by the New York Times as a best new book of poetry.
Xu Xi is Indonesian-Chinese from Hong Kong and author of fourteen books of fiction and nonfiction. New and forthcoming titles include This Fish Is Fowl: Essays of Being (Nebraska, 2019), The Art and Craft of Asian Stories (Bloomsbury, 2021), and Monkey in Residence and Other Speculations (Signal 8, November 2022). She cofounded Authors at Large and currently occupies the William H. P. Jenks Chair in Contemporary Letters at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. A diehard transnational, she has long split her life between the state of New York and the rest of the world.