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Illustration by Chad Wys

Sporotrichosis

Standing in the lobby of the state-of-the-art LEED-certified Sidwell Friends Upper School, staring at a giant tile mosaic of the word stewardship, Curtis Apple was ready for some bullshit. 

<i>Luster</i>. By Raven Leilani. FSG, 2020. 240p. HB, $26

Sex in the City

We are in the midst of a publishing renaissance of novels about blackness; of literary novels with black protagonists; of novels about race and of novels published by black authors. This wave of publications follows a similar black-literature boom in [...]

The Miracle Girl

On the first day of her stigmata, Xiao Chun’s palms bled so much that the school sent her home early. Xiao Xue sighed at this turn of events and gathered her things to follow her sister. Xiao Chun was already prettier, smarter, and more obedient—she just had to be holier too.

Wong Daifu, the village doctor, made a house call when he heard about the strange condition. He squinted at the puncture wounds, which were not round and smooth but thin ovals with fringes of red, protruding skin. “And you’re sure she didn’t hurt herself accidentally?” he asked.

The Gargantuan Arm

Let us remember liberty was not popular,
six years it took Laboulaye to convince
Bartholdi a gigantic statue was 
what New York harbor needed. Eleven
years later

Tony Cokes, 3#, 2001, 4 mins. 38 secs.

                                     leaves a race behind
                 takes on the music                                      pop
                 its relation                                                    to capital

<i>Sight Lines</i>. By Arthur Sze. Copper Canyon, 2019. 80p. PB, $16.

“Alone with America”

Much has changed in America and American poetry in the nearly forty years since Richard Howard published his expanded edition of 1969’s Alone With America: Essays on the Art of Poetry in the United States Since 1950. The 1980 table of contents itself tells a significant tale of those changes: forty-one poets under consideration, six of them women, not one a person of color.


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On the Piney Woods, Death, Bobby Frank Cherry, and Me


Sometimes I wander around wondering
where my mother is. The family buried
her next to her own mother. Out there,
the hard pines darken early. Anyone
can hide and not be found for years.
Bobby Cherry laid low there. The girls came
in his dreams. You can’t live in those woods
and not be haunted by what you’ve done.

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