COVER FEATURE

Writing the Great Recession

  • Five years on from the Great Recession, WLT is proud to present an international sampling of working-class literature, guest-edited by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish (page 34). We hope readers will enjoy the diverse range of voices presented in these pages. Yet as I write this note on Labor Day 2013, I’m struck by how...
  • Photo by girl/afraid/Flickr When I began my PhD studies and told my advisor I would write my dissertation on contemporary American working-class women’s poetry, her response was, “Is there such a thing?” I do not tell this story to criticize my advisor—I heard the same question from almost everyone I discussed it with: writers, professors, readers. However, I knew that my own poetry was firmly g...
  • Photo illustration by Mary Wuestewald There are, as evidenced by the working-class literature special issue of World Literature Today, many working-class writers around the world. However, the desire of working-class poets to share their writing with working-class communities could not be fulfilled if the writing did not reach its intended audience. Literary journals, magazines, and sma...
  •   Evening Time Ha Jong-o  On the subway at evening rush hourI called my wife to say I was on my way home.Hearing a familiar voice, I looked round,among the exhausted people on their way home,and saw myself, with a small body, short legs and arms,pushing the numbers on my phonethen talking to myself withoutthinking of my fellow-commuters.Judging by his clothes,he was a day laborer;judging by his f...
  • [Download the e-book Blaze A Vanishing by Alan Morrison] Alan Morrison's e-book Blaze A Vanishing is available here in its entirety as a WLT web exclusive to go along with his poem “Twigworth Yews” in the November 2013 print edition. Click here to download the e-book.
  • Photo by Mike Baird/Flickr Scribbles on the Poverty Line When I was a girl in a poor familywe hung our clothes to dry on the povertyline,and with it I jumped rope.My friends saw and joined me.We were hoping to learn to jump overendless obstacles and walls . . .  Our poverty line was generous and plentiful,it ran from house to house like telephone wiringmade of rich gossip.And like magic, when it...
  • The Cricket Match They have fooled us, friends, got us all to gaze night and day at the television,Entrusted us with the cricket match,While they go and steal the country’s resources, we watch the match,They steal away food from our plate, we watch the match,So, don’t look perplexed about your hunger, friends,why so fixated with cricket, our match is with “bread,” against hunger?With every 100 s...
  • Via Prenestina. Photo by Carlo Busini/Flickr In contrast to Michela Murgia’s Il mondo deve sapere (see WLT, Nov. 2013, 43–46), Peppe Fiore’s Nessuno è indispensabile (Anyone can be replaced) is sardonic, even cynical, and Fiore’s protagonist is not a young and disarming telemarketer but Michele Gervasini, the disillusioned, thirty-six-yea...