“Chasing Light” serves as a companion piece for the dance film Black and Blues, an adaptation of a prose poem by the same name written by Neustadt Prize–winning author Boubacar Boris Diop.
Boris Boubacar Diop delivered the following keynote talk to a packed audience at the University of Oklahoma during the 2022 Neustadt Lit Fest (October 24–26, 2022), which was also livestreamed to participants from more than forty countries, from Albania to Uzbekistan.
Jennifer Croft, who nominated Diop for the 2022 Neustadt Prize, delivered the following encomium at the ceremony during which he received the award at the University of Oklahoma.
“Seventy years later, I still feel that door / sinking under my weight, can still see / the white faces of Larry and Billy / and Danny looking across into mine / as we held our arms wide, as if to keep / some wild, free, invisible creature,” from “Raft,” by Ted Kooser
Persis Karim’s contributions to the Shadow and Light project of photos and poems about a wife and husband, both law professors in Mosul, who were murdered on two separate occasions between 2004 and 2005.
“On my right metatarsus / you can see the swale caused by wet wagon wheels / coming out of the Big Blue River, heaving / their sodden burdens over the top / of my arched / foot, cracking / the delicate bones below,” from “Nine Places Where You Can Still See Wheel Tracks from the Oregon Trail,” by Beth Piatote.
An Iranian woman living in the US seeks to understand the meaning of home on a journey to Egypt to visit the burial place of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Iranian king respected for his religious tolerance but forced into exile for the same.
A woman sweeping the Moscow metro with a twig broom, a violinist playing a Beatles tune, and Chekhov: Philip Metres reflects on his time on fellowship in Moscow, 1992, and Soviet nostalgia.
This piece by Lin Yi-Han is based on the theme of what it’s like to dwell in a body that carries trauma, and what it means to live in a mind where literature, memories, and vulnerability interweave with one another
This essay is a stroll through the oeuvre of the 2022 Neustadt Prize winner, Boubacar Boris Diop. It offers a foray into his formative years, followed by an exploration of the most salient aspects of his fictional writing.
Boubacar Boris Diop’s novel Doomi Golo is a rich puzzle of personal and historical narratives on the dilemma of postcolonial identity and futures. The following essay traces many of the novel’s cinematic, cultural, and political filiations.
Chiranan Pitpreecha’s poetry gave voice to Thailand’s mass pro-democracy movement of the early 1970s. After a violent government crackdown in 1976, she fled to join the Communist Party of Thailand as a dissident. The poems in Bai mai thi hai pai (1989), Pitpreecha’s award-winning collection, called for the end of Thailand’s military dictatorship. Over thirty years later, their legacy still remains ambiguous.
In his ongoing column, which appears in every other issue, Karlos K. Hill highlights the efforts of cultural figures doing works of essential good around issues of social justice. Here, Hill converses with Shoshana Bellen, who was born in a displaced persons camp that was used to house Holocaust survivors following World War II and contributed to a historical museum and education center that occupies a renovated building which originally served as the camp’s bathhouse.
Emily Doyle interviews R. O. Kwon about the best-selling anthology she co-edited with Garth Greenwell, Kink: Stories; the less-than-ideal state of sex in literature; and her novel-in-progress, which—spoiler alert—includes a century-old ghost.
Chard deNiord speaks with US Poet Laureate Ada Límon. “When the interview ended after close to an hour, I felt we had only just started to talk about her poems, the current state of poetry in the US, the relatively recent burgeoning of diversity among American poets, her powerful use of the body in both literal and metaphorical ways, her deep connection to animals and plants, her keen sensitivity to inanimate and dead things, W. H. Auden’s claim that ‘poetry makes nothing happen,’ her ancestors, her childhood home of Sonoma, California, her grief, and much more. . .”