Erik Gleibermann offers this intimate glimpse of Mexico City as seen from within its Metro system.
Four artists of Iraqi descent are achieving global recognition for their paintings and handbag design. Both proud of their culture of origin and open to resources beyond national designations, these four artists are reckoning with vibrant identity issues.
From the Middle Ages to Seinfeld, schlemiel and schlimazel characters enjoy an interesting history. Veronica Esposito traces this history and considers why the idea of the schlemiel has survived and resonated so widely.
“Unlike Jesus I have no gift / For self-deprecation / I stay here / Head down writing page after page,” from “A Touch of Salt on My Confession,” by Abdourahman A. Waberi (trans. Nancy Naomi Carlson)
“If a love song is made of water, the water / you hold in your hands right now is a lyric, / a song inside the rusty tap released,” from “These Visitations,” by Brian Turner & Dorianne Laux
“If you proclaim your love / it will return, empty, hollow, your same old voice / because you didn’t have the courage to pass by all / the boarded-up doors, worn-out footsteps, / muddied streets,” from “All Alone,” by Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke (trans. by Karen Van Dyck)
They Flew by Night
“The ice thickened and awoke with a snap. It stretched, shivered, and strengthened again. Each day it grew deeper and, for a short while, reflected the shine of the distant sun back into the sky,” from “They Flew by Night,” by Mirja Lanz (trans. by Catherine Venner)
“Ruins give us this beautiful idea,” writes the author, “that you could make something, something wonderful and strange, as pleasing as you could, imbuing it with something of yourself.” Yet even the self, subject to time, must evanesce.
The tears, the rituals: a family goes on a journey and joins millions of strangers pouring into Mecca. In this moving essay, a writer evokes the beauty, movement, and emotion of the Hajj itself.
After a decade of talking to strangers while traveling, J. R. Patterson explores why strangers make some of the best conversation partners.
“The judge and lawyers argued, the judge became annoyed, the case was adjourned. Not a single case was brought by a female lawyer. No one in the courtroom was female except me.”
Writing, the Gambler’s Art: A Conversation with Chigozie Obioma
An interview with Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma, whose debut novel, The Fishermen, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2015. His third novel, The Road to the Country, a Biafran War fiction, is forthcoming from Hutchinson Heinemann.
Making Things Brighter for the Next Generation: A Conversation with Oscar Hokeah
Kyrié Eleison Owen interviews Oscar Hokeah, whose book Calling for a Blanket Dance, a cutting novel about challenge, resilience, and the support of one’s community, won the 2023 PEN America/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel.
Poetry’s Syncretic Mishmosh: A Conversation with Robert Pinsky
A conversation with poet Robert Pinsky, wherein he talks about important “moments” in both his personal life and his seminal career as a poet, teacher, accomplished saxophone player, celebrator and publisher of Americans’ favorite poems.