The world as construed, re-construed, and mis-construed. The fantastical meldings of the real and conjectural in the work of artist Olalekan Jeyifous are a vivid visual emblem for the assembled contents of the issue. Our writers, too, run tests—trying variations of the past and reassessing what had been thought obvious. More than once the reader has to ask, Did that just happen? The issue includes stories by Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Evanthia Bromiley, and Marjorie Sandor; essays by Joel Agee, Megan Harlan, and Brandon Kreitler; and poems by Kaveh Akbar, Rosalie Moffett, Noah Warren, and Kathleen Winter. The search for viable new versions of our sensual—and consensual—reality proceeds.
Electric, eclectic—an art portfolio by Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz frames up intimations of danger for an issue international across all three genres. Marilyn Hacker’s versions of Syria poet Golan Haji go side by side with new poems by Cynthia Zarin, John Kinsella, Dara Elerath, Chad Parmenter, and many others. In fiction, Jamie Quatro imagines lovers not taken, Tamas Dobozy proposes a hair-raising retrospective of a scandalous filmmaker’s career, and Elske Rahill gives us a woman whose urge to protect her daughter goes perilously far. Essays by Kim Adrian, Shahnaz Habib, Michael Sheehan, Radhiyah Ayobami, and others explore the legacies of trauma and the uncanny resourcefulness of the survival instinct.
Reading the coffee grounds. Lara Baladi’s striking emblems of private and public divination set the interrogating mood: the issue features, in an array of genuine riches, poems by Barbara Helfgott Hyett, David Daniel, Cyrus Cassells, Hailey Leithauser, and also Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan in a kind of “poets’ dialogue” (translated by Kai Maristed); essays by Tyler Mills, Marya Hornbacher, and William Eaton; and stories by Steve Stern, Noy Holland, Stephen Dixon, and Melissa Pritchard.
Artist Rosaire Appel’s arresting portfolio, which she calls “an abstract comic,” makes a provocatively apt counterweight to a gathering of work that is enticingly specific and serious. AGNI 82 is detail-rich, with memoir essays by Susan McCallum-Smith and Sheila Kohler; a Woolfian meditation on Woolf by Andrea Barrett; and diversely concrete fictions by Scott Nadelson, Colin Fleming, Malerie Willens and Ihab Hassan, to name a few. An especially full catalogue of poetry includes four translations, as well as work—some of it comic, yes—by Nin Andrews, Bob Hicok, Kathleen Graber, Joan Wickersham, and many others.
Anna Schuleit Haber’s arresting sequence of paintings—from which we take our cover and portfolio—is entitled The Voice Imitator. How apt that is, for AGNI 81, even more than previous issues, is a gathering of uniquely expressive tonalities. From the fictional flights of writers like Stephen Dixon, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Amina Gautier, and Karl Ove Knausgaard; to the essayistic renderings of Chloe Honum, Jennifer S. Cheng, and Adam Szczucinski; and on to poems and translations by Cyrus Cassells, Patricia Hooper, Noah Warren, Martha Silano, and Vivek Narayanan, the octaves of the contemporary are thoroughly sounded.
Unsettling whimsy, gravity, and grace: Photographer Rosamond Purcell’s portfolio—the debut of her “Oscar” series—provides the visual key signature for our most symphonically ambitious gathering of voices yet. Fiction by Beth Bosworth, Josh Weil, Chitra Divakaruni, and Tony Eprile; poetry by Nick Flynn, Erica Funkhouser, Peter Balakian, and Jill McDonough; essays by Anna Journey and K. E. Duffin; and much more. Superb translations of Virgil, Raúl Zurita, Théophile Gautier, Antonio Tabucchi, and others bring striking accents to the weave.
Out of pieces is a world made and understood. Wangechi Mutu’s stunning, disturbing images set the tone for an investigation of canny and uncanny assemblage. Essays by, among others, Carol Ann Davis and Anna Journey; fiction by Ihab Hassan, Matt Sailor, and Ann Pancake; translations of Horace and Callimachus, and poems by Kevin Prufer, Patricia Hooper, and many others.
Rules—and ruins—of attraction. From Nicola Waldron’s memoir of the summons of first love, to Peter LaSalle’s unsettling fiction of literary erotics. to J. D. Daniels’s story of jealous transgression. Erica Funkhauser’s poems channeling John Berryman’s devastations, and the light of Vermeer refracted by poet Circe Maia. A generous suite of tributes to Gail Mazur, along with new work by the poet. The breadth of literary imaginings is counterpointed, and underscored, by the eerily witty precision of Matt Hope’s drawings of the future as remembered: strange ruins, new rules. Much, much more.
The body eclectic—artist Fabio D’Aroma’s expressively cartoonized bodies and physiognomies catch the flavor of an issue featuring Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s surgery memoir, as well as meaty and muscular fiction from Tiphanie Yanique, David Hernandez, E. C. Osondu, and Melanie Rae Thon; essays by Lia Purpura and Elvis Bego; poetry by Dana Levin, Jordan Smith, Peter Balakian, and Carol Moldaw; and much more, including translations from the Lithuanian, French, Japanese, Danish, and Russian.
Fiery significations—of place, of past, of self. Artist Lesley Dill’s striking figurations set the tone of engaged encounter. Nonfiction by Jeffrey Mehlman, John Kinsella, Dinah Lenney, Susan McCallum-Smith, and others. Stories by David Huddle, Wendy Rawlings, Tamas Dobozy, and Victoria Lancelotta; poetry from Sharon Olds, Eamon Grennan, David Wojahn, Patricia Lockwood, with translations by Christopher Middleton, Hoyt Rogers, and Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough.
Trails of mastery, echoes of influence. This first issue of our 40th-anniversary year features a portfolio of photographs of Robert Lowell, never before published, by Robert Gardner, with responses and reminiscences from an array of writers, including C. K. Williams, Fanny Howe, Lloyd Schwartz, Claudia Rankine, Tom Sleigh, Gail Mazur, and Robert Pinsky. Other contents include stories by Edith Pearlman and Vince Passaro, poems by David Wagoner, Connie Voisine, Emilia Phillips, Adam Day, Bob Hicok, and Jill McDonough, and translated work by Osip Mandelstam, Yves Bonnefoy and Husch Josten.
Sifting for fresh versions of the known. An art portfolio of odd objects, served up by Jody Servon and Lorene Delany-Ullman, captures something of the larger idiosyncrasy of this issue, which features, among other offerings, poetry by Amy Gerstler, Sherman Alexie, Carol Ann Davis, and Rainer Maria Rilke (from the German and from the French); fiction by Helen DeWitt and Rachel Swearingen; a generous array of nonfiction by Sarah Braunstein, Jonathan Wilson, Robert Boyers, and many others, as well as a conversation with the startlingly unusual Yahia Lababidi.
Tethers of mind, tethers of heart: a lyric inventory of the ties that bind, and constrain. Cover and portfolio by Ethan Murrow create the vibration, sustained and amplified in fiction by Ihab Hassan, Mark Slouka, Sigrid Nunez, Tom Whalen, and many others; poetry by Amy Beeder, Tom Sleigh, Patricia Lockwood, and Ed Ochester; and nonfiction by Nin Andrews and Matt Donovan. Translations of Robert Walser, Giulio Mozzi, Paul Celan, and Horace.
Anything-but-alphabetical Africa. A vividly variegated portfolio (in print and online) of fiction from the continent that Alexander miraculously overlooked, including new work from Henrietta Rose-Innes, Helon Habila, Doreen Baingana, and many others. The art feature and cover by Victor Ekpuk telegraph the sensuous immediacy and coded layers of this presentation. The issue also includes fiction by Joan Wickersham and Sarah Gaddis; poems by C. K. Williams, Kevin Young, Kate Northrop, and others; reflections on poetry by Carol Moldaw and Anton Vander Zee; as well as tributes to Barry Hannah by Sven Birkerts and William Giraldi.
Detonations and responses. The pressure of consequences public and private moves through fiction by Tom Bissell, Carolyn Cooke, Marjorie Sandor, and others. It turns lyrical in work by Charles Simic, Major Jackson, Kathleen Graber, and Melissa Green, and flares up surprisingly in essays by Paul West, Lia Purpura, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, and Alex Lemon. The issue also includes a career-spanning interview with Donald Hall and a portfolio of artist Ellen Driscoll’s strikingly engaged installations.
Celebrations and skewerings. The writing life laid bare in fiction by Ken Kalfus, Giles Harvey, and Melissa Pritchard; essays by Peter LaSalle and Norman Lock; and poems by Victoria Chang and Alexander Long. Other work by Simon Armitage, Tomaz Salamun, Maxine Scates, Mary O’Donoghue, Douglas Bauer, Mimi Schwartz, and many others. Plus a mind-stretching art feature and cover by Joomi Chung, and a special section in which writers and fellow artists commemorate the life of painter Michael Mazur.
Radical compressions and striking explosions. Brian Christian proposes a radical theory of art as information, and Senior Editor Bill Pierce riffs out further connections, while artist Aldwyth (as elucidated by fellow-artist Rosamond Purcell) offers uncannily apt illustration. Lovers’ beds abound—in fiction by Gary Amdahl, Michael Mejia, and Margo Berdeshevsky—and poets, including Adam Day, Garrett Keizer, Eva Hooker, and Deborah Pease, find what’s fresh and disturbing in the nothing new that is under the sun.
Inscapes and crossings. Michael Mazur’s cover rendering of Dantean passage sets the tone for an issue rich with transformative broodings and hard-won exclamations. Poetry by Rita Dove, Robert Pinsky, Richard Kenney, Alan Williamson, and many others resonates against powerful translations of Vasyl Makhno, Tomas Venclova, René Char, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Nelly Sachs. Stories by Charles Haverty, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Anis Shivani, and Gary Amdahl seem to call to nuanced meditations by Lia Purpura, Brian Christian, and Nadia Gregor. This is a partial listing, to be sure. The issue also features a first-ever DVD—Robert Gardner’s documentary celebration of our portfolio artist Michael Mazur at work on his print illustrations of Robert Pinsky’s striking translations of the Italian master.
Voice and transformation. This issue features a deep reckoning of friendship by Roland Merullo, a recollection of a mentor by Jhumpa Lahiri, and sharp, smart idiosyncracies by Sarah Gorham and David Rivard. Playing against these are antic and bittersweet stories by Perle Besserman, Ken Kalfus, and Vladimir Makanin, among others. Here are writers marking how the self broods—broods, and then flips loss onto its turtle back; how it damns the damnable and laughs out at all that is tangled and absurd. Pilar Coover’s hallucinatory visual textures aptly counterpoint the voices, which also include those of poets Matt Donovan, Amy Beeder, Paula Closson Buck, Bruce Smith, and Derek Walcott.
Vernaculars, inward and international. Heeding the issue number, we think of Route 66, the legendary American highway, cutting through Ben Miller’s uniquely essayistic Midwest, Jill McCorkle’s and Tara Goedjen’s fictional South, and painter Benny Andrews’s anguished and ecstatic historical South, before jumping off the atlas to take in Peter Balakian’s epical 9/11 sequences, Melissa Green’s topographies of the heart, and William T. Vollmann’s mytho-erotic fantasia. Vernaculars go international and rise into song, with Harrison Solow’s portrait of Welsh tenor Timothy Evans (the first-ever AGNI CD is included). Poetry by Steve Gehrke, Jordan Smith, Erica Funkhouser, and others. Essays by Scott Diel, Stephen O’Connor, Alta Ifland, and Askold Melnyczuk. And more.
Vast spans, subtle scapes. Tom Burckhardt’s stunning art feature, its images ranging from American urban to the Arctics and Asias of the imagination, announces the range of this issue. Richard Tillinghast’s real-life Istanbul jostles Kenneth Wong’s fictional Rangoon and Tomas Tranströmer’s lyric Swedish meditations. David Gates’s voice-fugue channels Samuel Beckett, and Kim Addonizio moves the spirit of Chet Baker through her lines of longing and loss. Stories by Peter LaSalle, Edith Pearlman, Magdalena Tulli, Vince Passaro, and others. Poets include Stuart Dischell, Karl Kirchwey, and Debra Nystrom. Essays: Lia Purpura, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, and William Pierce.
Changing ecologies of information, fragmented certainties. Sets up a vigorous call-and-response between fictions of eerie dislocation (Michael Mejia, Rick Moody, and Vincent Czyz) and essays of interrogation and witness—by William Pierce, Lia Purpura, Joel Brouwer,
Wendy Rawlings, and others. Poets like Campbell McGrath, Christopher
Middleton, Matt Donovan, and Leslie Wheeler are buttressed by a stylistically singular portfolio of British and Irish poetry
edited by Kathryn Maris and Maurice Riordan of Poetry London magazine. A portfolio
of visual art by Leslie Sutcliffe uses the logic of likeness as a basis for reassembly and restoration.
Where mind meets intuition. Powerful exploratory fiction by Paul Eggers, Alexandra Chasin, Melanie Rae Thon, Maja Novak, and Phong Nguyen; poems by Alpay Ulku, Sandra McPherson, Donald Platt, Friedrich Hölderlin, and others; sui generis essays by Joan Wickersham, Ben Miller, Christopher Livaccari, A. P. Miller, and Charles Bardes—all held in the presiding visual force-field of artist Christopher Gausby.
The geographer’s colors. Homages to Saul Bellow and Elizabeth Bishop, a roving interview
with Edward Hoagland, as well as the sharply drawn fictional worlds of Gania Barlow, Xujun
Eberlein, Mary O’Donoghue, Tova Reich,
Tom Whalen, and Nicholas Montemarano. Poems by Matt Donovan, Paula Closson Buck, Eamon Grennan, and others complement the vigorous book collages of Maureen Mullarkey.
Honoring the spirit that survives. Valedictories for Susan Sontag and Czeslaw
Milosz by Askold Melnyczuk, Sven Birkerts, and Seamus Heaney, along with fiercely idiosyncratic prose and poetry by
C. K. Williams,
K. E. Duffin, Magdalena Tulli,
Peter LaSalle, Vivek Narayanan, Edith Pearlman,
Kyle Thompson, and many others.
Visual meditations on word-to-form by Deborah Davidson.
Words at the threshold. Fiction by Jack Pulaski,
Kim Adrian, Charles Haverty,
Jai Clare, and Margot Singer. Reflections
and texts by Russell Banks, Harvey Blume,
Lia Purpura, Tom Bissell, as well as portfolio and cover artist Katherine Jackson. Poetry by Catullus, Robert Olen Butler, James Tate, George Kalogeris, Fred Marchant, Megan Newell, Tom Sleigh, and many others.
The hand-breadth of the unknown. Fiction by Vivek Narayanan, Paul West, Martha Cooley, Keith Gessen, Jacob Appel (his “The Frying Finn” coincidentally convergent with the photographs of Finnish-American artist Arno Minkkinen), Chris Abouzeid and Joan Wickersham. A boyhood
memoir by Donald Hall. Poetry by Wesley McNair,
James Arthur, Edip Cansever, Brian Swann, Judith Vollmer, Jeffrey Harrison, David Hernandez, and others. Louise Gluck’s “Prism” essayed by Dan Chiasson, and Tomas Salamun celebrated by Ales Debeljak. Musings on the real and the fabulous by William Pierce. Much more.
The beauty of the book. Fiction by Alden
Jones, Liza Ward, Debra Spark, Patrick
Tobin, and Yevgeny
Schklovsky. Poetry by Robert Pinsky, Robert Bly, Kirun
Labbe, April Bernard, Li
Po, Ewa Lipska, Peter
Baldini (translated by Adria Bernardi), and more. Essays by Mark
Stavans, and memoir by Lynne
Sharon Schwartz and Alice
Mattison. And paradoxically stunning images of old books by
Purcell in a full-color, glossy 8-page insert.
New Editor Sven Birkerts’s first issue. Includes work by Seamus
Heaney, Maureen Howard, David Foster Wallace, Rosanna
Moody, Margot Livesey, Wesley
McNair, Christopher Jane Corkery, Wolfgang
Dietz, Debora Greger, Nicholas
Montemarano, Lise Haines, Lance
Blume, and many more. Pinhole photographs (including cover)
Our mammoth, 480-page Thirtieth Anniversary Poetry Anthology, containing
superb original work by over 240 contributors to AGNI since 1972. From the most famous poets—Derek
Montale, and Ai—to
those you’ve never heard of but will soon wish you had,
the work in this issue, the last to be edited by Founding
Editor Askold Melnyczuk, comprises a milestone compendium
of the energy and scope of American poets and translators over
the past three decades.
Our spring 2002 issue reaffirms AGNI’s commitment to
up-and-coming writers with fiction by Wendy
Kalotay, and Priscilla
Hodgkins; poetry from Brian Blanchfield, Christine
Perrin, and Bryan Walpert; and nonfiction by Pushcart Prize-winner
Karasik and Debbie Danielpour Chapel, to name but a few. Also
work by Natalia
Ginzburg (translated by Lynne Sharon Schwartz), John J. Clayton, Osip
Mandelshtam (tr. Maxim D. Shrayer), Ovid (tr. Tom Sleigh), and
Guy de Maupassant (tr. Matt Yost).
Amnesty International Fortieth Anniversary issue. This big issue
(over 400 pages) is chock full of amazing stuff, including poetry
by Nobel Laureate Wislawa
Szymborska, Pulitzer Prize winners Maxine
Kumin and Charles Simic, Daniel
Berrigan, and Homero Aridjis; fiction by Tom
Bissell and former Iranian political prisoner and torture
Sarkohi; previously unpublished interviews with Vladimir Nabokov,
Rita Dove, and Bei Dao; translation by Seamus Heaney; and first-person
testimony of great acts of heroiccompassion in
the Balkan War recorded by Dr. Svetlana Broz, granddaughter of
Marshal Tito (later reprinted in Utne Reader and in a
Fiction by Joyce Carol Oates, Carolyn Cooke (selected for Best
American Short Stories), Chitra
Divakaruni (selected for Pushcart and O. Henry anthologies and runner-up for Best American Short Stories), and Lynne
Sharon Schwartz (runner-up for Best American); poetry
by Agha Shahid Ali, James Tate,
Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Cynthia Huntington, Martha Collins, Meg
Kearney, Rodney Jack, and Michael Morse; nonfiction by Yuri
Andrukhovych and Ploughshares founder DeWitt Henry; art
by Joel Janowitz; and drafts of Randall Jarrell’s
Previously unpublished interviews with Jorge
Luis Borges and Stanley
Kunitz; the “Best German Poetry of 2000” in translation;
fiction by Madison Smartt Bell, Pamela
Painter, and Charles
by Daniel Berrigan,
Peter Balakian, Dara Wier, Dan Chiasson, Charles Bernstein, and
Linda Gregg and Thomas Sayers Ellis (both selected for Best
American Poetry 2001); “The Rise and Fall of Yiddish”
by Ilan Stavans.
Previously unpublished conversation with Joseph Brodsky; first
published excerpts from Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott’s Tiepelo’s
Hound (illustrated with his own watercolor painting); poetry
by Ha Jin,
Robert Pinsky, Heather
D. Reeve, Amy Thomas, John
Peck (selected for Best American Poetry 2001), and
Larissa Szporluk; fiction by Julia
Thacker and James Whitfield Thomson; nonfiction by Sarah
Silbert and George DeMan. László Földényi
on Triumph of the Will.
Interview with Derek Walcott on Omeros;
poetry by Yusef Komunyakaa, Reginald Sheperd, Maggie Dietz, Joyce
Peseroff, Eric McHenry, JSA Lowe, Reetika Vazirani; fiction by
Thomas E. Kennedy, Mike Rosovsky, John Keene (winner of the AGNI 2000 John Cheever Award for Short Fiction), Victor Pelevin (translated
by Byron Lindsey, winner of the AGNI 2000 William Arrowsmith
Prize for Translation); nonfiction by Duff Brenna; Eric Chasalow
on Mario Davidovsky; Jean Charbonneau on Patrick Modiano; Linda
Lappin onPeter Brook; Diane Mehta on Jhumpa Lahiri.
Poetry by Adrienne Rich, Sándor Csoóri,
Philip Levine, Jason Shinder, Judy Page Heitzman, and others;
fiction by Pushcart Prize-winner Tony Ardizzone, National Book
Award runner-up Rose Moss, Frederick Busch, and Perrin Ireland.
Nonfiction by Tom Sleigh; Jason Shinder interview with Philip
Levine; Eric Chasalow on “AGNI in the Music Business”;
reviews by Eric McHenry, and others. Document section features
drafts of Robert Pinsky’s “The Ice-Storm.”
The Translation Issue: Beowulf by Seamus Heaney, Euripides
by Tom Sleigh, Virgil by David Ferry, Aeschylus by Alan Shapiro,
by herself and James Brasfield (for which they won the 2000 PEN
Award for Poetry in Translation; issue includes drafts of the
translation). Fiction: Vladimir Makanin by Mary Ann Szporluk, Yuri Andrukhovych by Michael Naydan, Li Xiao by Zhu
Hong. Nonfiction: Vicki Lawrence on Vergangenheitsbewältigung.
One of the first publications of Jhumpa Lahiri: the title story to Interpreter
of Maladies. The story was selected for Best American; the collection won the Pulitzer Prize (2000). Fiction also by Nick Papandreou, Pamela Painter,
and Charles Bock. Poetry by Charles Simic, Larissa Szporluck, Gail
Mazur, Jennifer Barber, Reginald Shepherd, Fred Marchant, Martha
Collins, and more. Essays by Julia Lieblich, Wulf Rehder, and Emily
Hiestand. Memorium to Ed Hogan.
Our Twenty-fifth Anniversary issue, dedicated to first publications by
new authors. Mary Sullivan, Tiffany Meyers, Derek Webster, Humair
Yusuf, Traci Sobocinski (winner of the 2001 PEN New England Discovery
Award), Meg Tyler, et al. Plus poetry by James Laughlin and Rafael
Campo, a conversation between Sven Birkerts and Saul Bellow, and fiction by Percival Everett.
Fiction by Ha Jin, Igor Yarkevich, Wyn Cooper, and others; poetry
by Harvey Shapiro, Ben Downing, Chase Twichell, and others; essays
by David Keplinger, George Packer; Robie Macauley interview by
Thomas E. Kennedy; drafts of Thomas Sayers Ellis’s “Sir Nose
Poetry by Chinua Achebe, Joyce Carol Oates, Teresa Cader, Jane
Hirshfield, Oksana Zabuzhko, Marilyn Hacker, Dzvinia Orlowsky,
Claire Malroux, and Tony Hoagland; fiction by Jill McCorkle, Peter
Ho Davies; Susanna Kaysen on rereading The Magic Mountain,
Martha Collins on translating Viet Nam, and Seamus Heaney on Charles Simic.
“Stand on the verge” with us and dive into AGNI 37. In the words of Teresa Iverson, “the imagination is an airy element,” and the short, buoyant poems of this issue keep it afloat as our reader swims from one experience to the next. This issue offers “Standing on the Verge,” a refreshing series of work by emerging poets and Massachusetts artists including Claudia Rankine, Kevin Young, and Elizabeth Alexander. AGNI 37 features Carl Little’s interview with James Schuyler, Edwin Honig’s haunting prose, as well as work by Carl Phillips, Victoria Nelson, Albert Goldbarth, Ha Jin, Natasha Tretheway, Bruce Smith, Paja Faudree, Gale Nelson, and many more.
Celebrate our twentieth anniversary year with AGNI 36, an issue that tugs between the fantastical and the everyday. You will find here writing that is grounded in bodily and cosmic speculation, that challenges inhumane working conditions, that pulls at family ties and pushes our understanding of being human. In addition to our feature on Thom Gunn, which includes an unpublished draft of his poem “Meat” and Joshua Weiner’s close reading, we offer a second feature, “Writing from India,” which includes Mridula Garg’s essay on bilingualism and Indian writers’ work in translation. AGNI 36 also presents essays, fiction, and poetry by Seamus Heaney, Victoria Nelson, Peter Sacks, Ha Jin, Peter LaSalle, Dorianne Laux, Patricia Smith, Vijay Seshadri, Liam Rector, Laura Mullen, Jorge Luis Borges, and Donald Hall.
Explore new worlds and relive our twentieth anniversary year with AGNI 35, a collection imbued with a powerful sense of places and spaces. Sven Birkerts suggests that the act of reading is “the positing of an elsewhere.” Accordingly, these pages interrogate the relationship between self and place, beginning with discussions of taxation (an epigraph from Thomas Jefferson sets the tone) and then expanding into notions of foreignness, familiarity, and belonging. Together, these poems, stories, and essays examine how language can serve—-or fail to serve—-as a conduit for the self. Curl up with a copy of AGNI 35 and “posit an elsewhere” with the help of great writers including Jessica Treadway, Marjorie Agosín, Lawrence Rosenwald, Joseph Lease, William Arrowsmith, Yves Bonnefoy, Sophie Cabot Black, Jason Shinder, James Laughlin, William Corbett, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Cyrus Cassells, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gail Mazur, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
The “war” issue, AGNI 34 explores many different kinds of conflict beyond war. Transporting readers back to 1991 and the years that precede it, our poets, still daring to create beauty, spin uncertainty into lyricism. As Joseph Lease writes in his review of Tom Sleigh’s Waking, “When you build lyricism yourself instead of buying it at the store you aren’t embarrassed, so you don’t need to undermine lyricism.” This collection paints a picture of a literary world interrogating its own bones; while nations wage war against each other, the body wages war against itself. Explore lyric tension in a hundred iterations from the quiet violence of David Rivard to the surrealist violence of Susanna Kaysen. AGNI 34 also features the work of Leslie Epstein, George Scialabba, Joshua Cohen, David Shields, Josip Novakovich, Albert Goldbarth, Kim Addonizio, Joyce Peseroff, Robert Polito, Martha Collins, Rick Lyon, and Fred Marchant.
In this issue, we invite you to investigate how international social control—explicit or implicit; government-sanctioned or cultural—affects the arts. Examine the printed proceedings of Harvard University’s 1990 Conference on Forms of Censorship. Acquaint yourself with Peter Dale Scott’s Coming to Jakarta through a reflective essay by the author, an interview, and three reviews (plus an excerpt from his book Listening to the Candle: A Poem on Impulse!). Delve into essays (such as Monroe Engel’s on Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”), book reviews, and translations before returning to the original texts or approaching them for the first time. Explore the timely and the timeless with fiction and poetry from John Updike, Peter Balakian, Natalka Bilotserkivets’, Stash, Cordelia Candelaria, Wendy Ranan, Frances Minturn Howard, Jay Klokker, Jill Bialosky, and more.
AGNI 29/30 is full of bodies: living, dying, moving through time and space. If the issue itself were a body, the poetry supplement edited by Tom Sleigh (which comprises the central third of the material) would be the backbone. The cover art, William Kurelek’s “Nuclear Age Madonna,” sets the tone for an issue that solemnly—and sometimes not-so-solemnly—beholds the human body in all its fragility and holiness; and in Catherine Kurdish’s “The Dancing-Master,” the warped floor of a dance studio permanently alters students’ internal gravity. AGNI 29/30 also features fiction by Heidi Jon Schmidt and John J. Clayton; essays by George Scialabba, Judith Hemschemeyer, and Allen Grossman; and poetry by Jorge Luis Borges, Miguel Hernández, Lloyd Schwartz, Anna Akhmatova, Seamus Heaney, David Ferry, Heather Heather McHugh, Brenda Hillman, Sharon Olds, Frank Bidart, Alan Dugan, James McMichael, and Robert Pinsky.
New muses join forces with old muses to inspire an electric, eclectic collection. AGNI 27 presents a special feature, “Lairs of God: Spirituality After Silicon Valley,” which brings together essays by Marilynne Robinson, Eliot Weinberger, David Lehman, and others to explore how technology—especially that of the word processor—shapes spiritual and literary life. Askold Melnyczuk asks us to consider, “[A]re we to assume technology has been humanized? Or has humanity been technologized?” Meanwhile, the issue’s feature poet, Glyn Maxwell, writes of “silence’s still geology” and “the crowd where voices die and resurrect as shouts” along with other haunting images. Don’t miss Tony Harrison’s play The Common Chorus, a whimsically profane re-imagining of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, as well as the fiction and poetry of Elizabeth Strout, M.T. Sharif, Stephen Minot, Lucie Brock-Broido, Lynda Hull, David Rivard, Kathleen Norris, Yvan Goll, Sophie Cabot Black, and Odysseas Elytis.
Join us for AGNI 26, our “Mentors and Tormentors” issue, in which our contributors reminisce on their formative experiences as writers. AGNI editor Sven Birkerts writes that his “desire to ‘become a writer’” roots from “images and grandiose fantasies.” Patricia Storace explores the interplay between writing and cooking and contends that “[b]oth arts embody a dream of perfected action, ‘the word made flesh.’” Donald Hall tells of an unkind teacher and suggests that “one cannot overestimate the influence of rage.” Mariana Cook recollects her apprenticeship under Ansel Adams and offers us a portfolio of portraits taken between 1982 and 1987. Indulge in nostalgic and meditative poetry and nonfiction of AGNI writers Scott Ruescher, Carol Moldaw, Mark Doty, Peter Balakian, Marie Howe, Alan Shapiro, Christopher Benfey, Baron Wormser, Eve Shelnutt, Liam Rector, Howard Norman, and more.