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  • Announcement
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Announcement The thirty-fifth recipient of the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry, the Review's most prestigious honor, is Vievee Francis. Francis joins such distinguished predecessors as Richard Wilbur, Gwendolyn Brooks, Maxine Kumin, Louise Glück, Heather McHugh, and most recently, Nikky Finney. The Review will publish an essay

  • Contributors
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Contributors Elliot Ackerman is the author of several books, most recently the novel 2034. His work has been nominated for the National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal in both fiction and nonfiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, DC. Daniel Anderson has published three

  • Nobody's Home
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Daniel Anderson

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Nobody's Home Daniel Anderson (bio) All winter, these tangled caneswere silver-thorned and vicious to the root.But now, bearing black fruit,they deepen, blush, and thrivein high, unruly lanes,annihilating where they growthe fence posts and corroded chicken wireof some forgotten boundary line.The Cascade air is dry and tossed with pine

  • A Forgery
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Rachel Cusk

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: A Forgery Rachel Cusk (bio) My husband had an operation, and for a while afterward he thought he would die. Because of circumstances he had to go through the ordeal alone. He returned from the hospital with a bag attached to the outside of his stomach for the feces to collect in and he had to empty this bag several times a day, as well

  • Mass
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Brandon Taylor

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Mass Brandon Taylor (bio) Aleksander Igorevich Shapovalov—Sasha to those who loved him most in the world and Alek to everyone else, including himself—stared at the radiographic scans presented to him by his doctor in the intimate corner examination room and tried to think of what he'd tell his mother. "There's a good chance it's nothing

  • Four Poems
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Shane McCrae

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Four Poems Shane McCrae (bio) To Nicholas From My Absence You are now you have been you are now seventeenWhen I was seventeen I had theYear before met my fatherWhom I had known before but I had been Kidnapped for thirteen years and thousandsOf miles away in nowhere he would think to look for meBut I know where you are and weKnow where

  • Time and Continuity: An Ancient Inn Endures
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    David H. Lynn

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Time and Continuity:An Ancient Inn Endures David H. Lynn (bio) Smiling and clearly nervous, Caroline Cheffers steps through the low threshold and down onto the floor of the Malt House. Only on special occasions does she typically draw the bolts on this great and dark room for airing and, if necessary, heating. And now the reason, the special

  • Palinode
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Michael Prior

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Palinode Michael Prior (bio) My mother is stalking cabbage moths with a tennis racket. She looksmost like herself when she tenses then swings over rows of kale and romaineat the white specks floating through blue shadows. She is bisectedby the swaying frame, distanced by the poor resolution of the videomy sister just sent. Her left hand

  • Salamis After Twenty-Five Centuries
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    John Psaropoulos

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Salamis After Twenty-Five Centuries John Psaropoulos (bio) 1. What Salamis Achieved The marble doorway leading in and out of the Acropolis offers the departing guest a framed view of the Salamis Strait, thirteen kilometers away. The University of California archaeologist John Papadopoulos, who made this observation, believes that is deliberate

  • Wild Parsnips
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Corey Marks

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Wild Parsnips Corey Marks (bio) One morning, when the shadows drew backlike sheets pulled from the summer people'swintered things at the start of the season, not far from the wild apple tree split oncein a lighting storm that still ripens apples,mealy and sour and misshapen, each fall, a chair stood in the middle of the clearing.None of

  • Notes on the Interregnum
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Adam Ross

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Notes on the Interregnum Adam Ross (bio) I gave up the prediction business back in November 2016 after Donald Trump was elected. Still, in late September 2020, as the Review editorial staff began putting together the Spring 2021 issue, I asked several writers to file short observations on this stretch of days between November and January

  • Notes on the Interregnum
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Sidik Fofana

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Notes on the Interregnum Sidik Fofana (bio) I don't like to write about politics. I don't like to write about politics because I don't care about politics. I do care, but not that much. Generally, I see people get angry and I think, Why can't I get that angry? I pretend sometimes. I pretend because I'm a teacher and a writer and that means

  • Notes on the Interregnum
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Lorrie Moore

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Notes on the Interregnum Lorrie Moore (bio) I have often believed (along with others) that the last president we had who really wanted the office was Bill Clinton. George W. Bush seemed not that interested but pushed into it, owing to his name. And in 2007 Barack Obama seemed to be testing the waters for a 2016 run in order to let his

  • Notes on the Interregnum
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Elliot Ackerman

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Notes on the Interregnum Elliot Ackerman (bio) October 27 Earlier this year, before the pandemic, before the protests (and riots), in another lifetime which I'll simply call January, I bought my ten-year-old daughter a new puppy. We named her Tuesday. She's a Norwich terrier, purebred and exhaustively credentialed, with brown and black

  • Notes on the Interregnum
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Monica Black

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Notes on the Interregnum Monica Black (bio) Uncertainty reigns. It's noon on November 4, the day after the election. The votes are still being counted. It is very possible that Joe Biden won the election, but today, right now, that feels like a loss. There was supposed to be a reckoning, a great sweeping transformation where the country

  • Omnipotence
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Brandon Haffner

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Omnipotence Brandon Haffner (bio) It was late and Aaron was drinking too much wine, and he was trying to remember what it was Keith had said about goodness that hot day decades ago when they were kids, the same day their father threatened to smack them both. It was something simple, teetering on cliché. In the moment, Aaron probably spit

  • "When Early Dawn Revealed Her Rose-Red Hands"
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Katy Didden

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: "When Early Dawn Revealed Her Rose-Red Hands" Katy Didden (bio) On hearing Emily Wilson discuss why she varied the epithet for Dawn in her translation of the Odyssey A woman splits the root of rosy-fingeredinto weathers. Over the hero, the sky's alive. Now the readercan step inside the story the way we step without our bodies into memoryand

  • Iphigenia in Afghanistan: Notes on Women and War
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-04-01
    Paisley Rekdal

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Iphigenia in Afghanistan:Notes on Women and War Paisley Rekdal (bio) "Do not destroy me before my time, for it is sweet to look upon the light, and do not force me to visit scenes below," Iphigenia begs her father, Agamemnon, having learned that he plans to sacrifice her to Artemis. The Greek ships are assembled in Aulis's harbor but are

  • Contributors
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Contributors Nikky Finney was born by the sea in South Carolina and raised during the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Black Arts Movements. She is the author of On Wings Made of Gauze, Rice, The World Is Round, and Head Off & Split, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2011. Her new collection of poems, Love Child's Hotbed of

  • Be Camera, Black-Eyed Aperture
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Ross Gay

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Be Camera, Black-Eyed Aperture Ross Gay (bio) 1 Nikky Finney concludes her National Book Award winning collection Head Off & Split with the poem, " Instruction, Final: To Brown Poets from Black Girl with Silver Leica." Its lines read as an ars poetica, and as a kind of ars pedagogica: Be camera, black-eyed aperture. Be diamondback terrapin

  • Dear Friends
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Mary Ruefle

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Dear Friends Mary Ruefle (bio) I have had friends, and have them now, but never once did I believe that in my lifetime the word friend would have a new, different, other meaning. I knew language evolved and changed over time, I knew there were new words every year to accommodate its growth and that some words changed meaning; but love

  • Honorarium
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Brandon Taylor

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Honorarium Brandon Taylor (bio) Vasek was not familiar with the famous poet's work, but he had been asked if he would be willing, for a small honorarium, to play a brief selection at the open and close of the memorial service. Yes, he said, partly because he hoped that by doing it, he might make himself available to other such requests

  • Last Night
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Kara Olson

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Last Night Kara Olson (bio) ________ Franz Marc's horseswere clay figures in my palms.My hands were so full of curves,so full of lonesome blue— Closed in their mouthswas the knowledge of lickingclean their foal. Think of god,the tongue and what it can doout of love, of velvetonce it's between your fingers.Their ears, tilted, listening

  • Amongst Reasonable Men
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Margot Parmenter

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Amongst Reasonable Men Margot Parmenter (bio) In the autumn of 2014, I moved to Los Angeles to work for a large international law firm. I learned to describe it that way from the employee handbook, which I read nervously from cover to cover on my first day—contemplating in detail all the ways my employment relationship could go wrong before

  • Poppy
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Becky Shirley

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Poppy Becky Shirley (bio) I found out Poppy Smith was sleeping with my father back in 1956, when I was thirteen, and today I learned she hanged herself on her bathroom doorknob with her own nylon stockings. It's been nearly six years since I saw her last, but the news prickled at me, something in between shock and annoyance. I was still

  • On The 2020 Booker Prize
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Tara k. Menon

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: On The 2020 Booker Prize Tara k. Menon (bio) The New Wilderness by Diane Cook (Oneworld Publications, 2020; HarperCollins, 2020 This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Faber & Faber, 2020; Graywolf, 2018) Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi (Hamish Hamilton, 2020; Penguin Random House, 2021) The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (Canongate Books

  • Almost Nothing Left of Nowhere: On Don Delillo's The Silence
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Justin Taylor

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Almost Nothing Left of Nowhere: On Don Delillo's The Silence Justin Taylor (bio) 1. In a tumbling void Despite the shortness of the book, a fair amount of patience and force of will on the part of the reader [is presumed]. —Einstein, Preface to Relativity: the Special and General Theory (1916) Jim Kripps, an insurance claims adjuster,

  • Unassisted Human Flight
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Allan Gurganus

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Unassisted Human Flight Allan Gurganus (bio) My first night as cub reporter and they send me to a four-hour County Sewage Hearing. I call that hazing. You try distilling lively prose from Wastewater Issues. To be safe, I'd worn my best blue thrift-shop blazer. But when I afterwards approached Falls, NC's mayor, he clammed up. I'd asked

  • The Uses of Fear: Notes on Boxing & Novels
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Laura Van Den Berg

    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: The Uses of Fear:Notes on Boxing & Novels Laura Van Den Berg (bio) 1. The Uses of Fear In 2017, I walked into my first boxing gym. This was up in Boston, where I had found myself—at the age of thirty-four—derailed by a panic disorder that manifested most urgently as an intense fear of flying. The flying anxiety had come as a major surprise

  • Dermatology
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2020-01-01
    Marilyn Abildskov

    on this subject, draws attention to its quality in causing contraction and opposing inflamation, and points out that this quality shows in its fullest value whenever there is a normal thin epidermis or an inflammatory process of the cutis with hyperkeratosis, 01* finally in the parakeratosis. Under the first heading he places cedema, angiectases, urticaria, lichen, rosacea, &c.; under the second heading

  • A Garland of Light
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2019-01-01
    Garrett Hongo

    I had taken a long walk from my hotel near the Colosseum, past the antique earth colors of ruins at the Forum, down busy, traffic-laden streets to the Trevi Fountain, its lip ringed with throngs of tourists snapping selfies — a father bending to the waters and cupping his hands to offer his toddler son a cool drink amidst the glister, sculptures of the gods serene but spouting an abundance that lapped

  • Her Kind: A Reaction to Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2019-01-01
    Stephanie Danler

    I finished reading Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women, set it down, and looked at my fiancé. On the baby monitor my son slept. I’m safe, I reminded myself. The book had stirred up some dormant feeling in me that I didn’t want to wake. A tremor. Deep-seated, familiar, titillating. Three Women — strictly speaking, a work of nonfiction, although it pushes the boundaries of the genre as Taddeo explores the inner

  • The Burning Boy and the Goose Girl: On the Economies of Poetry and Nature
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2019-01-01
    Maurice Manning

    A mong the piles on my wholly disordered bookshelves I have a cheap, yellowed Macmillan paperback edition of the Selected Poems of Thomas Hardy. This volume was selected by John Crowe Ransom and comes with his high-minded introduction. It is courtesy of Ransom, I suspect, that we think of Thomas Hardy as a modern poet. This edition of Hardy, published in 1961, has become one of the subtle jewels in

  • Easy Living
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2019-01-01
    Cally Fiedorek

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  • On The 2017 Man Booker Prize
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2018-01-01
    Merritt Moseley

    O n October 17, at the splendid annual dinner in London’s Guildhall, broadcast live on the BBC, George Saunders received the 2017 Man Booker Prize for his novel Lincoln in the Bardo. This was, by Booker Prize standards, an uneventful outcome. There were no obvious fissures among the judging panel, none of the losing novelists walked out, and the bookmakers, who play an outsized role in the lead-up

  • Long Days
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2018-01-01
    Dan O'Brien

    Setting: These scenes are set in Hollywood during the annus horribilis of 2016. Scenes previous (and after) tell the true story of the playwright’s treatment for cancer in the wake of his wife’s treatment for cancer, while his friend the war reporter Paul Watson, whose 1993 photograph of the body of an American soldier being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, won him a Pulitzer Prize

  • On the Man Booker Prize
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2017-01-01
    Merritt Moseley

    O n October 25, 2016, Paul Beatty was announced as the most recent winner of the Man Booker Prize. This outcome surprised many observers because Beatty’s novel The Sellout is not conventional Booker material. For one thing, it is not a historical novel, like previous winners The English Patient, Midnight’s Children, or Hilary Mantel’s two fictions about Thomas Cromwell at the court of Henry viii. It

  • S Is for Something: Mark Strand and Artistic Identity
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2017-01-01
    Mary Jo Salter

    T hose of us who got to spend time with the poet Mark Strand, summer after summer, at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, will recognize the tongue-in-cheek tone of the following remark: “It is sometimes — but not always — nice to think that people may be talking about you when you are not present, that you are the subject of a conversation you have not steered in your direction and whose evolution depends

  • So Far
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2017-01-01
    Charlotte Pence, Adam Prince

    n Definition: Region R is the set of all pixels having color C that are connected to a given pixel S n 4-adjacent: pixels that lie next to each other horizontally or vertically, NOT diagonally n 8-adjacent: pixels that lie next to each other horizontally, vertically OR diagonally n 4-connected: if there is unbroken path of 4-adjacent pixels connecting them n 8-connected: unbroken path of 8-adjacent

  • Editor’s Note
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2017-01-01
    Adam Ross

    This is the 500th issue of the Sewanee Review and marks the close of its 125th volume. The Review has had the privilege of publishing countless great writers since it was founded by William Peterfield Trent in 1892, but, as former editor George Core remarked, “Longevity alone does not guarantee a virtue.” With that in mind, in 2017 the Review underwent significant changes. Our magazine’s redesign goes

  • Sunlight on the Sea of Cortez
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    George Keithley

    T HE annual migration of Pacific grey whales begins in the fall, when they leave their feeding-bed in the Bering Sea as the ice floes thicken. Navigating the strait between Siberia and Alaska in the cold blue furrows among the Aleutian islands, small groups of pregnant females lead the way—their progress toward warmer water for birthing is the most urgent. Each of these pilot groups is followed by

  • Poets of Plenty
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Michael Mott

    kind of book, and not just those written by Ian McEwan and Salman Rushdie—are conceived, written, brokered, published, distributed, reviewed, received, brought to the book-buying public and, in rare cases, taken beyond it into the much vaguer and less strictly demarcated world of film and television.” As for taste, his definition is less satisfactory (necessarily) but refers loosely to a consensus

  • Trilling and the Frost Birthday Fracas
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    George Monteiro

    that denies itself that pleasure, or does not understand or even acknowledge it, will be losing more than a citizenry without its ABCs. In Tanzania that briefcase is the children’s library; those sets of laminated pages, their books. When the teacher hands them out, to each his own, the smiling faces tell a story that should haunt us all, might shame those who see no purpose a library could aptly serve

  • Warren, Eliot, Dante, and the Promises of Tradition
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Ryan Wilson

    In the mid-to-late 1950s a number of young American poets published major books that departed aesthetically from the poetry of high modernism. These well-known books—Ginsberg’s Howl (1955), Ashbery’s Some Trees (1957), Lowell’s Life Studies (1959), and Snodgrass’s Heart’s Needle (1959)—established the individuality of the poets and marked a significant break with the poetry of the previous few decades

  • What We Would Become
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Jerome Mazzaro

    Finding the photograph among boxes we’d packed and stored away some years ago, we thought the context lost, as move on move we filled our homes with goods that were our lives. It showed us smiling at Niagara Falls, youthfully larking through Dominion Day, our thoughts turned liquid in the water’s flow as if lost in the rush of the descent and pulled back to our selves by friendly ties. The feeling

  • Remembering James Salter
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Jeffrey Meyers

    reports that Helen had three unpublished novels and, in December of 1994, had another “bee in her bonnet,” a romance she had begun to write. Apparently it was completed and was expected for publication in 2004 under the name Sleeping with Embers. The last time I spoke with Helen, two or three years before she died, we didn’t discuss her writing, and her deafness, greater than my own, caused some comical

  • Remembering the Reformation
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    William E. Engel

    No writer incensed Mark Twain more than Jane Austen. In a letter to his lifelong friend, the Reverend Joseph Twichell, he railed: “Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” Twain was as ill at ease in the provincial Regency world of Austen’s characters as Huck Finn was in the parlor of the widow Douglas; like Huck, Twain chafed at

  • T. S. Eliot’s Doomed Marriage
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    A. Banerjee

    One of the central concerns of both Robert Crawford’s biography of T. S. Eliot and the new volume of Eliot’s letters from 1930–31, is with the disastrous consequences of the hasty marriage that shaped the poet’s subsequent life and work. It is not an easy story to unravel. After the marriage in 1915, the twenty-seven year old Eliot became obsessively secretive and during his lifetime prevented the

  • Who Speaks from the Dust?: Kathleen Raine and the Vocation of Poetry
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Brian Keeble

    © 2016 by Brian Keeble The last ten years of Carver’s life were the settled, sane ones. He had finally quit drinking and, with the help and under the tutelage of his second wife, the writer Tess Gallagher, had begun to enjoy his growing fame. These were his “gravy” years, as he put it. He was like the veteran of a long and costly war, looking back on the casualties and routine horrors of a time gone

  • The Immediate World
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Donna Mintz

    Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, with words by James Agee and photographs by Walker Evans, is a book about seeing deeply into things as they are. It stands as a universal record of a singular place and time, a fundamentally unclassifiable book with a weight and shape of its own that exists in my mind as thing itself, more artifact than book. It shimmers with the profound presence of summer night, of heat

  • What is Left
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Lucienne S. Bloch

    I LOST some weight last month. I removed half of the keys I carried for all of my adult life from my key ring, and returned them to the real-estate company whose properties include the apartment that my family rented for seventy-six years. I used those keys constantly after I married, visiting my parents and younger siblings, then my widowed mother, then my brother, who lived there for the past eleven

  • Marie Ponsot’s Ever-Fixéd Mark
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    David Yezzi

    Every poet has her tutelary gods—those guardians, daimons, or genii of place that guide her and watch over her. Often, though not always, these are fellow writers—colleagues or eminent predecessors conjured by a Lararium of photos tucked on bookshelves or tacked above the writing desk. Their familiar faces keep watch, radiating encouragement and occasional censure, but always with an offering of fellowship

  • Three Songs
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Megan Snyder-Camp

    But what could the singing do? Until I was forced I buried my hum in sleeves, teacups, never did I let it ravel down. Never did I let its feet touch the floor. I was afraid. I ate my corn in rows. When they made me sing I shook. Even as little bits of light burned through me. And then the whole blind wood burning, burning, the terrific hot hum become verb, all verb, the act of sky and the brutal clearing—

  • Two Poems
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    J. P. White

    Hard not to think old brown has got it right, nose up in current, its tail sculling tight curves, nothing seen but what’s coming fast downstream. So easy to get pulled back, so easy to get waylaid, bickered by thought. Not old brown, traveling light from blackness under the flicker of river stones. What if I could last the cold, nourishing a hunger born of depth and surface, stillness and flash, both

  • The Booker Prize 2016
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Merritt Moseley

    The judges for the Man Booker Prize have never been known for their sense of humor. Funny novels seldom win the award; the most recent winner described as comic was Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question in 2010, but its comedy was sour and intermittent. The 2015 prize selections were no exception to this history of humorlessness. In fact the most successful joke came from two of the titles—Hanya Yanagihara’s

  • Tell Me
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Robert Cording

    Bent over my new grandson’s crib, I find myself again at thirty-four bent over my newborn, now thirty, and I recall how, called out of sleep, I’d rouse myself, listen, then make my way in the dark to where my new son lay. During those first unreal days I needed to see in order to believe my week-old child was breathing. Each night I’d track his breath coming and going, his tiny chest pulsing beneath

  • Voices, Places
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    David Mason

    A how are voices like places? They move through us as we move through them. The voices of great writers guide us without telling us where we are going—except, of course, to that most obvious destination of all. We are guided by ambiguity— that’s the way literature works. And the way travel works as well. Travel is a curiosity. We understand it only when we stop moving, sit still, and begin to listen

  • A Tale of Two Books: Dark Times in the City of Light
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    George Poe

    so that with each return it, and the ensuing silence, gave each other more and more value, like the exchanges of two mirrors laid face to face.” A new sound had reached us from the silence as well. It was the sound of truth—the truth that Agee thought he would fail but which he ultimately delivered in the deeply felt prose of own consciousness. It was the truth in the form of a book—and a “book,” wrote

  • Two Poems
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    Suzanne Cleary

    When you see Edward Hopper’s paint box your first thought is tetanus, the rusted razor blades for sharpening pencils, the painting knives, like tiny sandblasted pie-servers, for applying paint impasto, for working oils while wet. You might stare happily at the scraps of sandpaper, at the brittle-bristled brushes still flecked with gray-shot yellows, with greens infused with blue, but who, you think

  • Primo Levi, Dante, and The Meaning of Reading
    Sewanee Review Pub Date : 2016-01-01
    David J. Rothman

    In the spring of 2013 I was asked to teach an advanced topical composition course at the University of Colorado entitled “The Rhetoric of the Holocaust.” At first I was reluctant. I know the literature fairly well and believe it is essential to know it, but I find it difficult to spend extended time with such discouraging work. Indeed I have often explained my own lack of enthusiasm for genres such

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