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Uncomfortable Things

By Marilyn Nelson Poetry

e.g. Abolition, Prudence Crandall, the Amistad, Nat Turner, Indian Removal, Female Complaints: First Congregational Church, Lyme, Connecticut, ca. 1816 Even the pulpit Bible was consumed in the fire that turned the meeting-house to ash. An architect planned the new meeting-house, a steeple equipped with a lightning-rod, a belfry, and a golden weathervane; Ionic columns supporting…

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Meeting-House Fire

By Marilyn Nelson Poetry

_________Lyme, Connecticut, 3 July 1815 Nor’easter and calm shine, high tide and neap, combined lives shuttled between births and deaths, from baptisms to funerals, amen. Mehitabel, Uriah, Moses, John. Robert, Elihu, Azanaha, Love. Wakes, marriages, fallings-out and laughter, arguments, broken hearts, betrayals, guilt: thus time shaped a community of faith. Jerusha, Wealthy, Esther, Hepzibah. Moses,…

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Web Exclusive: A Conversation with Lisa Ampleman

By Mary Kenagy Mitchell Interview

In issue 87, poet Lisa Ampleman reviews three new books by Jericho Brown, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and Rickey Laurentiis—three African American poets who each write about faith, identity, and injustice in different ways. We asked her to reflect a little on the connection between poetry, empathy, and justice. She was interviewed by Mary Kenagy Mitchell.…

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Racism Lives Here. Does God?

By Lisa Ampleman Book Review

The New Testament by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon, 2014) Lighting the Shadow by Rachel Eliza Griffiths (Four Way, 2015) Boy with Thorn by Rickey Laurentiis (University of Pittsburgh, 2015) THE YOUTUBE VIDEO starts abruptly. Two Saint Louis symphony-goers stand at their seats, singing “Justice for Mike Brown is justice for us all” to the tune of…

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Shibboleth

By Farrell O’Gorman Short Story

THIS PLACE SUCKS. You can’t even fuck a guy in your own room.” The girl who said it was on the phone, looking back at the door through a thick tangle of dark hair as Rachel walked in. Her suitcase was already open on the bed by the window, clothes half settled into the dresser…

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A Conversation with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

By Susan VanZanten Interview

Born in Nigeria in 1977, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in the university town of Nsukka, living for a time in a house once occupied by Chinua Achebe. After briefly studying medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria, Adichie moved to the United States to attend college, graduating summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut…

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Half Like Them

By Roxane Beth Johnson Poetry

Over many years, I have dreamed away my color and turned inside out, like the wet machinery of an orange. I’m all yard; the sycamores are my likeness. Their leaves list like sleeping bats. Hose in hand, I drink as water pours down my Easter dress. Jesus bled to death in front of a crowd…

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You Who Seek Grace from a Distracted God

By Luis Alberto Urrea Poetry

You, who seek grace from a distracted God, you, who parse the rhetoric of empire, who know in your guts what it is but don’t know what to call it, you, good son of a race of shadows— your great fortune is to have a job, never ate government cheese, federal peanut butter— you, jerked…

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About Angels: Cahors, France, 2007

By Will Wells Poetry

The angel has always been a strong metaphor to me, raising questions about life, death, and our timeless vulnerability. —Marcel Marceau   I am a Jew. My father died at Auschwitz. By 1938, the sorrows had begun. My name, Mangel, put me at risk. So I applied Marceau like blanching agent that stung at first,…

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