Issue 117: Summer 2023
Issue 117’s cover features work by British artist Jake Lever, who installs his gilded “soul boats” in ancient churches. Also inside: Jamie Smith talks with Harper’s editor Christopher Beha about the novel as an act of resistance to reductionist materialism. A profile of environmentalist composer Robert Kyr, who draws inspiration from his annual retreats at a Benedictine monastery in New Mexico. An excerpt from Christian Wiman’s forthcoming book of essays, in which he considers belief in light of quantum physics. Jennifer Anne Moses on her childhood as an observer of ur-Wasps—and what happens when old money dwindles. Joanne Allen on why contemporary artists can’t quit borrowing from the Renaissance. A personal/critical essay by Casie Dodd on grieving through film and television. Katie Moulton’s portrait in fragments on her resilient midwestern grandmother. Mixed-media artist Stephanie Rayner’s Boat of Eternal Return, composed of cello parts, animal bones, and DNA sequencing gels, which some viewers have said let them “move to the spirit word without the normal requirement of death.” Plus poems by David Baker, Kathleen Kirk, and more.
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On the cover: Jake Lever. Do the Little Things, 2020–21. Wire, tissue paper, and gold leaf with cardboard box. Edition of 350.
Table of Contents
Kathleen Hill, From The Celestial Sea
David McGlynn, Rule Out
Jessica Keener, Safety
Jake Lever, Soul on Deck
Stephanie Rayner, In the Studio
James K.A. Smith, Incident and Significance: A Conversation with Christopher Beha
Christian Wiman, My Christ
Katie Moulton, Clippings
Jennifer Anne Moses, Talk to Me
Cameron Clark, The Blind Poet Explains How to Draw the Sea
Lauren Hilger & Dionissios Kollias, Li’l Lake
Matthew Lippman, Not Enough Trees
Danielle Wheeler, The Children’s Garden
Kathleen Kirk, The Magdalene