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Stories of Departure

By Miriam Cohen and Andrew Graff Interview

Issue 99 includes short stories about people who have emerged from religious subcultures—Andrew Graff’s story about a woman who was raised fundamentalist Christian and Miriam Cohen’s about a woman who was raised Orthodox Jewish. We asked Graff and Cohen to interview each other. Graff: So many of your lines demonstrate an extraordinary ability to observe…

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Father, Son, Sinner, Saint

By Anonymous Essay

WINSTON-SALEM NORTH CAROLINA, 1972. My mother has left me at the edge of the property my father’s mother shares with kin whose exact relations I’ve never sorted out. My father, in mustache and bellbottoms, is walking the path between my grandmother’s trailer and the house of a woman I call my aunt. He crouches and…

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Veselka

By Sonya Bilocerkowycz Essay

THERE IS A PLACE that does not exist yet. It may be black, or a color we cannot imagine, or no color at all. It goes on forever in every direction. In the center (can there be a center?) is a golden egg, gilded and burning. The egg is wrapped in nothingness like a royal…

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Christ the Chimera:
The Riddle of the Monster Jesus

By Katie Kresser Essay

POSSIBLY THE EARLIEST visual representation of Jesus of Nazareth is a crude drawing scratched on the wall of a Roman house, dubbed by scholars the “Alexamenos graffito.” It shows a man in profile gesturing toward a donkey-headed figure on a cross. Beneath it, the anonymous artist has written, “Alexamenos worships his god.” Around 200 AD…

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A Hermeneutic of Humility:
The Art of Jonathan Anderson

By Bruce Herman Essay

JONATHAN ANDERSON THINKS ABOUT his paintings in construction terms: to him, they are buildings. They regularly depict architectural structures—façades, doorways, hallways, stairways, chapels, homes, and so on—structures in which people live, move, and interact. But his paintings are not only images of built structures; they also are themselves built structures, material constructions that create space…

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A Conversation with Linford Detweiler

By Joe Henry Interview

Linford Detweiler is one half of the band Over the Rhine, which he formed with Karin Bergquist. Since 1989, Over the Rhine (named for a working-class German immigrant neighborhood in Cincinnati) has released over a dozen albums, including Good Dog Bad Dog, Ohio, Drunkard’s Prayer, The Trumpet Child, The Long Surrender, and Meet Me at…

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Ego as Deduction (Agnes Martin Speaks)

By Lauren Camp Poetry

You must not say I saw the sunrise. In bed past the time of the rippling light, lying in piles of sheets, dreaming what was dearest, the charm of a word waking me with a grid that’s never as occupied as worry and hours. What if undone my mind is resting the burdens of need?…

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Preacher

By Lauren Camp Poetry

The church sustains its tired lean sconces. I sit on the left by a partition. It is Sunday. Infinite rest. A slow-footed man with suspenders maneuvers his frame to the scratched pew in front of me. His patience to crease into it. Pauses. I watch the back of his husked body. Wheat-hued paper is stuck…

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We Raise Our Hands for Mercy

By John Blair Poetry

It’s hard not to love the bad boys, the blood-bathed throwers of tantrums who fill the rum skies with crows and newborn angels. What are metaphors for besides the mad ache to cover up? They live for a reason: bang- plowed ecstasy, wide open fields of what’s left when the dogs are through. Shiva me…

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