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Issue 98

Image issue #98’s cover features the work of Israeli painter Shai Azoulay, a playful mystic; this painting is from a series in which he imagines himself making art out of the scraps left behind on Matisse’s studio floor.

Lauren Winner constructs an abecedary of art and truth. Jeanne Murray Walker on how rediscovering the sonnet allowed reinvigorated her after a sudden poetic dry spell. James K.A. Smith argues that the human attraction to ritual is so deep that it even persists in apparently secular fiction. And Ron Hansen gets to grips with why we’re so drawn to stories.

Fiction by Cyan James reveals what goes on behind the scenes at the vet’s office, and Jennifer Anne Moses on the complications of marrying up.

Also: Jane Zwart’s interview with Amit Majmudar on “neureligion,” polytheistic extremism, and the atomization of God. And Sam Martin’s letter to his former art teacher, painter James Tughan.

Also inside are Alicia Ostriker’s poems on the Shining Book, heaven as cocktail party, and the kind of immigrants we all are (read our web exclusive interview here). Plus more poems by Rodger Kamenetz, Amit Majmudar, Jerzy Ficowski (in translation), and more.

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A Conversation with Alicia Ostriker


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Homo Liturgicus:
On the Persistence of Ritual in Contemporary Fiction


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Making Things Up


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Sandals on the Ground:
My Pilgrimage with the Sonnet


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What the Polisher Sees:
The Art of James Tughan


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A Head like Two Heads:
The Paintings of Shai Azouly


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A Conversation with Amit Majmudar


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The Rothko Chapel, Houston, Texas


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Kneses Tifereth Israel Synagogue, Port Chester, New York


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First Thoughts about God after Spying a Speckled Trout Eat a Green Drake


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First Kiss


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Prayer


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Longsuffering


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Altarpiece


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The Priesthood of Pediatric Heart Surgeons


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The Smithsonian Museum of Supernatural History


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Negative


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On His Deathbed, Father Rourke Remembers the Children’s Ward


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Kneeling Angel


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Angel Crying


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Ashes, Etc.


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In Praise of the Ladder


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The Meaning of God


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Origin of God


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The Gathering of Stones


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The Six-Year-Old from the Ghetto Begging on Smolna Street in the Year 1942


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Apricot Time


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We All Came from Somewhere Else


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Naming the Thirst


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Zohar


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Reading Dan Beachy-Quick, Wonderful Investigations


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It Is Possible to Give a Vulture Too Large a Task


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The Goy


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Alphabetic Art


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