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Karla Kelsey

Violet Energy Ingots

Hoa Nguyen

Opening transcendent portals outside of culture and time through which the divine might speak, the oracle of antiquity was called upon for advice on urgent matters ranging from the public sphere of politics, war, crime, and duty to the private realm of personal concerns. Delivering…

The Most Foreign Country

Alejandra Pizarnik

In early 2017 Ugly Duckling Presse will release for the first time in English Alejandra Pizarnik’s debut collection, The Most Foreign Country, translated by Yvette Siegert. First published in 1955 when Pizarnik was 19, she was later to renounce the book, which remained all but…

A Timeshare

Margaret Ross

My favorite thought experiment, run by analytic philosophers, is called “The Brain in a Vat Argument.” Imagine that instead of being the living, breathing body that you think you are, you are actually just a brain in a vat in a lab hooked up to…

The Great Medieval Yellows

Emily Wilson

The contemporary moment of critique manifests, among other ways, in a pressing call for artwork that overtly raises consciousness of the racism, classism, sexism, and environment-gutting anthropocentrism permeating our culture. Answering this call, many poetic projects such as Claudia Rankine’s Citizen and Brenda Hillman’s Seasonal…

the L notebook

Sabine Macher

As temperatures hover in the upper 80s, summertime’s fantasy of ease takes over, gives rise to a self that, in lieu of work, throws on flip-flops and a swimsuit and heads to the pool. This summerself, only partly satisfied by hours under the shade of…

Transfer of Qualities

Martha Ronk

I find myself wanting to tell you contradictory things about Martha Ronk’s Transfer of Qualities. Not because I am of mixed-mind about the book, but because, upon dwelling, contradictory forces show themselves to drive the work, unleashing its power. This might give you the impression…

Hello, the Roses

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

As a term, Empathy, from the Greek em-pathos, in-feeling, is the translation that Edward Titchener, a psychologist working at the turn of the nineteenth century, gave to the German Einfühlung—sympathetic understanding, or, literally, feeling into another’s subject-position. Since the late 18th century the concept has…

The Invention of Glass

Emmanuel Hocquard (Translated by Cole Swensen and Rod Smith)

The Invention of Glass. To begin with titles and what does a title propose: Thanks to volcanoes, lightning, and meteorites, glass has always existed in nature, but like many of our oldest technologies that we daily take for granted, glass-as-human-invention has a mysterious and un-namable…

Selected Days

Stephen Ratcliffe

One of the most tricky questions surrounding poetry is one of the most common: “what is this poem about?” While the question seems casual, easy—a way of filling unoccupied air—answering the question requires a fair amount of precision. Unless the answer has a grasp of…

Continuous Frieze Bordering Red

Michelle Naka Pierce

Our engagement with art objects depends largely upon culture, and the kind of relationship our engagement affords depends largely, of course, upon how we mean culture. If culture is the performance of a refined set of principles, then the object bears instructive potential for perpetuating…