Works on Water: An Impression of ‘Voices from the Roanoke River’

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In the recent year, the Trump administration has flouted many environmental protection laws within its borders. In the international scene, the administration took the U.S. out from the Paris Agreement when even war-torn Syria, the only hold-out, signed it. The administration is obviously tone-deaf to what is happening to the environment. It is bad enough… [more]

An Interview With Edwidge Danticat

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As a writer, Edwidge Danticat is revered for her elegant prose and her moving depictions of Haiti and the Haitian diasporic experience. She has written more than a dozen books, including her debut novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, which was an Oprah Book Club selection, and the memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, which won the National Book… [more]

An Interview with Yiyun Li

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Yiyun Li is the author of two story collections, two novels, and, most recently, a book of essays called Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. When I read her novel Kinder than Solitude, I was just beginning to take writing seriously, and the psychic familiarity of her characters spooked me – they were instantly… [more]

Little Fishes

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“Put you in the piss tank and flush you too!” Mandy. Five years old, half awake. She stands in the kitchen in her cloud-print PJs, curly brown hair bunched up on one side. Gramma Jean at the table lights a Kool. “What did she say?” “Piss tank,” says Pete by window. He’s twelve, dark-haired like… [more]

An Interview with Lisa Ko, Author of ‘The Leavers’

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  Lisa Ko is the author of the much-acclaimed The Leavers, which won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction. The novel follows the story of an undocumented immigrant woman and her child in the U.S. – a story that feels both timeless and… [more]

Celebrity

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E. Y. Smith’s work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and Thoughtful Dog and is forthcoming in The East Bay Review.

Ursus: a tavern play in verse

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Jason Brown is a playwright and writer from Ireland. Since graduating from the DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama in Dublin with a Degree in Drama (Performance) a decade ago, he has been writing for the stage and publishing much of his poetry and short fiction here.

Lovely Madness

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Ariella Carmell is a third-year student and writer at the University of Chicago. She has had prose and poetry published in Maudlin House, Spry, Words Dance, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Souvenir, Cleaver Magazine, Burningword, Alexandria Quarterly, and other places. In the past, she has also been named a 2014 Foyle Commended Poet of the Year… [more]

The Spiral Path

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The Spiral Path When it is three-dimensional or four how can you follow one, you ask. Think of a mountain road, up an ideal mountain too steep to climb directly. So you find the road that’s been paved before. It circles, rises, narrows to the summit a perfect apex with a perfect point that you… [more]

An Interview with Phil Klay

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Phil Klay is the author of the short story collection Redeployment, which won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2014. He’s a graduate of the MFA program at CUNY Hunter, and a Marine Corps Veteran who deployed to Iraq. I met Phil a year after I left the military and returned to New York City. Phil is… [more]

Legendary Wolves; In Memory Of Peter Stumpp’s Daughter (Redux)

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Emma Johnson-Rivard is a Masters student at Hamline University. She received her undergraduate degree in Film Studies at Smith College in Massachusetts and currently lives in Minnesota with her dogs and far too many books. Her work has appeared in Mistake House, Moon City Review, and the Santa Ana River Review.

Beeswax

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Beeswax   This is the first time that I have cried in a long time, and I realize more than I ever have before what a good person Tom is. I am glad that he told me off. I did treat him like I was being his counsellor, and I am so damn worried about… [more]

Relic

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Alfonse Pagano is an artist based in New Jersey.

Oh, wondrous day!

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Rachel Joseph’s short stories and plays are published in journals ranging from North American Review to Kenyon Review Online. Her novella “The Man in the Trees” was a shortlisted finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom competition. Additionally, she was a finalist for the 2017 Arts & Letters Drama Prize, a semi-finalist for the 2017 Elixir… [more]

‘The Third Eye Counts’ & ‘Fly Trap’

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The Third Eye Counts    not at all. It rolls, unfocused and lashed shut, worm-white, unbidden by you in some place like the black void of a frying pan. It hides though it may not want to. After all, who bothers with an eye not yet accustomed even to soft lights and the harsh knowledge… [more]

Machtig Prachtig / Mightily Marvelous

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Born in the Netherlands, Tamara Stoffers is an artist who has long been fascinated with Russia and the Soviet Union. As the artist puts it: “[The USSR’s] typical visual language in architecture and art feels nostalgic to some and is still relevant to others. I compose my images from old books concerning the USSR, cutting… [more]

ROSA STRUGGLES: ADAPTS AND CONQUERS

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Envision the type of pathos that describes the true meaning of the Rose. It seems surely as if the Rose has come to mean more to us in a neurobiological or perhaps neuropsychological system of being, than a mere flower, a biologic entity evolved primarily for the propagation of a plant, a very complex method… [more]

Transformation Perfection

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Mark Burrow is a writer from the UK. His work has appeared in various publications in England, Ireland, the US, and in the French Riviera-based Côte Poets magazines.

Screen

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    Shinto Imai was born in San Francisco, California on October 30, 1981. He holds a B.F.A. in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design. He lived and worked in New York City from 2008 to 2016. He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can find more of his work here and on Instagram.

Cristina

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There was something about Cristina that I liked right away. I was embarrassed to admit how quickly I calculated her looks and their probability of arousing my husband, but maybe such estimations were inevitable and instinctive. Sizing up Cristina was easy. She was chubby, with a pretty face, and wore nondescript outfits such as jeans… [more]

L.A. Play

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Singer Joy is a playwright and composer who splits her time between New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Singer has produced her own written work for the stage independently and the Sacred Circle Theater Company. Singer has also written music for stage productions. L.A. Play is a movement-and-poetry piece inspired by Los Angeles flora.  

Treatise on Morality

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Sharon Willdin is a writer based in Sydney, Australia. You can find more of her work here.

Recommended Holiday Reading

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Christmas is all about the traditional: gingerbread, brandied eggnog, tinsel and curling up in front of toasty fires with good stories. Or, if you’re a poor motherless MFA student like us at The Brooklyn Review, a fifth of whiskey, a shoplifted fir-scented candle, and your roommate’s three-month-old copy of The New Yorker. Whatever. But maybe… [more]

Departure of the Ark & Land of the Free

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Fabrice Poussin, "First Error," photograph, 2017

DEPARTURE OF THE ARK     At midnight it was still chewing quietly on its anchor chain while the puddles meandering along the waterfront engulfed the chunks of watermelon we had thrown overboard after our farewell picnic.      At two a.m., sound of the waterfront tugs suddenly flapping and churning. In no time we… [more]

Motions for Red Coffee

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Magdalena Dukiewicz, Bastard 1, Hydrolyzed collagen sculpture, 20"20"50", 2017

  Listen, my best wishes for you are built from the inside out, like a sentence after the eye falls upon a reasonable stone and opens a window I remembered to save the glass, to feel December’s bearable embrace. At the cemetery edge, the shade of a neighboring house passes the afternoon in a hooky… [more]

From One Crotchety Spectrum Septuagenarian Too Chicken To Do Real Speed

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While First Lady Nancy Reagan was exhorting us turkeys to Just Say No, daughter Patti wrote, “my mother was a pill-popping Quaalude shrew.” As a gaggle of rugged individualists, some fellow travelers pick stimulants. Starbucks, CVS and shrinks offer caffeine, diet capsules, and Ritalin variants. Then IMHO, there’s Lockean ecstasy vs. Hobbes’ hell — MDMA… [more]

Interview with Monet Hurst-Mendoza + Excerpt

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Monet Hurst-Mendoza is an accomplished NYC-based playwright from LA. Rising Circle Theater Collective, Looking Glass Theatre (NYC), Amios, Playwright’s Playground at Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and many others have developed her plays. She is a current member of the 2017 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater and is a 2016-2018… [more]

Permanent Change of Station

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The room is bare, except for the girls Kneeling surreptitiously by the window, Keeping watch on harbor seals. The girls Are formerly land-locked Army brats Displaced by houses, yards and fences Caught on rotating schedules like Themselves. The harbor seals are rollicking, As harbor seals are wont to do without a care On danger-free, authentic… [more]

Two Poems

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Teeth  From a blindfold of lips every particular touch is as hurting is to grass. On these nights, your fingers almost sensibly set their ask to air — almost regrettably, tease the lotus notion of passing, not skin to skin or such heat but taking a route rendering the half-opened flower of the mouth something… [more]

From the Archives: “This Is About the Radio”

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“Sam realized there was a reason people went to dinner parties in twos. It was important to have someone there to squeeze your knee under the table when someone made an ass of himself and you couldn’t laugh out loud; it was particularly important if the ass was you.” A drunken haircut, a dinner party,… [more]

I Have a Crush on My Mother’s Teen Idol

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On Hong Kong Island, I run into my mother’s childhood crush— her teen-idol-gameshow-host-on-every-girl’s-wall-celebrity- still-a-bachelor, trying on Korean glasses in the arts district once used for police housing. I pick up a pair I can’t afford, hoping for the freeze-frame of the moment— it’s like in the movies when strangers lock eyes across the fancy boutique,… [more]

Leading Man

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A crumpled flyer for the fall play in his pocket, the fresh- man who set a new record for the number of times one could be trash-canned in a year staggers slowly around the drama building at twilight, determined to master the voice of Quasimodo.

Metal

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Starved for contact, sailors traded any last scrap of metal for whatever intimacy they could find. My chest walks to the rhythm of her stride. Her scent spirals the brainstem, petaling my scalp with shivers. They were dizzy with the breeze full of frangiapani, heliconia, the burning striations of the tiger lily in her hair…. [more]

Simone White’s Of Being Dispersed: A Review

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I maintain dominion over the crevices of myself, deep into the layers of my skin, which must never be questioned. Never doubt that these crevices extend toward an infinitely receding boundary. Come close to me to feel it. The last time I encountered Simone White was in the summer 2016 issue of BOMB magazine, in… [more]

Two Poems

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Tarantella She was unaffected by the lump on her forehead. Its size was considerable, and her father was concerned. If you see that spider, kill it, he said. Or I’ll kill it. She smiled and nodded — fathers sometimes had to kill things in order to express their affection. Everything seemed to come in squares…. [more]

Still Thrumming in My Brain: A Review of Anthony Madrid’s Try Never

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Try Never By Anthony Madrid Canarium Books – 2017 I first saw Anthony Madrid read alongside Michael Robbins and Paige Ackerson-Kiely in Brooklyn one summer afternoon, in a bookstore by a church undergoing repairs, scaffolding wreathing the brown steeple. I only knew of Robbins, whose book, Alien Vs. Predator (Penguin, 2012), I had come across… [more]

The Brooklyn Review 2017 Print Issue

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We are proud to announce that The Brooklyn Review 2017 Print Issue has arrived! A compilation of pieces previously published online, the issue features cover art by Evan Paul English, an interview with Mary Gaitskill, works by Mac Wellman, Trinidad Escobar, Jessica Laser, and many other talents. Download the PDF version here. If you would like… [more]

Review: The Hideout by Egon Hostovský

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The Hideout, by Egon Hostovský, was first published in the U.S. in 1945, and now has been reissued by Pushkin Press in an English translation by Fern Long. The novel – really more of a novella, at roughly 120 pages – consists of one extended epistolary soliloquy-cum-confession-cum-suicide note. The writer of the epistles, an unnamed… [more]

An Interview with Mary Gaitskill

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Mary Gaitskill is the writer of three story collections, three novels and, most recently, a book of essays called Somebody with a Little Hammer. She was my teacher last summer at the New York State Writers’ Institute, where my classmates and I hiked, ate several kinds of fruit pie right out of the tin, and,… [more]

Five Poems

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Telling Grandma Stories At the end of Grandma Esther’s cul-de-sac, summer moon found me coins. Mexican money—round plata imbedded in roots. How do our hands find themselves soiled? Old man bursts through screen door, barking ¿Qué haces? I should have grabbed two handfuls of dirt and run. Instead, Grandma’s pursed lips, unsure if mentiroso is… [more]

Drop-Menu Scheduling Calendar with Only One Black-Out Date

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When he took me out with his people, you could see he was ashamed of me. The next youngest guy there was twenty years older than I. Observe the parent bird strangely urging her babies from the nest. The poet’s eye is a mother bird, and the tears are jumping off his cheeks! Come, Corydon,… [more]

Surface Tension

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        Evan Paul English was born in Meridian, Idaho. He received his BFA from University of Arizona, and earned his MFA from Pratt Institute in 2016. He has exhibited work across the United States, recently had a solo exhibition at NAPOLEON Gallery in Philadelphia, showcased work at The Boiler | Pierogi in… [more]

Three Poems

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come to the edge, the edge (a poem to dad) i have followed myself to a hotel balcony in switzerland and i still can’t decide whether to take on that new editing project. and i can’t figure out how to think about memory. do you think we were the wood and wrought iron bench outside… [more]

In Divers Fashion

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I sat in a hot tub late one wedding And weathered falling branches Like a thing that could transcend me But that I could still carry If I had to go. The tub was Like an endless conversation about authenticity No more than two feet deep. And you thought you were diving. But if you’d… [more]

The Tower

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The Psychedelic Tragedy of the Donner Party CHAPTER III Winter The Five of Coins   (Gale-force winds blow, swallowing sound and blasting snow across rock.  Everything is an endless field of white.)   (From the whiteness emerge a few dark shapes.  They yell at each other.)   Stanton: I CAN’T SEE!   Eddy: WHAT?!  … [more]

Three Collages

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        James Scales lives and works in New York City’s oldest house. His visual art has appeared in The Birds We Piled Loosely and Sinker Cypress Review. His poetry has appeared in Sinker Cypress Review, Go Places, and Cadenza Magazine, and is forthcoming in Yes Poetry. He graduated with an MFA from… [more]

Review: Skeleton Coast by Elizabeth Arnold

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Skeleton Coast (Flood Editions) opens with an epigraph from George Herbert’s 17th century poem, “The Temper (I).” Herbert’s poem recounts his soul’s ecstasy and anguish, begging of God, “rack me not to such a vast extent,” but, in the stanza Elizabeth Arnold quotes, Herbert submits to God’s torture: “Stretch or contract me thy poor debtor:/This… [more]

Brent, Bandit King

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    Before you is a vast stretch of [Wasteland], a brown crust specked with defiant green. Warped skeletons of cars lie beside what passes for roads after the nuclear event. You take your first steps into the world. You have a [Pistol] in your hand: handmade, makeshift, of tubes and wood. The other [Facilitators]… [more]

5 Poems

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Why I Don’t Ride a Fixed Gear I walked down 51st street in the dark, the heat – a soft bodied wrestler, surrendering. I thought of us on bicycles, of myself on a bicycle. At the stoplight the full moon was as big and brief as Arkansas – Jack and Charlie, knee deep in the… [more]

A Time of Unsettling

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          Christine Labban is a visual artist from Beirut, Lebanon. She received her MA in photography from LUCA School of Arts, Brussels Belgium. She engages photography and digital art with a desire to capture and portray the mundane from her own perspective.