August 2011


Rosetta Allan
Jenny Argante
Gigi Fenster
Helen Heath
Kerry Hines
David Howard
Andrea Jeftanovic
André Naffis-Sahely
James Norcliffe
Maris O'Rourke
Jack Ross
L.E. Scott
Campbell Taylor
Alan Wall
Hayden Williams

Issue 16 Guest Artist:
Tom Mutch

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Deputy Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Sari Nusseibeh
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Unemployment by David Howard  


Too many shadows, whispering voices
Faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what?
How much have you got?
– Pet Shop Boys: West End Girls


We wheel bicycles, dreaming
Mercedes Porsche Volkswagen even…

Unanswered prayers are best. Come Monday
the sun, swollen with blood, tells us.

Too easy, saying
our fingers will identify every blade of grass

in time. Out of time, perhaps
under the hill that language cannot make

over. When we’re dead we’ll get more
done, wondering why

we wanted to be
alone, surely, but alone with her.

We will write poems, where
the living wheel their bicycles homeward.


Laurel was the prettiest, her lower lip
trembling for your finger

when you could barely touch your self –
self being where want shakes down into shame.

Don’t go to the park – it’s full of crying children,
castoffs in castoffs. Pius X offers

the promise of a better life
TBA. Most locals place their faith in the TAB.

Laurel won’t go to the park. The park has gone.
All that is left of you is the memory of your index finger

in her lap. All that is left of her is the pressure
to never stop, not for the world to come.


The handwriting on your birth certificate
diminishes with the light. My employment

history is an oasis
punctuated by the date palm of a factory clock.

We never had a family to abandon.
You got the last window seat on the bus.

The magpie upon that street lamp
tightens our eyes. This place is populated

with observers. When we were fresh
there were participants. The magpie could

circle the newspaper kiosk. We’ve forgotten
how to read the signs. He should

nod, then we would feel
there was a point beyond his claw or beak.


Pretty words were dirty
behind your back. Dirty girls are pretty upfront.

They shine so much the magpie notices.
After, they wipe themselves in the dark

their fathers left them. Wheel your bicycle
home, carry it over the floor your mother polished

forty years ago, set it against the far wall
so it’s ready. You never know when

you’ll need it again. Only you won’t, knowing
you. We have nothing to do: we do it

without the fuss of an adverb. A bird in the hand
and all, invisible.

Unanswered prayers were best. Come Sunday
the sun, swollen with blood, told us.