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Repair

This arts anthology explores whether and how we can repair terrible ruptures of political and social life today.

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Repair

We bear deep wounds, individually and collectively. All have been worsened by a period of destructive politics that left us ill-equipped to respond to a global health catastrophe. As we struggle to recover our footing and grieve our dead, we believe that the arts must have a voice in the conversation about how we heal.

This anthology draws together a wide range of artists and thinkers, established and emerging. In essays, memoir, poetry, fiction, and comics, contributors explore what it might look like to repair. Topics include the Salem witch trials, climate catastrophe, the January 6 siege of the Capitol, gender identity, the failures (and hope) of Western medicine, and the entwined horrors of racial, sexual, and colonial violence.

No single text in this volume offers a definitive answer for what it means to repair. But together, they reveal a promising vision for where to go from here.

 


Editors’ Note
Adam McGee, Ed Pavlić, & Ivelisse Rodriguez

 

PART I: REPAIR

We cannot simply put the past behind us. The framework of transitional justice offers a promising path forward.
Colleen Murphy
Poetry
. . . I am nott afrayde of swells that lift mee off my feet, or of a strong undertow
Donia Elizabeth Allen
Poetry
our bloom game too strong / altar stays red candle cinnamon-lit sweet flicker cracking into prance
Kemi Alabi
fiction by Emma Dries

Heat Index

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Racial redress should be modeled on the global anticolonial tradition of worldbuilding.

Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò

Toni Morrison’s novels imagine a society governed by an ethic of care, devoted to restoring and repairing those who have been harmed, and giving them the space for transformation.

Farah Jasmine Griffin

 

PART II: REVIVE

Poetry
An Abortion Ban is a body snatcher, is an ethnic cleansing. The uterus is a cave, is an incubator, is a vault, is a self-destructing bomb, is a thoroughfare.
Maya Marshall
Poetry
The therapist says, Picture a bird in your mind What kind of bird is it?
Kim Hyesoon translated by Don Mee Choi
Poetry

Selected by Sonia Sanchez as a winner of the 2021 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest

Adebe DeRango-Adem
fiction by Meredith Talusan

The Kindness Thief

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Every city I’ve lived in has been filled with racism, whether out in the open or hidden in an invisible dialogue of economics and housing. Birmingham taught me to never question what it meant to be a Black American.
Randall Horton

Narrative medicine claims to champion the experience of patients—but it does so by requiring that the sick “earn” their care by telling a redemptive tale about what is wrong with them.

Brian Teare

 

PART III: REPAY

Savonna Johnson

Three Poems

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fiction by Yiru Zhang

Dear Mothers, We Are No Longer Lost

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Poetry

Selected by Sonia Sanchez as a winner of the 2021 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest

Simone Person
Bishakh Som

The Tailor

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aureleo sans

Mamabird

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Images seized from enslaved people are not private property to be owned but ancestors to be cared for.

Ariella Aïsha Azoulay

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Boston Review is a political and literary forum—a public space for collective reasoning and imagination of a more just world.

Subscribe to our newsletters to get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive editorial content (plus 10% off  our entire store).

Newsletter readers get 10% off

Boston Review is a political and literary forum—a public space for collective reasoning and imagination of a more just world.

Subscribe to our newsletters to get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive editorial content (plus 10% off  our entire store).