How do we know who is on our side? Is it possible for someone who is not like us to share our same hopes? Can links forged by empathy or mutual interest match those created by shared experience? What can we gain from alliances that we cannot achieve on our own?
These are difficult questions to answer even in intimate settings, and more so in arenas of cultural and political struggle. Through original poetry, fiction, and cultural criticism from renowned writers and newcomers, Allies will offer indispensable insights into issues of trust, bridge-building, difference, and betrayal. Drawing on the prophetic power of the imagination to conjure both the possible dangers and life-giving possibilities of alliances—be they political, private (such as marriage), therapeutic, or even aesthetic (between readers and writers, for example)—Allies will be indispensable reading for our times.
Allies is the first publication of Boston Review’s newly inaugurated Arts in Society department. A radical revisioning of the magazine’s poetry and fiction, the department unites them—along with cultural criticism and belles lettres—under a project that explores how the arts can speak directly to the most pressing political and civic concerns of our age, from growing inequality to racial and gender regimes, a disempowered electorate, and a collapsing natural world.
Sagit Emit, trans. Yaron Regev, Samuel R. Delany, JR Fenn, Sabrina Helen Li, Noel Cheruto, Tananarive Due
Christopher Kempf, Meredeith Stricker, Sarah Vap, Hazem Fahmy, C. X. Hua, Rachel Levitsky & Suzanne Goldenberg, Amy Sara Carroll, Khaled Mattawa, Tess Liem
Abdellah Taïa, trans. Amanda DeMarco, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Micki McElya, Rigoberto González, Walter Johnson & Tef Poe interviewed by Mordecai Lyon, Mark Nowak, Roderick Ferguson, Vijay Iyer interviewed by Robin D. G. Kelley.