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“We broke ourselves screaming, but there was no sound,” writes Kemi Alabi in their poem “Undelivered Message to the Sky: November 9, 2016.” Even with the Biden administration now in office, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 heralded a new era of thoughtlessness, violence, and isolation which still echoes today. The poets in this collection grapple with that isolation—the result of gendered and racialized violence—and the simultaneous and conflicting desire to reach out to the world.
In a collage of lines and lives, Nikki Wallschlaeger questions “American happiness,” and elsewhere Boston Review 2019 Poetry Contest finalist Hazem Fahmy listens to “the chorus of memory” and laments that which cannot be conveyed across distance.
The poets in this collection examine the imperfections of language and translation, exploring the many valences of empathy—where it succeeds and where it cannot.
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The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.
Protests in China are shining a light not only on the country’s draconian population management but restrictions on workers everywhere.
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