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Arts in Society

Arts in Society brings our previously siloed poetry and fiction—along with cultural criticism and belles lettres—into a common project. It focuses on how the arts—including the visual arts, theater, dance, and film—can speak directly to the most pressing political and civic concerns, including racism, inequality, poverty, demagoguery, sex- and gender-based violence, a disempowered electorate, and a collapsing natural world.

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Poetry

Remembering poets Lynda Hull and Michael S. Harper, with original portraits

Terrance Hayes
Poetry

Two white men carrying briefcases walk in on a congressional meeting held by African leaders dressed in Western attire. Clapping at the president who resembles Léopold Senghor. He uses words like “revolutionary” and “independence” and they garner an applause.

Cheswayo Mphanza

Critics tend to discount Rich’s later poems, fundamentally misunderstanding how they engage her radical vision of community.

Ed Pavlić
Fiction
Ian Maxton

This is my version of the story, but I will illuminate only a corner of it, one that ran parallel to and underneath it, revealing what was left in its wake.

Fiction
Jane Kalu

“Abroadness became my obsession.” When a young Nigerian girl is invited to go live with her uncle in Canada, it sets in motion a peculiar friendship with someone she has long envied.

Fiction
Jamie Figueroa

“You can’t go to Mass like that.” A woman’s mother wakes up dramatically transformed, leading to a reappraisal of their relationships.

Poetry
Leah Claire Kaminski

When you were / in the Everglades we canoed from Flamingo and through the canals.

Poetry
Monica Cure

My feet moved down another street / and I saw the shape they would draw / on the map in my mind.

Poetry
Brandi Nicole Martin

Look at my heartbeat / and its consequence, / that cup warm on my palm

Robin D. G. Kelley

In her scholarship, mentoring, and activism, Farah Jasmine Griffin brings a praxis of radical love to an unequal academy.

Poetry
Jeff William Acosta

How would I know / when I’m empty and quiet like breath?

Johanna Winant

Reflecting on three monumental works of modernism—James Joyce's Ulysses, T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, and Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—a hundred years on.

Poetry
Hannah Craig

But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.

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Andrew Spieldenner
Kiese Laymon

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Chair of African American and African Diaspora Studies; Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies, and the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies at Columbia University.

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