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Arts in Society

Boston Review’s Arts in Society section publishes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and criticism. It focuses on how the arts loosen the hold of convention, bear witness to injustice, provoke new ways of seeing the world, and speak to the most pressing political and civic concerns of our time.

Browse Creative Writing by Genre

Poem, Memoir, Short Story

Browse Criticism by Topic

Fiction, Film and TV, Literature, Music, Poetry, Visual Art

Fiction

 “There is no plot; it’s just Black people living their lives with other Black people on their own planet.”

Jennifer Maritza McCauley
Fiction

My dead mother called me to say she knew she killed me a long time ago but look how well I’m doing now.

T. Abeyta
Poetry

Death was all around him. Maybe you know what this is like, hearing music overlaid with rain. They stop competing after a while.

D. S. Waldman
Poetry

So many simply leaving.

Daniel Halpern
Poetry

Don’t stuff your fingers
in your ears or count the Pentecost.
Don’t ask if that grammar has a rosary
or recipe written in cornrows on her head.

Joel Dias-Porter
Poetry

Before I left him /
on his deathbed, my father used to say 
the ice is breathing: this quivering song 
of things once-broken, mending. /
This song of them breaking again.

Nick Martino
Poetry

You can say my mother didn’t know jack
           about no line breaks, but she’ll tell you
that one thing leads to another; and violence
           and love can happen all at once.

Eugene Gloria
Poetry

In the parallel world in which gesture is followed /
by recompense

Suzanne Gardinier
Poetry

I wanted time / to come to me

Camonghne Felix
Fiction

“If ideas are discarded when no longer modish, could we not do the same with unfashionable words?”

E. Lily Yu

How it rose, fell, and may rise again.

Peter E. Gordon
Poetry

I once wrote letters to a prisoner at Guantánamo. The letters always came back / opened.

Spring Ulmer

Pitchfork is dead, but good reviewing doesn’t have to die with it.

Eli Zeger
Poetry

The first capturing your gaze into nowhere
the other when you covered your face with your hands
so you were not anonymous, only unseen

Michael Ondaatje

On the Nobel Prize–winning writer’s posthumously published novel, Until August.

Junot Díaz
Poetry

a sunset makes a sound doesn't it
I learned    too late

James Fujinami Moore

Bertrand Tavernier’s daring documentary about the Algerian revolution sought to break the silence in France.

Jonathan Kirshner

On Lakdhas Wikkramasinha’s vanished histories.

Vidyan Ravinthiran

An interview with poet Fady Joudah about writing his latest collection, [...], amid war in Gaza.

Fady Joudah
Poetry

From time to time, language dies. / It is dying now. / Who is alive to speak it?

Fady Joudah
Poetry

Who did this to you?

Sean Patrick Mulroy
Poetry

in 1989 you walk the main road to /
Tiananmen when the inexplicable /
hits

Joseph Cuomo
Poetry

Why didn't I just say / people like us here / at this table / should not just talk about politics

Peter Dale Scott
Poetry

Relying a little less on the odd language we’d been left inside / we turned back to feeling: — / more moan, more mumble.

Joy Priest

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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.

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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).