issues


ISSUE 26: PERSISTENCE

October 2020 | 191 pages; full-color interior; digital

Dear Reader:

We planned this issue and its theme of Persistence in 2019—before the pandemic, before the country would witness yet more violence to Black bodies, before so many would take to the streets to cry out for justice and demand we change our broken systems. I began to fear that the issue would be too inert to speak to Persistence given the upheavals and bleak hopes of 2020, and I connected with several of our writers and editors with my concern. Joseph Cáceres, who interviewed writer Jaquira Díaz for this issue, advised me to look at our selections through the lens of the politics of seeing—“seeing the effects of a silence,” he writes, that has “haunted” American society. As I read through the magazine, I came across author Drew Pham, introducing a story by her student Har Mann in our Emerging Voices series, who reminded me that literature can help us to see each other: “trans folks, people of color, working-class families, migrants, queer folks, and everyone else whose lives are ignored.”

So I thought about seeing and not seeing. I thought about Persistence. I thought about the ways literature can help to heal this broken world and the times when words on a page seem flimsy in the face of injustice.

And as I studied this issue of SLICE and thought about the haunting that Joseph had spoken of, I started to notice some ghosts, those persistent shades that follow us even when we’re not looking hard enough to see their outlines. In “The Diviner” by Donna Hemans, a young man in Jamaica digs in the ground until he reaches water in an act of regeneration that exorcises the ghost of his father. Maisy Card and Victor LaValle have a conversation with Brian Gresko about “old-world horror made new.” Poet Terrance Hayes speaks to Courtney Faye Taylor about the late poet Wanda Coleman, who looms over the interview like a specter, brilliant and wildly honest. In the witty family narrative “Rioja” by Shannon Sanders, the light ghosts of things unsaid flit through the corners of a Thanksgiving meal. SJ Sindu faces the twin family ghosts of memory and trauma, and Jen Corrigan, confronting cancer, is haunted by things that have disappeared, from ships to eyeshadow brushes.

Maybe literature can’t heal this broken world. Maybe the only thing that can is showing up to fight for our fellow people. But when I’m feeling hopeful, I believe that what literature can do—if we’re persistent, if we try to see, if we watch for the ghosts that linger in the shadows—is help us to see each other. And on my hopeful days, that feels like a place to start.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Blachman

Editor-in-chief

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

(In Order of Appearance)


Interviews


MAISY CARD & VICTOR LAVALLE by Brian Gresko

TERRANCE HAYES ON WANDA COLEMAN by Courtney Faye Taylor

TOCHI ONYEBUCHI by Randy Winston

BEHIND THE BOOK DEAL: JAQUIRA DÍAZ, MICHELLE BROWER & KATHY PORIES by Joseph Cáceres

 


Emerging Voices


POETRY: ODE TO THE MAN WHO KILLED ME by Katy Day, with an Introduction by Patricia Smith

FICTION: GIRLHOOD by Kim Bussing, with an Introduction by Ivelisse Rodriguez

NONFICTION: THE MINOTAUR by Har Mann, with an Introduction by Drew Pham

 


Fiction


Fiction Editor, Celia Blue Johnson

Associate Fiction Editor, Randy Brown Winston

THE DIVINER by Donna Hemans

A MEAN WINTER by Latifa Ayad

THE ONLY POSSIBLE CHOICE: A MULTILINGUAL EXQUISITE CORPSE by Andrés Barba, Kirmen Uribe, Jeremy Tiang, Kira Josefsson, Chiara Marchelli, Ursula Andkjær Olsen, and Sharmila Seyyid; translation by Lisa Dillman, Elizabeth Macklin, YZ Chin, Kristina Andersson Bicher, Conner Drennen, Katrine Øgaard Jensen, and Gita Subramanian

INCONCEIVABLE by Whitney Collins

RIOJA by Shannon Sanders

BY RETURN by Anna Cabe

THREE FLASH FICTION PIECES by Sarah Moses

INDEPENDENCE DAY by Shubha Sunder

LAUNDRY by Frances Park

GET OUT THE VOTE by Nick Fuller Googins

 


Nonfiction


Nonfiction Editor, Maria Gagliano

Associate Nonfiction Editor, Marae Hart

YOUR DOG WALKER IS A FELON: MY JOURNEY THROUGH PROBATION’S PRECARITY by Nicole Shawan Junior

HER SCARS: ON MY MOTHER AND GOD by Anita Anburajan

BOMBS FALL LIKE POLLEN by SJ Sindu

LONG HAIR, DON’T CARE by Musfira Shaffi

DISTRACTIONS ARE BEST SERVED AT ROOM TEMPERATURE by Brandon Christopher

BINARY STAR by Katrina Smith

WHERE THINGS GO WHEN THEY DISAPPEAR by Jen Corrigan

 


Poetry


Poetry Editor, Tom Haushalter

Associate Poetry Editor, Courtney Faye Taylor

SURGERY METAL by Larry Narron

LETTER FROM A ROMAN SOLDIER IN GAUL by Forester McClatchey

MY ELUSIVE SISTER by Adura Ojo

P-T by Micah Nemerever

(OR, W W ) by Cindy Tran

LIMITS by M. Christine Benner Dixon

UPWARD MOBILITY by Karen Skolfield

BORDER by Cory Hutchinson-Reuss

 


Visual Art


Creative Director, Jennifer K. Beal Davis

Associate Art Director, Matt Davis

STINA ALEAH cover

MELISSA KOBY

PATRICK QUARM

SO PILU

BEN CRAWFORD

NADIA WAHEED

JAMES ROPER

JOANNE GREENBAUM

ANOLI PERERA

ALEX GROSS

PETER CHAN

HIMANSHU VATS

TOM GLENDENNING

PAUL CROOK

MINAS HALAJ

READ MORE...

ISSUE 25: BIRTH

September 2019 | 136 pages; full-color interior

Dear Reader:

When we curate our issues around a theme, like this issue’s theme of Birth, we’re careful not to go too far. We want to tackle the theme, refract it from different angles, but we don’t want you swimming in babies. (No one wants that, all those squishy little hands and feet.) But when I cast my eye down the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry we’ve chosen for you this issue, I see that we have indeed coalesced around three themes—birth, death, and sex. 

They’re connected, of course. I had a folklore professor in college who talked about the narrative possibilities of Eden. The snake tells Eve she can have knowledge, be like God, but she’s got to talk Adam into eating the apple. They sin, they get knowledge, they realize that they’re sexual beings, they grab some leaves. They get cast out of paradise, and death is invented. But birth is invented too. Without death, we’re just hanging out forever in the garden, with no new life. To put it another way, Eve tells Adam a story, and suddenly the world is awash with life and death. A scientist would tell us that cell death is necessary for life, which to me sounds like the same story. (The other thing that folklore professor told us about babies was that they were little sociopaths who would eat us if they weren’t so small, and now that I have a baby I realize she’s probably right about that. Don’t worry, reader, we can take ’em.)

O’rya Hyde-Keller opens the issue with a story that encompasses birth and death—she shows us how the natural world worships at the altar of both. Several of the pieces in this issue grapple with the aftermath of the death of a loved one, what poet Daniella Toosie-Watson calls a “thing that wades”—the grief a little flood that washes through the neighborhood. Birth also, as envisioned in Jai Chakrabarti’s adoption tale and Troy Onyango’s strange elegy, is more complicated than one would imagine, twinned with loss and uncertainty. Thomas Grattan and Jenny Irish confront the emotional and physical roughness of the birth of sexuality. National Book Award winner Sigrid Nunez talks about subjects from suicide to dogs, and Brian Gresko discusses getting the nerve to write honest memoirs with authors Mira Jacob and Kiese Laymon.

So we’d like to thank you for coming to witness the arrival of our Birth issue. Because when we tell a story, we get birth and death, and all the moments in between. We get . . . well, everything. And the cycle will continue: the births may be more full of tears than you might imagine, and the deaths will likely contain a spark of renewal.

Cheers,

Elizabeth Blachman
Editor-in-chief

 


Interviews


(In Order of Appearance)

SIGRID NUNEZ by Paul Florez-Taylor 

AUTHORS IN CONVERSATION: MIRA JACOB & KIESE LAYMON by Brian Gresko 

BRUCE BAUMAN by Neni Demetriou 

BEHIND THE BOOK DEAL: MIKE CHEN, MICHELLE MEADE & ERIC SMITH by Joseph Cáceres 

 


Fiction


Fiction Editor, Celia Blue Johnson

Associate Fiction Editor, Randy Brown Winston

EMERGING VOICES: THE PERVERT by Shane Kowalski

With an Introduction by Jennifer Finney Boylan

THE QUICKENING by O’rya Hyde-Keller

GENERAL HELPER by Thomas Grattan

THE MOST DANGEROUS DREAM OF ALL: A MULTILINGUAL EXQUISITE CORPSE by Sergio Chejfec, Maria Cabrera Callís,Basma Abdelaziz, and Petra Hůlová; translation by Heather Cleary, Mary Ann Newman, Elisabeth Jaquette, and Alex Zucker

CIRCLING BACK by Lauren Friedlander

BLACK IS THE COLOR OF ABSENCE by Troy Onyango

DAISY LANE by Jai Chakrabarti

 


Nonfiction


Nonfiction Editor, Maria Gagliano

Associate Nonfiction Editor, Marae Hart

THE HAUNTED ATHEIST by Taylor Murch

With an Introduction by Alison Kinney

WE WERE TAKEN IN THE NIGHT by Hannah Bae

SANTA CHIARA SLEEPS by Candace Stark Savage

JERRY by Didintle Ntsie

 


Poetry


Poetry Editor, Tom Haushalter

Associate Poetry Editor, Courtney Faye Taylor

  EMERGING VOICES: GRIEF IS A THING THAT WADES by Daniella Toosie-Watson

With an Introduction by A. Van Jordan

MY MOTHER UNDOES by Mitchell Jacobs

TAKING CARE by Daniel Lassell

EARLY PLEISTOCENE HORSES by Kimberly O’Connor

AMERICA VOTES FOR THE TALKING MACHINE by Collin Callahan

TO PASS ON A BOY AS DARK by Fakoyede Oluwaseun

SERIOUSLY by Jenny Irish

AMADEUS CHO, TOTALLY AWESOME HULK by Eric Tran

VERTEBRAE by Vinitia Swonger

 


Visual Art


Creative Director, Jennifer K. Beal Davis

Associate Art Director, Matt Davis

(Click Artists’ Names to Visit Their Websites)

OLIV BARROS cover

CARLY JANINE MAZUR

ANKA ZHURAVLEVA

SEOHYUN (JOANNE) NAM

AYKUT AYDOGDU  

ASHLEY MACKENZIE 

EMILY LOVEJOY 

JULIETTE OBERNDORFER 

JENNIFER NEHRBASS

MARCELO DALDOCE 

DIEGO GRAVINESE

BARBARIAN FLOWER

READ MORE...

ISSUE 24: TIME

136 pages; full-color interior

Dear Reader:

The theme of our twenty-fourth issue is Time, and I find that it’s hard to talk to you about time without sounding trite. I think it’s because, in some ways, we know everything about time. We know that Einstein was right and that time is relative­we feel it in the endlessness of a school year viewed from September by a fourth grader and in the way a child turns eight in the blink of a parent’s eye. We know that Joyce was right and that time doesn’t forgive us for our sins-we feel his warning that “history is a nightmare from which [we are] trying to awake.” We know that the sci-fl writers were right and that time travel changes both everything and nothing.

We know all of this, and yet the sheer volume of what we can’t comprehend about time is staggering. So I invite you to pause from the rush of your day and spend a few hours musing about time with us. Many of the authors in this issue write about how time can heal wounds, how it can help us lose identities and find them again. Many write about the dying of a loved one-the way time slows down in those last breaths over a dry tongue before the clock of the body stops. We will offer you microseconds and vast epochs: the ticking time bomb of a deadly parasite swiftly killing its host, alien scientists examining the slow unfolding of human civilization, the Blockbuster chain chugging to a halt in the strip malls of Middle America. In an exploration of lost time, poet Teri Elam imagines the span of her nephew’s life if he hadn’t died on the day of his birth. She dares to ask whether the tragedy of those lost years is not outweighed by her relief that “God took [him] first” before he could be “distorted as a menace” and possibly killed growing up as a black man in America. “Untiring Machines” by Lindsey Drager reaches back and forth between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries to place a single folktale at two moments that shook the course of human time-the creations of the printing press and the Internet. Author Sam Lipsyte discusses the way time in his novels passes the same way we often experience it in our lives, dilated when we’re in the middle of it and then either “murky” or “fast” when we look back.

After you’ve sat a while with us, turning these pages, you might ask, like Pulitzer Prize­-winning poet Mary Oliver, who died this year, “Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?” Time is passing, so Oliver asks us: “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” She spent hers wandering through fields and looking at grasshoppers, among other things. Just a suggestion.

Cheers,

Elizabeth Blachman

Editor-in-chief

 


Interviews


(In Order of Appearance)

AUTHORS IN CONVERSATION: ROSALIE KNECHT & IDRA NOVEY by Brian Gresko

ALCY LEYVA by Randy Winston

BEHIND THE BOOK DEAL: JORDY ROSENBERG, VICTORY MATSUI & SUSAN GOLOMB by Liz Mathews

SAM LIPSYTE by Eric Farwell

 


Fiction


Fiction Editor, Celia Blue Johnson

Associate Fiction Editor, Randy Brown Winston

EMERGING VOICES: PIGEONS by Amani Elkassabany
With an Introduction by Amin Ahmad

NAEGLERIA FOWLERI by Gabriel Urza

THE BULLET: A MULTILINGUAL EXQUISITE CORPSE: Glaydah Namukasa, Ibtisam Azem, Amir Ahmadi Arian, and Silvana Paternostro • Translation by Merit Kabugo, Sinan Antoon, Amir Ahmadi Arian, and Mary Ann Newman

DRAGONFLIES by Shannon Sanders

END OF CONTACT by Alyson Fortowsky

UNTIRING MACHINES by Lindsey Drager

HAPPY RETURNS by Jessica Lee Richardson

 


Nonfiction


Nonfiction Editor, Maria Gagliano

Associate Nonfiction Editor, Marae Hart

EMERGING VOICES: MUSINGS OF A MIX-UP Cheryl McCourtie
With an Introduction by Margo Jefferson

CLEANSE by Jade Sanchez-Ventura

TIME by Michael Ramos

CLOSING BLOCKBUSTER by Jacob Little

GHETTOPIAN DREAMS: HARLEM 2 HARLEM by Charles Taylor

THE PICTURE-WINDOW FOUNTAIN by Janelle Bassett

 


Poetry


Poetry Editor, Tom Haushalter

Associate Poetry Editor, Courtney Faye Taylor

EMERGING VOICES: TO SHABAZZ, THE NEPHEW I NEVER MET: JUNE 9, 1990-JUNE 9, 1990 by Teri Elam
With an Introduction by Cate Marvin

ALOFT by Rafael Campo

WHEN BETRAYAL IS THE HUMAN WINDOW WE LOOK THROUGH TO FIND OURSELVES by Chelsea Dingman

FIRE AND TIDAL by Lauren Camp

CONDITIONS OF DEPARTURE by Leah Poole Osowski

SEVENTEEN by David Moolten

MY VISUAL AID IS A TIMELINE by Heather Christle

INDEPENDENCE DAY REUNION, MIDDLE CONCHO RIVER by T. J. McLemore

MUD DAUBER by Laton Carter

ON THE NIGHT MY FATHER DIED by Bernard Ferguson

 


Visual Art


Art Director, Jennifer K. Beal Davis

Associate Art Director, Matt Davis

(Click Artists’ Names to Visit Their Websites)

CRISTÒFOL PONS cover

CIG HARVEY

MISATO SUZUKI

DORIAN VALLEJO

HOSSAM DIRAR

JOSEPH LOZANO

LUKE MACK

TELMO MIEL

 


READ MORE...

ISSUE 23: FLIGHT

136 pages; full-color interior

Dear Reader:

I’ve been picturing this Flight-themed issue of SLICE as one of those da Vinci flying machines—taut wings stretched over a reaching frame. In her story “Catarina,” which opens the issue, Brenda Peynado’s narrator is preoccupied with the ordinary goods at a housewares store: “containers and coverings and daily tools. What we contain, what we reveal, all bodies and their extensions and the frames of our hope.” Da Vinci’s flying machine sketches always gripped me not because they looked lofty, but because they looked so workmanlike and weighty as they strove for the sky. If we want to take to the air, Peynado’s “frames of our hope” are the tattered wings, attached with everyday tools to our earthbound vessels—the containers that might promise to lift our heavy, human bones heavenward.

In our Authors in Conversation series, Brian Gresko talks to novelists Laura van den Berg and R. O. Kwon about how that taking flight, that transcendence, often requires being firmly rooted in the body. Van den Berg notes that when she flies in planes she’s acutely aware of her physical body, and Kwon mourns the loss of her childhood belief that her body would be returned to her in some corporeal afterlife—a promised leap toward heaven.

But just as Flight is that transcendent release, that leap for the sky, it’s also the heart-pounding escape. Tomi Adeyemi talks with our interviewer Randy Winston about how the germ of her bestselling YA novel was the image of a princess running up to a fisherman’s daughter and saying, “Get me out of here.” In the fourth installment in our International Exquisite Corpse series, Claudia Salazar Jiménez alludes to the terrible math of why someone might want to fly from their home to seek refuge elsewhere: “While life here can be hellish at times, he knows that back there, life was a monstrous multiplication of wrongs. That’s why he left.”

And so, our da Vinci flying machine is a bit tattered ’round the edges but able to get aloft. You might not be able to tell if it’s running away or simply taking wing. Of course, da Vinci never got up in the air, unless you want to say that the drawings themselves are a sort of flight. Sometimes all we can do is take the “frames of our hope”—our body, or perhaps our story—and imagine that we can fly.

When I was a kid, for a while I decided it was a good idea to read the last page of a book first so that I would know what it all meant in case I died before I finished the novel. If you skip to the final page of the last story of our Flight issue, you’ll encounter a flightless bird with vestigial wings—on the lam—stalking down a suburban street, panting and proud. Will you believe me if I say that it makes me feel hopeful?

Cheers,

Elizabeth Blachman
Editor-in-chief

 


Interviews


(In Order of Appearance)

AUTHORS IN CONVERSATION: R. O. KWON & LAURA VAN DEN BERG by Brian Gresko

TOMI ADEYEMI by Randy Winston

SETH GREENLAND by Bruce Bauman

BEHIND THE BOOK DEAL: KELLY SUNDBERG, JOY TUTELA &
GAIL WINSTON, by Bre Power Eaton

 


Fiction


Fiction Editor, Celia Blue Johnson

Associate Fiction Editor, Randy Brown Winston

EMERGING VOICES: POPSICLE MAN by Siwatu Moore
With an Introduction by Tim Taranto

CATARINA by Brenda Peynado

FLIGHT: AN INTERNATIONAL EXQUISITE CORPSE: Pema Bhum, Claudia Salazar Jiménez, Krys Lee, and Kanako Nishi • Translation by Elizabeth Bryer, Kang Daehoon, Tenzin Dickie, and Allison Markin Powell

MUMMY by Amin Ahmad

SOMEBODY LOVES ME by Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry

BARTER AND BANTER by Megan Roberts

 


Nonfiction Editor, Maria Gagliano

Associate Nonfiction Editor, Marae Hart

EMERGING VOICES: HEMOGOBLIN by Pune Dracker
With an Introduction by Zia Jaffrey

THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF MIESSI by Jenny O’Connell

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF I DON’T KNOW by Joshua Bodwell

THIS IS WHERE WE ARE by Tonya Canada

HOW TO PRESERVE A DEAD BUTTERFLY by Daniel Garcia

 


Poetry


Poetry Editor, Tom Haushalter

  EMERGING VOICES: AT EDGE OF INYO I by Mg Roberts
With an Introduction by Brian Teare

BAR by Michael Metivier

A COMPASSIONATE PERSON by Josh Kalscheur

THE SAINTS by Lis Sanchez

HOW TO WRITE A LOVE POEM by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

49 MILES TO 50 by Lee Nash

MY SUBURBS MY FORGOTTEN LAND by Talin Tahajian

SUBVOCAL (CHALLENGER) by Mark Neely

AND I’VE STILL NEVER BEEN TO THE FRICK by Holly Mitchell

WHAT MAKES THE ACTUAL WORLD ACTUAL IS SIMPLY THAT IT IS OUR WORLD by Eleanor Stanford


Visual Art


Art Director, Jennifer K. Beal Davis

Associate Art Director, Matt Davis

(Click Artists’ Names to Visit Their Websites)

TEAGAN WHITE cover

DANIELA YOHANNES

LUCAS LASNIER PARBO

DAVID MCCONOCHIE

MAXWELL DOIG

ERIC PAUSE

JEROEN EROSIE

SARAH GAMBLE

ANNE TEN DONKELAAR

MAX BROWN

READ MORE...

ISSUE 22: BORDERS

Available May 2018

136 pages; full-color interior

Dear Reader:

My borders have been invaded. As I work on this Borders-themed issue of SLICE with the authors and my fellow editors, a person is growing within the borders of my skin. To her, I am a universe—the swell of my belly is the edge of her space on this earth. I’m pregnant with my first child, and I’m shattered by strange, everyday miracles. And as I work—on the issue and on the incessant labor of creation—it occurs to me that the greatest gift of literature, of language, is the ability it gives us to bring another self, some other mind’s spark of consciousness, inside our skin.

It also strikes me that the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in Issue 22 are on the somber side. We asked authors to write about borders, and in the current political climate, physical borders have become harsh places, as you can see in our stories about no-fly lists, refugee camps, xenophobic regimes, and walls that keep out the poor. In the third installment of our International Exquisite Corpse series, four authors in four languages create a story in which a woman’s consciousness and a shadowy institute morph and change until the opening from an extracted molar becomes a border crossing where an angry guard rants about illegal entries.

Raquel Salas Rivera’s poem “note for a friend who wants to commit suicide after the hurricane” (accompanied by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado’s powerful intro) is a post–Hurricane Maria cry of pain. To Rivera, a border is something that separates us, the reason we might abandon one another without power or supplies—the “great hole of fuck-it.” But then the poem tells us that a border can also be a place where we touch: “Come in and I’ll give you food and shelter while I have it,” Rivera writes.

In many of the pieces in this issue, you’ll see that borders are lonely walls we draw around ourselves and others—Frost’s good fences that make good neighbors—but they are also the cultural gray areas where we can understand each other, the shadowy spaces between childhood and adulthood, truth and lies, one person and another. If our consciousness is a maze, as Sofia Bonati’s painting on the cover suggests, then we might use language to navigate the borders of the maze. We might tell stories in order to bring another human inside the borders of our skin.

Cheers,

Elizabeth Blachman
Editor-in-Chief

 


Interviews


(In Order of Appearance)

AUTHORS IN CONVERSATION: KATIE KITAMURA & PAUL YOON by Brian Gresko

JENNIFER EGAN by Garrard Conley

MORGAN JERKINS by Randy Winston

BEHIND THE BOOK DEAL: NICOLE DENNIS-BENN, KATIE
HENDERSON ADAMS, & JULIE BARER by Liz Mathews

 


Fiction


Fiction Editor, Celia Blue Johnson

Associate Fiction Editor, Randy Brown Winston

EMERGING VOICES: SOOJEE RISES by Dina Lee
With an Introduction by Luis Jaramillo

AUGUST by Aja Gabel

THE GROUNDED by L. Harris

BORDERS: AN INTERNATIONAL EXQUISITE CORPSE by Basma Abdelaziz, Maria Cabrera Callís, Fouad Laroui, Karolina Ramqvist • Translation by Elisabeth Jaquette, Mary Ann Newman, Emma
Ramadan, Saskia Vogel

MOTHER by Melissa Sipin

THE DREAM by Melodie Corrigall

IT WILL DESTROY YOU by Stephen O’Connor

THE TRAIN by Tara Isabel Zambrano

NEW BEGINNINGS by Tara Isabel Zambrano

 


Nonfiction Editor, Maria Gagliano

Associate Nonfiction Editor, Marae Hart

EMERGING VOICES: A CHRISTIAN IN UNION SQUARE by Eunice Pak
With an Introduction by Said Sayrafiezadeh

BETWIXT AND BETWEEN by David Allan Cates

CURBS, LEDGES, STAIRS—AND THE KARATE KID by Neal Thompson

LIVES OF CAPTIVE MEN by Brian P. Hall

HOW TO BUILD AN INTELLECTUAL by Hedia Anvar

HOLES by Peter Grimes

 


Poetry


Poetry Editor, Tom Haushalter

  EMERGING VOICES: NOTE FOR A FRIEND WHO WANTS TO
COMMIT SUICIDE AFTER THE HURRICANE by Raquel Salas Rivera
With an Introduction by Ricardo Alberto
Maldonado

TRANSMISSION FROM THE NEW HORIZONS INTERPLANETARY SPACE PROBE by Ryan Dzelzkalns

A COUNTRY OF BEAUTIFUL WOMEN by Marianne Chan

AT THE BORDER by Majda Gama

STILL LIFE WITH BRIDGE AS HANDSHAKE OF LANDS by Josh Bettinger

THE PROPHET’S DAUGHTER by Karissa Morton Carter

MARE NOVUM by Karissa Morton Carter

PASTORAL by Caroline Crew

NIGHT WATER by Josie Schoel

A FAILED TAXONOMY OF PLACE by Josie Schoel

 


Visual Art


Art Director, Jennifer K. Beal Davis

Associate Art Director, Matt Davis

(Click Artists’ Names to Visit Their Websites)

SOFIA BONATI cover

JANUZ MIRALLES

MARISSA LEVIEN

ALEX BECK

AMANDA GREIVE

MATT WISNIEWSKI

HUMBERTO BARAJAS BUSTAMANTE

NEGAR FARAJIANI

DOUGLAS P. LOBO

MARCUS BOBESICH

PATTI MOLLICA

LARS ELLING

READ MORE...

ISSUE 21: PANIC

128 pages; full-color interior

Dear Reader,

Pan seems like a tranquil sort of god to have a state of fear named after him—all piping in meadows, hanging out with shepherds, and frolick­ing in forests with nymphs. But the Greeks said that when roused—perhaps from naps in the woods—Pan’s strange, mighty shouts caused a terror that could spur a crowd to hysteria or frighten a lonely traveler. Our twenty-first issue of SLICE is devoted to the theme of Panic, and in these troubled times, it was depressingly easy to find material for an issue full of panicked prose.

“Don’t panic,” say the large, friendly letters on the title tome in Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Of course, when we read those words in the novel, the Earth has already been destroyed. Panic is perhaps called for. But panic is not always an apocalypse, a shadowy figure in the dark, or a blade in the back, though those all make appearances in this issue. Panic is that feeling of the immediacy of fear. That spike of adrenaline when our brain tells us to fight or run, because the thing we fear is no longer just in our mind—it’s right in front of us. In this issue, panic comes from suddenly losing your way, from not knowing what to say to your loved ones, from realizing you have missed your chance to have the life you want.

Panic can also be the moment of fear when we find clarity. In “Behind the Book Deal,” Garrard Conley remembers his fear as he strove to portray the truth of the past in his memoir. Mohsin Hamid talks with interviewer Randy Brown Winston about how reading can “destabilize” us as we enter into different minds and cultures and worlds. The terrifying cry from the woods can be what makes us look around, open our eyes.

And maybe we can reclaim the panic. In her brief and shattering essay “Not,” Vivian Wagner tells us how she learned to be suspicious of writing that doesn’t sometimes “tear up its own page and throw itself into the flames.” In that vein, we’d like to dedicate this issue of SLICE to Pan. May we always wake up from our sleep. May our fear make us wide awake. May our words be a mighty shout from the woods.

Cheers,

Elizabeth Blachman
Editor-in-chief

 


Interviews


(In Order of Appearance)

JOANNA SCOTT by Bruce Bauman

BEHIND THE BOOK DEAL: GARRARD CONLEY, WILLIAM BOGGESS, LAURA PERCIASEPE & JULIE BARER by Bre Power Eaton

LAURA LIPPMAN by Sean Jones

MOHSIN HAMID by Randy Brown Winston

 


Emerging Voices


FICTION: APPETITE by Lin King, with an Introduction by Sigrid Nunez

POETRY: MOTHGIRLS by Ashlyn Rowell, with an Introduction by W. Todd Kaneko

NONFICTION: THE NAMED WOMEN by Shannon Ratliff, with an Introduction by T Clutch Fleischmann

 


Fiction


Fiction Editor, Celia Blue Johnson

Associate Fiction Editor, Randy Brown Winston

THE GORGEOUS METEOR by Rolli

PANIC: AN INTERNATIONAL EXQUISITE CORPSE by José Eduardo Agualusa, Theodora Dimova, Naz Tansel, and Prabda Yoon; Translation by Daniel Hahn, Canan Marasligil, Mui Poopoksakul, and Angela Rodel

REDIRECTION by Sacha Idell

DEAD ANIMALS by Milena Nigam

CLOSE-UP, ACTION, LANDSCAPE, PORTRAIT by Clancy McGilligan

SPY CAR by Nickalus Rupert

 


Nonfiction


Nonfiction Editors, Maria Gagliano, Christopher Locke

YOU ARE A BODY OF WATER by Gena Ellett

BECAUSE THIS ISN’T FUCKING VALENTINE’S DAY by Ruth Gila Berger

HOW CHILDREN LEARN UNDER MANGO TREES by David Ishaya Osu

THE BEAR by Paul Crenshaw

DON’T PANIC: A LITERARY SURVEY OF THE APOCALYPSE by Elizabeth Blachman and Dan Avant

NOT by Vivian Wagner

 


Poetry


Poetry Editor, Tom Haushalter

Associate Poetry Editor, Trevor Ketner

BLUD ORNGE by Sara Ryan

PLUM JUICE by Kaveh Akbar

HEARING TEST by Shevaun Brannigan

DUBIOUS PROVENANCE by Martha Zweig

HINTERLAND by Martha Zweig

MOM CALLS TO SAY THE SALE IS FINAL by Leah Angstman

ALL OF THIS [CANNOT BE] ERASED by Amanda Lichtenberg

PROVISIONAL HYPOTHESIS FOR XX by Theodosia Henney

WE’RE GOING TO HAVE FUN by Lizzie Harris

 


Visual Art


Art Director, Jennifer K. Beal Davis

Associate Art Director, Matt Davis

(Click Artists’ Names to Visit Their Websites)

Bicicleta Sem Freio

Fan Yang-Tsung

Kylli Sparre

Alla Bartoshchuk

Geoffrey Johnson

Gaetanne Lavoie

Cinta Vidal

Wu Yih’han

Olaf Hajek

Caitlin Hackett

Alexandra Levasseur

Amy Spassov

Mat Miller

Simon Davidson

Sitaka

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FEATURED AUTHORS