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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

As my relatives melted, I stood
on one leg, raised my arms, eyes shut, & thought:
tree tree tree as death passed me—untouched.

Ocean Vuong

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

Ed Pavlić
Terrance Hayes

A series of creative reflections on why Yusef Komunyakaa remains one of our greatest living writers and what it means to be a Black Jazz Poet.

Congratulations to Adebe DeRango-Adem & Simone Person!

Annie Howard

Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven reminds us of the radical power of collective imagination.

Sharon Stone in 'Basic Instinct'
Francey Russell

The release of a restored Basic Instinct alongside director Paul Verhoeven’s newest erotic epic, Benedetta, offers an occasion to think not only about the ethics and politics of watching bodies on screen, but about the uncanny relationship between film and reality.

Robin D. G. Kelley Bongani Madondo

Robin D. G. Kelley and Bongani Madondo honor the writer’s life, work, and legacy.

Douglas Shadle

The field is reckoning with a long legacy of racial exclusion, despite its universalist claims.

A recording of our virtual literary event with three generations of Black women writers.

Poetry
Terrance Hayes

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

Sophie Lewis

Netflix’s Maid and three recent best-sellers depict the agonies and rage of being a low-wage housekeeper or nanny. But all fail to identify capitalism itself as the culprit.

Fiction
Racquel Goodison

“Every time she noticed he was dressed for sport, she’d head for the door.” In this short story, a young Jamaican man weighs his responsibility to his family against his love of biking.

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Andrew Spieldenner
Kiese Laymon
Kiese Laymon

Popular Authors

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.