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Arts in Society

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

Hazem Fahmy was a finalist for the 2019 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest and this poem appeared in our arts anthology Allies.

Hazem Fahmy
Tess Liem Poetry
Tess Liem
camus2

The French Algerian writer steadfastly defended democracy and humanity against dogmatic ideologies of all stripes. We need to read and reread him today.

Mugambi Jouet
Julian K. Jarboe

“Come back, Sebastian. You are shaking. That is not a productive movement.” As Sebastian prepares to go work on the moon, he reviews his contract’s terms and conditions and wonders what his mother must think.

Jarboe Everyone on the Moon 2 Fiction

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.

Poetry
Cheswayo Mphanza

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.

Poetry
Felicia Zamora

If I cross paths with myself on the sidewalk, I’m not sure I will recognize my own face.

Fiction
Lucia Edafioka

“The something we had been waiting for had happened.” In this short story, the traces of a missing Nigerian woman haunt her neighbors, who struggle with how intensely they had disliked and envied her.

Poetry
Diamond Forde

Our bodies, temples—shouldn’t that mean anyone can worship? Shouldn’t that mean it’s okay to dip my hips into a communion bowl?

Farah Jasmine Griffin

Toni Morrison’s novels imagine a society governed by an ethic of care, devoted to restoring and repairing those who have been harmed, and giving them the space for transformation.

Andrew Spieldenner

“I was living in fast-forward, trying desperately to have a life before I died.” A veteran AIDS activist recalls living in the Bay Area during the 1990s, the queer people of color usually left out of the epidemic’s history, and how the decade taught him to value endings.

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Sonia Sanchez 2
Christina Knight Sonia Sanchez

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Author of eleven published or forthcoming books, including Who Can Afford to Improvise?: James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listener. He is Distinguished Research Professor in the English Department and in the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Georgia.