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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.

Stuart Schrader

Its illegitimacy goes far beyond the war on drugs.

Still image from Los Bukis performance Fiction
Rolando Rodriguez

“Never do unto me what your uncle has done to us.” A family member’s disappearance leads to personal revelations. 

Fiction
Lin King

“My mother has not slept for seven days.” A Taiwanese woman’s brother avoids calling their mother, setting off an insomniac unraveling.

Poetry
Lolita Stewart-White

Selected by Sonia Sanchez as a finalist for the 2021 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest

Fiction
Josephine Ishmon

“‘No,’ Miho said, shaking her head. ‘I don’t want to share.’” Private tragedy forces a New York woman into attending group addiction therapy sessions.

Fiction
Catalina Bartlett

“I am wearing a fake diamond ring. It cost ten dollars in quarters and lots of concentration.” A mother, her daughter, and her romantic rival try to outmaneuver one another.

Poetry
Maya Marshall

An Abortion Ban

is a body snatcher,
is an ethnic cleansing.

The uterus is a cave,
is an incubator, is a vault,

is a self-destructing bomb,
is a thoroughfare.

Poetry
Donia Elizabeth Allen

. . . I am
nott afrayde of swells

that lift mee
off my feet,

or of a strong
undertow

Poetry
Kim Hyesoon Don Mee Choi

The therapist says,
Picture a bird in your mind
What kind of bird is it?

Randall Horton

Every city I’ve lived in has been filled with racism, whether out in the open or hidden in an invisible dialogue of economics and housing. Birmingham taught me to never question what it meant to be a Black American.

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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.