Home: 9 LGBTQ Authors Reflect after Orlando

Featuring Scott Esposito, Rooze Garcia, Gabriel Garcia Ochoa, Melissa Febos, Jill McDonough, H Sharif "Herukhuti" Williams, Mary Meriam, Annie Won, Hannah Baker-Siroty

Conversations: Laura Ellen Scott and Amber Sparks

Uncovering new worlds in plot and writing, Sparks and Scott dive into a brilliant liminal space between literary fields.

A Paean to Summer Reading

Journeying from Montreal to New York via Postman, Jewett, Bacevich, and Boswell, Matthew Stevenson rediscovers the joys of summer reading.

I Had to Cut It Down: A Digital Experiment

Ty Clever uses a digital tool for radical readings of poems by William Carlos Williams, Rae Armantrout, and Claudia Rankine.

Nothing but the Jouissance: Capitalism + Enjoyment

Capitalist subjectivity? There's an App for that. Daniel Bristow reviews Alfie Bown's Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism.

“Because he is me”: Jill Lepore, Joe Gould, & Joseph Mitchell

What is Biography? Thomas Berenato explores the key question in Jill Lepore's new book on Gould and Mitchell.

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Call for Submissions: Translation Feature

BOSTON, MA – MAY 2, 2016 | The Critical Flame, a bimonthly online journal of book reviews, criticism, essays, interviews, and literary nonfiction, announces an invitation for submissions to a…


Home: 9 LGBTQ Writers Reflect after Orlando

Contributors: Scott Esposito, Rooze Garcia, Gabriel Garcia Ochoa, Melissa Febos, Jill McDonough, H. Sharif “Herukhuti” Williams, Mary Meriam, Annie Won, and Hannah Baker-Siroty. Editor’s Note We at The Critical Flame shared…


Conversations: Laura Ellen Scott and Amber Sparks

Amber Sparks and Laura Ellen Scott are two fiction writers with powerful, parallel voices. The two corresponded throughout May, bridging the distance with a discussion of the performative side of…

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I Had to Cut It Down: An Experiment in Destructive Criticism

There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. —Ralph Waldo Emerson The role of the critic is the topic de jour, in part because of the smart and…

Front porch, Sunday afternoon, Vincennes, Indiana, 1941. John Vachon. Library of Congress.

A Paean to Summer Reading

Given how I struggled as a child with prescribed summer reading lists—all those obligations to read Hard Times or Lord Jim by the Tuesday after Labor Day—I surprise even myself…

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Nothing Outside the Jouissance: On Alfie Bown’s “Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism”

Aristotle gave an early definition of pleasure, which lasted through the centuries, but later the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan twisted this pleasure into enjoyment (jouissance), the positive dimensions of which can…


“Because he is me”: on Jill Lepore’s history of Joe Gould and Joseph Mitchell

Joe Gould’s Teeth will be many things to many readers, but it advances most forcefully a clear-eyed critique of History and Literature (the name, incidentally, of the academic program Lepore…

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White Heart-Flame of Polished Silver: Amy Lowell and Mary Meriam

  Amy Lowell was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1874, youngest daughter of the wealthy Boston Lowell family that would later include acclaimed poet Robert Lowell among its members. From…


Beyond Shakespeare: Thinking globally on the anniversary of the playwright’s death

Which authors do students entering college in the United States need to be familiar with? Homer? Dante? Austen? Dickinson? Ellison? All of the above? No. According to the Common Core…

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These Molten Flowers: on Lola Ridge, radical poet and activist

In a news clip from 1927, Lola Ridge stands alone in the middle of a street as thousands of people demonstrate against the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. The crowds…

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Six Proposals for the Reform of Literature in the Age of Climate Change

A century ago, China was in chaos. The Qing Empire had been overthrown by a loosely coordinated confederation of elites. The regional militias and armies that held sway were each…

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