Essays

It Sang Itself Utterly Away: the Presence of the Poet

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with memory. Maybe I shouldn’t say lately, because I’ve always been obsessed with memory—mostly my own memories. One second I am brushing my teeth and the…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Two Dozen Dancers: Representing a Masterpiece

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, sets its Little Dancer Aged Fourteen at the end of the second-floor hallway above its Fenway entrance. With her Egyptian-god stance and silk tutu…

With Each Breath: A Memoir of Survival

Code blue in room 241. The announcement is made in an unhurried, neutral tone. Code blue in room 241. I push my food away, jump up, heave open the heavy…

Reverse Migration

After our month-long travels across southeastern Europe, Rowan and I arrived at my brother and sister-in-law’s apartment in Ankara ready for a home-cooked meal. We were (over) fed in typical…

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