On Nonfiction


Greater Boston Writers Resist

Jan 16, 2017  |  Hundreds of Greater Boston residents convened at the Boston Public Library yesterday for a demonstration of shared commitment to the rights and values essential to a democracy….

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Land of Masks: the Enigma of James Brown

“Lemme tell you something, Rev. When you kill’em, Rev, you leave. You kill’em and leave. You understand that, son? Kill’em and leave.” —James Brown to a young Al Sharpton  …

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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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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…


“A Picture of Great Detail”: The Art of David Jones

The Orchard, Capel-y-ffin, by David Jones, 1920s “And so I make for myself a picture of great detail,” said the great Homer scholar Milman Parry in a 1934 address to…


A heap of unidentifiable shards: on Vivian Gornick’s The Odd Woman and the City

It used to be that we offered one another the best versions of ourselves. Now we do our best to give the worst. I’m supremely flawed, we all recite in…


The enduring power of Adrienne Rich

A Note from the Editor: I have been so privileged to have the chance to edit this special issue on Adrienne Rich, in commemoration of the third anniversary of her death. The essays you’ll find…


Witness: #BlackLivesMatter, Claudia Rankine, and Adrienne Rich

Catch if you can your country’s moment, begin where any calendar’s ripped-off —Adrienne Rich, “An Atlas of the Difficult World” In thinking about how Adrienne Rich speaks to our present struggles…

Best American Poetry, 1996
edited by Adrienne Rich

Best American: Adrienne Rich’s Radical Canonization

When my first undergraduate poetry professor taught “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” and “Diving into the Wreck” side by side, to demonstrate how Rich’s work was transformed by feminism, I marveled how…