“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…


Sometimes You Need a Record of Your Life: on Lisa Robertson

“I want to be believed. But I also want to write through spaces that are utterly delusional.” —Lisa Robertson I was reading Lisa Robertson’s latest long poem, Cinema of the…


Amplified by the Ultrasound: Keith Leonard’s Ramshackle Ode

Keith Leonard’s first full-length collection, Ramshackle Ode, transforms the poetry of praise into a celebration of the imperfect—in particular, the imperfections of the author’s life. The poems of Ramshackle Ode…

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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…


Conversations: E. C. Osondu and William Pierce

E. C. Osondu In 2006, after the publication of his first two stories, E. C. Osondu came to Boston to read for AGNI, the magazine I edit with Sven Birkerts….

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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…

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