World Literature Today’s spring issue, “Redreaming Dreamland,” gathers the work of 21 writers and artists reflecting on the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, including Patricia Smith, Joy Harjo, Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Tracy K. Smith. Additional highlights in the issue include a special section on Chinese migrant workers’ literature; an essay on how Giannina Braschi’s work keeps “popping up” in pop culture; fiction from Belarus and Iraq; plus reviews of new books by Najwan Darwish, Cixin Liu, Olga Tokarczuk, and dozens more. Find this issue at the Mag Stand.
World Literature Today
San Juan, Puerto Rico, takes the spotlight in World Literature Today’s annual city issue with a powerful selection of poetry, stories, and essays by 17 writers. Other highlights in the autumn issue include Fabienne Kanor’s essay on uprooting the fetishes of white supremacy; interviews with Natalie Diaz and Margaret Jull Costa; a stunning poem by Achy Obejas on “the universe at absolute zero”; fiction by Vi Khi Nao and Lidija Dimkovska; and much more. Reviews of new books by Elena Ferrante, Mia Couto, Kapka Kassabova, and dozens more make WLT your go-to guide for the best in international literature
Magazine Review by Katy Haas
A big fan of graphic novels (and nonfiction and poetry), I’m always thrilled when a literary magazine releases an issue featuring graphic work. World Literature Today’s Spring 2020 issue features a selection of graphic nonfiction by seven artists.
Each piece brings something different to the table. The art styles are all vastly different and each focuses on something unique: politics, history, art, ego, love.
My favorite of these is “Shadow Portrait” by Rachel Ang. Ang’s art is calming and enjoyable to look at, muted tones splayed across the page. She writes of love and ego, the ways in which we see ourselves in art, in stories, in the people we love.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is an excerpt from Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Notorious Prison by Sarah Mirk, illustrated by Omar Khouri. Unlike Ang’s calming tones, this excerpt uses bold lines and an orange color scheme which ramps up the feeling of anxiety the story produces. I’m a little disappointed at the length of the excerpt—the four pages we’re given leave on a cliffhanger that left me wanting more, though I suppose that just highlights the writer’s and artist’s skill.
This selection of graphic nonfiction has a little bit of something for everyone, and each artist/writer utilizes their craft impressively. This issue of World Literature Today is a real treat to read.
A special section devoted to Graphic Nonfiction, showcasing seven writers and artists from around the globe, headlines the Spring 2020 issue of World Literature Today. The issue also presents interviews with translators Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Isabel Fargo Cole; new fiction from Italy, France, and the Philippines; essays on Nigerian fiction and the “humanity on display” in museum exhibitions; poetry by Elyas Alavi (Afghanistan), Khaled Mattawa (Libya/US), and Mohamad Nassereddine (Lebanon); and Poupeh Missaghi’s recommended booklist about cities. More than forty book reviews also round out the issue, giving readers a wealth of titles to inspire their spring reading adventures.
In the past couple years, it has been difficult not to notice the hashtags #MeToo or #TimesUp filling up timelines across the internet. But while so heavily focused on what’s going on in the United States, and despite the connection of social media, many of us have been able to overlook what’s happening in other countries, including one bordering our own. Cristina Rivera Garza in “On Our Toes: Women against the Femicide Machine In Mexico” in the Winter 2020 issue of World Literature Today sheds light on #RopaSucia, which was used “to showcase incidences of misogyny in academic institutions and cultural circles”; #MiPrimerAcoso, stories of “my first harassment”; and #MeToo as tools used by feminists throughout Mexico as they fight to make changes for women in their country.
Learn a little more about current U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo in the latest issue of World Literature Today. In addition to a featured poem by Harjo, “Bless This Land,” there is also a mini, three-question interview with the poet.
Harjo answers the questions:
What recent book has captured your interest?
What outside the realm of literature has drawn your attention of late?
What current writing projects do you have underway or have planned in the near future?
The interview is brief but informative and gives readers jumping off points for what to pick up next.