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Contributors
 

Evgeny Baratynsky
Pierre Chappuis
Pedro Xavier Solís Cuadra
Osama Esber
Peter France
Haidar Haidar
Siobhan Harvey
Allen Hibbard
Neil Langdon Inglis
Suzanne Jill Levine
Kona Macphee
Antonio Diaz Oliva
Daniel Shapiro
John Taylor
Alan Wall

Issue 20 Guest Artist:
Olga Sinclair

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Vice-President: Elena Poniatowska
Senior Editor-at-Large: Neil Langdon Inglis
Deputy Editor: Allen Hibbard
Deputy Editor: Geraldine Maxwell
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry
Deputy General Editor: Jerónimo Mohar

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Marcelo Cohen
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Lucila Gallino
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Naomi Schub
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Assistant Editor: Laurence Webb
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 
Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Two Poems by Siobhan Harvey
 

 



Someone like You

You’re here, a decade disappeared
and even though time’s arrow propels you
away from your cluttered past, a ghost
of someone like you haunts streets and cities
you’ve left behind, as if a memory, as if grief.

This is what happens to those who migrate.
Through terminal glass, as your plane inhales sky,
someone like you takes a new breath. As you fly
across the Atlantic, rain falling tenderly onto
the skin of the ocean, they return to
the apartment you vacated, their footsteps
upon its wooden floor echoing in the heart.
The wallpaper, desk, chairs, the bed
you once rose late in: these furnish
their mind as well as your own.

When you arrive in a new country,
they write an elegy. When you marry,
they write a sonnet. When your son is born,
their first collection wins the Forward Prize.

This is what you miss now.
The snow someone like you witnesses,
white and plentiful. The children they birth
to absent fathers. The favourite cinemas
that once swallowed reels of time
while you watched Lost Weekend.
The fermenting odour of Edinburgh.
The rich hours wasted in the Louvre,
Les Tuileries and Pere Lachaise.
The searing summer afternoons
on a tinderbox council estate.
Everything someone like you now sees,
smells, touches, hears, tastes and senses
displaces their existence from your own.

One day you’ll return to their land,
turn a key and open a door to find
someone like you extending their hand,
like a live electric cable, and the consequences
of that moment will haunt you forever
even as time’s arrow tears away
once more, and so too you.


Upon Medicating My Son

No exorcism for this.
How each limb fights
its’ puppetry is shadow-show
without relief. Like St Vitus’ Dance,
the physic is veiled in such curses
as my dark poetry no longer orates.
So now, the doll and pin, the pit and fire
are summoned in silent superstition
each morning the teacher cavils again
about my son’s cacoethes, the snare
of his murmuration and twitchery.

No infusion for this.
Forget the wisdom of ergot and vinca,
adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
intuition is the wildest remedy.
So now, the school-bell ringing its elegy,
a mind-man brews strange words
like impulsivity and hyperactivity,
while a medicine-man prescribes
my son synthetic herba benedicta.

No spell for this
survives the centuries of mothers
who smouldered through the stake
and lore our lost relative were bound to.
So now my son swallows chemical curatives
and sleeps as if the past never was,
while the coven of night bewitches me
with the charm of his transformation.