• Who Poisoned Pablo Neruda?

    by Ariel Dorfman

    "In retrospect I wonder if perhaps I was so tired of tales of torture and disappearances, so full of death and grief, that I could not deal with one more affront. I preferred to shield the sacred figure of Neruda from the violence."

  • Over a River Strangely Rosy: Reading Poetry in Wartime

    by Joan Neuberger

    "It’s my job to explain things about Russia and its various incarnations of empire. I know how to do that — I’ve been doing it for a long time. But, in this moment, analysis seems to me to be somehow incomprehensible and profoundly unsatisfying."

  • Poetry and the Struggle for Justice

    by Paul Lewis

    "During the antebellum period, newspapers and magazines featured poems that advanced a wide range of causes, including women’s rights, peace, and temperance" – and abolition.

  • A Poem That Shows How to Remember the Holocaust

    by James Loeffler and Leora Bilsky

    "Lemkin’s anguished text also explains why the world had already begun to forget the Holocaust. Genocide represents more than a large-scale physical assault on human bodies, he suggests; it is also an attack on the very existence of minority cultures. In a genocide, books are burned and memories are extinguished."

  • The Poetics of Abolition

    by Manu Samriti Chander

    Two new books on Black literary culture in the nineteenth century cast new light on how writers imagined freedom outside of the definition created by the European enlightenment. 

  • Amanda Gorman's Success Stirred A Bleak Undercurrent

    by Manisha Sinha

    Some critical response to young poet Amanda Gorman's Inaugural reading echoes the racist dismissal and condescenscion contemporaries leveled at the founding-era work of Phillis Wheatley.

  • In a Lost Essay, a Glimpse of an Elusive Poet and Slave

    George Moses Horton's “Individual Influence” is interesting not just for his lofty, abstract words about the primacy of divine influence, but for the context in which they were preserved: in a scrapbook of material relating to a prominent scholar who was forced out of the university after publicly opposing slavery.

  • The Walter Benjamin Brigade

    by Walter Laqueur

    How an obscure and maddeningly opaque German Jewish intellectual became a thriving academic industry.