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The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review Spring 2018

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The Threepenny Review is a well-regarded quarterly of the arts and society which has been published since 1980. Every issue contains excellent essays, stories, poems, and memoirs, plus beautiful black-and-white photographs. Its regular writers include six Nobel Prizewinners and four U.S. Poet Laureates; recent issues featured writing by Wendell Berry, Geoff Dyer, Louise Glück, Greil Marcus, Javier Marías, Adam Phillips, and Kay Ryan.

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United States
The Threepenny Review
$9.98(Incl. tax)
$35.55(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.

Maria Adelmann’s fiction can be found in Tin House, Indiana Review, and Epoch, among others. She’s finished a short story collection and is working on a screenplay and a novel. Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories, his debut collection. Paul Christiansen received his BA at St. Olaf College and his MFA at Florida International University. His poetry has appeared or will appear in Pleiades, Atlanta Review, Zone Three, Quarter After Eight, and elsewhere. Mimi Chubb is a former deputy editor of The Threepenny Review. T. J. Clark’s new book, Heaven on Earth: Painting and the Life to Come, will be published this fall. Sarah Deming’s young-adult novel Gravity, about a female boxing champion, is forthcoming in 2019 from Random House. Simone Di Piero’s most recent book is Mickey Rourke and the Bluebird…

13 min.
table talk

IN THE 1925 edition of Roget’s Thesaurus, the first listing for “capital” appears, unsurprisingly, under the category of “money.” Among the list of synonyms, not very far down: rhino, blunt, dust, mopus, tin, salt, chink. Higher up: sinews of war, almighty dollar, needful. Lower: wampum, lac of rupees, plum. The word’s second-place index listing sends the reader to “wealth.” There you can find among its companion concepts El Dorado, Pactolus, Golconda, Potosi; also the more easily comprehended but equally culturally dependent alimony and dowry. The Pactolus: a Turkish river near the Aegean coast. Its sediments contain electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of silver and gold. Electrum from the Pactolus underlay the economy of the ancient state of Lydia, the first Western imperium to issue coins and open shops; mixed—debased—with copper, electrum…

1 min.
by the seawall

Broken rocks, concrete, rammy waters, foam seeds, furls, starbursts, rosettes, the storm inside the sea, inside out. The crows’ dainty feet, tapping the stones, don’t alight long enough for me to write the complete sentence that this is. Veil and flail churn through their changes, like changes of heart or mind, like will switching its passion object to object. What else? The spindled waters look like tight-waisted crinolines, petite, dressed on dummies, puzzled why no body fills them out. The voices of the dead, the soon-to-be, we children of fortune, the unlucky and bereft, the unseen, speaking their appeals and sorrow. I want my young body back, its small raucous jump. The moment mourns itself. The sea calls us to ourselves, to loves and things gone missing. The swells and waves in their disorder hold and…

1 min.
thanks to our donors

The Threepenny Review is supported by Hunter College, the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Campizondo Foundation, the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the Seattle Foundation, and the George Lichter Family Fund. Our writer payments are underwritten by our Writers’ Circle, which includes Robert Bauer, Richard V. Clayton, Susan Knapp, Eunice & Jay Panetta, Robert Redford, Neal Rosenthal & Kerry Madigan, Alice Sebold, and Pablo Woodward. Many other generous individuals, whose names are printed on pages 30 and 31 of this issue, have also helped to keep the magazine going. Heartfelt thanks to all!…

1 min.
a note on the artworks

The story of Eadweard Muybridge’s nineteenth-century locomotion studies would become the stuff of American frontier legend. In truth, the railroad tycoon and politician Leland Stanford did not enlist the photographer known as “Helios” to settle a bet. But he did commission the English-born self-inventor to address a question, and answering it would lead Muybridge (né Muggeridge) to make a transformative mark on the age of technological reproduction. The challenge set before him in 1872 was to prove a horse floats mid-gait, all four hooves suspended above the ground. After several years of experiment and a long detour to Central America, Muybridge finally produced the evidence. By developing a faster shutter and setting up multiple cameras—often more than a dozen—he caught the elusive moment of equine flight. Later, in the 1880s, Muybridge…

11 min.
out of the past

MY FIRST memory of the place is of seeing four black women sitting at a cluster of adjoined desks. The sight surprised me. I had seen similar ones at editorial offices before, but only at those of African-American publications, a category that did not include Current Biography. The sight also made me feel at home. I am black, too; these women, past thirty (two were well past it) and not slim, looked like my aunts. This was not the usual job-hunting experience at a midtown Manhattan publishing company. But then, this was not the usual publishing company. And we were quite a ways north of midtown Manhattan. That is not to say that the H.W. Wilson Company, situated in the South Bronx on the banks of the Harlem River, a few…