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The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review Fall 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.

Rachel Abramowitz’s poems and reviews appear in The Seneca Review, Crazyhorse, and other publications. She teaches at Barnard College. Megan Baxter is a recent graduate of Vermont College of the Arts. Her first book, The Coolest Monsters, is forthcoming this fall from Texas Review Press. Jeremy Bernstein is interested in black holes, as a physicist; as a writer, he tries to avoid them. Wendell Berry has written numerous books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. A farmer and environmental activist, he lives in Kentucky. Abhrajyoti Chakraborty has written for The Nation, Hazlitt, and the TLS. He was a Provost’s Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop from 2013 to 2015. Nan Z. Da is a writer and professor of English literature and literary theory. She teaches at the University of Notre Dame. Michael Dellaira, a composer, has just…

13 min.
table talk

I LOST SIXTY pounds dieting for my bodybuilding contest. Dropping this much weight, I was prone to fainting spells, always at the most inopportune of times. I would stand at the conclusion of work meetings, assuring my boss I was fine—I know what I’m doing—and immediately collapse. Or the apartment complex elevator door would slide open, and my retired neighbors would step carefully around me, perplexed that a fine, muscular man would struggle so with two grocery bags. Bodybuilding is first about bulking, spending inordinate amounts of time at the gym lifting progressively heavier weights, and then eating plates of chicken and beef and sweet potatoes and swallowing pills. As the muscles engorge and swell, they form a kind of protective layer over the inner being, shielding the bodybuilder from the…

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 annually in the spring issue, also assist us in keeping the magazine going. Heartfelt thanks to all!…

1 min.
a note on the artworks

When Arlene Gottfried died in 2017, her New York Times obituary called her “part documentarian, part social worker.” Gottfried’s portraits do often suggest a connection between photographer and subject that endures beyond the frame: a look of trust and shared humor, of mutual curiosity. But Gottfried did not consider her camerawork a social service, even though lasting relationships with her subjects meant she sometimes followed them to the end of their lives. Born in Brooklyn in 1950 to a Jewish immigrant family, Gottfried spent her childhood in Coney Island and Crown Heights. Her father, Max, who ran a hardware store, gave Arlene a 35 mm camera when she was a teenager. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, launching her own freelance photography career in the mid-1970s. (Her younger brother, Gilbert,…

1 min.
photo credits

Front Cover: La Familia Rivera en El Barrio, 1978. 3: Angel and Woman on Boardwalk in Brighton Beach, 1976. 4: Tim Fine, His Mother, and Her Poodle, 1977. 7: Pituka at Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, New York, 1977. 8: Dracula, Halloween Party in the West Village, New York, 1978. 11: Striped Woman at Studio 54, New York, 1979. 12: Johnny Cintron, Lower East Side, New York, 1976. 15: Little Rabbi, Purim, Brooklyn, New York, 1988. 16: Wedding Party in Connecticut, 1977. 19: Kissing on the Highway, Queens, New York, 1980. 21 left: Nick, World War I Soldier at His Florist Shop, New York, 1982. 21 right: No Wheels, El Barrio, New York, 1978. 22: Lloyd Steir and Dogs at the Big Apple Circus, New York, 1976. 23: Sid’s Basketball Game, Coney Island, New York, 1976. 24: Hasid and Jewish Body Builder, 1980. 26: KISS, Halloween…

17 min.
a deliberate thing i said once to my skin

TO CONSIDER my tattoos we must first consider skin. Skin is our barrier against the world, enveloping our body so that we won’t lose our precious water and evaporate like dew. The outer layer, the epidermis, lacks blood vessels and survives on oxygen alone, although it needs very little of it because many of its cells are already dead. A skin cell lives for a fortnight and is then pressed upward through the process of desquamation to flake off and float around your house as dust. The strata of our skin resemble a slice of the earth, where twenty-five to thirty layers of skin cells separate us from the outside world. Scratch your epidermis and you might flake off a few dead cells, but cut into your dermis and you’ll bleed…