The Threepenny Review

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The Threepenny ReviewThe Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review Fall 2017

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.

United States
The Threepenny Review
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4 Issues


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Elise Arnold-Levene is an assistant professor of Spanish at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York. She specializes in modern Cuban literature.Wendell Berry lives and works on a farm in Port Royal, Kentucky. Among other things, he is a poet, fiction-writer, essayist, and environmental activist.Amanda Bestor-Siegal is based in Paris, where she is working on a novel. Her nonfiction has previously appeared in River Teeth and Salon.Kathryn Crim, a recent deputy editor of The Threepenny Review, is finishing her PhD in comparative literature at UC Berkeley.Krystyna Dabrowska, who lives in Warsaw, is the author of three collections of poetry. Her translator, Mira Rosenthal, a former Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford, is the author of the collection The Local World.Simone Di Piero’s recent chapbook of poems is The Man on…

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table talk

ALIENS WHO are detained by the government in the New York metropolitan area are usually held on the outskirts of Elizabeth, New Jersey—about seven miles, as the crow flies, from the Statue of Liberty. The buildings that serve this purpose are the Essex County Correctional Facility and, across the parking lot from it, the more collegiately named Delaney Hall.To reach these places, you drive down a long road lined with warehouses and frequented by large trucks. Spirals of razor wire top the chain-link fences that surround the facilities. After you enter one of them, you leave your valuables in a locker and go through a metal detector.To reach the visiting room where you’ll end up meeting your client, you navigate a series of chambers, known in the security industry as…

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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, Alan Kligerman, 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, have also helped to keep the magazine going. Heartfelt thanks to all! ■…

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a note on the artworks

The story of Dorothea Lange’s career as a documentarian is almost as iconic as her best-known photographs. One day, early in the decade that saw the Great Depression sweep so many into poverty, Lange left the portrait studio she ran in San Francisco and went outside. “I wanted to take a picture of a man as he stood in his world,” she noted. These photographs of the urban poor quickly earned her a job with the Farm Security Administration, and she spent much of the 1930s with the migrants of the American Midwest and the sharecroppers of the South. Long after World War II changed the nation’s economic conditions, Lange continued to attend to the plight of oppressed and dispossessed communities, photographing the internment of Japanese Americans, the dislocation of…

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Two of them there beside the river, as ifThe river were the conversation between them.It was as if the vocables of the riverCould beautifully articulate some meaningThat the river knew about. They knew so littleAbout what it was that the river knew about,The meaning they had each of them always wantedTo impart to the other with the authorityOf knowing who it was each of them was.The river went on saying what it was saying. ■…

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revision and revenge

“Anxious to improve the nick of time...”—ThoreauONCE, I TRIED to live the same day twice. My partner was traveling, and I had recently decided to quit my job, without immediate prospects. July in Berkeley: mild-mannered sun, not even the chance of a cloud. The foolishness of bemoaning such consistent niceness was part of my befuddlement. In several languages, the word that came to mean weather originally meant time (“tempestas” in Latin, English’s root for both “tempest” and “temporal”). Changes in the air have long corresponded to, and helped create, the nicks and notches by which people measure their moods. That summer, light on inner and outer weather alike, I hovered halfway over my life, with no notch to fix me in place.When my unstructured solitude gaped particularly wide one morning,…