The Threepenny Review

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The Threepenny ReviewThe Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review Spring 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


access_time3 min.

Rick Barot’s most recent book is the prizewinning Chord. Barot, who lives in Tacoma, Washington, directs the Rainier Writing Workshop and is the poetry editor of the New England Review.Andrew Bertaina lives and works in Washington, D.C.Andrea Canobbio was born in Turin, Italy, in 1962. His latest novel is Three Light-Years. His translator, Anne Milano Appel, has been awarded the Italian Prose in Translation Award, the John Florio Prize for Italian Translation, and a Northern California Book Award.Mimi Chubb is a former deputy editor of The Threepenny Review.Andrea Cohen’s new poetry collection, Unfathoming, is just out. She directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Writers House at Merrimack College.Simone Di Piero’s chapbook of poems, The Man on the Water, is due out this spring, and his…

access_time15 min.
table talk

WORDS ARE enchantments and dominions. Even numb, blowaway verbiage knits us more tightly into the weave of our experience. Words give formidable, unyielding shape to certain pieces of our life. Poets aspire to create such shapes. The sounds of poetry enact emotional and intellectual ardor that can recapitulate shockingly raw, fresh states of feeling long after the occasioning event. Words are abundances and afflictions—they give to us and take from us, they’re pleasure-givers and pain-bearers. They sing back at us not just knowledge of a singular moment but of an entire historic surround. Poetry makes a memorable impress not because it’s precious but because its actions are an impassioned activity of consciousness, and the actions change on us as we grow older. It’s a scarily private experience, it’s all personal,…

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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 George Lichter Family Fund, and the Mad Rose Foundation. 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, and Neal Rosenthal & Kerry Madigan. 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! ■…

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a note on the artworks

Peter J. Cohen is a New York–based collector of snapshots and vernacular photographs. Cohen began collecting vernacular photography over twenty-five years ago at thrift stores and flea markets. Since then he has amassed a collection of approximately fifty thousand photographs which are organized into over a hundred categories. The collection spans much of the twentieth century and encompasses many different processes, including gelatin sylver, cyanotype, collodion, hand-tinted, chromogenic color, and Polaroids. This stunning collection offers a visual history of amateur photographers’ engagement with the medium. While still avidly collecting, Cohen plans to give away much of the assembled work to institutions around the world. He has already donated significant portions of his collection to museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Morgan Library,…

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bop bag

“There is no love interest in these modern wars.”—Gertrude Stein, Wars I Have SeenWhen he deflates, horribly flat, with sticky crinkling noises, I peel his body from other parts of his body, probe with my pinkie, squeeze with index and thumb, put my mouth to his valve-hole, breathe him fat again.I punch. He hisses. He’s mine, and I sock him. He flops backward, jerks upright, ballasted by sand in his sack-bottom, filled with my breathed air.I punch and I punch him. I dance on my toes like a boxer, lean to let him hit me in the face with his face—not hard. He crumples about the ears, tapping me.I swim in my make-believe anger. His sifty sand shifts when I shove my hands under him. Like Susie the color guard…

access_time13 min.
the moon, the world, the dream

I GREW UP in a Washington, D.C., neighborhood called Deanwood, where daily life did not involve a sense of living in the most important city on earth. Everyone in Deanwood was black, working class to working poor, some living in housing projects, others—including my family—in private semi-detached brick homes. We went to school or work in the mornings, came home in the evenings; no one traveled far, for their jobs or anything else, the exceptions mostly being trips “down the country” to families’ even more insular places of origin in Virginia, say, or North Carolina. In December, in school, we put on Christmas programs, because it was assumed, rightly, that everyone was a Christian in our world—for us, the only world there was.In my memory this sleepiness was at its…