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The Paris Review Spring 2021

The Paris Review publishes the best fiction, poetry, art, and essays from new and established voices, and the Writers at Work interviews offer some of the most revealing self-portraits in literature.

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United States
The Paris Review Foundation, Inc.
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min
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theparisreview.org/poetsatwork *BOOKS SHIP IN EARLY APRIl YEHUDA AMICHAI JOHN ASHBERY FRANK BIDART ELIZABETH BISHOP ALLEN GINSBERG SUSAN HOWE ROBERT LOWELL MARIANNE MOORE PABLO NERUDA EZRA POUND ISHMAEL REED MARK STRAND DEREK WALCOTT The Paris Review is proud to announce the publication of Poets at Work— our latest anthology of interviews. Selected and introduced by poetry editor Vijay Seshadri, the thirteen conversations in Poets at Work have been drawn from the over one hundred Art of Poetry interviews and span the seven-decade history of The Paris Review. Printed in a limited edition with original drawings by Dominique A. Holmes, Poets at Work is available for $20 EXCLUSIVELY from The Paris Review, with all proceeds going to support the magazine.…

28 min
anthony veasna so

Always they find us inappropriate, but today especially so. Here we are with nowhere to go and nothing to do, sitting in a rusty pickup truck, the one leaking oil, the one with the busted transmission that sounds like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Here we are with the engine running for the AC, the doors wide open for our bare legs to spill out. Because this, right here, to survive the heat, this is all we have. An hour ago we became outcasts. One of us—not me—would not shut the fuck up. And since the grandmas are prepping for the monks and need to focus, we’ve been banished outside to choke on traces of manure blown in from the asparagus farms surrounding us, our hometown, this shitty place of boring dudes…

2 min
two poems by kirmen uribe

TROTSKY FOR ME WAS Trotsky for me was ridinghigh up on the back of the tractor Trotsky for me was taking a bath nakedwith my little friend in the bathtub. Trotsky for me was ridinghigh up on the bicycle’s handlebars. Trotsky for me was using ash woodto make arrows like those of the Sioux in the Americas. Our family was supposedly Trotskyist.But I didn’t know who Trotsky was. Trotsky for me was climbing the haystacksand crossing the ocean. Trotsky for me was instead of wearing a cross around my neckwearing colored stones. Trotsky for me was seeing in the next roomtwo women sleeping together. Trotsky for me was imagination,ripped T-shirts and the smell of grass. I do know a few others alsoused to do those things. We were not that special.Trotsky had a tadpole body, dolphin eyes, and squirrel-red hair.That for me…

7 min
mary kuryla

The thing about the shape of a bee, which might be why it is often drawn curved around a flower with the black head bowed over the thorax and the knees tucked in lovely and benign as a comma, lucent wings arching from stripes furred to catch pollen blurring with light, is that the shape of the bee is like the honey it makes, sweet, healing, golden-lit from within such that a bee fallen dead on the rug or balled along the base of a window frame still holds the comma shape, and while it may be that bees like to sleep with other bees holding their feet it is not how we think of bees, sleeping like new babies, we think of bees at work, laboring, and maybe that is the…

3 min
three poems by sheri benning

OF the baby, name lost. 1906. Spring born,almond and blackthorn in bloom. Meadowsweet,chickweed, petals of milk on her lips. Spider-silk saliva from mouth to crab apple fists,on Mother’s lap, the train from Kiev to Minskafter the last harvest in Tiegenort. Teething, feverish, pinpricked cheeks, Mother singsKniereiter to distract—bouncing, bouncing baby.Should you fall in the ditch, ravens will feast,ravens will feast. Bitter pip of sick picked up in Riga’s quarantine. Soonthey will slip her little body into the Baltic, wrappedin blue douppioni cut from Mother’s wedding dress, but now she conducts with waving fists, skeins of dawnmist lift from feather grass and knapweed by the tracks,Mother’s soft breath in the cradle of the train car— bouncing, bouncing baby. Should you fallin the sea, should you fall in the sea.Ravens perch in witches’-broomof passing oak and silver fir. WINTER…

34 min
john jeremiah sullivan

CHAIR When I was small my parents would host a lot of parties. I don’t know if they had more friends then or were just, as people say, “at a more social place in their lives,” but at least once a month there would be a bunch of adults in our apartment, drinking crappy wine and trying to play our untunable piano. There is something powerful for a child about your parents having people over. It’s not anything that happens at the parties but the evidence they give you that people feel safe where you live. That must go back to the savanna. Sometimes things happened at the parties that I was probably too young to see, but nothing scarring, just grown-up scenes. The air was bluish with different kinds of…