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 / Culture & Literature
The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review Summer 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


3 min.

Jake Bauer serves as poetry editor for The Journal. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bennington Review, Poetry Northwest, Thrush, and elsewhere. Mimi Chubb is a former deputy editor of The Threepenny Review. Wes Civilz lives next to a dusty cactus in Tucson, Arizona. You can visit him on the web at wescivilz.com. Kathryn Crim is the deputy editor of The Threepenny Review. She is finishing her PhD in comparative literature at UC Berkeley. Jessica Goodfellow lives and works in Japan. Her recent book is Whiteout, published by the University of Alaska Press in 2017. Louis B. Jones is a novelist living in the Sierra Nevada. John Langenfeld entered the Texas prison system at the age of twenty-one and served fifteen consecutive years. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sam Houston…

13 min.
table talk

MY REASON for not keeping a journal was the assumption that memory would select what could be useful; what I was going to forget could not have been worth remembering. Useful, I thought, always meant something to some day write about, memory as the artist’s notebook. This proved to have been mistaken, for they all are dead, the grown-ups with whom one could have checked a detail, a date, the location. Google has retrieved the name of the Raga Schlucht, a spectacular gorge cut into the Corinthian Alps, through which we passed in what must have been our last family holidays. Am I right in remembering that Vienna banks closed for the month of August? My father, chief accountant at Kux Bloch and Co., was fired after Hitler annexed Austria in…

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, 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!…

1 min.
a note on the artworks

Chris Killip’s career began in the early summer of 1964, when the teenager from Douglas, Isle of Man, decided to earn money as a beach photographer. By October he’d left for London and a job as an assistant to an advertising photographer. But it wasn’t until a 1969 visit to a photography exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art that he decided to return to the Isle of Man and begin documenting the lives and the landscape of his birthplace. Following a portfolio of this work, supported by a New York gallerist, Killip went on to make some of the most striking portraits of daily life in 1970s and 1980s Great Britain, receiving commissions and fellowships to document Hudderfield and Bury St. Edmunds, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and a tire factory in…

11 min.
washing clothes

I DID SOMETHING I swore I wouldn’t do. I washed my clothes in a toilet. They sold white cotton undershirts, boxer shorts, gym shorts, thermal underwear, and knee-high socks with three horizontal red stripes along the upper elastic bands. We could buy them at commissary if somebody on the outside sent money to our trust fund account. Fortunately, my parents did—mostly my mom. She mailed a stipend from her paltry, fixed income every month so I could enjoy the comforts offered at the prison store: instant coffee, powdered milk, vanilla cookies, cinnamon rolls, corn chips, canned chili, ramen soups, to name a few. And underclothes. When I first found out we could buy garb, I asked several guys the obvious question: How are they washed? I inquired because they didn’t sell detergent…

1 min.
goals for recovery

What I wanted most when I finally got out was pizza, sex and Miles loud not in any order. The fun part of being a ghost where birds dive through your chest and you can’t be stopped from strolling through bank vaults wasn’t happening yet but at least when I drink red, it doesn’t just drain out. It augments. Like pennies in soil turn hydrangea blue. Like Franklin discovering electricity resides in the air inventing a new form of suicide. Like an ancient Chinese poet so drunk, even the moon in a puddle seems sober. Like over-tipping the three-fingered girl who cuts my hair to help get her boyfriend out of jail. Like swimming further than anyone ever has in a raindrop. Like how every rose starts out and ends…