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The Threepenny ReviewThe Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review Winter 2016

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_time2 min.

Cara Bayles is a writer and reporter living in Oakland, California. She is at work on her first novel. Frank Bidart will publish a new edition of his collected poems, titled Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965–2016, in June of 2016. Michelle Brooks has published a book of poems, Make Yourself Small, and a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy. She recently completed a new novel called Second Day Reported. Ben Downing’ book Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross was brought out in 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux . Verna Groarke’ sixth and latest collection of poems is X. She teaches at the University of Manchester and edits Poetry Ireland Review. Noah Isenberg directs the Screen Studies program at the New School. He recently received a 2015–16 award from the NEH Public Scholar program to…

access_time14 min.
table talk

TWICE LAST winter, I received the same email from the Edition Peters Group, the music publishing company. Their ornate logo floated in the corner next to a black-and-white photograph of a man and a dog walking down the middle of a street, at night, in a snowstorm. The dog has turned to look at the man and the camera but the man faces away. Under the streetlights blurred by snowflakes, a thick smooth layer of white ices the parked cars in place. The text of the email informs me that due to the severe winter weather in New York City, the offices are closing early, so if I have ordered expedited service, unfortunately my package will not be shipped until the next day. I lingered over this email, staring at the…

access_time6 min.
on gay parenting

PEOPLE OFTEN ask me when I came out, generalizing from the experience of many young people who announce themselves to the world on a particular afternoon. But I did not divorce my reticence in a single sharp break. Rather, I seeped out like a spreading wine stain. I told someone; I told a few more people; I denied what I’d said; I said it again, to someone else; I wished it away; I told my family; I denied it to the people I was sleeping with; I admitted it to those people; I denied it to my family; and so on. I had been completely closeted for two decades and I took another decade to declare myself even to myself. I apologize now to the pretty women I couldn’t love…

access_time1 min.
photo credits

Front Cover: Petrole Hahn, 1931-33. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 3: The Dancing Pair, Denby and Eckstein, 1931. Getty Museum. 5: Goggi, 1929. Collection Helen Kornblum. 6: Bald Head, 1930. Art Institute of Chicago. 9: Berlin, 1930. Museum Folkwang, Essen. 10: Walter and Ellen Auerbach, London, 1934. Private collection. 12: Soapsuds, 1930. MoMA. 14: Columbus’s Egg, 1930. Collection Helen Kornblum. 17: Heads, 1931. Museum Folkwang, Essen. 18: ringl with Glasses, 1929. Museum Folkwang, Essen. 21: ringl in Tub, 1931. MoMA. 22: Claire Eckstein with Lipstick, 1930. Getty Museum. 23: Dents, 1934. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 24: Walter and Ellen Auerbach, 1931. Private collection. 27 upper: Ellen Auerbach, c. 1928. Galerie Berinson, Berlin. 27 lower: Berlin Street Photographer, 1930. Museum Folkwang, Essen. 29: Ernst, 1931. Museum Folkwang, Essen. 30: Bernhard Minetti, 1930. Getty Museum. Back Cover: Brecht, 1934. (This photo was actually taken by Grete Stern alone, not by the…

access_time12 min.
a decrepit youth

The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla, translated by Peter Bush. New York Review Books, 2014, $19.95 paper. Life Embitters by Josep Pla, translated by Peter Bush. Archipelago, 2015, $20.00 paper. IN 1915, W. B. Yeats finished a poetic sketch of a handful of figures that the Catalan writer Josep Plawhose stories and memoirs abound in flabby pensioners, doddering professors, and balding barbers with strange accents—would have adored: “old, learned, respectable bald heads” condemned to Edit and annotate the lines That young men, tossing on their beds Rhymed out in love’s despair To flatter beauty’s arrogant ears. When he began the two books for which he’s recently become known in the English-speaking world—The Gray Notebook, a sprawling compendium of autobiographical writings dated from 1918 to 1919, when he was studying law in Barcelona, and Life Embitters, a collection…

access_time1 min.
this being still

i. With the dog’s head on my foot, asleep, it seems wrong to move. She is getting old, doddery, walks into doors and stumbles off kerbs, feels her way by the edge of my voice. I have brought her to an island of cropped light and few words, her silence just as diffuse as my own. She keeps close into me. It is a small gift to the world, I reckon, this our being still. ii. In no time, at the clatter of a winter bird or my book falling or the heat kicking in, she will rise to the surface of the last of day and I will meet her milky gaze to wonder what I wanted to begin with.…