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The Immense Presence of the Mist: Q&A with ‘The Red Arrow’ author William Brewer

by Kristen Iskandrian

It’s probably fitting that I thought often of Keats while reading William Brewer’s The Red Arrow (Knopf; 272 pages), specifically, the odes, all of which seek to create vessels—the “alien corn” of existence—into which the unknowable and unnamable can be contained. Brewer is a poet, after all, whose brilliant collection I Know Your Kind, about

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Messiah Wolf

by Joe Donnelly

When I was a boy, my imagination was ripe for wolves. But, it wasn’t the usual folktales and fables that got to me, or the scenes of wolf packs airbrushed onto the panel vans of my suburban youth. At six years old, my wolf was a companion, not a cautionary tale or a signifier of

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The Bully of Columbus

by Tom Barbash

“You’re gonna get your ass kicked,” the greasy haired bully said. He said it every time I saw him, which was once or twice a week when I was coming back from therapy, or on my way back from school. I was 16 then. “Ass kicked,” he called out once I’d passed him on Columbus Avenue,

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The Third Daughter

by Vanessa Hua

The Chairman is dead. Outside, the people of Chinatown are cheering. They light firecrackers and beat pots and pans, chanting as they march three floors below the window of my apartment. Their signs say, “Smash the Emperor!” Drips of paint spoil the sweep and curve of the calligraphy, the characters bleeding as if shot. Shouts

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Everyone Has a Dead Father

by Matthew Zapruder

The road from Chicago to Iowa City is straight, about three and a half hours due west. In 2004, I was on my way from a reading at a bookstore in Chicago to one in Iowa City, the famed Prairie Lights. About halfway there, I pulled into a rest stop and saw I had missed

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Shelter

by Kate Folk

In the basement of the house in Iowa that Reese and Mark were renting for summer, there was a concrete vault, eight-by-five-feet, presumably built as a storm shelter. Reese stored the house’s Shop-Vac there, along with a box of Carr’s rosemary crackers and a crate of wine shipped from their friends’ vineyard in Sonoma. Beyond

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Boxing

by John Freeman

In the waning days of those years in London I took up boxing. I didn’t want to unload on some unsuspecting soul so I found a sparring partner. She turned up, neck tatted, face pierced, dred- locked and strong as hell. A Turkish woman with East London stenciled on her left forearm. Before boxing she

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Worries

by Edward Derby

Hungers, germs, personal email gone to SPAM, lost postcards that explained everything, what to do about the weeds in the gravel, catalytic converter theft, a blood stain in a library book (page 17), sock holes, black holes, global warming, automatic subscription renewals, bankruptcy, asteroids, air quality, a helicopter circling the neighborhood, eviction, sagging underwear elastic,

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Love Story, With Cocaine

by Tom Bissell

ZYZZYVA Fall 2011 Cover

Maarit’s father had given her a dog because he hoped it would provide her with something to do. It was true that Maarit did not have much to do, though she always felt busy, which was, perhaps, a natural consequence of waking up daily at 3:00 p.m. Most of her activities involved spending her father’s

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Desire, Text, & a San Francisco Apartment: Interview with Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian

by Daniel Benjamin

ZYZZYVA Volume 35, #3, Winter 2019

I sat down with authors and artists Dodie Bellamy and the late Kevin Killian in their Minna Street apartment in San Francisco on a Sunday afternoon in early May. I didn’t know it would be my last time seeing Kevin—he died following complications from chemotherapy on June 15, 2019. On the day of my visit,

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The Fixers

by Troy Jollimore

Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 film, Fargo, begins with the following statement: “This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.”

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Shop Talk: Troy Jollimore

by ZYZZYVA

Troy Jollimore ZYZZYVA interview

Fans of the films of the Coen Brothers simply must read Troy Jollimore’s essay “The Fixers” from Issue 120, the Technology issue. Through the lens of several of the Coens’ most seminal films, including their 1996 Best Picture nominee Fargo, Jollimore explores how disinformation and conspiracy have grown  dominant in American culture over the last two decades. Be sure to order your copy of Issue 120 so you can read “The Fixers.”

Troy Jollimore is the author of four books of poetry and three books of philosophy, as well as numerous articles, essays, and reviews. His first collection of poetry, Tom Thomson in Purgatory, won the National Book Critics Circle award in poetry for 2006. His poems have appeared in publications including the New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, McSweeney’s, the New England Review, Tin House, and The Best American Poetry 2020. He is currently a Professor in the Philosophy Department at California State University, Chico.

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