• Christina Sharpe
    January 02, 2024

    Omari Weekes on Christina Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes; The Baffler’s year in review

    At The Baffler, the editors reflect on the “strange and surreal year” that was 2023, and look back on some of the stories they published, on the war on Gaza, revolutionary change, conversion therapy, and more. 

    In the new issue of The Nation, Omari Weekes reviews Christina Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes. “Who are photographs for, anyway?” Weekes asks. “More specifically, what purpose do memorials to the victims of slavery and racism—which often employ images of Black suffering—serve, and who are they for? Throughout Ordinary Notes, Sharpe directs our attention to the ways in which we choose to

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  • Mosab Abu Toha
    December 27, 2023

    Mosab Abu Toha on his escape from Gaza; Amy X. Wang remembers Louise Glück

    In the New Yorker, poet Mosab Abu Toha describes fleeing his home in Gaza with his family and being detained, stripped, and beaten by Israeli forces. Toha writes of the future, “I hope that when the war ends I can go back to Gaza, to help rebuild my family home and fill it with books. That one day all Israelis can see us as their equals—as people who need to live on our own land, in safety and prosperity, and build a future.”

    Amy X. Wang remembers teacher and poet Louise Glück, who died in October. Glück’s friend and colleague Anita Sokolsky says of the poet, “She had a vivid and unstinting

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  • Masha Gessen. Photo: © Lena Di 
    December 19, 2023

    Masha Gessen receives Hannah Arendt Prize in delayed ceremony

    New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen discusses the controversy over the awarding of this year’s Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now. Gessen received the prize in a postponed and scaled down ceremony on Saturday after the prize’s sponsor, the Heinrich Boll Foundation, withdrew its support in response to Gessen writing in the New Yorker that Gaza today is “like a Jewish ghetto in an Eastern European country occupied by Nazi Germany.” 

    At Jewish Currents, Nora Caplan-Bricker reviews Isabella Hammad’s new novel Enter Ghost. The novel follows Sonia Nasir, a

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  • Nadia Taha 
    December 13, 2023

    Nadia Taha on Palestinian journalists in Gaza; Ryan Ruby’s year in reading

    For The Nation, Nadia Taha writes about the dangers faced by Palestinian journalists in Gaza. Taha notes that at least sixty-three journalists and media workers have been killed so far since October 7th; fifty-six have been Palestinian. Taha observes, “Local reporters in other conflicts around the world have been lifted up by the journalistic community. The journalists of Ukraine, for instance, were awarded a special Pulitzer Prize citation for their bravery in war. The very least that those of us can do now is bring that same level of solidarity, attention, and gratitude to the journalists of

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  • Refaat Alareer
    December 12, 2023

    Palestinian poet and activist Refaat Alareer killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrike

    Palestinian poet and professor Refaat Alareer was killed in Gaza last week by an Israeli airstrike alongside six family members. TIME has published a collection of transcribed voice notes Alareer sent them last month. In one, he talks about the extreme lack of food and water in Gaza: “I personally lost like five kilos, but I don’t care. I can eat one date for 10 or 15 hours. I’m a young man. But how would you tell a kid they can’t eat, they can’t have what they want, they can’t drink enough? I keep telling my kids, ‘Drink less, eat less.’” At the Electronic Intifada, Asem al-Nabih, a longtime

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  • Louise Glück. Photo © Katherine Wolkoff 
    December 06, 2023

    The new issue of Bookforum; Louise Glück’s “Art of Poetry” interview

    The Fall 2023 issue of Bookforum is out now, with essays by Justin Taylor, Audrey Wollen, Hanif Abdurraqib, Leo Robson, Jane Hu, Michael W. Clune, Blair McClendon, Laura Kipnis, and much more. Subscribe today to support what we do, and consider making a donation or gifting a subscription. 

    Unionized workers at the Washington Post are planning to strike on Thursday to protest cuts to staff and call attention to management “refusing to pay us what we’re worth or bargain in good faith.” Contract talks have been ongoing for eighteen months. The Washington Post Guild is collecting letters of

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  • Sasha Frere-Jones. Photo: Heidi DeRuiter.
    November 29, 2023

    The Gaza Monologues performances today; Sasha Frere-Jones on his new memoir

    Tonight in New York, Ninth Street Studio will feature Aaina Amin, Jen Elias, Abou Farman, Sahar K., H. Sinno, and others reading The Gaza Monologues, a project begun in 2010 by more than thirty young people for the Palestinian theater ASHTAR.  ASHTAR is asking theaters around the world to perform the monologues today. The New York event is being put on by Movement Research, Performance Space New York, Mabou Mines, and Writers Against the War on Gaza. PDFs of the monologues are available in multiple languages on the Gaza Monologues site. In an entry from the original series, thirteen-year-old

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  • Mohammed El-Kurd
    November 28, 2023

    Mohammed El-Kurd on “perfect victims” and resisting politics of appeal; Irish novelist Paul Lynch wins the 2023 Booker Prize

    In this year’s Edward Said Memorial Lecture at Princeton, published in The Nation, activist and poet Mohammed El-Kurd discusses Said’s 1984 essay “Permission to Narrate,” which critiques how Western coverage of the Israeli-Lebanese War was biased toward the Israeli narrative and suppressed the Palestinian point of view. El-Kurd identifies a similar situation at hand today, with Western mainstream media creating a false dichotomy in which Palestinians “are either victims or terrorists” and only deemed sympathetic if they are “perfect victims.” Countering this, El-Kurd writes: “We are human not

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  • Mosab Abu Toha. Photo: City Lights 
    November 21, 2023

    Gazan poet Mosab Abu Toha released by IDF following public pressure; English novelist A. S. Byatt has died

    Mosab Abu Toha, a Palestinian poet from Gaza and winner of the American Book Award, was detained and reportedly beaten by the IDF after being stopped with his family at a military checkpoint on Sunday while trying to cross the border into Egypt. He has since been released in Gaza. Diana Buttu, a former PLO spokesperson and family friend of Abu Toha’s, has said that he is now with his family, and told the New York Times that “he was likely freed because of public pressure, including from publications like The New Yorker magazine, which Mr. Abu Toha has contributed to, and the free speech

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  • Anne Boyer
    November 16, 2023

    Poet Anne Boyer Resigns from New York Times Magazine

    Anne Boyer—the author of the poetry collection Garments Against Women, the essay collection A Handbook of Disappointed Fate, and the nonfiction book The Undying—has resigned from her position as poetry editor at the New York Times Magazine, stating: “The Israeli state’s U.S.-backed war against the people of Gaza is not a war for anyone.” She also writes: “I can’t write about poetry amid the ‘reasonable’ tones of those who aim to acclimatize us to this unreasonable suffering. No more ghoulish euphemisms. No more verbally sanitized hellscapes. No more warmongering lies.” 

    The winners of the 2023

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  • Lexi Freiman
    November 15, 2023

    National Book Awards tonight; A profile of Lexi Freiman

    The National Book Awards are tonight at 8 pm Eastern time. The event, hosted by LeVar Burton, will be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook. Ahead of the event, two sponsors have withdrawn their participation after learning that some of the awardees would likely address the war in Gaza. The National Book Foundation released a statement: “Political statements, if made, are by no means unprecedented in the history of the National Book Awards, or indeed any awards ceremony. We are working with the venue to ensure a safe environment for all our guests. We of course hope that everyone attending the

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  • Jazmine Hughes and Jamie Lauren Keiles on Democracy Now!, November 14, 2023
    November 14, 2023

    Jazmine Hughes and Jamie Lauren Keiles on resigning from the New York Times Magazine; 2000+ writers boycott the Poetry Foundation

    Former New York Times Magazine staff writer Jazmine Hughes and contributing writer Jamie Lauren Keiles speak with Democracy Now! in their first broadcast interview since resigning from the publication after signing an open letter published by Writers Against the War on Gaza

    n+1 has published a collection of voice memos from Gazans, transcribed and translated by a group of volunteers in New York City and Chicago. “I’m six wars old,” said Sahar Kalloub on October 22. On October 13, 10-year-old Salma Alghalayini said: “It’s so hard, but it’s not new. It’s actually very old. From year to year,

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