Who Speaks For the Trees?

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Poets, novelists, and artists of the Anthropocene are using their art to reveal the ties that bind us to that hazy concept of “nature,” and they often start with its most potent symbol, the tree—the embodiment of extreme strength and extreme vulnerability.

Music, Violence, and Joy in They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us

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Hanif Abdurraqib’s 2017 essay collection explores a conflict he sees in his own project, perhaps in any endeavor toward joy: how can one write about music, let alone listen to it or make it, when people are dying?

The Dreamlike Language of Apocalypse

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By reading worlds of relentless darkness, repeatedly made new through the language of dreams and fables, we can maybe more deeply access empathy and hope for the world we’re living in.

“When does that line between the real and imagined begin to blur?”: An Interview with Sulaiman Addonia

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While Addonia’s new novel gives us innumerable examples of what is missing from the lives of his characters, living in a refugee camp after their country is swept into war, each is combatted with a bout of illusion, a tactic to conquer the absences and to enliven what remains:

The Overlooked Mistranslations in Blood and Guts in High School

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Kathy Acker’s infamous novel includes a section titled “The Persian Poems,” which pairs words written in Farsi alongside their translations in English. What has largely gone unrecognized is that Acker has deliberately mistranslated specific words, bringing an entirely new meaning to this passage, Acker’s craft, and the reader’s internalization

The Caretaker by Doon Arbus

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Doon Arbus’s debut is an enigmatic and necessary book, especially for those conflicted about the physical detritus accumulated over the course of a life.

Zaina Alsous’s De-Extinction

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Alsous’s poetics is politically radical not just nominally, or because of its allegiances or her biography. The poems in her prizewinning debut collection are at work chronicling and postulating a reordering of things, or a world dreamed into decolonial being, an abolition in language on the level of affect

In Through the Out Door

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Jason Diamond’s cataloging of suburban cultural touchstones is a crucial first step towards having a healthy conversation about the suburbs today because, without this consideration, there can be no reconsideration.

Reading World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

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Through her celebration of nature—and herself—Aimee Nezhukumatathil explores how it connects her to family and has played a role in building her own. Ultimately, she urges, we should wonder while we can, and do better to protect that which we can wonder at before we lose it completely.

Secondhand Time in Olga Slavnikova’s The Man Who Couldn’t Die: The Tale of an Authentic Human Being

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Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, ordinary citizens faced immense daily challenges. What was also lost in this period was a system of belief, an ideology that had legitimized an entire society since the 1917 Revolution, resulting in a feeling of living through a period of