World Literature Today November 2023 is bursting at the seams with lively culture essays, book reviews, poetry, creative nonfiction, interviews, and fiction. This issue features a cover story devoted to four artists of Iraqi descent who are achieving global recognition. Other highlights include Karlos K. Hill interviewing Cornel West about his embrace of prophetic witness; Adnan Mahmutović recalling an unforgettable Hajj; and Veronica Esposito pondering the characters of the schlemiel and schlimazel in her latest “Untranslatable” column. With 80 pages of vibrant content, WLT’s latest issue remains your indispensable guide to the best in international literature and culture.
“Little magazines, which still operate in the interstices of a mostly commercialized, capitalized, and urban-centered literary marketplace, invite readers to unthink what they know and to broaden their ideas of what an international Republic of Letters might look like.” ~ Daniel Simon, WLT Assistant Director & Editor in Chief
The September/October 2023 issue of World Literature Today presents a cover feature devoted to Indigenous Literatures of the Americas, showcasing contributions by sixteen Native writers from the “long, long continent” of the Western Hemisphere. Additional highlights include short fiction by Uruguayan writer Armonía Somers, five questions with debut novelist Javier Fuentes, and Veronica Esposito’s “Untranslatable” column on Sehnsucht. Along with a book review section brimming with the latest must-reads, creative nonfiction from Canada, plus postcards from Georgia and Ecuador, the September issue offers a tantalizing lineup of the best new reading from around the world.
For its July/August 2023 issue, World Literature Today’s editors took to the road to explore “The Bookstores of Middle America” and chose favorite destinations in nine states. Other highlights include Veronica Esposito’s new “Untranslatable” column, Andrew Lam’s moving homage to his mother, Shahd Alshammari’s favorite books on disability and illness, and a visit to literary Los Angeles with Ming Di and Dana Gioia. The book review section rounds up the best new books from around the world, while additional interviews, poetry, essays—and a recipe for peach galette—make the July issue your latest passport to great reading, whether in “flyover country” or some far-flung literary destination.
With 16 bonus pages, the May 2023 issue of World Literature Today ponders “The Future of the Book,” featuring a marquee interview with Azar Nafisi and contributions by 15 other writers on the subject of books and book culture. Additional highlights include an interview with Marilyn Luper Hildreth, the daughter of civil rights legend Clara Luper; Nawal Nasrallah’s recipe for Iraqi turnip and Swiss chard chowder; and a Filipino dagli by Stefani J. Alvarez. The book review section rounds up the best new books from around the world, and additional interviews, poetry, short fiction and creative nonfiction, culture essays, a postcard from the former Yugoslavia, and an outpost from Berlin make the May issue your perfect summer reading companion.
“The Russophone Literature of Resistance” headlines the March 2023 issue of World Literature Today. The eight writers included in the cover feature all oppose the Russian Federation’s current regime, whether from inside the country or beyond its borders. Additional writers highlighted inside include Alexandra Lytton Regalado (El Salvador), Siphiwe Ndlovu (Zimbabwe), and Bridget Pitt (South Africa), along with essays on “The New Cadre of Latin American Women Writers,” a postcard tour of unique bookstores along the US–Mexico border, and three dispatches from literary Istanbul. Be sure to check out the latest must-read titles in WLT’s book review section, three recommended Indigenous horror novels, and much more!
Headlining the Jan/Feb 2023 issue of World Literature Today is Senegalese writer Boubacar Boris Diop, laureate of the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Also inside, Emily Doyle interviews R.O. Kwon (“On Sex, Soul Loneliness, and Walking toward Terror”), while Shoshana Bellen, Cleyvis Natera, Ana Ojeda, and Danae Sioziou provide additional conversational exchanges. Further highlights include A.E. Copenhaver’s “Eco-Lit to Read Now” booklist, a new poem by Ted Kooser, and an excerpt i9from Deena Mohamed’s forthcoming graphic novel Shubeik Lubeik (Pantheon, 2023). With more than two dozen book reviews, recommended reading lists, and other great content in the latest issue, be sure to take WLT—your passport to great reading—with you into 2023 and beyond.
In a wide-ranging conversation that headlines the newest issue, World Literature Todaycelebrates Ada Limón being named the 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. With this latest passport to great reading, the editors are also excited to launch an ambitious new editorial initiative to offer a greater number of shorter pieces to help further diversify the magazine’s coverage and facilitate reader engagement from a wider variety of cultural angles. Through literature, music, film, food, and art, WLT is finding more ways than ever to connect you to the global cultural landscape of the 21st century. This issue features fiction by Dacia Maraini and Alit Karp, poetry by Lea Nagy, Beth Piatote, Persis Karim, and Beau Beausoleil, essays by PL Henderson and Mónica Lavín, creative nonfiction by Lin Yi-Han and Philip Metres, as well as a Symposium on Octavio Paz and an interview with Xochitl Gonzalez, with lots more “mini” content as promised!
The cover feature of World Literature Today’s September/October 2022 issue assembles more than a dozen writers, artists, photographers, and translators reflecting on the theme Bearing Witness: Confronting Injustice through Art. Additional highlights include creative nonfiction and essays from Argentina, Denmark, Guatemala, and the US; poetry from Venezuela; Chris Arthur’s “What to Read Now” list of his favorite recent essay collections; and visits to Lagos, Nigeria, as well as lower Manhattan’s Yu & Me Books. With more than two dozen book reviews and additional booklists rounding out the lineup, WLT‘s latest issue remains the best passport to travel the world republic of letters.
The Ukrainian cities of Odesa and Kharkiv take the spotlight in World Literature Today’s latest city issue, in which poets, novelists, playwrights, artists, journalists, editors, photographers, translators, and culture workers offer glimpses into their daily lives since the Russian invasion of February 2022. Other highlights include essays and fiction from Austria, Belarus, Chile, Colombia, Nigeria, South Africa, and the US; poetry from Peru, Portugal, and the US; lively interviews with Ben Okri and Maša Kolanović; recommended reading lists; as well as reviews of new books by Isabel Allende, Elena Ferrante, Mohsin Hamid, and dozens more. With the latest issue, WLT remains an indispensable guide to the best in international literature
Muses — a special section showcasing writers, artists, and their inspirations, with cover art by Holly Wilson — headlines the May/June 2022 issue of World Literature Today, the 400th issue in the magazine’s 95-year history. Rembrandt, Picasso, Kandinsky, Andrew Wyeth, and David Hockney are among the legends whose visual art inspires the featured writers. Other highlights include poetry, essays, creative nonfiction, and fiction from Canada, England, France, Israel, and Russia, as well as a previously unpublished letter by Boris Pasternak. The book review section also features a wealth of new titles from around the world, including new work by Victoria Chang, Louise Glück, and Alain Mabanckou.
The March 2022 issue of World Literature Today foregrounds New African Voices in a cover feature guest-edited and introduced by Mahtem Shiferraw; poetry, fiction, and essays from Australia, Denmark, Greece, and Mexico; reviews of 30 outstanding new books from all over the world; recommended reading; and much more.
Muscogee writer Cynthia Leitich Smith headlines the January 2022 issue with a reflective essay on “Decolonizing Neverland” in YA lit. Also inside, Fowzia Karimi finds a “small flame” of hope in Afghanistan, while other essays survey Vanuatu women writers, China’s minority fiction, and the new Van Gogh exhibition at the Dalí Museum. Additional highlights include interviews with African writers Masiyaleti Mbewe and Henrietta Rose-Innes, fiction from Iran and Japan, and poetry from Colombia, Ivory Coast, and Siberia. As always, more than twenty book reviews.
In the Autumn 2021 issue of World Literature Today, Sarah Moore interviews Noémi Lefebvre. The two corresponded in May 2021 shortly after Poètique de l’emploi had been published in English and Parle had been released in France. The interview immediately had me interested with as they discuss the English translation of Poètique de l’emploi‘s title:
Sarah Moore: Your most recent work to be translated into English, Poètique de l’emploi, considers the question of employment. The English translation of emploi, which variously means “employment,” “use,” and “labor,” into “work” already shows the tension that you explore between how we earn a living and how we spend our time. How do you feel these different aspects relate to each other? Why were you interested in the subject?
Noémi Lefebvre: First, it’s a subject that affects me. I don’t understand the link between work and salary or why, when I work, I’m not earning much of a living. For example, when I write, I don’t earn much money, but that’s my real job. There isn’t a clear connection between the money we earn and the work we do. Also, work is a social condition that we’re all supposed to accept but one that often significantly restricts freedom. That’s what I wanted to consider. When a baby is born we don’t think, “Oh, super, it’s going to have a wonderful job,” unless, of course, you’re very narrow-minded. We think first about life and freedom, not in terms of paid work. I wanted to explore what remained childlike in me and what retains the desire to always be free in life, while work is often restrictive or creates living conditions that are just impossible—not for everyone but, still, often.
Translation takes the spotlight in WLT’s autumn issue, which—for the first time in its ninety-five-year history—is entirely devoted to the craft that makes world literature possible: every poem, story, essay, interview, and Notebook/Outpost contribution has been translated into English, and the entirety of the book review section is likewise dedicated to translated books. Check out what else you can find in this issue at the World Literature Today website.
The expanded Summer 2021 issue of World Literature Today foregrounds Palestine Voices in a cover feature showcasing 30 of the most prominent poets and writers from the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the diaspora, guest-edited by Yousef Khanfar + poetry & fiction from Hong Kong, Hungary, and South Korea.
World Literature Today’s spring issue, “Redreaming Dreamland,” gathers the work of 21 writers and artists reflecting on the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, including Patricia Smith, Joy Harjo, Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Tracy K. Smith. Additional highlights in the issue include a special section on Chinese migrant workers’ literature; an essay on how Giannina Braschi’s work keeps “popping up” in pop culture; fiction from Belarus and Iraq; plus reviews of new books by Najwan Darwish, Cixin Liu, Olga Tokarczuk, and dozens more.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, takes the spotlight in World Literature Today’s annual city issue with a powerful selection of poetry, stories, and essays by 17 writers. Other highlights in the autumn issue include Fabienne Kanor’s essay on uprooting the fetishes of white supremacy; interviews with Natalie Diaz and Margaret Jull Costa; a stunning poem by Achy Obejas on “the universe at absolute zero”; fiction by Vi Khi Nao and Lidija Dimkovska; and much more. Reviews of new books by Elena Ferrante, Mia Couto, Kapka Kassabova, and dozens more make WLT your go-to guide for the best in international literature
A big fan of graphic novels (and nonfiction and poetry), I’m always thrilled when a literary magazine releases an issue featuring graphic work. World Literature Today’s Spring 2020 issue features a selection of graphic nonfiction by seven artists.
Each piece brings something different to the table. The art styles are all vastly different and each focuses on something unique: politics, history, art, ego, love.
My favorite of these is “Shadow Portrait” by Rachel Ang. Ang’s art is calming and enjoyable to look at, muted tones splayed across the page. She writes of love and ego, the ways in which we see ourselves in art, in stories, in the people we love.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is an excerpt from Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Notorious Prison by Sarah Mirk, illustrated by Omar Khouri. Unlike Ang’s calming tones, this excerpt uses bold lines and an orange color scheme which ramps up the feeling of anxiety the story produces. I’m a little disappointed at the length of the excerpt—the four pages we’re given leave on a cliffhanger that left me wanting more, though I suppose that just highlights the writer’s and artist’s skill.
This selection of graphic nonfiction has a little bit of something for everyone, and each artist/writer utilizes their craft impressively. This issue of World Literature Today is a real treat to read.
A special section devoted to Graphic Nonfiction, showcasing seven writers and artists from around the globe, headlines the Spring 2020 issue of World Literature Today. The issue also presents interviews with translators Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Isabel Fargo Cole; new fiction from Italy, France, and the Philippines; essays on Nigerian fiction and the “humanity on display” in museum exhibitions; poetry by Elyas Alavi (Afghanistan), Khaled Mattawa (Libya/US), and Mohamad Nassereddine (Lebanon); and Poupeh Missaghi’s recommended booklist about cities. More than forty book reviews also round out the issue, giving readers a wealth of titles to inspire their spring reading adventures.
In the past couple years, it has been difficult not to notice the hashtags #MeToo or #TimesUp filling up timelines across the internet. But while so heavily focused on what’s going on in the United States, and despite the connection of social media, many of us have been able to overlook what’s happening in other countries, including one bordering our own. Cristina Rivera Garza in “On Our Toes: Women against the Femicide Machine In Mexico” in the Winter 2020 issue of World Literature Today sheds light on #RopaSucia, which was used “to showcase incidences of misogyny in academic institutions and cultural circles”; #MiPrimerAcoso, stories of “my first harassment”; and #MeToo as tools used by feminists throughout Mexico as they fight to make changes for women in their country.
Learn a little more about current U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo in the latest issue of World Literature Today. In addition to a featured poem by Harjo, “Bless This Land,” there is also a mini, three-question interview with the poet.
Harjo answers the questions:
What recent book has captured your interest?
What outside the realm of literature has drawn your attention of late?
What current writing projects do you have underway or have planned in the near future?
The interview is brief but informative and gives readers jumping off points for what to pick up next.