Cover of Kenyon Review Winter 2023

Winter 2023

Vol. XLV, No. 1

The Kenyon Review’s Winter 2023 issue marks our return to a quarterly publication schedule and the debut of our new magazine design, with cover and logo by Janet Hansen and interior design by Sebit Min. It includes a folio of fiction guest edited by Laura van den Berg and Paul Yoon, who selected stories by Tom ComittaAnna HartfordAmina Kayanihurmat kazmiDanny Lang-Perez, and Sarp Sozdinler. You’ll also find nonfiction by Robert Finch and Diane Mehta; poetry by Megan FernandesWilliam Logan, and Maria Zoccola; plus the winner of the 2022 Nonfiction Contest judged by Maggie Nelson, and so much more. The vibrant cover art is a detail of Justify by Krista Franklin, and inside the issue, you’ll find a portfolio of art by Jordan Seaberry.

2022 Nonfiction Contest

Nonfiction

Fiction

Bridges: A Fiction Folio

Art Portfolio

Poetry

Comic

Contributors’ Notes

Kaveh Akbar is the author of Pilgrim Bell (Graywolf Press, 2021).

Emeline Atwood is a graduate of Harvard College and the Michener Center for Writers. She writes both fiction and poetry. “The Orphanage” is part of her recently completed collection of linked short stories. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Paula Bohince is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Swallows and Waves (Sarabande, 2016). She received a 2022 Fellowship in Translation from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 2021 Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. She lives in Pennsylvania.

Tom Comitta is the author of The Nature Book (forthcoming from Coffee House Press in 2023), 〇 (Ugly Duckling Presse), Airport Novella (Troll Thread), and First Thought Worst Thought: Collected Books 2011–2014 (Gauss PDF), a print and digital archive of forty “night novels,” art books, and poetry collections. Their fiction and essays have appeared in WIRED, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Believer, BOMB, and BAX 2020: Best American Experimental Writing. Comitta lives in Brooklyn.

Madeleine Cravens is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Max Ritvo Poetry Fellow. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, American Chordata, Best New Poets, Narrative Magazine, and Third Coast.

Marianne Jay Erhardt lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her nonfiction appears or is forthcoming in Oxford American, Orion, River Teeth, storySouth, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of Ruminate Magazine’s 2021 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize, a 2019–20 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship, and most recently, a Pushcart Prize nomination. She received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and teaches in the writing program at Wake Forest University. Erhardt is currently seeking a publisher for her collection of lyric essays on motherhood, care, and imagination.

Megan Fernandes is a writer living in New York City. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Boston Review, Rattle, PANK, The Common, Guernica, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. Her most recent book of poetry, Good Boys, was published by Tin House Books in 2020. Her forthcoming poetry collection, I Do Everything I’m Told, also will be published by Tin House Books, in summer 2023. Fernandes is Associate Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at Lafayette College, where she teaches courses on poetry, environmental writing, and critical theory.

Robert Finch has published eight collections of essays, most recently The Outer Beach: A Thousand-Mile Walk on Cape Cod’s Atlantic Shore (Norton, 2017), and is coeditor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing (Norton, 2002). Since 2005 he has broadcast a weekly radio essay, “A Cape Cod Notebook,” on WCAI, the local NPR station in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017. Finch is the author of Summers in Squid Tickle, forthcoming from W. W. Norton, in which “The Bell(s) of St. Alban’s” appears in somewhat different form.

Ella Finer’s work in sound and performance spans writing, composing, and curating, with a particular interest in how women’s voices take up space and how bodies acoustically disrupt, challenge, or change occupations of space. She is currently finishing her first book, Acoustic Commons and the Wild Life of Sound, for Errant Bodies Press. Silent Whale Letters, a correspondence project with Vibeke Mascini, will be published in early 2023 by Sternberg Press.

M. K. Foster is a poet and Renaissance literature scholar from Birmingham, Alabama. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Gettysburg Review, Crazyhorse, Best New Poets 2017 and 2019, and elsewhere. Additional notes and links can be found at www.marykatherinefoster.com.

Krista Franklin is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She is the author of Solo(s) (University of Chicago Press, 2022), Too Much Midnight (Haymarket Books, 2020), the artist book Under the Knife (Candor Arts, 2018), and the chapbook Study of Love & Black Body (Willow Books, 2012). She is a recipient of the Helen and Tim Meier Foundation for the Arts Achievement Award and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Her visual art has been exhibited at DePaul Art Museum, Poetry Foundation, Konsthall C, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Studio Museum in Harlem, and National Museum of Mexican Art, as well as on the set of 20th Century Fox’s Empire. She is published in Poetry, Black Camera, The Offing, Vinyl, and a number of anthologies and artist books.

Anna Hartford is a writer based in Cape Town.

Karen Kao’s debut novel, The Dancing Girl and the Turtle, was published by Linen Press in 2017. Her short-form work appears in Hippocampus Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, The Common, The Shanghai Literary Review, and others. Kao has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Vestal Review Award, and Best of the Net. She lives in Amsterdam with her husband and Sam the cat. For more on Kao and her work, please visit www.inkstonepress.com.

Amina Kayani is a Muhajir writer and critic from Atlanta. She holds an MFA in fiction from Purdue University and has served as the managing editor of Sycamore Review and the art editor of Kajal. Her stories have been published or are forthcoming in The Florida Review, Joyland, Full Bleed, and elsewhere. Kayani is at work on a collection of interconnected short stories. Find her at aminakayani.com.

hurmat kazmi is a writer from Karachi. Their work has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, American Short Fiction, and McSweeney’s. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, they live and teach in Iowa City.

Abbas Kiarostami (1940–2016) was an Iranian film director, poet, writer, producer, and visual artist. Among the titans of contemporary cinema, Kiarostami was also a devoted poet, composing several volumes of original poetry in his lifetime, in addition to curating anthologies of classical Persian verse.

Ruth Ellen Kocher is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder and the author of eight books, most recently, godhouse (Omnidawn Press, 2023), Third Voice (Tupelo Press, 2016), Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014), and Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (The Sheep Meadow Press, 2014). She has received fellowships from the NEA, Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Cave Canem Foundation. She is currently at work on a series of nonfiction projects on whiteness, mothering, and spiritual personhood.

Danny Lang-Perez is an MFA candidate in fiction at Vanderbilt University. He was a finalist for The Missouri Review’s 2020 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize, and his work has appeared in Hobart. Lang-Perez is at work on his first collection of stories.

Karolina Letunova was born and raised in Western Siberia. She has an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Offing, Longleaf Review, and Nurture, and she was a 2022 finalist for the Chautauqua Janus Prize. A 2020–21 Zell Postgraduate Fellow, she has been awarded fellowships and residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Monson Arts. Letunova is currently at work on a novel. Connect with her on Twitter @k_letunova.

William Logan’s most recent book of poetry is Rift of Light (Penguin, 2017); his most recent book of criticism, Broken Ground: Poetry and the Demon of History (Columbia University Press, 2021). He teaches at the University of Florida.

Cate Lycurgus’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Best American Poetry 2020, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Tin House, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. She has received scholarships from Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and was named one of Narrative’s 30 Under 30 Featured Writers. Lycurgus lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she interviews for 32 Poems and teaches professional writing.

Diane Mehta was born in Frankfurt, grew up in Bombay and New Jersey, studied in Boston, and now makes her home in New York City. Her second poetry collection will be published with Arrowsmith Press (2023) and her novel with OR Books (2024). She is also the author of the poetry collection Forest with Castanets (2019) and How to Write Poetry (2005). Her work has been recognized by the Peter Heinegg Literary Award, the Café Royal Cultural Foundation, a Kirby-Mewshaw fellowship at Civitella Ranieri, and fellowship at Yaddo. She was the founding managing editor of A Public Space, launched and edited Glossolalia for PEN America to publish writing from traditionally underrepresented languages, and was executive nonfiction editor for Guernica. She publishes poetry, essays, and criticism for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, The Notre Dame Review, American Poetry Review, and A Public Space.

Ruben Nusz is a painter, writer, and publisher based in the Twin Cities. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Walker Art Center, among others. In addition, his artist books (published by Location Books) are included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and SFMOMA.

Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí writes from Nigeria. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Sun, AGNI, The Cincinnati Review, Common Ground Review, Mooncalves: An Anthology of Strange Fiction, and elsewhere. His debut chapbook, A Pocket of Genesis (Variant Literature), will appear in 2023. He is working toward a BA in history and international studies at Lagos State University.

Eric Pankey is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently Not Yet Transfigured (Orison Books, 2021). A chapbook called The Future Perfect: A Fugue is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Pankey is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.

Suphil Lee Park (수필 리 박 / 秀筆 李 朴) is the author of the poetry collection Present Tense Complex (Conduit Books & Ephemera, 2021), winner of the Marystina Santiestevan Prize, and a forthcoming poetry chapbook, Still Life (Factory Hollow Press), selected by Ilya Kaminsky as the winner of the 2022 Tomaž Šalamun Prize. She also has received fiction prizes from Indiana Review and Writer’s Digest. Born and raised in South Korea before finding home in the American Northeast, she studied English literature and poetry at New York University and the University of Texas at Austin. Her recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Greensboro Review, The New Republic, and Poetry, among others; her translations of Korean literature have appeared or are forthcoming in Cincinnati Review, The Los Angeles Review, and New England Review, among others. You can find more about her at suphil-lee-park.com.

Arman Salem is an Iranian American writer living in New York City. His most recent work can be found in Ploughshares and Bridges.

Jordan Seaberry is a painter, organizer, legislative advocate, and educator. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, he came to Providence to attend Rhode Island School of Design and, later, Roger Williams University School of Law. Seaberry serves as Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, as a professor at Rhode Island School of Design and Roger Williams University, and as a student mentor at Lesley University. He serves as Chairman of the Providence Board of Canvassers, overseeing the city’s elections, and as a board member at New Urban Arts. Seaberry maintains a studio in Providence.

Sarp Sozdinler is a Turkish writer based in Philadelphia and Amsterdam. Their work has been published in The Masters Review, Maudlin House, Hobart, X-R-A-Y, No Contact, Passages North, The Offing, The Normal School, and elsewhere. Some of their pieces have been anthologized and have received honorable mention in literary contests, including the Waasnode Short Fiction Prize selected by Jonathan Escoffery. Find more on @sarpsozdinler or at www.sarpsozdinler.com.

Born and raised in Florida, Laura van den Berg is the author of five works of fiction, including The Third Hotel, a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, which was one of Time Magazine’s 10 Best Fiction Books of 2020. She is the recent recipient of a Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction, and a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her next novel, Florida Diary, is forthcoming from FSG.

Candace G. Wiley is a poet, professor, and one of the founding directors of the Watering Hole, a nonprofit that creates Harlem Renaissance–style spaces in the contemporary South. She was born in South Carolina and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Bowie State University, a Master of Arts from Clemson University, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina. Wiley is a Vermont Studio Center Fellow, Lighthouse Works Center Fellow, Fine Arts Work Center Fellow, Callaloo Fellow, and former Fulbright Fellow to San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia, a town founded by West Africans who had escaped from slavery in Cartagena. Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2015 (Simon & Schuster, 2015), among other publications.

James Wilkes is interested in how ideas and practices from sound art, translation, and the life sciences inflect the writing of poetry, short fiction, and performance scores. He collaborates across disciplines and art forms and has held residencies at UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, the Wellcome Collection, and the Medical Museion. His most recent publication is Mille Regretz: Chansons After Josquin des Prez (Pamenar Press, 2022).

Paul Yoon is the author of four works of fiction, including Snow Hunters, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award, and Run Me to Earth, which was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. In 2021, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is based in New York, and his new book, The Hive and the Honey, will be published by Marysue Rucci Books in the fall of 2023.

Maria Zoccola is a queer Southern writer with deep roots in the Mississippi Delta. She has writing degrees from Emory University and Falmouth University. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere.

On the Cover

Krista Franklin is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She is the author of Solo(s) (University of Chicago Press, 2022), Too Much Midnight (Haymarket Books, 2020), the artist book Under the Knife (Candor Arts, 2018), and the chapbook Study of Love & Black Body (Willow Books, 2012). She is a recipient of the Helen and Tim Meier Foundation for the Arts Achievement Award and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Her visual art has been exhibited at DePaul Art Museum, Poetry Foundation, Konsthall C, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Studio Museum in Harlem, and National Museum of Mexican Art, as well as on the set of 20th Century Fox’s Empire. She is published in Poetry, Black Camera, The Offing, Vinyl, and a number of anthologies and artist books.

Detail of Justify (2022)
Mixed media on paper