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They Go Down to the Field

Joel Newberger is the author of Under the Window, Hexateuch, and A Caw. He edits The Swan, a series of free pamphlets devoted to the oldnew songs of the poets. He works and lives in Kingston, NY. Ad fontes. 


Emily Lee Luan is the author of 回 / Return (April 2023), a winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize, and I Watch the Boughs, selected for a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize, her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2021, Best New Poets 2019, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Rutgers University–Newark.

Twelve Poems Beginning with A, B, C

Charles Bernstein — In 2021, boundary 2 published Charles Bernstein: The Poetry of Idiomatic Insistences, edited by  Paul Bove, which collected interviews as well as essays on his work from an international perspective. Neeli Cherkovski reviewed his Near/Miss in the November 2020 Brooklyn Rail.  

from “All this is a continuation of the lie, but . . . if I remain consistent, it comes close to the truth”

Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several intense mammals. Recent books include a creative nonfiction chapbook, Ribald (Bull City Press Inch Series, Nov. 2020) and Dor, which won the Wandering Aengus Press Prize (September, 2021). Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Books Prize (April 2018). Alina's poems, essays, and fiction can be found in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, World Literature Today, Pleiades, Poetry, BOMB, Crab Creek Review, and others. She serves as poetry editor for several journals, reviewer and critic for others, and Co-Director of PEN America's Birmingham Chapter. She is currently working on a novel-like creature. More online at


A writer and sound artist, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of Village (Coffee House Press 2023) and TwERK (Belladonna, 2013). Diggs has presented and performed at California Institute of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, The Museum of Modern Art, and Walker Art Center and at festivals including: Explore the North Festival, Leeuwarden, Netherlands; Hekayeh Festival, Abu Dhabi; International Poetry Festival of Copenhagen; Ocean Space, Venice; International Poetry Festival of Romania; Question of Will, Slovakia; Poesiefestival, Berlin; and the 2015 Venice Biennale.  As an independent curator, artistic director, and producer, Diggs has presented events for BAMCafé, Black Rock Coalition, El Museo del Barrio, La Casita, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, and the David Rubenstein Atrium.  Diggs has received a 2020 C.D. Wright Award for Poetry from the Foundation of Contemporary Art, a 2016 Whiting Award and a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, as well as grants and fellowships from the Howard Foundation, Cave Canem, Creative Capital, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission, among others. She teaches at Brooklyn and Barnard College. 


Emmalea Russo’s books of poetry are G, Wave Archive, and Confetti.

Three Ballads

Yuri Andrukhovych is one of the most prominent and influential Ukrainian poets. He has published more than a dozen poetry collections, fiction books, and collections of essays, and his work has been translated into many languages. A recipient of various awards including the Herder Prize (2001), the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize (2005), the Leipzig Book Prize for Understanding (2006), the Angelus Prize (2006), the Hannah Arendt Prize (2014), and the Goethe Medal (2016), Andrukhovych lives and works in Ivano-Frankivsk.


Maik Yohansen (1895-1937), or else Mike Johansen, was a Ukrainian modernist poet and fiction writer from Kharkiv. Although his high school friends became Russian-language Ukrainian Futurists, he deliberately turned to Ukrainian for his working language. His carefully chiseled poetry displays a mastery of phonetic organization and paronomasia. His erudite and ironic novel, Dr. Leonardo’s Journey to Sloboda Switzerland with His Future Lover, the Beautiful Alcesta (1928), is a playful metaliterary deconstruction of narrative conventions. Translator of Edgar Allen Po and Shakespeare’s Othello, he collaborated with the avant-garde theater of Les Kurbas and co-wrote Oleksander Dovzhenko’s silent film Zvenyhora. Yohansen was arrested and shot in 1937, four days after Semenko, in a mass purge of Ukrainian-language writers.


Mykhail Semenko (1892-1937) was the founder and main poet of Ukrainian-language Futurism. He issued two formally daring chapbooks shortly before World War I, and an iconoclastic manifesto threatening to burn the sacrosanct classic of nineteenth-century Ukrainian poetry, the Kobzar of Taras Shevchenko. After Ukraine was joined to Soviet Russia, he reinvented himself as a politically engaged, communist “Panfuturist,” running a sequence of avantgarde associations and journals throughout the 1920s until the forced demise of the avantgarde in the USSR. A deputy at the Soviet Writers Congress of 1934, he confessed to Isaac Babel of his “simply maniacal urge to take a piece of sh[it]… and throw it at the Congress presidium,” or at least so their conversation appears in a secret police report (see p. 169 here). Semenko was arrested and shot during the Great Purge with many other Ukrainian-language writers, whose great contributions to Ukrainian literature led to that generation being called the “Executed Renaissance.”

I. and I

Ayin Press produced Gerald Stern's last book, I., not long after his death in 2022 at age ninety-seven. This handsome amplified edition of a poem first published online carries a joyful foreword by Ross Gay, a brilliant preface by Stern, and a learned afterword by Alicia Ostriker. I.—which stands for Isaiah—in many ways explores the contemporary poetics of ancient prophetic inspiration.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2023

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