Author photo of Luis Rodriguez in front of a rock wall.


“A Good Story Haunts You”: Exploring the Intersection of Art and Activism with Luis J. Rodriguez

BY Frank Burch

Good stories aren’t just beginning, middle, and ending, and entertaining. That’s fine, those are of value. But a good story haunts you for a while. There’s something in there you want to keep thinking about and maybe go back to that story again. That’s what I think a good writer should do: keep haunting the reader for a while, about what you’re saying, about how or why, so that the reader says, “I can’t just let it go.”

Author photo of Viet Thanh Nguyen


Empathy, Pain, and Power in Literature: A Conversation with Viet Thanh Nguyen

BY Emily Cordo

The dominant normative tendency is to say literature is unmarked by many things, including politics, and that is the power of ideology in American society, and in American literature, and in American MFA programs, as far as I can tell. And it leaves, in the United States, those marked as international or minority writers in the position of constantly harping on the political. It’s a mutually reinforcing cycle; we’re going to keep on talking about it because we’re in that contradiction.

Sarah Gambito author photo overlaid with the cover of her poetry collection, LOVES YOU.


With Our Mouths Open: An Interview with Sarah Gambito on Food and Lyrical Sweetness

BY Emily Ellison

I feel like we’re in such tumultuous times right now, and we need to uphold the linked roles of artists and audience—so how do we activate each equally, right? I’m less interested in the how the artist performs, where there’s this sort of passivity in the audience—not that that’s not a lovely thing, it’s a lovely thing. But I’m interested in how you get the audience to act towards, in some ways, what it is you’re doing.

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